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Thursday February 26, 2015
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Yoshi's Opens, at Last



Wendy Rampson, the city's interim manager of planning and development, says city records don't indicate by how much the sinks exceeded the standards, but it doesn't matter: "In some areas there's room for a little bit of tolerance, but nothing in the state barrier-free design rules allows for any tolerance, and inspectors don't have any authority to grant a variance." Furthermore, she points out that all contractors and architects have been using the same rulebook for a number of years now.

She attributes many of the other problems to the original architect failing to note that the new restaurant would spill over into former nonrestaurant territory. Tony Savoni, who reviews all Ann Arbor building plans, says that when it was discovered that Yoshi's was annexing Pamela's, the former salon became a "multiuse space," requiring that an architect demonstrate that Pamela's had been built to the stringent worst-case-scenario required for restaurants. According to Savoni, "the first architect didn't do that, the second architect didn't do that"--but eventually architect Andrew Hauptman was able to prove that the space fulfilled the more robust requirements for "nonseparated use."

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