Boyne City Planning Commission highlights

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CORRECTION: The correct location for Thursday’s Joint Board and Commission meeting is listed below, in red.

REMINDER: The annual Joint Board and Commission meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday Feb. 13 in the Boyne City Hall auditorium at 319 North Lake St. in Boyne City.

The meeting is open to the public.

By Benjamin J. Gohs

News Editor

Boyne planners were presented with concepts for a new apartment, the vets park pavilion, and an update on the dog park during their last meeting.

Following are the highlights from the Boyne City Planning Commission’s discussions and from the city planner’s report.

New apartment

Dave Amato approached the city about the possibility of building a small apartment just off Lake Street in the Central Business District of downtown Boyne City.

“Dave has come to the planning department and requested to put a single family dwelling in his building located on the alley that’s located just behind Cindi Franco’s there(Cool Stuff, 309 South Lake St.),” said Boyne City Planning Director Scott McPherson during the Monday Jan. 20 meeting. “It’s an existing storage structure … it’s a nonconforming structure; it encroaches over the alley. He’s proposing to convert it to a residential use.”

McPherson said such structures are allowed but that they do have setback requirements.

“So obviously this building wouldn’t meet those criteria,” McPherson said. “As the planning commission knows, downtown living is a desired component—we do encourage it, we encourage it above existing businesses … so it is a use that is desired but in this particular instance there’s really not a way to allow it in its current configuration.”

McPherson said this could be a good opportunity for the planning commission to do something “creative.”

“We need to do something with the building because it’s old and falling it apart … but I really didn’t want to do commercial in there because there’s really not a lot of parking in there,” Amato said.

Amato said he envisions approximately a 1,000-square-foot apartment above the existing structure, possibly with a one-car garage below.

“Would you renovate the existing structure or build a new one?” asked McPherson.
Amato said he would most likely start over but that the footprint on the 52-foot by 24-foot property would remain close in size to what it is now.

The two-story structure will hold what Amato referred to as a small efficiency type dwelling.

McPherson told Amato to create a plan detailing what he intends to do and bring that plan back before the commission for review.

Veterans Park

pavilion concepts

McPherson gave Boyne City Planning Commission members a review of the concepts that originated out of a three-day planning process that occurred in mid-December of 2013.

“Basically they arrived at three different options, two of them would keep the pavilion at the same place and the third would relocate the pavilion,” McPherson said. “The first option—option A—is probably the least expensive option of the three and it would renovate the existing structure using a lot of the existing (building) … And then, “B,” would keep the same spot but change the roof, change the look of it pretty significantly; open it up. And, option three would be basically the same as two just relocated.”

McPherson said that relocating the pavilion would alter the view corridor and the overall flow of Veterans Park.

“This process has gone through the various boards and commissions for review and comment, so no specific choices have been made or suggested by anybody yet so we’re just sending it out to everybody to get any recommendations we can,” he said.

Ultimately, the Boyne City Commission will decide what is done with the park.

“The other thing that the city is contemplating is their entire facility and how that jibes into the overall plan,” McPherson said…. “I think that’s also going to be a factor in the final decision even though I think the various commissions can have input whether they like the same spot or relocated.”

Planning commissioners discussed the pros and cons for what McPherson deemed the biggest question, whether to retain the original location and potentially relocating it.

Dog park

Boyne City Planning Commission member Tom Neidhamer said Michelle Carter is doing a good job spearheading the subcommittee that is working on putting together preliminary plans, and taking public input on, a proposed dog park for Boyne City.

In theory, the original tentative concept for the park would possibly have had a fenced-in area for larger dogs and one for smaller dogs. That concept looks to have been scrapped for a more attractive plan.

“We did vote as a committee to go up to North Boyne and stay away from Avalanche (Park),” he said… “Basically, the city owns lots, kind of the high lots overlooking the brush pile. It’s open. It’s easy to get to. It’s a block of Court or a block off Charlevoix Street.”

Neidhamer said the subcommittee is fast-tracked for completion and should soon present its findings to the Boyne City Planning Commission.

A 2.3-acre meadow is currently being considered for the location of the proposed dog park.

“It’s dry. It’s close,” Neidhamer said.

According to Neidhamer, Avalanche already draws plenty of people and the subcommittee received much resistance to the idea of removing trees to make the park there, and there were people against the idea of fencing in the dogs.

The Boyne City Planning Commission will next meet at 5 p.m. on Monday Feb. 17 in the Boyne City Hall auditorium.