Residents of Chikaming Township have been accused of spreading misinformation about the Union Green housing development, so let’s review the facts:
Union Green was approved by the Planning Commission, with no input or oversight from the Board. All but one of the members are volunteers not elected by the public and not accountable to anyone, but they alone made a decision that will fundamentally change our neighborhood.
A Planning Commission member resigned in protest over how Union Green was being handled, claiming the group was more focused on advocating for the developer than enforcing the zoning ordinance. To my knowledge, nobody ever looked into these allegations.
In discussing Union Green, a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals openly questioned why the Planning Commission appeared “hell-bent on ramming this through.”
The Union Green developer requested a variance to be exempt from adding commercial space to the property. After it was denied, the Planning Commission proposed an amendment to the zoning ordinance that would have accommodated part of his request.
Chikaming Township law limits multi-housing developments to 27 bedrooms per acre. Due to a loophole, Union Green will have 50 bedrooms on slightly more than one acre. Township officials admit this is a mistake and have known about it for months, yet no steps have been taken to fix the problem and apply it to Union Green.
Despite assurances that our feedback would factor into their decisions, the Planning Commission didn’t take public comments until AFTER approving a motion in favor of Union Green at their February 2022 meeting.
The Planning Commission allowed the developer to hire his own person to conduct what was supposed to be an unbiased impact study on Union Green. Not surprisingly, the study found no negative impacts on traffic, parking, noise or anything else. Nobody on the Planning Commission challenged a single finding from the report.
These are facts, not opinion or misinformation. They aren’t meant to question anyone’s character or integrity. The purpose is to explain why so many of us have legitimate concerns about how Union Green is being managed and why the community’s best interests aren’t being served.