The Edmond Sun

Local News

May 16, 2012

Planning Commission OK's new Enclave apartments

EDMOND — SC Bodner Company has succeeded in working with city staff on plans to rebuild the fire-ravaged Enclave Apartments.

The Edmond Planning Commission voted 5-0 for site plan approval Tuesday night for the Enclave Apartments to be rebuilt north of Covell Village Drive, one-eighth mile west of Kelly.

In 2010, the Council approved a five-year extension of the site plan. Site plans are granted for five-year periods and must be renewed if the project does not develop within that time frame.

Fire ravaged what was a nearly completed 149-unit, four-story apartment complex in October 2009, making it the largest structure fire fought in Edmond’s history. The property loss was $14.5 million. The project was initially approved by the City Council in 2006 during site plan review.

This property is part of the larger Covell Village planned unit development of 160 acres of commercial development. The Enclave project has been downsized to 141 units planned on 10.46 acres including the lake, said Bob Schiermeyer, city planner. In addition, plans call for the swimming pool to be moved outside.

“I’ve had some calls and concerns about some of the safety issues involved,” said Bill Moyer, planning commissioner.

There are no remaining points of contention with the city, Schiermeyer said. City staff and the Fire Department have worked with the developer to ensure that all building codes, the newest fire codes and city requirements will be met, Schiermeyer said.

“Fire walls have been extended through the roof to meet the new fire code,” said engineer Ernie Isch, representing the applicant.

Any debris remaining at the site, including concrete, will be completely removed, Schiermeyer added. Inspection schedules are documented.

“They’re not just putting a concrete foundation on top of what’s there,” Schiermeyer said.

SC Bodner will begin the permit process, and in 90-120 days will begin approximately 12 months of construction, said Mike Klein, director of development.

“Our commitment, my commitment is we’re going to work with the city every step of the way to get a quality, safe project,” Klein said.

Former Mayor Dan O’Neil said he remains concerned for the safety and health of future Enclave residents. He called for a full public review of the project by the City Council.

“I would like a full vetting of the issues that the city had with the contractor at the time during the construction, that may or may not have contributed to the fire,” O’Neil said.

Questions have not been asked, O’Neil said. A question cannot be answered until it is asked, said Barry Moore, planning commissioner.

“Questions have been asked tonight. They’ve been asked throughout this process,” Moore said.

Klein said nobody attended a neighborhood meeting that was planned for area residents two months ago.

Other Edmond apartment complexes are bigger but are also made of separate units, O’Neil said. The access points to this apartment complex are internal, he continued.

“Throughout the inspection process, there’s going to be fire marshals on this project,” said Mark Hoose, planning commissioner. “We’ve got city staff; there’s going to be repeated inspections of the building, construction techniques …”

Hoose said he has absolute confidence in the city staff to make the apartments safe. The project is being built in a different way to comply with new fire codes, he said.

“It’s my understanding that the applicant has worked diligently with city staff to address those issues and concerns,” Hoose said. “I want to commend them for that.”

Discussion and approval of this item ended at the Planning Commission.

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