An eight-court tennis facility with a viewing concourse and bathroom facility at 500 Lone Pine Road, at the Cranbrook Educational Community's campus, was approved on Tuesday, September 10 by the Bloomfield Hills Planning Commission.
The development, which will replace the site's current four-court facility, is based on the Hope College Tennis facility in Holland, Michigan, and will host high school competitive tennis tournaments. Plans for the outdoor courts include removing the existing four tennis courts and an unused, two-story building. The new facility will consist of eight outdoor courts with a 10-foot high, elevated viewing concourse between the rows of tennis courts, as well as a 450-square-foot bathroom facility, with a 12-foot height, according to Joe Tangari, with the city's planning consultant Giffels Webster who reviewed the site plans.
Tangari said the plans don't include any changes to drives and access points, nor to parking and traffic circulations.
"The applicant's plan indicates that most of the existing screening of the site will remain in place," he said in his review. "All vegetation in the setback is left intact, though the removal of the existing building will increase site lines to the tennis facility. New plantings are planned along the road and the footprint of the removed building."
The plans received preliminary approval by the Planning Commission in August, but the applicant was advised to return at the September 10 meeting to address some existing concerns. Those concerns included providing color renderings of the entire site with views from the neighboring property owners' point of view; a parking study; a proposed landscape plan; building and construction materials samples; lighting specifics; and consideration of removing an existing chain link fence along Orchard Ridge.
Neighboring residents had raised concern about possible parking along Orchard Ridge and requested additional screening around the complex to block the view from the outside. Those concerns were addressed at the September 10 meeting, with a representative from Cranbrook and the resident agreeing on fencing and screening.
Another neighbor along Orchard Ridge said while they support Cranbrook, there was concern that the project would bring increased activity and possible lighting pollution.
Under the approved plan, lighting at the site will forgo traditional pole-mounted lights in favor of recessed lighting to the underside of the elevated concourse. Neighbors concerns regarding screening was also addressed, with Cranbrook representatives and neighbors agreeing to discuss additional screenings to alleviate concerns.
The planning commission on September 10 gave final approval of the site plan, as well as a natural features setback approval and grading approval.