The Boyne City Planning Commission met for its regular monthly meeting on Monday Jan. 16, during which a public hearing on a property rezone request for what could end up holding a 64-unit housing complex was held.
More than 70 people attended the meeting which usually sees only a few audience members.
“A conditional rezoning application has been submitted by the Boyne City Housing Commission to rezone parcel 15‐051‐335‐084‐40 from Traditional Residential District (TRD) to Multiple Family Residential District (MFRD),” said Boyne City Planning Director Scott McPherson prior to the public hearing on the matter. “The parcel is located adjacent to the north side of Dear Meadows and the Boyne City Senior Center.”
The parcel is approximately 7.81 acres, measuring approximately 1,600 feet by 800 feet.
The properties to the north, west and east are zoned TRD, and the property to the south is zoned MFRD and TRD and is used for multifamily and single family homes.
The parcel is currently vacant with some mature tree coverage; water and sewer are relatively close and is available to the site from the north and south.
The written offer for the conditional rezoning has identified the proposed uses for the parcel to Boyne City Planning Commission include up to 64 two-bedroom units and 10 single-family units which these 10 would have individual access points from Earl Street.
The multifamily two bedroom units would be accessed from two different areas, the first off of Franklin Street and the second off of Division Street, the current driveway into Deer Meadows and the senior citizen center.
McPherson said the lack of affordable housing has been a topic of a lot of discussion over the past few months and has been identified and adopted as a goal of the city these past couple years.
And, in the 2015 Boyne City Master Plan, providing housing opportunities for everyone is listed.
Numerous people spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting. Following are some of those comments:
Jerry Kelts said his concern is for traffic between Deer Meadows and the senior center and that there will be a lot of extra traffic coming off Division.
April Reycraft said her concern is foot traffic, and that there are not sidewalks available around that block, and wondered whether fences will go up so people have to go around or will they continue to go through the rest of the woods to get downtown.
Tracy Russold asked if there any other sites available, if an analysis has been done to see if the values of the residential properties in the area will go down, and if there will be any type of assessment to put in sidewalk and sewers to the current homeowners in the area.
Scott Pearce said the personality of Boyne City is three to five houses total within a block with double lots.
Pam Handy Crumpler said she grew up here and has lived in her house for over 40 years, and she is concerned her kids growing up and grandkids coming back with the extra traffic.
Shannon Pearce said they have invested a lot of time and money to make it their home and that the neighborhood is currently nice and stable, and that there is no pride of ownership with rentals.
Nathan Minnaar said he moved into the area eight years ago, and you don’t see increases in values and people investing in their neighborhoods like this. He asked what support there is for the value of the homes in the area?
April Caverly said there are wetlands in the area on the back of the parking lot with nesting birds, and she asked how developers can put a proposed road through the wetland?
Kyle Marshall, representing Magnum Hospitality, said the area is in dire need for labor force housing to hire employees.
Some members of the planning commission cited concern about the lack of time to consider not only the packet information but the opinions from attendees of the meeting, and were uneasy about possible impacts, and that they would like additional time to consider all of the opinions and the agenda packet information.
A motion was made by planning commission member Tom Neidhamer to recommend approving the proposed conditional rezone as submitted; with the houses not accessed from Earl Street, and submit an amended site plan written offer.
This motion failed for a lack of support.
Another motion, also made by Neidhamer, was to postpone the matter until the Feb. 20 planning commission meeting for further review and study.
The measure was approved by a 7-0 vote.