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dbrok

New Development for Cannon Township

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WZZM is reporting that a 37 acre development might be built in Cannon Township that will be a mix of business and residential. So far Rick's Food Center and Real Food Cafe are on board. Apparently ground breaking takes place next week.

Link:

http://www.wzzm13.com/news/local/grmetro_a...x?storyid=52283

Hmmmm, my neck of the woods.

Wonder how this will impact downtown Rockford?

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I can't believe they are finally going through with this. I think it's been "in the works" for 4 or 5 years.

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Where is cannon township? I am looking for it on terraserver and it only pulls up cannonsburg when I search.

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Where is cannon township? I am looking for it on terraserver and it only pulls up cannonsburg when I search.

Cannonsburg is in Cannon Township. This development is East of Lake Bella Vista on Belding Road at Myers Lake:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=ro...045258,0.118103

or

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=ro...58,0.118103&t=h

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I can't believe they are finally going through with this. I think it's been "in the works" for 4 or 5 years.

the broker sign is half rotted in the ground...... meaning YES, its a TOL project!

Also meaning I'll believe it when I see it.

I've driven past this TOL BILLBOARD every day for years. The state should crack down on this BS

broker/developer roadside pollution.

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the broker sign is half rotted in the ground...... meaning YES, its a TOL project!

Also meaning I'll believe it when I see it.

I've driven past this TOL BILLBOARD every day for years. The state should crack down on this BS

broker/developer roadside pollution.

I agree.

I worry about the design too. Wayne Visbeen did some great traditional sketches early on, but I can't find where any of them relate to the current plan. He is no longer involved. The grocery store turns it's back to the highway, which is fine as long as enough money is spent making the back look great. I expect that it will look more like the commercial strip on the south side of I-96 in Brighton. There is inadequate parking near the front door of the grocery store (this is a greater problem because the parking is shared by the commercial building to the west). There are no trash dumpsters on the grocery store side, inadequet parking for the cafe, and a housing layout that looks like single-wides, etc., etc., etc.

I hope Cannon Township had a lot more detail than this plan shows before they approved the project.

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Yeah TOL seems to stand for "Tomorrow....Or Later." They purchased one of the old mills/factory in Belding like I dont know how many years ago but it has not been touched one bit or even made into anything. It's just sitting there like an eyesore. I talked to one of my friends who is in the city council and they have some plans for major overhaul in Belding... sorry sort of :offtopic:

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Probably 12 years ago the residents of the Bella Vista area tried to incorporate into a village. Obviously it didn't work at the time, but this type of development would definitely fuel another attempt to become more than just a development around a flooded swamp.

Question: aren't most of those cottages there right now? Or am I thinking of the Bella Vista entrance off Meyer's Lake?

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Probably 12 years ago the residents of the Bella Vista area tried to incorporate into a village. Obviously it didn't work at the time, but this type of development would definitely fuel another attempt to become more than just a development around a flooded swamp.

Question: aren't most of those cottages there right now? Or am I thinking of the Bella Vista entrance off Meyer's Lake?

An office building on thge corner and one farm house. The rest of the 40-acres is vacant.

Public_Parcel_Find_IMHOTEP63802728473.jpg

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An office building on thge corner and one farm house. The rest of the 40-acres is vacant.

Public_Parcel_Find_IMHOTEP63802728473.jpg

Wow! I thought I was the only one who seems to know every square inch of Kent County. I was just getting ready to type out the same reply civitas :lol:

There are townhouses just to the North of there off of Myers Lake.

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I think that area is a good investment for some type of village/town center ordeal. It would coincide well with the gas stations and the little ma/pa stores, and give the area a little town feeling. Now if Grattan could follow suit...

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I agree.

I worry about the design too. Wayne Visbeen did some great traditional sketches early on, but I can't find where any of them relate to the current plan. He is no longer involved. The grocery store turns it's back to the highway, which is fine as long as enough money is spent making the back look great. I expect that it will look more like the commercial strip on the south side of I-96 in Brighton. There is inadequate parking near the front door of the grocery store (this is a greater problem because the parking is shared by the commercial building to the west). There are no trash dumpsters on the grocery store side, inadequet parking for the cafe, and a housing layout that looks like single-wides, etc., etc., etc.

I hope Cannon Township had a lot more detail than this plan shows before they approved the project.

The site plan image that is shown here does not include all of the information. It looks like the same one that was posted on the Grand Valley Metro Council list serve last week.

Wayne Visbeen did indeed do the original sketches, but he is listed as the person who provided the "architectural theme", whatever that means. It is most likely that, by creating only a theme, he may not be involved in implementation.

I have great reservations when anyone provides theme, which it seems is becoming a trend with many developments like this. Architects should do architecture and not be creating themes - leave that to Disney and movie set designers.

The cafe drawings have been submitted by another local architecture firm, Interactive Studios, and they look very much like Wayne's original theme sketches. The township, up to this point, has mandated that the architecture be held to those original sketches and they have enforced it. The township has that ability because of the nature of the PUD. As long as they continue strict enforcement of architectural guidelines they will be ok(I hope).

