Planning Agenda: 2023-09-14

UPDATE 2024-05-15: The project at 59 Commerce Ave. SW has been terminated by the investor, the investor is no pursuing a project on the West Side (600 Bridge St. NW).

1590 Plainfield Ave NE

The long abandoned store fronts at 1590 Plainfield are being renovated by Good Good Good LLC for a wine and floral shop which is also a tasting room and event services facility. Wine will be sold for retail as well as on-site consumption in a small street facing seating area. Classes on floral arraigning will be offered.

Proposed hours of operation: Tuesday - Saturday 11:00am - 9:00pm, Sundays 11:00am - 5:00pm

According to the application the two owners intend to walk to work, thus consuming no parking! 😎 Under the city's parking ordinances a bar or tavern requires a parking space for every 3 possible occupants, or 2.5 spaces per 1,000sq/ft of retail. Under this ordinance this project requires either 16 (tavern) or 5 (retail) parking spaces. The site has two (2) metered parking spaces. Parking ruins everything.

From the project's application:

Our property is retail focused and is catered to the Creston neighborhood. We intend for a majority of our customers to walk or bike to our storefront to shop with us. It will be necessary for some patrons to park outside of our property using the public metered spots, but we are hopeful that a majority of our customer base will be foot traffic or utilize public transportation

The North Corridor Improvement Authority is expected to provide two bike racks. This site is located on the frequent Rapid #11 transit route.

The Creston Neighborhood Association has submitted a letter of "enthusiastic support" for this project.

1410 Plainfield Ave NE

This is a request for Special Land Use to operate a Social Services facility; such facilities are not permitted in by-right in TBA (Traditional Business Area) zones. The applicant - Catholic Charities West Michigan - is petitioning to operate a parenting and child support facility offering new and used items as well as classes for community members.

The program which will be operating the facility is "Gianna's":

Gianna’s will provide a welcome space for parents or guardians of children under the age of 5 to shop for gently used clothing, shoes, and infant care items, free of charge. There will be no income eligibility requirements for parents or guardians to shop at Gianna’s.
Outside of the retail space used for shopping, the rest of the space has been set up as a meeting space. Gianna’s goal is to use this area to host gatherings for community engagement. Gianna’s will welcome groups of parents and other interested parties to meet and discuss lactation, post-partum struggles, birthing, new parenting stress, and community safety issues. This would be open to all members of the public. Overall, the goal is to offer positive community interaction, giving parents a place to meet and socialize with community members in similar life stages in order to build a sense of community on the Northeast side of Grand Rapids.

Hours of Operation: 9am - 5pm, Tuesday - Thursday, with appointment only services on Monday and Friday during the same hours. Two to three classes will be held per night on weeknights between 6pm - 9pm.

Classes will be limited to a maximum of 15 attendees. A maximum of 5 volunteers will be onsite during the classes and the hours of operation in addition to 1 - 2 staff members.

Note the abundance of parking!

Letters of support for the project have been received from the North End Wellness Coalition, Trinity Health, PRC, Michigan Public Health Institute, Community Food Club, the Kent County Essential Needs Task Force, St. Alphonsus Church, True North Community Services, the Grand Rapids Public Library, Family Futures, Catherine's Health Center, and arbor circle.

59 Commerce Ave SW

This is Special Land Use request to operate a bar next to an existing bar (Stellas), across the street from an existing bar (The Meanwhile), and across the alley from an existing bar (Max's South Seas Hideaway). Directly to the south is office space, not a bar, however the next door down [to the South] is a bar (Mertens Prime).

The site's TN/CC zoning has no parking requirement; so, in this rare instance, American Urban Planning is not directly encouraging people to Drink & Drive. 👍

The operators of the establishment will be the owners of the existing "The Win Tavern 33" in Jenison, MI.

900 Cesar Chavez Ave SW

A grocery store! Surrounded by residential, on multiple transit routes, and walking distance from the sites of two [hopefully] higher density development sites. What's not to love?

There will be 68 onsite parking spaces, but less than the 81 the Urban Planners believe is required for this use; counting 19 nearby street parking spaces makes a total of 87 available spaces, so if the Planning Commission accepts this math then the ordinance's ravenous parking demands are sated.

How do The Planners get to 81 spaces required for an urban grocery store? (((2.5 [per 1,000sq/ft of retail] * (23,524sq/ft / 1,000sq/ft)) + (2.5 [per 1,000sq/ft of office) * (15,138sq/ft / 1,000sq/ft))) / 1.2 [the "mixed-use coefficient"]). So 59+38 = 97 / 1.2 = 81. If this seems like bureaucratic gobbledygook to you, you are not alone.

The project is requesting approval for beer and wine sales in addition to a waiver regarding the Zoning ordinance's entirely arbitrary parking requirements.

Hours of Operation: 8:00am - 10:00pm, 7 days a week. 🙂

A letter of "enthusiastic support" is on file from the Roosevelt Park Neighborhood Association.