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Farmington Planning Commission Approves Plan for Adult Day Care

The business is proposed for the second floor of Grand Dry Cleaners on Grand River.

Farmington Planning Commission members have moved forward a plan to put an adult day care into the building on the eastern edge of the city's central business district.

City planner Sherrin Hood, of LSL Planning, Inc., said the proposal for the immediate use of the building calls for the day care to be located on the upper floors of the two-story building. As the business grows, the owners may move it into the first floor, replacing the dry cleaning business, and maintain three residential units upstairs. 

Hood recommended adding a condition that if the plan to "swap uses" doesn't occur within two years, the business owners would have to come back to the planning commission. 

Planning commission chair Kevin Christensen pointed out that when the building was approved in 2009, the plan was to have residential apartments above the dry cleaning business. He also noted an elevator was installed to meet federal "barrier-free access" requirements. 

Architect Vincent Cataldo, representing the adult day care owners, said the only modifications that will be made to the second floor will be remodeling the restrooms to ensure they are barrier-free. 

Officials received two letters opposing the use, one from (DDA) board president Bob Rock and one from former DDA member Scott Freeman. Both cited the need to bring more retail and restaurant uses into the downtown business district, and Rock said the DDA could work with the business owner to find that type of tenant. 

But planning commissioner Sara Bowman said, with the accessibility and walkability in downtown Farmington, "I do feel this is a business use that is appropriate for this location."

"I think if they were in the heart of downtown, we would want to encourage retail and high traffic uses," Hood said. "I don't think there's anythng inappropriate with this kind of use. It's the kind of use that will bring people downtown."

Dennis L Hubbard April 10, 2012 at 12:33 PM
While I see some signs the economy is trending in a positive direction, I do not believe we can responsibly turn away a business that is ready to invest in our community in exchange for a commitment to find an alternative. Not to mention this business would bring people into our community to spend time and money at our existing shops and restaurants. As long as it's a first class facility with first class service, it's a good thing for #FFHILLS.
Laura Myers April 10, 2012 at 03:38 PM
The original approval for this building DID NOT include approval for residential use, although it is permitted under Central Business District design guidelines. The dry cleaner owner was asked repeatedly if they planned to create apartments above the store and she said, "No, offices only." Maybe admitting eventual residential use would have required more parking spaces. Remember that their original proposal, denied by the Commission, was to process industrial cleaning and laundry, hence the loading dock and elevator. I am happy to see the building fully occupied, providing a humanitarian and much-needed service to the community but I still mourn the elegant four square house demolished to make room for this behemoth.

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