Site Plan Development Revisions for Downtown Haslett

Site Plan Development Revisions for Downtown Haslett

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP, MI - The Township Board held a virtual meeting on Tuesday, May 19th.

The virtual meeting went live at 6:00pm on social media platforms using Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube with the Board at remote locations to discuss the Mixed Use Permit Planned Development, as well as the Special Use permit for the Hudson Senior Living. Community Planning and Development Director, Mark Kieselbach, went over the details and stated the Planning Commission held public hearings on both of these requests and recommended an approval of both.

Trustee Patricia Jackson moved to adopt the resolution and approved the Mixed Use Planned Unit Development 19034 to construct a 133 unit senior housing apartment building and 1673 Haslett Rd, along with support from Treasurer Phil Deschaine. Trustee Jackson states she appreciates the addition to the balconies on the east elevation, and thinks it will improve the overall view of the building and wished there were more of them on the west and south facing elevations. “As it is presented, I’m very happy to support the approval of this development in our Township,” Jackson said.

Trustee Courtney Wisinski was also in agreement with Trustee Jackson and also thanked the applicant for taking consideration of the boards comments and the change and response to the balconies being useful to the tenants and asked the applicant Jeff Buck about increasing the size of the commercial space and wondered about the depth of those spaces, and would it be a practical area for particular commercial residence. “It is something we didn’t consider and hard to do with the way the building is designed with the hallway back there. We’ve been talking with our architects and their experience with these spaces and the way they have them designed, and they can take up more than one space, and the cafe space isn't completely designed yet. When that tenant comes in, we’re going to have a lot of leeway with on how they want to design. We’re assured will be able to get all the that space for them,” said Buck.

Meridian Township Clerk Brett Dreyfus wanted to confirm tenant requirements and thought this would be market rate apartments for seniors and get final clarification on the matter and asked about, “We have different developers that believe that different apartment type projects and buildings have some appeal in the township and why must it only focus on seniors, and not an opportunity for more diversity of tenants in the mix." The applicant said, “Market study did not show an unmet demand in the Meridian Township area. We’ve built these and have an idea on where they should go and look to experts, and that’s why we made it here, and why we chose this demographic and building type.”

Trustee Dan Opsommer and Treasurer Deschaine shared in Trustee Wisinki’s concern about the use of commercial space because the lack of square footage and reluctance to approve a site plan that doesn’t have the needed structure the community has been let from the current ownership, as well as the corner cafe. While Treasurer Deschaine told the applicant he was happy with the revised changes, he would like to see more diverse mixed use and feels it would be an excellent opportunity to bring in a decent restaurant and be a new draw to the other businesses, and be a great anchor tenant for the other spaces there. Deschaine is still excited to be talking about the proposal and feels that the project would be a social economical fit for Haslett, and wants to envision some larger use of commercial space to be an excellent development.

Meridian Township Supervisor Ron Styka expressed concerns for the site plans as well and says if the applicant were to draw the lines the way they are now, it’s going to discourage people. “If you can draw this in a broader way that has been suggested by the other Trustees here, that might create more of a buzz. By drawing a number of small spaces you’re going to limit who's going to be interested,” said Supervisor Styka.

Trustee Opsommer made a motion to table the discussion to the next Township Board meeting.

The motion is tabled by 7 - 0, and will continue at the next Township Board meeting on June 2nd, at 6:00pm.

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