Rezoning for S. State Site Postponed

A rezoning request and area plan waiver for 2271 S. State St. – which would allow for auto sales on the site – was postponed by the Ann Arbor planning commission at its Dec. 18, 2012 meeting. The city’s planning staff had recommended denial of the requests, noting that the changes did not align with uses in the city’s master plan for that area.

The 2.24-acre site is located on the east side of South State, across the street from a University of Michigan tennis facility. Most recently, Pilar’s Tamales restaurant was located there, though that building is now vacant. The owner, Capital Investment Co., requested rezoning from M1 (limited industrial) to M1A (limited light industrial) so that an auto dealership could be located there. The plan calls for renovating an existing 1,868-square-foot building that fronts South State, to use as a sales office, while using the rear warehouse as an auto repair shop. Repaired cars would be stored and sold in the front parking lot.

A previous project approved for that site in 1999 was started but never finished. The city’s master plan discourages commercial uses along South State, except for the sites adjacent to the Stimson and South Industrial commercial area. According to a staff memo, a corridor study that’s being developed for South State is expected to recommend a mix of office and residential uses for that area. The staff memo also notes that there are several compliance issues with the site, “including lack of required landscaping, an unfinished building foundation, deteriorated driveways and storm water drainage concerns.”

After discussion with planning staff and the owner’s representative – local attorney Scott Munzel – commissioners voted unanimously to postpone action until the corridor study is completed. That’s expected to happen by the spring of 2013. Also requested is a survey of the property to reflect current conditions, or a revised site plan.

This brief was filed from the second-floor council chambers at city hall, 301 E. Huron, where planning commission holds its meetings. A more detailed report will follow: [link]