A public hearing on Special Use Permit (SUP) #127, Vineyard Ridge, will be held at the regular meeting of the Peninsula Township Planning Commission on July 18, 2016 at 7 p.m. at the Peninsula Township Hall, 13235 Center Road, on the Old Mission Peninsula.
Owned by local realtor Ken Schmidt, the 27.87-acre parcel is located at 6867 Center Road (the perennially-vacant land on the left side of Center Road before you get to Mathison Road as you’re heading out of Traverse City). According to the Special Use Permit application, the land is zoned R-1C, Suburban Single and Two-Family Residential District, which allows for Planned Unit Developments as a use permitted by Special Use Permit.
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The 2011 Future Land Use Map identifies the location as an area designated for moderate residential use, with one dwelling unit per half-acre, served by public utilities.
Schmidt is proposing a 47-unit condominium subdivision to be accessed by a proposed private road. Vineyard Ridge Drive will connect Center Road to Mathison Road with a secondary loop to the north, known as Vineyard Hill Court. Sixteen residential units will front Vineyard Ridge Drive, with the remaining 31 units fronting Vineyard Hill Court.
As noted in the application, “The proposed residential units will be located within building envelopes rather than lots. Any future structure will need to be completely within the defined building envelope, since all other acreage is utilized for the required 65 percent open space.”
The development will include a community pool, hot tub and pool house located at the southern loop intersection of Vineyard Ridge Drive and Vineyard Hill Court.
At the June 20, 2016 Planning Commission meeting, Commissioner Monnie Peters questioned whether the land was previously farmed and if there might be issues with chemicals in the soil. Representing Schmidt, Doug Mansfield of Mansfield Land Use Consultants said it had been farmed and Schmidt had hired an environmental firm to look into it.
Peters also questioned the use of small avenues of space as “open space,” noting that part of the subdivision’s common space is designated as a retention area. Dustin Christensen of Mansfield Land Use Consultants noted that “aesthetically pleasing landscaping for homeowners” is allowed by the ordinance, and the main intent of the space is to provide a buffer between future homeowners in the area.
Commissioner Penny Rosi asked if there’s an intended demographic for property owners. Christensen said it’s designed to appeal to seniors, adding that vineyards encompassing 1.25 acres will be under the control of the homeowner’s association.
Written comments regarding this SUP may be submitted to the Peninsula Township Planning & Zoning Department, 13235 Center Road, Traverse City, Michigan 49686, no later than 12 p.m. on July 18, 2016. Email Director of Planning & Zoning, Michelle Reardon, at [email protected].