The commission is reviewing preliminary plat plans for Spring Ridge — a 56-unit, single-family home community proposed for 30 acres at the southeast corner of 168th Avenue and VanWagoner Road.
“It's been a long time since we've done any sort of large development review here in the township,” said Lukas Hill, the township's community development director. “It's a sign that maybe the market is recovering. We're starting to see that elsewhere.”
Hill said lots in existing subdivisions are selling out and there's becoming a shortage.
“There are some really nice natural features (in the proposed development),” he said. “There are some wetlands within the development and a small stream.”
But because the community is being proposed as a traditional plat plan, as opposed to a more flexible planned unit development, Byron Center-based developer Dale Kracker will need variances for setbacks and only one entrance, according to Hill.
Township zoning rules require two points of ingress/egress for subdivisions with more than 24 lots.
Planning commissioners several months ago approved a rezoning request for the property, changing it from from rural residential to medium-density residential.
More than 30 neighbors showed up at a public hearing last week to express concerns over traffic, wetlands and the proposed single ingress/egress drive that is preferred by the developer.
Neighbor Adam Beck said he is concerned about the proposed lot sizes, which would have a minimum width of 70 feet and average 24,000 square feet per parcel.
“I think this doesn't fit with the area,” he said. “(Kracker) is an out-of-town developer. When the last house is built, he's out of there.”
Project engineer and consultant Dennis Dunlap said despite needing a variance, having only one entrance to Spring Ridge would minimize the impact on the wetlands.
The development would be serviced by city water and sewer, and include sidewalks, according to Hill. Kracker said home prices would range from $240,000 to $325,000.
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