Boyne planners OK housing expansion

Assuming approval by the State of Michigan, the Lakeview Village development will go forward with creation of 22 new homesites.

The mobile home park—located at 526 North Lake St. in Boyne City and owned by developer Northern Properties—is looking to create and fill 11 doublewide home sites off Lake Street and 11 singlewide homesites off Park Street. This will take the park from 151 to 173 total home sites.


According to the plan, the existing office and maintenance building will be removed and a new 32-by-32-foot garage and a 30-by-70-foot office and meeting center will be constructed on Meadow Lane near the Lake Street entrance.

A nearly 30,000-square-foot open space area will also be maintained on the west side of the property along Lake Street.

Public Comment
“The main reason we’re here—or know about this—is kind of coincidental. The meeting was confirmed for us by Mrs. Wilcox, Jennifer, but we became aware of the project … when we were awakened one morning by a company that had come in … and they were digging in the dirt with big equipment right outside our front door,” said Terry Rosch, who resides at site 106 with her husband. “We asked them what they were doing and the man, without aplomb, basically said we’re digging to check the dirt here because these lots will be cleared here and trailers will be put right here in front of your trailer.”
Rosch said she tried to confirm the matter with Wilcox but that she told Rosch she didn’t know anything about it.
“So, we confirmed with an outside company that something is going on—it’s not a way to deal with a community,” Rosch said, adding that the planning commission should take that into account before approving the plan.
A preliminary review of the plan was executed by the Boyne City Planning Commission back in May.
Rosch said the Aug. 19 planning commission meeting was the first detailed look at the developer’s plan she had access too.
However, the developer said they notified residents back in April of the proposed project points, and said signs were also posted on the property which stated that a meeting on the matter was to occur.
Boyne City resident Steve Roote asked if there should be a public hearing on the matter so people know exactly what is going on with the proposed development.
“This is not a public hearing,” said Boyne City Planning Director Scott McPherson. “The ordinance identifies this as a principal permitted use by right, so a public hearing is not required.”
Rosch said this was the first they’ve seen of the property owner and asked if there was anything the planning commission could do.
McPherson said that, as long as the proposed plan meets all the city’s requirements, the planning commission has little-to-no options to impose extraneous criteria on the developer.
During the public comment period of the meeting, Boyne City resident Jane MacKenzie thanked the developer for its work.
“I was here when they presented a preliminary site plan a few months ago and it looks like they responded to the comments we had about not having another driveway off of Lake Street,” she said. “I appreciate there is a need for more housing in the community and I appreciate that they are doing this to kind of help with our situation and I also appreciate it kind of looks like there’s going to be different price ranges.”
MacKenzie added, “What you guys do is property development and her (Rosch’s) concerns are more property management, and property management is what’s in your lease with the property owner—it’s not anything that you guys can do anything about.”
Kathy Johnson of Northern Properties told Rosch that no work will be done to her home site.
“We’re not going to change your site. We’re not going to change your lawn or your trees,” Johnson said…. “We’re not making a change to this street. Will you have some few homes to look at over here? That will be true.”
Bryan Nolan of Benchmark Engineering said the biggest impact on Rosch’s home will be that the view of the lake will be mostly blocked by new homes.

Board Discussion
There was some discussion among the board members regarding the park’s greenbelt, a retention area, and street names.
The developer said that, while the well could eventually be made into a water fountain of some kind, the current plans are to leave it as a storm drain runoff area.
Boyne City Planning Commission member Rose Newton said along the park it is a very visual space on the road for pedestrians and other traffic and that she would like to see an expansion of the landscaping with shrubs and deciduous trees—particularly the area on Lake Street.
Planning commissioners then reviewed the development requirements of the Boyne City Zoning Ordinance to ensure the plan met all standards.
Changes to the development plan and new requirements since it was initially proposed include:
• Waiver of the requirement for a 10,000-square-foot recreation facility
• Improve sight distance along Meadow Lane
• Follow greenbelt requirements under the city’s ordinance along Lake Street
• Elimination of additional driveway on Lake Street
• Increase from 21 to 22 homesites
• Utilize existing artisan well in an attractive manner
• Streets in the park must be identified and road names must be approved by McPherson’s office to avoid duplication

Following commissioner discussion, a motion was made to approve the development plan for Lakeview Village as submitted by Northern Properties Mobile Home Park LLC.
The measure was unanimously approved by a 6-0 vote.
Boyne City Planning Commissioners Larry Chute and Joe St. Dennis were absent from the meeting.
After site plan approval, the Boyne City Planning Commission reviewed the proposal against the city’s Development Plan Approval Criteria to ensure it meets standards.
Boyne City Planning Commission member Tom Neidhamer said housing is in such need in the area that this project will help address the issue.
He made the motion to find the development plan for Lakeview Village does meet the standards under article 19.40 with the aforementioned conditions and per approval and permits from the State of Michigan.
That motion also unanimously passed.
The Lakeview Village plan must now be approved by the State of Michigan.


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