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Glen Catt $7.5 million proposed multi-use development passes another hurdle

glen catt project

Beth Gohs

Staff Writer

Last week, the Boyne City Commission approved an amendment to the zoning ordinance that will allow drive-thrus in the Central Business District—in regard to Glen Catt’s $7.5 million proposed project—by a vote of 5-0.

On Tuesday Feb. 24, commissioners also unanimously approved the first reading of a change to the development plan of the One Water Street conditional rezoning, originally approved in 2012, in connection with the drive-thru rezone.

“As the request includes a change to the development plan approved in conjunction with conditional rezoning, this aspect of the proposal must be reviewed in accordance with procedures and requirements for zoning amendments,” stated Boyne City Planning Director Scott McPherson in his Feb. 24 memo to Boyne City Manager Michael Cain.

The commission scheduled a second reading of the conditional rezoning request for March 24.

Leading up to that meeting, the Boyne City Planning Commission met on Feb. 16 to discuss the South Boyne Redevelopment Application that Catt proposed late in 2014.

The new development will replace the Lakefront Mall Building on Water Street and Lake Street; the design includes a bank, restaurant and lease space on the first floor and apartments on the upper levels.

“The applicant is respectfully requesting that a conditional use be granted to allow for the drive-thru which is not allowed in central business district,” It states in the Site Plan Review Application.

The historic bus garage that currently resides on West Lake Street will serve as an enclosed drive-thru for the bank.

“I think what’s great about this is that the drive thru is not the main element of the building structure,” said Doug Mansfield, President of Mansfield Consultants. “It’s actually tucked in and it becomes a very minor element to the different natures of this.”

The site plan review application makes the mission of the project clear in the following items:

Preservation of significant natural features

Ensure the building design relates to surrounding environment

Circulation for vehicles and pedestrians will flow to confirm easy access to the property

Minimal parking for residents and guests will be met

Noise emissions disrupting neighboring properties will be minimized

Businesses utilizing hazardous material will meet state and federal requirements

Public comments included encouragement and approval for the new development.

“I’m a little bit concerned there should be flexibility of parking and Water Street parking because, at some point you could see some commercial development there to create a street,” said Hugh Conklin, former Boyne City Main Street Program Director. “Something to keep in mind that that would be important for the community and the development…. I can’t thank Glen enough and the work that’s been done to help the community the housing and those sorts of things.”

Commissioners discussed multiple points of the project including how the drive-thru would work as far as regulation.

“This will be like how the McDonald’s drive-thru is regulated,” Mansfield said. “We don’t want to put diesels in there so that’s why they had to leave the walls open,”

The commission discussed using the space that is planned as the 2,400-square-foot lease-able space because it would be hard to lease. They suggested using the space for additional parking.

“The second and third floors are similar, they provide about 10 apartment suites,” said Mansfield…. “Some of them have outdoor spaces. We have limited spacing because of the building to the south for the bus garage to go off.”

Any modifications the developers are considering to this application would have to come back before the planning commission, and they plan to return to it the next meeting, on March 16.

“Great projects are complex and complicated, so we are very proud of this one,” Mansfield said.

The commission voted on several motions to approve Catt’s requests.

Get a copy of the entire site plan at www.boynecity.com.

 

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