Planning committee rejects proposal for former City Center II location

A two-building site proposal for property formerly included in the City Center II project was rejected at Wednesday’s East Lansing Planning Commission meeting, as city officials were concerned with the availability of parking included in the proposal.

The commission voted 8-0 to unanimously reject the proposed site plan, citing problems with parking and the general concept of the site.

Community Development Analyst Tim Schmitt said the issues relate to the zoning codes and how people would be able to park in the area.

“To solve the problem, (the applicants need to) come up with a realistic solution to parking,” he said. “They’re going to have to work hard to figure out the parking situation.”

The proposed site plan would be along the 100 and 124-140 block of West Grand River Avenue. The site was a part of the proposed City Center II plans, which dissolved this summer.

During the meeting on Wednesday, Planning Commission Vice Chair Sheryl Soczek said some of the plans interfered with The People’s Church, 200 W. Grand River Ave.

“I just find that this newer plan is more obtrusive to its neighbors,” she said. “Being a memorial garden, we want to honor that, I think, as a city and as a community.”

City Manager George Lahanas said the city is working on a proposed ordinance change that would allow property owners to provide their own parking, as businesses have to rely on the city’s parking.

“At this point, (the city) does not have sufficient parking in the system for this proposed project,” Lahanas said. “If we can’t accommodate their parking needs, the property owner would have no options. This ordinance change should address that by letting them come up with their own parking alternatives.”

Lahanas said they will be working on the proposed ordinance change and that it might take several months to work on.

“The applicant may have to make changes if the council passes (this proposed) ordinance … (and) bring the project (to council) back using the new ordinance.”

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