By Jason Ruff
The Meridian Times
Thanks to some voluntary amendments, the Meridian Township Planning Commission has approved the proposed rezoning north of Jolly Road.
The project initially came under fire from residents because of the original plan to zone six acres along Kansas Road from RR (rural residential) to C-2, which would permit commercial development. Many residents living in the area felt that such a dramatic change to the area would not work with the neighborhood.
Coming into the April 13 planning commission meeting, developer T.A. Forsberg Inc., presented several amendments to the initial proposal that eliminated the Kansas Road section from the plan.
“We decided to pull the Kansas (road) piece out right now because it gives us the opportunity to build the rest of the project without the opposition,” said Brent Forsberg, president of T.A. Forsberg Inc. Forsberg said that because the six acres are no longer part of the project, the number of amenities in the project will have to be reduced.
“It’s going to scale down the project a little bit.” said Forsberg.
With the controversial portion no longer part of the proposal, the planning commission approved the rezoning by a unanimous vote, and formally recommended it to the township board.
“The board of trustees will have it on their agenda, they will have another public hearing. And then they will vote on the final decision to approve or not the rezoning,” said Planning Commissioner Thomas Deits.
Should the township board finally approve the rezoning, the developer will have to return to the planning commission with a formal building plan.
One residents who has been fighting had mixed emotions.
“I was very happy with the concession to take out the six acres on Kansas Road and I was disappointed with them going forward with the rest of the zoning,” said resident Steve Freemire.
He said that he still has concerns that the project will cause traffic and water problems for nearby residents and that he plans to keep fighting the project.