Officials weigh prospect of 350 or more homes

As seen in The Ypsilanti Courier

Last month, officials on the Augusta Township Planning Commission listened to three proposals from developers that would, if approved, mean more than 350 new residences in the township. The first request, which was tabled until March, came from Medallion Homes to rezone 35-acres from its current residential farm designation (Ag-Res) to the highest residential density, SR-1, which would allow some 4.5 residences per acre.

The second proposal, which was ultimately tabled until March, was a joint project between Franklin Property Corporation and Lombardo Companies for 79.61-acres located on the south side of Willis Road, west of Whittaker Road and east of the Bellemead residential development of 119 residential homes. “This is an upscale development with about 1-1/2 units per acre,” explained Tobler. “The target price would come to about $400,000 per home.” This project would become part of the existing Bellemead development located across from Lincoln Consolidated High School on Willis Road.

According to Tobler, the developer set aside about one-third of the parcel for open green space, which would work for a park or recreational space for most of the year. “The real thing we want are places for families to go and play because it makes for a nicer community,” Tobler said. “We felt fairly okay about this proposal because it fits in with the development pattern already set by the existing Bellemead development.” The developers have not yet provided a traffic road impact study or storm water management plan, which is a bone of contention for Tobler.

“We tabled this one until March to give them time to get us those studies. My main concern is we are chartered to be looking out for this, passing conditions on how these developments should proceed. Not protecting the downstream properties is irresponsible.” The third proposal from Augusta Land Development Company LLC (Franklin Property Corporation) for a project called “Augusta on the Lake.”

The Planning Commission tabled the item for 30 days to iron out a complicated conditional motion involving the approval of the project. “Augusta on the Lake” consists of 97 single-family residential units, on 52.73-acres located on the east side of Bunton Road, south of Bemis Road and just south of the Lake Lenore subdivision. According to Tobler, residents living along Lake Lenore had concerns about a vacant property on the shore-line, and did not want the lot to become an open access point for the residents of the new development. “The developer agreed to six or seven conditions. The lot would be sold as a separate lot, and the shoreline would be fenced off along with some other conditions,” Tobler said.