By Jessica Mathews /

Some changes have been approved to an agreement between Howell Township and developers that were needed for an apartment project to move ahead.

Annex Group, which is now called Union at Oak Grove, is proposing a 220-unit apartment complex that would be located off of Oak Grove Road, behind Kroger. 60% of units would be marked as “affordable housing,” but not Section 8 housing, in accordance with Michigan State Housing Development Authority guidelines.

Annex Group has been working through different issues with MSHDA, one of which was the purchase agreement with the township. It was stated that MSHDA won’t pay for the project until several items are put in place.

The board met virtually Monday night and voted to accept a third amendment to the purchase agreement, which includes language changes and an addendum that allows for the addition of a special assessment agreement. That allows Annex to pay for the property and stay within the original purchase agreement but delay payment of special assessments until they get their MSHDA loan and allow the transaction to proceed in a staged process. Closing on the loan was said to be dependent on getting through building permitting to satisfy MSHDA requirements and having the site in ready-to-build condition.

There will be 23 buildings, 24 with a clubhouse, but there will only be four different types of building on the property. Thus it was stated if they can secure permits for the four types, then that would demonstrate they’ll be able to get the remaining permits.

Project Development Manager Joy Skidmore stated MSHDA wants a memo of understanding or MOU letter signed by the township that states the remaining building land-use zoning permits will be issued upon payment of special assessment and any other fees. The same letter is being sought from the Livingston County Building Department, which issues the permits.

The county controls building permits, while the township’s role is limited to land use and zoning. Skidmore told the board the remaining land-use zoning permits would be issued upon payment of the connection fees and when they close on their loan, all of the fees would be paid.

Past concerns raised by Planning Commission about traffic and stormwater management were addressed and final site plans for the project were approved in December with some conditions, including that a center turn lane be added and approved by the Road Commission.