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Howell planners hear details of homes proposed for Fort Plains Road

HOWELL – Testimony is scheduled to continue at the Oct. 7 meeting of the Planning Board on an application that proposes the construction of 319 residential units on a 102-acre tract on Fort Plains Road in Howell.

Some of the residential units will be designated as affordable housing and set aside for individuals and families whose income meets certain guidelines.

The application of FP Howell, LLC, as applicant and the Estate of William Whalen by Gina
Bettencourt, John Berkoben and Ruth Bennett, as owners, was heard during a special meeting of the board on Aug. 31.

The applicant is seeking preliminary and final major subdivision and site plan approval to develop 319 residential units consisting of 72 market rate single-family homes; 155 market rate townhomes; and 92 condominiums designated as affordable housing in accordance with a Howell ordinance which created the ML-12 zone on Fort Plains and Sunnyside roads.

Attorney Kenneth Pape represented the application and said there is a 30% set-aside for affordable housing in the proposed development.

Engineer and planner Stuart Challoner described the proposed development.

“On the northern portion of the property there are 72 single-family lots … in the center portion there are 155 townhouses … and on the very southern portion there are 92 affordable housing units … The property will have two access points off of Fort Plains Road,” Challoner said.

He said the plan calls for Fort Plains Road to be widened and for a flooding problem on the road to be remediated. He said the development’s storm water system will be privately owned and maintained by a homeowners association and will not create a burden on the township.

Challoner said storm water runoff will be directed to a wet pond the developer is proposing to construct on the property.

“We are substantially reducing the amount of runoff onto Fort Plains Road and there will not be a flooding problem on Fort Plains Road after development,” he testified.

Board member John Leggio asked what would happen if water naturally wants to flow toward Fort Plains Road.

Challoner said the property being developed would be regraded and improved with drainage structures that will collect the water and discharge it into a retention pond.

He said the purpose of the proposed storm water management system is to change the drainage pattern and to stop the flooding on Fort Plains Road.

Testimony indicated the townhouses will have a two-car driveway and a garage. There will not be on-street parking for the multi-family units. Guest parking has been placed throughout the development, Challoner said.

He said 357 parking spaces are required for the townhouses and he said the applicant is is providing 542 parking spaces. The affordable housing requires two spaces per unit (184 parking spaces) and he said the applicant is proposing 190 parking spaces in that area.

The FP Howell application was carried to the board’s Oct. 7 meeting.

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