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Mark Miller

Village of West Olive

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A public meeting was held on Wednesday in Port Sheldon Township for this proposed new village, based on the original historic plats of West Olive. The developers are 4th and 5th generation residents of the area and have a unique vision for this property.

The general idea is to keep a small town feel for the area, including a mainstreet that is not fully built out, but has a few buildings missing.

The project will also have many sustainable elements, including green roofs, rain gardens, permeable pavement at streets and alleys, recycled concrete sidewalks, rain barrels at all homes, and flat concrete curbs leading to bio-swales at the streets.

It will also attempt to concentrate development in one area, which will help to preserve farmland and open space in the township.

There is a mix of home site sizes, townhouses, live-work buildings, mixed-use buildings, a post office and a civic structure anchoring the village green.

Many of the design elements were inspired by Christopher Alexander's A Pattern Language, which the developers are very fond of.

04201608Z1Bcopy.jpg

Preliminary concept site plan.

birdseye.jpg

birds eye perspective

downtown.jpg

main street with civic terminal vista

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The town part looks nice.... the housing part looks well....

suburban.

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The town part looks nice.... the housing part looks well....

suburban.

You want 20 story residential towers in Port Sheldon Township?

:silly:

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You want 20 story residential towers in Port Sheldon Township?

:silly:

:lol: YES DANGIT! :lol:

I dunno I think it looks ok I guess for a small community. Much better then whats happening in Coopersville :(

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Looks like someplace that could turn into Novi, or Wheaton, IL if done incorrectly.

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Looks like someplace that could turn into Novi, or Wheaton, IL if done incorrectly.

:rofl: Complete with Greg DeRoche ugliness?

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I like it! I don't think I would want to live that far out, but it's better than 2 acre lots. West Olive is near?? 148th and Port Sheldon?

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I really have no idea where this is going...what are those main roads on the site plan?

I couldn't read the names and barely know the area.

The village looks pretty nice...what's the civic terminal?

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Looks like someplace that could turn into Novi, or Wheaton, IL if done incorrectly.

What's wrong with Wheaton?

Assuming you're talking about the CBD, I think it's pretty cool.

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The town part looks nice.... the housing part looks well....

suburban.

Actually, most of the lots look very narrow and the houses close together.

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It is just east of US-31, which is represented by the angled lines on the lower right corner. Croswell is the east west street and 146th is the street at the bottom (west) of the parcel.

Lots sizes are varied. They could be 40, 50, or 60 foot wide. Most lots are alley loaded. Alleys really only financially make sense if the lot size is below around 50 to 55 foot wide. Larger than that and it does not make financial sense to build them.

The eastern block structure (near top of site) is very traditional in both size and configuration.

The western block structure stretches the normal traditional block system, for a number of reasons. The developer desires a "greenway" through these long blocks for pedestrian movement. Something that is sort of touched on in a pattern language. There is also a desire to create deflected vistas

The townhouses break many traditonal rules because of their site disposition and their meandering nature, while fronting on greens rather than streets. This is a direct result of A Pattern Language.

The townouses are oriented with the long side facing the outside and the short side as the shared wall, the opposite of a real traditional townhouse. The intent is to bring more light into the residence. The trick will ultimately come down to the architecture and whether it can be made to be urbanistically convincing, while creating a decent public realm. There may be something vaguely similiar to this in Poundbury.

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I really have no idea where this is going...what are those main roads on the site plan?

I couldn't read the names and barely know the area.

wlyypd.jpg

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I'm jealous. I live in a Census Designated Place (CDP) and the township has seemed to have thrown the entire concept of any type of village, town, or city out the window.

I am happy though to see West Olive take this step. It will hopefully help to curb sprawl and develop much more of a sense of community.

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Allendale is trying something similar, establishing a downtown area called "The Landings of Allendale", with densely packed commerical (with loft appartments), traditional homes with small lots and porches, etc.

Commercial.jpg

Residential.jpg

Fountain.jpg

Video-commercial.

Video-residential.

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Allendale is trying something similar, establishing a downtown area called "The Landings of Allendale", with densely packed commerical (with loft appartments), traditional homes with small lots and porches, etc.

Where abouts are they looking to do this? Or is this the Family Fare area that looks so cheesy?

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Where abouts are they looking to do this? Or is this the Family Fare area that looks so cheesy?
Across the street from Family Fare, on currently vacant land.

wmavea.jpg

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Allendale is trying something similar, establishing a downtown area called "The Landings of Allendale", with densely packed commerical (with loft appartments), traditional homes with small lots and porches, etc.

Residential.jpg

Here's what I don't understand about these 'classically themed' neighborhoods. Why build homes like this when there are already thousands of them in cities like Grand Rapids? Why reinvent the wheel?

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The vision for Allendale is pretty decent, but the township still has no code that makes the process of development easier or clearly states to the developer what is desired. The only mechanism is via a PUD, which is sometimes like using a hammer to drive screws.

Part of "The Landings" has been built. The far Southwest corner. It is called Traders Creek Landing. A very small portion of the overall Landings, but none the less important because it establishes a precedent.

It is not very good. Houses have been skimped on in both material and design. The curbs are wrong. The park is in an awkward location.

It also is on a temporary cul-de-sac, which will someday connect to something else...hopefully.

It is surreal to experience, because neither the urbanism nor the architecture got it quite right.

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Part of "The Landings" has been built. The far Southwest corner. It is called Traders Creek Landing. A very small portion of the overall Landings, but none the less important because it establishes a precedent.
Yes, you are correct. The portion I highlighted is the main chunk, which is 53 acres currenting being offered for $3,250,000. The large parcel to the east is also on the market and slated to become part of the The Landings.

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Here's what I don't understand about these 'classically themed' neighborhoods. Why build homes like this when there are already thousands of them in cities like Grand Rapids? Why reinvent the wheel?

I live in a house that was built in 1913. It could be said that these "classically themed" (I would prefer the term "traditional neighborhoods") are based on houses (and neighborhoods) like mine.

My house has much of its original plumbing, about 1/2 of its original knob and tube wiring, its original single pane windows, 16 layers of lead based paint on the bedroom windows, almost no insulation, etc, etc.

While many people tolerate this kind of thing, because of the other benefits of living in a vintage home, many others do not want to deal with that sort of thing, but still desire to live in a traditional neighborhood. They have very few choices.

What these TNDs provide is that choice. It gives people the ability to live in a new home, while still having many of the ammenities of a traditional neighborhood.

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Here's what I don't understand about these 'classically themed' neighborhoods. Why build homes like this when there are already thousands of them in cities like Grand Rapids? Why reinvent the wheel?
There might be very good, specific reasons for living in the Grand Rapids area, but not in Grand Rapids itself. What if you were employed at GVSU? Would it make sense for you to live in a "traditional neighborhood" in Grand Rapids and commute to Allendale, or in a "traditional-like neighborhood" in Allendale itself?

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I guess I'm just partial to authentic traditional homes. I would much rather fix up and improve the real deal than live in a new copy of the original idea. Plus these original traditional homes have the character that only time can create. I have to admit these new designs are definitely better than the cookie cutter homes you see being built in subdivisions in places like Caledonia and Jamestown. I just prefer the real deal.

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