AVON — After being passed by City Council, voters will have the final decision on whether residential land on Avon Road is rezoned for office space.
Shire Glenn Green LLC is asking to have 2.7 acres of its 4.67 acre parcel on the north side of Avon Road rezoned from residential zoning to planned-office zoning. Council voted to rezone 1.85 acres of the land in April 2017, and voted 6-1 to rezone another 0.86 acres at Monday night’s meeting.
The original plan was to use only 1.85 acres for the office building, but Planning Coordinator Pam Fechter said water retention became an issue when the developer couldn’t use an adjacent conservation area to drain stormwater into. The added acreage voted on at Monday’s meeting will give the developer more room to build a water-retention system.
“They had to step back and regroup, and that’s why they’re getting this office piece a little bit bigger,” Fechter said. “So when they build the office building, it will have on-site retention.”
Councilman Brian Fischer voted against the rezoning Monday night and in 2017, saying the developer has not shown how he is going to improve the water flow on the property, and that he fears it will affect the other nearby homes on Avon Road. Fischer did vote to put the rezoning on the ballot, saying he wanted to give the developer the chance to make his case to the voters.
“I am more than happy to let it go to the electorate,” Fischer said.
Mayor Bryan Jensen said the ballot measure would only change the zoning, and any plans to build on the property would still have to go through the planning commission for approval. He said if the developer doesn’t correct the problems the city has found in the plans, it won’t be passed through the planning commission.
Fechter said the city’s charter makes any rezoning in that area go on the ballot before being changed, which is why the entire rezoned area will go to the ballot in November.
“Any property that’s 5 acres or less that is south of Interstate 90 but north of Detroit has to go to the vote of the people,” Fechter said.
While putting businesses near existing residences can cause problems, Fechter said nearby residents haven’t given the city any pushback on the rezoning. She said rezoning the parcel as office space could avoid a more noisy type of neighbor.
“They actually would rather see it be zoned office as opposed to commercial because then that would allow for a retailer to come in,” Fechter said. “With the office I think it’s a better feel that this is going to be a 9-to-5-type use.”
A public hearing on the rezoning was held before the council meeting, and no residents or other community members came to council to speak against the proposal.
Shire Glenn Green also owns a 6.5-acre parcel directly across from the land it wants to rezone. Fechter said the developer plans to build 10 single-family homes on the property. The land already is zoned residential, and is considered a separate project.