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  • Kevin Elliott

Public hearing set for redevelopment site

Plans to redevelop a former illegal dump site at Adams and Hamlin roads in Rochester Hills into a residential development with more than 350 apartment units will be the subject of a public hearing scheduled for the Rochester Hills City Council meeting on Monday, April 23.

The site, known historically as the Christiansen-Adams Landfill, was the site of illegal dumping grounds from the 1950s to mid-1960s. While about $4 million in remediation work has been done at the site by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), a good deal of contaminated soil still exists at the site. In the mid-2000s, a developer proposed cleaning up the site and using it for a commercial development along Hamlin Road, but the city rejected the plan. The developer then sued the city and the court ordered a consent order to allow for cleanup and rezoning.

In March of 2017, the Goldberg Companies announced its intent to purchase the land and construct Legacy Rochester Hills, a luxury apartment development. The project would require additional cleanup beyond that required for a commercial development, with costs estimated to be about $12 million, rather than $3.5 million in work needed for a commercial development. The city in February approved amending the court's consent judgement to allow for a residential development.

The specifics of the site plan, as well as the cleanup measures that will be overseen by the DEQ, are expected to be presented during the public hearing on April 23.

A handful of residents who live near the property expressed their concern to city council on Monday, April 9, during the scheduling of the public hearing.

Ed Baron, a former city council member and former planning commission member, said he had several questions regarding the funding of the proposed cleanup, and urged council to have engineers and environmental consultants at the meeting to get clear answers.

Others said they were concerned with the specifics of the cleanup, and were concerned that it would be thorough and safe for the public. Residents who spoke on April 9 also said they had concerns about traffic safety and additional vehicles brought by the proposed development.

Council addressed some of the concerns, saying that its already possible for a commercial development to proceed on the site, and that a residential project would require additional cleanup measures to ensure the site is safe. Council said the questions would be addressed further during the public hearing.

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