The Debt that Dreams are made of680w523h


The innocent looking Agenda item read Planning Commission Visioning by the Board.  This referred to Trustee Janet Chick's comment at the January 13th Board meeting, as reported in the minutes:

Development Vision for the Township. Chick reported the Planning Commission is interested in hearing what kind of development the Board would like to see in the Township in coming years so that the Board and Commission can be working together.

You're probably wondering why they don't simply consult our 2012 Township Master Plan, in which this and many more questions about development have been answered in great detail.

That's a good question.

The Board of Trustees last night urged the Planning Commission to discard our five-acre zoning and change all agricultural property to two-acre.  It took the Board only about 60 minutes to abandon more than 70 years of history and smart planning.

The discussion was anything but fact-based.  There was nothing presented demonstrating the value of turning farms into subdivisions.  There was no discussion of the impacts.  In fact, reality was discouraged in favor of dreaming (really!), dreams of subdivisions.

One bright spot: Township Treasurer Kathy Braun's observation: “I’m not anti-growth, I’m anti-debt.”   Our Township Treasurer understands that there are huge costs involved.

You may view the meeting here on Livestream.  Skip the first 13 min 30 seconds; that's the special meeting preceding the regular meeting.

You may also read our transcription of much of this meeting.

Click here to download the Meeting Agenda

Click here to download the Meeting Packet

Click here to download the Meeting Minutes (draft)

The Agenda, Packet, and Minutes come from the Township website.   The Minutes may be revised by the Board and recording secretary at a subsequent board meeting, so until they are accepted by the board, they are marked "draft" and may change.



Hello Ann Arbor. Goodbye Northfield. 

Biltmore's pitchman took center stage at Wednesday's joint meeting of the planning commission and township board.  He admitted that without an Ann Arbor school district address, development was a non starter.   Even that slap in the face didn't stop board members from insisting that new residents would flock to Whitmore Lake's basically bankrupt school district because, well, what else would parents who chose their new home based on its Ann Arbor school district address do? 

Magical thinking continues to rule Northfield Township.

Watch the July 16 meeting, whenever and wherever you want, here on Livestream.

At the June 4, 2014 Planning Commission meeting, Planners were asked by a civil engineering firm to consider "correcting" our Master Plan to allow development of nearly one square mile of southwest Northfield Township farmland.  This land is zoned agricultural and according to our Master Plan cannot be subdivided into 1/4 acre or even 1 acre lots.

Link to Livestream video of the June 4th meeting.

FYI: The video is broken into three parts because of a breakdown of Livestream's broadcasting software early in the meeting.  The missing forty minutes of the meeting were salvaged from township audio tape backup, converted to video, and posted several days later.  The way Livestream works is that what you upload or post most recently, goes to the top of the page.  For that reason, the reconstructed missing middle part appears first.  Video from the end of the P.C. meeting appears second, and the abruptly terminated telecast of the meeting's beginning appears third.  Counterintuitive, but that's life in Livestream's cheap seats.

If the above link doesn't work, go to, click Watch, search for Northfield Township, then click on the June 4 Planning Commission meeting.

At the August 6th planning commission meeting, your Northfield Neighbors turned out in force to articulate their love for Northfield Township as it is today - and their opposition the Biltmore's proposed remastering.

The takeaway: Northfield Neighbors supports the Right Growth in the Right Place.

The P.C. nevertheless voted to proceed with the master plan re-study.  But, over the fantasy fueled objections of the P.C.'s two man smoke-filled backroom, the P.C. restricted the proposal to master plan study area #2, (see map below), the envelope surrounding only the nine Biltmore parcels plus a connecting link to the Sewer Assessment District to the north. 

The developer was asked to provide impact studies illuminating the increased costs to us of providing services to one thousand new homes.  As one resident pointed out during the single minute he was permitted to voice his opinion on the matter, the P.C. completely missed their chance to obtain an unbiased cost of services studies, which could easily have been had by forcing the developer to pay for independent analysis by a firm of the P.C.'s choosing.

View the August 6th meeting here, on Livestream.

Lizzy Alfs' Ann Arbor News story appeared August 13th, on


Study Area #2:StudyArea2

At the June 4, 2014 Planning Commission Meeting, Biltmore presented its formal request that our Township Master Plan be changed.  Below are the pages comprising that proposal.