Council OKs Catherine St. Townhouse Project

The site plan and rezoning request for a residential project on Catherine Street has received final approval from the Ann Arbor city council. Approval for the three-story townhouse with five housing units at 922-926 Catherine St. came at the council’s Oct. 1, 2012 meeting. The initial approval of the rezoning request had been given at the council’s Sept. 4, 2012 meeting. That rezoning request had been recommended for approval at the July 17, 2012 meeting of the Ann Arbor planning commission.

The two vacant parcels are on the south side of Catherine between Ingalls and Glen, across from the University of Michigan School of Nursing building. The lots are located in the Old Fourth Ward historic district.

The development – which according to the owner, Tom Fitzsimmons, will be marketed to students, UM employees, young homebuyers, and empty nesters – entails rezoning the parcels from PUD (planned unit development) to R4C (multi-family residential). The PUD zoning is tied to a previous development that was approved but never built. The current site plan was contingent on approval from the city’s zoning board of appeals for variances from the conflicting land use buffer requirement. The ZBA granted that variance at an August meeting.

Five garages would be part of the development, with nine parking spaces and bike storage located below the townhouses. A 24-foot-wide curb cut is proposed off Catherine Street for a driveway, which would run along the east side of the site leading to the garages.

The proposed building and site layout plans were approved by the Ann Arbor Historic District Commission on April 12, 2012. The planning commission also recommended approval of the variance from the city’s zoning board of appeals related to the conflicting land use buffer requirement.

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]