G’stadt unhappy with modifications

G’stadt unhappy with modifications


GLUCKSTADT — The developer of Germantown Village here drew the ire of the mayor and aldermen during Tuesday night’s board meeting for constructing buildings at the proposed 35-acre mixed-use development differently than approved during the site plan process. 

Mayor Walter Morrison brought up the project as a last-minute addition to the agenda after it was discovered that there were some cosmetic changes and overall elevation changes, including the addition of a driveway not on the approved site plan. 

“The buildings were…constructed differently than what were approved,” he said. “Very significant areas where they were different.”

Morrison explained the cosmetic changes were greenlit by someone with the city’s architectural review, and while unfortunate, the developer did get what he thought was a blessing from the city. 

“We had some cosmetic issues that when they first came to me I wasn’t happy they’d been done,” he said. “Once this board approves it, that’s the way it’s supposed to be done. Our architectural review folks basically blessed the cosmetic changes.”

His bigger issue though came from modifications to the site plan for a driveway that didn’t exist on the initial site plan and what Planning & Zoning Director William Hall said was a 22-foot shift in the buildings on the north section. 

“Why were those changes made,” Morrison asked of developer Sandeep “Sunny” Sethi, the CEO of Bellamare Development. 

Sethi explained the cosmetic issues were made because of cosmetic changes to hotels planned for the development and he wanted there to be “continuity” across all buildings. He told Morrison the other changes were because of an error with the architect on the original site plan with the curb cutouts and the request for a driveway in the north. 

“The original architects put that in the wrong place,” he said. “The buildings didn’t get moved. The driveways were represented incorrectly.”

Sethi said the buildings had been inspected 3-4 times and nobody with the city said there was anything inaccurate. 

“Once P&Z approves it, once this board approves it, that’s the way it’s supposed to be built,” Morrison said, saying it wasn’t the city’s responsibility. 

Morrison said the problem was that Sethi was seeking a certificate of occupancy for a building built improperly and that was putting the city in a tough position.

“It’s about the integrity of the process,” he said, saying the board was going to vote for approval because they didn’t want an empty building sitting there. “It’s not personal. The board spends a lot of time going over these things. They adopt rules and regulations.”

Morrison said he was sorry that Sethi had to be the example but he indicated in the future that if builders don’t follow the rules there is a chance they do not receive approval. 

The board then voted unanimously to grant approval pending receipt of an updated and complete site plan. 

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