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The site plan for a proposed six-storey apartment block on Franklin Avenue was approved by the Kent Planning Commission on Tuesday evening.

“In fact, it was presented to you before under another developer,” Jen Barone, development engineer for the City of Kent, told the commission.

The proposed building would be located at 227 Franklin Avenue and would consist of 47 units on six floors. It is planned by Clairmont Development with architectural assistance from LDA Architects.

The west and north sides of the building will include balconies, according to Steve Jennings of LDA Architects.

Although the north side will face another six-story building, the balconies there will overlook a courtyard between the buildings, according to the plans.

“I really enjoyed seeing the yard,” Commission member Nick Bellas said. “It seems to be very pleasant for the tenants.”

Commissioner Chris Clevenger-Morris said he was happy with the plan.

“I think the project, overall, looks fantastic,” he said, noting that there were still issues to be resolved regarding color, parking and sewer services.

Commission member Michael Bruder said he did not believe it was necessary to follow the Architectural Review Board’s recommendation to incorporate more reddish brick.

“I’m not in favor of adding the consideration of color to this,” he said. “This historic post office building just across the lane is not reddish. I would consider this requirement an undue burden on the owner, especially when [a certificate of appropriateness] was issued by the ARB.”

Clevenger-Morris said the ARB’s recommendation is a suggestion but is “not absolutely necessary”.

The site plan approval motion was changed to ask for reddish bricks “if desired” rather than “if possible”, leaving more discretion to Clairmont Development.

Although there are still details to be ironed out, Bridget Susel, director of community development, said the plan is well laid out.

“I think it’s a nice project, so I don’t have any negative comments,” she said. “There are some technical challenges, but I’m confident the city and the design engineers will be able to solve them.”

One of the conditions of the 5-0 vote to approve the site plan was the completion of a sanitary sewer study to determine if the existing line could handle the capacity of the additional residential units.

Barone said a sewer survey needs to be carried out to determine if the existing pipe connecting to the main line is adequate, adding that the developer will have to install a larger pipe, if necessary.

Journalist Bob Gaetjens can be reached at [email protected] and @bobgaetjens_rc.