The City Council will consider this 12-acre site, which backs up to the Troy Sports Center, at John R and Big Beaver roads, for urban residential zoning, the densest residential zoning district.

The City Council will consider this 12-acre site, which backs up to the Troy Sports Center, at John R and Big Beaver roads, for urban residential zoning, the densest residential zoning district.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Troy City Council to consider urban zoning for 12 acres on John R

Planning Commission votes to deny recommendation to council

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published May 1, 2019

 Under the proposed plans, the multifamily development would share this driveway, north of the Kroger store at John R and Big Beaver roads, with the retail center.

Under the proposed plans, the multifamily development would share this driveway, north of the Kroger store at John R and Big Beaver roads, with the retail center.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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TROY — Although the Troy Planning Commission — in a divided decision — said an urban residential use is too intense for just under 12 acres on John R Road, north of Big Beaver Road, the Troy City Council will make the final decision on a rezoning request in the coming weeks.

On March 12, the Planning Commission praised the design of the proposed buildings but postponed a request to rezone just under 12 acres on John R, adjacent to Kroger, from multifamily residential to a more intense urban residential use.

The Planning Commission later, on April 22, voted 7-2 to deny recommending the conditional rezoning request from multifamily residential to urban residential zoning needed to allow 247 units in nine separate, three-story buildings on land that Dennis Bostick owns.

Bostick also owns and operates the Troy Sports Center, on the north side of Big Beaver Road.

Planning Commission members cited concerns about the transition to nearby homes, the density, traffic patterns, walkability and the impact on schools when it was before them March 12.

Planning Commissioners Karen Crusse and Ollie Apahidean voted against the recommendation to deny the request.

Ben Carlisle, of Carlisle Wortman Associates, the city’s planning consultant, told the Planning Commission that the only two changes made in the plans from March 12 were the addition of a bike rack at the clubhouse and a stamped pavement walkway.

The urban residential zoning district is the most dense residential zoning district. Bostick first submitted the project as a discussion item to the Planning Commission on May 8, 2018, with 10 buildings and 247 units on 15 acres.

The Planning Commission is the recommending body for conditional rezoning requests.

Carlisle told the Planning Commission that, by right, under the current zoning, approximately 115-125 units could be constructed on the site.

The plans feature a shared drive with Kroger and a pond.

Bostick told the commissioners that the urban residential zoning is needed to achieve economy of scale — the reduction of per-unit costs through an increase in production volume — which would produce a higher-quality development.

“I don’t want to do a low-quality project,” he said.

Addressing concerns about traffic patterns through the commercial center, he noted that there has never been any incident where a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle in the whole complex.

“This is not an urban area,” said Planning Commissioner John Tagle. “Everybody who goes to that development drives.”

Planning Commissioner Tom Krent said he applauded the architectural design, but he had concerns about the lack of green space. “It looks so crammed,” he said.

Planning Commissioner Michael Hutson said the proposal does not comply with the city’s master plan and is incompatible with the surrounding neighborhood.

Architect Mark Abanatha said they had worked on the design for close to a year. He noted that they looked at traffic through the shopping center as a positive thing.

He said the state-of-the-art clubhouse would enhance the luxury aspect more so than green space would, adding that they believed they had met the green space requirements.

“It’s a great transition to single-family homes,” Abanatha said. “We’re extremely excited about the project. It’s a wonderful addition to the commercial (property) that’s there, and it’s a walkable community.”

He said that Troy School District officials said there would be no issue with overcrowding of schools resulting from the development.

In an email, Troy School District Superintendent Richard Machesky said, “To be clear, I did not say anything about that specific development. We have heard from a number of people that arguments are being made related to the district’s ability to accommodate additional students. As a result, I sent a correspondence to Dennis Bostick and the Planning Commission that indicated the district has a clear strategic plan in place to address any increased enrollments across Troy.”

Apahidean noted that the city’s traffic consultant approved of the traffic flow patterns through the commercial center. “It will function the way it’s designed,” he said.

Planning Director R. Brent Savidant said he could not say when the plans would come before the City Council for a final determination.

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