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Posted on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

2 housing developments on Pittsfield Township's Planning Commission agenda

By Lizzy Alfs


Developers want to build apartments on a vacant plot of land off Ann Arbor-Saline Road, which was once planned to be a motel and restaurant building.

Lizzy Alfs |

Pittsfield Township Planning Commission will consider plans Thursday night for a proposed apartment complex behind the Oak Valley Centre on Ann Arbor-Saline Road.

The Oak Valley Apartments project — proposed for a vacant piece of land behind the northern portion of the shopping center anchored by Target — calls to construct 16 buildings with 192 total apartment units.

The plans were submitted to the township in late 2012 by a group of business partners who also own the northern section of the shopping center. Planning Commission considered the plans in March and asked the developers to make several changes, including reorienting two buildings on the site to better protect a wetland.


A concept image for the proposed Oak Valley Apartments on Ann Arbor-Saline Road.

Alexander V. Bogaerts & Associates

The Oak Valley Apartments complex would consist of 16 buildings with 12 units each, and each unit would include a two-car garage.

The developers told in December the units would be more upscale than traditional apartments, and would include wood floors, island kitchens, stone countertops and “generous” square footage.

The developers also revealed long-term plans in December to eventually redevelop the shopping center so it’s more pedestrian friendly and connects the residential and commercial uses on the property.

“One of the nice things about living next to a shopping district is if it had uses in the center that were walkable for people, you could just walk next door and have dinner. Right now, the shopping center is not configured for that,” Andy Jacob, a member of the development team, told

The complex would have two access points off Oak Valley Road, and the developers added a storm water detention basin to the southeast corner of the site. A third access point is proposed for the southern end of the site, contingent upon improvements of the shopping center.

Three on-site wetlands on the vacant property would be filled in, except for a portion of the largest wetland. Pittsfield Township is requesting the developer provide usable open space in the form of a mowed path around the detention basis and wetland area.

A Pittsfield Township planning report is recommending approval of the plans subject to several conditions, including that the developers work to install a park/community space when the center is redeveloped. A wetland permit from Pittsfield Township and wetland approval from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality also are required.

Also on Pittsfield Township’s Planning Commission agenda is an amendment to Phase 5 of the approved Arbor Ridge Planned Unit Development.


Livonia builders wants to convert Phase 5 of the Arbor Ridge residential development from single-family detached condos to site condos.

Arbor Ridge Condo Association Facebook


Phase 5 of the Arbor Ridge residential development calls to construct 70 site condos.


The 70-unit Phase 5 of this 258-unit residential development, located between I-94 and Morgan Road east of Carpenter Road, originally was approved as single-family detached condos.

Due to changes in Federal Housing Administration guidelines that place limits on financing attached and detached condos, developer Livonia Builders wants to convert the project to site condos — where the individual condo owner is responsible for the lot and the house, but still belongs to a condo association that owns and maintains roads and common areas.

Lot lines were reconfigured to provide more usable open space on the site, and one unit was eliminated from the original Arbor Ridge Planned Unit Development.

A Pittsfield Township planning report is recommending approval of the changes.

Both requests will be considered at Pittsfield Township Planning Commission’s 6:30 p.m. meeting on Thursday, Aug. 1.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at


J. A. Pieper

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:04 a.m.

Does the area really need more of this kind of development?


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 5:30 p.m.

Any word what's being done about the endangered chipmunk warren back in there? Around by the jack-in-the-pulpits?

Up in Northfield

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 2:55 p.m.

It is my understanding that Michigan law prevents local governments from requiring developers to build/fund road improvements necessitated by the new development. State and federal laws need to be updated to stop promoted unsustainable development ("here's some money to build a new highway, even though you can't afford to maintain the highways you've already built"). The developer gets to profit from the development, but the community as a whole will be left to fund the infrastructure improvements required by the new development.

Up in Northfield

Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 2:59 p.m.

ski&golfnut, I wish it weren't so, but I'm afraid you are incorrect. Here is a brief summary of Michigan law with respect to the ability of local governments to exact road improvements from developers, taken from a handbook on evaluating traffic studies, which appears online at Basically, chances of getting anything more than a passing lane for left turns into a new development's driveway are slight unless the developer(s) CHOOSE to make improvements. Summary of Michigan Cases and Constitutional Issues Attorneys and planners tend to generalize the findings of a particular case to broad application. The cases cited above must be read within the particular context of the facts and statutes which each presented to the courts. The consultant attorneys consider only the following generalizations appropriate: (1) The Subdivision Control Act does not authorize off-site improvements, unless required on land owned by the developer or land included by the developer on his plans, as more than a point of reference. (2) The zoning enabling acts do not authorize off-site improvements through site plan review. (3) The Mobile Home Commission Act and its rules do not authorize off -site improvements to public roads. (4) The constitutionality of off-site improvements had been addressed and upheld under the Driveways, Banners, Events and Parades Act and has not been addressed in the other cases. (5) The Driveways, Banners, Events and Parades Act does provide authority for off-site improvements.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 7:08 p.m.

You say: "It is my understanding that Michigan law prevents local governments from requiring developers to build/fund road improvements necessitated by the new development." I'm not sure this is true. At least it didn't used to be, although maybe the law has changed since 20+ years ago, when this stretch of Oak Valley Drive (from Scio Church Rd to AA/Saline Rd., and maybe farther) was paid for by developers -- which developers I'm not now clear, but at least some of these: the developers of the Oak Valley and Village Centers, and the developers of the plots on either side of Oak Valley running up to Scio Church Road. And maybe there's a difference under the law between (1) a planning commission saying we'll approve but you must pay for the road, and (2) a planning commission saying because we need a road there, so (a) we can't approve this without a road there, or (b) we will approve this conditioned on someone building the road.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 5:12 p.m.

@ up in Northfield, part of the process for a development like this requires the developer to meet with the County Road Commission. The Road Commission can require on and offsite improvements if projected added traffic from the development warrant it. As part of the initial approval process the developer would have had to complete traffic studies and provide complete analysis of the surrounding infrastructure. These studies would have been reviewed by township engineers (review fees paid paid for by the developer) before approval would have been granted.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 1:11 p.m.

Great, business as usual...bring in more people and cars but do nothing about improving the infrastructure to accommodate them. This is the history of our region. All they really can see is collecting more taxes to pay their salaries and benefits and retirements I guess.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 11:47 a.m.

Pittsfield should require the builders to widen the road there to include right turn lanes into the complex. Traffic in that area is already at high volume. Probably a light will be necessary at Silver Spring/Oak Valley.

Basic Bob

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 10:48 a.m.

Expansion of Arbor Ridge and the connection of Cloverlane Dr. to Carpenter Road is putting intense pressure on US-12. The number of cars attempting to turn left by speeding head-on into oncoming traffic has increased enormously. It's disconcerting to be in the left turn lane and be passed on both sides.