I attended Wednesday’s meeting intended to allow Burgundy Place and Willow Run addition residents to question city personnel and a representative of a developer proposing to build a low-income housing addition between Burgundy Place — an upscale, assisted-living complex, and Willow Run — a well-kept patio home addition primarily populated by elderly retirees. The proposal calls for four three-story buildings containing 60 apartments.
We were greeted with news of a “done deal.” The city had already approved the permit prior to the meeting. None of the residents of the adjoining additions were notified of the permit application, questioned as to their opinions regarding the proposed complex or contacted before the permit was approved!
Adding 60-plus vehicles will aggravate an already precarious traffic situation. Despite attendees’ overwhelming opinion that a stoplight was needed, the city responded that the situation was evaluated and that need was deemed unnecessary.
The original permit request only specified two-story buildings. Then, the developer modified the request midstream — without question by the city — to add a third story, eliminating any privacy for south-side Willow Run homeowners.
The city was asked repeatedly if it could delay granting the permit to allow further discussion. The city said it cannot withhold the permit because all requirements have been met. In this case, those requirements are inadequate. And it’s strange that the body authorized to approve a permit doesn’t have the authority to delay permitting for valid reasons when further discussions are obviously needed.
This was a gratuitous effort by the city, and to some extent the developer, to save face. The city failed to confer with the people they supposedly represent before authorizing a project that adversely affects its neighbors. The opinions and concerns of the residents and homeowners impacted by this low-cost housing development were not only overlooked, but totally ignored!
Willow Run Addition