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Posted on Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 2:05 p.m.

Ann Arbor OKs rezoning for 24-unit Summit Townhomes

By Ryan J. Stanton


Claudia Myszke, manager of the Forest Hills Cooperative, listens as the Ann Arbor Planning Commission discusses the Summit Townhomes project Tuesday night.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Ann Arbor's Planning Commission voted 6-1 Tuesday night in favor of a proposal to annex a 3.3-acre parcel at 2081 E. Ellsworth Road from Pittsfield Township into the city limits and zone it to allow a proposed multi-family development called Summit Townhomes.

The vote came with Erica Briggs dissenting and Commissioners Eric Mahler and Wendy Woods absent.

But following the advice of the city's planning staff, the commission postponed voting on a conceptual area plan for the 24-unit project until the developer can address staff questions, including concerns regarding the extensive grading that would be required.

Leonard Michaels of Ohio-based CIW Engineering appeared on behalf of the developer, Shawn Barrow of Orlando-based GROWWWWLEE LLC.

City Planner Matt Kowalski said there's a vacant single-family house and a detached garage on the site, both of which would be removed for the new development.

The proposed layout shows four two-story buildings varying in size from 80 to 160 feet long, with an attached one-car garage for each residential unit.

Residents of the nearby Forest Hills Cooperative — a 306-unit, federally subsidized housing complex built in the early 1970s — came to speak against the project, saying the area already is overly dense, lacks amenities like parks and has traffic problems.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.


Claudia J. Myszke

Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 9:21 p.m.

The question - what is on the NE Corner of Platt and Ellsworth? The answer, this land was originally purchased by a developer, however, because of the landfill across the street (now a toxic wasteland) the City was forced to purchase it at 8 times the value. What the City originally proposed was another Soft Ball City complete with 9 baseball diamonds. The area housing cooperatives fought to have a park with a water feature for, at that time, the over 1,300 low to moderate income families with tons of kids that lived in the area at that time. What we got? Four pieces of playground equipment in the blazing sun! A far cry from any type of interactive park that kids would enjoy. After living across from a very active toxic dump for over 20 years, and now a inactive wasteland - it hardly seems fair. There are now over 2,577 units of multifamily housing in a five mile radios in this area. Using an average of 4 people per unit (many have children) you arrive at over 10,000 folks. Does 4 play structures constitute an active park. Could it be that low to moderate income folks are overlooked?


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 7:11 p.m.

Hey, RonG; more taxes for A2 is why. It's a money grab. A single family house wasn't worth the effort, but why is Pittsfield going along with this?

Basic Bob

Thu, Jun 21, 2012 : 3:47 p.m.

The boundary agreement between the city and Pittsfield sets Ellsworth as the line. The city requires property on the north side to be annexed to get water and sewer hookups.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 7:41 p.m.

I believe being hooked up to city water is a contributing factor.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

I think townships ultimately can't win in a fight. Chartering helps barter but Cities I believe still have the ultimate power, especially if surrounding residents agree. Villages and hamlets - which are technically not a full muni - must get mutual agreement.

Ron Granger

Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 6:29 p.m.

Why is Ann Arbor annexing this property?


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 8:18 p.m.

It is the only piece of property on that side of Ellsworth that is(was) in Pittsfield.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 6:18 p.m.

"residents came to speak against...the area already is overly dense, lacks amenities like parks..." No parks? What's at the NE corner of Platt & Ellsworth?


Thu, Jun 21, 2012 : 8:40 a.m.

A gas station. There is a park at the NW corner and another on the E side of Platt S of I94.