GR officials offer West Side building height compromise


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — City hall and neighbors are working their way through some growing pains on Grand Rapids’ West Side.

Since they’re not making more land, developers have one choice: build up.

Zoning changes proposed in February would have allowed buildings as high as ten stories on portions of the West Side bordering downtown.

Residents expressed concern that something that tall would cast a shadow over the area.

After a number of community meetings, the city came up with a compromise that creates three zones that transition allowable building heights from ten stories closer to downtown to seven and eventually five stories moving west.

“This shows that when we hear concerns that are valid concerns, is that what we want to do as a city is press pause and say what the best plan,” said First Ward City Commissioner Dave Shaffer. “How does this set us up five, 10 years from now so that we’re not doing something that really has an unintended consequence? So I think ultimately this is the way we want to operate as a city.”

Commissioners will take up the plan during Tuesday’s meeting.

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