In addition to this, the township hired a local architect to create residential standards. Upon review of this document, I had many reservations, which included style references that were inaccurate, detail requirements that were too loose and some real basic requirements that were missing or not conveyed well. I am frankly not sure if the township implemented our recommendations, as there is a certain conflict of interest due to the fact that we are consultants to the developer. The residential standards are exceptionally loose and could result in some real poorly done homes. I still hold out hope that the township will be able to hold the line in the sand.

In regards to the site plan, there is more than adequate parking in regards to the commercial. The parking in front of the store is teaser parking only, with a majority of it on the sides and rear. I would go as far to say that we have too much parking here, especially for a village.

I do think that there is a dumpster somewhere on the grocery store side, it may not show up on this plan.

As far as the single wide comment, I am unsure of what is inferred here. These lots range in size from approximately 40 feet to 50 feet wide. I currently live on a 45 foot wide lot and I can assure you that my house and the houses in my neighborhood are anything by single wides. You can do some exceptional urban housing types on lots half this size.

I will say that if the architecture is not executed well, then it will default to the current standard, which is not much better than single wides, but the urban framework that is presented here can allow for real great stuff, if the developer and his homebuilder want to play ball. I guess that may be a big if!!

This project has been years in the making. I think we did our original layout at least two years ago and prior to that, the township spent years crafting an ordinance that allowed for this. They had Randall Arendt do some of the original concepts of the ordinance, which went a long way toward allowing for this density and a real village center.

Our original scheme had a far different layout than this for the commercial half of the site. Through the enabling of the plan and the developers desire to have something that he felt comfortable with, the retail changed substantially and probably for the worse as far as how it engages the existing streets, but it should still be better than the standard conventional stuff that is just west of this site. Originally we proposed calming Belding Road and turning it into more of an urban street, unfortunately that never manifested itself.

There are some real weird things on this plan which I do not feel create good urbanism. The buildings just south of the park have their corners cut, creating a very ill defined intersection and a very large open area at this corner. In addition to that there is also a water park near this intersection (at the south of the park). From renderings of this water park, I am not optimistic that it will be nice.

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In regards to the site plan, there is more than adequate parking in regards to the commercial. The parking in front of the store is teaser parking only, with a majority of it on the sides and rear. I would go as far to say that we have too much parking here, especially for a village.

Rough scaling of the low-res site plan image suggests that the grocery store is about 32,000 SF. The dark brown retail footprint on that block looks to be about 24,000 SF. The cafe and the little office building both appear to be about 4,000 SF.

Standard parking rules-of-thumb (spaces per 1,000 SF) for the various uses are, retail & cafe-5, office-3, grocery-7. Assuming all buildings are single-story, the parking required is about 375 spaces (or 310 if you use 5 spaces/1,000 SF for the grocery).

It looks like there's about 220-230 spaces on the plan. The reduction may be justified if the retail mix is compatible and cross-shopping is the norm. I've heard traffic engineers argue as much as a 25% reduction for mixed-use.

The biggest problem, however, is with the distribution of the spaces. The problem will be experienced in a big way at the NW corner of the grocery story. The approx. 110 spaces in that area (including those on the boulevard) will be the first to be used by the grocery store (the "anchor" retailer) and will, therefore, not be available in sufficient numbers to serve the needs of the 24,000 SF retail building. That building needs 120 spaces and its tenants/customers will not use spaces east of the grocery store. They will struggle (fail?) as a result.

A solution would be to move the entrance of the grocery store to the NE corner of the building to make the least desireable parking spaces functional. This is not unlike the D&W (or whatever its called now) in Rockford. Its entrance is as far from the other retailers as possible to force an appropriate distribution of customers into the available parking spaces.

Regarding the architecture you're absolutely correct, the details are critical. It sounds like you are playing a role in the reviews. Keep up the good work.

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The townhomes along Myers Lake Road are an example of the challenges facing planners when they put a new development into an existing system of roads. There does not appear to be any access to the front doors of the townhomes, except if you park around the block and walk. In other words, no one is ever going to use the front doors. These units also do not have back yards, as it is needed for parking, so they lose out there too.

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An image from Tol's website:

Nice concept sketch from Wayne Visbeen.

The 24,000 SF corner building is 2-story. Add another 70 parking spaces if the 2nd floor is office.

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An update from Cannon Township Planning Commission's most recent meeting:

MOTION: Stokes, SUPPORT: Mapes-Pearson, to approve Resolution 06-4, Real Foods Caf

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Will this have a traffic impact on Belding Rd? They have been making improvements pretty much from the Kent County line at Montcalm ave for a while. But it seems that with all the development happening out that way they should widen it from Meyers Lake, perhaps Ramsdell, or hey lets go crazy, Wabasis. I haven't been that way in about a year, but last I remember it was still just a two lane highway. There is enough traffic on it though, and I'd imagine something like this would make it worse. I think it'll be wierd if one day Belding starts growing as an outer ring suburb.

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Grand Rapids should just annex Plainfield and Cannon Townships.

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Grand Rapids should just annex Plainfield and Cannon Townships.

As a resident of Plainfield Township I do not think that is a good idea at all.

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Grand Rapids should just annex Plainfield and Cannon Townships.

Amen! :D Can we also grab GR Township while we're doing that?

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Grand Rapids should just annex Plainfield and Cannon Townships.

Bite your tongue!

:shok:

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