2018-10-06 / News

Variance Granted for Apartments No Longer Needed

The Decked Out building on Main Street will no longer include apartments for long-term housing, as owner Bob Gale will, instead, expand the retail shops there and convert the four existing apartments on the second and third floors to short-term, hotel-like rentals. The building features the Decked Out and Crazy Horse stores that will be expanded under a new plan approved by the Planning Commission Tuesday, September 11.

The changes were prompted by the conditions set by the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). The initial plan was to expand the first floor to accommodate a fifth apartment. The four units the building already has exceeded the density allowed by the zoning ordinance, so a fifth apartment added as a single family dwelling would require a density variance. Under the city’s zoning ordinance, single-family dwellings cannot be rented for less than a month.

In September, the ZBA approved the density variance, but required the apartments to be used as singlefamily residences in perpetuity, even if Mr. Gale sells the building. The ZBA also required that Mr. Gale formalize with neighbor Anthony Trayser an easement that Mr. Trayser uses to gain access to the back of his Trading Post building. An easement would have been required for the fifth apartment, too, but that is not needed since the apartment will not be built. With the help of city attorney Tom Evashevski, Mr. Gale is working on the easement with Mr. Trayser.

When the Planning Commissioned approved the original project earlier this summer, members noted they wanted to encourage more single-family residences downtown.

Mr. Gale will modify the project so it conforms with density rulese and allows him more flexibility in long-term and short-term rentals. His amended plan did not change the exterior of the building, so the Historic District Commission did not need to review it again.

The Planning Commission approved Mr. Gale’s project pending a new application page that amends the original plan.

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