Morgan Farms in Traverse City.

TRAVERSE CITY — Plans for Traverse City neighborhood Morgan Farms’ long-undeveloped third phase are back before city planning commissioners.

They’ll take another look at their meeting Tuesday at what land owner Roland Habrecht Trust and a developer have in mind for the corner of the planned unit development, which is in the city’s northwest corner north of M-72. They call for several apartment buildings with 222 units total, a community center and 51,396 square feet of commercial space.

Land owner trustee John Hughes previously said he thinks they’re good plans that address prior concerns and have attracted a developer’s interest.

Planners at their May 5 meeting held off until they could find out more about concerns that some commercial space, which would permit any use allowed in C-2 Neighborhood Center zones, would be turned into short-term rentals. They also asked about requiring more covered parking, and to reword a condition requiring the land owner to pay for any Michigan Department of Transportation-required traffic study.

City Attorney Lauren Trible-Laucht said in a memo that city zoning prevents planners from banning short-term rentals but the city could amend zoning rules — planners previously recommended disallowing any new short-term rentals in two zoning districts, including C-2, but city commissioners haven’t taken up the issue.

Trible-Laucht wrote the developer’s parking proposals met city requirements as submitted. The city also lacks authority to dictate alterations to an MDOT road and a private one, and to dictate who should pay for traffic studies other than specifying it won’t be the city, she wrote.

The plans are the latest attempt to develop the third of three phases in Morgan Farms, with a dispute between The Roland Habrect Trust and city over limits on impervious surfaces like buildings and parking lots prompting the land owner to revive a lawsuit against the city, as previously reported.

Neighborhood residents aren’t happy with the land owner and developer’s plans, claiming they violate the neighborhood’s development rules in several ways and are a far cry from the planned unit development’s original vision, as previously reported.

City commissioners also want to hear feedback from the planning board on how to regulate recreational marijuana businesses, documents show. They’re asking in which zoning districts the businesses should be allowed, how many should be permitted and should they co-locate with medical marijuana businesses.

The city allowed medical marijuana businesses in December 2018, the same month they decided to opt out of recreational sales until Michigan regulators adopted some rules, as previously reported. Planning commissioners in March 2020 passed along their draft rules, leaving for later some questions like how many retailers should be allowed.


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