Batavia mayor breaks tie, in favor of One North Washington Place changes
The developer of the proposed One North Washington Place project in downtown Batavia will be allowed to make some changes to the plan, after Mayor Jeff Schielke voted "yes."
His vote broke a 7-7 tie by the city council Monday on whether Shodeen Inc. could eliminate apartments on the first floor of the building along Wilson Street,
The mayor's vote was not unexpected, as he had cast a tiebreaking vote in December to allow the changes. At that time, however, the city didn't know if the changes were substantial enough to require a hearing before the city's plan commission.
Schielke cast another tiebreaker in January to revise the city's redevelopment agreement with Shodeen. The agreement covers the financial aspects of the proposal for the building, which will contain apartments, retail spaces and a parking garage.
The city wanted storefronts along Wilson, a commercial corridor, and the original plan called for that.
But Shodeen later said the size and shape of the units would be unattractive to retail tenants.
Monday's vote also changed the design of the parking garage, including provisions that will allow it to be heated. The developer has agreed with the city's mandate that the city, which will end up owning the garage, not be charged the costs of heating it.
The project takes up about three-quarters of the block bounded by Wilson, Washington, State and River streets. It wraps around some existing buildings along Wilson and River.
Still to be resolved is whether lead-laden soil on the site will have to be removed. A firm hired by the city recently reported there may be as much as 10,000 cubic yards of soil with excessive lead.
It is considered an environmental condition, and the redevelopment agreement states that if costs to remediate (such as removing the soil) are expected to exceed $350,000, the city and developer have to meet to figure out who pays how much, or whether the project should go forward at all.