Public Hearing for Zoning Board of Appeals on June 1

The City of Frankenmuth Zoning Board of Appeals will meet on Monday, June 1, 2020 at 5:00

P.M., in the Meeting Chambers at the Frankenmuth City & Township Government Center, 240 W.

Genesee Street, Frankenmuth, Michigan to hear the following appeal(s) from the Frankenmuth City

Code:

 

APPEAL NO. 2020-03 – A public hearing will take place to entertain a request from the City of Frankenmuth for a blanket variance from Section 5.92(7) of the City Zoning and Planning Code for all occupied commercial restaurant, retail or food service operations to permit outdoor displays and outdoor seating due to the hardship and unique nature of the Covid-19 pandemic when certain conditions are met. This section regulates outdoor sales or displays, including open store fronts

and sidewalk cafes

 

Any persons interested in the above appeal(s) may be present at the scheduled hearing to voice their opinions, or may submit written comments to the Zoning Administrator, Frankenmuth City & Township Government Center, 240 W. Genesee Street, Frankenmuth, MI 48734-1398, prior to the

scheduled hearing.

 

The City has specific regulations that guide outdoor seating for restaurants and outdoor displays. An excerpt of the ordinance is below. I’ve underlined some key sections to make it easier for you to review.

 

(7) All uses shall be subject to the following restrictions:

 

(a) All business establishments shall be retail or service establishments dealing directly with consumers.

 

(b) All business servicing or processing, except for off-street parking or loading, shall be conducted within a completely enclosed building with the following exceptions:

 

1. Temporary outdoor sales or displays shall not exceed 15 days in any calendar year and must have prior permission of the City Council. This 15 day period is in addition to activities sponsored by the Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce and approved by the City Council.

 2. Outdoor sales or displays not included in Subsection (7) (b) 1 above will be considered as permanent outdoor sales or displays.  Permanent outdoor sales or displays, including open front stores and sidewalk cafes located within the Historic Preservation District, must comply with the following Subsection (c).

 (c) Outdoor sales or displays, including open front stores and sidewalk cafes which are located in the Historic Preservation District, must have prior approval by the Historic Preservation District Commission. An application fee shall be required. The amount of the fee shall be determined by City Council resolution. The Historic Preservation District Commission shall review a site plan submitted by the applicant to ensure compliance with the following standards:

 1. The outdoor sales or displays shall not be located within the public right-of-way.

 2. Only merchandise normally sold by the property owner/renter shall be allowed to be sold or displayed.

 3. The outdoor sales or display area shall be included in the off-street parking space calculations required for that location. Outdoor sales or displays that contain an area of five hundred (500) square feet or less may be allowed without being included in the off-street parking space calculations.

 4. The perimeter of the outdoor sales or display area shall be well defined with approved landscaping, fencing or other similar marking.

 5. Approvals by the Historic Preservation District Commission shall be valid through the end of December of the year in which the application was filed. Permit renewals require resubmittal of an application for renewal. 

 In those cases where no complaints have been registered with the City of Frankenmuth, a new permit will be approved by the Zoning Administrator.  If two (2) or more complaints have been registered with the City of Frankenmuth, and those complaints are from at least two (2) different persons, a new permit request must be submitted to the Historic Preservation District Commission for consideration.

 (d) All outside parking spaces shall be located to the side and/or rear of the principal structure.

 (e) For those properties located on Main Street in the Historic Preservation District, no outside parking spaces shall be located between the principal structure adjacent to Main Street and the right-of-way line of Main Street.

 As we look to the next six to eight months, we know that we will not be able to operate “as we always have.” The City appreciates that businesses such as restaurants need to serve a fixed number of tables in order to be profitable. Guidance from other states tells us that many businesses – restaurants and small retail – will be restricted on the number of people allowed to dine or shop at a time. City staff is considering a request to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a variance, tied to the impacts of Covid-19. The variance is intended to have the following impact:

 Outdoor displays are permitted without day limitations under the following condition:

1)     Only merchandise normally sold by the business owner are permitted to be sold outside.

2)     are located outside the right-of-way

3)      are well maintained and orderly

4)     are located in such a way as safe access to and from the site by vehicles and pedestrians is maintained

 Restaurants, coffee shops, bars and taverns shall be permitted additional outdoor seating in accordance with the following schedule:

1)     If indoor capacity is diminished by State or County mandate or order, additional outdoor seating may be permitted subject to the following:

  1. All outdoor seating is directly adjacent to the business
  2. No seating is permitted within the right of way.
  3. The seating area(s) shall be located in such a way as safe access to and from the site by vehicles and pedestrians is maintained.
  4. The number of outdoor seats available should be one half or less of the legal capacity permitted indoors.
  5. Businesses with previously approved outdoor seating can exempt the existing outdoor seating when calculating (b) above.
  6. Combined the uses shall not exceed the parking available on site.