Chalmers Place parking plan rejected by Ann Arbor Planning Commission
Courtesy of City of Ann Arbor
The commission voted 7-1 against the parking lot proposal, with only Chairman Eric Mahler in favor of it. Bonnie Bona was absent.
Now the owner of the 0.92-acre vacant parcel at 2090 Chalmers Place likely won't be able to construct the parking lot for employees of the Chalmers Place shopping center, located just west of Paesano's restaurant along Washtenaw Avenue.
The proposal goes on to the Ann Arbor City Council with a recommendation for denial. The city's planning staff also recommended denial of the request.
Representatives of the retail center spoke at Tuesday's meeting, noting it wouldn't be just an ordinary parking lot. It would set aside 10 to 12 spaces as a mini park-and-ride lot for Ann Arbor Transportation Authority bus users.
Access to the lot would be provided through the existing Chalmers Place shopping center curb cut onto Chalmers Drive.
The site is located on the north side of Washtenaw Avenue, west of Chalmers Drive, in the Malletts Creek watershed.
According to city records, the property owner and petitioner is Leonard Nadolski of Len Properties II LLC. He argued 9,8730 square feet of retail space remains vacant at the Chalmers Place shopping center due to lack of adequate parking.
The city's staff recommended the parking lot be denied because it doesn't conform with the city's Master Plan, and the proposed rezoning has the potential for a greater disturbance of the property's natural features than the current single-family residential use.
The Chalmers Place shopping center has 91 approved parking spaces, which City Planner Chris Cheng said falls within the required range for a 26,000-square foot retail center.
Cheng said the city's staff visited the site at random times in the past month and counted the number of empty parking spaces.
At 3:30 p.m. April 10, there were 32 vacant spaces. At 10:30 a.m. April 24, there were 45 vacant spaces. At 6:15 p.m. April 26, there were 32 vacant spaces.
"It appears the vacant parking spaces fall within the parking range required for retail space," Cheng concluded in a report to commissioners.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's email newsletters.