2018-04-11 / Front Page

New Apartments On Murbach St. To Go Before Council

Planning Commission Recommends

The Archbold Planning Commission voted to recommend Archbold Village Council allow the construction of two-unit, and possibly three-unit, apartment buildings on Murbach Street.

Kevin Frey, Archbold, came before APC, Monday, April 9, with a plan to build one-story apartments on three lots on the south side of Murbach Street where the street dead-ends on the east side of the village.

Carma Grime, village planning and zoning inspector, said the area is zoned R-3, medium-density residential. There are duplex- and triplex style homes in the area now, but those properties are considered owner-occupied.

As an owner-occupied property they are classified as zero-lot-line homes. Zerolot line homes are allowed in an R-3 area.

When a building is designed to house more than one family who rents the home, it is considered a duplex or a triplex.

Frey said the buildings would be similar to the one-story apartments on Westfield Drive that were constructed by Frey & Sons Realtors-Auctioneers.

“They will be nice, attractive duplexes or triplexes,” he said. What exactly will be built will be determined by what type of building fits on the lots and meets setback requirements.

Price Point

Drew Ginn, a member of both APC and council, asked what the rent for the new units would be.

Frey said the rent will depend on construction costs. Based on the rents on Westfield Drive, the rent may be $600 to $800 per month, possibly higher with the increase in construction costs.

Doug Rupp, APC chair, asked about the density of traffic and on-street parking in the area.

Frey said he plans to have garages built. That, and available driveway space, should mean little-to-no onstreet parking.

Deb Beck, a property owner on Murbach Street near the proposed project, said there is on-street parking on Westfield Drive.

Currently, she said Murbach Street is a nice, quiet street in the neighborhood, where people can ride bicycles.

She also expressed concerns about renters not caring for the properties.

Frey assured her the buildings will be well-maintained.

He said the demographic target for the buildings is older couples and widows.

“I’m having a hard time understanding. You want the town to grow. I want to do a couple of nice buildings here. We need rental housing. You say if I build it, I can’t rent it out,” Frey said.

APC members noted private owners can rent out their properties, and currently, there is no way to stop them.

Marcia Cody, an APC member, asked about the vetting process for tenants.

Frey said there is an application, and the applicant must provide references.

“They know if they do not take care of their place, they will not be there for long,” Frey said.

Feel Right

Rich Winzeler, an APC member, said the project “feels right to me.”

“It does,” Cody said.

Winzeler said he would be much more concerned about the project if the developer was from out of town. In this case, there is a proven, local developer, he said.

With Jeff Fryman, Archbold mayor and APC member, absent, APC unanimously voted to recommend granting the conditional use, allowing the rental units.

Frey’s conditional use request must go before village council for a final decision.

Later in the meeting, APC members directed Grime to look at rewriting some portions of the zoning regulations that define duplexes, triplexes, and zero-lot-line homes, to eliminate some confusion in the definitions.– David Pugh


Any fool can have a trophy wife. It takes a real man to have a trophy marriage.–Diane Sollee

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