Planned senior housing in southeast Grand Rapids faces neighborhood opposition COURTESY IMAGE

Planned senior housing in southeast Grand Rapids faces neighborhood opposition

BY Monday, August 10, 2020 11:00am

GRAND RAPIDS — Developers are planning 48 units of senior housing on a vacant 7.3-acre property near Breton Village despite opposition from some surrounding neighbors.

The Breton Hamlet site plan at 2200 Griggs St. SE — proposed by Grand Rapids developers Mosaic Properties and Oxford Hamlet, LLC — will be considered on Aug. 13 by the Grand Rapids Planning Commission. The plan also includes a request that the city’s required 75-foot wetland buffer be reduced to 25 feet. 

“We value urban places, walkability, and contributing to the creation of a vibrant community,” Brad Rottschafer, president of Mosaic Homes and Properties, told MiBiz. “Breton Hamlet will be an exceptional example of how small-scale development can occur in a neighborhood.”

The applicant received a permit from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy to develop on the site. The property, located near the intersection of Breton Road and Burton Street, is owned by Sid Jansma and contains numerous wetlands that were created as a result of stormwater pipes that discharged onto the site.

The development would include six single-family detached manor homes ranging from 2,000-2,300 square feet; eight single-family attached carriage rowhouses ranging from 900-1,500 square feet; 11 row houses ranging from 1,300-1,900 square feet; and 23 attached garden units. The site is surrounded by single-family residential homes to the north, south and west, and by commercial and office properties to the east.

The developer has conducted several neighborhood meetings over the past few years with nearby residents to inform them of development plans. 

A letter was written to Rottschafer on June 9, 2018 from the Eastgate Neighborhood Association and Englewood Neighborhood Association opposing any development on the 2200 Griggs property. The letter cites neighborhood aesthetic, natural environment, residential flooding, harmful sound, disruptive artificial light and traffic density and safety as reasons for surrounding neighbors’ opposition. There is also a website dedicated to stopping the development. 

“It must be noted that the neighborhood, at least those whose voice is represented in this letter, is unanimous in its opposition to any development, residential or otherwise, of the property,” the letter from the neighborhood associations states.

Rottschafer countered that the property “was always planned for development, as evidenced by the existing sanitary sewer line that bisects the site as well as three drains that discharge East Grand Rapids’ stormwater on the land.”

“We know that change can be hard, especially if it is in your backyard,” he said.

Flooding issues created by stormwater on the site will be remedied by connecting pipes and installing an infiltration basin as part of the development, Rottschafer said.

“Located a block away from Breton Village and Rapid bus lines, this infill project will help reduce urban sprawl into Kent County’s prime farmland and increase the efficiency of existing public infrastructure,” Rottschafer said. “Breton Hamlet is designed for aging adults because of a strong demand for these housing types, as well as concerns expressed by neighbors over traffic and noise.”

The development will be limited to residents 55 years and older.

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