After years of study and discussion, a plan to rezone Beverly Hills, particularly the East side of the village, was recently approved.
The proposal had passionate opposition. I attended a Village council meeting at Groves High School where the police were summoned by the council president to remove a member of the audience. Personal attacks were launched against council members. The opposition seemed successful in propagating fear that somehow Beverly Hills would turn into a developer’s paradise, with builders tearing down homes to squeeze in more homes. Given our current real estate market, I can safely say that the risk of developers buying up a number of lots to squeeze in one more house is just about ZERO. First of all, our land is too expensive. Second, there are currently inexpensive building sites available in neighboring Birmingham, where the finished home will garner a higher price.
People were upset that the professional planner called our 1950′s ranches obsolete housing stock. I appreciate that pride in our community. But the fact is that nobody would build a home today like these homes were built. Today people want larger closets, master suites, bigger kitchens and baths and other amenities that were not required by the original owners of these homes.
Regardless, the intent of this legislation was not to encourage redevelopment, but rather to resolve the fact that nearly 80% of the homes on the east side did not conform with current zoning rules. In order to do many simple additions to these homes, the owners must appear before the zoning board of appeals and ask for a variance simply because the zoning ordinance has been out of sync for decades. To me, that is unfair.
I applaud the council for moving forward on rezoning.
[tags]beverly hills zoning, east beverly hills, beverly hills michigan[/tags]