Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Another Giant Development Proposed Near Milan

1. August 2004 • Brandon
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If you thought the Greenbelt was going to save us from sprawl, think again. A Developer has proposed another large development in the Milan area, just north of the city. Combined with an even larger project planned south of Milan, these developments could add about 30,000 people to the Milan area, currently home to 5,000 residents. This would leave Milan with a population approaching that of Novi, and a lot more in common with it, too. The Ann Arbor News reports:

Just miles north of a mega development proposed for thousands of acres of land south of Milan, another developer has unveiled plans to develop about 1,700 acres of land in York Township as a housing, commercial and industrial community with 4,000 dwellings.

The plan for the Riverbend Master Planned Community calls for 2,500 single-family homes, 1,500 multiple-family homes, 1 million square feet of commercial shopping center and a corporate, industrial and research park with 5 million square feet of floor space.

While the name “Master Planned” may attempt to brand this as intelligent growth, terms like “commercial shopping center” and “corporate, industrial and research park” are foreboding, and describe conventional auto-dependent sprawl of separated uses, at a mere 2.35 dwelling-units per acre, moreover. Apparently city leaders don’t feel the will to demand anything different, either, despite their control of the very infrastructure on which such a development would depend:

Milan Mayor Jose Owen Diaz said the development isn’t going to happen overnight. Stretched over 20 years, Milan can handle it, he said.

“Development is coming, and we cannot stop it,” he said. “I want to get the best of it and minimize the negative of it.”