More on the November 11th joint meeting of the Northfield Township Board of Trustees and Planning Commission. 

The meeting opened with Township Supervisor Marilyn Angstrom's assertion that the hastily organized joint meeting had nothing whatever to do with Biltmore.  (You can decide for yourself; the board agenda is below)

During the first call to the public, a large number of Neighbors spoke their minds:

Former Township Trustee Dr. Ed Wojtys warned the Board of Trustees that if they continued pursuing this unpopular and imprudent growth agenda, Northfield Neighbors and like-minded residents were prepared to institute a recall.

Former official Kitty Burkhart reminded officials that residents have been sending the same message since the mid-1980s: "Keep us rural and focus growth near Whitmore Lake."

Former Township Supervisor Mike Cicchella warned that Northfield could suffer the fate as Sylvan Township where every resident is paying for a millions in sewer expansion after a developer's plans stalled, leaving the township in the lurch.

Former Trustee & Planning Commissioner David Gordon reminded officials that the #1 priority of residents is the preservation of farmland and open space, not growth. And that nearly 60% of residents are opposed to rezoning farms for subdivisions.

The officials also heard from Heidi Braun, Mary Christianson, Mike Galea, Amy Grambeau, Udo Huff, Peter Misangyi, Jim Nelson, Steve Robinson, Craig Warburton, Suzy Wienckowski and Lenore Zelenock, all of whom spoke against the Biltmore proposal and sewer expansion and in favor of respecting our Master Plan.

Speaking in favor of the Biltmore subdivision proposal was Mary Devlin, who said the township needs growth. She also expressed displeasure with flyers distributed at the polls by Northfield Neighbors alerting residents to the Biltmore growth scheme.

One welcome twist was that Supervisor Engstrom refused to cut residents off at their 3-minute limit, despite urgings from PC member Sam Iaquinto.

At the end of the meeting, during Trustees & Commissioners comments, none of the officials voiced opposition to the Biltmore proposal nor support of the Master Plan as adopted in 2012.

Planning Chair Marlene Chockley failed to address repeated requests that public participation be front and center in any discussion of Master Plan changes, nor did she address the request that design workshops be held before significant changes are contemplated.

None of the officials agreed that conducting a survey of residents might be helpful.

Mr. Iaquinto didn't disappoint, however, with his usual odd observation. Here we paraphrase: "Residents should only believe information coming from the township offices after the content has been reviewed and approved by the township attorney." Poor Sam; even he doesn't believe what's printed in the Courant.

And they wonder why we're upset and feel ignored.

- David Gordon


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BOTAgenda 2014-11-11 700w


What to do now? Write them - insist they publicly support the Master Plan; oppose Biltmore's scheme to build suburbs in our rural neighborhoods, and say no to sewer expansion.