Lansing City Council Adopts Moratorium on Public Consultations on Development | Lansing
Lansing City Council reopened its discussion on the implementation of a moratorium on certain land use developments in the city’s Rural Agricultural Zone (RA) on September 15 and finally decided to hold a public hearing on the issue for its October 20 session.
The moratorium would also include zone reviews and permits. If a moratorium is imposed, the council will seek to review and update its zoning and land use regulations to reflect the recommendations of the master plan over a period of 12 to 18 months.
Before setting the date for the public hearing, city councils discussed their views on whether a moratorium would be best for the city. Councilor Joseph Wetmore said a moratorium was the best way forward for the city.
“We’re seeing a lot of pressure to develop,” said Wetmore. “We are way behind the amount of work we need to do to achieve our zoning with the recommendations of the comprehensive plan and so on. I will add to the B1 [district] We don’t just have a comprehensive plan [recommendations], but we did some research to find out exactly how this area should be developed. I want to pause the large-scale development until we can catch up on our zoning a bit with our comprehensive plan and the studies we’ve done, because if not – when the people are, when I watch this all play out, go I expect the number of people hoping to get their plan implemented just before we change the whole zoning and undermine a well-thought-out planning process will increase. “
Councilor Bronwyn Losey also noted the council’s difficulty in quickly updating the city’s zoning, and said a time limit would force the council to complete the updates.
City Mayor Ed LaVigne raised concerns about a moratorium for 12 to 18 months and the potential legal risks the city could face during that period.
“The reality is that it won’t be done in 12 to 18 months,” said LaVigne. “The reality is that it will probably be two years before we can do this, especially with public engagement and everything else along the way.”
Losey said there are risks associated with both setting up a moratorium and setting up a moratorium.
“I see the risk of not imposing a moratorium in the end of a city that does not meet the wishes of the residents and the comprehensive plan,” said Losey. “If we throw away all of the work that has been done for it – all of the work that the committees put us in on the Comprehensive Plan, this amazing document that the Conservation Board gave us with the views and all of their information.”
LaVigne said he was open to a moratorium in the RA zone but not the mixed-use commercial zone (B1) discussed in previous discussions. Zone B1 includes a planned project for a Dandy Mini-Mart convenience store and gas station across from the Rogues Harbor Inn, which was rejected by local residents. LaVigne said he thinks the reason B1 was considered was because of the public’s reaction to the project.
“This is my recommendation – to do the RA zone because the [agriculture] Zone has already been proposed to the planning committee, ”he said. “Let’s push this hard and get this done. … achieve something achievable in one year. “
Councilor Andra Benson said if the council wants to pursue a moratorium it should act immediately.
“I agree with Joe and Bronwyn,” said Benson. “I would like to do that and get started if we want a moratorium, because otherwise we just talk about it. We don’t really get to the next step and that really bothers me. … I think we need this time to really, really think about what we want to do with RA. I agree with Ed [B1 zone]. I think the business parks should stay that way. “