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Cluster plan for 1,500-square-foot homes goes forward

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published October 2, 2019

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TROY — The Troy City Council has OK’d plans for 29 two-bedroom, 1,500-square-foot homes on 8.69 acres at the southeast corner of Square Lake Road and Willow Grove Drive, west of John R Road.

The council approved the preliminary site plan 6-0 Sept. 23. Mayor Dane Slater was absent.

The Planning Commission had unanimously recommended that the council approve the preliminary site plan under the cluster zoning designation option at a July 9 meeting.

Under a parallel plan, by right, 17 homes could be constructed on the parcel, which includes 1.85 acres of state-regulated wetlands.

Community Development Director R. Brent Savidant told the council that the proposed plans preserve 1.4 acres of the wetlands and they feature 30% open space.

“These will sell like hotcakes,” Savidant said of the homes.

The Planning Commission is the recommending body on site plans proposed under the cluster option, and the City Council has final approval.

In October 2016, the City Council adopted a cluster zoning designation that offers density bonuses for restricting the housing unit sizes to 1,500 square feet and for sustainable designs — including green infrastructure and naturalized stormwater management — and it requires the developer to preserve 20% open space.

“It’s exactly what we were asking for,” said Councilman Dave Henderson, referring to the 1,500-square-foot home size offered under the cluster option.

Jim Polyzois, speaking for the developer, Wolverine Building Co., told the Planning Commission that the one-floor, ranch-style homes will cater to empty nesters, seniors and singles, “to try to provide a different product that doesn’t exist.”

He said the homes will be priced in the low $300,000 range.

Mayor Pro Tem Ethan Baker noted that, if built as proposed, it would be the first cluster development offering 1,500-square-foot homes and would be unique in Troy.

“The cost may be prohibitive,” he said. “These are units the city is looking for.”

“It feels really right for the spot,” said Councilwoman Ellen Hodorek.