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Metro Health Village - University of Michigan Health Systems

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13 hours ago, ironyisadeadscene said:

Not recently! I feel like the metro area is a triangle. The south side keeps expanding while the north stays about the same.

I get this impression too.  Though the townships surrounding Rockford are growing faster than the metro area at large.  The development on the north side is more spread out/exurban in nature.  There's also a big chunk missing in the NW due to growth prohibitive Alpine Twp. basically being frozen in time.  Where as south metro development has always been more uniform and dense.  

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2 hours ago, MJLO said:

I get this impression too.  Though the townships surrounding Rockford are growing faster than the metro area at large.  The development on the north side is more spread out/exurban in nature.  There's also a big chunk missing in the NW due to growth prohibitive Alpine Twp. basically being frozen in time.  Where as south metro development has always been more uniform and dense.  

Look at a map and you'll also find the west side south of Lake Michigan Drive under developed as well.

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50 minutes ago, ironyisadeadscene said:

Look at a map and you'll also find the west side south of Lake Michigan Drive under developed as well.

I live in that area and understand that south of O'Brien there are issues with subsidence due to the gypsum mines so that land is unlikely to be developable.  My impression is that is why the amphitheater proposal for that location didn't move forward... 
The extensive orchards between Lk Mich drive and O'Brien are a great candidate for development except that there's power lines running right through the middle which seem to put something of a damper on residential attractiveness...

Edited by cstonesparty

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And the Northeast is rather hilly, which may contribute to development being not as dense and more exurban in nature. The south side is all plains.

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This recently occurred to me, but I think it explains the regional development pattern, at least in part.

Jenison, Grandville, Wyoming, Kentwood, Byron, Gaines, EGR, GR Twp, Ada, Cascade, Caledonia, and most of Plainfield are on the same side of the river as downtown GR. Technically, so is Allendale.

Walker, Alpine, and Rockford are not.

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15 hours ago, Khorasaurus1 said:

This recently occurred to me, but I think it explains the regional development pattern, at least in part.

Jenison, Grandville, Wyoming, Kentwood, Byron, Gaines, EGR, GR Twp, Ada, Cascade, Caledonia, and most of Plainfield are on the same side of the river as downtown GR. Technically, so is Allendale.

Walker, Alpine, and Rockford are not.

The terrain does get way more hilly, wooded and more wet (contains more wetlands and lakes) North and East of the Grand River than South and West. It's only when you get out toward Allendale and Alpine Township that it becomes flatter farmland again. 

Interesting. 

You can see all of the dark green "wooded" areas in satellite imagery. All of the light colored areas are mostly agricultural. A lot of Forest Hills area has very sandy soils too, whereas the Southwest and Southern parts of the county and Ottawa County are more a mix of clay, soil and some sand. When the area was first being "developed" back in the 1800's, people didn't farm as much in the FH's area probably because it was too hard to get crops to grow, hence development patterns moved Southward and Westward?  

All of the hilly gated communities along Grand River in Ada are really large deposits of sand, from my experience working out there. The Grand River must have seen a gigantic flood at one time depositing massive sand piles along it's banks.  That's why you see massive sand/gravel mining operations along the river, some of which have closed (Reith-Riley on Pettis, Dykema Excavating's operations around Northland Drive where it crosses the Grand River (behind Blue Water Grill and behind the Score were both big mining holes that became lakes), along Coit, Grand Island Golf Course I believe was a mine at one time, etc.. 

Driving back from the East Side of the State yesterday on M-57, it always strikes me how quickly the terrain and topography changes as soon as you cross M-66 going West. Feels more like "home" than the wide open cornfields of the rest of the middle part of the State. 

962320974_GRGreen.thumb.jpg.785da88e5ba736d5712ac1ba1bd7e631.jpg

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IMO, the development was controlled by the availability of public utilities, sewer and water. The zoning regs allow for 90 foot lots if you had at least water and sand for drain fields.  If the land was clay, you needed both to develop.  Time showed that there needed to be back up drain fields so now both are required for 90 foot lots. The  anti development movement promoted zoning requirements of 2 or more acres. This just spreads out the growth.

