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Developer given deadline for permits

City tells Simington he has 4 months to obtain approvals at former Silk Mill site

The city Code Appeals Board on Wednesday gave developer Brinton “Rob” Simington four months to obtain all necessary permit approvals for a portion of his Simington IV Plaza at the former Juniata Silk Mill that was prematurely occupied by a business in November.

In keeping with the state’s Uniform Construction Code, the city previously ordered the business to vacate within 30 days, unless Simington appealed the decision or obtained a time extension to come into compliance.

“This was done completely backward,” city Director of Codes and Enforcement Rebecca Brown said of the Simington project. “We’re trying to turn it all around.”

Pressbox Printing will be able to remain in its condominium at the mill, provided Simington follows the requirements outlined at the hearing to obtain an occupancy permit, Brown said afterward.

Simington will need to submit new plans for the project that call for features laid out in the UCC’s “factory” category of development, officials said.

Simington’s engineer previously submitted plans based on an understanding that the Pressbox operation fit the “business” category, which has fewer safety requirements, according to Simington attorney Christopher Michelone.

But Pressbox operates presses, not just copy machines, as city officials thought at first, said third-party building inspector Brian Rearick.

Among the requirements will be a three-hour “fire separation” between the Pressbox condominium and the rest of the project, which has three other potential condominium segments, according to officials.

Simington will also need to submit plans for a sprinkler system for the Pressbox, plans that will need to be approved after approval of the building permit, to ensure the system aligns with what is actually being built, fire inspector Adam Free said.

All the plans will need to be reviewed and approved, then the construction work will need to be inspected and approved before the city issues a certificate of occupancy, Brown said.

Simington had previously acquired demolition, electrical and plumbing permits, officials said.

While the Pressbox still operates presses, those presses account for only about 15 percent of his business nowadays, said co-owner Mike Cree.

Simington couldn’t say for sure how long everything would take, but Michelone said four months is “a reasonable amount of time.”

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.

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