Planning Group OKs Arbor Hills Site Plan

At its Oct. 18, 2011 meeting, the Ann Arbor planning commission recommended approval of the site plan for Arbor Hills Crossing, a proposed retail and office complex at Platt and Washtenaw. Action had been postponed at the commission’s June 7, 2011 meeting so that the developer – Campus Realty – could address some outstanding issues with the plan.

The project involves tearing down three vacant commercial structures and putting up four one- and two-story buildings throughout the 7.45-acre site – a total of 90,700-square-feet of space for retail stores and offices. Three of the buildings would face Washtenaw Avenue, across the street from the retail complex where Whole Foods grocery is located. The site would include 310 parking spaces.

According to city planning staff, there are several changes in the plan since the commission last considered it. The developer is working with the Michigan Dept. of Transportation to install a traffic signal at the intersection of Washtenaw and Platt. MDOT has signed a letter stating that it is supportive of the signal, but details of design and financing haven’t yet been worked out. In addition, the developer has indicated willingness to locate a bus pullout on property along the west side of Platt Road – the location preferred by the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority.

The developer is also working to obtain a letter from the property owner south of the site, granting permission to extend the curb radius of the Platt Road driveway within 4.5 feet of the neighbor’s property. The site plan will not be forwarded to city council for approval until that permission is granted, according to city staff.

The city’s brownfield plan review committee has recommended that the project’s brownfield plan be approved by city council. The brownfield plan involves cleaning up three areas of contaminated soil on the site.

The site plan and brownfield plan will now be forwarded to the Ann Arbor city council for approval.

This brief was filed from city hall’s council chambers at 301 E. Huron St., where the planning commission meets. A more detailed report will follow: [link]