By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — The Planning Commission unanimously declined a request from Jawad Heritage Group, LLC to rezone land at the former Howe School, 18000 Oakwood Blvd., during a Nov. 9 meeting.
According to the meeting agenda, the application was for rezoning property on the north side of Oakwood between Rotunda and Linden.
Requested was that the land go from Residential A (One Family Residential District) to Business C (General Business District), Residential E (Multiple Family Residential District) and VP (Vehicular Parking District) zoning classifications.
The developer had plans to include retail in the section closer to Oakwood with the original plan of a senior housing development on the section to the north.
During the Nov. 9 virtual meeting, details of the rezoning request for the development were explained by the project architect.
Residents voiced concerns about the retail aspect of the project, with most opposing.
Impact on the neighborhood, increased traffic volume and possible addition of flooding and sewerage in the area were some of the topics mentioned by the speakers, according to a Dearborn Eye Facebook post by resident Kenneth Paris.
Nazih Jawad of Dearborn, purchased the property in 2016 after it was put on the market by Dearborn Public Schools for two years. His plans were to transform the space into a senior citizen living facility.
He paid the district a $20,000 nonrefundable deposit for the 10-acre piece of land which sits across from Beaumont Hospital-Dearborn.
Howe School had an ongoing asbestos abatement issue and was used for an education program for disabled students, paid-preschool and a kindergarten-through-fifth grade Montessori school before it was sold and demolished.
Students from the former school were moved to the DPS Dearborn Heights campus in 2014.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])