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New development proposed for Leland draws criticism from residents

A building proposed for Main Street in Leland has residents upset, saying it doesn’t match the village’s character.

The multi-use development is being proposed by developer J. Peterson Homes and would sit on Main and William Streets in Leland. The building would stand three stories tall, house four condominiums and include business space on the bottom floor. However, some residents aren’t sold on the idea, which lead to people gathering at the Leland Township Library Wednesday night to prepare arguments against the project.

“Personally I think it’s a nice building, but it would look nicer in downtown Grand Rapids or downtown Traverse City, not on Main Street in Leland,” Meeting organizer and form planning commission chair, Keith Ashley admitted.


The Leland Township Planning Commission is considering the developers Planned Use Development (PUD) application at their upcoming September, 6 meeting. If commissioners approve the application, it would give the project the green light to move forward. Residents met Wednesday night to gather their arguments in hopes to convince the board to reject the project.

“We don’t want to just throw rocks needlessly. The man is doing what he’s paid to do, it’s his business and he’s doing it legally,” Ashley acknowledged.

The former supervisor of Leland Township, Cal Little explained that despite it being legal, he believes it goes against the villages character and therefore should be rejected.

“The references to character in the master plan and the references to character in the zoning ordinance can be influential in expressing the opposition’s opinion,” Little stated.


Ashley said he’s been in contact with the developer who he claims will have a new design that takes the community’s concerns into account released in the next couple of weeks.

“At least he’s trying. So, I give him credit for that. And I think we need to respect him for trying to do that,” Ashley said.

J. Peterson Homes was not available for comment.

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