Developer, architect offer information, update on proposed Moceri project ahead of public hearing

Developer, architect offer information, update on proposed Moceri project ahead of public hearing

By Jim Newell
Review Editor
LAKE ORION — The Moceri Companies are proposing three new developments along the M-24 corridor that would represent an investment of more than $90 million to create new multi-unit residences.

And the project has raised a lot of questions and concerns from residents.

The Lake Orion Planning Commission will hold a hearing at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 6 for anyone who wants to comment on the proposed development.

More than 200 people packed Lake Orion Village Hall at the Aug. 1 planning commission meeting expecting the public hearing to be that evening after seeing a public notice in The Lake Orion Review stating the hearing was on that date. Planning commissioners said they would look into the mixup and inform the public at the next meeting.

Most residents who spoke at the meeting questioned various aspects of the development, raising concerns about density, increased traffic on the roads and the lake, environmental impact and historical preservation.

“We don’t want to change the Village of Lake Orion. We want to improve upon the characteristics of the existing village,” said Dominic Moceri, developer for the project. “Moceri recognizes the historical value of Lake Orion. We plan to restore Lake Orion’s past by implementing key features into its future.”

Dominick Tringali, architect of the development, said they are not asking for any variances on two of the sites, Constellation Bay and Mystic Cove, and that there is a need for housing in Lake Orion. “The master plan, we’re adhering to it 100 percent,” he said.

Recently, Moceri and Tringali sat down with The Review to go over the projects, give updates to project changes and dispel some of the “misinformation” they say is being circulated online and in the community.

The Starboard development
The proposed Starboard development is 2.7-acres and will have a total of 40 residences. The proposed density is 15 percent less than what is allowable, according to Moceri.

Moceri and Tringali say the development is consistent with the village’s master plan and “shall be consistent with the intent and spirit of the this (sic) Ordinances,” project development documents stated.

The project does need Planned Unit Development (PUD) approval and is the only one of the three developments that required a public hearing.

The project includes 42 percent open space, one boathouse, nine residences at The Landings portion, seven residences at the Peninsula, preservation of one existing historical home at 189 Flint St.

There will be 111 total parking spaces; 80 are required.

Like all the developments, The Starboard will have a state-of-the-art stormwater water quality treatment and an Oakland County Gravity System so there is “no stress or capacity issues with the sanitary sewer pump systems,” according to project documents.

The development calls for eight total apartment buildings.

Building one will be on the site of the current Orion Marine building on the corner of M-24 and W. Flint Street, though that building will be moved back further from the road than the existing building. This building will have ground level parking for residents and will create more greenery out front, provide a pathway connection to Green’s Park and remove the entrance off of M-24 to increase traffic safety.

There will be two buildings on the north side of Lake Street – Landings at Starboard – which will be reconfigured so that Lake Street accesses W. Flint Street further back from M-24 to help alleviate some of the traffic problems.

Moceri proposes renovating the house to the west of the Landings, buildings two and three, to its original look.
Building four is at the west end of the Marina on the water.

Building five is on a private drive on the peninsula development – named The Peninsula at Starboard – and buildings six, seven and eight are on the peninsula.

The existing boathouse on the east side of the marina will be renovated and preserved as will the gas pump dock on the west side. There are also plans to build a snack shop next to the gas pump.

There will be no additional boat slips from the current number allotted, and slips will only be for residents. Boat rentals and party boats are not allowed.

Moceri is also discussing plans to relocate a cabin from the Heights and Lapeer Road development in Green’s Park. A second cabin could be preserved in another location.

Constellation Bay
The Constellation Bay development is on the west side of M-24, across from Atwater Street and consists of seven buildings.

The 3.48-acre project will have 52 residences, 14 percent open space (10 percent required), 131 total parking spaces (104 required), 36 three-story two-bedroom floor plans, two efficiency residences and one reconstructed historical home.

Thirteen of the residences will be live-work style homes, providing an office space for residents to work from home.

The seventh building is a historical reconstruction of the Italianate House and the entrance to the development features a sign mimicking the original Lake Orion sign over the gateway to the Park Island amusement park.

With the Constellation Bay development, the previously proposed four-story building has been reduced to three stories and as such the development can go right into site plan approval without seeking a height overlay variance.

There are also plans for a future boat house restaurant on the north end of the site.

The public will have access to a new boardwalk along the waterline for viewing. There will be no additional boat slips, which are for residents only.

Mystic Cove
The Mystic Cove development is at the south end of the village, encompassing the corner of M-24 and Heights Road and another parcel along Heights Road just to the east of Snug Harbor.

In total, it’s a 4.49-acre development that “will buffer existing neighborhoods from nonresidential use,” project documents stated.

A portion of this area is where “the cabins” are currently located on M-24.

The project calls for 47 residences: 12 two-bedroom ranch-style and 35 three-bedroom ranch-style residences. Eleven of the homes along M-24 will be live-work style homes.

The 24 percent open space exceeds the 10 percent required and 134 total parking spaces – only 94 are required.

There are no added boat slips and slips are for residents only. Boat rentals and party boats are not allowed. There is one seasonal boat ramp for residents only. The shoreline will remain natural.

