Trustees move forward with Lincoln Township condo variance

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

STEVENSVILLE — Water drainage continued to be the main topic of discussion for a large condominium development in Lincoln Township.

After a public hearing Tuesday in which residents said they felt the condo project would add to a recurring drainage problem, trustees approved to have the 19-acre site rezoned from a neighborhood residential district to planned unit development.

Greg Fenner, owner and developer of Fenner Homes, applied for the PUD variance to build condominiums along Maiden Lane. The project is at 532 Maiden Lane and will be called Maiden Lane Cottages. The development includes 78 condos in 39 buildings.

Fenner said there is no timeline for when the two phases of development will be completed.

“Now that we have approval, we will be aggressive with our final engineering. I would think by mid-summer we’ll start construction on grading, sewer work and the infrastructure,” Fenner said. “I’ve got good interest. People are asking to put deposits down, so I’m excited.”

Trustees saw opposition at Tuesday’s public hearing, as more than 20 residents were in attendance with questions concerning the site’s drainage and traffic access to Maiden Lane.

Lincoln Township resident Deb Newboles lives along Glen Haven Road and said she is worried about the water runoff during the construction process.

“We’ve always known that that property does not belong to us. I would love to die with that field empty, but that’s not going to happen,” Newboles said Tuesday. “I have a little concern that when the property is halfway developed, there will be some runoff until Phase II is done. That’s a lot of water.”

The condos – varying in size from about 1,200 to 1,600 square feet – would be raised at the front to allow water to drain inward toward a man-made pond that would run 10 to 15 feet deep.

Fenner said the plan was to include the pond for aesthetic reasons and for drainage. The pond does not call for a fence around it. He told residents who were worried about geese flocking to the pond he would consider installing a fountain to deter them.

Randy Feenstra, president of Feenstra and Associates, is the development’s project engineer. He spoke during the hearing and assured residents they have a handle on drainage.

“We want as much water in the lake as we can. The goal is to have water drain to the lake,” he said. “A lot of the grading will fix some of the issues.”

Supervisor Dick Stauffer said he felt comfortable moving forward with the project.

“I drove through Hudsonville to look at the sister development, and the Realtor was having a busy day,” Stauffer said. “It would be a nice addition to the township.”

The condo development would include a private road with an entrance and exit flowing into Maiden Lane. Site plans call for each building to have a two-car attached garage.

The project’s rezoning approval comes after Fenner approached the township more than 10 years ago with the idea of building a 156-unit apartment complex in the same area. The property was not properly zoned back then.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on April 14, 2016)

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