A developer is looking to tear down this building on 11 Mile Road and build a four-story residential building in its place.

A developer is looking to tear down this building on 11 Mile Road and build a four-story residential building in its place.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Planning Commission reviews 4-story Royal Oak development on 11 Mile

By: Mike Koury | Royal Oak Review | Published September 20, 2023


ROYAL OAK — A proposed development that would build a four-story building on 11 Mile Road was tabled at a recent Royal Oak Planning Commission meeting.

At the Sept. 12 meeting, all planning commissioners present voted to table a decision to rezone the site at 600 E. 11 Mile Road from neighborhood business to multiple-family residential.

The proposed development would demolish the existing building at the site at East 11 Mile Road and Phillips Place to construct a new building containing 27 dwellings.

According to city documents, three dwellings and a common area would be placed on the ground level with eight dwellings each on the second, third, and fourth levels. The upper-level dwellings would have balconies and the ground level locations would have access to the 11 Mile sidewalk.

“The common area would include a lobby, lounge, storage area, and gym. Off-street parking would be placed under the south half of the building and at the rear of the property with access to Phillips Place. Two EV chargers and bicycle racks would also be provided,” a document in the agenda packet states.

The document also states that the proposal from petitioner Stonegate Property Group plans for the building to be 50 feet tall, though the maximum permitted building height for multiple-family dwellings is 36 feet. The city also requires two off-street parking spaces for each dwelling, or 54 spaces for 27 units. The site plan contains 27 parking spaces, or one per dwelling.

“There’s always a gap between a tenant that does leave and a tenant that does move in,” John Abro, managing partner of Stonegate, stated. “So 27 parking spaces are going to be adequate for this development because they’re never always used, but even if they are, they’re assigned parking and I believe we have achieved our proposed development, regardless, of how this can be very beneficial to an existing site, existing building, that is not in a great shape.”

A number of neighboring residents came to the meeting to speak of their concerns with the project.

Julie Delgado, who lives on Phillips Place, said that she and her neighbors aren’t against developments in the city, but they feel the proposed plans for this lot are not harmonious with their neighborhood.

“The residents of Phillips Place rightfully obtained permit parking on our street because of intense parking usage, confrontations, and also because people were not using the public parking sites available,” she said. “We are worried that having 27 parking spots for 27 units will cause overflow to undo the positive impact the permit parking has on our street. We talked a lot about the cars in the neighborhood, and I personally do not know anyone who does not own a car in this area or the surrounding areas, and some single residences even have two cars. While cars aren’t needed to get around in this city, they are needed to go places outside the city because we don’t have an easily usable mass transit system here. We just don’t. People use cars.”

The commission voted to table a decision on the rezoning to allow Stonegate time to adjust its plans and hear the concerns from residents.

Mayor Michael Fournier, who also serves on the commission, told C & G Newspapers that he felt the tabling was necessary since the public, and the people who live on Phillips Place in particular, gave good feedback to the developer, as well as the other planning commissioners.

“We don’t want overflow parking into the neighborhood with any project, and I felt that, you know, the design flaw that he had was the assigned parking, which albeit might be convenient for the inhabitants of the building. What it does is, it doesn’t allow for, you know, taking advantage of visitor parking,” he said.

“I think that the developer has a chance to correct some things and maybe rethink some things, and we’ll see what he comes back with. It’s our duty to look at every petitioner’s proposal with an open mind, and we’ll continue to do that,” Fournier continued.

For the entire presentation, view the Sept. 12 Planning Commission meeting on the WROK Royal Oak YouTube channel.