A machine shop planning to add at least 5,300 square feet of manufacturing space has the go ahead from the Kent Board of Zoning Appeals to do so.
The board granted Copen Machine a variance Monday to allow a building addition to come about two feet from a property easement the business granted to the city of Kent about seven years ago.
The board voted unanimously to grant the business a 48-foot variance from the 50-foot minimum front yard setback requirement.
Travis Copen, president of Copen Machine, said the variance to come within 2 feet of the easement is necessary because several public easements on their property make expansion within zoning codes difficult.
"We need the 5,300 square feet to do what we need to do," he said. "This is the first phase of building expansions we’re looking at."
Copen said the new space, which will extend towards Dodge Street, will be used for machine work and will likely mean new jobs for the business. He said another similar expansion is expected in about three years.
Copen said the business has granted several easements on its to the city, and the easement that the new addition will come close to was granted in 2005 to give the city 30 feet for storm sewers on Dodge Street.
Zoning board member Paul Sellman said he viewed the easement as an obvious hardship that warranted granting of the variance.
"That’s basically 20 feet of property he’s given up to the city," Sellman said.
Zoning board member Diane Werner said the addition is a good use of the property — especially with the new jobs it will bring.
"It’s a good thing all the way around," she said.