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Re: E-M:/ White Lake Twp. Landon Hearing



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Enviro-Mich message from Andrew Mutch <andrewimutch@yahoo.com>
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Shannon,

I've read of at least one township where Landon walked
away from a proposal in the face of opposition from
the Township and residents. Their willingness to
litigate is going to be dependent on the strength of
their case. While they have deep pockets, even they
can't afford to litigate every project, especially if
they have a weak case. In this situation, where the
Township already has a number of existing MH parks and
the proposed location is ill-suited for this proposal
and residents are organized against them, I would not
at all be surprised to see them walk away. 

Land is expensive in Oakland County and Landon can't
afford to be tied up in litigation on this property
when they can go elsewhere, pay less for the land, and
get the same return. Unlike other housing developers,
there is a limit on the market price in MH parks, and
these developers can't simply recoup their costs by
charging higher prices. While the land is probably
only under option, there is a cost to that as well. 

Public Hearings are a part of establishing the record
for future litigation. If they are sending the junior
attorney for this hearing, it's likely they are just
going through the motions. When they are serious, they
generally send their bug gun attorneys to make the
case. This doesn't mean that you should let you guard
down. But I think it is a good sign in this case.

This is just the first step in the process. It's
important to do several things:

1) Make sure as many people attend the Township
Board's hearing on this issue. That helps remind the
Board of the public opposition and ensure that the
Board doesn't get the idea to "make a deal" if
litigation ensues.

2) Submit your comments to the Township. While you
probably felt your comments were covered by others,
it's important that these get into the record. As I've
seen in litigation, you never know what document is
going to catch the Judge's eye, and it could be the
thing that turns the case.  

I can't answer directly the question about the road
access. Was this someone from the Road Commission for
Oakland County who made this comment?

Andrew Mutch
Novi





--- Shannon.L.Carravallah@jci.com wrote:
>
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> Enviro-Mich message from
> Shannon.L.Carravallah@jci.com
>
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> 
> Last night, May 20th, was the first hearing for the
> Landon Holding's
> proposed rezoning of 106 acres in White Lake
> Township. The rezoning was
> denied.
> 
> The turnout filled Lakeland High School's auditorium
> and left many
> standing. The residents who stepped forward to speak
> were well prepared
> with statistics and facts. Guest speakers opposing
> the rezoning included a
> high ranking representative of Holly Schools (Holly
> is the school district
> for the proposed rezoning area).
> 
> Armed with a book of facts and ready to speak my
> piece, I ultimately chose
> not too. The planning department stated early in the
> hearing before public
> input that they were opposed to the rezoning due to
> a direct conflict to
> the Master Plan, traffic impacts to the accessing
> dirt road, impact on
> other community services, etc.
> It was clear that the board concurred.
> 
> I am still very much concerned. History has shown me
> that this is only
> phase 1 of an impending long and drawn out battle.
> Landon sent a single
> representative to the meeting who appeared to be
> still wet behind the ears.
> All the usual statements were made regarding Landon
> complexes being high
> end and fulfilling a need by providing low income
> housing for young
> families and retirees to an area where the average
> home value is $200,000+.
> 
> What Landon neglected to acknowledge was the 6
> existing MHP's in White Lake
> which make up 17.5% of the existing housing. These
> parks have literally
> hundreds of manufactured homes for sale.
> 
> I have two questions for E-M members who have had
> similar previous
> experiences with Landon.
> 
> The first is if there is any possibility that Landon
> will walk away from
> this one. Has it ever occurred that a township was
> so well represented that
> Landon just walked away from the table?
> 
> I did not like the way Landon approached the
> hearing. They gave a quick
> idealistic summary of their complexes and chose not
> to answer any questions
> posed by citizens at the time of the hearing. The
> Landon representative
> stated that these questions would be addressed in
> written format to the
> township at a later date.
> 
> It appeared to me that Landon knew full well that
> the first hearing would
> result in denial and that they were simply in
> attendance to put their
> feelers out. A false sense of security may very well
> be their mode of
> operation prior to the attack.
> 
> My second question is regarding McKeachie which is
> the dirt road that
> accesses the proposed area for rezoning. An
> individual representing the
> local road authorities made a statement that because
> McKeachie is not paved
> and is not a major thoroughfare that Landon would
> not have to comply with
> the standard R-3 access ordinances.
> 
> Is this statement true? If so, that is one heck of a
> large loophole.
> McKeachie was nominated to be a Natural Beauty Road
> and at present has very
> low traffic volume. It is equestrian friendly. The
> thought that it could
> become the only access to a community of up to 600+
> homes chills me to the
> bone.
> 
> Forgive me if I've been too long winded. I'm very
> concerned  The members of
> E-M were a tremendous source of information and
> knowledge in preparing for
> this battle and I thank you will all my heart for
> your support.
> 
> Shannon Carravallah
> White Lake Twp.
> 
> 
> 
>
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