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


You make a great point about the difficulty of making a decision on this
type of road.  I have to admit that I made my vote in favor of this issue
because the roads were only a relatively small part of the larger package;
construction of the new Saline schools.  According to our lawyer, if the
Board voted no on the package, it might possibly delay the construction of
the schools.  Even trying to change any part of the entire issue, such as
revisiting the building of this connector road, could unduly impact the
timing for the construction process.

I feel strongly that the residents concerns about safety within their own
subdivision were justified--especially if the students use this as a short
cut for school or extracurricular activities.  On the other hand, you and
Tina make important points about the need for these connective roads.  It is
very difficult to explain to the residents that we want to do this for their
own good in the face of strong opposition.

I can only hope that the road is more benificial than the potential hazard
it might become.  Otherwise, I take the Supervisor at his word that we can
revisit this issue in the future.

Respectfully Yours,

Jeffrey Marine

-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew Mutch <amutch@waterford.lib.mi.us>
To: Christina Lirones <goldenspiderfarm@hotmail.com>
Cc: smartgrowth-washtenaw@great-lakes.net
Date: Thursday, August 30, 2001 2:43 PM
Subject: Re: SG-W:/ Pittsfield land use in headlines again

>If it is any consolation, I think that these road connection issues are
>some of the hardest planning issues to deal with and ones most boards
>handle poorly. From everything that I've read, your board made the right
>decision.  Because these road connections typically only appear to
>affect the people in the existing subs, most boards act as if it doesn't
>matter if the roads are closed and they do so because that's what the
>residents ask for. They never seem to take into consideration the
>potential for safety and traffic problems.  Also, you made an excellent
>point about the problem that would be created by forcing bus traffic to
>go in a circuitous route.  We are facing this issue in Novi too and I'm
>hopefully that we maintain the traffic connections to local schools to
>avoid that kind of situation.
>This is no idle issue.  There is a large mobile home park in Novi that
>only has 2 entrances onto a mile road.  These entrances are only a short
>distance apart.  A number of years ago, the park was struck by a
>tornado, killing one person and injuring others.  The emergency response
>was delayed, even though a fire station is less than a mile away,
>because of downed power lines and trees that blocked access to the
>park.  While the delay didn't directly affect the casualty list, it very
>well could have led to a tragic situation.  On the flip side, in one
>instance where we did require a connection between an existing sub and a
>new senior citizen housing complex, we have yet to see evidence of the
>cut-through traffic and back-ups that residents feared.  As this is my
>neighborhood, I know that the residents were upset with the decision at
>that time.  But, as time has gone on, none of them have raised the issue
>as a problem, probably because no problem exist.  Trust me, they would
>tell me if there was one!
>Newspapers are not know for getting the story right so don't sweat the
>Andrew Mutch
>Christina Lirones wrote:
>> 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
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