By Tom Tolen /

The Brighton City Council voted recently to approve the second reading of a proposed ordinance that would allow companies which have “transit stops” at various locations along their route to apply for a permit to have the transit stop as a permitted land use. The ordinance was approved unanimously at council's March 3rd meeting.

This would include the Michigan Flyer company, which has operated a stop in the Meijer store parking lot in Brighton at its designated Park & Ride location. The Brighton stop was part of Michigan Flyer's route, which extends from East Lansing to Brighton to Ann Arbor and ending at Detroit Metro Airport.

The service began in the fall of 2019, but the company has operated the transit stop without city approval. Until now, there has been no zoning ordinance that covers a transit facility in the city of Brighton. Service was initially discontinued during the COVID pandemic, but Michigan Flyer notified the city in 2021 that service to Brighton would resume during the late summer. The company also said it would be willing to comply with whatever rules would be promulgated as part of a “permitted use” designation for a transit facility.

Brighton Community Development Manager Mike Caruso said they at the City realize there is benefit to public transportation and the master plan backs that idea up.

A transit stop ordinance amendment was then drafted allowing a transit stop as a "special land use permit" in commercial districts or a permitted use in industrial districts. On Jan. 24th, the City Planning Commission voted to recommend the zoning ordinance be approved by the City Council, which then approved first reading of the ordinance last month.

According to Caruso, Michigan Flyer is also considering putting transit stops in the downtown area and on the city’s east side.

In order to receive approval to operate a transit stop in Brighton, Michigan Flyer will be required to go back to the Planning Commission and go through a second public hearing process — first to the planning group and then to City Council with another public hearing process required before the special land use permit would be considered for approval.