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Land transfer considered for Robbins Road redevelopment

Alex Doty • Dec 1, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Grand Haven Township officials are still mulling over a decision that would allow an agreement with the city regarding two parcels on the south side of Robbins Road slated for redevelopment.

The Robbins Road Redevelopment group has submitted a planned unit development (PUD) application to the township for review. If approved, the PUD would bring a new development called Robbins Road Centre Pointe to the 7-acre parcel.

However, two parcels in that development site are considered to be in the city on the south side of Robbins Road.

Developers have requested the city and township consider an agreement based on the state Public Act 425, which would allow the city to conditionally transfer property to the township for a period of not more than 50 years.

“The (Township) Board authorized staff to proceed forward with drafting an Act 425 agreement, but noted two additional stipulations,” Township Manager Bill Cargo said. “First, the development company must be a signatory to the agreement.”

Township officials note that if an Act 425 agreement is not utilized, the developers may have to construct the retail stores with both fire walls and a sprinkler system for any building that crosses a municipal border. Cargo noted that this measure can be costly, adding up to $7 per square foot.

In addition, the zoning approval process would be simplified with the approval only requiring following the township’s zoning regulations.

“Second, the agreement will be for a maximum of 50 years, at which time the properties would revert to the original municipality — unless both the city and township agreed to an extension at that time,” Cargo said.

Township officials note that the terms of the Act 425 agreement would be fairly simple, since the township already provides all needed utilities such as municipal water and sewer.

An Act 425 agreement for this development would:

— Conditionally transfer the city land to the township.

— Allow for the township’s Zoning Ordinance and Master Plan to be applied to the property. The township would approve/enforce zoning, but would authorize the city’s Planning Commission to review and also approve any zoning applications.

— All services such as water, sewer, assessing, tax collection and building code enforcement would be provided by the township, with the exception of police services, which would be provided by the city.

— The property would remain within a joint response area for purposes of fire and emergency rescue services.

— The city’s millage rate would be applied to the property and provided to the city. The township’s millage rate would be subtracted from the total (less Headlee amendment and Proposal A) and retained by the township.

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