By Megan McDonnell
Entirely East Lansing
Approval for construction has not yet been given for East Lansing property owner Lingg Brewer to turn two of his properties into a four-story, mixed-use building in East Lansing’s City Center Commercial District.
Brewer’s application for a Site Plan and Special Use Permit approval for 500 Albert Ave. and 122 Division St. was discussed during the East Lansing Planning Commission meeting on April 8. The proposed property will contain 13 apartments as well as approximately 1,000 square feet of non-residential space, according to the application.
Directly next to 500 Albert Ave. is The Wild Goose Inn Bed & Breakfast, owned by Al Bay. Along the property line of Bay’s inn and Brewer’s current building at Albert Avenue is a stretch of trees, which tower above both properties.
According to Bay, the branches from the trees cross the property line and touch Brewer’s building. The proposed building is a four-story complex, and he is worried that when construction begins the tree branches will be clipped, and the results could be disastrous for his inn.
“What happens when the trees fall over?” said Bay. “ … The higher building is going to negatively impact those trees, and they might fall on my house.”
Bay also said that preserving the natural features in the area is important to him, in addition to preventing damage to his inn.
“I’m worried about the trees,” said Bay.
Brewer’s attorney, Jack Davis, and his team argued that the trees aren’t in an appropriate spot due to the large parking garage across the street, as well as the abundance of large trees on Michigan State University’s campus only “a block away.” Michigan State University, however, is across Grand River Avenue and affects an entirely different area of East Lansing.
Planning Commission member Erik Altmann raised concerns about possible harm to the trees during construction other than trimming the branches.
“There’s going to be some digging involved, which could affect the root system, which could affect the trees,” said Altmann.
The application will be rescheduled for debate at another meeting.