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Berkley scratches housing change

The Detroit News

Berkley officials have backed away from a proposal to rezone housing areas in the city.

An open house scheduled for Tuesday night at the Berkley Community Center “on the proposed residential form-based code and what it means for Berkley’s unique neighborhoods,” city officials said in a statement was canceled Monday, according to the city.

According to a flier circulated among residents recently and linked online, the city had “received plans from the Planning Commission to rezone and place townhouses on the corner of nearly every block!”

Residents were invited to attend the open house and review Planning Commission recommendations, ask questions and offer feedback.

But on Monday, on city officials announced that the event had been canceled and the code proposal withdrawn.

Berkley said in a statement that the proposal was meant to set guidelines for the city to allow various housing types and “attract new residents to Berkley and retain long-time property owners. The initial discussion arose in response to requests from senior residents to consider more options in the housing stock to accommodate their needs.”

“The role of government is to respond to the will of all residents and, on this issue, the residents have made their opposition clear,” added David Barnett, Planning Commission chairman. “Ultimately, we have a responsibility and a great interest in attracting new families while making it possible for longtime residents to remain in our city.”

A Facebook page, Berkley Residents Against Residential Rezoning, had been created to oppose the measure. Soon after learning about the meeting cancellation Monday, supporters seemed pleased.

“This is one of the best outcomes we could have achieved, but the fight will continue to make sure we keep City Council and the Planning Commission accountable,” one post read.