Week of 4.24.17

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JVS Trade Secrets

“And life goes on,” said Connie Holzer, honorary chair and keynote speaker at the JVS Trade Secrets fundraising dinner. (It attracted record attendance - 560 @ $150 and up – to the Troy Marriott.) Holzer’s unique business experience did not even begin until her car dealer husband of 52 years died when she was 70 years old. Although the economy was in the dumps, she mortgaged the home where she had raised six children, got concessions from their 130 employees, and rebuilt the Tom Holzer Ford dealership into the 4th ranked regionally and 10th ranked nationally. “You are never too old to begin a new life,” she concluded. Women to Work recipient Kimberly Baker, whose fairytale life crashed when her husband went to jail for tax fraud, praised Judy Richmond and the JVS computer program. She attended it on a scholarship. “And now..because of people in this room... I can feed my kids,” Baker said, apologizing for her tears. The venue provided ample space to display the event’s traditional pick-your-own-prize raffle of 62 items, the main cocktail hour diversion.
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This weeks social light photos…

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oakland confidential

May 2017

MIDNIGHT TRAIN TO NOWHERE: A budget proposal by the Trump administration may be the final blow to plans for a regional mass transit system for southeast Michigan. A proposed Regional Transit Authority (RTA) millage failed in November 2016, when voters in Oakland and Macomb counties rejected the four-county millage, while passing in Wayne and Washtenaw counties. Deal was, it had to win in three of ...more»
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Central Business District to be redistricted


04/14/2017 - Plans to rezone Rochester's Central Business District into several smaller districts in order to better meet desired land uses and zoning ordinances were introduced on Monday, April 10, to city council members.

Rochester Deputy City Manager and Economic and Community Development Director Nik Banda said the planning commission has been working with city staff for months on developing a future and use plan for the Central Business District by addressing the area on a block-by-block basis. On Monday, Banda presented the council with the first of several new districts that will be introduced.

The proposed Downtown Edge-1 District would include about three blocks serving as an extension of downtown's core, and would run from W. University to Second Street, and from the west alley of Main Street to east side of Walnut Boulevard. The new district would expand the downtown's core area and encourage the expansion of business and the tax base of the community.

With the core area of the downtown already being maximized with many established uses, and limited area for new businesses downtown, the Edge-1 district would expand the business area while creating a transition to residential neighborhoods.

"We didn't want to change large areas and create conflicts, so this first area is for the Downtown Edge-1 District," Banda said.

The proposed district includes guidance for development standards, permitted uses and those uses that would require conditional approval. However, Banda noted changes to the city's ordinance codes would be needed at a later date to enforce the proposed uses. The plans before council on Monday, he said, would be the first step in creating the district, not the ordinances.

"It essentially eliminates automotive suppliers," he said. "We don't want that as a buffer on the alley. It's more of a service industry area... it's not a radical change from the Central Businesses District, but it takes out some uses."

The district would also limit building height to three stories, and ensure that no buildings are taller than those in the adjacent downtown district.

Councilwoman Ann Peterson said, upon being presented with the plan for the first time, that she wanted more information about how the district would function with adjacent districts, as each side of Walnut, for example, would be in two different districts.

"I would like to table this until we can see (the districts) together," she said.

Banda, as well as councilman Jeffrey Cuthbertson and mayor Cathy Daldin, who both serve on the planning commission, agreed that the plans would be easier to envision if side-by-side districts could be presented. However, additional proposed districts aren't expected to be drafted for more than a month.

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