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Developers seek to expand Middleville neighborhood

Greg Chandler

Staff Writer

Construction could begin in the near future on the final phase of the Rolling Oaks subdivision on Middleville's west side.

The village planning commission Tuesday approved a preliminary plat request from RGS Development of Byron Center for the fourth and final phase of the subdivision, with 42 single-family homes to be built on 17.5 acres. The request will now go to the village council. When complete, Rolling Oaks will have 150 homes.

In addition to completing development of Rolling Oaks, the preliminary plat request also calls for connecting the subdivision to the adjoining Seneca Ridge development through Bernard Street, village planning and zoning administrator Brian Urquhart said.

“It would relieve a lot of the traffic concerns that are there on Towne Center and Minstehr Drive [on the periphery of the two subdivisions], where it's viewed as kind of a drive-through,” Urquhart said.

Seneca Ridge resident Josh Mosey is less than thrilled about the prospect of the subdivisions being connected.

“At the moment, my wife and I have a beautiful view out the back window of trees, and not neighbors,” Mosey said. “We would love for it to be that way as long as possible. I do not mind living on a road that dead-ends right next to me. The accessibility of my area is not an issue for me.”

Jon Male, a project engineer from Exxel Engineering, representing the developer, told commissioners that the plan has been for the subdivisions to be connected.

“It was planned this way from the beginning,” he said.

The first homes in Rolling Oaks were built in 2002, with 30 homes constructed during the first phase. Two years later, the second phase of development was approved, with 57 homes built, Urquhart said.

The village approved the plat for the third phase of development last year, with 21 homes to be built, at least six of which are currently being built.

“The need for additional housing is there,” Urquhart said.

The new plat also would include 2,200 linear feet of new street construction from Oak View Drive to Oak Meadow Drive, a common park area to be maintained by the subdivision homeowners association, and a 5-foot-wide concrete pathway to the park. A similar pathway was required on the previous phase of development.

“The intent is that in Phase IV, we will connect that piece to the [Lee Elementary] School property,” Male said.

In addition, a triangular piece of property near the water tower, just south of three of the lots slated for the new plat, is scheduled to be deeded to the village, Urquhart said.

Once the preliminary plat is approved by the village council, village officials will have to approve a construction plan for the final phase, and then the final plat must be approved by both the planning commission and village council, Urquhart said.

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