Property north of downtown Royal Oak could be rezoned

By: Robert Guttersohn | Royal Oak Review | Published August 6, 2014

ROYAL OAK — After rezoning another nearby property earlier this year, the City Commission unanimously adopted on first reading the rezoning of 2039 Rochester Road from residential to mixed use July 21.

It will go before the commission again at its Aug. 11 meeting for final approval.

The rezoning of the Rochester Road home falls in line with the future land use map, which also calls for the two adjacent properties to become mixed use. 

In April, the commission approved the rezoning of a property a block west along North Main Street from multi-family residential to office service.

Commissioner Sharlan Douglas said the area just north of downtown is turning into a mixture of activities.

“This is kind of a hodgepodge of uses and activities,” Douglas said of the area.

She said it is time that the City and Planning commissions take a look at a comprehensive plan for the area to make it “something more cohesive and less random.”

Douglas, along with Commissioner Peggy Goodwin, voted against the North Main Street rezoning in April because of its location next to a residential property.

“It seems like it needs a more comprehensive view,” Douglas said of the area north of downtown.

Timothy Thwing, the director of the Planning Department, said the Planning Commission has discussed a broad rezoning of the properties in the area.

“They haven’t decided to do that yet, but, yes, it’s being considered,” Thwing said.

Beth Baldwin, the daughter of the late owner of the home, said to the Planning Commission at its June meeting that she is trying to sell it in order to finalize her father’s estate. Doing so, she said, has proved difficult with its current zoning.

The home has no backyard and is on a major street.

“There’s really a low, low chance of selling it residential,” Baldwin said.

She added that every property from 12 Mile Road north to her father’s home is used for business purposes.

“We’d like to add just one more house to that line of businesses so that we would have a better opportunity to sell the home,” Baldwin said.