By Jessica Mathews /

The Green Oak Township Planning Commission met virtually Thursday night and voted to recommend approval of a needed rezoning for a proposed apartment complex project.

The Commission recommended approval from research office and limited industrial to residential multiple family conditional rezoning of a vacant parcel located on the south side off Maltby Road between Whitmore Lake Road and Rickett Road for The Parc at Green Oak. Two members were absent and no comments were made by the public.

The request is being petitioned by Vector Development and it was stated that representatives have been before the Commission several times and have indicated they’ll comply with all zoning requirements.

Comments from prior meetings were said to be incorporated into plans, which included some dimensions, parking counts, and dumpster locations. However, there are some continuing conversations centered on parking and driveways.

Acting Commission Chairman Lary Marshall commented that he spent a lot of time sorting through ordinances and felt the only option was to treat the approach to the garage as a driveway. In reviewing the zoning ordinance, Marshall said he couldn’t find any prohibition of parking right up to a garage door on a driveway. However, he said he did have some concerns about parking spaces that are not in front of garages and there might have to be some adjustments made during the site plan review phase. Some members felt the ordinance might need to be looked at, which again could be addressed during site plan review.

Planner Paul Montagno commented that their interpretation suggests that a 10-foot space requirement defined in the ordinance is for a parking lot and not driveway spaces - which would not work contrary to the zoning ordinance. He noted was Marshall was correct in his observations in that with each building there are one or two spaces that are not driveways that end up being closer than 10-feet to the building so they’ll need to address that. Montagno added the requirement is that each unit has two parking spaces but they’re suggesting this is not considered a parking lot and therefore doesn’t need to meet the requirement for the 10-foot separation – adding they have historically allowed for the driveway space to count as a sparking space for residential units.

The recommended rezoning request will go to the county planning department before the township board for potential approval. Once that happens, then the applicants will be back before the Planning Commission for site plan review.