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Beline Obeid
June 27, 2013
CITY OF GROSSE POINTE — City planners are pursuing the promise of adding a residential component to the central commercial district.

Five years after Sunrise Development abandoned plans for a multi-story senior living facility in the Village, City of Grosse Pointe officials are considering zoning amendments to lure a comparable replacement.

“(An) intent was to attract a hotel or other residential use that would contribute to the vitality of the Village by bringing in people who would shop, eat and visit shops in the Village,” said John Jackson, of McKenna Associates, the city’s planning consultant.

Members of the city council are considering rezoning the former Sunrise site as a transition district geared for residential development.

The area comprises nearly one block below Kercheval behind CVS Pharmacy, St. Clair, St. Paul and the rear property lines of houses on Neff.

“Uses we anticipate here are hotels, apartments, townhouses, senior living, in particular independent senior living with, possibly, some assisted living,” Jackson said. “We added in this district as a permitted use any existing single family homes or two-family homes. There are a couple of those on St. Paul.”

He proposed to the city council this month zoning amendments corresponding to future land-use goals in the city’s master plan.

“The intent in the master plan was to create transition between more intensive uses in the Village and the surrounding residential area,” he said.

Developments in the transition district could be three stories tall or 42 feet.

“We have a provision that would allow for a fourth floor as a special use,” Jackson said.

The special use designation allows the council to add extra design requirements.

“For instance, the fourth story may have to be set back from residents on Neff so it creates a step effect,” Jackson said.

Proposed district setbacks are:

20 feet on Neff, similar to setbacks in central business district;

30 feet from St. Paul, consisted with residential uses;

10 feet from St. Clair for hotel use and

15 to 20 feet for other residential uses, such as apartments or senior living.

Developers would be responsible for meeting expanded parking needs.

“Any use that goes on this site would have to provide its own parking,” Jackson said. “We have flexibility built into the zoning ordinance that says they can provide parking within 300 feet of the proposed use, so they could work out an arrangement with the city to use the parking deck across the street.”

The council will consider the matter at its 7 p.m. Monday, July 15, meeting.

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