Saline City Council unanimously approved the final planned unit development plan for Maple Oaks, a 34-unit development on eight acres at 600 North Maple Road.
The development will contain 10 single-family homes, eight duplexes, and two community buildings each containing four units. The developer, Maple Oaks LLC, requested rezoning to PUD to allow the mixed density residential development. Bill Godfrey, developer, said all of phase one has been sold.
It is Saline’s first PUD development, and it wasn’t easy.
“This is one of the most difficult PUDs I’ve ever worked on,” said Chris Atkin, the city’s planning consultant from Carlisle/Wortman, citing the small parcel, the various residential styles, walkability and detention area. “Generally, for PUDs, 20 acres would be considered small. So to squeeze all this on eight acres is pretty spectacular.”
The Maple Oaks project has been lauded by city leaders because the developer has pledged some housing for residents with special needs.
The PUD was approved with a series of conditions. Two weeks ago it was recommended unanimously by planning commission. The preliminary PUD was approved by Saline City Council earlier this year.
One major issue facing the developers is the cell tower located on the northeast corner of the property. Atkin said the developers are working with the owner of tower on an agreement to install a mechanism that would prevent it from falling, or at least redirect its fall. Bruce Michael, speaking behalf of the applicant, said he believes the cell tower owners will use plates in the middle of the tower, so if it collapses, it will fall straight down. City attorney Scott Smith said the agreement is in the mail and no permits will be granted until its signed.
Michael said the roads will be built to city standards and dedicated as city streets. The storm detention basin will be up to 6 feet deep during a 100-year flood and it should drain within a day, Michael said.
Godfrey said with phase one sold, the developers are ready to move right into phase two.
“The biggest issue now is building things in a timely basis so that our customers can get into their new homes, because they’re very excited about the location and being part of the community,” Godfrey said.
He said some families already reside in Saline, while some are coming from out of town. Buyers include empty nesters who want to live close to family, families with children with special needs and young families who want to live near the middle school.
Godfrey thanked the city staff for providing help throughout the process.
Mayor Brian Marl said the city was appreciative of the developer’s patience during a complex process.
“The process developed by the planning commission and planning commission chair (Bill) Beardsley was about as perfect as it could get,” Marl said. “More importantly than that, we’re really pleased you’re about to clear another hurdle. This is a really important project and it meets the need of a demographic in our community that is often overlooked and forgotten, and that’s wrong. I think this will be a model for other communities and other developers.”
Councillor Dean Girbach thanked city attorney Smith for his assistance throughout the three-year process.
The property at 600 North Maple was once owned by the city and home to municipal buildings.