Within the new plan, developers would eliminate roughly 200 parking spaces and rethink parking structures so less pavement is used. They would also relocate the decks away from Clay Street.
“The amount of coverage with surface parking and the deck parking caused a little bit of concern,” Rordam said. “Some would like to see those garages at least on the Miller Street side, with the big one wrapped, so it’s not just a garage sitting there.”
A bike path would also be added to the community, along with townhouses on Clay Street for workers at the site.
Despite this, there was still discontent with the perceived aim of the residential units.
“I think a lot of the members there yesterday, and some of the citizens, thought it (still) looked like student housing,” Rordam said.
The developers have stated the price for the property, at $5.6 million, couldn’t support the addition of single-family homes. They also said their research gave no significant support for the notion that senior citizens would be seeking special housing in the area.
Council members disagreed and showed senior housing was a priority.
“It’s very important for the site that it would be a demographic mix of lots of different ages and occupations, so how do you control that?” Rordam said. “One of the other items we talked about was that the master plan called for more senior housing, or at least one block of affordable senior housing.”
Fite responded that senior citizens still had the ability to move into the housing, and more efforts could be taken to ensure that not all spaces are taken up by students, such as prohibiting parents from co-signing for leases.
Fite said other requests, such as the need for retail space, were not realistic for the profitability of the community.
While the developers will continue trying to reach and agree with council members, they still have plans to apply for re-zoning on Dec. 1.
Mayor Rordam is still undecided on the development.
“There are some things I like, and things I don’t,” Rordam said. “It’s a process in motion.”