Ann Arbor planning commissioners postponed action on the proposed Glendale Condominiums at 312 Glendale Drive, following the advice of planning staff. The decision came at the commission’s July 16, 2013 meeting.
The project is located south of Jackson Avenue and east of Hillside Terrace on the city’s west side. The proposal calls for tearing down two single-family homes on the 2.54-acre site and building eight two-bedroom duplexes. Each unit would include a one-car garage, with eight additional surface parking spaces on the site.
Eighteen of the 23 landmark trees in a former orchard on the site would be removed, but many are in poor health and the city requires that only six of those must be replaced. However, because of the city’s conflicting land use buffer requirements, 105 new trees will be planted on the property’s north, south and west sides. The developer also has agreed to make a $9,920 contribution to the city’s park system.
The development, which is targeting “empty nesters,” is estimated to cost $2.3 million. The owner is Jeffrey Starman of Ann Arbor.
Planning staff had recommended postponement to resolve several outstanding issues. Among those issues are the protection of landmark trees and unresolved utility and sidewalk easements. The developer also had submitted a revised site plan recently that the planning staff hasn’t had time to review.
Other concerns about the project – related to design, traffic, pedestrian access and other issues – had been raised during two citizen participation meetings earlier this year. Neighbors also have concerns about possible soil contamination from the former Barnard Plating Company building at 1943 Jackson Ave., about 300 feet west of the site. [.pdf of citizen participation reports]
About 50 people attended the commission’s July 16 meeting, and more than a dozen residents spoke during a public hearing on the project that lasted about an hour. Most of their remarks focused on serious problems of flooding, sewage backups and drainage in that area, which they fear will be exacerbated by this new development.
The planning staff had requested that the site’s drive connect to the driveway at Hillside Terrace to the west, and that a pedestrian connection be provided between the two properties. The developer plans to make a pedestrian connection to Hillside Terrace, but reported that Hillside Terrace will not agree to a driveway connection. A public sidewalk would be built along Glendale Drive, but there are no internal sidewalks proposed within the development.
This brief was filed from the second floor council chambers at city hall, 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow.