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Fenton Planning Commission Considering Rezoning, Site Plan for Old Fire Hall Restaurant

The planning commission is scheduled to consider a zoning change from Park and Cemetery, and review a proposed site plan for the new restaurant.

The Fenton Planning Commission is scheduled to discuss a proposed rezoning and site plan review for the restaurant going into the old fire hall on South Leroy Street, at the planning commission meeting next Thursday.

The owners of the Clarkston Union Bar & Kitchen, in Clarkston, have an agreement to move a new restaurant into the location.

They hope to start construction inside the old fire hall building before the end of the year, said Fenton Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Chairman Craig Schmidt.

The restaurant developers plan to use an outdoor deck when they open at the old Fenton Fire Hall in 2013, said Joseph Wright, of Landscape Architectural Services. After Fenton DDA's Streetscape project is completed, the restaurant plans to add an outdoor patio.

The rezoning would change the old fire hall’s current Park and Cemetery zoning, said DDA Director Michael Burns. For legal reasons, it’s best to rezone the property, he said. In addition, the planning commission will consider a site plan review for the restaurant.

After the public hearing and action by the planning commission, the proposed rezoning and site plan will go to Fenton City Council, which will discuss these issues at the 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3 worksession, said Mayor Sue Osborn. Council could approve both at the 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10 meeting.

If council is comfortable, the site plan will come to the DDA board, for its 6 p.m. Dec. 18 meeting, Burns said. The site plan review will take place first at the planning commission level, to make sure plans comply with requirements.

In addition to the rezoning and site plan review, the restaurant owners from Clarkston Union are asking for the city to quit-claim a small triangle of land so they can extend the building, he said. This would be for elevators, restrooms and mechanical and engineering equipment.

The city would need to quit-claim this triangle of land to the DDA, which owns Burns said.

The restaurant developers have a lease-to-purchase agreement with the DDA for the old fire hall property, with the option to buy it after several years.

“They need a little land to finish their buildout,” said Schmidt.

The Clarkston Union owners also would like to maintain the landscaping in a grassy area east of the old fire hall building, Burns said. The city of Fenton also owns the property there and would need to grant an easement, which council could consider on Dec. 10. A local surveyor, Brian Shaltz of Field to Finish, is working on a legal description of the property.

It seems a simple fix to him, for the restaurant owners to have the easement and take care of the landscaping, Schmidt said.

There might be another small easement for a dumpster pad, Burns added. The DDA will address it in December.

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