Apartment dwellers in Sherman may soon have a new option for housing along the city’s northwest side. The Sherman Planning and Zoning Commission approved plans and variances Tuesday night for a new 66-unit apartment complex along Knollwood Road.


Developers for Young Enterprises Urban Lofts described it as three-story development, with 61 one-bedroom units and six two-bedroom units, that would complement the existing buildings in the area.


“The architecture of the building is going to be what developers have already started with Magnolia Village and Ace Storage, so it will be a continuation of that,” Arcitect David Baca said during Tuesday’s meeting.


The complex would be built near the corner of Knollwood and Hilre Drive, just north of Northcreek Drive. Developers said they planned to expand development into a larger campus-style development encompassing most of the area between Hilre and Northcreek with the apartments serving as an anchor. The project will also see street improvements along Northcreek and Travis in collaboration with the city, Baca said.


Developers for the project asked for three exceptions for the project related to fencing, height and parking requirements.


Baca said the developers would like to install a tubular steel fence instead of the required masonry.


“We feel the masonry wall in and of itself would look like a compound and we want this to look open,” he said.


Documents for the meeting indicated that the request was for wrought iron, but Baca noted that most iron fences in the area are actually tubular steel. He also said he wanted to make sure that this would still be allowed in the variance and would not become an issue later during construction.


The second variance regarded the city’s 45-foot maximum height limit in a retail business district. Baca said designs for the project include a 62-foot ornamental structure that will not be accessible and only decorative in purpose. The commission adjusted this request to allow for a decorative structure, further tightening what could be built under the variance.


The final variance would allow for 113 parking spaces in lieu of the 132 that would be required for an apartment complex of this size. Baca said that city requirements are based on a mixture of one, two and three bedroom apartments, but this would predominantly be a one-bedroom development with lower needs.


“The number we are asking for is very common across the state,” he said.


Commission member Trish Wood voiced some concern about the reduced parking, noting that an additional six spaces will be restricted for handicap access.


Mike Moore, who spoke in opposition, mirrored these concerns adding that parking in other nearby developments is taken up by boats, trailers and other vehicles, further limiting access for residents. Moore also voiced opposition to the steel fence as it could be damaged and bent more easily than wrought iron.


When the request was put a vote, it received unanimous approval for the replat of the property. However, the variances were not passed unanimously with Trish Wood as the lone opposing vote.


Do you think Sherman’s northwest side needs more housing? Let area government reporter Michael Hutchins know at MHutchins@HeraldDemocrat.com.