A recommendation by the Superior Township Planning Commission to rezone 40 acres of land owned by Whittaker and Gooding Co. of 5800 Cherry Hill Rd. is the target of strong criticism from many residents of the Township. . The Planning Commission voted 6-2 this week to recom1 mend rezoning of the 40 acres from agriculture t o heavy industry to the Township Board. This action was faken despite a petition signed by some 550 residents voicing objection to the proposed rezoning. Planners also refused to introduce the petition at the open public meeting. A request from William A. Papineau, township supervisor, that the petition be introduced was rejected by Chairman Robert J. Meyer because "all opposition should have been heard at the previous public hearing." The petition was not designed to be a legal referendum, but pierely an advisory petition to show the Commission the feeling of the residents, petitioners say. "We petition the Township Planning Commission and the Township Board to preserve the present desirable status of our community by rejecting the request for rezoning and to prevent this proposed industrial complex from encroaching on established residential areas," the petition states. "The signers of this petition sincerely hope that the board will seriously consider this expression of concern and thus avoid the expense to the township of a referendum vote on this matter." Along with the petition, many reasons were cited why the area should not be rezoned: First, the 40 acres that Whittaker and Gooding Co. is presently located on is zoned M-l, light industrial, and only about 10 of the acres are being used as such. The contention of the petitioners is that the company does not need more land to expand its operations and that even the present partial use is undesirable. ' Second, the petitioners believe that the company has been a constant nuisance to the community by violating zoning ordinances. The firm was previously in violation of the A-l zoning so the township rezoned I the area M-l, petitioners main- tain. This zoning is now alleg-i edly being violated by the asphalt plant. Third, "good planning indicates that an industrial site I should have good roads, access to main highways and perhaps railraad lines, sewer and water lines. None of these facilities is available at the Whittaker and Gooding site proposed for rezoning." Fourth, the petitioners contend that soil drainage on the property makes it ideal for homesites.. They contend that the township would benefit to the same extent on taxes if four houses valued at $33,000 each were located on the 40 acres instead of more industrial development. They listed statistics indicating that industry does not necessarily mean less taxes. Fifth, the petitioners say the "nature and purpose of the proposed zoning does not lend itself to the established character of the general surrounding area. The presence of the University Botanical Gardens and development of the University Golf Course in the immediate area make it highly ble as a rural-residential área." The petition also says that a recent survey conducted in the community indicates that the residents do not want industrial development. According to the survey 77 per cent of the people preferred residential use. This was followed by agricultura, commercial and finally industrial. Those opposing the rezoning believe that industrial use of portions of the land is not necessary for a balanced community. Superior is spread over four school districts, Ann Arbor, Willow Run, Ypsilanti and Plymouth. Since Whittaker and Gooding Co. is located in the Ann Arbor district, any tax base incurred would be spread over the entire Ann Arbor School District. The benefit would be minimal and not necessary since Ann Arbor already has the highest tax base per child of any school district in the area, the petitioners maintain.
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