Posted on Friday, April 6th, 2018 at 4:21 pm.
The Town of Chapin’s Architectural Review Board Thursday rejected plans as submitted for a 13,000 square foot retail center in the Chapin Crossing center in front of Publix, which would be occupied by two restaurants and other businesses.
The primary sticking point was the Board’s insistence that the front of the building should face U.S. 76 (Chapin Road), rather than toward Publix as it is currently planned.
Board member Harmon Reed moved “that additional site plans should be presented to this Board and that approval of plans for the proposed Chapin Crossing Outparcel Development be denied at this point. That motion was unanimously passed by the three board members present – Chairman Ken Loveless, Jason Mack and Harmon Reed. Absent from the meeting were board members Gerald Meetze and Bryson Tucker.
After determining that several issues concerning the building elevation, facades and plans for pedestrian crosswalks had been complied with, the Board turned its attention to the proposed location of the building facing away from the highway.
Chairman Loveless said, “I think the discussion here is centered around what the hanging point of this whole thing has always been – is that we want the building to be on Chapin Road and the developer wants the building to be facing the existing shopping center. We considered this to be a four façade building and I think what our COG (Central Midlands Council of Governments) person was saying that he’s viewing those ends as facades additionally, not just the front and back.”
“We wanted the front of the building to be on our main drag. And we don’t want the back of the building in use,” Loveless said, displaying pictures of trash piled up behind the Publix building.
Board member Reed said, “We didn’t talk about what I think is the big gorilla in the room, which is that the façade which faces Highway 76 is the service side.”
Wes Taylor, architect with LTC Associates, said, “I think we developed that as a primary façade. I don’t know how we could speculate on function.”
Reed replied, “But nobody on the Architectural Review Board, nor you are the general contractor has any control over how the tenants act, and we don’t have any faith that the developer has any control over how the tenants will act. It’s my opinion that because that façade is the back door and the service entrance, it means all items go in and all sorts of items go out. It’ll be the place where employees have their smoke breaks. It will be the place where there will be garbage cans or containers of some sort. It will be the back of the building.”
Taylor disagreed, and becoming somewhat testy he said, “I think the façade has been developed as a primary façade. It’s either architecturally complying or it’s not. You’re talking about function that I have no control over. There’s nothing on these drawings that would indicate it’s a backdoor for trash storage facilities.”
Reed said “I think there are other ways to locate the building on this piece of property. This is not the only way.”
Taylor said, “If we’re talking about redoing the site plan, let’s just talk about that – not hide behind the building design.”
The Board questioned whether the building could be moved back with parking toward the road, or possibly turned 90 degrees.
Taylor questioned whether the Board has the authority to decide which elevation faces the main street. He suggested that the Board would have to accept a wall or a berm or a fence between the building and the highway if the Board wants to require that.
The Board’s decision to reject the plan with the front of the building facing Publix could be appealed to Circuit Court.