The final step to rezone a small portion of a parcel at North Maple and Miller – essentially a formality associated with development of a Speedway gas station at that location – has been given final approval. The final vote to change the zoning from PL (public land) to C3 (fringe commercial) came at the city council’s Oct. 1, 2012 meeting.
The portion of the parcel that’s subject to the rezoning has an easement requiring public access; that easement will remain. The project is located at 1300 N. Maple on a 1.39-acre site. The portion of the parcel that’s subject to the rezoning request is a path that circles the property along the east and north sides. [.jpg of drawing showing the property and the portion to be rezoned]
Approval of the site plan and the initial approval of the rezoning for the gas station had come at the council’s Sept. 4, 2012 meeting. The recommendations for approval by the Ann Arbor planning commission came at that body’s July 17, 2012 meeting.
At the council’s Sept. 4 meeting, city planning manager Wendy Rampson indicated that by looking through the city’s files, planning staff had not been able to determine why the portion of the parcel had been zoned PL in the first place. Every era has its own set of practices, she said. She felt it’s possible that planning staff at the time thought that the PL zoning would send a message that the property was to be used by the public, which is consistent with the easement requiring public access. Rampson said the city does things a bit differently now. She said if the council chose not to approve the rezoning, it wouldn’t change anything on a practical level. But she felt that it’s “cleaner” to make it clear that the land is owned by the private property owner and that maintenance is the responsibility of the owner.
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]