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Published: Wednesday, 8/3/2005

Bedford Township denies rezoning sought for subdivision

TEMPERANCE - The nearly 160-acre area just northeast of Temperance won't become Bedford Township's largest subdivision.

The township board voted unanimously last night to deny a rezoning request from Bedford Partners LLC to rezone about 80 acres of agricultural land for a new subdivision.

The partners, former Raisinville Township Supervisor Mark Brant and mobile home park developer Ron Blank, own 79 acres zoned to accommodate a subdivision. The 80 adjacent acres are zoned agricultural, and the partners were looking to change that designation to allow for 450 homes marketed between $180,000 and $320,000.

They asked that the 77.8 acres east of the Ann Arbor Railroad tracks and south of Erie Road be changed for residential use, and the 2.1 acres along Lewis Avenue on the west side of the tracks for commercial use.

The Monroe County Planning Commission and the Bedford Township Planning Commission recommended the township board deny the request because of concern over the size and scope of the development and its lack of "green space."

Township Clerk Bob Schockman detailed 19 reasons why the township should deny the rezoning. Among them were that the planning commissions recommended denial, the development went against the township's master plan, and the subdivision would put too much strain on township resources.

More than 50 residents attended the meeting. Residents have spoken in opposition to the development in the past, citing the same reasons as Mr. Schockman. More of those comments were made last night.

"Bedford is busting at the seams," John Hock said.

"We claim to be the door to Michigan. Let's hope to God what we do here won't close the door," said Gail Keane.

Mr. Brant said Bedford Partners will begin construction next summer on the area zoned for residential use.

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