New business zone will open up industrial site

The Plan Commission will consider a proposal to expand the city’s business district into a district zoned strictly for industrial use. The new zoning designation will also allow tax-exempt religious institutions to locate there.


By Charles Sercombe

An area that was once strictly zoned for industrial activity may be opened up for other types of businesses.

The Plan Commission will consider at its Feb. 13 meeting (at 6:30 p.m.) a proposal to rezone a strip of land on St. Aubin St. into an area where multi-development can take place.

The portion of land is located on the east side of the street – across from the former American Axle plant – from Holbrook to Denton. Located in the parcel are parking lots, a building formerly owned by American Axle and a former UAW building that is now a Hindu temple.

The rezoning proposal came up after a request was made to turn a former American Axle building at the corner of Faber into an Islamic center.

Under the Plan Commission’s proposal, the Islamic center and other religious institutions would be allowed to locate in this rezoned area.

While the proposed zone would allow various businesses to open up, it would prohibit the location of some activities. A bar or restaurant that serves liquor could not operate within 500 feet of the Islamic center or the temple. It would also prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries from operating within 500 feet.

The building where the Islamic center plans to operate now brings in close to $14,000 a year in property taxes. If the Islamic center is allowed to open it would be tax-exempt.

There are three mosques and a Christian center operating on Jos. Campau with a fourth mosque planning to locate in a building located at the northwest corner of Jos. Campau and Caniff.

All of them are tax-exempt.

If the Plan Commission adopts the new zoning plan, it must then go to the city council for final approval.


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