Full Circle Communities has discussed a proposal for a Planned Unit Development (PUD) at 503 E 9 Mile Rd. and the two adjacent residential parcels to the north which includes a multi-family affordable housing development catering to LGBTQ+ elderly individuals via programming and support services.
What is Planned Unit Development (PUD)?
This is a form of planning allows for flexibility and creativity in normal zoning requirements. There are several requirements developers must fulfill in order to qualify for this type of project.
Those requirements are the following:
Preservation of significant natural features; a complementary mixture of uses; sustainable building and site design; open space greenways to link to adjacent to greenway corridors; transition areas from adjacent land uses; provision of affordable housing units; diversification of housing types provided in the City; preservation of historical buildings or site features; improvements to public streets or other public infrastructure; pedestrian and transit oriented development; coordinated development of multiple assembled small parcels; and removal or renovation of blighted buildings, or sites or clean up of site contamination.
PUD projects are reviewed by staff and the Planning Commission via a Public Hearing, with final approval from City Council via Public Hearing.
Full Circle has appeared in front of the Planning Commission for an initial discussion on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, and a preliminary PUD discussion on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. The next Planning Commission meeting for full review of the PUD and Public Hearing is January 20, 2021 at 6:30pm virtually via Zoom.
The developers are requesting incentives support from the City of Ferndale as Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) and the State of Michigan in tax credits from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). The City of Ferndale must first approve and support the incentives prior to the developers request to the State of Michigan.
What is the request for Ferndale?
The developers are seeking approval from City Council for a tool called Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT). A PILOT is an annual payment provided by a development instead of paying property taxes as a project normally would. PILOT, like MSHDA tax credits, is used only to support affordable housing. The payment request starts as a percentage of annual revenue for the project, and is finalized through negotiation between the developer and the City. This process includes review by city staff and final City Council review and vote. Staff reviews the support for affordable housing while making sure that any increased revenue is available for city services.
How much would it cost?
Exact numbers are still being finalized, but it is currently estimated that the monetary value of the incentives, if approved, would be less than $10K per year compared to what the property would pay in standard property taxes. Exact numbers will be published as soon as they are available and finalized.
How would affordability be enforced?
MSHDA's annual review process and the City of Ferndale's rental licensing process ensures that affordable rental rates are maintained for the life of the incentives. Otherwise, the incentives would be revoked.
What is the approval process?
To receive a PILOT, the developers must go through two steps. First, they need to secure Planning Commission approvals for their project site plan. Second, they need to secure City Council approval of the project site plan and any other planning and zoning related items, as well as the approval of an ordinance that establishes the terms of the PILOT. Both of these steps occur through public hearings at open meetings where public comment is encouraged and permitted.
Currently, the developer is on track to appear before City Council on January 25, 2021 for consideration of their project site plan and PILOT request. Public notice has already been distributed for these meetings. If, however, the project does not receive its planning approvals at their appearance before the Planning Commission on January 20, 2021, the incentives request will not move forward.
Contact CED at firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-546-2525.
Contact Full Circle Communities - Carl Kunda at email@example.com or James Dow at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next Step: Final PUD Site Plan for staff and Planning Commission review. If approved by Planning Commission, will move to City Council for another Public Hearing and final decision. The applicants are also pursuing state and local tax incentives, which will also be considered at a future City Council meeting.
PUD & Site Plan Submission - December 16, 2020
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