MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - At the February 4th Meridian Township Board Meeting, the Board discussed a request for redeveloping the westernmost building in the Haslett Village Square shopping center on Haslett Road.
The proposed project consists of a 146 thousand square foot, 3-story senior apartment building with 133 units. The project, identified as Pine Village, is proposed on a 9.6 acre property.
Additionally, a special use permit is required for constructing a building totaling greater than 25,000 square feet in gross floor area.
The Township's Planning Commission held a public hearing on this proposal at their regular meetings on December 16, 2019 and January 13, 2020.
"I like various components, I don't like the site and the location for this project," said Township Trustee Dan Opsommer. "I would love to see this project on Hagadorn where the Church is going. I think that project would be great over there. We have prioritized 55 and up housing on those sites because we have amended our zoning to bring in a 55 and up housing facility over there because it is the only type of rental property we have that will become undergraduate housing and that's the only protection we have legally."
This development was a heated discussion among residents and the Township Board.
"Putting a senior project here in this location is missing an excellent opportunity for the missing middle type of housing," said Township Clerk Brett Dreyfus. "Which is smaller and more alternative based, alternative type of retail, alternative type of housing, alternative type of office space and trying to attract a retail tenant sorta like Trader Joes."
"So I really think that this project is suitable in some other areas in the Township been mentioned and this area is prime for alternative options. And from what I understand with citizens, it's what citizens are really seeking as well."
Throughout the meeting, members asked the developers about the logistics of the project and its respective site plans.
Township Trustee Courtney Wisinski and Township Treasurer Phil Deschaine both agreed that the development of this project plans weren't as diverse and that it impacts nearby property.
Township Supervisor Ronald J. Styka also appreciated the idea and how it is a start towards revamping the Haslett Community, but did not want to move forward with this project as well as it does not appeal to a diverse group of residents in Meridian Township.
"You know, we're one Meridian, but we certainly have two hearts. We have the Okemos heart and the Haslett heart. And we think we're going to have the Okemos heart beating again. We want the Haslett heart to beat too."
"And I don't think a 55 and over project has been described here, has much of a heart to beat anymore. It's not what we're looking for."
The Board decided to revisit this project at their next regular meeting.
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