<strong>RICHMOND—</strong> “Do you want an eyesore?” Local businessman Quentin Casperson stood before the Planning and Zoning Commission Tuesday, seeking a conditional use permit for the old Pet Milk factory. “We’ve finally got some serious money that will let us use the building for something good.”
He was referring to part-owner Ray Winn, who is looking to renovate about one-fifth of the building into a consumer-driven warehouse, equipped with cargo containers and an area for boat storage.
Casperson presented the commission with detailed plans for the proposal. “There’s been a lot of discouragement and a lot of our partners have backed down and quit. But Ray’s no quitter.”
In 2008, Casperson said, new owners successfully renovated the factory into a haunted house, but then were unable to qualify for a second permit the next year. Casperson talked about the tens of thousands of dollars spent on earthquake-proofing the building, as well as getting the building up to city code.
“We want to do things with this old factory and we’d really like some positive reinforcement,” Casperson said.
The commission expressed concern about the safety of the building and whether it would pass city and county structural and fire codes.
“I’m sure that one-fifth will be taken care of,” commissioner Monica Merrill said, “but four-fifths are still unsafe for workers. We are talking about the building as a whole.”
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