‘Course of downside’ puts the proposed housing estate north of Ann Arbor on hold
WASHTENAW COUNTY, MI – A vote on a controversial development proposed in Northfield Township is being delayed due to an issue with the process, according to the township supervisor.
The tentative approval of the development, with dozens of parishioners concerned about what it would mean for the future of the community, was due to be voted on Tuesday, April 27, at the Northfield Township Board of Trustees meeting.
However, a decision on Chestnut Development’s planned unit development application, LCC, has been put on hold until further notice. The item was removed from the agenda of the meeting by Supervisor Ken Dignan, who provided few explanations beyond the community’s action based on advice from her attorney.
Trustee Lenore Zelenock asked Dignan when the board of directors could explain why the topic was removed from the meeting’s agenda.
“We can’t right now,” said Dignan. “The lawyer was concerned. I understand that a notice will come to us that is protected under the protection of attorney’s privilege and we must take this into account in a future meeting. “
Dignan later stated that it was a “process issue” that was forcing the municipality to postpone a vote on the motion.
At its last meeting, the municipality’s planning commission voted unanimously to send the PUD to the Board of Trustees under certain conditions, where it must be approved. Before that happens, Chesnut Development must deal with the terms of the master plan and the community’s sewage situation, community officials said.
Chesnut Development, a Howell-based company, is filing for reallocation of property on the corner of North Territorial and Whitmore Lake Streets to accommodate residential and commercial units. The property is currently zoned for low density.
The municipality would have to change its zoning ordinance in order to bring a mixture of residential and commercial units to the currently open field. The developer plans for the package to include more than 260 single and multi-family homes as well as commercial developments such as assisted living facilities or gas stations.
Several parishioners called the meeting on Tuesday to express their opposition to the development. Many said it was too dense, would not fit the area, and the potential increase in people and traffic would disrupt the community.
Others called to support the project, citing the community’s small school population and the possible impact more residents would have on the community’s tax base.
“We try to make an informed decision and find out for the benefit of the community. That’s what we’re all for, ”said trustee Josh Nelson.
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