Recreation park clears hurdle in Green Oak - Hamburg Township by linxiaoqin

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   May 3, 2012

   Recreation park clears hurdle in Green Oak
   By Christopher Behnan

   A plan was approved in concept Wednesday to transform land once targeted for big-box development
   south of Brighton and west of U.S. 23 into a recreational and wellness mecca.

   The Green Oak Township Board of Trustees approved a preliminary planned-unit development plan
   for a large-scale, indoor and outdoor recreational development on the 284-acre property known as
   Mission Hill.

   The plan in total, known as Legacy Park at Green Oak, is envisioned to include 16 soccer fields,
   seven baseball and softball diamonds, and an indoor training and physical rehabilitation facility on
   130 acres of the 284-acre property. The remaining acreage would primarily be used for single-family
   homes, with about 15 acres of commercial area, and a portion undeveloped.

   The proposal from Livingston County businessman Rodney Goble, an owner of Michigan
   Rehabilitation Specialists Inc. in Hamburg Township, was praised at length by township officials and
   the public at Wednesday's board meeting as a plus for the Brighton-area community.

   Resident Rod Dunn, who lives just north of the property, said he looks forward to having soccer
   facilities for his two sons without driving them to Wixom or Livonia.

   "It is visually appealing, and I look forward to having this opportunity here," Dunn, who called it a
   "family-friendly" project, said of the plan.

   Township Supervisor Mark St. Charles said he received nearly 100 e-mails in support of the project
   before Wednesday's meeting.

   The preliminary agreement was approved with the understanding that a laundry list of outstanding
   issues — most notably traffic surrounding the property, lighting and parking — will be addressed
   before a site plan is considered. A rezoning on the property, located in the township's village mixed-
   use district, would come with project approval to meet the property's village-mixed use designation.

   The indoor building is proposed to include indoor fields, a fitness center, spa and offices for Michigan
   Rehabilitation Specialists and Barwis Methods, a sports training business.

   Township resident Anna Ernst questioned if the township was moving too fast to process the plan in
   light of traffic concerns on and off U.S. 23, and on Winans and Silver Lake Road, in particular.

   "I don't have anything against the project itself; it's the township taking the time to make sure that the
   citizens that already exist are taken care of," Ernst said.

   Goble made it clear he won't be able to bankroll expensive fixes to address traffic surrounding the
   property, but he said he would be able to fund measures such as stop signs and traffic signals.

   He said his proposal puts recreation and open space first, then considers some residential and 05/03/2012 | Printer-friendly article page                                               Page 2 of 2

   commercial space, something he said is unusual in developments.

   "It is not a small endeavor, as you can imagine, but at the same time, we believe we can take that on
   and we're excited about the opportunity," Goble said.

   The Mission Hill property has become infamous for a tax snafu and a series of failed development
   proposals in recent years. 05/03/2012

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