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Farmland makes for easy development. You don't have to cut down trees or worry about hills. The soil is typically easy to build on as well. All of the farming has taken place south and west of the city due to the Grand River's movement from flowing into Holland to eventually flowing into Grand Haven. All of the soil in between is rich with nutrients as a result, so farmers flocked there. You're now seeing those communities (Georgetown Township, Allendale Township, Zeeland Township) blow up with residential growth as more farmers sell off their lands to developers. 

Edited by GRLaker

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Folks think because there are wooded areas around  today that those areas have always been wooded.  I spent some time in 2011 going thru the Road Commission's photo archives for the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of the RC. The county, and the state for that matter,  was extensively logged so that in the 20's areas that were clear cut and open are today forested.  My neighborhood (approx 800 homes) was developed in the 60's and 70's.  In the 60's, the woods were cut, the land leveled and a rectilinear street system was  installed. In the 70's portion, the roads follow the contours, (no rectilinear streets), no mass grading, the woods were left and only the building pads had the trees removed. Again, not farmland but had a water system. The water system was private, wells, and transmission system built to public standards by the developer  but operated by a private company. There were actually a number of them in the county. As the water qualty, testing  and standards increased it became more difficult for the company (Lirones, a husband and wife team  IIRC) to comply so all were eventually connected into the City of GR system.

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On 11/29/2019 at 12:21 PM, Raildude's dad said:

Folks think because there are wooded areas around  today that those areas have always been wooded.  I spent some time in 2011 going thru the Road Commission's photo archives for the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of the RC. The county, and the state for that matter,  was extensively logged so that in the 20's areas that were clear cut and open are today forested.  My neighborhood (approx 800 homes) was developed in the 60's and 70's.  In the 60's, the woods were cut, the land leveled and a rectilinear street system was  installed. In the 70's portion, the roads follow the contours, (no rectilinear streets), no mass grading, the woods were left and only the building pads had the trees removed. Again, not farmland but had a water system. The water system was private, wells, and transmission system built to public standards by the developer  but operated by a private company. There were actually a number of them in the county. As the water qualty, testing  and standards increased it became more difficult for the company (Lirones, a husband and wife team  IIRC) to comply so all were eventually connected into the City of GR system.

From my understanding, a lot of the changes from rectilinear street grids to following contours was because of heavier wetland protectionism and the environmental movement of the 70's and 80's. I was told once that Heritage Hill and East Hills/Eastown would not have been built like it was if it were built after 1970's. Too many wetlands were filled in and the entire area flattened for miles to create the grid streets. The heavy tree canopy you have today in those areas was not native, but planted when the homes went in. 

Now pretty much all new developments follow the contours and wetlands, at least those Northeast of Grand Rapids. Most also have to have portions set aside for greenspace, which usually includes wetland protection or relocation. 

 

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Very much the entire west side between the river and the John Ball Hill was once wetland. There was a large channel that was created running south out of the west side to drain the swamp, and it still exists to this day but is now largely buried except for where it meets the Grand River in the Butterworth dump.

If it were built after the 70s, the entire near west side wouldn't even exist and Downtown would probably have a severe mosquito problem.

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Michigan Medicine is moving into the long vacan't (except for GR Cardiology) building on the beltline and lake dr. good for that corner. feels awfully close to their east Paris aND Cascade location. good move to position in between East GR and Cascade.

Sent from my Acer Chromebook R11 (CB5-132T, C738T) using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, grandrollerz said:

Michigan Medicine is moving into the long vacan't (except for GR Cardiology) building on the beltline and lake dr. good for that corner. feels awfully close to their east Paris aND Cascade location. good move to position in between East GR and Cascade.

Sent from my Acer Chromebook R11 (CB5-132T, C738T) using Tapatalk
 

There were supposed to be 2 or 3 buildings as part of that "campus." Wonder why that corner has languished for so long? Bad timing? 

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