June 25, 2014 - By Katie Winkler
Review Staff Writer
Construction in the new Orion Common's Park View housing community will begin soon and eventually 102 single family and about 88 duplexes will be up for sale, some by this fall.
The previous Planned Unit Development (PUD) regarding Orion Commons was first applied for on March 22, 2013, with the intention of including single-family residential homes and duplex condos along the west part of Scripps Road leading to North Lapeer road along with a 250 feet deep strip for commercial and office buildings.
Construction by Pulte Homes will begin soon with "land development, getting the ground ready, and putting pipes in the ground this month. That takes a couple of months and then we build a model. We will probably be open for sale in September," Brandon Jones from Pulte Homes said.
Pulte Homes has had numerous projects throughout Orion Township, resulting in about ninety percent of the building permits in the area, according to Jones. With all of their recent projects and business experience in Lake Orion, Pulte Homes has no worry about these homes selling quickly.
"Lake Orion has good schools and it's a great place to live. I think that we support and agree with the things that (township supervisor) Chris Barnett has done with positioning the community and township board," Jones said. "I think it's a great community with great property values. People want to live in Orion, especially professionals that work in that 1-75 corridor."
As Park View homes begins construction, Orion Commons begins the process of placing businesses along Lapeer Road.
The only business proposed to take a spot in the commercial strip so far is Rainbow Day Care center, which was approved during the initial PUD.
According to Zoning –Planning Administrator of Orion Township Tamara Girling, "when a specific user comes in, they have to go through a PUD amendment, which is when they go before the township board and planning commission with their developments."
The Rainbow Childcare center is amending the existing Orion Commons PUD.
During the Township Zoning-Planning meeting on June 18, the first public hearing regarding Rainbow childcare was held.
During that meeting, the planning commission asked for more details and postponed any further plans with Rainbow until they came back with more information.
For the approval of a PUD, an applicant must show recognizable benefit, density impact, how it follows the township master plan, economic impact, guaranteed open space and unified control, according to Orion Township's Administrative Procedures and Standards.
During the joint-public hearing, the necessity of another childcare center was discussed, but Girling stated; "There was comment from the planning commission that we do not have the right to regulate. [Rainbow Child Care] are the ones taking the gamble whether it is going to be a successful business or not."
Once Rainbow Daycare revises their plans and resubmits them to Orion Township, the planning commission will, once again, have the chance to recommend approval or denial to the township board or postpone for other reasons.
If a recommendation is made, the daycare PUD amendment will be passed onto the township board for its consideration.