Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Oakland Township sprawl war: Where the city meets the country Previous Next
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Eric
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Username: Eric

Post Number: 706
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 10:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's disgusting how developers are able shove this down the throats of people who don't want it

http://freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll /article?AID=/20070314/BLOG07/ 70314052
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Fareastsider
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Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 238
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 10:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

see it isnt all planners fault...
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 258
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 - 11:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's an interesting battle. The people who don't want the development don't own the land. The people who want the development aren't interested in the larger, regional picture; why would they be? They want to get economic benefit from their property.

In Michigan, the law and the courts have traditionally sided with the property owner over the concerns of neighbors, or the region. The cities and townships have accelerated this by providing urban utilities out to farmland.

It would be interesting if one of our fellow bloggers happens to know what is Oakland Township's master plan for the parcel in question.
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Mikeg
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Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 692
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 12:03 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

t would be interesting if one of our fellow bloggers happens to know what is Oakland Township's master plan for the parcel in question.



"Medium Density Conservation", which has a permitted use of single family residential with a conservation design that yields a ratio of at least 1 acre of preserved land for each acre developed.

Source: text, map
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Andyguard73
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Username: Andyguard73

Post Number: 210
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 12:13 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Great post on the freep forum for that article by casualobserver. A lot of what he mentions have been talked about on here and by numerous groups. Its awesome to see more people getting out there and talking about ways to revive the city.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 259
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 1:47 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Mikeg.

Andyguard, casualobserver has no grasp of the realities of development. Moceri is a business. It is inexpensive to develop greenfield land, plus relatively easy to sell houses in low-crime, good-schools, low-tax Oakland Township. If you want to redevelop land in Detroit, you are dealing with brownfield land typically which is very expensive to develop; you end up with a development in a high-crime, poor-school, high-tax area which is a very hard sell.

The City of Detroit will not revitalize until it comes up with reasons for people to want to be there. As it stands now, taxes are high, crime is ridiculous (why I left), schools are not good, and some basic services such as transit are sorely lacking. Worse still, the Detroit Water and Sewer Department shoots the City in the foot by running infrastructure out an incredible distance so people can live way out in the exurbs and still have City services.

It's a silly fantasy to think that developers will voluntarily reduce their incomes and make their lives more difficult to do things that benefit the City and inner suburbs. Business is business. If we want the City and inner suburbs to revitalize, then that part of the region needs to do something to become competitive with exurban communities like Oakland Township. We will grow old and die waiting for developers to lead that charge.
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Miss_cleo
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Username: Miss_cleo

Post Number: 425
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 7:23 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

. Worse still, the Detroit Water and Sewer Department shoots the City in the foot by running infrastructure out an incredible distance so people can live way out in the exurbs and still have City services.




Just how far out does it run? When I lived in Clinton Twp we had a well and septic. I think I remember KK coming out to Fraser when the big sinkhole was at 15 mile, west of Utica. Was that part of Detroits structure?

I remember developers coming through and trying to force us to go to city water and sewer so they could develop more land out there, we declined.
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56packman
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Username: 56packman

Post Number: 1109
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 7:38 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"It's disgusting how developers are able shove this down the throats of people who don't want it"
well, the developer ins't shoving anything down anyone's throat if the plastic-covered drywall barns (McMansions) he builds sell. The developer isn't going to float a loan for what he can't sell. Sad thing is, they do sell.
Not my idea of (true) progress, but it's been going on for decades unabated. The people who are the most upset are the people who just moved there from an older, more dense suburb. They want to close the door once they are in. If you don't buy the view, you don't OWN the view. Another annoying thing that happens when these areas are developed is that Miffy and Biff pack all of their crap into the Hummer and move way out to BFE into the new starter castle and wake up one morning to smell shit--the last farmers still in the area, using nature's fertilizer. They go ballistic, "I didn't spend all this money to smell shit all day long", farmer Jones gets fed up, sells his farm to another developer and another McSub is on the way.
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2208
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 10:26 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

"Medium Density Conservation", which has a permitted use of single family residential with a conservation design that yields a ratio of at least 1 acre of preserved land for each acre developed.



In other words, the parcel is already zoned for sprawl. Once the land is zoned, there's not a whole lot you can do in a court case involving property rights.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 260
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 11:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well, the parcel is master planned for that kind of development. Whether it is zoned or not is a different issue. A community can deny a rezoning, even if the proposed zoning fits the master plan, but the community would have to provide a reason for such a decision.

The Detroit Water and Sewer District has run lines out to the northeast (my direction) as far as 26 Mile Road east of Gratiot. In other directions I don't know.

Incidentally, the forced sale of farms is due to Michigan's unique property tax laws, not neighbors with sensitive noses. In Michigan your farm is taxed based on its likely sale value. If you have other farmers for neighbors, then the land isn't considered to be worth a huge amount. Once you have a development for a neighbor, the tax laws say that your parcel is now worth what another developer would pay for it; your taxes skyrocket and you are forced out.

