PC mistakenly OKs third story

A boo-boo made at last week’s Oxford Village Planning Commission meeting means a local developer will have to settle for a smaller building as originally planned.

Planning commissioners voted 5-0 to approve a revised building design that was intended to allow Dave Weckle to construct a three-story structure at 32 E. Burdick St.

Weckle was hoping to add a single residential condominium as a third floor to this building, which planning commissioners approved as a two-story structure in May.

The only problem is he can’t do that because he plans to have office space in the building and that means a third story would violate the Planned Unit Development (PUD) agreement he has with the village and Downtown Development Authority (DDA).

Under the PUD approved by the village council in September 2016 and DDA board in November 2015, if the building contains office space, it’s restricted to two stories.

However, if the building houses “only retail and residential” uses, it’s permitted to have a third story.

This provision was put in place because of the higher parking requirements for office space versus residential use.

The building-height restriction was not mentioned during last week’s planning commission meeting, nor was it included in the Aug. 14 review letter submitted by village Planner Chris Khorey, of the Northville-based McKenna Associates.

It was this reporter who pointed out the PUD restriction to Khorey.

Khorey then spoke with Weckle and in response, the planner e-mailed this reporter the following statement – “Due to my oversight, the planning commission mistakenly approved a design for 32 E. Burdick that is not allowed under the PUD agreement.

“The commission will correct that mistake at their September 19 meeting.”

When asked how this error will be handled, Khorey replied, via e-mail, “The planning commission will rescind the design approval they granted on September 5, leaving in place their earlier approval of the two-story building.”

The 60-foot-by-60-foot building to be constructed at 32 E. Burdick St. is part of a three-building, mixed-use development encompassing E. Burdick, Mill and Stanton streets.

The other two buildings will be located at 36 E. Burdick St. (a three-story structure) and 19 Stanton St.

Weckle’s development is going to contain a mix of retail, office and residential uses, plus a 55-space public parking lot that he has agreed to construct at his expense, then transfer ownership to the DDA.

Weckle told planning commissioners, “I expect to have (32 E. Burdick St.) roughed in by Christmas and start the foundation of (36 E. Burdick St.) right after that.”

Per the PUD agreement, Weckle cannot begin construction on any of his buildings “until after construction of the parking lot begins.”

Weckle plans to tear down the house he owns at 42 E. Burdick St. after the Oxford Fire Department and Oakland Community College are done using it for training purposes in late October. He told commissioners he considers that to be the start of the parking lot construction.

 

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