GH Twp. Board gets first look at senior housing development

Alex Doty • May 24, 2017 at 10:00 AM

GRAND HAVEN TWP. — The first steps in the approval process of a planned unit development (PUD) for a new senior living complex along Lakeshore Drive, just south of Rosy Mound Elementary School, have been taken by township officials.

The Grand Haven Township Board of Trustees on Monday approved a first reading of the PUD, and will take up discussion on the item for further action on June 12.

Township Supervisor Mark Reenders was allowed to be recused from discussions and decision-making regarding the project due to family ties and previous investments with the developer.

The proposed development would consist of three types of buildings: a three-story congregate living facility, one-story multi-unit cottages and a one-story assisted living facility, said Township Community Development Director Stacey Fedewa.

“The Planning Commission did hold a public hearing on April 17,” Fedewa said. “Ultimately, the commissioners did recommend that the (Township) Board conditionally approve the PUD.”

Township officials say that given the site’s physical constraints, the developers needed flexibility with the Zoning Ordinance to make their project work.

“It is a square peg in a round hole trying to place things on the property,” Fedewa said.

A list of departures from the ordinance has been requested, Fedewa said, with a vast majority of it being directly related to the site constraints.

Officials say the new development falls under the “Housing for the Elderly” category of the township’s PUD chapter. While the township’s Zoning Ordinance does not specifically address that land use, staff was able to determine similar uses to establish a basic set of standards for which to review.

The following land uses were used to establish the base standards for the building types:

— Congregate: multiple-family dwellings, a permitted use

— Assisted living: nursing or convalescent homes, a special land use

— Cottages (two units): two-family dwellings, a special land use

— Cottages (three-plus units): multiple-family dwellings, a permitted use

Developer RW Properties LLC has a purchase agreement with the owner of the 27-acre site — the Ottawa County Road Commission — with the sale being contingent upon receiving the PUD approval from the township.

Shirley Woodruff of RW Properties said if they gain approval from the township, they’d like to begin construction Oct. 1. She said they would start with the three-story congregate facility and the cottages, with work expected to last 12 months.

“The additional buildings would be built as we see demand in the marketplace,” Woodruff said.

The developer proposes to build the site in accordance with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority’s Affordable Green New Construction policy. Geothermal heating, efficient plumbing fixtures, Energy Star appliances and hot water heaters, and efficient lighting with daylight sensors are some of the ways the developers will meet the standards.

Many of the interior construction materials will also utilize low- or no-volatile organic compounds.

Developers also plan to enter into a payment in lieu of taxes (P.I.L.O.T.) agreement with the township for the project.

Financing for the development will be applied for from MSHDA under the Gap Financing Program, which provides funding through a combination of funds and tax credits. Part of this process is the P.I.L.O.T. agreement, which would exempt the Rosy Mound development from all real property taxes.

Instead, the township would receive an annual payment equal to 4 percent of the difference between annual rents collected and utilities, such as water, sewer and electrical services.

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