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E-M:/ Novi Wetland Issue



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Enviro-Mich message from Andrew Mutch <amutch@waterford.lib.mi.us>
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A recent post to the list indicated that the City of Novi and the State
MDOT have proposed plans to sell part of a wetlands mitigation site to a
developer.  This is absolutely not true.  The City of Novi has proposed
using this 105 acre wetland site as a passive park for the enjoyment of
all Novi residents and the general public.  The City is seeking to
acquire the property from MDOT to ensure that the residents of the City
have access to the site as well as ensure the future protection of the
environmental features of the site.   For those who may not be familiar
with Novi, the City locally regulates Woodlands and Wetlands and has
protected hundreds of acres of critical wildlife habitat through public
land ownership.  The City's ownership of the property will ensure that
MDOT does not try to sell off portions of the site to developers for
profit.

Unfortunately, residents bordering the mitigation site are fighting any
attempts at allowing public access.  They do not want the general public
to be able to access the site and are trying to claim that the City will
inappropriately develop the site if it acquires it.  The City has
proposed the "possibility" of limited improvements such as a small
parking lot, restroom facilities, and walking trails to allow the public
to safely access the site.  However, all of these improvements are
intended to be environmentally compatible with the mitigation site and
consistent with those provided at Maybury State Park 1 mile to the South
[in character, not in size].  While the concerns of the nearby residents
are understandable, they should not be using "environmental" issuess to
create their own private park.

Andrew Mutch
Novi, MI


"I am in need of information regarding wetlands conservation for
mitigated
wetlands using federal $.


Currently Novi, MI (Detroit Metro Area) is in the process of acquiring
130+
acres of Michigan DOT mitigated wetland (w/federal funding) for the
purpose
of converting the acreage into multi-purpose use. Original intent for
this
wetland was to provide a habitat for wildlife. Period. The City of Novi
has
the opportunity to acquire this property for the sum of $1. This land is

previously condemned private land. One proposed use is: converting high
acreage for sale to a developer and lower acreage into a park which may
or
may not include paved parking, observation tower, board walks, bike
trails,
rest rooms, etc... Other proposed uses by the City of Novi have been
passive
park and straight wetland use, this land was mitigated for natural
wetlands
destroyed by the M-5 Connector (M-5, I-696, I-96, I-275 interchange)
project.


I would like to know what options the city can impose on this property
and
what it would take to lock this property into wetland status forever.
Unfortunately Novi is holding a public hearing April 17th , 2000, I
received
notice of this hearing by mail March 29, 2000. Time is of essence. Any
information that you or your organization can forward to me prior to
this
date will be appreciated."




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