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Saturday, 29 September, 2007 2:14 AM
Two coffee shops and a bank are approved at Livonia Planning Commission meeting
Rental car facility and daycare center were tabled because of insufficient information
ILLUSTRATION COURTESY OF AL NOWAK / LIVONIA PLANNING COMMISSION
Beaner's Coffee may be included within this new retail section of Wonderland Village along Middlebelt Road in Livonia if it gets approval from the city council.
A Starbucks, a Beaner's Coffee and a Huntington Bank all received the green light from the Livonia Planning Commission at its meeting on September 25. These items will move onto the Livonia City Council for approval before construction can begin.
Starbucks is looking to construct and operate a coffee shop at the southeast corner of Six Mile Road and Haggerty Road. The main entrance would be on the north side of the restaurant. The drive thru would be located on the east side of the building, where a former bank currently sits, attached to an office building. There will be 22 interior seats and 10 outdoor seats at this location.
The restaurant is not conforming with Livonia's zoning requirements. Twenty-one parking spaces are mandatory for this sized restaurant. There is a deficiency of 35 parking spaces. No dumpster is in close range of the proposed coffee shop. There is no pass through lane for the drive-thru because of a limited amount of space in between the coffee shop and the existing office building.
Starbucks requests to have three signs on the building -- one on the north side, a logo disk on the west side and one on the east side.
"Livonia's zoning ordinance allows for one sign on the front of the building and a second on the facade," said Al Nowak, senior planner for the Livonia Planning Commission. "The sign facing Haggerty would be front (80 square feet) and a 40 square foot sign would face Six Mile."
Nowak also suggested to make the exit onto Haggerty Road as "right turn only." Ian Wilshaw, a commissioner, also requested to see the signage reduced.
James Blain, the architect for this Starbucks restaurant, said a dumpster in the front parking lot wouldn't be feasible. However, he suggested to place a dumpster in the rear parking lot that would service both the coffee shop and the rest of the office building.
Other members from the planning commission were concerned with the outdoor seating at the north side of the building. Drive-thru customers were be required to make a u-turn which would force them to drive around the outdoor seating. Commissioners were worried that a car could easily run into the seating area. They requested to have a fence put up that will protect customers who are sitting outdoors.
This Starbucks restaurant was approved and will go to the Livonia City Council for permission before construction can begin.
Beaner's coffee shop given the go-ahead
Another item on the agenda at the meeting was a Beaner's coffee shop to be located within the new Wonderland Village shopping district. It was OK'd by five of the commissioners and declined by William LaPine and Deborah L. McDermott. The request to build this new restaurant passed so it will be on the next meeting of the city council for its final approval.
"I don't think its the right spot for that location," said LaPine. "I don't see how it's going to work." The vice chairman of the Livonia Planning Commission was worried about the traffic because customers would have to make a sharp u-turn to enter the drive thru lane.
"The vast majority will come from Middlebelt," said Ian Wilshaw, a city commissioner. "I am concerned there isn't adequate space for the u-turn. It doesn't look really good to me."
The new Beaner's would be housed inside of a strip mall that would be located parallel to Middlebelt Road. It would feature 23 seats inside and four seats outside. The coffee shop would have only one wall sign facing Middlebelt Road.
Once again, there was some concern among the commissioners in regards to protection around the outdoor seating. Sanford Green, the petitioner, said he would erect a 3 foot fence around the perimeter of the outside dining area. He also agreed to cut down the number of seats outside from five to four.
"The building is under construction right now," said Nowak, senior planner for the city. "The planning commission is concerned with u-turn into driveway. The traffic engineer said it could make that turn,"
The Beaner's Coffee was approved by the planning commission. It will now go to the Livonia City Council for it's final say before it opens for business.
New Huntington Bank is given the green light
A new bank branch was given the go-ahead by the planning commission to be constructed inside the Wonderland Village shopping plaza. This Huntington Bank will be located along Plymouth Road just west of the White Castle restaurant. The bank will require 2,900 square feet of space. It will feature three drive-thru lanes that are 11 feet wide.
Once again, the bank is not conforming to Livonia's zoning requirements because it requests to have three signs. The city ordinance says that a building can only have two signs. The bank will need approval from the zoning board to be allowed the third sign.
"They're proposing three signs," said Nowak. "They wanted signs on the north, west and east."
This Huntington Bank was OK'd by all members of the planning commission with the exception of Ian Wilshaw. It will go to the Livonia City Council for final approval before construction can begin.
Two items of business were put on hold
A request to build and operate a rental car facility was tabled because some changes need to be made to the parking lot lighting and the irrigation system. The AVIS Rent-A-Car was to be built on Plymouth Road between MIddlebelt Road and Camden Avenue. Some landscaping details also need to be worked out. The planning commission said they would work with the architects and try to get it on the next meeting's agenda.
"The AVIS will have to come back with revised plans," Nowak said. "At least two weeks before they get in meeting."
A request to construct and operate a childcare facility was also put off because some of the building materials haven't been finalized. The Children of America daycare center was to be built on Seven Mile Road between Mayfield Avenue and Shadyside Avenue. Four area child care facility owners spoke at the meeting and said they were against the opening of this daycare center. A petition with 31 signatures was also presented at the meeting from area residents who said they wouldn't want this child care facility to be built.
"The issue of traffic came up," said Ian Wilshaw, city commissioner. "A lot of traffic will be early morning. There will be some level of traffic conflicts. Photographs don't paint a full picture. The purpose of the planning commission is to flush out those details. I'm offering a tabling resolution."
The child care facility will have to resubmit its plans with more information to the next meeting of the planning commission.
Two coffee shops and a bank got the green light from this meeting of the Livonia Planning Commission. All three items will be discussed at the next city council meeting. Meanwhile, the rental car facility and the childcare center will have to work out some final details and report back to the planning commission.
ILLUSTRATION COURTESY OF AL NOWAK / LIVONIA PLANNING COMMISSION
This new Huntington Bank will be located within Wonderland Village if it gets approval from the Livonia City council.
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