A Nine Mile Road housing development that had residents all riled up in 1994 is set to go before city officials, this time minus the rancor and opposition it generated two years ago.
The project, called Riverside Village and planned on 52 acres directly south of the former North Side Landfill, is set for a preliminary plat public hearing today in the City Hall Chambers.
The hearing starts at 5:30 p.m. and will review developer Buster Heitman’s plan to construct 174 residential units on the property, along the east edge of Nine Mile Road.
Residents in the Nine Mile Road area already won one victory two years ago, getting the city hearing examiner to halt a major housing development on the other side of the state highway.
“But I think this (Riverside Village) project will go through without much opposition or noise,” said Nine Mile Road resident Bob Loomis.
The reason? “It’s the fact that the empty space out there is already changing. We’ve got the Circle K, and a new convenience store will be opening soon a stone’s throw away from the intersection (of Rifle Club and Nine Mile roads),” he said.
In effect, neighbors accept the inevitability of growth but now want their concerns over traffic and population density addressed, added area resident Todd Conley.
He and others will support city planning staff conditions placed on the Riverside Village project, both intended to improve traffic flow in the area.
The city is requiring a left turn lane and a traffic light at the intersection of Nine Mile and Rifle Club roads. That corner would become the main entrance into Riverside Village.
Conley and Loomis both say those improvements are the very least the city can ask for.
“The traffic on Nine Mile Road has been maxed out for two years already,” Loomis said.
If approved, the development would turn totally undeveloped property into 76 single-family homes, 36 townhouses, 30 duplexes and 32 four-plex units.
Heitman said the project creates orderly growth in an attractive part of the city. His project also offers guarantees of undeveloped buffer zones on the property’s sloping eastern edge.
Following Smith’s ruling on the preliminary plat proposal, Heitman will need to submit a final plat to the city before the project can proceed.