Apartment and retail development plan in Traverse City will go to the voters

A mural adorns the wall of a chocolate shop in downtown Traverse City, Mich., Feb. 13, 2021. Controversy over a local official's display of a gun during an online meeting has raised concerns that Michigan's seemingly tranquil north, a major Midwestern tourist destination, has some of the same racial and cultural divides that have ignited protests and violence in bigger cities. (AP Photo/John Flesher) (John Flesher, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – Voters will decide whether the largest city in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula gets a large new building.

It’s an unusual step but one that follows a policy approved by Traverse City residents in 2016, The Record-Eagle reported.

A developer, Innovo TC Hall, has proposed a building with dozens of apartments and retail space. City planners initially said it wouldn't exceed the 60-foot-tall threshold necessary for a vote. But a judge said an elevator shaft and other features should have been counted.

Voters in November will determine whether the project moves forward, although the developer is appealing the judge's decision.

“It’s not for us to decide if we like it or not. It's up to the voters,” said Traverse City Commission member Amy Shamroe.

A lawsuit by a local group, Save Our Downtown, led to the election.