Miller Grove Condo Plan Denied by Scio Twp. Board





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By Lonnie Huhman, lhuhman@thesuntimesnews.com

Neighboring homeowners concerns paired with the view the project does not fully meet the standards needed for a planned unit development led the Scio Township Board to deny the proposed Miller Grove condo plan.

The township board at its Oct. 9 meeting unanimously denied the request made by developer, Robertson Brothers Homes of Bloomfield Hills, who was seeking a PUD application/plan approval. The project involved 32 detached homes on a 36 acre parcel and preserved approximately 60 per of the site in open space. The plan needed a zoning ordinance amendment.



Scio Township Supervisor Jack Knowles said, “The project was denied by the township board on the basis that the project did not meet the standard of Section 36-245 (c)(6)….that it did not minimize any negative impact upon surrounding properties.”

In the narrative of its plan, the Robertson Bros. said it was, “pleased to resubmit plans for a PUD Rezoning and Site Plan application for vacant properties on Miller Road, just north of the Walnut Ridge community.”

The developer said the plans were redesigned to address comments from the township’s planning and engineering consultants. The township planning commission did recommend the PUD plan be denied by the township board.

The project proposed, “32 brand new luxury detached condominium homes that will cater to those in the township that are looking to downsize and stay in the area,” the Robertson Bros. said.

The homes were to range in size between 2,600 and 3,200 square feet with optional upstairs guest bedrooms. Robertson Bros. has constructed several similar developments in Bloomfield Township, Village of Franklin, Ann Arbor Township, Bingham Farms and Northville, to name a few examples.

Knowles said the board’s approved motion noted that the application would have significant impact on the surrounding properties due to stormwater management issues, proposed septic system location, impact on adjacent water wells and traffic impacts on Miller Road.

As far as the next steps for the proposed properties, Knowles said that’s totally up to the developer/applicant.

Nearly 20 homeowners, many from the Walnut Ridge neighborhood, went before the board to express concerns for similar issues raised by the board with the septic plan and stormwater management being big issues. Many residents said they felt the plan did not fit in that location and would negatively impact them.

In its narrative of the plan, the Robertson Bros. said the development plan consisted of two parcels of land under contract with two separate owners, totaling 37 plus acres. It was proposed to be located adjacent to the Walnut Ridge development, just north of the M-14 interchange on Miller Road. The property is heavily wooded, and Robertson Bros. said the intent of the cluster design is to maximize open space on the property while minimizing the impact to surrounding properties and existing natural features.

Robertson Bros. said, “in order to develop the site with such significant open space and neighboring property buffers, a Planned Unit Development is proposed for the site. The purpose of the PUD district is “intended to permit flexibility in the regulation of land development, encourage innovation in land use and variety in design, layout and type of structures constructed, achieve economy and efficiency in the use of land, natural resources, energy and the provision of public services and utilities, encourage useful open space, and provide better housing, employment and shopping opportunities particularly suited to the needs of residents” (Section 36-244 of the Scio Township Zoning Ordinance).”

 

“The proposed use of the land seeks to meet the intent of the ordinance in multiple ways, including significant open space preservation and by meeting a significant need in the housing market for those looking for a detached ranch condominium and stay in the township,” Robertson bros. said.

In its narrative of the plan, the Robertson Bros. said the development’s HOA would have been, “required to maintain the proposed Advantex common septic system to be constructed in lieu of municipal sanitary sewer, due to the township’s decision not to support Robertson’s desire to connect to the Ann Arbor system, which differs from what was approved for the adjacent Walnut Ridge community

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Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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