A recap of the April 15, 2019 meeting
Posted on 04/16/2019
City Council meetings are held at City Hall.It was the second reading of amendments to two ordinances.

1) Articles 11; General Commercial District Seven Mile – South Main Street Overlay (SM-O). Proposed changes include the addition of residential development and limiting outdoor storage and vehicular-related special land uses. Please see the full text on this page.  

2) Articles 18 and 26; Outdoor Storage in Apparatus – The amendments would prohibit storage of materials, equipment and other items in vehicles (defined as “apparatus”) such as campers, travel trailers, boats and utility trailers while parked on a property. It also adds a minimum side/rear yard setback of seven (7) feet for parked “apparatus.” Please see the full text on this page.

Both of the amendments were approved.

It was the first reading of the Cady St. overlay with proposed changes that make the ordinance consistent with the master plan. Instead of having a specific numerical density maximum along Cady St., the ordinance would use the dimensional and form-based requirements (height, setback, parking, etc.) to determine the number of residential units that could be accommodated, as identified in the Master Plan.
1. On properties with Performance Regulated Industrial (PR-1) underlying zoning, first floor residential uses are permitted, but only in mixed-use projects. Single-use (residential-only or commercial-only) buildings are allowed, but they must be part of a multi-building, mixed-use project.

Read the entire proposed Cady St. Overlay District ordinance.

Public comments regarding the Cady St. overlay:

1. Lenore Lewandowski, 119 Randolph asked for clarification on why the master plan was changed in the first place. Her question was answered by Sally Elmiger, principal at Carlisle/Wortman, who said that the previous (2008) master plan made it too difficult for developers to have enough density for their projects to be financially viable. It was changed to a form-based zoning (based on distance from street, parking spaces, height and other factors) rather than requiring a certain number of units per acre.

2. Andrew Daily, resident at 333 E. Cady with a business office at 120 W. Main, and builder/developer of the pending Delano (mixed-use) project at Cady and Center St, said he thinks the density in the Cady St. overlay is too high and will create traffic problems. He also said the language of the ordinance was confusing and had too much gray area; he recommended using an easier, statistical method to determine density. The mayor asked Elmiger to respond. She agreed that the master plan and guiding ordinance for the Cady overlay could be viewed as complicated but said it results in the Planning Commission looking at all of the requirements set forth in the ordinance when a project is proposed. She also noted that a traffic study is required if a new development results in an added 100 trips at peak traffic times.

3. Nancy Kerry, of 661 W. Main, said residents have a big investment in their houses and property, and want to make sure that any new development that contains apartments are built in a way that protects homeowners’ values. She stated the ordinance could be hard to enforce. She asked whether the City attorney had reviewed it. The mayor took note of that and asked Elmiger to have that done prior to the next reading on May 20.

The next part of the meeting moved to a closed session between the Council, (along with City manager and City clerk) and City attorney to discuss a confidential legal opinion.

The meeting reopened to present the final item on the agenda – council communications. Council member Marilyn Price said that Dianne Massa has worked with her and Council member Patrick Giesa to create a new online form to apply for a seat on a board or commission. Mayor Ken Roth said the State of the Community luncheon is scheduled for Wednesday, April 17, at Schoolcraft College’s Vista Tech Center and encouraged Council members and others who are interested to attend.

Watch the video here