Traverse City News and Events

Innovo Rezoning, Senior Living Center, More Projects on East Bay Agenda

By Beth Milligan | Jan. 2, 2024

East Bay Township planning commissioners will discuss four development projects at their Wednesday meeting, including a request from Innovo to rezone 220 acres between Four and Five Mile roads for increased housing density, a proposed senior living facility on Hammond Road, a gas station expansion project at Hammond and Three Mile roads, and a new 12-unit subdivision at Four Mile and Potter roads.

Innovo Rezoning
Innovo – the development group behind Breakwater Apartments in downtown Traverse City – is seeking to rezone six parcels totaling just over 220 acres from low density residential (LDR) to moderate density residential (MDR) in East Bay Township. The parcels are located between Four Mile and Five Mile roads, with access to both.

The township’s existing LDR rules would allow 660 single-family homes on the site. Under changes to LDR rules proposed in the township’s zoning rewrite – underway now – 1,100 units could be constructed, including a mix of single-family homes, multiplexes, and townhomes. If the parcels were rezoned to MDR, under proposed changes to the MDR district "up to 1,760 multi-family units could be constructed on this site, if it was eventually rezoned,” according to Township Director of Planning & Zoning Claire Karner.

Innovo’s Trae Allman told planning commissioners in December that the company is aiming to “provide a diversity of housing on the site,” with all units being for rent and ranging in size from studio apartments to single-family homes. Units would be targeted at income ranges as low as 60 percent of the area median income (AMI) up to 120 percent AMI, Allman said. Innovo would seek to preserve as many of the natural features on the site as possible and provide walkways through the property that could offer a connection between popular recreational sites at the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy and the Holiday Woodlands Preserve, according to Allman.

Planning commissioners acknowledged the need for more housing in the community and said they appreciated Innovo’s track record, but expressed concern about the significant change in character that intensive development would bring to the rural site. Going from 660 to 1,760 units is almost a tripling of allowed housing, noted Planning Commissioner Rhonda Wassom, who said the need for housing must be met in “alignment with the master plan.” Innovo’s rezoning request would require an amendment to both the township’s future land use map and its master plan, which was just recently updated. Changing the master plan yet again to accommodate a new project could be a “slippery slope for us,” said Chair Dan Leonard.

Planning commissioners voted in December to table the request until this week’s meeting. The board wanted to seek legal counsel on the best way to move forward procedurally with addressing Innovo’s request. In a written opinion, attorney Bryan Graham said that while individuals can apply for zoning changes, they can’t apply to amend the township’s master plan. Instead, the planning commission initiates an amendment process if it believes a change is merited. When planning commissioners meet Wednesday, they can “simply make a motion to determine whether or not they would like to begin the process of making an amendment to the master plan,” according to a memo from Karner. “This motion should include the basic reasons why the planning commission does or does not want to open up the master plan amendment process.” If the planning commission decides to move forward, it would trigger an extensive public input process to update the master plan and future land use map.

Hampton Manor of TC
Planning commissioners Wednesday will revisit a proposed 84-unit senior living center from Build Senior Living – a development group that specializes in assisted living facilities – on 8.41 acres of land on Hammond Road next to Oleson’s (pictured, rendering). Developer Zohaib Syed told the board in December that the facility will have 20 memory care and 64 assisted living units. Unlike a nursing home, the site would not provide medical care – though doctors can come to the property for appointments with tenants – and would primarily be targeted to active seniors who need some assistance but are still primarily independent, Syed said. The property would have a communal dining area, spa, salon, movie theater, and other amenities, with on-site transportation offered for weekly shopping and sightseeing excursions, he said.

Karner noted in a memo that Hampton Manor of TC – as the project is being called – still has several outstanding issues to be addressed in the project application, including comments and approval from the Grand Traverse County Road Commission, GT Metro Fire, a landscaping cost estimate, and a photometric plan. If those items are provided this week, planning commissioners could vote to approve the project Wednesday, she tells The Ticker. Otherwise, approval will likely be delayed to a future meeting so that the outstanding issues can be resolved.

True North Expansion
Another project on Hammond Road could be approved this week. Planning commissioners will vote on approving a site plan from True North Energy for an expansion project at the corner of Hammond and Three Mile roads. The company aims to demolish the existing Shell gas station on the site and construct a new station with a large Truenorth convenience store and adjacent car wash. As a condition of approval, Karner is recommending planning commissioners require True North Energy to verify that noise emanating from the car wash will not exceed 40 decibels at the property line. True North Energy purchased 25 gas stations/convenience stores in the Traverse City market from Schmuckal Oil Company in 2019 and has since renovated several of them, including locations on Munson Avenue and South Airport Road.

Lavender Hills
Finally, planning commissioners will vote Wednesday on making a recommendation of approval to the township board on a site plan from developer Patrick Machin to build a 12-home subdivision on the northwest corner of Four Mile and Potter roads. The site is 42.5 acres and zoned agricultural-rural (AG). According to Karner, “the applicant is planning to retain a portion of the parcel to split into four separate parcels for single family homes ranging in size from five to seven acres.” The lots within the subdivision itself would range in size from one acre to one-and-a-half acres. The development will connect to Oban Way and the Highlands subdivision. The Highlands homeowners association expressed concerns to township staff about construction traffic coming through on Oban Way. Accordingly, the planning commission – and township board – could require construction traffic to only use Potter Road as a condition of approval, according to Karner.

Comment

Potential $11-$16 Million LaFranier Expansion On County's Agenda

Read More >>

Ransomware Group Claims Credit for TCAPS Attack

Read More >>

Airport Updates: Cherry Fest Air Show Agreement Approved, Tech Park Hearing Scheduled

Read More >>

Traffic Stop Leads to Search of Drug House

Read More >>

One Year of Recreation Cannabis in Traverse City

Read More >>

Tank Space Opens on Eighth, More Retail/Restaurant News

Read More >>

From Neighborhood Bike Club To $730,000 Impact: The History Of Mud Sweat & Beers

Read More >>

TART Trail, Union Contracts, Morgan Farms Neighborhood Association on City Agenda

Read More >>

City Project Updates: FishPass, M-22/M-72 Reconstruction

Read More >>

Your 2024 Spring Race Calendar

Read More >>

Place Your Bets: Expert to Talk Online Sports Gambling Boom

Read More >>

New Designation Means Big Money For Career-Tech Center's Manufacturing Programs

Read More >>

City Considers Taking Over Parking From DDA

Read More >>

What’s Next for the Pines?

Read More >>