Meridian Residents Oppose Assisted Living Facility

By: Beth Shayne
By: Beth Shayne

A picture of suburban tranquility today, Dave Held's always known his Okemos Road backyard would be developed eventually.

"We were hoping it would be compatible with the Briarwood neighborhood," Held says.

The plan Meridian Township has ok'd, Held says, is not compatible.
It's too big, too loud, and out of sync with the homes around it. So Held and his neighbors are taking their questions to the courts.

"Is it's proper in a residential zoned neighborhood to have a facility of that type," he asks.

Like the lawsuit over the Okemos road construction project, they're questioning the township's choice and the way that choice was made. Held believes had the government boards paid more attention to neighborhood concerns, both situations could be resolved more easily.

Still, he says he harbors no illusions they'll stop the project, and so in the end, the 46-unit one-story building will likely be built into the hillside at Tamarack and Okemos Rds. The township says they'll do what they can suit the neighborhoods needs.

"We do listen, we do want to make this as appealing as we can to the neighbors," says Township Supervisor Sue Mcgillicuddy. She believes they're asked for appropriate restrictions to suit the project to the neighborhood. Those include a 75-foot wide perimeter from the nearby homes, lighting rules, and promises there won't be offensive kitchen odors or excessive staff traffic.

"We try to do things that are good for our community, and we think a place for mom and dad to live is good for our community," McGillicuddy says.

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