CITY-OWNED PROPERTY on Monroe Street in Owosso may possibly be rezoned for residential development. Item moves on to city council.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
The Owosso Planning Commission considered a proposed rezoning of city-owned property at 210 Monroe Street during the Monday, Nov. 23 virtual meeting. The site plan review will go before city council for a final review.
Owosso City Manager Nathan Henne brought the site plan review to the planning commission. The current property is zoned l-1 or light industrial. The parcel is south of Corunna Avenue and just east of S. Washington Street, tucked behind Dick’s Auto Service. Henne is interested in pursuing the rezoning to allow for future, potential residential development – as discussed in the draft of the upcoming city master plan.
It is hoped that the area might someday include townhouse style homes or apartments. In an era when Owosso has a significant housing shortage, the city is seeking ways to accommodate people wanting to live in the area.
Currently, the Monroe Street neighborhood includes a variety of zoning districts – commercial, industrial and residential. An R-2 district would designate the property as residential living alone. Family day care and or foster family group homes would be allowed under certain provisions.
In discussing the history of the property, Henne shared that an underground storage unit was removed roughly twenty years ago, but that soil samples taken since have shown contamination – meaning the acreage is now part of the Brownfield Redevelopment Study for clean up prior to any construction.
PCBs (Polychlorinated biphenyls) are the primary source of contaminates found on location. PCBs are a broad group of manmade chemicals once domestically manufactured from the late 1920s. Manufacturing was banned in 1979.
The Site Plan Review brought before planning commission was to allow commissioners to consider the area as it is connected to the proposed master plan, allowing for consistency in planning efforts.
Under the proposed master plan, the Washington/Monroe street area outlines the city-owned property north of the former GracePointe Church building (now owned by Josh’s Frogs). The site is adjoined to the railroad, is connected to public water and sewer and is primed for adaptive residential reuse – after the clean up process.
The proposed plan states, “It is our belief that this rezoning would significantly improve the neighborhood and would not be in conflict with the overall goals of the master plan, not impact the intent of the zoning ordinance.”
Owosso City Planner Justin Sprague recommending approving the rezoning of the property. Planning Secretary Janae Fear made the motion, supported by Commissioner Dan Law to approve the rezoning. The motion carried 7 to 0 and will now go on to city council.