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Re: E-M:/ Meridian Twp UPDATE



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Enviro-Mich message from "Jim Fackert" <jfackert@cac.net>
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The citizens of Green Oak Township, Livingston County, organized a similar
referendum, very successful, to overturn the rezoning of some gravel pit
property when the townsip board failed to listen to the populace and,
against their planning commissions recomendation, approved a rezoning to 1/2
acre adn less high density.

After unsuccesfully assaulting the legality of the referendum, the
developers sued the township under the premis that the property would not be
marketable at the preexisting 5 acre zoning to which the referendum reverted
the zoning .

.  Despite the fact that the testimony clearly showed that the township
would have allowed a PUD with a reasonable compromise in density, despite
testimony from planners and developers that there were a number of viable
options for development under the townships PUD ordinance,  despite the fact
that the developers and the township adn the citizens group had already
reached and verbally agreed to a compromise in density under the supervision
of a different judge, and despite the fact that it's patently obvious that 5
acre lots on a private 200 acre lake 5 miles from US-23 and I-96 would sell
(and have sold, in this area) for lots of $$$, the court found for the
developer and granted the developer close to a million $$ and the right to
do basically whatever they wanted, and ordered the township not to
interfere.

In one stroke, the court neutralized the referendum and took away the right
of the community to shape its own future.

The really amazing thing is that over a year later the developer is still in
the middle of reclaiming the property and mining sand and gravel which they
testified in court was not profitable.  They were not delayed by te
townships actions. In fact, they probably found thousands of $$ worth of
gravel left behind by the quarriers and made even more $$ because of the
delay!

I suggest that Meridian township activists study this case, so they can
avoid the pitfalls if they can.

And realize that the court can be unfair and capricious, and is most
definitely influenced by politics.




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