WARSAW — The city plan commission will likely begin looking at expanding the definition of exterior siding materials that are acceptable for new construction of commercial businesses.
On Monday night, May 13, the plan commission heard a pitch from an architect and builder who are behind plans to construct a JLane Flooring & Design store along SR 15 North, Warsaw, seeking to use siding materials they believed to be outside the limits of what is currently acceptable under city ordinance.
The discussion came up at the end of the meeting when businessman Dan Robinson and architect Jim Malcolm expressed concern.
Malcolm said the owner behind the future store was dead-set against constructing a traditional brick-style store and wanted something more modern that is commonly found elsewhere.
Most of the talk focused on “architectural paneling,” and plan commission president Tom Allen conceded that the city’s existing policy on exterior siding is too restrictive.
Robinson and Malcomb said they were eager to get a ruling from the commission so they could move ahead with design and pricing for the project.
The issue has moved to the forefront as building materials and exterior design styles have evolved in recent years, several people said.
Malcomb said the owner of JLane conveyed her exterior design preferences by sending Malcolm snapshots of buildings in Las Vegas.
Robinson and Malcomb said they believe the materials are being used elsewhere in the city.
Joe Sands, representing Sands Office Equipment Inc., Warsaw, spoke in favor of expanding the definition of materials.
Earlier in the meeting, Sands’ company won approval for a preliminary and final plat approval for business purposes on Shelby Drive, just west of SR 15 near Smith Tire Services.
“I completely agree with what these gentlemen are saying,” Sands said. “We’re going to be coming before you next month with the exact same question … we’re grappling with the same thing.”
James Emans, a member of the plan commission, proposed wording that was adopted by the board Monday to approve of a specific type of material described as an insulated metal panel material proposed for the JLane project.
The unanimous vote did not represent a change in policy, but rather a variance from the existing ordinance.
Senior Planner Justin Taylor said the planning department will likely soon begin looking at updating the ordinance on related matters.
Two other plat approvals were granted Monday night. One involved property on Glee Miner Shores that will accommodate two residential lots. The other involved property that is part of Groninger Park that includes Deelyn Drive east of CR 150W. The 17-acre tract is a reconfiguration of existing lots.