• June 18 – Update

    June 18, 2020
  • Hannah Farms Update

    Hello Neighbors:

    This is a follow up to our last correspondence of June 6, 2020 regarding the progress of the proposed senior living community on the Hannah Farms property. As you may recall, the Meridian Township Planning Commission held a public hearing (virtual) on June 8th. The Hearing went as we expected and a few homeowners, along with some Board members as well as myself and our legal counsel Kevin Roragen, joined the meeting. Mr. Roragen and I offered comments along with a couple of homeowners. We believe the Commission heard our concerns as evidenced by the discussion later in the meeting. They also commented on the positive nature in which we have been working together with the developer and land owner. The Commission did not vote on the project.

    The Commission is scheduled to meet next on Monday June 22, 2020 at 7 pm. This too will be a virtual meeting. The senior living community is on the Agenda as an “action item”, which means that it is intended the Commission will vote on the project. All indications are that it will pass. There will be no public hearing on the item, however, comments can be made under the Agenda Item “Public Comment”, which is at the beginning of the Agenda. Under this item, Meridian Township residents can offer comments on any issue under the purview of the Commission. Comments are limited to 3 minutes. Should you wish to join, follow the same directions as last time, i.e., go to the Meridian Township website (https://www.meridian.mi.us/) and click on Meetings. Then click on June 22, Planning Commission and it will take you to the informational page outlining the different options to join the meeting. It also will provide access to the Agenda and any other meeting informational materials. In addition to joining the meeting you can also submit comments to the Commission by email. If interested, go to the Planning Commission webpage (https://www.meridian.mi.us/government/boards-and-commissions/planning-commission) and click on the email access in the middle of the page. It has been suggested that we provide a few talking points should you wish to comment or write an email. Therefore, here are some thoughts for your consideration………….

    First, it is recommended that comments be limited to the surface water management plan. To this point our other two items, land preservation and connectivity, seem to have been adequately addressed and it might be wise to leave well enough alone. With regard to surface water, focus on the loss of vegetation, animal life, and trees in recent years. Additionally, that water is becoming a threat to the homes of many residents, and certainly, any comments about changing weather patterns and our experiences of the last couple of years would be most appropriate. I also think, given our experience this year, that there is a hygienic aspect that is now developing given the volume of standing water and the odor etc. that comes with that. Additionally, having already allowed significant areas of Hannah Farms to be paved over must also be a significant contributor to this problem. The Planning Commission needs to make very sure that future development will not make things worse yet. Finally and most important, I would suggest being very cautious and STAY AWAY from any comments relative to roads and water. This could back fire on us as it would likely lead to a discussion about the need for secondary access for ILE, which would open up the discussion on connectivity with the property to our immediate west; which as you know, is absolutely unacceptable to all of us. Should you wish to submit an email it needs to be done by Monday so it will get to the Planning Commission in time for their evening meeting. I have confirmed this with the Township’s Community Planning and Development Department as there has been some information circulating that it needed to be accomplished by 4 pm today.

    Going forward, the project then moves to the Meridian Township Board of Trustees for approval on overall size. There is no public hearing at this level; although again, there will be an opportunity to comment under the “Public Comment” section of the agenda. The earliest this can occur is at the July 7th meeting. However, as I understand, it is more likely to be July 21st or even the August 6th. meeting as the Board has a very full calendar.

    Once the Board approves the project, Andev will submit their formal site plan. A Site Review Hearing is then scheduled by the Meridian Township Community Planning and Development Department. Given the dates I noted above, the Hearing is not likely to occur before mid-August at the earliest. This is the spot where the surface water management plan will be reviewed. Although the Planning Commission hears and notes concerns regarding water, this is not in their wheel-house and they defer to the site plan review. Our legal counsel, Kevin Roragen, has already reached out to Andev and requested their cooperation in sharing the water management plan data. However, the data may not yet be available because it is only produced when the formal site plan is developed. Once we secure the data, we then can move to verify its accuracy as well as seek an independent opinion. This will be the ILEHA Board’s key focus for the next few weeks as we want to be prepared for the Site Plan Review Hearing. Lastly, there is some concern about our request for a berm. Please know that the features of the berm will be subject to first maximizing the most effective water management plan possible. We have no intention of allowing a berm which compromises the flow of water away from ILE properties.

    In conclusion, I apologize for the length of this correspondence but there has been so many items that have come to our attention over the past week that it was important to make sure that all members have the most up to date and accurate information. Lastly, I have been made aware that some have not received our correspondence. Therefore, please know that our updates go out to all those neighbors who have shared their email addresses with us and they are also posted on our website (www.ileha.org). For those that have not read previous updates, here are the dates of our correspondence since January 2020: February 27, March 12, March 14, March 23, March 29, May 19, and June 6.

    As always, thank you for your continued support. It is much appreciated.

    Kindest Regards, Joe

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