Townhomes on S. Maple get Council OK

The site plan for a large townhome development at the northwest corner of West Liberty and South Maple has received approval from the Ann Arbor city council. The council vote came at its March 4, 2013 meeting. The project had previously received a unanimous recommendation of approval from the city planning commission at the Dec. 18, 2012 meeting of that body.

Site of the Blue Heron Pond development at the intersection of West Liberty and Maple streets.

Site of the Blue Heron Pond development at the intersection of West Liberty and South Maple streets.

Blue Heron Pond is a planned project of 64 units on a 7.8-acre site that’s zoned R4B (multi-family dwelling). It’s the site of a development formerly called West Towne Condominiums that was started in 2005 but never completed. A building with 11 units has been constructed on the site, although the original developer – the Concannon Company – had planned to build 87 units.

The new owner, Norfolk Development, bought the property in the spring of 2012. The new $4.2 million project calls for constructing nine buildings in two phases. The first phase will include construction of four buildings along West Liberty, with the five other buildings in the site’s interior to be constructed at a later date. The complex will have a mix of two- and three-bedroom rental units ranging in size from 980 to 2,577 square feet, each with an attached one-car garage. Rents are expected to be in the $900 to $1,800 range.

The proposal is a planned project – rather than a by-right development – because a modification is being requested to the zoning requirements. Rather than the 20 feet between buildings that’s required in R4B zoning, the developer wants to reduce that amount to 15.7 feet between two of the buildings along West Liberty.

A large wetland in the center of the site will not be disturbed. A contribution of $26,000 to the city’s parks system has already been made, with the funds used for improvements at South Maple Park.

This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]