SEDP PRESIDENT/CEO JUSTIN HORVATH spoke in support of preliminary site plan approval of the former middle school during the Owosso Planning Commission meeting Monday, Aug. 22. 

(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)



   The former Owosso Middle School building at 219 N. Water St. was the subject of a site plan review and discussion during the Owosso Planning Commission meeting Monday, Aug. 22 at city hall. Venture, Inc. consultant Mikki Droste outlined proposed plans on the property that include constructing 50 low-income apartments and possible commercial use of other areas in the building.

   Venture, Inc., a subsidiary of Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency (OLHSA), was awarded the bid on the middle school during the Wednesday, July 27 Owosso School Board meeting. Venture, Inc. had offered $200,000 with the purchase price contingent upon obtaining tax credits from the Michigan Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) and the State Historic Preservation Office/National Park Service.

   Facing an Oct. 1 grant deadline, Venture, Inc. needed the district’s approval in July and also preliminary approval from the Owosso Planning Commission on its site plan proposal. Droste told the commission that along with seeking the MSHDA grant by Oct. 1, Venture is still pursuing a State Historic Preservation grant.

   Justin Sprague of CIB Planning, working with the city of Owosso, emphasized that if commercial use of space in the middle school is planned, than further review would be needed due to parking considerations. Current parking is adequate for the 50 apartment units, though. Droste suggested possible use of the cafeteria as a restaurant – and a restaurant would need more parking.

   Ultimately, the preliminary approval was granted to Venture, Inc. with the following conditions:

• An updated site plan showing all dimensions will be needed.

• Dumpster identification and proposed screening is needed.

• The Owosso Planning Commission wants clarification on landscaping and materials.

• Mechanical unit locations need to be identified along with plans on screening.

• A lighting plan is needed.

• The final site plan will be decided by administrative/city department review.

   Some discussion between Owosso Planning Commissioners and Venture, Inc. consultants included the continued use of the amphitheater and the river easement/kayak launch use. The Venture, Inc. representatives assured the planning commissioners that they recognize the significance of community members continued use of the amphitheater and see it as an asset. The city of Owosso already has an easement in place with the Owosso Public School District regarding river access.

Owosso Planning Commission was last modified: August 30th, 2022 by Karen Elford