Plans pan out for IHOP restaurant on Rochester Road

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published December 6, 2017

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TROY — After addressing concerns about building materials, trash pickup and stormwater management, Brand Growth earned a green light from the Troy Planning Commission for an International House of Pancakes restaurant on 2 acres at Rochester Road and Urbancrest Drive. 

“This site has been in front of the Planning Commission several times,” said Ben Carlisle, of Carlisle/Wortman Associates, the city’s planning consultant. 

The Planning Commission unanimously tabled the request at its Oct. 10 meeting to give the developer time to address its concerns. 

The Planning Commission voted 6-1 Nov. 14 to recommend approval of a conditional rezoning request from residential to general business to allow parking for the IHOP restaurant. The developer also asked for a special use of the property on the east side of Rochester Road, north of Big Beaver Road, to allow a drive-thru window at a Panda Express restaurant. 

The Planning Commission approves requests for special uses and makes recommendations on conditional rezoning requests to the City Council, which approves or denies them.

The IHOP conditional rezoning included a request for a deviation on parking. City guidelines call for 155 parking spots for the site, and the development features 120 spaces. 

Planning Commissioner Michael Hutson opposed the request, saying the parking study was not adequate since it ended at 1 p.m. Planning Commission Vice Chair Karen Crusse and Planning Commissioner Philip Sanzica were absent. 

Planning Director R. Brent Savidant said that based on the parking study provided from other IHOP restaurants and a review by OHM, the city’s traffic consultant, there would be adequate parking for the site. 

“We support our consultant’s finding,” Savidant said. “This has been the most involved staff has been in a parking study in my career. The only loss here … is a business issue. He’s going to lose customers (if parking were inadequate).”

“I think the data is clear,” said Planning Commission Chair Ollie Apahidean. “I’m confident in the study.” 

John Baker, representing the developer, said they planned to submit final site plans to the city last week and, contingent on council approval, would start construction in the spring.