Roseville zoning ordinance to add business parking, usage changes

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published January 22, 2014

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ROSEVILLE — The City Council unanimously voted Jan. 14 to make multiple changes to the city’s zoning ordinance as it pertains to business districts along much of Gratiot Avenue and portions of Utica Road.

The amendments change the definitions for outdoor cafés and tweak the “complete streets” initiative, which pushes for more sidewalks and bike paths. The amendments also make provisions for outdoor cafés at restaurants, Internet cafés, dog daycares and dog grooming businesses, and for residential occupancy of two-story structures along Gratiot Avenue.

City Manager Scott Adkins said all of the changes had passed muster from the city’s Planning Commission and just needed council approval. He added that the complete streets tweaks were primarily to fall in line with recent state legislation.

“All of these items were worked on for the past several months by the Planning Commission in conjunction with the planning consultant and building director,” Adkins said. “This is part of our Gratiot redevelopment plans, as well.”

City Attorney Tim Tomlinson said that everything about specific businesses in the amendments is new to the ordinance. Prior to the amendments, businesses would have to try to fit themselves into existing zoning rules.

“We may not have these at this point, but it’s something that is trending to the future,” Tomlinson said. “We had these Internet cafés pop up at one point, but we didn’t have specific permitted use provisions, so this makes it more comprehensive, which even though we may not have today, we may have going forward.”

Building Department Director Glenn Sexton said the amendments were all recommended by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and will help the city become MEDC-certified as a redevelopment-ready community.

The amendments focus on the B-3 business district, which Sexton said runs through all but a few pockets of Gratiot Avenue in Roseville, as well as Utica Road, from 12 Mile Road to Gratiot.

“One of the recommendations was to allow additional uses of our B-3 general business district, and we’re trying to develop the Utica junction area as sort of our downtown area,” Sexton said. “So we recommended the council adopt some changes to those usable uses.”

Outdoor cafés can now be set up in the district and include outdoor seating, with some restrictions, he said. These are primarily regarding noise levels and hours of operation, which are limited to 10 a.m. until midnight. The Planning Commission also needs to approve a site plan listing the number and location of the tables and chairs.

Dog-related services are now allowed in that area, Sexton said, with some restrictions on space, construction materials and equipment due to the “number of aspects” that could have a detrimental impact on nearby businesses. Dog-sitting businesses in the area will be unable to have overnight stays for animals.

Councilwoman Jan Haggerty said there was an existing dog daycare on Little Mack Avenue, and she wanted to know if this would affect that business. Tomlinson said that it would be grandfathered in, so it would not need to change its practices to comply with the new rules.

The ordinance changes also will give businesses an opportunity to reduce the number of parking spots they need to provide, Sexton said. Previously, businesses were required to have enough space in their plans to accommodate the worst-case parking days, like Black Friday.

“We found some of the requirements in the zoning ordinance for parking were outdated,” Sexton said. “In practical application, those numbers we were requiring the majority of the year went unused, so we allowed for some reductions in the number of parking spots and allow for bike parking to be used to replace some vehicle parking spaces.”

While there is a limit on the number of bike parking spots a business can put in to reduce the number of automobile spots, Sexton said it should allow business owners to use their space more efficiently. Those who already own existing businesses will also be allowed to add onto their buildings or make any other potential changes using that newly freed-up parking space.

Finally, Sexton said the amendments will allow more than one residential dwelling to be in place above two-story businesses along Gratiot, south of Maryland Street, and on Utica, between Gratiot and 12 Mile. Previously, only one dwelling was allowed.

The changes must all be implemented within 30 days of Jan. 14, Sexton said.

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