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Re: SG-W:/ Pittsfield land use in headlines again

Hi everyone! Rober98 has chosen an interesting pair of articles recently to share with the group - ones that are fed by our political opponents in Pittsfield. Could you please just let me know your name, Rober 98? It doesn't show on my e mail.
Without offending my friend Peri, I would like to point out that this article had some misperceptions. Craig Welch, the Centennial developer's spokesperson, is wrong by several hundred thousand dollars in his estimate of the road cost. He also seems to imply that the developer may choose not to fulfill the obligations of the approved site plan by failing to build the road to the southern border. This is incorrect.
Also incorrect is the statement that the Schools are opposed to the roads. The Schools do agree the roads are needed, all of them, and are building them now. The one road in question was planned as part of a nearly 400 home conjoined subdivision stretching from Michigan Ave. to Textile Road. This is not a new road. What happened was that the Schools bought an unbuilt section of this large conjoined sub, with its approved site plan, and the residents are justifiably concerned about the planned and approved roads connecting to a different use.
 However, our Board made the difficult decision not to alter the approved site plan for the sub to the north, Centennial Farms, though the residents wanted the road to the south eliminated. The Board felt that on balance it was far too dangerous to allow 218 homes to be built with only two routes of ingress and egress, both onto Textile Road. The high density was allowed in this sub based on connectivity to the south; to eliminate the connectivity to the south would seem to require a complimentary reduction in the density of the development, and a different site plan and Planning Commission review, which the developer has not as yet proposed.
 The Board followed the advice of our planners, supported by the school's traffic study, and we support the Road Commission's decision that the road to the south from Centennial Farms/Park must be built for the safety of the subdivision. While only a few houses have been built now, the traffic impact at build out for this very large sub will strain the outlets on Textile; I can only imagine the chaos, not to mention danger, if Textile was closed for any reason. It also seemed dangerous to require busses and people driving to the school to go out onto Textile, turn onto State, and turn again into the School, a long trip to a school a short distance away. It just seemed on balance too dangerous not to build the roads as planned. The concern about traffic from the school pales beside the danger of building 218 homes with only two outlets on Textile.
I'm not sure this is a major smartgrowth issue that is really relevant to the listserv. It's a sad situation that the developer and a former planning commissioner are actively exploiting for political purposes.  Christina Lirones
>From: Rober98@aol.com
>To: smartgrowth-washtenaw@great-lakes.net
>Subject: SG-W:/ Pittsfield land use in headlines again
>Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2001 15:43:53 EDT
>Pittsfield land use issues in the AANews headlines again:
>Here's the text:
> Residents, Saline schools oppose Pittsfield access road plan
>Group calls connector to campus a waste of money.
>Tuesday, August 28, 2001
>PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP - The schools don't want it. A group of residents doesn't
>want it. So why is Pittsfield Township requiring the Saline Area Schools to
>spend part of its $124.5 million bond issue on an access road?
>"You can't build a 218-home subdivision with only two outlets on the same
>road," township clerk Christina Lirones said Monday.
>A road connecting the Centennial Farms and Centennial Park subdivisions to
>the district's new school campus off Michigan Avenue will provide safety and
>convenience to township residents, Lirones said.
>But at least 20 residents living in the subdivisions aren't convinced. At a
>meeting Monday at the Centennial Park model home, residents argued that the
>access road was an unnecessary waste of tax dollars and would make their
>roads unsafe.
>"I'm not saying a teen-ager is going to intentionally drive through our
>subdivision and hit our kids, but that's a concern," resident Donna Omchinsky
>The group plans to attend Pittsfield's 7:30 p.m. board meeting today when the
>board will consider whether to allow the supervisor and attorney to sign an
>agreement that would settle a lawsuit between the schools and township by
>requiring the road construction.
>The school board has already authorized the superintendent to sign the
>agreement, which is intended to clarify zoning and planning review processes
>for the new schools. Construction of two access roads, one to Centennial
>Farms/Centennial Park and one to Rolling Hills, is just one part of the
>agreement - but it's a component the school district would rather not do.
>Nancy Brenton, the district's executive director of community relations and
>special projects, said the schools had budgeted for potential road projects
>but had hoped to spend money elsewhere.
>The district estimates that the roads will cost $300,000, although Craig
>Welch, owner of Centennial Park builder Wexford Homes, said he estimated the
>cost at $500,000.
>"Obviously we would choose not to build those connector roads," Brenton said.
>"We don't see a need for it."
>The district understands residents' concerns, but it will do what the
>township and Washtenaw County Road Commission require without fighting, she
>Lirones - who organized a petition to stop the subdivision in 1997 - said the
>township always planned to require three outlets, especially with Textile
>Road becoming increasingly busy.
>But residents point to a school traffic study that says the connector roads
>will make no significant difference to traffic on surrounding roads such as
>Textile. And Welch argued that asking the subdivision to connect to a school
>campus for an outlet was quite different from asking it to connect to another
>subdivision as was originally planned.
>Of course, it won't really connect to the subdivision for quite a while. If
>built, the road would dead-end into a corn field, Welch said. Fewer than 30
>homes will be finished in the next year, and the subdivision won't be built
>out to the connector road for another four or five years. So, if tonight's
>initiative doesn't work, Welch said, the fight can go on.
>"Just because they build the road," he said, "doesn't mean we have to connect
>to it."
>smartgrowth-washtenaw: Internet List and Forum for issues relating to
>sprawl, smart growth, and preservation of the quality of life in Washtenaw
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