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E-M:/ Ann Arbor Railroad



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Enviro-Mich message from "Aretta Schils" <squaw@provide.net>
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Hi All,

It's me again asking for help. I know all of you are busy and I hate to be a
pest but it's cheaper to ask you than it is to ask a lawyer :)

This auto-distribution center developer has made a strange move and I was
wondering if anyone might be able to shed some light as to why they may have
done this.

All of the parcels of land on which the Ann Arbor Railroad is trying to
develop this facility adds up to around 1000 acres and the deadline for the
options was today.  The AARR delivered letters of intent to buy the 9 small
pieces of property and houses that are on the inside perimeter of this
proposed development which only add up to less than 150 acres.  The other
800 or so acres, they re-optioned for one more month.

Everyone I have talked to seems to think this is a strange move for a
developer.  I'm new to this type of thing since this is the first project
that has made me a NIMBY (Not in my back yard).

To those of you who are seasoned development watchers, could anyone maybe
shed some light as to why they might have made this move?  Since the AARR
hasn't actually paid the money for the land, can they still back out?  Or is
this a "written in stone" type of thing?

>From what I have been told, one of the landowners would not re-option last
year so the AARR was forced to buy his house and 40 acres.  Now that house
has been empty for almost a year, weeds are 5-6ft tall, the barn has fallen
in a heap, and it is a total eyesore to our community.  What recourse would
us neighbors have if they do the same with the other 9 properties they just
exercised the options on?  In my opinion, why would any neighborhood want
the AARR's facility if they take care of it like they have taken care of
this first house they bought.

The AARR told the Township Planning Commission chairman that they plan on
coming before the board with a new project proposal.  Don't these guys
understand NO. The referendum turned it down, the county planning commission
turned it down, the DEQ denied the wetlands permit, the road commission
refused their latest application and the sitting "Yes" board got ousted in
the primary and a new board takes over this fall.  Is this normal for a
developer to just keep hammering away like this?  Does anyone out there have
a suggestion on what other ways we can tell them NO.....and make it stick
this time?

I'm not just asking these questions to take up space and time. I am really
puzzled at their actions and does anyone know if this is "normal" developers
behavior?

Thanks,
Aretta Schils


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