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SG-W:/ Northfield Referendum overturns rezoning

By more than a 2-1 margin, voters in Northfield
Township, which sits just north of the City and
Township of Ann Arbor, rejected the Township Board's
approval of a rezoning approved in November 2003. The
rezoning of agricultural zoned land to allow for
residential development would have allowed 450 homes
on 212 acres. The land was part of a larger area that
Grand Sakwa Development had proposed for development
with 5000 homes on 1100 acres. 

This referendum was also seen by many as a referendum
on the decision of the Township Board and Whitmore
Lake schools to formally oppose the City of Ann
Arbor's Greenbelt ballot proposal and other efforts to
preserve farmland in the Township. Portions of
Northfield Township, including a portion of the area
that was to be rezoned, fall within the boundaries
identified by the City of Ann Arbor to be preserved
with the Greenbelt millage, which was approved in
November 2003 by Ann Arbor voters. Ann Arbor Township,
which lies along Northfield Township's southern
border, also passed a farmland preservation millage in
November 2003 and is implementing a farmland
preservation program to preserve farmland in Ann Arbor

The referendum was made possible by the efforts of
Northfield Township residents including many who are
active with Northfield Neighbors. Northfield Neighbors
was organized in response to Grand Sakwa's development
proposals. Northfield Neighbors has been supportive of
efforts to preserve farmland and open space within the

More details on the election including an apparent
attempt to intimidate those trying to overturn the
rezoning are available below:

Rezoning for 450-home plan fails
Northfield voters reject proposal by 2-1 

Tempers flare at Northfield election
Citizen tells police a Whitmore Lake principal helped
deface a political sign 

Northfield Neighbors

Andrew Mutch

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