Union Township in process of changing zoning for possible fraternity house to be built
The Central Michigan University chapter of Phi Sigma Phi hopes to build a 20-bedroom fraternity house on Crawford Road in Union Township.
The property is approximately 2.9 acres located at 2930 S. Crawford Road next to the university’s technology park.
“As part of the smart-growth master plan for the township, the township looks at the best practices for zoning,” said Township Supervisor John Barker. “We will look at areas that need to be evaluated for land use.”
Township Manager Woody Woodruff said because the property has an open field, it precludes it from the suburb that is nearby.
The township planning commission recommended the property be re-zoned from one-to-two family zoning to multi-family zoning, Woodruff said.
Phi Sigma Phi President Kyle DeMars said the property is a good fit for many reasons, including proximity to campus.
“We have been a large chapter for the last decade, and this property allows us the room to properly conduct fraternity business without the congestion of the city,” DeMars said.
The commission can only make a recommendation to re-zone before the Union Township board can approve the changes, Woodruff said.
“This is a process that has to go through a few steps every time,” Woodruff said. “Now Isabella County has 30 days to comment (in) which they will make sure notices were done properly. But it is only a review and comment, not an approval on the measure.”
After those 30 days the measure will be put on the next available board meeting, Woodruff said.
The property is in foreclosure right now and this project will be the first fraternity house in the township, Barker said.
Barker said the township has a little discretion, but not much when it comes to zoning laws.
As long as the house fits within township laws and requirements, they can proceed with zoning and eventually construction, he said.
“It would definitely be a new experience for the township,” Barker said. “But I generally agree with what the planning commission suggests.”
The township hasn’t seen or heard too much opposition, Woodruff said. They have only received one call against the measure.
DeMars said if everything goes “perfect” ground breaking could begin in April of next year.
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