Slabtown rezoning plans not moving forward

Development plans that included putting four houses on the corner of W. Front Street and Madison were rejected by commissioners at Monday night's meeting.

Plans to rezone a portion of West Front Street will not be moving forward.

Monday night, Traverse City commissioners rejected a proposal to rezone the northwest corner of Madison and Front Streets.

Before the decision was made, many Slabtown residents packed into the meeting to express their concerns over the possible rezoning.

â??Thatâ??s not an extension or some nebulous fringe to our neighborhood; it is our neighborhood,â?? explained John McDonald, a Slabtown resident.

The Slabtown neighborhood association's president urged commissioners to consider their own mission statement, and quoted the master corridor plan regarding Slabtown.

â??â??It is anticipated this segment of Front Street maintain its existing residential character,â?? said Mike Gaines, neighborhood association president. â??New development and intense investment should be compatible with the scale and intensity of the adjacent residential neighborhood.â??â??

The developer for the parcel on Madison and Front Streets said the plans call for modest houses, not cookie cutter condos.

â??They will be unique, individual homes, designed for residents,â?? said John Kerridge, property developer.

Despite a majority of dissent, a few people showed up to express their approval of the idea.

â??The kind of density and character of this project is exactly what our city neighborhoods are made of right now,â?? said Colleen Shannon, a Traverse City resident. â??Everything about it is very familiar to the texture and fabric that we already have in TC.â??

Some residents questioned the plans.

â??You have not told any of us why three houses won't serve your purposes perfectly in attracting people to this community,â?? said Doug Stanton, a Slabtown resident.

Many residents expressed fears that it would create a "dangerous precedent," allowing more commercial units to infiltrate neighborhoods.

"What you'll see up and down West Front Street will be other developments like this," said Stanton.

The proposal needed five votes to overcome the planning commissionâ??s rejection.

It failed with a vote of four to three.