A rezoning request has been approved by the Howell City Council that will help pave the way for a newly proposed Italian restaurant with indoor bocce ball courts.

Council met Monday night and adopted an ordinance for the rezoning of property at 316 East Grand River for Coratti’s Restaurant from P-1 Vehicular Parking to CBD or Central Business District. The site has an office building on it, which was previously the location of First National Bank operations center, with parking to the rear along Clinton Street. Plans call for renovating and expanding the building. The current zoning had allowed for parking only, which made the existing building and propose use non-conforming. Plans call for converting the bank administration building into a family-friendly pizzeria with an addition at the front for two bocce courts, dining and a seasonal outdoor café. The new project is being proposed by Restaurateur Peter Coratti, which will be a joint venture with two of his nephews.

Howell Interim City Manager Erv Suida tells WHMI says it’s about an 1,100-square-foot addition that will come out toward the sidewalk and it will be a huge improvement. He says it’s an exciting building with a very open, airy atmosphere so they’re looking forward to getting the owners though the process and started on construction. Suida says they got the rezoning completed, which lets the owners continue on in the process, and they’re very excited to open so he anticipates they’ll be on an expedited schedule. He says hopefully they’ll be looking at a very nice new Italian restaurant soon to be located next to the county administration building off Grand River.

The Planning Commission earlier recommended approval of the rezoning request. Council’s approval last night will allow redevelopment of the building to continue and meet the conditions of site plan approval requiring the rezoning. (JM)