The West Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees approved the introduction of an amendment to the township’s zoning ordinance regarding restaurants and associated districts at its Monday, July 18 meeting.
“The definitions were woefully lacking and we want to bring them up to date with other communities. We want to tighten up the definitions,” said Supervisor Michele Economou Ureste.
According to a memo to the township board from Senior Planner Sara Roediger, the amendment is necessary so that the ordinance applies more to modern-day restaurants in today’s economic climate, in which the township needs to attract businesses to vacant retail spaces and increase development.
She added that the main issue with the current definition of “restaurant” is that it only applies to establishments that serve food and drinks in non-disposable containers.
“Under the current definition, Subway or any restaurant that serves food or drinks in disposable containers is not a restaurant,” Roediger wrote.
The proposed changes to the ordinance include modernizing the definitions of restaurants, carry-out restaurants and drive-in/fast food restaurants.
There would also be new definitions for a drive-through and standard restaurant and a clarification that standard and carry-out restaurants are permitted in the township overlay district.
Roediger also states that the line item for coffee shops would be removed from the township overlay district and would fall under the new proposed definition of a restaurant. A coffee shop could no longer have drive-throughs in the township overlay district unless a new definition for coffee shops is approved.
Drive-in and drive-through restaurants are only permitted in certain districts in the township.