Six months after the land was rezoned and the preliminary development plan was approved by Delaware City Council, Metro Development LLC’s 240-unit Seattle Apartments complex has received final approval from the city.
Located on 24 acres north of U.S. Route 36/state Route 37 and south of Bowtown Road in the city of Delaware, Seattle Apartments will include 60 one-bedroom and 180 two-bedroom units that will be constructed in 10 three-story buildings.
Square footage for the apartments will range from 678 to 933, with amenities including a clubhouse and pool, as well as an outdoor grill. Features of the clubhouse will include 24-hour emergency service, a professional cardio center, a gaming center, and a resident office space consisting of desktop computers, printers and scanners.
Throughout the process, city staff has spoken on the need for apartments and affordable housing in Delaware. Last August, during the initial discussions with Delaware Planning Commission, Community Development Director Dave Efland called the city’s lack of affordable housing for workers in Delaware “a problem,” and he added it is good to have a range of housing in any community.
“We need to have apartments. I’m not saying all of them, but a certain percentage of them that these people can afford to live in and have decent housing,” Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle said during the August discussion.
Joe Thomas, of Metro Development, said previously that the expected target yearly income for residents is $40,000 for one-bedroom units and $75,000 for the two-bedroom units. He added the expected cost to rent would range from $900 to $1,200 a month.
At last week’s planning commission meeting, when the final development plan was approved and sent to council, Efland said the expectation would be for three readings of the ordinance before vote, which is typical for final development plans.
However, the rule requiring three readings was suspended and the ordinance was approved unanimously on Monday, March 11.
“Can I just ask why we have this policy that says, “except in very rare circumstances, development projects will go to at least two (readings)?” Councilwoman Lisa Keller asked prior to the vote.
Vice Mayor Kent Shafer suggested that since nothing had changed with the development plan dating back to the zoning discussions last year, additional readings were unnecessary.
“We’ve heard it all,” Riggle added.
Keller said that often times, having multiple readings isn’t for council so much as it is to make sure the public has had the chance to see and weigh in on developments.
West side Burger King approved
Despite nearby residents voicing their disapproval, the proposed Burger King to be constructed at 1034 W. Central Ave. was approved by council on Monday.
The 2,980-square-foot building will sit on 1.14 acres between Crestview Drive and the private drive that leads back to the First Commonwealth Bank and Ace Hardware.
Monday’s reading was the third for the ordinance. During the previous two readings, residents spoke out against the restaurant, pointing to the additional traffic and constant smell of flame-broiled burgers it would bring.
“This one was a tough one for a lot of people,” Keller said. “But I think the applicant really did go above and beyond to listen to the comments people raised.”
Keller said she, personally, received a lot of comments from the public about issues the city can’t control, such as simply not wanting the restaurant in that location or arguing there isn’t a need for another Burger King in Delaware.
She pointed out the decision criteria for council in voting on the restaurant is whether or not the plan fits the city’s comprehensive plan, and if the developer “has addressed different points in their development plan.
“If all of those answers are a ‘yes,’ then from a council perspective, our response needs to be a ‘yes,’” Keller said.
Councilman Chris Jones, who too said he received a lot of comments from the public, said there is a misconception that the city specifically selected Burger King to come to that location, rather than other restaurants. Rather, the developer came to them with the proposal, and council’s job is to vote on the development strictly based on whether it fits into the criteria for that site.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @ddavis_gazette.