Plan Commission approves Sargento storage tower

by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – The World’s Cheese Capitol will soon have a tower of cheese.

The Plan Commission Thursday approved a 70-foot high storage facility for Sargento Foods at their One Persnickety Place campus.

The tower will be one of two storage buildings, adjacent to each other, that will be part of the project, Sargento Director of Facilities Engineering Chris Meyer told the commissioners.

The two buildings will give the cheese company an additional 20,000 square feet of storage space, according to Meyer.

“We expect to break ground within the next six weeks,” Meyer stated. “We’ll be looking to be able to put in the interior automation in mid-July to August and there will be continued work on the site through the end of the year with additional automation to be installed.”

Both buildings will be automated with cranes to stack the cheese for storage and aging.

The plan required a conditional use permit, which the commission approved, to exceed the city’s limitation on building height to 45 feet or less.

The city recently amended the code to allow buildings up to 80 feet in height with a conditional use permit.

Director of Public Works William Immich noted that the plans presented to the commission did not include any storm damage plans, but added that he did not foresee any problem with that issue.

“On their entire property, there haven’t been any drainage problems and if there were any, it would be Sargento’s problem,” Immich explained.

Fire Chief Ronald Nicolaus noted that, like Sargento’s other facilities, the new buildings would be fully sprinklered for fire protection. City waters lines that were extended and expanded to the north industrial park under Tax Incremental Finance District 6 (which financed an office expansion at Sargento last year) ensure that sufficient water is available for the fire protection system, he added.

The new buildings will be screened by existing landscaping on the site, Meyer noted.

No new trees will be added to the property, but none will be removed to make way for the new buildings, Building Inspector Pete Scheuerman said.

“We can’t have trees touching the building, they have to be (at least) four feet away,” Meyer explained, in order to help keep rodents and other animals away from the structure, under state code.

The commission approved the site plan subject to Immich’s approval of the final drainage plans.

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