Michigan: Logging psychiatric hospital property without development plan is crazy

Although it’s perfectly legal, residents are protesting developer
REIS’ decision to begin timber harvesting on the former Northville
Regional Psychiatric Hospital property, which began on Jan. 9. REIS is
a partnership between Real Estate Interests Group and Schostak &
Brothers Company. Emsley said Joe Goeddeke, a soil erosion expert from
Wayne County, recently contacted him since Emsley heads the group
Citizens for Public Accountability and Responsible Development
(CPARD). It’s all about “the trees, the trees, the trees,” said
Northville Township resident Steve Emsley at last Thursday’s trustee
board meeting. Goeddeke, environmentalist, Wayne County Department of
Environment, Land Resource Management Division, wrote Emsley to say
that REIS had never obtained a soil erosion permit on the former
hospital property.

The division’s Soil Erosion and Sedimentation
Control Program investigates the potential loss of soils and landscape
through ongoing and proposed construction activities, according to the
Wayne County Web site. It’s not yet known at this point, however, how
much, if any, removal of trees might affect the soil. REIS has assured
township officials that no contaminated areas will be disturbed during
the timber harvesting operation. What’s going on? Frank Carlsen, who
lives on Pierson Drive cross the street from the property, said
several hundred residents have called township hall about the “cutting
issue,” and he passed out copies of photos taken of logging trucks
leaving the site at Thursday’s board meeting, calling the action

“The key thing we have failed at in this township is
communication,” he said. “We want to know what’s going on.” What’s
going on is a timber harvesting operation legal under the consent
judgment signed by REIS and township board members last summer. The
developer does not have to adhere to the township’s woodland ordinance
as far as tree replacement under the court-approved agreement. Carlsen
suggested a study session on the timber harvesting issue. Resident
Steve Lomske talked about the caliber and size of the trees being cut
on the site, saying that the harvesting operation was “quite
substantial.” Lomske also asked why the brownfield redevelopment plan
for the former hospital property hadn’t been discussed recently at
township hall. “We’re losing valuable time,” he said. Mark Abbo,
township supervisor, said a discussion hasn’t begun because REIS is
not ready to talk about the plan yet. “The developer is pushing it
(the brownfield) back, not the township,” Abbo said. “Until they’re
ready to deal with it, these issues can’t be addressed. We need some
foundation of data before we can move forward.”
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Comments (2)

AlexFebruary 18th, 2009 at 7:30 am

I think that all of you should mind your own bussiness! Whats it to you? Those people are only doing there job and tring to make a living! Then there are you people out there that are tring to scew that up. How would you like it if a got a bunch of people together and started to screw with you and your presious job!

CathyJanuary 6th, 2010 at 9:49 am

Cutting trees have been a hot issue since our Earth is getting more hotter and hotter. When doing so, if it is with a good consent and have legalities, there is no need for further discussion. As long as they follow certain rules and replanting will then take place.

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