By Mike Kruzman /

A rezoning request that would allow for multi-family residential housing in Hartland Township has cleared the planning commission.

Applicant Mark Schaffer has requested the rezoning of 2 parcels on Arena Drive. One is on the east side of the road, the other on the west, with both just south of the Hartland Sports Center. The two lots are both currently zoned general commercial but are designated multi-family residential on the Hartland Township future land use map.

Following an addition to the Sports Complex, the parking lot was expanded into an acre of the east parcel. Hartland Township Planner Troy Langer said it was decided that the new lot should not be factored into the request. He said that Schaffer intends to detach the lot from the east parcel and attach it to the Sports Complex if the rezoning gets approved.

Planning Commissioners wanted to be sure that screening requirements could be met if the parking lot is split off. When a public hearing for this request was held in March, some residents in a subdivision to the west of the properties were concerned. Planning Commissioner Keith Voight said that he, himself, at least, would be more comfortable with a residential development than a commercial if he lived there. Board of Trustee liaison Summer McMullen was concerned about traffic and how the sites only have access points on Arena Drive, and not with Highland Road further to the south. It was noted that access to M-59 wasn’t required and there is another hurdle of existing businesses being in that space, though deals could always be worked out.

The planning commission recommended approval unanimously and the request will now go to the full Board of Trustees.