Northland News

4 projects on development panel agenda


While the retail sector heats up with the approach of the holidays, other aspects of the economy tend to slow down, notably real estate development.

For this reason, the November and December sessions of the Northland Community Council's development committee have been combined into one for as long as the current chairman can remember, at least dating back to 2003.

"It makes a lot of sense," Dave Paul said.

This year's combined meeting will start at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 5, in the Northland Performing Arts Center, 4411 Tamarack Blvd.

The meetings take place the rest of the year on the final Wednesday of the month, but in November, that sometimes is on the eve of Thanksgiving and the December session often conflicts in some way with Christmas.

In addition, there's generally not much coming up before the advisory panel, according to Paul.

"Things tend to slow down this time of year anyway, with developers and the city," he said.

This year might be something of an exception, with at least four cases scheduled to come before committee members on Dec. 5.

One is regarding a proposed 160-suite residential hotel for business executives at 5910-5942 Sunbury Road, near the state Route 161 interchange. Attorney Jill Tangeman, representing Metro Development LLC, gave an informal presentation on the project to the development committee on Sept. 26. Several Sunbury Road residents were on hand to voice objections, and Paul said Tangeman has since met with those who worry about traffic problems and other fallout from the development.

"As I understand it, it was not a very productive meeting," he said. "We're interested in hearing it again."

The second case involves a variance request from the city's graphics code for a sign for the McDonald's at 1661 Morse Road, in front of the Northland Village.

Case number three is another hearing for a Lifestyle Communities development at 5367 Thompson Road. It came before the committee last month but did not gain members' recommendation for approval.

Most of the variances sought at the October session involved "amending the paper trailer," in Paul's terminology, meaning what is built doesn't necessarily jibe with what was proposed.

Finally on the Dec. 5 agenda is a proposal from Atlas Butler Heating and Cooling, which wants to take over the former Max and Erma's Restaurant headquarters building on Evanswood Drive. The site is visible from Interstate 71 and Paul said officials with the HVAC firm are seeking support for a graphics variance to permit the business name to be displayed in some form exactly where the Max and Erma's sign faced the highway.