A rendering by Ann Arbor-based Hobbs+Black Architects shows what the proposed assisted living facility coming to 25 Mile Road and Van Dyke Avenue in Shelby Township will look like.

A rendering by Ann Arbor-based Hobbs+Black Architects shows what the proposed assisted living facility coming to 25 Mile Road and Van Dyke Avenue in Shelby Township will look like.

Rendering provided by Shelby Township

Assisted living facility to be built at 25 Mile and Van Dyke

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published November 20, 2017

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — On Nov. 7, the Shelby Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved the special land use and rezoning of a 5-acre parcel at 25 Mile and Van Dyke Avenue from commercial to multifamily residential for an assisted living facility.

The motion included an “unusual” caveat, according to Planner Glenn Wynn, for the applicant to “investigate and preserve any historical artifacts found on the property,” per the Shelby Township Historical Committee’s recommendation.

Supervisor Rick Stathakis said the Planning Commission held a public hearing Oct. 23 and recommended approval.

Wynn said the 82-unit senior housing project, to be built directly across the street from the Vince & Joe’s Gourmet Market shopping center, is consistent with an emerging development pattern in the area.

“To the north of this site is a single-family home, and to the north of that, you have the Ambassador Village condominiums, and to the north of that, you have a multiple-family-zoned site, which is going to be shortly developed for some multiple family as well,” he said. “I’m happy to say this first rezoning that we’ve had since the (new master) plan was adopted is entirely consistent with the plan.”

He said one of the observations in the new master plan was that there is “entirely too much” retail zoning on Van Dyke, particularly north of 25 Mile Road.

“This particular change of down-zoning it from commercial to a multiple family classification is actually very well-aligned with the master plan,” he said. “(At the public hearing), there was widespread support.”

He said the owner of the single-family home to the north of the proposed development had some questions “of a technical nature” on the site plan, which he said he thought the applicant’s engineer “adequately addressed.”

Treasurer Michael Flynn made the motion to permit the development of the assisted living facility, which Trustee Lynn Wilhelm supported and the rest of the board passed unanimously.

Trustee Doug Wozniak said he has driven by a couple of buildings constructed by Ann Arbor-based Hobbs+Black Architects, who will be working on the facility, and called them “really, really nice.”

“I like that we threw in the historical option,” Wozniak said.

Wynn said the Historical Committee cautioned that there are, perhaps, historical artifacts at the site and “the applicants pledged to cooperate and see if, when they’re developing, they’ll be able to be a little more careful.”

Hilary Davis, vice chair of the Historical Committee, said the committee extensively researched land that is still for sale near the proposed site on a tip that there might be Native American burial mounds there, but they learned that was not the case.

“There’s always the possibility of Native American artifacts,” Davis said. “This place was populated by Native Americans for thousands of years. People are always finding arrowheads and spearheads and things like that.”

The next venture for the committee, she said, is to develop a protocol for if someone in the township finds a Native American artifact and wishes to report it.

“We (have a procedure) for historic buildings,” she said. “We have to come up with something in the future to have guidelines for property owners and developers in case something like that does come up.”

The name of the assisted living facility is First & Main of Shelby Township, and the applicant is the Wyoming-based Granger Group.

For more information about the project, call the Shelby Township Planning Department at (586) 726-7243.