Land use discussion leads to action
Posted on 05/03/2022
New commercial space is shown in blue. (Drawing from Hunter Pasteur Northville)Hunter Pasteur presented a plan for retail space totaling 22,724 sf as the Planning Commission continued to discuss land use in the preliminary site plan for the Downs redevelopment at its April 19 meeting.

Hunter Pasteur Executive Seth Herkowitz said 6,650 sf of newly added commercial space would be on the first-floor level with most of it fronting Cady St., and a smaller segment fronting Hutton St., which continues south of Cady in the preliminary site plan. That space was freed up from two apartments on the west and east side of the apartment building (combined 2,350 sf) and 4,300 sf of a model unit plus a sales office at the condominium building.

When it came to discussing the mix of housing units, Commissioner AnnaMaryLee Vollick called upon Anne Smith, a former commissioner and long-term realtor selling homes exclusively in the city of Northville. Smith described the current state of the housing market in Northville and noted there are not enough single-family homes in Northville to meet the demand. In her experience, she said when people buy a home in Northville they stay for a long time.

Alex Martin, division president of Toll Brothers, presented more details about the housing mix, noting the inspiration for the site plan’s townhomes is based on Old Town in Alexandria, Va. He said the company uses data to drive decisions. He welcomed commissioners’ ideas and noted that Toll Brothers and Hunter Pasteur are open to making changes in the plan.

Chair Donna Tinberg advised the commissioners to note when they agreed or disagreed with a fellow commissioner’s comments so they could reach consensus and present the developer with actionable items.

At the conclusion of the meeting, commissioners differed in their views of the housing/commercial land use, with some saying they were satisfied with the changes that had been made and others wanting to see more single-family homes in the site plan. In addition, commissioners noted that some differences of opinion could be worked out at the architecture-level of discussions.

The public will be able to comment on the land use section of the site plan when the planning commissioners wrap up their discussion at the May 3 meeting. Citizens can also send written comments prior to the meeting via email ([email protected]), City Hall drop box or regular mail (Northville City Hall, 215 W. Main St., Northville, MI 48167, attn: Dianne Massa)

View the video here.