ECA Board Response: 1225 Lake Drive SE Proposal

Posted on: December 3, 2015 | Posted in: News

The ECA Board of Directors has voted to not write a letter of support for the cooperative housing proposal at 1225 Lake Drive SE. The board did write a letter of opinion to the planning commission and Eastown commissioners, which is included below in text and attachment. Thank you all for your communication on this issue. The conversations facilitated by the ECA are exactly the sort of engagement we are here for, so thank you for being a part of that!


Dear City Planning Commission:

The Eastown Community Association Board of Directors has voted not to write a letter of support for the proposed cooperative housing at 1225 Lake Drive SE. The ECA facilitated a tremendous amount of dialogue with those supporting and opposing this project; as a result, we do not feel this project is appropriate for this property. However, we voted to write this letter of opinion to reflect the voices of those supporting and opposing this proposal.

Regarding the 1225 Lake Drive proposal, we feel that this particular project at this particular location is not appropriate. To reflect the language from the city’s Special Land Use requirements, we did not feel that the proposed use is “harmonious” or “compatible” to the “adjacent properties” and the neighbors’ “perceived quality of life.”

However, we do want to reiterate that the Eastown Community Association is not opposed to affordable housing or even cooperatives. It is our belief that creative housing opportunities make for vibrant and diverse communities. In cooperation with residents, developers, and the planning department, the ECA carefully evaluates projects in hopes of creating the best possible fit for our neighborhood. As market-rates quickly rise, Grand Rapids must continue to think creatively and generously about how our city can sustainably grow without leaving people behind. We echo the voice of our residents—many of whom supported Mr. Jones’ proposal for these reasons—who want Eastown to be a part of this solution.

Thank you for your willingness to be in dialogue with the ECA and Eastown residents throughout this challenging process. We are grateful for your efforts on behalf of our city. I am happy to speak with you further to clarify or answer any questions that you may have.

On behalf of the ECA board of directors,

Shannon Cunningham, President

ECA Board of Directors

cc: Commissioners Kelly, Lenear, Lumpkins, and Bliss