Chapter 9
SP Special Purpose District

3.901 Intent.

This District is dedicated solely to the 127+ acres of the Silverdome site bounded by Featherstone Road, Opdyke Road, M-59 and the CN Railroad to the West. This site is designated in the City’s Master Plan as an opportunity site for the City to attract quality development of a diverse nature, with some level of flexibility reflecting the current market conditions and cater to the demands of the new knowledge based economy.

The prime location of the site at the intersection of major highways and streets is appropriate for a single use or a mixed use development with retail, office, residential, high tech industrial uses, recreational, educational, cultural and entertainment activities.

Regulations are intended to create a place that represents a unique, attractive and memorable destination, enhance the community character through high quality urban design along with regulations to provide adequate protection for the health, safety and general welfare of residents. Pedestrian oriented development and open space within the development is encouraged and highly desirable.

3.902 Permitted Principal Uses and/or Exceptions.

The following uses (refer to table of uses also) shall be permitted as a standalone operation and/or combined with any of the same to provide a mixed use development pursuant to site plan approval. Any use not expressly permitted is prohibited unless the Planning Commission finds that the proposed use has sufficiently similar characteristics to uses that are permitted.

A.    Multiple family or attached residential development as an exclusive use or as a mixed use with a permitted non-residential use, subject to the following:

1.    Single and multi-tenant offices – professional, administrative, sales, marketing, corporate, clerical, medical etc.

2.    Banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions excluding drive thru facilities.

3.    Educational institutions, trade and vocational schools, colleges, universities and other such institutions of higher learning.

B.    Hospitals subject to the following conditions:

1.    The minimum building setback shall be one hundred (100) feet from Featherstone and Opdyke Roads.

2.    Ambulance and delivery areas shall not be located in the front yard and shall be appropriately screened from adjacent uses and from public or private right-of-ways.

C.    Convalescent homes, nursing homes and out-patient medical/dental clinics.

D.    Independent or congregate care, adult and child day care centers.

E.    Retail businesses which supply commodities on the premises for sale directly to customers within completely enclosed buildings such as but not limited to drugs, food, groceries, clothing, jewelry, boutiques, shoes, house wares, furniture and hardware stores.

F.    Personal service establishments such as watch and jewelry repair, shoe repair shops, beauty and barber shops, seamstress, dry cleaning establishments.

G.    Research, design and technology uses including testing laboratories for technological, scientific and business establishments.

H.    Indoor entertainment and recreation facilities such as bowling alleys, skating rinks, water sports, stadiums, arenas, sports facilities, non-adult regulated movie theatres, opera houses, concert halls, and other places of assembly.

I.    Movie, radio, television, photography, dance, music and artist studios, health clubs and exercise studios.

J.    Public or private clubs or lodges.

K.    Hotels, motels and conference centers.

L.    Banquet halls, nightclubs, bars, taverns, restaurants with or without outdoor seating and other establishments that serve food and beverages for consumption on the premises excluding drive-thru services.

M.    Police and fire stations, library facilities, museums, art galleries, government and municipal uses.

N.    Outdoor parks, playgrounds, and passive recreation areas.

O.    Other uses of a similar nature within an enclosed building, if determined by the Planning Commission to be no more detrimental than other permitted principal uses.

3.903 Permitted Accessory Uses.

A.    Buildings, structures and uses customarily incidental to the operation of a permitted use.

B.    Temporary buildings or trailers for marketing offices only during construction periods.

C.    Home occupations subject to the requirements of Section 2.536.

D.    Off street parking and loading areas- subject to the provisions of Article 4, Chapter 3 unless a different provision is specified herein.

E.    Required number of off-street parking spaces shall be determined on the basis of a shared parking analysis conducted by a traffic engineer/parking consultant.

F.    On-street parking on the interior streets may be counted towards meeting the shared parking requirement.

3.904 Uses Requiring Planning Commission Special Exception Permit.

Uses requiring planning commission special exception permits are special exceptions that require some measure of individualized considered judgment and the imposing of conditions in order to make them compatible with the permitted principal uses in that district. The following uses are permitted by a special exception permit.

A.    Detached one family residential dwellings.

B.    Open air theaters for concerts or other outdoor entertainment venues and outdoor recreation facilities such as golf courses, mini golf, driving range, water sports, winter sports, tennis courts, skating rinks etc.

C.    Amusement Parks.

D.    Any permitted use providing drive-thru service such as fast food restaurants, banks, pharmacies, dry cleaning services, etc. subject to Section 2.535.

E.    Riding academies and hunt clubs setback at least two hundred (200) feet from any residential use and major streets or freeway.

F.    Casinos or any other type of gambling venues subject to voter approval at the State and local level in compliance with Article 4, Section 41 of the Michigan Constitution, MCLA 432.206 and issue of Casino License from the Michigan Gaming Control Commission.

G.    Horse racing stadiums or other race tracks subject to:

1.    A setback of at least two hundred (200) feet from any residential use and/or from major streets or freeway.

H.    Veterinary hospitals.

I.    Light manufacturing uses.

1.    Industrial developments shall be permitted only as part of a ‘Planned Industrial Park’ in a campus like setting, with a minimum twenty five (25) feet wide greenbelt along major thoroughfares or internal streets. Planting within the greenbelt shall be in accordance with Section 4.407.

