The second phase of an existing housing development has been approved in the City of Howell.

City Council met recently and approved a major amendment to the Town Commons planned unit development or PUD off M-59. Mayberry Homes made some changes to the second phase that included reworking lot design and reducing the numbers of lots. The original development plan was approved in the early 2000’s, which included a commercial corridor along the entrance drive from M-59. Phase 1 is built out and Mayberry Homes is now ready to begin Phase 2. Original plans had called for 101 homes and 18 town homes. The town homes have been removed and plans now include 75 single family homes. In doing so, open space was increased and there will be larger setbacks and pedestrian amenities added. The changes were made to make the lots more marketable and appealing to today’s buyers. A project representative at the meeting told Council the demand has been for bigger lots and bigger backyards, with more room between neighbors.

Mayor Nick Proctor previously directed developers to work out concerns with the homeowners association before bringing anything to Council, following a packed Planning Commission meeting. The representative at the meeting told members that conversations started about a year ago and they’ve come a long way, adding he feels exiting homeowners in the community are satisfied with where they ended up. There will now be increased open space, added pedestrian trails and a tot lot added to the Pere Marquette Park. Traffic calming measures will also be implemented to relieve pressure coming through the neighborhood from cut-through traffic.

Interim City Manager Erv Suida tells WHMI the project was before the Planning Commission and there were some modifications made to the original PUD, which was approved following a public hearing. He says comments from the homeowners association were heard and developers seem set on meeting those needs and moving forward. He says Phase 2 is essentially everything north of the pond and west of the pond in the Town Commons area, so it will go all the way to Henderson Road and then west to the railroad right-of-way. Suida noted the lots will be a little bigger but the homes will stay the same architecturally, green space will be added and they’ll limit some road that went into a wetland area. He says they’re doing good things and adding a tot-lot, which was one of the association’s concerns, and they’re also looking at what things can be done for traffic calming to eliminate it from becoming a cut-thru for people coming from M-59 to Henderson.

It was noted during the meeting that the Phase 2 development will also be done in phases. Phase 2A is expected to include 23 lots and site plans have been submitted to the City. Developers hope to break ground this year and pave the balance in the spring. (JM)