The site will have “state of the art stormwater quality treatment” and an Oakland County Gravity System so there will be “no stress or capacity issue on sanitary sewer pump systems,” according to documents in the proposal.

There will be a community park and a Dragon on the Lake Historical Story marker telling the story of how the Dragon on the Lake legend began.

The project meets all height, setback and density requirements.

 

Traffic
Tringali said there are about 40,000 cars a day on M-24. With the three proposed Moceri developments, they project about a three percent additional impact on traffic.

“The impact we’re going to have is really not going to be what people think it will be,” he said.

According to a traffic study by Anderson, Eckstein & Westrick, Inc., released in August, the new developments will actually create less traffic than trip generation based on current zoning.

“Trips” include “all residential trips, services vehicles, all mail delivery, garbage pickup, visitors, and school busses (sic) etc.”
The study says that trip generation based on existing zoning (at full capacity, if all businesses are open and homes are occupied) would be an average daily calculated trip end of 2,508.

With the properties becoming mostly residential, the trip generation based on the proposed development is an average daily total of 996 increase.

That does not mean that traffic will be reduced; just that if, under the current zoning, all businesses and homes were occupied and running at full capacity they would generate more trips than the proposed development.

Moceri and Tringali hope the informational meeting and public hearing provide residents with new, accurate information about the development and how it will fit into the Lake Orion community.

Tringali points out that back in 1964 when Park Island was proposed for residential development, many people raised concerns about the same issues residents have now: the increased road and lake traffic, population, and general development.

He notes that after the houses were built on Park Island, people came to accept and embrace the area as just part of the community.

“Orion has always been growing,” Tringali said. “You may walk away not liking this (project), but you will see that we’ve put a lot of thought into it.”

8 Responses to "Developer, architect offer information, update on proposed Moceri project ahead of public hearing"

  1. Cory Johnston   September 1, 2022 at 12:58 pm

    I disagree with the Moceri claim that it meets the Village Master Plan and zoning, but then I don’t have a vote on such things. It is filling these sites with buildings, paving, and minimal landscaping. It is far more massive than anything that exists in these locations and adding approximately 150 units, possibly more the 300 cars and people, that will definitely create traffic problems for vehicles, boats, and pedestrians. The use and building setbacks are at best questionable. We can only hope that the Village Planner, Engineer, and Planning Commission challenge the developer to do better or this will become the model for all that comes later.

    Reply
  2. John Enright   September 1, 2022 at 3:07 pm

    Mr Johnston, The planning commission requires a 10 percent open space adherence and Moceri offers 24 percent? The problem is not Moceri it’s the planning commission. Why would they accept so little? Because this is Mayberry RFD and now we have to step up and act like we deserve to have this fantastic area we live in. We have an offer to take a whole lot of abandoned black eyes in our town and make something nice out of it, something that makes people uneasy. I say get over it and ask yourself when was the last time anyone did anything at the Darling Cottage? It’s 2022 and we built this great place we live in. Why wouldn’t people want to build here and spruce it up?
    NINETY MILLION DOLLARS! Were going to look that gift horse in the mouth? Demand a bit more in return from the developer because they didn’t come to the table with everything out. Unless we act, we mire ourselves in the same ol’ same ol’ . Moceri has a reputation for building beautiful properties, and we have a reputation for sticking together, fighting for what’s good here and pissing away opportunity. Lets make something good together.

    Reply
  3. John Sanchez   September 2, 2022 at 1:50 pm

    Whatever this plan looks like in the end, it is sure to be World-Class. IMHO Lake Orion community should be embracing Moceri Co’s for investing in it’s future and contributing to making this excellent community even better than before..

    Reply
  4. Scottyp366   September 2, 2022 at 8:19 pm

    3 percent, eh. Numbers don’t add up with that many new occupants.

    Reply
  5. Steve   September 3, 2022 at 2:59 pm

    Why so many apartments? Moceri is attempting to make as much money as possible off the limited land and lake front? I call that modified funneling by providing so many units access to the lake without having sufficient frontage. Moceri gets to price the units as having lakefront access and maximizes profits. I say Moceri should do this on a small lake with little or no competing homes and in a more remote area where traffic congestion is not an issue. They’ll need more parking than is stated during the summer months as apartment and condo owners have their family and guests over for a cookout and day on the lake. Lake Orion is already congested and will now only get busier. I have little faith in planning commissions as it is in their best interest to create more revenue to secure their jobs and pay. As often is the case the community at large is sold a bill of goods. This appears to be more of the same.

    Reply
  6. Eric   September 6, 2022 at 7:45 am

    Save the cabins!

    Reply
  7. JIM WITALEC   September 6, 2022 at 9:37 pm

    Don’t believe them when they say no additional boats / slips. I went to the planning meeting (didn’t get to speak) and found out from their own documents that Constellation Bay adds up to 17 new boats and a boat house. At Mystic Cove they plan to add up to 14 more boats. Thats 31 new boats and doesn’t count any plans for Starboard which I no longer believe. Both Boat Traffic and Vehicular Traffic WILL be AFFECTED.

    Reply
  8. Christina   September 6, 2022 at 11:46 pm

    I live in the cabins and have for 6 years. I love this place. There are elderly people who live on the cabins. Are they going to re-home all of us??? We all have no where else to go but the streets and that’s not fair.

    Reply

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