Home Opinion OP-ED: Peninsula Township Government Favors Developers

OP-ED: Peninsula Township Government Favors Developers

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Peninsula Township Farmland | Jane Boursaw Photo
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In the latter half of 1980, a large development was planned for Old Mission Peninsula that the residents did not want. A group named Protect the Peninsula was formed which defeated the development, but more importantly, the township government was changed.

Both the Supervisor and the Planner took the wants of the residents to heart. They came up with many innovative plans, including the “Purchase of Development Rights” (PDR) program, which allowed the Township to purchase the development rights from the agricultural community in perpetuity. Land in this program could not be developed, other than the landowner’s own home.

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The PDR program was lauded nationally and led to keeping Peninsula Township as the residents wanted it to be. Unfortunately, over time the township government changed from one that reflected the residents’ wishes to one that favored developers.

Bud Stych
Peninsula Township Resident

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

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  1. I disagree! Township Zoning has been in place and we are know by developers as one of the most difficult areas to work in. How does the Township favor Developers? if you are refering to the “80” they have much less density than allowed! This land sat for sale for a long time, Kudos to the developer and his ambitions!

  2. I wonder what position this new team of Township Board applicants will take regarding development and other issues. I look forward to Jane’s interviews with them.

  3. Peninsula Twp has a very long history of anti-development groups trying to stop new projects-often led by downstate transplants who’ve moved up north and don’t understand that undeveloped property will eventually be developed as the population grows. Developments like the bluffs and
    Underwood farms both caused controversy in their time. That is why the Twp has a thorough master plan and a conscientious planning commission and town board. If you want to keep it undeveloped, i suggest you buy the vacant property and pay the taxes on it. Or simply move away. It is unrealistic to think that just because you enjoy the view from another taxpayer’s property doesn’t mean you can tell them what to do with it.


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