2.    The building materials, architectural and site design of all buildings shall be compatible with the development of the entire site.

3.    Compliance with performance standards specified in Article 4, Chapter 7 for sound, vibration, odor, gasses, glare, heat and electromagnetic radiation, smoke, dust, dirt and fly ash.

4.    Area, height, bulk and placement regulations shall comply with the requirements applicable in the IP-1 District.

J.    Vehicle sales (Used and new), only as a planned automobile sales campus. Standalone auto sales and servicing facilities shall be discouraged. Only minor auto servicing as an incidental use shall be permitted.

K.    Gas stations if located on and having direct access to an A Street.

L.    Warehousing, wholesale and distribution facilities.

M.    Automobile parking structures subject to the following conditions:

1.    Views into the parking structure interior except for elevator towers or stairwells shall be minimized. Facades of parking structures shall be designed without continuous horizontal parking floor openings. Decorative architectural elements that will screen the view of parked cars in the structure shall be provided on all exterior openings.

2.    Building materials and architectural design of the parking structures shall be compatible with the architectural character of buildings within the development.

N.    Bus or train passenger stations.

O.    Sales of Packaged alcoholic beverages, subject to Section 2.515 except distance shall be measured from the building in question rather that the property line of the entire site.

P.    Limited amount of accessory outdoor storage of vehicles, customarily incidental to the permitted uses, not to exceed 20% of the site area occupied by the principal use, may be permitted by the Planning Commission only in the rear or side yard if determined to be essential to the conduct of business and only if screened from adjacent uses and right-of-ways by a 6’ high masonry wall or equivalent.

Q.    Outdoor sales and/or display of merchandise for sale.

R.    Telecommunication and utility equipment, cell phone towers, antennas, satellite dishes, wireless communication equipment, public utility buildings and alternative energy devices such as wind turbines, solar panels etc. as required to serve the development, subject to the following conditions:

S.    Antennas and/or other communication equipment shall be located on top of buildings where possible. Free standing communication towers shall comply with FAA requirements and shall have a clear space all around it equal to at least the height of the structure.

3.905 General Architectural and Site Design Regulations.

It is the intent of this District to provide an environment of high quality, superior architecture and site design. Special emphasis shall be placed upon methods that tend to reduce the large scale visual impact of buildings, to encourage tasteful imaginative design for individual buildings and to create a complex of buildings compatible with the streetscape and surrounding development.

Signage, lighting, landscaping and building materials for the exterior of all structures and other features of the project shall be designed and completed with the objective of achieving an integrated and controlled development.

A.    Miscellaneous Design Criteria

1.    The development shall consist of standalone or mixed use buildings rather than a ‘strip center’ unless it is demonstrated by the applicant that such a development would conserve more open space, be more desirable, responsive to current market conditions and beneficial to the City.

2.    Multiple building entries for first floor retail uses shall be readily identifiable and accessible with at least one (1) main entrance facing and open directly onto a connecting walkway with pedestrian frontage.

3.    Architecture will be evaluated based on its compatibility and relationships to the other buildings in the development.

4.    Residential dwellings shall not occupy the first floor or below grade level of a mixed use building, nor shall retail/office uses be located above residential uses.

B.    Building Massing and Form

1.    Architectural interest shall be provided with repetitious patterns of color, texture and material modules. Building facades shall incorporate windows, recesses, projections, decorative finish or similar features providing architectural interest and/or detail along substantial portions of the building frontage. Atriums, lobbies, glass elevator shafts or other accent features may be used as embellishments to the principal building.

2.    A minimum of 50% of the street facing building facade for shop fronts at the pedestrian level must comprise of clear windows. The City discourages the use of blank facades along street frontages. Buildings with multiple store fronts shall be unified through the use of architecturally compatible materials, colors, details, awnings, signage, and lighting fixtures.

C.    Materials

1.    Exterior materials shall be predominantly low maintenance brick, stone or similar materials. The use of Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) or similar synthetic materials shall be used only as an accent material at a height of 8 feet above grade level and may not cover more than 10% of the total wall area of any facade.

2.    Other suitable materials may be substituted for the brick or stone if determined to be more appropriate during site plan review.

D.    Building Roofs

1.    All roof vents and roof mounted mechanical equipment shall be screened from view.

2.    Where practical there shall be variations in roof lines to reduce the massive scale of the structure and add visual interest. Green roof systems are strongly encouraged.

E.    Loading Docks, Dumpsters, Refuse Collection Areas and Outdoor Storage

1.    Loading areas and trash receptacles shall be located in the rear or side yards only and shall be screened from the right-of-way and adjacent properties by a six (6) feet high masonry wall as per Section 4.408 or a twenty (20) feet wide landscaped buffer type B, Section 4.405.

2.    Outdoor storage of equipment or materials is prohibited, except as prescribed under Section 3.904.

3.    Exterior transformers, electrical equipment and other exterior mounted electrical equipment shall be screened from public view by plantings or screen walls as deemed necessary.