Several state reps floated a bill in about 2001 to change that but former farmer John Engler said he would veto it, and it died.
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 411
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 12:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

TEAR THAT SCHITT DOWN! (Although I guess they'd have to build it first.)
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2211
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 1:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Master planned, zoned...it's all semantics, really. Either one shows intent on the part of the locality to develop that particular parcel in such a manner. To deny a request in compliance with the regulation is a violation of property rights.

So, how do you stop something like this?

1) Abolish the master plan
2) Abolish the zoning regulation
3) Establish conservation easements

One might argue that taking the above steps would result in willy-nilly development. To which I say, there is a permitting process in place that is sufficient for ensuring compliance.

Unfortunately, most localities in the U.S. have been sold up the river, and told that they need to master plan and zone every square inch, just so some guy can sell more copies of his model regulation.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 261
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 1:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There is a big legal difference between master planning and zoning. If you own a parcel that is zoned commercial, you can build a commercial building. If you own a parcel that is master planned commercial, you can not build a commercial building; you must first ask the Planning Commission and then the Township Board for a rezoning, which requires a public hearing and is in no way guaranteed to happen.

Courts in Michigan have gone both ways with regard to suits over rezoning denials. As I said, if the community has a sound reason for denying, the courts are usually sympathetic to that; if not, then they are not.

Communities in Michigan cannot easily abolish master plans or zoning ordinances; and if they did, absolutely anyone could build whatever they like, wherever they like. The person next door to you could build a rendering plant. The permitting process does not allow for regulation of land use in any way. Also, Michigan law does not allow communities to require conservation easements, as some states do.
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Eric_w
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Username: Eric_w

Post Number: 54
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 2:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Used to be a T shirt for sale in a bowhunting catalog that sold really well:
" Safe Wildlife & Habitat
Shoot a Developer! "
Having seen rampant development destroy acres & acres of beautiful areas, I see the sense of it!!!
JUST KIDDING!! But I do hate to see beautiful woodlots, meadows and streams torn up by
"Progress ".
I'm a trout fisherman & the only sustaining trout stream in SE Michigan is right near the spot article covers. The development out there has really put the hurt on it. Seem every time I go out there there's a new subdivision popping up.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 262
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 2:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The shame of it is, we keep building new developments even though our population is not going up. So not only are we tearing up farmland and wildlife habitat, at the other end of the transactions we are abandoning areas that are already built up and have all the urban infrastructure.
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Buzzman0077
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Username: Buzzman0077

Post Number: 28
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 3:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I agree with the Prof. This style of growth and expansion is unsustainable and is part of the reason we don't have more money in our government coffers for the upkeep of the infrastructure we have already built. It is a waste of every resource imaginable to continue to expand outwards. When population growth doesn't demand it.
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Mikeg
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Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 693
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 3:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

To answer the question about the Detroit Water and Sewer Department service area, the DWSD pumps an average of 675 million gallons per day of water to more than four million people in 126 communities within its service area. Their expanded water service area resulted from the Lake Huron intake capacity expansion project of the early 1970's. The DWSD's water service perimeter now includes communities such as Mt. Morris in Genesee County, Imlay City in Lapeer County, Burtchville Twp. in St. Clair County, Rockwood in Monroe County and Pittsfield Twp. in Washtenaw County. However, it was not until 1996 that the Detroit Water Board adopted a policy that requires all system infrastructure growth to be self-supporting.
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Mikeg
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Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 694
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 3:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

It is a waste of every resource imaginable to continue to expand outwards. When population growth doesn't demand it.



What about the increasing numbers of households that occur as a result of the downward trend of average household size? If you look at recent SEMCOG data, about half of the increase in new households can be attributed to that trend.

The Michigan enabling legislation that is the foundation of all local community land use ordinances and land use decisions says that it is up to local officials to decide what constitutes the "highest and best use" for any given parcel of land. That "highest and best use" is expressed in the Master Land Use Plan and the Zoning Maps that are adopted by each zoned community. When a developer disagrees with the current zoning that affects their property, they can file suit in Circuit Court and the burden of proof is on them to show that the local government has not been consistent in their definition and application of "highest and best" and that their proposed use is allowable under the Master Plan and would not present a conflict with existing surrounding parcels.

In my opinion, Circuit Court decisions tend to favor the property owner because of the vagueness of the "highest and best" definition and they typically result in giving the plaintiff either a lesser zoning that is still more intense than the existing zoning or they award them a consent judgement. A consent judgement gives the developer the right to build the more intense use, and in return the local govt. gets to keep the current land use zoning intact (allowing a non-conforming use so as to not set a precedent for future developers to use in a law suit) and they can also add extra site plan restrictions that they could not otherwise extract from the developer under the current zoning.

Unless there is a radical overhaul in the State's land use enabling legislation, expect more of the same.

(Message edited by Mikeg on March 15, 2007)

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