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E-M:/ Land Use: Elmwood Citizens File for Referendum

Elmwod Citizens File Petition for Referendum
Elmwood Township continues to press for zoning changes

Elmwood Township, Mich. (July 22, 2002) - Citizens acting under the banner of "Save Open Space/Elmwood" today filed petition signatures to put recent amendments to the township zoning ordinance to a referendum vote. The amendments would have allowed development in the Township's Agricultural - Open Space district at densities as high as one unit per acre, instead of the one unit per ten acres now allowed.

Although the immediate impetus for the amendments was to allow the controversial Lincoln Meadows development near the intersection of Lincoln and Bugai Roads, the Township is also pursuing a number of other actions to open the Agricultural / Open Space District to development, including amendments to the Township Master Plan, a completely new zoning ordinance, and another, redundant set of amendments intended to achieve the same result as those which will be put to the referendum vote. The township Planning Commission will be taking action on the Master Plan amendment with a public hearing on Tuesday August 6th. The new zoning ordinance has been approved by the Planning Commission, and Planning Commission review of the redundant zoning ordinance amendments is pending.

Petition organizers say that the number of signatures collected easily surpassed the number required to put the referendum on the ballot, and deplored the Township government's strategy of passing redundant amendments with the same effect. "Why the township continues with multiple measures intended to create exactly the conditions the public is asking to vote on is amazing," commented Deri Smith, former township clerk. "The will of the public needs to be consulted before any of these measures moves forward. In effect the township is requiring a referendum vote on each of these items. The people of Elmwood Township have worked hard to come up with an effective master plan, and this is not the time to throw it away."

Steve Van Zoeren, of Elmwood Citizens for Sensible Growth, explains further that, "The small minority of large landholders now in charge of the Township government has used every means at its disposal to thwart, avoid, and discourage discussion of this crucial issue. Now it's time to let the people have a say."


Contact: Steve VanZoeren 933-0093 - Erik Saxon 929-0979
Save Open Space/Elmwood