Plans for a new multi-unit rental and senior citizen development in Brighton Township are on hold until further agency approvals are acquired.

With intentions for development on 147 acres near Pickerel and Woodruff Lake, the proposed Encore Village project would serve as a senior living facility that includes assisted living, independent living, and memory care. Residents’ take on the project thus far has been mixed. Some believe it will increase property values and be a welcome addition to the municipality, while others have cited a potential increase in traffic and disturbance of wildlife as major problems.

The township’s Board of Trustees gave conceptual approval to the development’s Conditional Zoning Agreement, or CZA, in April. The project’s final CZA and preliminary site plan came before the board Monday night, but didn’t have as much luck in terms of approval this time around. One of the main items trustees noted that was lacking in developers’ submitted paperwork was recent documentation and approval from the Livingston County Drain Commission. Developers acknowledged that the included correspondence from the Drain Commissioner was outdated; something that Trustee Mike Slaton felt was a component that would make the issue “not fair” for the board to make a decision on. Trustee Lucille Weaire felt the same, initiating a motion to table the agenda item.

But Trustee Sam Theis disagreed, saying that holding up the process one more time is “short-sighted”, and felt the board was micro-managing developers by taking “on a paternalistic tone with them.” Theis added developers had a huge incentive to complete the process properly and had faith that they would meet those requirements in the project’s next stage.

Board members were nearly split, but a motion to postpone approval passed 4 to 3, with Weaire and Slaton being joined in their support to table by Clerk Ann Bollin and Trustee Steve Combs. Manager Brian Vick says the majority felt developers needed to obtain approval from all agencies required by the township’s ordinance before they could give them the green light.

Encore representatives say they plan to work with the township’s planner, engineer, and possibly a board member to ensure their site plan and CZA package is “exactly how the board wants it” when it returns for a second shot at approval. (DK)