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Ordinance to Rezone Property Near Vinsetta Garage for Parking Advances

The City Council approved a first reading of the measure this week; it will be back on the agenda Oct. 15.

The Berkley City Council this week approved the first reading of an ordinance that would rezone a piece of property owned by Vinsetta Garage to make way for a small parking lot.

The ordinance would rezone 1010 Eaton, which is on the north side of the street west of Woodward Avenue, from single-family residential district to parking district. The triangular property is bordered by an alley, an apartment building and a residence.

City Planner Amy Vansen said Monday that the Planning Commission recommended the ordinance on the following grounds: Parking at the site would be a good use of the land, it is consistent with Berkley's master plan, it would benefit the residents and it wouldn't change the nature of the neighborhood.

[Click here to watch the City Council's discussion.]

The Planning Commission held a public hearing – to which the property's neighbors were invited – on Sept. 25 and only one resident, who was in favor of the rezoning, spoke, Vansen said.

City Council member Lisa Platt Auensen said the ordinance conforms to Berkley's master plan, which envisions deeper lots along Woodward and transit-oriented development as the region explores transportation options such as high-speed buses and a light-rail line along the corridor.

"I always look at rezoning as very much a long-term proposal," she said. "To me, it has nothing to do with Vinsetta Garage and what their parking problems may or may not be, but what are we looking at in terms of our master plan and what do we need do in that area to achieve long-term goals for Berkley?"

Vansen said that if the rezoning ordinance is approved during the second reading Oct. 15, the parking lot site plan still would need to go before the Planning Commission and receive City Council approval.

"But they certainly could proceed with demolition of the home at any point and get the area prepped and ready to go," she said.

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