Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Neighbors oppose plan for Van Buren senior living facility

Members of the Van Buren Township Planning Commission postponed any decision on a special land use request for a proposed senior living project until more information was provided.
The proposed 64,000-square-foot Hampton Manor development was discussed at a Jan. 8 meeting of the commission members, The senior living complex is proposed for construction on the southeast corner of Tyler and Morton Taylor roads and will include 80 units, with 24 designated for memory care and 36 dedicated for assisted living for seniors. The developer listed with the township is Zohaib Syed of Van Buren Investors Land Holdings LLC.  Construction of the two sections of the planned facility would be on six parcels of land totaling 7.11 acres which is zoned for local business.

Sam Martin, vice president of development of Hampton Manor, said their Hampton Manor facilities for seniors are operating throughout several local communities and could be inspected by officials. He said he and his partners will offer Van Buren seniors the opportunity to remain in the township and that the facility would offer free valet services, a beauty salon, spa, movie theatre, courtyard, grill, sunrooms, libraries and outside doors for each assisted living unit. He said he and his partners now have senior facilities in operation in Shelby Township, Brighton, Dundee, and one under construction on Ridge Road in Canton Township.
Audience members were not in favor of the proposal, however, as the property is surrounded by single family homes and zoned as residential. Attorney Lisa Martin, who lives across Morton Taylor Road in Charter Club subdivision, was against the plan as the development is not compatible with the surrounding neighbors according to the township ordinance and this would not adhere to that provision as it is in a residential neighborhood. Martin said she was also concerned with traffic, particularly since the area is in a main school bus route on Tyler Road. She said statistics from the Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) claim daily traffic of 4,300 to 4,400 vehicles within a quarter mile of the intersection in question. Martin added that the township zoning ordinance limits construction at that site to 30,000 square feet the proposed facility is double that limit.
She urged the commissioners to reject the plan.
Planning consultant Vidya Krishnan of McKenna said the buildings total 62,516 square feet, are 17 feet tall, and single story. She explained that the property has been zoned C at least for a decade and as senior housing is considered residential use in C zoning and would therefore be exempt from that size restriction..
Also opposing the project was Karianne Butler who also lives in Charter Club, She said that Van Buren Investors Land Holdings LLC is not registered with the state and inquired as to the reason for that discrepancy.
Residents also questioned flooding in the area and the impact on the water table with the construction of the buildings.
Township Director of Planning Dan Power addressed the audience and explained that there is a nationwide movement to provide facilities for seniors to age in place. He said communities have to zone appropriately and the sites should be considered more as special land use.
Following extensive discussion and questions, commissioners postponed any vote on the special land use request until further information could be provided.