State Street Center Zoning: Initial OK

A rezoning request for State Street Center, near the intersection of State and Ellsworth, has received initial approval from the Ann Arbor city council. The action came on May 13, 2013 – at a continuation of the council’s May 6 meeting. A site plan for the project has not yet received council action.

The project calls for demolishing a vacant 840-square-foot house on this site. In its place, the developer plans a one-story, 1,700-square-foot drive-thru Jimmy John’s restaurant facing South State Street. A one-story, 6,790-square-foot retail building will be built behind the restaurant. The driveway off South State Street would be relocated and widened. The site would include 39 parking spaces, as well as covered bicycle parking between the buildings.

State Street Center, Ann Arbor planning commission, The Ann Arbor Chronicle

Aerial view of State Street Center project near South State and Ellsworth.

The project is estimated to cost $900,000. The property, which is located in Ward 4, is owned by Jack Schwarcz of Oak Park, Mich.

The site plan approval would be contingent on dedicating a 50-foot South State Street right-of-way to the city prior to any permits being issued.

The development is located adjacent to a new Tim Hortons restaurant, which opened last year. However, there is no driveway connection between the two sites. Planning staff indicated that such a connection was encouraged, but is not happening at this time.

The project was approved by the city planning commission at its April 2, 2013 meeting. It had originally been on the commission’s March 19, 2013 agenda. At that time, the city’s planning staff recommended postponement after discovering that the city’s official zoning map had been incorrectly labeled. It showed the site as zoned C3 (fringe commercial). The developer had made plans based on that erroneous labeling. But during background research for this proposal, planning staff discovered that the site actually had been zoned as O (office) in 2003.

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]