PC discusses draft format at March 1 meeting
Posted on 03/07/2022
Commissioners are prepared to review all aspects of the Downs site plan. The Planning Commission had a light agenda on March 1, when applicants seeking preliminary site plan review for the Medical Office Building parking lot expansion at 318 S. Main withdrew their request from the agenda, citing more work needed to be done on the plan. The applicants are A&N Summers Real Estate Holdings, LLC, of Novi.

The commissioners turned their attention to a draft review process to consider the Downs site plan, which will be discussed at future meetings following the Public Hearing for this project.

The Public Hearing is set for March 15 at 6 p.m. at the Northville Community Center. Since a large audience is expected, it will be a hybrid meeting with online guests also able to voice their comments. Letters and emails can be sent to the Planning Commission via City Clerk Dianne Massa at [email protected] by 4:30 p.m. on March 14 to be included in public comments. While the commissioners won’t express their opinions on comments or debate the merits of them, they will consider the public comments as they review the site plan and discuss the project with the developer, Hunter Pasteur Northville, and associates at future meetings.

The format the commissioners plan to follow as a guide to their discussion when reviewing the Downs site plan divides aspects of the project into five core topics:

1) Roads, pathways, connections and parking

2) Residency, commercial land uses and locations

3) Parks, public spaces and the Farmers Market

4) Architecture, landscaping and aesthetics

5) Infrastructure, financials and phasing

Each of these topics, which may be covered in any order, has a half-dozen issues that may be discussed to seek commissioner input and consensus of the Planning Commission. For each topic, commissioners could focus on the following:

• What is proposed per the site plan?

• Is the proposal compliant with the Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance?

• What flexibilities are being requested by the applicant?

• What flexibilities will be acceptable to the Planning Commission?

• What modifications to the site plan does the Planning Commission recommend, perhaps in exchange for those flexibilities?

• What common ground can we reach?

The Planning Commission recognizes that due to the sheer size and scope of the Downs project, it will likely take multiple meetings to review the site plan thoughtfully. There will be an opportunity for public comment at various points in the deliberation process. As of March 1, no timeline has been set for presenting a recommendation on the Downs site plan to City Council.