The proposal for redeveloping the former White Castle site on North High Street, where Clintonville and the University District meet, is scheduled to come before the Clintonville Area Commission's zoning and variance committee Tuesday, July 31.
The Borror project for what also was home for many years to Patrick J's should then be on the agenda for the CAC on Aug. 2, but chairwoman Libby Wetherholt said it remains unclear how much say the advisory panel will have over what happens at one of the main entrances to the neighborhood.
According to the statement of hardship filed on behalf of BPGE Partners LLC by attorney Sean Mentel for three variances needed for the project, what's proposed is a three-story, mixed-use development, with restaurant, retail and office space on the ground floor and apartments in the rest of the structure.
The potential confusion, according to Wetherholt and Judy Minister, the District 4 area commission representative, stems from a portion of the property being in Clintonville while the majority is in the University District.
Where the development guidelines of the two areas don't mesh leaves Wetherholt in a quandary over which would be enforced.
"I don't know how this is going to work," she said. "I'm assuming the University Area Commission is going to hold sway over it."
"None of the structure is in Clintonville, and there is a reason for that," Minister said. "Where they are proposing the parking, which is in Clintonville, is above a very large sewer easement and nothing can be built on that.
"Really, the University Area Review Board, they have the most say in it."
The variances in Mentel's application include a reduction in required parking spaces from 66 to 60, but that's when employing reductions allowed under the University District Zoning Overlay.
"This parcel is in both the University Area Commission and the Clintonville Area Commission; the stream in the Glen Echo Ravine is the official dividing line," CAC zoning and variance committee Chairman Stephen Hardwick wrote in a July 7 email announcing the agenda for the July 31 meeting of his panel. "The city says the buildings are entirely on the UAC part of the lot, so variances are expressed as to the standards applicable on the UAC portion of the lot. The parking appears to extend onto the CAC part of the lot, so I have asked the city whether the parking variance would have to be different in the CAC."
The response, Hardwick wrote in a July 20 email, is that with Urban Commercial Overlay parking reductions taken into consideration, the number of required spaces is the same for both commissions.
The committee meets at 7:30 p.m. in Clinton Heights Lutheran Church, 15 Clinton Heights Ave.
The other variances deal with required setbacks between the building and parking lot, and allowing dwelling units above commercial uses.
"The variances requested ... in the application allow the applicant to yield a reasonable return while improving the corner of High Street and North and Arcadia streets, while adding jobs and additional office, retail, restaurant and residential space to the area," Mentel wrote in the application. "The variances would not be substantial, nor would they alter the character of the neighborhood."
At a Jan. 18 meeting of the University Impact Review Board, which focused primarily on the architectural design for the redevelopment of the site, the proposal called for a single building that would have the appearance of being three separate structures.
Plans displayed at that time included 3,907 square feet of restaurant space, 2,226 square feet for retail and 11,200 square feet of offices.
The proposal then was for a four-story section that would have 53 apartments with 62 total bedrooms.
David Vottero, the Clintonville Area Commission representative for District 1, where the White Castle site is located, is the architect for the developer.
He has announced that he would recuse himself from any consideration of variances.