Lake Urban Housing Development Turned Away Again
February 1, 2022
By Mike Kruzman / firstname.lastname@example.org
Plans for a potential residential development in Tyrone Township have again been rejected by township officials.
The Lake Urban Crossings planned unit development would consist of 88 homes and be located on 158 acres near the corner of Runyan Lake Road and White Lake Road, with access from each. The applicant spent much of 2021 trying to get preliminary PUD approval, bringing the project before the Planning Commission and Board of Trustees multiple times.
It was again before the Board at their latest meeting. During public comment, residents continued to express their concerns that the project would have negative impact on traffic and the environment.
Trustee Herman Ferguson pointed to a lifetime of experience in that area of Tyrone Township, saying that whatever the County thinks of traffic in that area, that “they don’t live, we do.” Ferguson wanted to look at accident reports in the area over the past 5 years. He said, “It’s a dangerous road. And to put more traffic on that road is just suicidal for a lot of residents, here, I believe. That’s my personal opinion. And I’ve lived here a long time.”
The Board spent most of their discussion time at the meeting talking with their planner Zach Michels about the language in their PUD ordinance. Michels called it “very peculiar wording,” where the PUD “shall” be located so that it “can” be accessed by a primary road. “Shall” is defined as “must,” but “can” means that it doesn’t necessarily have to be. The planner recommended that Trustees base their decision on the language, and if they don’t the like language, bookmark it for future revisions.
Road access wasn’t the only consideration the Board had to make, as under a PUD, other allowances may be made if there is recognizable and substantial benefit to the township from the development. The Planning Commission, by a slim 3-2 decision, forwarded the plan to the Board believing that wetland preservation, added trails, and the proposed handling of drainage met that requirement.
A motion was put forward by the Board to approve the preliminary PUD, which would not approve the final project, but would allow the applicant to pursue agency approvals and financing. That vote failed, sending the applicant, again, back to the drawing board.