Township caught up in no-win deal over industrial plan By Amy Lee / The Detroit News March 6, 2002
Light Industry • LYON TOWNSHIP -- Four years spent struggling to maintain a residential area in spite of a developer's push to put light industry on a vacant site has township residents and leaders bracing for a court battle. • "We strongly feel we'll be sued by someone either way, either by a developer or by residents," township Clerk Pam Johnson said. "It's a no-win situation." • Schonsheck Inc. in 1998 began pitching plans for a light industrial complex on more than 100 acres west of Milford Road, south of Travis. The vacant land is zoned for residential development and is surrounded on three sides by homes.
Rezoning • Rezoning attempts proved futile, but a recent change to the master plan may clear the way for a light-industrial, office and condominium development at the site. • That change and the township's apparent willingness to cooperate with Schonsheck has a group of nearby homeowners threatening to take any action necessary to stop the project. • It's a fight to hold township leaders to their promise to maintain the pastoral nature of this fast-growing area in southwestern Oakland County, resident Joe Fraser said.
Mixed Use • Township Supervisor Joe Shigley, who supports the mixed-use development, said residents' swift and angry response caught him off guard. The site sits between residential properties to the south, west and east, and Continental Aluminum, an industrial facility, to the north. • The state's Department of Environmental Quality has cited Continental for numerous noise and pollution complaints. • "Honestly, I was surprised (about the petitions) because everybody was pushing that they didn't want residential next to Continental," he said. "I still don't understand why people want residential there." • Township resident and C.O.L.T. group member Phil Mitchell said Continental's alleged woes cast a long shadow on Schonsheck's proposal for light industrial construction.
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