By Mike Kruzman /

Plans for a proposed apartment development in Howell Township have again been delayed as officials seek further answers to drainage and traffic questions.

Indianapolis-based developer Union Development Holdings LLC is proposing a 220-unit apartment complex that would be located off of Oak Grove, behind Kroger. Sixty-percent of its units would be marked as “affordable housing,” but not Section 8 housing, in accordance with Michigan State Housing Development Authority guidelines.

Representatives from the group were present at the Howell Township Planning Commission’s online meeting, Tuesday night, for final site plan review. While commissioners gave positive reviews about the project, site drainage and traffic continue to slow up the approval process. Despite assurances from the developer, Trustee Matthew Counts wanted more concrete evidence in what would be Drain Commission approval of drainage that would flow from the site into neighboring Howell City.

Traffic has also been a major concern with a study recently submitted to the Livingston County Road Commission. Planning Commissioner Pete Manwiller took that study and prepared his own presentation, lamenting the amount of traffic that the project will bring to the area and the effect it will have during peak hours. The complex has access points onto Oak Grove and Henderson, but he wanted to explore options to the west at Kimball and to the south at Welland. Manwiller said that without another option for drivers, Oak Grove will become a nightmare. He pointed to another potential development across the street from Kroger that would make back-up problems even worse.

Township Planner Paul Montagno and Commissioner Glen Miller thought that there might be pushback from single family residents to have that type of traffic come through, but Montagno said he thought it was appropriate to still explore the option.

The Planning Commission voted to postpone final site plan review until further information on traffic improvements and drainage easements can be provided.

Lead Project Development Manager Joy Skidmore said they would be back for the December meeting with this, for they need the approval to continue with closing on the property. The review approval is also important for keeping them on schedule with MSHDA. Skidmore said that if all goes well, they anticipate starting construction this coming April, and finishing in December 2021.

Photo - Google StreetView