History‎ > ‎2. Second Plan (2008)‎ > ‎

3 Wetland Plans

Wetland Mitigation and Storm Water Systems

The developer submitted a wetland mitigation permit application with its revised 42 North site plan. When the 42 North plan came before the Planning Commission, the developer assured the Commission that its experts were sure that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) would soon issue a wetland permit. When the neighborhood asked the Planning Commission to delay approval of the 42 North site plan until a final report or permit was issued by the MDEQ, we were admonished to accept the opinion of the experts.

The MDEQ did not approve the wetland mitigation plan submitted by the developer's experts. A representative of the MDEQ visited the 42 North site and found that the developer had under-reported the number of wetlands that were regulated by the State. Natural wetlands of a certain size or greater are subject to State regulation and smaller wetlands are regulated by City ordinance.

The developer submitted a revised site plan for the Grace Bible Church property. The Church porperty is where the develper is locating the wetland mitigation area because the 42 North development occupies so much space on the 42 North site, that the mitigation area cannot fit on that property. We returned to the Planning Commission for a public hearing on the second mitigation plan. We asked the Commission to reject the revised plan because it did not fully mitigate the wetlands that would be destroyed by the 42 North project. The revised mitigation plan proposed that the City accept a payment in leiu of full mitigation. Alternatively, we asked that the Commission wait until the MDEQ issued its final report on the developer's mitigation plan. Again we were lectured about defering to the opinions of the developer's and City's experts. Again the mitigation plan was approved by the Planning Commission.

Apparently, the developer realized that it would be a bad idea to have the discretionary payment in lieu of mitigation aspect of its plan included in the 42 North plan when it was considered by the City Council. The developer submitted a third wetland mitigation plan. We returned to the Planning Commission and repeated that process. Again it was approved.

That last Grace Bible Church site plan includes the wetland mitigation and the storm water detention ponds for the 42 North development. We remain concerned about the adequacy of the plan. That site plan is before the City Council with the revised student housing plan.