A long-planned 15-story condominium tower on Dayton’s riverfront is back on the front burner after Dayton’s Board of Zoning Appeals voted 4-1 Tuesday to grant six variances from the city zoning code.
The 186-foot Vision at River’s Edge tower would be built on a vacant lot at Riverview and Central avenues, between the Masonic Temple and Salem Avenue. The project is in the early stages, with formal construction drawings still to come.
“With this approval in hand, it’s going to enable the developer to go forward and start to finalize some of the financing,” said David Montgomery, the attorney for developer Eleanor Stocks and Business Corporate Link Group.
The project was at odds with the zoning code on several fronts, including building height, setback from adjacent properties, fencing and entrance location. The BZA had approved variances on some of those topics back in 2007, but the project did not move forward during the recession, and the zoning code has changed since then, so the board was reconsidering the project. City planning staff recommended BZA approval.
Perhaps the biggest sticking point was the building’s 186-foot height, in a zoning area that calls for a maximum of 60 feet. Stocks and Montgomery argued that the impact is muted somewhat because the tower would rise from the base of a hill, with shorter buildings to the north sitting on elevated ground.
Grafton Hill resident Dan Barton argued that the tower would block river and skyline views enjoyed by many nearby residents. Barton and Grafton Hill Neighborhood president James Kennedy said the tower would worsen parking problems in the area, with Kennedy also questioning the basic viability of the project.
Several BZA members expressed reservations – Peter Bracher about the lack of construction drawings, Bill Evans about the project architect not being present, and Anthony Ciani about the height and setback issues.
BZA chair Lori Cicero said the question was whether the project met the variance standards, and the board voted that it did, with only Ciani dissenting.
“They have had some predevelopment marketing meetings, and have had some inquiries about sales of units, so the interest is starting to grow for the project,” Montgomery said. “And with today’s success, it’s one step closer.”