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Fulton Group and Grand Rapids push to increase number of lots for housing development

Posted at 8:58 PM, Mar 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-04 10:10:47-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids is looking at a major change that could reshape neighborhoods.

The shift is from a property-management business that owns 200 rental homes in the city.

"We have a very high need for additional housing units at all price points," Grand Rapids Planning Director Kristin Turkelson told FOX 17.

Grand Rapids is looking to create more than 3,000 rental units in the next three years.

"I think it's important to note that, you know, this is still single- and two-family dwellings," she added.

The Fulton Group ignited the fuse to increase the housing supply.

The property-management group and the city made this proposal to help pave the way to meet that goal.

"Allow for a reduction of the required lot width down to reduce it to that original plat," Turkelson explains. "If it's accessed from an alley, we can go a little bit less than the 36 feet, providing it's no less than the original plat."

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The city has a lot of current spaces going unused.

"We know we have thousands of vacant lots within the city. We don't know how many sidelights could potentially be split to create that because it's not a measurement we currently have available to us to know how many extra-wide lots could support a split," Turkelson said.

She says this is going to create opportunities for people on larger lots.

"This could also be used as a wealth-creation tool for people that maybe have existing lots that they could then split and create another single- or two-family dwelling," Turkelson said.

The city says they're still keeping in current measurements so homes are not on top of one another.

"You have to have a minimum of five feet on one side of a setback. So the distance between the lot line and the building and then a total of 14 feet," Turkelson said.

FOX 17 did reach out to the Fulton Group for comment, and we haven't heard back.

The planning commission did unanimously recommend approval of this city-amendment change.

If this continues smoothly, the city could vote on this at the end of March.

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