HARTVILLE Village Council approved a board of zoning appeals recommendation to allow residential use at a light industrial zoned property at 127 Mill Street at its Feb. 4 regular meeting.

Architect Jonathan Paul Fleming said property owner Jon Tessmer plans to use the second story of the former Schumacher Lumber building for “three to four apartments.”

The ground floor of the building is being used for commercial purposes. Fleming said he was seeking council approval for the conditional residential use before approaching the building department for permits.

Councilman Jeff Kozy pointed out that updates to the village zoning code, when approved by Council, list the property in a historic district – where the type of mixed use Fleming and Tessmer are proposing would be permitted. Fleming, however, said that waiting for Council approval of the zoning book updates could set the project back several months.

Councilwoman Bev Green asked if Tessmer could be refunded permit fees “if and when” the zoning book is approved by Council. Fleming replied that he and Tessmer consider the conditional use approval and permitting “part of the cost of doing business.”

“I appreciate that,” Fleming told Green. “But (requiring the conditional use approval) is the current law.”

Other actions

• Council also authorized Police Chief Larry Dordea to offer terms of employment to a full-time police officer candidate. Green voted no. Council had previously approved the hiring of an officer to fill the position

• An increase in the village seasonal snow plow driver position to $17 per hour was approved.