MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - The Meridian Township Planning Commission discussed rezoning approximately 4.67 acres at 5654 Okemos Road during yesterday’s meeting.
Young Ho Cho submitted the application to rezone the land from a Rural Residential area (RR) to a Single Family-Low Density area (RAA). Ho Cho had wanted to divide the property into two separate lots in order to sell it. This was not possible since RR properties are required to have a lot front of at least 200 feet. If divided, the two new lots would not achieve this requirement. RAA lots only require a lot front of 90 feet. Which will allow Ho Cho to divide the property.
The Commission did have some concerns about the proposal. Commissioner Holly Cordill said that she felt discouraged from changing the zoning because the property was still surrounded by RR plots on three sides. Commission Chair, Scott Hendrickson, stated that the applicant did not provide enough reasons as to why the property needed to be rezoned.
Many members of the community also voiced their concerns during the meeting about the proposal. Many were concerned about how the rezoning could cause an increase in development. Many worried about the wetlands and a potential loss of habitat. One of the biggest concerns people had was about the water that runs off the property. Many people feared that if the flow of this water is changed, it could cause problems for other people. One person who called in, Jeff Cole, spoke about how the increase in development could cause the water to flood his property.
“All of our water goes back that way,” Cole said. “If they’re allowed to do anything back there, whether it be a road, or build, or alter the terrain in any way, it’s gonna divert water somewhere else. And it’s going to back up and potentially flood our place more."
The Commission did address the concerns people had in regard to the water flow and the wetlands. Commissioner Peter Trezise discussed all the procedures that developers would have to follow in order to prevent negative impacts.
“If a house is proposed here, they’re gonna have through the same rigorous review commercial development would go through,” Trezise said. “They would have to get their drain office permits. They’d get a building permit through the township. Any wetland would have to be verified by the township council. So, all of those protocols would be in place should development be proposed in the future."
The Commission took a poll among its members with a vast majority choosing to not support Ho Cho’s request at this time. Still, Ho Cho is allowed to provide more arguments to support his request to the Commission. His appeal will be discussed again at their next meeting on June 22nd.