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SG-W:/ development proposals in Scio Township

I posted a message to this group in June about Lakewood, a Silverman
development project in Scio Township, just west of Ann Arbor.  The
proposal is for 168.8 acres, approximately beween Saginaw Forest and Polo
Fields on the north side of Liberty, and extending back almost to Park and
Jackson Roads.  The property is primarily the Ward/Smith farm.  The
original proposal was for 192 townhouses and 107 homes.

Citizens spoke at the public hearing; concerned about the impact on
traffic, the danger involved with the access roads as proposed, impact on
schools, the environment, the watershed, and Gelman contamination.  The
project as proposed would require city services in areas that aren't in
the service district and the transfer of both density and traffic from the
Jackson Road to the Liberty Road corridor.  

145 of the acres are zoned Estate Residential.  This zoning requires 2.5
acres per unit.  The master plan, however, shows this area as 1 acre per
unit.  The Planning Commission recommended denial.  The Board made it
clear that water and sewer services could not be used on this site, but
then sent the proposal back to Planning Commission instead of voting it
down.  They would rather "deal" with the developer and get a PUD than have
conventional rezoning to 1 acre lots.  

Citizens need to show why this density is inappropriate for this area in a
way the Board feels can hold up in court.  We feel (but need to have
expert proof to back us up) this many homes in this area would overload
the environment.  We feel (but need to have expert proof to back us) there
may not be safe, feasible access for this large a project on the site. 
There are only 2 locations where the property actually boundaries Liberty
Road.  We are angry that citizens bear the burden of proof in a
circumstance where our government should be protecting us. 


Since June, the Board has again refused to discuss sewer and water
expansion, a violation of the Master Plan, for this development project.
The developer appeared before the Board with an "improved", but still not
satisfactory to the citizens, plan.  Many citizens in this area are
concerned about the proposed transfer of density to the Liberty Road
corridor and have written to the township Board and Planning Commission.
We are calling the township regularly to check for the proposal on a Board
or Planning Commission agenda and waiting for the developer to make the
next move.  

Again, any suggestions or ideas are appreciated. 

Jan Gerson

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