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City OKs special permit after GR residents oppose 48-unit housing development

Posted at 6:34 PM, Aug 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-14 13:51:59-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — UPDATE: The Grand Rapids Planning Commission approved a special land use permit on Thursday, according to Grand Rapids planning director Kristin Turkelson. The development will now move forward.

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Neighbors are voicing their opposition to a 48-unit housing development on the east side of the city.

Developer Mosaic Properties is seeking a special land use permit to construct 42 attached units and 6 unattached homes on a 7 acre plot of land near Griggs and Elliott.

“We've had a more than typical number of pieces of communication from the community, from the immediate neighborhood submitted regarding this project,” said Kristin Turkelson, planning director for the city of Grand Rapids.

The Planning Commission will make a decision regarding the permit on Thursday August 13 at 1:00pm.

Neighbors in the area are worried about what might happen if it is approved.

“This is going to completely change the character and context of our neighborhood,” said Alan Fanta who lives on Elliott.

“They’re going to wipe everything on this part of the property out.”

The proposed property butts up against Fanta's backyard.

Planning Director Turkelson says many of the concerns submitted are related to potential stormwater problems, disturbance of the natural site and traffic.

“We're going to be looking at lots of traffic. With the number of units here we’re estimating there will be another 400 trips a day in and out," Fanta said.

The neighbors who spoke with FOX 17 Tuesday hopes the commission will stop the development from moving ahead.

“I think there is some hopelessness and a lot of frustration and anger, and we just want the city planning commission to listen to our concerns,” neighbor Mike Ward said.

The issue will be brought up at the planning commission's upcoming meeting on Thursday, August 13 at 1:00pm.

You can find an agenda for the meeting on the city's website.

FOX 17 reached out to Mosaic Properties for comment. They said in part:
"We know that change can be hard, especially if it is in your backyard. Five decades ago most of the surrounding area was open space. The property at 2200 Griggs was always planned for development, as evidenced by the existing sanitary sewer line that bisects the site as well as three drains that discharge East Grand Rapids' stormwater on the land. Flooding issues created by the stormwater has been problematic for adjacent properties. These issues will be remedied by connecting pipes and installing an infiltration basin...."

"...We designed the project with the intention of being compatible with the surrounding neighborhood. Anticipated traffic counts for this development are less than if the property were developed for single-family homes. Abutting property owners have been offered the opportunity to work with a landscape architect to locate trees that will screen their views."