Chalmers Place Parking Project Approved

Ann Arbor planning commissioners have approved a site plan for the Chalmers Place employee parking lot, increasing the number of spaces there. The commissioners took the action at their July 17, 2012 meeting, when they also approved a landscaping modification for the project. The retail/office center is located at the intersection of Chalmers and Washtenaw Avenue, west of Arborland Mall.

The project does not require additional approval by the city council. However, it will need to go before the city’s zoning board of appeals.

A different parking plan had been rejected by the planning commission on May 1, after several neighbors spoke against it during public commentary. That plan had entailed building a new 43-space parking lot at the back of the Chalmers Place retail/office center, on a vacant lot that is zoned R1B (single-family residential). The owner subsequently withdrew that plan.

The new proposal would increase the number of parking spaces on the center’s site from 88 to 112. The 24 new spaces would be used mainly by employees of the center, and would be located on the property’s north side, off an existing service drive on the east side of the building. The plan requires a variance from the city’s zoning board of appeals because the maximum number of parking spaces permitted by city code (Chapter 59, Off-Street Parking) for a commercial center of this size is 100.

The spaces will result in about a 2,500-square-foot increase of the total amount of impervious surface on the site, which will be offset by a new underground storm pipe meeting 100-year storm regulations.

This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall at 301 E. Huron, where the planning commission meetings are held. A more detailed report will follow.