Stories indexed with the term ‘land division’

Planning Group: No Duplex on Packard

Ann Arbor planning commission meeting (Aug. 7, 2013): A light agenda for the planning commission led to two straightforward decisions on rezoning requests for parcels outside the downtown, well away from the area that has generated ongoing controversy. The decisions were both unanimous, with opposite outcomes.

Zoning Map City of Ann Arbor

The red circles indicate the general locations of the parcels that the Ann Arbor planning commission was asked to consider for rezoning at its Aug. 7, 2013 meeting. Other colors designate various zoning categories. (Data from the city of Ann Arbor mapped in Google Earth.)

The planning commission heard a request to rezone 3325 Packard from R1C (single-family dwelling) to R2A (two-family dwelling) – and voted unanimously to deny that request. A house had burned on the lot, which sits at the corner of Fernwood and Packard. The economics of rebuilding a single-family house and trying to sell or rent it out weren’t realistic, owner Steve Weaver told the commission.

A duplex, Weaver argued, could help stem the commercial creep coming from the west at Packard and Platt, and provide a “thumb in the dike” to preserve the residential character of that stretch.

But planning commissioner Bonnie Bona reflected the view of commissioners and planning staff that the decision was a “no-brainer” in the context of the city’s master plan, which clearly designates the area for single-family houses. They were reluctant to engage in “spot zoning.”

In voting unanimously to deny the rezoning request, commissioners encouraged Weaver to work with neighboring property owners with the idea of bringing forward a request to rezone an entire blockface.

Weaver has said he will exercise his option to make his rezoning request directly to the city council, even without the planning commission’s support.

The other rezoning request on the commission’s Aug. 7 agenda was to designate some city-owned property on 3875 E. Huron River Drive as PL (public land). The move was characterized as a housekeeping step for the planning commission. During the public hearing on the question, one person addressed the commission indicating support, but with some concern about the range of activities that would be promoted there.

One idea mentioned at the meeting was the possibility that the parcel – sold to the city in 2010 by former U.S. Congressman Wes Vivian – could become the headquarters for the city’s natural area preservation program (NAP). Commissioners encouraged nearby residents to work with the park advisory commission (PAC) as that group helps decide the parcel’s eventual use within the park system.

The commission also heard remarks from the representative of a neighbor opposed to a requested land division on Traver Street. But the decision on that item will be made by planning staff, not the planning commission or the city council. [Full Story]

Final OK for Ann Arbor Hills Zoning Tweak

The rezoning of six parcels in the northeast Ann Arbor Hills neighborhood has been given final approval by the Ann Arbor city council.

The sites were rezoned from R1B to R1C. Both are types of single-family dwelling districts. The locations are 2014 Geddes Ave.; 2024 Geddes Ave.; 520 Onondaga St.; 2025 Seneca Ave.; 2023 Seneca Ave.; and 2019 Seneca Ave. [.jpg aerial view of parcels] These are six parcels in a block of 10 sites – the other four sites are already zoned R1C.

The rezoning would potentially allow three of the parcels – each lot size currently about 17,500 square feet – to be divided in the future, if other city code requirements are met.

The vote by the council came … [Full Story]

Traver Village Site Plan Approved

Ann Arbor planning commission meeting (Dec. 20, 2011): With four of the city’s nine planning commissioners absent, the last meeting of the year was brief, with only one action item: site plan approval for changes at Traver Village.

Earl Ophoff, Jeff Kahan

From left: Earl Ophoff of Midwestern Consulting talks with Jeff Kahan of the city's planning staff about proposed changes at Traver Village. (Photos by the writer.)

The owner, First Martin Corp., plans to reconfigure retail space that the Blockbuster video store previously occupied, at the southern part of the complex near Plymouth Road, converting it into three smaller retail spaces.

Plans call for adding a new 25-space parking lot to serve that location, between the south side of the building and Plymouth. Elsewhere within the complex, 128 parking spaces will be removed – primarily in the northwest area behind the Kroger grocery. More bike spaces and landscaping are part of the plan as well, which was approved unanimously by commissioners after brief discussion. It will now be forwarded to the city council for consideration.

Communications during the 30-minute meeting included a reminder of a series of public forums on sustainability starting early next year. The first one, on Thursday, Jan. 12, will feature a panel of city staff on the topic of resource management. All forums will be held at the Ann Arbor District Library’s downtown building, 343 S. Fifth Ave., beginning at 7 p.m. It’s part of a broader sustainability initiative that began earlier this year, funded by a Home Depot Foundation grant. [Full Story]