‘Not in my backyard’ — Hudsonville housing development causing a stir

Posted at 6:16 PM, Mar 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-22 18:16:48-04

HUDSONVILLE, Mich. -- A potential apartment development in the Hudsonville area is causing quite the stir. Residents raised questions about safety issues with the planning and zoning board Thursday afternoon.

Residents are saying "not in my backyard" to the proposed Hudson apartment homes project. But, the good news for them is it looks like the planning board may be on their side.

If approved, the proposed multi-family homes will include 120 units in a five building complex on 32nd Street between Greenly and Riley, which is zoned as a high density residential area.

Members of the Planning Commission say traffic may become a safety concern impacted by the new development.

While the township is growing, a further look at traffic studies before going forward with the project is something both residents and commission members can agree on.

"They need to do more traffic studies to make sure that it can handle the amount of traffic that they're looking to bring in to that spot and my personal concern is that we just built a brand new home that backs right up to this project and looking out the back window of my home I would see three story buildings. So from a personal standpoint I would prefer to not have this kind of project put it my backyard," says Hudsonville resident Jennifer Dehaan.

"I'm not looking at this from a standpoint of whether or not you want to look at apartments in your front yard or your backyard or whatever. I'm not gauging it on that, I'm gauging it on the safety of the community in general," says Jamestown Township Planning Commission Board Member Jeff Dykstra.

And while Hudsonville residents acknowledge the community is growing, some argue the location of the proposed housing project may not be the best.

"We realize Jamestown is growing, and we're part of that growth obviously. I just don't think this is the right spot in my person opinion. There are, and I just did a cursory glance on the west side of 32nd avenue, there's over 200 acres of undeveloped land along that corridor," says resident Curt Sundinski.

But, the main concern for city officials is safety.

" We could put out all of the traffic studies we want to do but until we actually got something complete, we don't have nothing to gauge that traffic study on. We have the Meijer going in, we have a medical facility going in, and a couple of other things. Plus we got the schools that do traffic down there on a regular basis. And I don't think the infrastructure that we have there at the time is able to handle that,"says Dykstra.

At Thursday's meeting, the committee agreed to recommend the project be put on hold. A vote on that will happen at a special Planning Commission meeting April 3.