Commission ‘updates’ Northville Downs plan
Jan. 18, 2019 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Plymouth Michigan News
A developer’s plan for neighborhood housing bordered by commercials buildings at the current Northville Downs horse racing track property remains under consideration by members of the Northville Planning Commission.
Commissioners voted 6-3 at the Dec. 18 meeting to refer the preliminary Planned Unit Development (PUD) back to the applicant, Randy Wertheimer of Hunter Pasteur Homes, for “further information”. The commissioners are asking for more financial information and want the developer to adjust aspects that would bring the PUD closer to the city master plan in terms of commercial space, parking and site density, they said during the meeting.
About 150 residents attended the meeting at Hillside School including business owners, and others interested in the pro- posed development. It was the second meeting about the PUD; the first took place Oct. 2, 2018, when the initial plan was presented.
Wertheimer, CEO of Hunter Pasteur Homes, made several changes to the original plans following the October meeting in response to feedback from community members who attended that meeting. Wertheimer termed these changes “community benefits,” which include day lighting the Middle Rouge River on the property; repositioning the houses so they don’t obscure the park fronting River Street and providing an expanded area for the Farmers Market.
Wertheimer is now requesting a tax abatement of $9.5 million to cover the cost of environmental factors that need to be remedied at an estimated cost of $4.5 million as well as building 160 additional parking spaces that were not part of his original plan, estimated to cost another $5 million.
Community representatives offered several comments during the meeting noting that there is room for new students in the Northville School District. Residents also commented that developer’s current commercial space doesn’t meet master plan requirements and daylighting the river needs to ensure that the entire Rouge watershed is protected.
City contracted engineers, OHM, presented an analysis of options for improved traffic flow and determined that installing a roundabout at Seven Mile and Sheldon Road would be the best way to alleviate traffic congestion and improve safety for both drivers and pedestrians.
Other concerns expressed included traffic congestion and pedestrian safety; the opinion that townhouses would not be suitable for older residents, and the need for more or less commercial space in the development.