Plans for industrial site in rural Kalamazoo County causing controversy

Plans for industrial site in rural Kalamazoo County causing controversy

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Plans to create an industrial site in rural Kalamazoo County have neighbors fired up tonight.

Newchannel 3 is taking a look at the conflict between pavilion township residents and the township board.

The Township Supervisor tells us development plans on this land have been in the works for many years.

People who live in the Pavilion Township neighborhood in the area of O Avenue and 25th Street, know and love it as a farming community.

"Nobody wants to see this area develop, they don't want to see traffic increased," said resident Sarah DeBoer.

But that could happen if this land is rezoned for an industrial site.

DeBoer says she has concerns living across the street from the development area.

"We're also afraid that if they widen these roads--first of all you're talking about losing more property value because you're on a busier street, and secondly we're also worried about losing through eminent domain out front yards, so all of a sudden we have a busier road even closer to our house," she said.

Pavilion Township Supervisor Patrick White says the Kalamazoo Foundation owns the property, and has a right to develop.

"There are always different facets with every group of people that want to see some development, no development or more development," he said. "And the planning commissions responsibility is a tough one, and they have to make their decisions on 'should we follow with the land use plan' and that's what they've done in this particular case."

White says rezoning plans on this field have been in the works since the late 90's when the land use plan was first created.

But he says even then the community's concern's were still put first.

"I am not going to, nor I think the planning commission or township board we, do something that's going to harm the people out in this community," White said.

The planning commission has given the go-ahead to development plans.

Now, the township board will review the project before it gets started.

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