Council voted unanimously to continue the decision on the proposed Brundrett Building, located on the west side of Gilbert Road at 226 N. Gilbert Road, until the second meeting of January in 2022.
Owners Tom and Marjorie Brundrett, who also own Norwood Furniture next to the space, proposed a mixed-use development for office space and restaurant uses with rooftop amenities.
However, the Brundretts needed to win rezoning as the proposed building would be 68 feet in height, 13 feet more than is allowed in the Heritage District.
Peter Koliopoulos, president and founder of Circle West Architects, presented to the council an overview of the project. The applicants agreed that the portion of the building that was above 55 feet would step back at least 15 feet from the main portion of the building to reduce the impact on views of the Gilbert Water Tower.
The building also was to have trees and landscaping on the balconies and rooftop, which the applicant agreed to have reach no more than 20 feet in height at maturity.
Speakers at the public hearing included neighbors and Heritage District business owners who expressed concerns about the building’s scale against other buildings in the district, its effect on water tower views, noise, parking and its impact on the neighboring Farmhouse restaurant, which has precarious construction, according to a contractor.
Their proposal won 3-2 recommendation for approval from the redevelopment commission April 21, but the planning commission recommended denial on a 6-1 vote May 5.
In their comments, council members expressed an inclination to deny the project at the proposed height, but Council Member Kathy Tilque said she felt bad that the applicants may have been led to believe council was comfortable with the 68-foot proposal, and applicants might have come forward with a 55-foot proposal if they had known differently.
Mayor Brigette Peterson then suggested a continuance to expedite a modified proposal coming forward to council, which council approved.