Rocky Fork Enterprise

Lew Griffin

Commission OKs Mill Street building design

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A right-of-way encroachment wasn't enough of an issue for the Gahanna Planning Commission to reject a proposal on Mill Street.

In fact, the commission unanimously approved a design for Lew Griffin's LGI Building LLC, 73-77 Mill St.

The renovation project has been stalled since late January, when Griffin was encouraged to look at other options for the building's front facade that was designed with four structural pilasters encroaching 18 inches into the right of way.

Griffin told the commission March 13 that the basic design hasn't changed.

"It's my desire to please," he said. "I tried to redesign for a flush front. It comes down to just not fitting in with Mill Street. On Mill Street it's the vertical lines that define buildings."

In an effort to try to mediate the issue of encroaching into right of way, he asked architect George Parker Jr. what was absolutely necessary.

"It's 10 inches," Griffin said. "We're coming out 7 3/4 inches into the right of way."

Griffin said a flush front wouldn't fit Mill Street.

"The biggest problem is trying to make the building look good," he said. "It's a difficult situation to deal with to get the appropriate look."

Commission member David Thom said he thinks the community would be ecstatic when they see the building.

"I think it's a small price to pay for a little right of way to give up," he said. "It's a small price to pay for what Creekside will receive."

Commission member David Andrews said Griffin was between a rock and a hard place.

"I think this is a great alternative," he said. "I agree a flat building would be very ugly. I commend you for staying with your original vision."

Commission member Thomas Wester said Griffin reached out to him and explained the process he had gone through for the proposed design.

"He considered three or four different things," Wester said. "The design proposed has very minimal impact on the right of way. Four pilasters come out seven inches. I support his efforts."

With the commission's approval of the design, Griffin will proceed to Gahanna City Council over the encroachment issue.

In other commission action, a final development plan and design review were approved for Otterbein Skilled Nursing & Rehab, 975 N. Hamilton Road.

A variance request for 172 Andalus Drive also was approved to allow vertical supporting members of a new fence to remain as built.

Planning administrator Bonnie Gard said city attorney Shane Ewald successfully mediated the fence conflict between neighbors Linda Snyder and Charles Norris.

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