By Brooke Kansier
LANSING CITY PULSE — Aug. 19, 2015
That’s how many residents of East Lansing’s Flower Pot neighborhood feel as Michigan State University begins development of the former State Police headquarters that sits in their backyards.
That’s because the university won’t budge when it comes to three four-story apartment buildings that will soon loom over their homes — just 53 feet from the property line. A parking lot next to the complex will sit even closer, 22 feet from the currently peaceful neighborhood yards and gardens.
“They don’t seem to have any empathy,” said 22-year resident Cynthia Craig, a retired MSU professor. “We all but lose the use of our own backyards.”
The 40-acre, $156 million, development, which will be completed by 2017, will house over 900 students, joining 300 already living at the property’s University Village. It will include commercial buildings, like a spirit store and coffee shop. The development will replace the university’s current family housing, the ailing Spartan Village.
And because MSU is autonomous from the city with its own zoning laws, East Lansing and Flower Pot residents have few avenues to appeal the project outside of appealing to the university’s good nature and asking it to be more considerate of nearby homeowners.