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New condos considered near Millhouse Bayou

Alex Doty • Jun 2, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Developers are in the early stages of putting a new condominium development near Millhouse Bayou in Grand Haven Township.

They have proposed a 26-condominium development comprised of 13 buildings along 152nd Avenue, just south of Groesbeck Street.

The developers recently presented a preliminary application to the Township Planning Commission, and township officials say there are still items in flux which will influence the final design that will be presented by the developers during the formal project submission.

“There are other intriguing legal questions about this property as it relates to the bayou waters, bottomlands, floodplain and wetlands,” Township Community Development Director Stacey Fedewa said. “Those questions will be posed to the township attorney after the application is submitted, because then the developers’ escrow funds can be used to pay for that information.”

The next step for the developers is to take feedback received during the preliminary application presentation and submit the formal application.

There are two main points that will influence the development’s design, township officials say.

“There is an existing house on 152nd Avenue,” Fedewa said. “The Planning Commission provided clarity that, based on past practices and the intent of some of the township ordinances, they do not want to see the existing house as part of the (planned unit development) application.”

Rather, Fedewa said the commissioners want to see the property rezoned to R-2 and meet the township’s minimum lot width requirement.

“The minimum width requirement is actually doubled along this section of roadway (must be 160 feet rather than 80) because it is along a county primary road,” Fedewa noted. “This rezoning can be done in tandem with the PUD application.”

Another aspect that may influence the design is that the township requires a second entrance to a public roadway if more than 24 residential units are proposed, which is the case for the Millhouse Condo development.

“This is a unique case in that the only possible second entrance is onto Bignell Drive through a shared driveway easement,” Fedewa said. “Meaning, at least two existing homeowners would be affected by this emergency access point that is proposed as gated. When you consider maintenance items such as snow plowing, one can start to imagine the impact that would have on these homeowners.”

Fedewa said the planning commissioners indicated they would be supportive of removing that second access only if the Township Fire/Rescue Department supported such a modification. If that were to occur, it would require the Township Board to then approve an exception to the township’s private road ordinance.

“In summary, the developer received a lot of clarity from the Planning Commission, and now he is working to formulate a final design and submit the PUD application,” Fedewa said.

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