Berkley City Council Approves Vinsetta Garage Parking Consent Judgment
Berkley, MI – January 23, 2020 – After making clarifications to the proposed consent judgment to address concerns expressed by residents about the Planning Commission’s role in the review and approval of plans for the new parking lot for the Vinsetta Garage restaurant, Berkley’s city council approved the consent judgment at the special city council meeting on Thursday, January 23, 2020.
In the consent judgment, which settles a pending zoning lawsuit filed by Vinsetta against the City in 2017, Vinsetta will be allowed to use the first two of the four lots they own on the north side of Oxford, behind the restaurant, to construct a parking lot. They will be required to build two new houses on the two remaining lots (984 and 996 Oxford). Those new houses will draw a hard line between the commercial and residential uses in the area and is consistent with the land use previously approved on the north side of Eaton, and on the south side of Oxford where the Westborn Market is located. Additionally, the changes made concerning the site plan process for the new parking lot clarify that the Planning Commission has full review authority over the new parking lot design with a minimum of 26 spaces.
The revised consent judgment provides, “Prior to commencing any construction of the Oxford parking lot on parcels 25-17-431-023 and 022, Plaintiff must apply for and obtain site plan approval from the City Planning Commission in accordance with the City’s Zoning Ordinance. The scope of the City Planning Commission’s site plan review shall be to determine whether Plaintiff’s site plan is consistent with this Consent Judgment and applicable City ordinances. The Planning Commission shall not have authority to require any modification that is inconsistent with the Consent Judgment or reduces the number of parking spaces below 26.”
The City also approved an agreement with Vinsetta and Lugo Properties to reinstate a collaborative agreement to facilitate the development of an expanded parking lot on the north side of Eaton Road, which is already zoned for parking.
Had this case not settled, further court proceedings could have resulted in maintaining the residential zoning of all four lots on Oxford, but with no new houses required and no solution to the substandard parking problem if the City prevailed, or conversely, with Vinsetta Garage winning parking zoning on all four Oxford lots plus recovering money damages against the City.
The consent judgment will be next submitted to the Oakland County Circuit Court for final approval.
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