FAR ratio settled at Planning Commission meeting, now heads to City Council
Posted on 06/19/2020
A large home under construction. (Pexels)The Planning Commission had a full agenda when it met online on June 16 and drew many guests to the public hearing on the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) proposed ordinance, capping multiple sessions where FAR was on the agenda. It may also go down in the annals of longest City of Northville board meetings since it lasted four hours.

The commission recommended approval of the FAR draft ordinance to City Council that calls for a .36 FAR and, based on input from the public, changed a calculation in the architectural features that would allow detached garages located ahead of the rear building line to be included in the calculation while excluding those located behind the rear building line.

View the proposed zoning ordinance here.

The intent of FAR is to prevent “big-foot” houses and remodeled smaller homes from overwhelming the lot size and to better integrate the building with the character of the neighborhood. The ordinance establishes standards that coordinate the size of the house to the lot size and exempts certain features of a house from the FAR calculation.

Extended outdoor space – The commission agreed to the plan provided by Carlisle Wortman Associates for restaurants that are requesting extended outdoor dining space to comply with the governor’s COVID-19 executive order for social distancing.

Master Plan public input process – Subcommittee Member Donna Tinberg provided an update, noting there are three public information sessions posted on the City website, the first survey began June 9, and an open house is planned for this summer (date tbd).

Historic building receives conditional approval – The commission voted to approve the final site plan review for 341 E. Main with conditions that includes curbs to protect landscaped areas, a hedge or wall to conceal the parking lot, lighting, and the City’s final review and approval of utility, drainage and photometric information.

Of note: The City of Northville Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on July 7 at 7 p.m. on a Special Land Use requested by the property owner at 150 & 156 N. Center St. – next to Tuscan Café.