Meadow Lake Hills approved for final site plan

Ranch-style homes to replace former school building

Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published April 9, 2018

 The former Meadow Lake School building is currently occupied by a French school, but it will be demolished in early summer.

The former Meadow Lake School building is currently occupied by a French school, but it will be demolished in early summer.

Photo by Tiffany Esshaki

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — “I don’t think the neighbors will miss the French school and the neighbors speeding through Lindenmere,” said Bloomfield Township Clerk Janet Roncelli.

That was just before the Board of Trustees unanimously voted March 26 to approve the final site plan for a planned unit development on the site of the former Meadow Lake School campus, off of Inkster Road.

The approval came during the board’s regularly scheduled meeting and just after a public hearing on the topic yielded modest concern from neighbors in the area worried about additional traffic and hassles due to construction.

Township Supervisor Leo Savoie said the developers, TRG Holdings and Nosan Signature Homes, were diligent about communicating with the surrounding community throughout the planning process.

“I think this is one of the few times where the Planning Board and commissioners involved have thanked you and commended you for all of the hard work and talking with neighbors and coming up with a plan that everyone could live with,” Savoie said to the developers before the vote. “You had every right to come in with a layout to have eight or nine homes with their driveways all facing (Lindenmere).”

Instead, the driveways for about 17 single-family homes will face each other on a cul-de-sac street only accessible off of Inkster Road, near Maple Road. The 12-acre parcel, located at 7100 Lindenmere Drive, will replace the old Meadow Lake School building, which is owned by Birmingham Public Schools. Until now, the French School of Detroit has operated at the facility.

According to BPS Director of Communications and Family Engagement Marcia Wilkinson, the district will garner $2.1 million from the sale of the property and will save about $100,000 a year in operating costs, which include landscaping, snow removal, utilities and building maintenance.

According to John Ackerman, a developer with TRG Holdings who addressed the board that evening, the school district will be responsible for demolition of the school building — slated, according to Wilkinson, to happen around June of this year — after which construction can begin. Nosan estimates that the installation of roads, utilities and mass grating will be completed over the summer before the fall weather sets in, and then construction of the ranch-style homes will follow. The total time frame to complete what will be known as Meadow Lake Estates will be about three years.

The homes, Ackerman said, will fit the character of the surrounding community, boasting 2,000 to 3,000 square feet and priced between $500,000 and $800,000 each. The development will feature nearly 4 acres of green space, sidewalks and walking paths for residents to enjoy, and a retention basin along Inkster Road — all of which will be fleshed out by natural-looking landscaping, as opposed to overly manicured trees and bushes.

A highlight for neighbors, Ackerman noted, is the fact that there will be no connector streets to surrounding neighborhoods. And with the style of homes that is planned — aimed predominantly at empty nesters — there will be a “dramatic reduction” in daily traffic trips down Lindenmere Drive than what residents currently see.

During the meeting, developers assured residents and the board that surrounding residential streets won’t be impacted by the construction. The only entry and exit point will be the Inkster Road entrance, and the rest of the parcel will be fenced off for the duration of the project to ensure vendors and contractors don’t try to enter the property via Lindenmere or other nearby streets, nor park there for any duration of time.

“That’s where we have a Building and Ordinance Department step in. If anyone feels like there’s a problem during the building, they can immediately call that department so we can immediately address that,” Savoie said.

Residents of the new development will be part of a paid homeowners association that will maintain the grounds.