The Saline Planning Commission met last week primarily for one issue, a public hearing on the application for final site plan approval for Phase II of Linden Square Assisted Living Center. The application was submitted by Dennis Reenders of Heritage Senior Communities. It was approved with little debate and no public comment except for a vote of confidence from Wildwood resident Christen Mitchell.
Linden Square is located at 650 Woodland Drive East. Phase I was approved in 2012. At that time preliminary site plan approval was also granted for Phase II.
Phase II will be nearly a mirror image of Phase I, to be built immediately west of the present structure. Excavation in the area has already been underway for about a month.
The excavation is related to preconstruction borings showing that the site contains some contaminated soil. Workers are seeking to remediate that problem.
Planner Chris Atkin of Carlisle/Wortman reviewed the site plan. He said the new structure would be about 50,000 square feet and contain 52 living units.
There were very few deviations from the plan submitted four years ago and no significant changes have occurred in the neighborhood that would affect approval. The original plan exceeded allowable lot coverage by 3.4 percent, but a variance had already been granted for that.
Atkin recommended approval of the Phase II construction contingent upon approval from Washtenaw County Soil Erosion Control Program (SESC).
City Engineer Gary Roubal also reviewed the plan. He said that the applicant was working through G2 Consulting of Ann Arbor to mitigate the soil contamination issues.
Some aspects of the project like parking and utilities were already completed as part of Phase I. OHM Consultants reviewed the storm water plan and found a few technical issues that need to be addressed, but nothing that would affect site plan approval.
Roubal recommended approval with just three conditions, which included the SESC approval and the OHM issues.
Shirley Woodruff with her husband Lee was present to represent the Reenders family. Also in attendance was Jason Van Ryn of Nederveld, Inc., consultants for the project. Jill Fischer, the director of the Linden Square Saline facility was also present.
Van Ryn provided background on Heritage Senior Communities. He said they are a family-owned company based in Grand Haven, have been in business for about 25 years and now own and operate 15 senior communities in Michigan and Indiana.
The company designs, builds and manages the facilities. “They are in it for the long-term,” Van Ryn said.
There were no questions for the applicants from the Planning Commission.
“You make it pretty easy on us,” Commission Chair Bill Beardsley said. “I think the property has become an asset to the community already and we look forward to Phase II.”
Mayor Brian Marl moved to approve the site plan, seconded by Commissioner Cheryl Hoeft. The vote was unanimous.