This 12-acre site, which backs up to the Troy Sports Center, on John R and Big Beaver roads, may be considered for urban residential zoning, the densest residential zoning district.

This 12-acre site, which backs up to the Troy Sports Center, on John R and Big Beaver roads, may be considered for urban residential zoning, the densest residential zoning district.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Urban zoning for 12 acres on John R postponed due to traffic, density concerns

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published March 20, 2019

 Under the conceptual 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 conceptual 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 — The Troy Planning Commission praised the design of the proposed buildings but postponed a request to rezone just under 12 acres on John R Road, north of Big Beaver Road, adjacent to Kroger, from multifamily residential to a more intense urban residential use.

The Planning Commission voted 7-0 March 12 to postpone consideration of the conditional rezoning request from multifamily to urban residential zoning after the developer asked the commission to table the item. The rezoning is needed to allow 247 units in nine separate three-story buildings on land that Dennis Bostick owns.

Planning Commissioners John Tagle and Dave Lambert were absent from the meeting.

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

The Planning Commission cited concerns about the transition to nearby homes, density, traffic patterns and walkability.

The urban residential zoning district is the most dense residential zoning district. Bostick 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.

Ben Carlisle, of Carlisle/Wortman Associates, the city’s planning consultant, told the Planning Commission that, by right, under the current zoning, 118 units could be constructed on the site.

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

Bostick told the planning 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.

“They will be the nicest apartments in the city,” Bostick said. “I tell you that. We don’t intend to do anything that’s not top-notch.”

Architect Mark Abanatha said they had worked on the design for close to a year.

“This is not an inexpensive project to build. We believe it is pedestrian-friendly.”

Last May, Abanatha said rent prices would range from $600 to $1,100 per month for the units.

Residents’ concerns centered on traffic and overcrowding of schools.

“It’s not a good fit for our community,” said Jodi Fisher, who lives on Traverse Drive, noting that 500 cars could be cutting through parking lots to get to the main roads. “A left out of Kroger is already a challenge.”

She added that over 400 people signed petitions opposing the rezoning.

“An alley is not a pathway to a luxury apartment,” said Alex August, who lives on Traverse Drive.

Planning Commissioner Michael Hutson said the plans are beautiful, but three-story buildings are not compatible with the surrounding neighborhood.

“This place is too dense. It would be more suitable for the multifamily zoning. There’s too much on the site.”

“The architectural design is very good,” said Planning Commissioner Tom Krent, adding that he had concerns about walking distances within the proposed development.

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