Compromise reached on variance request

June 20, 2013 10:34:26 AM

Nathan Gregory - [email protected]


Installation of a new water main near a mixed-use property on Main Street will soon provide property owners in the area a closer outlet to tap into when installing sprinkler systems. 


After two previous appearances by developer Chris Chain before the Columbus City Council requesting a variance from sprinkler system installation, members reached a compromise Tuesday night, agreeing to pay for sidewalk removal and replacement costs incurred for the installation of a six-inch water main that would service the two-story building on 420 Main St.. which is currently being developed into an apartment/retail space.  


Instead of paying a $26,000 fee to tap into another line on Main Street that is farther away, installation of the main would be along Fourth Street. Columbus Light & Water will install the main. 


In total, the city will front about $14,100 to tear up and replace a portion of old sidewalk where the main will be installed. Chain would pay $13,188 for the remaining portion of the project. 


This allows the property to be in compliance of 2006 International Building Code, which dictates mixed-use properties must have sprinkler systems as a fire prevention measure/ Chain said the compromise will reduce his cost for coming into compliance by half. 


"It's going to make every building down there safer," he said. "When they redo those buildings they'll be able to hook up (to the main) right there." 


Councilman Kabir Karriem, who initially asked Chain to get estimates on main installations when Chain first requested the variance, said he wanted to compromise with the developer while keeping the city in compliance with the code it adopted. 


"Mr. Chain has been before us three times, and the only reason I asked him to go last time and get some figures is because I don't want us to appear like we're trying to deny business," Karriem said. "We want business."

Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.