‘Not in my backyard’ — Hudsonville housing development causing a stir

HUDSONVILLE, Mich. -- A potential apartment development in the Hudsonville area is causing quite the stir. Residents raised questions about safety issues with the planning and zoning board Thursday afternoon.

Residents are saying "not in my backyard" to the proposed Hudson apartment homes project. But, the good news for them is it looks like the planning board may be on their side.

If approved, the proposed multi-family homes will include 120 units in a five building complex on 32nd Street between Greenly and Riley, which is zoned as a high density residential area.

Members of the Planning Commission say traffic may become a safety concern impacted by the new development.

While the township is growing, a further look at traffic studies before going forward with the project is something both residents and commission members can agree on.

"They need to do more traffic studies to make sure that it can handle the amount of traffic that they're looking to bring in to that spot and my personal concern is that we just built a brand new home that backs right up to this project and looking out the back window of my home I would see three story buildings. So from a personal standpoint I would prefer to not have this kind of project put it my backyard," says Hudsonville resident Jennifer Dehaan.

"I'm not looking at this from a standpoint of whether or not you want to look at apartments in your front yard or your backyard or whatever. I'm not gauging it on that, I'm gauging it on the safety of the community in general," says Jamestown Township Planning Commission Board Member Jeff Dykstra.

And while Hudsonville residents acknowledge the community is growing, some argue the location of the proposed housing project may not be the best.

"We realize Jamestown is growing, and we're part of that growth obviously. I just don't think this is the right spot in my person opinion. There are, and I just did a cursory glance on the west side of 32nd avenue, there's over 200 acres of undeveloped land along that corridor," says resident Curt Sundinski.

But, the main concern for city officials is safety.

" We could put out all of the traffic studies we want to do but until we actually got something complete, we don't have nothing to gauge that traffic study on. We have the Meijer going in, we have a medical facility going in, and a couple of other things. Plus we got the schools that do traffic down there on a regular basis. And I don't think the infrastructure that we have there at the time is able to handle that,"says Dykstra.

At Thursday's meeting, the committee agreed to recommend the project be put on hold. A vote on that will happen at a special Planning Commission meeting April 3.

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  • Michael

    How pretentious do you have to be to think what you do or don’t want to look at (2 or 3 story buildings) out of your backyard has any bearing on someone else’s use of the property they own?

    I understand the safety and traffic concerns. That makes sense. “I don’t want to see a building behind my property” does not.

    • David

      My opinion, again just my opinion,people do not a piece to be used for any given purpose they should buy the property and then they could do what they want to with it, don’t tell somebody else they can not do what they please with their own property. I live next to a 30 acre piece of land, if I do not want a land fill or pig farm next door I should buy it and then the control of what havens would be mine. O by the way I can not afford to do that but why should I be able to tell someoneed my permission to do what’s they want to do with it.

  • Sue

    It’s always interesting to me that the many people that already live in the area and are also part of the traffic don’t want others. You too, live on a piece of property that was someone else’s farm at one time. Did you stop Meijer from building? I think we need to learn to share and become community with all. I grew up on 40 acres. Now it’s all housing,
    Do you know how much money I made babysitting for the new neighbors back in the day? Look at the positive, It’s always too much traffic,

  • Justin Case

    If you do not want to live where there could be future development, don’t move next to an open field.
    These people need to realize that the folks that want to move into the area should have the same rights to live there as they do. Just because you were there first does not mean you get the make up the rules.

  • Shawn

    Good for them. It is a great feeling when a community comes together over a common cause. There are a lot of concerns when new developments are proposed and most of the time the community is not aware. Whether you agree or disagree with the stance it is great to see the community giving their input and feed back. It may make for some bumps in the road for developers and the public but overall everyone will be better off because of it.