East Lansing residents raise concerns about new Spartan Village
Residents of the Flower Pot neighborhood located on Marigold Avenue, a street that runs adjacent to the construction site of the new Spartan Village Apartments are concerned over the construction of the new building, namely, the ramifications to the environment as a result of the project’s construction.
John A. Howrani, Cynthia Craig, and Sally Wittler are three residents of the Flower Pot neighborhood.
“We are not just annoyed taxpayers,” Howrani said. "We just feel MSU should embody its mission statement of being a good neighbor to those in East Lansing."
The neighborhood residents are concerned the new apartment complex is being built too close to their properties and will block their views and infringe on their privacy.
“We now have to pay our own money to look at the back of buildings,” Howrani added.
In addition, the group has issues with the ground that the apartment buildings are being constructed upon, finding them incompatible for large buildings.
According to a State News article in 2005, the director of University Housing and food services claimed the ground the site is being built on is definitely not suitable and a prior build proposal was scrapped.
Howrani pointed out the construction company raised the ground in order to build part of the complex on a marshy area. Anticipating flooding problems, engineers on the project are embedding large tanks under the building that are meant to absorb the water.
However, because of the elevation, the residents fear the water will cascade into their property, “saturate the environment,” and act as a cesspool and breeding ground for mosquitos.
“This could severely damage the environment, devalue our properties, and make our yards unpleasant,” said Howrani.
Kat Cooper, Director of Communications for RHS, said expert engineers and architects were indeed consulted to “conduct a diligent process to ensure the land is perfectly suitable to build on.”
Cooper paid mention to a law in the State of Michigan that states no construction project may have an “adverse effect” on neighboring properties, and MSU has abided by that piece of legislation.
She also referred to a study that Beckett and Raeder, a landscaping and architecture firm that was consulted for the project, conducted in regards to the integrity of the plumbing system beneath the buildings.
“Addition of ground water level monitors prior to construction for baseline readings and then continuous monitoring of groundwater levels after construction to ensure there is no impact to the neighborhood,” according to the study.
The study also claimed further cleaning of the tubes would also be done to prevent any leakage in the event of a storm.
“The intense process that went into designing the tanks will ensure the safety of the adjacent properties,” Cooper added.
She also said modern, and environmentally friendly air conditioning units will be placed on the rooftops of the apartment buildings to minimize noise for the respect of those living in the Flower Pot neighborhood.