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Shelby Votes Against 344-Apartment Unit Proposal on 23 Mile Road

The Shelby Township Board of Trustees voted against amending a consent judgment Tuesday evening that would pave the way for a 344-apartment building development on 23 Mile Road between Schoenherr and Hayes roads.

A round of applause and dozens of sighs of relief were heard at the Shelby Township Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday night after trustees voted down a builder's plan to erect 344 apartment units on 23 Mile Road between Schoenherr and Hayes roads.

Dozens of people took to the lecterns and presented a petition with more than 600 residents' signatures that opposed Builder Damiano DiMercurio's multi-million dollar plan to build luxury apartments.

"Voting for this development would go against the wishes of the Shelby residents," said Karen Hessell, owner of , which shares a common property line with the land.

“It will have a large negative impact on our business. We have been there since 1968,” Hessell said before the vote was taken. “I thought this is what Shelby is all about -- helping and promoting small businesses. “

The 34-acre parcel of land remains empty for now. Originally, it had been zoned for light manufacturing when it was bought in 1999. It was changed to multi-family low rises in 2006 by way of a court settlement. The owner at the time had proposed a senior housing development but sold the property before a plan had come to fruition.

DiMercurio refused to comment on the Board's decision to deny amending the consent judgment, which would have allowed his development to progress. However, he can challenge the township in court.

Residents' Concerns

During public hearings to discuss the proposal, residents had voiced concerns about the development ranging from an increase in traffic congestion, security concerns, density and the proximity to nearby homes.

In response, the chief architect of the project, Mark Abantha from Alexander V. Bogards and Associates, said the developer had worked with the county to increase the entrances and exits to the complex to ease traffic. 

He presented data suggesting the demand for luxury rentals has significantly increased because of the changing family structure. He gave examples of DiMercurio's apartment complex, Harvard Oaks in Sterling Heights, which has a low crime rate and a waiting list of renters who want to get into the apartments.

“I think people are painting a picture of residents who live in apartments,” said former Shelby Township resident Andrew Steeh. “I currently live in apartments. I could get a mortgage but I choose to stay in an apartment because of my job.”

In regard to the proximity to nearby homes, Abantha said the closest apartment building would have been 430 feet from any residents in the area.

“I think it’s not the right fit. The judgment says property shall remain light manufacturing,” said Clerk Stan Grot before voting against the amendment.

jholeton jr August 22, 2012 at 12:22 PM
I was really surprised at the outcome of this vote since Shelby Township was poised to recieve over $700,000 in tax money every year. It made me proud to see Shelby residents demanding representation by their government. There is hope!!!
Karen R August 22, 2012 at 12:32 PM
I agree w/ the first comment. Now let's hope Shelby Twp does the same in the future if similar proposals are brought to the table. Promote the small business owners, keep apartment buildings out, & promote green spaces in our community!!!
Michael Pikora August 22, 2012 at 01:20 PM
It still does not make up for doing the complete opposite to the residents at 22 and Van Dyke expressway at the Shelby Woods Condos. Two years ago the board amended the consent to judgement to allow apartments to go where condos were supposed to be.....
Pat Suits August 22, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Will try again. I liked the end of the meeting were a few really spoke up. I wanted to go to the meeting but I think I may have got kicked out at the end. Thanks to those that spoke up. I am glad the Apartment Complex did not got through in that already conjested area.
Frank Aragona August 22, 2012 at 03:46 PM
You nay sayers will not be happy with any development. Classic "not in my back yard" All the farm fields that have been developed so you can live and work were ok but now it's time pull up the drawbridge behind you. This is why the courts have to sort this out otherwise it's mob mentality that rules.
Vito August 22, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Considering the Developer is a small business, and he was actually down zoning from manufacturing to residential, how about we have Ford put an assembly factory in there and drive 18 wheelers in and out of your neighborhood. The tax dollars this project would have generated pays for the upkeep of your parks, the infrastructure of the roads, theTwp in good working order and your police on the streets. But hey who needs that right. Another case of people not accepting the fact that things change and progress is inevitable.
jholeton jr August 22, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Shelby Township needs revenue, this is true, but we have to do it in a manner which benefits & not hurt its residents. There are vacant properties all over Shelby Township which could adequately fit the needs of this developer. All they need to do is look & have vision.
Geoff Hoffman August 22, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Frank & Vito, what is your relationship to this project. It's obvious you have one. That area is better suited for light industrial than it is residential. But maybe if the developer didn't get greedy and stuck to the consent judgement by proposing 239 units instead of trying to squeeze every last dollar out of it by cramming in 344 units maybe it would have gotten approval. Did you ever think about that.
Frank Aragona August 23, 2012 at 01:46 PM
No relationship at all. I live in Rochester. Geoff you must have property abutting this property. You are the classic NIMBY. High end apartments over light industrial any day.
Geoff Hoffman August 23, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Frank, did I say I was against high end apartments. I said they should have stayed with the consent judgement that allowed 239 units. That doesnt sound like I'm against high end apartments does it. Maybe you should stick to what's going on in your town instead of worrying about others.
macombresident August 28, 2012 at 03:12 AM
I do not abut this project but my subdivision does & I am glad the Board did the right thing. While I do believe the project would have been nicely built, the elevations were done quite nice, there is no doubt in mind that they would have NEVER gotten $1200 per month for an apt. And therein lies the problem. They would not have been able to fill them at that price point & they would become a vacant eyesore. And then the developers would have come crying to the board to allow them to lower the rent price, at which point you would encounter all sorts of issues that follow a lower rental unit: crime, unsavory residents & the like. This in addition to the massive traffic that size of a complex would bring to an intersection already ridiculously bad (particularly now that they've installed those mickey mouse "intelligent" lights at the intersection).
Dana Horton September 07, 2012 at 07:59 PM
The board did not approve the apartment complex at the regular board meeting. My guess is that it will some how be approved in a closed session meeting in the near future. You could clearly see that the supervisor was trying to sell this apartment complex. Just some more of the wonderful transparency that he’s known for.
Matt Guarnieri September 08, 2012 at 01:56 AM
On this issue I say: Let them build a giant smoke producing factory at this location as it is currently zoned, where all the employees start and end work at the same time of day to clog up the roads and every inch of the property is a parking lot surrounded by a chain link fence with garbage receptacles and debris. This is what the master plan calls for... Maybe a giant trucking depot... Either would not need board approval and would provide jobs for people right? (sarcasm). I didn't want anymore apartments either but not sure I want what it's currently zoned.
Pat Suits September 08, 2012 at 08:57 AM
Once again Matt speaks. Go on with your life. I will give you something to think about. Shelby Township and Macomb County should be cheked out for wrong doings a couple years back that involved some families sons or daughters that got chrged with things that they did not do but were set up by a Lawyer with help from other judges, officers or etc. Think of the damage this has done to a lot of people. Shelby and Macomg County needs to really be in vestagated, Maybe this will give you an dmany some thing to think about Matt. I may not get this posted to get in trouble for opening my mouth.
Pat Suits September 08, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Doubt my lst comment goes through.
Pat Suits September 08, 2012 at 02:37 PM
I wrote it last night and its not on.
macombresident September 12, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Your comment is up Pat Suits and is completely indecipherable...

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