Planning Commission approves site plan for mixed use housing project

FLINT TWP. — Plans to convert an empty lot into a new housing development are moving forward on Flint Township’s northeast side.

During a special meeting held on Jan. 21, the township Planning Commission approved a site plan for a mixed-use housing complex at 2765 Flushing Road near N. Ballenger Highway and the Flint City limits. The vote passed by a 4-1 margin, with one abstention.

The project, which is being proposed by Flint area non-profit Communities First Inc., also received variance use approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals last week.

According to site plans, the housing complex would be a four-story structure comprised of 40 units. Project architect Kurt Neiswander described the complex as mixed income housing, featuring one bedroom, two bedroom and three-bedroom units, along with 1,900 square feet reserved for commercial space.

Glenn Wilson, President and CEO of Communities First Inc., told the Planning Commission that rent for the units would vary from as low as $400 a month up to $1,100 a month. He also said that the complex would include units for military veterans and on-site services for residents.

After receiving site plan approval, Communities First was granted approval by the Flint Township Board of Trustees to make a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) for the property. Communities First will also be filling out paperwork with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

At the local level, Communities First will still need to receive site plan approval from the county. Once county approval has been met, the organization can apply for building and trades permits.

Communities First, which has gained recognition for redeveloping several vacant buildings into affordable housing complexes in Flint, is also planning to transform the 92-year-old Mary Crapo school building in Swartz Creek into an apartment complex for senior citizens.