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Citizen input sought at ORV park workshop July 11



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July 10, 2013 - A charrette (or workshop) regarding the potential creation of an 860-acre multi-use adventure park centered around off-road vehicle (ORV) use in Oxford Township is scheduled for Thursday, July 11.

The workshop will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Oxford Village municipal complex (22 W. Burdick St.).

Oakland County Parks and Recreation is exploring the idea of developing this park on the 1,200-acre Koenig Sand & Gravel property. The Koenig site is bordered by Ray Rd. to the north; the Addison Twp. border to the east; N. Oxford Rd. to the west; and Lakeville Rd./Polly Ann Trail to the south.

The charrette is designed to give the public an opportunity to learn more about the proposed park concept, ask questions and provide input.

Two additional charrettes are scheduled for Thursday, July 25 and Thursday, Aug. 1 – same times, same location.

The results of each charrette will be posted at www.DestinationOakland.com in order to provide the public with another opportunity to submit comments and suggestions.

Although creating a legal place for ORV riding is the main impetus, the proposed park could also offer opportunities for horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing, archery deer hunting, scuba diving and training, water recreation and watercraft use, nature trails, wildlife viewing and zip-line experiences.

As it stands right now, the concept involves the Koenig land potentially being acquired by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) using monies from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.

"The grant application has been submitted, but at the earliest, (it would be) two years before any sort of an acquisition could occur," explained Jon Noyes, supervisor of planning for the county parks system.

That's assuming the grant is awarded and Koenig decides to sell the property to the state, which is by no means a sure thing. There's been no negotiations or agreements with the landowner, only some preliminary discussion.

Although the proposal calls for the DNR to purchase and own the land, it would be leased to the county parks department for a period of at least 50 years.

During that time, the county would be solely responsible for the development, operation and maintenance of the multi-use park.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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