The Commission's Agena, 2022-10-18


Planning Commission

The mayor's appointment of Salim Al-Shatel to the City Planning Commission for a term ending January 6, 2025. With this appointment there will be one remaining vacancy on the City Planning Commission.

Following the appointment the City Planning Commission has 2 residents from the 1st Ward, 4 residents from the 2nd Ward, and 2 residents from the 3rd Ward; 5 of the commission members are white, 2 are non-white, and 1 not responding.

Transportation & Mobility

The City Commission is extending by one year a contract with Next Step of West Michigan. The value of this contact is not-to-exceed $330,000 drawn from the MobileGR and Parks & Recreation departments. In the next iteration, following the renewal, the related services will be transferred to the competitive bit process. Under the contract Next Step provides cleaning and snow clearing services related to bus stop, parts, restrooms, and related facilities.


Bike Park Agreement Continuance

Extension of the agreement with the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance (WMMBA) to continue there support of the Bike Park (580 Kirtland Street SW), Richmond Park, and Ken-O-Sha park. This agreement has no financial cost for the city, all costs are covered by WMMBA.

Veteran's Memorial Park

UPDATE: This item was pulled from the agenda on Monday, prior to the meeting.

The 2013 parks master plan included upgrades to the small structure on the west side of Veteran's Memorial Park (22 Sheldon Ave) to include a year-round coffee shop. Then in 2017 this item was removed from the plan due to high costs. However, the non-profit Has Heart has continued to quest for this goal and raised over $250,000 toward the reactivation of the structure.

This agenda item awards a $653,260 contract, not to exceed $896,000, to Pride Builders Group LLC for renovation of 22 Sheldon Ave. $396,000 of the total will be drawn from the Parks Millage, $250,000 from The City's Capital Improvement from, and $250,000 will be provided by Has Heart. This contact includes repairs in addition to stairway replacement, addition of a walk-up window, and outdoor seating. As the building is "historic" appropriate materials must be used and salvaged granite will be reused.

The City intends to lease the facility to Has Heart for operation of the coffee shop. However the lease and operation of the facility are not included in this agenda item.


Avenue Apartments PILOT Extension

PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) extension for Avenue Apartments (1300 Madison Ave SE). Avenue Apartments is a 10 units senior residential facility which was constructed under a 15 year PILOT agreement in 2004. This extension facilitates upgrades and renovations of the existing facility as well as the construction of 10 additional units; for the expansion the owner will be purchasing the adjacent parcels at 420 and 430 Gilbert Street SE.

Five of the existing units are available to 50% AMI households and the other five for 45% AMI households.

The PILOT forgives an estimated $20,633 in taxes in exchange for a $603 fee and $1,205 contribution to the city's Affordable Housing Fund. The benefit to the owner of the facility is $18,825.

Personal Storage Program Continuance

The city will continue to fund the personal storage program operated by Mel Trotter Ministries through September 2023 with $200,000 drawn from ARPA funds. This program was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and related shelter capacity crisis. Using the program unhoused persons may securely store person belongings at 200 S. Division which has operating hours of Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm.

Over the previous six months the program has served 329 individuals. 41% of those servers were Black/African American, 34% were White, and 7% Hispanic; 42% self-reported a physical disability. ~15-50% of participants were employed.

Lofts on Grove Brownfield

The developer of Lofts on Grove Holdings (1329 - 1359 Plainfield) has requested a Brownfield reimbursement of $1,146,476 for site remediation costs. The sum will be amortized over 13 years.

Lofts on Grove is a 110 unit four-story residential development at the northwest corner of Grove & Plainfield in the Creston neighborhood.

The City estimates residents of the new housing will generate ~$34,000/yr in income tax revenue. The development also includes 3,275sq/ft of ground floor retail space and is anticipated to create 10 new jobs.

Rezoning for Hope Village

This agenda idea is to rezone 1.45 acres at 101, 119 & 135 Garden Street from "SD-IT" (Industrial & Transportation) to "SD-PRD" (Planned Redevelopment District).

In brief, residential development is not permitted in SD-IT zones, so make the property not have that zoning. Something, something, Master Plan, something, something, reasons. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ If you are a developer with sufficient resources you can make things like this happen; the City will find reasons. This is the purpose of the PRD zoning category.

Hope Village includes a "tiny homes" community of 16 detached units; 11 240sq/ft, and 5 480sq/ft. An existing two story structure on the site will be renovated into 10 residential apartments on the second floor and amenities for all residents on the first floor. The project is a partnership between Mel Trotter Ministries and Next Step of West Michigan to provide Affordable and supportive housing to help individuals on a path to home ownership.

This is a exciting development for the city as it is the first Cottage Court type of development in recent times. The Cottage Court is a traditional urban in which smaller housing units - either detached, duplex, or town-homes - are arraigned around or within a common green space. Cottage Court develop has been effectively outlawed by the City's Zoning Ordinance since the 1960s; it is only possible via PRD.

The Hope Village site is within the walks shed of the Rapid's Silverline BRT.


The Eastside Sewer

The City has been working on relocating the Eastside Trunk Sewer since November 2020 to facilitate redevelopment of parcels adjacent to the river.

Meeting Amount Description
March 9, 2021 $9,871,000 Initial appropriation
March 15, 2022 +$37,600 Addition of an Rapid Flashing Beacon
Sept. 6, 2022 +$1,400,000
Oct. 4, 2022 +302,000 Water main improvements
Oct. 18, 2022 +$276,800 Water main relocation

This most recent addition is in response to a request by the property owner to the south of Fulton for the extension of water service to a parcel at Weston & Market. To service future development an 8-inch water main will be increased to 12in and tees will be added for future connections. Performing these additions now will prevent cutting into the street if future development occurs. The cost of the upgrade and service extension will be paid by private parties.

It is anticipated that the Fulton & Market intersection will finally reopen in mid November.