2 public hearings for special use permits

ALPENA – A pair of public hearings regarding requests for special use permits highlight the Alpena Planning Commission meeting Tuesday. The first is for a proposed auto repair shop on Washington Avenue and the second to allow the owner of a single family residence on Miller Street to have an apartment in the upstairs of the home.

City Planning and Development Director Adam Poll said the planning commission will consider a request by Allen Reynolds to build Al’s Auto next to his residence. The property in question is currently in a commercial corridor district and the 40-foot-by-72-foot auto shop would be considered more of an industrial business, thus making a special use permit necessary.

“They own a house with a daycare and purchased the house next door and had it demolished,” Poll said. “They have proposed a steel pole construction, but the planning commission is going to ask for brick veneer on the front facing the road. This is really the first step of the process and we really don’t have any details on when the project will begin.”

The second special use permit request is being made by Dustin Hamer who has filed a petition to allow him to develop a secondary dwelling on the upper level of his home at 535 W. Miller. Poll said there are other homes in the vicinity that have rentals upstairs, but have been allowed to this point because they were grandfathered in when the current zoning was put in place. He said in order to get approval Hamer must occupy the lower level.

“This home had an apartment previously in the mid-2000s, but the previous owner never registered it with the city,” Poll said. “Because it is zone R-2 Single Family District, you’re not allowed to have a second dwelling on the property without a special use permit. This request is unique because there are a lot of legal, non-conforming duplexes on that block alone. The future land use map does call for one or two family residences, so it isn’t really a giant leap, as far as differing from the future plan for the area.”

Poll said all property owners within 300 feet of the proposed permits have been notified and have a chance to comment on the two requests at the meeting before the planning commission takes action. The hearings are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at city hall. He said correspondence can also be sent by mail, or dropped off at city hall.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews.