2006-05-20 / Top News

New Idea for Mapleview: Family Apts.

By Ryan Schlehuber

If not a hotel, then how about a building of family dwelling units?

This is the question Ira Green will pose to Mackinac Island Planning Commission and neighbors of his Maple View employee dormitory, which he would like to convert into family apartments, at a public hearing scheduled for June 13 at 3 p.m.

Mr. Green already was denied a plan to convert the dormitory into a hotel because the building is already a nonconforming structure in a single family (R-1) zone. He is now asking to convert the 36room building into 12 or 13 family apartments for yeararound use, providing two-bedroom and one-bedroom apartments.

He told the Mackinac Island Planning Commission May 9 that he would like to convert some rooms into condominium apartments, but said he would make sure at least two-thirds of the building would be for yeararound rental.

"For the past six months, I've heard a lot of information about what I should do with that place," he said. "What it's come down to is that people want it restored but they don't want it going towards anything commercial."

A multiple-family apartment building, he admitted, would be more in the direction of a single-family residential zone than a hotel would have been.

"My intention was not to get beat up again," he noted, referring to the planning commission's hesitancy to grant him a hotel there.

Mr. Green explained to the board that if he is allowed to convert the building into a year-around family living complex, he would improve the appearance while maintaining the exterior design.

Maple View sits on the Lake Huron side at the east end of Main Street, near Mission Point Resort, and is home to approximately 100 summer employees.

"He wants to convert a nonconforming employee housing building into another non-conforming use, which would be apartments, so from a legal standpoint, it's going in the right direction," said city attorney Tom Evashevski.

"This would eliminate employee housing in that neighborhood," said Commissioner Franc Doud.

In other business May 9, Planning Commission Secretary Chris McCready submitted a letter of resignation to the board, which, said Commissioner Kay Hoppenrath, "is accepted with great regret."

Ms. McCready, who has held the position for six years, said she is resigning to attend to her mother, who is ill. Kelly Bean, the mayor's assistant, will replace Ms. McCready for the time being.

Tom Corrigan's request to build an accessory building at his summer home on Main Street, next the school, was approved. The property is zoned R-1.

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