2018-02-08 / News

Banbury Commons hopes to start construction by June

By Paula K. Schmidt
810-452-2647 • pschmidt@mihomepaper.com

GRAND BLANC TWP. — Following two extensions for extended consultation with the Genesee County Road Commission (GCRC) and despite resident and planner objections to the development, some last-minute adjustments to the number of garages and a reduction of the proposed open space.

Redwood Acquisition LLC was approved to continue their plan to construct what was billed as single-family housing in a 111-unit development on Grand Blanc Road across from Bethany Baptist Church in the 2300 block.

Nonetheless, their website states their model is “apartment homes” which was one of the main objection of residents. One who complained, was Mark Palazzolo, who is also a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals (not involved in the approval).

“My objections to the plan were based on non-conformance with the underlying R2 single family design standards and intent, which does not allow attached units. Although the residential open space (ROS) does allow for up to 6 attached single-family units, nowhere does it address design standards, setbacks, or other criteria describing how those units are to be designed. Only our LDM zoning ordinances describe those standards, which is a completely different zoning. By allowing attached units, that changes the underlying zoning from R2 single family to LDM multiple family, and therefore allows those R2 design requirements to be bypassed.”

Palazzolo added he hopes the ROS Overlay ordinance is reviewed in the near future as it pertains to attached units. Despite this, Township Attorney David Lattie feels the Planning Commission is within their rights to proceed with the design as submitted based on his interpretation of section 3.1.20 (g)(iv) of the ordinance which states”

“Consistent with the intent and procedures of this Section, modifications to the dimensional requirements of the Zoning Ordinance may be granted upon a specific request for such modifications by an applicant. Unless specifically modified by the Planning Commission, the balance of all Zoning Ordinance requirements for the underlying zoning district, and other Township regulations shall remain in full force.”

The most recent amendment to the plan both increases the lot coverage size by less than one percent and decreases the open space by less than one percent.

In other business, the site plan review committee approved the addition of a building for a local business on Fenton Rd. called Mid- State Litho, owned by Ellen and Douglas Barrett. The company sells high end industrial printers and is growing and needs more room for storage.

They were approved to add a 2,720 square foot building which will help keep their site neater by allowing storage for pallets and vehicles associated with their manufacturing process. The site plan was reviewed and found to be in compliance with all required drainage regulations. Planners did make a note that the dumpster was set near the property line and waived the requirement for its setback as there was not room to do otherwise.

They had worked with residents in the neighborhood for input as to what they would like to see and a privacy fence as well as trees will be planted to improve the aesthetics of the site. Another site approved for a new building was for the Bethel Apostolic Church just less than a mile north who are adding a 2,705 square foot addition to hold church functions in.

Unlike most expansions, additional parking was not a concern of the planners as the church indicated the building would only be used during times when the church was not being used. Planners reviewed this point with the applicant to ensure they understood if that was not the case, a requirement for additional parking may be instituted in the future if the situation were to change.

Bishop Theron Wiggins assured the site plan review committee they would comply and also explained they had a several year agreement with the next door business and resident on the same side as the addition for shared parking.

They are to return additional details for landscaping and lighting which will be subject to administrative approval in the township planning office.

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