Falcon Pointe House Condos Approved

Saturday, February 6, 2016, 9:09 am
By: 
Alice Dreger

Image above is from the approved plan for the new development

At its regular meeting this week, East Lansing's City Council unanimously approved a plan for 102 new, small three-bedroom houses in Falcon Pointe, north of the Hawk Nest neighborhood, off Chandler Road near the Eagle Eye Golf Course. These will legally be condominiums, meaning they will be houses that are all part of a condo association, with private roads maintained by the condo association. (Individuals who buy the homes will be buying into the condo association.)

The item was moved earlier in the agenda than originally scheduled. The matter has been subject to some controversy because a previous owner/developer of land in the area had not made good on promises to people who had bought into a modular home development there.

Mayor Mark Meadows did not ask if there were any public comments on the matter, and no one spoke on the issue during general public comments earlier in the meeting. Previously, neighbors of the new development area have expressed concern about potential traffic, road maintenance issues, and student rentals.

The people who own modular homes in the area have also expressed a desire to be able to buy the land under their homes, to mitigate the uncertainty around their properties caused by the previous developer's failure to follow through with original plans. Council has no clear legal authority to assist these modular home owners with their plight, which includes that they have no operative leases on the land on which their houses sit. (These are modular homes that sit on real foundations, not mobile homes, so moving them any distance would be no simple feat.)

Mayor Mark Meadows noted that the developer of the new condo small-house complex had responded to questions and concerns from Council about their plan. The plan now includes a requirement that any leases be for a minimum of two years, something that will likely encourage renting by families rather than students.

Meadows called the developer to the podium to answer questions from Council. In response to a question from Mayor Pro Tem Ruth Beier, the developer said there were no sidewalks planned because the driveways were too short to allow for sidewalks. (Cars parked in the driveways would hang over the sidewalks.)

The matter went quickly to a vote, and was approved 5-0. The developer thanked Council for working with them to get the project approved.

To read what else happened at Council this week, check out ELi's weekly Council Capsule.

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