BY SCOTT SULLIVAN
Douglas City Council Monday rezoned the Saugatuck Public Schools’ bus-parking lot on the southwest corner of Blue Star Highway and Fremont Street from C-2 General Commercial to C-1 Village Center near the highway and R-5 Residential in its wooded back parcel.
District superintendent Tim Travis has voiced interest in moving bus services to a more-fitting venue while furthering discussions with a residential builder interested in buying the western back portion for two-single-family homes on two separate parcels.
SPS would still have to find a new bus site, and the developer would still need various planning and building permits.
Outgoing city contract planner Tricia Anderson apprised council Monday the planning commission had recommended rezoning April 20, noting:
• Blue Star is a county road for most of its length, concentrating auto-centered uses such as gas stations, repair shops and fast-food restaurants near interstate exits.
• Between Douglas and Saugatuck Exits 36 and 41, lots are largely C-2 General Commercial, allowing more intense land uses such as gas stations, car washes, office buildings, car and boat sales, etc., said Anderson.
• Conditions over time near Blue Star and Center Street have proved less conducive for such uses due to proximity to downtown, residential uses and walkability of the area. Douglas has also prioritized more housing opportunities since C-2 was established there in 2016.
• Although the C-1 Village Center district is situated mainly along Center Street, said the planner, this shouldn’t preclude approving zoning that more closely matches objectives in the Blue Star stretch between Randolph Street and St. Peter’s Drive.