Commercial Zoning Recommended for Biercamp

The Ann Arbor planning commission has recommended zoning two properties on South State Street – 1643 and 1645 S. State – as C1 (local business district). One of those properties houses Biercamp Artisan Sausage and Jerky. The action was taken at the commission’s Dec. 17, 2013 meeting. It requires a vote by the city council to be approved.

The parcels – located in Ward 4 just south of Stimson and the Produce Station – are owned by Stefan Hofmann. The site at 1645 S. State is used for storage. The parcel at 1643 S. State currently houses Biercamp Artisan Sausage and Jerky, as well as an auto repair shop and furniture manufacturer.

The zoning for these parcels, which were annexed into the city from Ann Arbor Township in 2011, has previously been considered by the planning commission. Biercamp owners Walt Hansen and Hannah Cheadle wanted to zone the property C3 (fringe commercial district), so their business could sell a wider variety of merchandise, including products not made on site. C1 is a more restrictive type of zoning. For example, no drive-thru restaurants are allowed in C1 districts.

At its Sept. 8, 2011 meeting, the planning commission unanimously recommended denial of that C3 zoning request, based on the proposed zoning being inconsistent with the city’s master plan. The request was then made directly to the city council, which also denied the request at a meeting on Feb. 21, 2012.

At the time, planning commissioners also were advocating for a broader study of the State Street corridor. That study was subsequently completed, and on July 15, 2013, the city council adopted the South State Street corridor plan as an amendment to the master plan’s land use element.

According to a staff memo, the adoption of the corridor plan into the city’s master plan prompted city planning staff to initiate the current zoning request. The C1 zoning is consistent with recommendations in the plan, which calls for a mixed-use neighborhood retail center in that area to serve the Yost and Burns Park neighborhoods.

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