The Brighton City Planning Commission unanimously approved the preliminary site plan for a proposed upscale, 140-apartment development on the old Lindbom School site at its meeting Monday night.

S.R. Jacobson Development Corp. of Bingham Farms, plans to raze the mothballed school building, and put in its place a community center, which would have an outdoor pool, lounge area, WiFi, quiet reading areas, and other amenities. Around it at the 10.5-qacre site would go 3-story apartment buildings, with 1-or-2-car garages on the first floor. The garages would only be visible from the rear. Every member of the audience who spoke at the capacity meeting objected to the proposal for a variety of reasons. One resident told the Planning Commission the project is too dense.

Other residents at the meeting said the project was out of scale with the single-family homes in the quiet, residential neighborhood and would result in too many traffic problems. After the meeting Jacobson development Corp. partner Scott Jacobson told WHMI his company has been interested for some time in Brighton, and especially likes the fact that his proposed development would be within walking distance of downtown.

The apartments would vary in size from 1,280 square feet for the 2-bedroom units to 1,550 square feet for the 3-bedroom units - the larger having 2-car garages and the smaller apartments having 1-car garages. A few in the audience asserted that the apartments were overpriced for the market, at $1,800 per month for the smaller units to $2,300 a month for the larger ones.

The issue of underground contamination from a former industry northeast of the development also came up. Jacobson representatives said they have completed both the Phase 1 and Phase 2 environmental assessments mandated by the state. They also stated that they would enact mitigation measures to ensure that the plume of toxic trichloroethylene does not rise to the surface, particularly during the construction process. The officials said they will look into whether the site might qualify as a Brownfield Redevelopment site, thus qualifying it for special remediation funding. Water contamination would not be a problem as the project would have city water and other utilities. They also said that the majority of the asbestos in the old school building has already been removed.

Preliminary site plan approval did come with a few conditions, most notably that the developers perform a traffic study and comply with any recommendations made by the Brighton Area Fire Dept. Livingston County Planning Dept., and Tetra Tech, the city’s engineering company. The developers have up to six months to file a final site plan and submit it for Planning Commission approval, after which it would go to the City Council for final action. If all goes according to plan, the company hopes to start construction in late spring. (TT)