Ann Arbor Area Community News
A proposed apartment building was not the only major issue taken-up at last night’s meeting of the Ann Arbor Planning Commission. The Commission voted 5-3 to deny approval of the student-oriented New Life Church’s site plan and a special exception to build a two-story addition, including a 550-seat auditorium, onto a former sorority house on Washtenaw Avenue between Hill and South University Avenue.
Commissioners particularly felt that the plan did not fit the neighborhood’s character, which is one of the required standards a petitioner must meet to be granted a special exception to the zoning. Dissenting Commissioners Jennifer Hall, Eric Lipson, and James D’Amour noted the pedestrian-dependency of the project as something that should be encouraged, and viewed the impact of the project on the surrounding neighborhood as relatively minor, especially in comparison to such “nuisances” as the UM football games and even the structure’s former use as student group-housing.
Just before the Commission voted, Hall commented that she would be sad if someday she sees this church built in one of the surrounding townships because a home for it could not be found in Ann Arbor.
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