2017-05-17 / Front Page

Residents say ‘No to the Rezone’

BY DIANE GALE-ANDREASSI
STAFF WRITER


Wetlands across from the Milford Pointe subdivision on Milford Road. 
(Photo submitted.) Wetlands across from the Milford Pointe subdivision on Milford Road. (Photo submitted.) Milford Township homeowners are fighting a development on Milford Road, south of Rowe Road, hoping to preserve the large lot atmosphere in the area.

Beth Markell took action by forming a Facebook page, Citizens for the Responsible Growth of Milford, to keep residents abreast about development plans.

She’s part of a growing cadre of residents who are gaining strength in their effort to preserve the township’s rural look. About 700 signatures have been collected on a “No to the Rezone” petition.

The proposed subdivision, Belle Terre of Milford, includes 178 houses on 67 acres. It’s currently zoned restricted office and suburban residential, allowing for average lot sizes of 1 ½ acres. The developer, Ray LeDuc of Milford Hills Properties, Inc., recently asked the Milford Township Planning Commission to approve houses on ¼ acre lots. He also hoped to change the restricted office zoning to residential. Additionally, the land is a designated conservation area.

After a recent commission hearing where residents outlined their opposition to the proposal, commissioners asked LeDuc for a revised plan. A date hasn’t been set for his return with a new proposal, explained Milford Township Supervisor Don Green.

It’s up to the planning commission to recommend to the board about what is an appropriate development on the property.

“I think 178 units is too much for that area,” Green said. “What would be more reasonable? Somewhere around 100.”

In an effort to sweeten the deal in his initial plan, LeDuc included a trail from the township’s northern border through Milford to Kensington Metropark, a two-acre wooded area along the property’s western border, and the extension of sewer and water services from Ridge Valley of Milford subdivision at no cost to the township.

Residents understand the property will be built, but they want it to follow the township’s master plan, said Markell who lives across the street from the proposed development in Milford Pointe where lot sizes are about one acre.

Milford businessman and planning commission member Gordon Muir said, if the planning commission turned down the rezoning request it would go to the zoning board for consideration. “I don’t like having homes built on less than two acres,” he added.

Residents were involved in the drafting of a 2009 master plan, Markell said. They “resoundingly” wanted large lots to maintain the rural atmosphere and to protect natural resources.

New developments that vary from the master plan, Markell said, will set a precedent for future developments.

Another concern is the increased traffic caused by more residents and the construction crews that will build the homes, Markell said. “Traffic is already incredibly heavy on Milford Road.”

People behind the grassroots effort hope residents will attend the next planning commission meeting May 25.

“We’re asking residents to sign the petition and be vocal,” Markell said. “This is their chance. If they don’t like it, this is their community. Once it’s built you can’t unbuild it.”

To sign the “No to the Rezone” petition go to Change.org.

LeDuc didn’t return calls from a comment. (Photo submitted.)

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Conservation areas in this

Conservation areas in this state are designated as such to preserve the wetlands and natural areas we have from just this problem, as well as water tables, erosion and a variety of other reasons. Eliminating them for a profit is inexcusable. Add that to the fact that Milford Road is already over-trafficked thanks to the fact that we have few North/South choices and you're creating a problem that will in fact, cost the city, township and county in the long run. Traffic will be abominable, studies will have to be done, recommendations to make Milford Rd a four lane road will be made and ultimately, who will pay for it? The residents, in money, time, redirected traffic during the construction and even more of a loss of our rural way of living here. It's a domino effect that needs to be stopped. The article mentions only 100 houses rather than the 170+ but even that figure is too high. One hundred houses will put 200 more cars on the road, trying to turn in and out of Rowe, traveling through Milford proper that is already too congested... This is bad planning overall and needs to be stopped, reassessed, and if the developer insists on building, adhere to the original guidelines of 1-1/2 to 2 acre lots with a study done to not interfere with the established wetlands including changing the runoff and water patterns.

I totally agree! We want

I totally agree! We want Milford to retain its rural charm and not become another suburban cookie cutter congested town, there are too many of those already! And on top of that, to destroy the wetlands and the pristine areas that we all like and enjoy would really be a misguided mistake. I hope the planning commission will do the right thing.