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May 3, 2012
Recreation park clears hurdle in Green Oak
By Christopher Behnan
DAILY PRESS & ARGUS
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
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
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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.