Public Notice Weekly

PNW reports on the municipal affairs and news of Commerce Township, Highland Township, Village of Milford, Milford Township, City of Walled Lake, White Lake Township, City of Wixom, Village of Wolverine Lake, Huron Valley Schools and the Walled Lake Consolidated School District.

Planning Commission recommends rezoning for condos, auto dealership

The Commerce Township Planning Commission recommended the conditional rezoning application of MM Benstein, a Farmington Hills developer, to the township board at its March 6 planning commission meeting.

The application is to apply for rezoning a portion of Benstein Road north of Loon Lake Road and south of McCoy and Wolverine Lake for the development of a two-building, 18-unit group of duplex condominiums called the Cove at Benstein Crossing. A public hearing was also held at Monday’s meeting.

The township board is expected to address the conditional rezoning at its regular March 14 meeting. If approved, MM Benstein would be required to return to the planning commission later this year for site plan approval before ground is broken on the project, said Township Planning Director David Campbell.

The proposed development is similar to two bordering duplex developments, Benstein Crossing and Benstein Commons. The same developers built the Benstein Crossing development in 2003 and attempted to purchase the land for the newly proposed project at that time, but the landowner was unwilling to sell.

Before the planning commission made the recommendation, the developer agreed to a few suggestions sought by commissioners, including the use of higher quality building materials, more comprehensive landscaping around the development and Benstein Road improvements that would allow for a more efficient turn lane without impeding traffic flow.

Campbell says the 18 duplex units will be sold to prospective buyers. Those buyers have the option to customize their condominium unit, including adding a second floor or a great room. “There are a variety of different aesthetics possible so each unit will have a similar look… but won’t be identical,” Campbell said.

The expectation is that the condominiums would be more appealing to the “empty nest” crowd, although there are no age restrictions or minimums for ownership. “We know there is a market for these types of units, particularly for seniors or retirees,” Campbell said. “There should be a strong demand.”

Planning Commission also recommends PUD approval for LaFontaine dealership

The township on March 6 also recommended the planned unit development application by LaFontaine Automotive Group to the Commerce Board of Trustees. A planned unit development is a contract between the township and developer where both sides can deviate their requirements and plans from the original project for the purpose of a better outcome.

LaFontaine’s project includes a new Genesis and Hyundai dealership at the intersection of Haggerty and Pontiac Trail along with a nearby service center, all located within the Commerce Township Downtown Development Authority zone. Commissioners on Monday asked for new design and building materials considerations for the Hyundai dealership building, which will require OEM approval.

If the planned unit development is approved by the Commerce Township Board of Trustees, LaFontaine would need to return to the township planning commission this spring for site plan approval.