Food Gatherers Site Plan Comes Up Carrots

Food Gatherers has received approval to expand its large warehouse, adding cooler and freezer space to accommodate its focus on fruits, vegetables and other fresh food. The Carrot Way site, on Ann Arbor’s far north side, is a hub for the nonprofit’s food distribution. The approval came at the Ann Arbor city council’s Oct. 1, 2012 meeting. The city planning commission recommended approval of the site plan at its Aug. 21, 2012 meeting.

The site plan was a revision to the nonprofit’s planned unit development (PUD), which will allow for a 12,646-square-foot addition to the back of the existing 16,977-square-foot building.

That building houses the nonprofit’s administrative offices, storage warehouse, and training space. The plan also will add 22 parking spaces to the site, and includes an expansion of produce-washing stations, used to clean vegetables grown at gardens on the site. The Carrot Way site is located on the north side of Ann Arbor off of Dhu Varren Road, east of Pontiac Trail.

According to a staff memo, the changes include a separate administrative land transfer request to shift a shared lot line between the site and a parcel of vacant land to the southeast – both owned by Food Gatherers. The lot line will be moved about 70 feet south, adding 0.43 acres to site where the Food Gatherers’ facility is located. The larger lot size is necessary so that the building addition will conform to the permitted floor-area ratio (FAR). FAR – a measure of density – is the ratio of the square footage of a building divided by the size of the lot. A one-story structure built lot-line-to-lot-line with no setbacks corresponds to a FAR of 100%. A similar structure built two-stories tall would result in a FAR of 200%.

The site plan conforms with the existing PUD zoning, so the one approval by the council at the Oct. 1 meeting was sufficient. Changes to zoning require two readings before the council.

This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]