F.    General Site Design Standards

1.    Green Building and energy efficient buildings and site development is encouraged. Use of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified Green Buildings will result in incentives provided to the developer for increased density, parking, modification of landscape standards etc. as determined by the Planning Commission during site plan review.

2.    Pedestrian walkways, bike paths, open spaces, sculpture, art work and street furniture are encouraged throughout the development to promote a pedestrian friendly and walkable environment.

3.    A minimum of twenty-five (25) feet wide landscaped berm or buffer strip shall be provided along Featherstone and Opdyke Roads, planted with plant material in accordance with Section 4.406. Trees may be clustered or spaced at regular intervals in the buffer area.

4.    A minimum of 10% of the entire site shall be landscaped.

5.    No parking shall be permitted within the twenty-five (25) feet wide landscaped area along Featherstone and Opdyke Roads.

6.    Traffic Impact Studies may be required by the planning commission to determine the impact of traffic on adjacent uses, streets and traffic patterns.

7.    A noise study may be required for any use to determine the impact of noise on adjacent properties. The noise level shall not exceed 65 decibels adjacent to any residential use.

8.    Sidewalks, greenbelts, street trees and street lighting shall be provided along all interior streets within the development in accordance with the requirements of the City Engineering Division. Sidewalks shall have a minimum width of 5 feet.

9.    Single family detached Residential uses shall be buffered from other non-residential or mixed uses by means of a twenty (20) feet wide landscaped buffer type B with planting as described in Section 4.405.

3.906 Area, Height, Bulk, and Placement Regulations.

A.    Building setbacks along Featherstone, Opdyke Road and M-59 shall be a minimum of fifty (50) feet.

B.    Buildings having frontage on the interior streets may be built to the property lines (0’ feet setback) along interior streets except for single family detached residential development the front setback shall be twenty-five (25) feet.

C.    For detached single family residential development the area, height and bulk standards applicable in the R-1 district shall apply. For multiple family and attached residential uses the area, height and bulk standards applicable in the R-3 district shall apply.

D.    Space between buildings shall be equal to half the average height of the adjacent buildings (height measured at the exterior walls of buildings on each side) with a minimum distance of twenty (20) feet between buildings.

E.    No visual obstruction shall be permitted within twenty-five (25) feet of the intersection of all street right-of-ways.

F.    Required minimum floor area per residential dwelling unit for mixed uses shall be 800 square feet.

G.    All regulations of the conventional zoning district in which a particular use falls shall be applicable unless specifically mentioned. When a conflict exists in the applicable standards specified in other districts, the standards specified in the SP District shall prevail. The Planning Commission shall be authorized to resolve any ambiguity relating to applicable standards during site plan review.

3.907 Planning Commission Site Plan Review; Approval or Rejection.

A.    The Planning Commission shall review and approve or reject the Master Site Plan (MSP) for the development of the entire site, in accordance with the site plan procedures and standards of this ordinance. The Planning Commission may modify the architectural standards and guidelines if modifications are determined to be necessary to accomplish the development goals of the City during Site Plan Review. The Planning Commission shall provide reasons and justification for the modification of the standards.

B.    The proposed development shall be under one ownership and/or control such that there is a single entity responsible for completing the project in conformity with the approved Site Plan. This provision shall not prohibit the transfer of ownership to a different entity upon notice to the City.

C.    The review process shall consist of two phases:

1.    Preliminary Plan: The applicant shall submit a conceptual Site Plan for the entire site (MSP) for review by the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission shall review the conceptual plan and reject or approve the Master Site Plan (MSP) with conditions. The Preliminary Site Plan shall be valid for a period of one (1) year. If final Site Plan is not submitted within this time period the Preliminary Site Plan shall lapse and the applicant will need to recommence the review process.

2.    Final Plan: Following Preliminary Site Plan Approval the applicant shall submit within one (1) year a Final Site Plan incorporating all details and conditions of the preliminary site plan approval. Deviations from the preliminary plan approval shall be noted on the final plan and shall be subject to Planning Commission approval.

3.    The approved Site Plan shall be valid for three (3) years from date of approval. If no construction is started within this period the site plan approval shall lapse and the applicant will need to recommence the preliminary and final site plan review process.

4.    Where a project construction is proposed to be phased, the planning and design shall be such that upon completion each phase shall be capable of standing on its own in terms of utilities, services and open space; and shall contain necessary components to ensure protection of health, safety and welfare of the users and residents of the surrounding area.

3.908 Performance Guarantee.

A.    The applicant shall post a Performance Guarantee with the City prior to commencement of any construction activity to ensure completion of site work in accordance with an approved site plan.

B.    The applicant shall submit a signed and sealed estimate of the required site work by a licensed engineer, surveyor, architect or contractor. The performance guarantee shall be in an amount sufficient to complete the required site work based on the estimated cost of site improvements.

    The Performance Guarantee, subject to acceptance to the City, shall be in the form of cash, certified check, surety bond or irrevocable bank letter of credit. The performance guarantee shall be released upon completion of site work in accordance with the approved site plan, failing which the amount will be forfeit.