PATTON TOWNSHIP — The next phase of development on Grays Woods Boulevard will have a tighter, more urban feel than previous sections.
The Town Center was approved Wednesday by the Board of Supervisors, with a handful of ordinance waivers that allow for narrower driveways, some shorter street parking spaces and a different grouping of street trees.
The board also voted 4-1 to approve a new agreement for the construction of the rest of the boulevard, which now will happen as the Grays Woods Partnership, led by Bob Poole, develops more housing. Supervisor Walt Wise opposed the plan, and has said previously he’s concerned about emergency and resident access.
As part of the next phase of the nearby Brynwood development, approved in May, the developers agreed to create emergency vehicle access along the entire length of the road, connecting to Deer-brook Drive. The original Grays Woods master plan required completion of the road.
In the new agreement, sections of the boulevard beyond the Town Center would be built after approval of 400 units — including the Town Center’s 150 — then 300 units, 200 units and 150 units.
Township Manager Doug Erickson said Patton will not issue dwelling occupancy permits if the developers don’t meet those benchmarks.
“They get a lot of leeway up front,” he said. “This means it’s probably many years before we see the end of it.”
As he explained previously, Poole said his group needs to sell housing to pay for the road. He said preparing the section leading to the new Town Center will cost $2.5 million.
“We really need to know that we can work with some more units, to get some more income in,” he said.
The Town Center will feature 137 townhomes and 13 single-family homes on about 15 acres across from Brynwood. The townhomes will surround a central park area, and 43 acres will be dedicated to the township for a park.
Much of the board’s discussion was about four requests for ordinance waivers, related to parking and street trees.
The unit driveways will be less than the required 50 feet from intersections, and will be 16 feet wide instead of 18 feet.
Michael Pratt, of Keller Engineers Inc., said the 50-foot distance would create large side yards with little use, and the wider driveways would leave only a foot or two of green space between townhome driveways.
“We’re not creating unsafe conditions,” Erickson said. “It’s a more congested type of neighborhood than we’ve seen in the past. It’s a much more urban type of development.”
Poole agreed that the idea of the Town Center is to mimic a city.
Supervisor Josh Troxell had concerns with shortening on-street parking spaces at the end of rows from 24 to 22 feet.
“If you’re putting these in an area where you’re going to have families, not only do you have to worry about cars, you have to worry about the people,” he said. “I’m worried about the need for people space.”
Jessica VanderKolk can be reached at 235-3910. Follow her on Twitter @jVanReporter