The Triple Crane Retreat Center, a Buddhist church at 7665 Werkner Road, received both preliminary site plan approval and an amended special use permit by the Lyndon Township Planning Commission on Feb. 25 with a number of contingencies and restrictions attached.
The applicant plans to build six 1-story cabin buildings, five of which comprised of four units and one with three units and a room for laundry facilities on the 10-acre property that will be used for church-related activities.
The applicant plans to hold retreats with overnight stays for not more than 30 people who would stay in the cabins and participate in activities such as yoga, meditation, contemplation walks, and lectures with shared meals.
Also planned are pathways to connect the buildings with the main church.
As part of the amended special use permit approval and the preliminary site plan approval, among the items the applicant was asked to provide to the township are:
- Approvals from all township and county agencies as well as the Chelsea Area Fire Authority on the final site plans.
- Provide additional information about drainage, lighting and engineering plans on the final site plan
- Provide additional screening between the buildings and neighboring properties on the east, west and south property lines
- A restriction on outside activities – that they cannot take place within 50 feet of neighboring properties
- The applicants must notify the township ahead of planned retreats with pertinent contact information
- The retreats are restricted to those put on by the church or other religious affiliations.
- The applicants can only use the cabins 14 days per month and there is a maximum of 30 people.
Among the contingencies placed on the preliminary site plan and amended special use permit were stipulations that took into account concerns that were raised by neighbors and planning commissioners.
Among those concerns were:
- would the property become a commercial entity in the future
- whether these cabins might be rented out year-round
- drainage issues affecting nearby properties
- would these cabins be used just for church-related activities
- potential light pollution and the potential for increased traffic.
The next steps would be the submission of a final site plan for the project that would need to address all of the contingencies and restrictions, another public hearing, discussion and vote by the Planning Commission, and if approved, approval from the Township Board before the cabins could be built.