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Hearing set for proposed 32-unit development

August 20, 2014 - A small residential development proposed to be built in the southwestern portion of Oxford Township will be the subject of a 7 p.m. public hearing before the planning commission on Thursday, Aug. 28 at the Oxford Veterans Memorial Civic Center (28 N. Washington St.).

White Pine Estates is the name of the proposed development and it would be situated on a 42.5-acre vacant site located on the north side of Stanton Rd., east of Baldwin Rd. and west of Coats Rd.

According to plans submitted to the township by the owner/developer, the Rochester-based Hamlin LLC, White Pine Estates is proposed to have 32 single family homes on lots ranging from 21,000 to 35,826 square feet.

Hamlin LLC wants to build here because it views Oxford as an "up and coming" place with a diverse population that ranges from single people and young families to senior citizens, according to Spokesperson Michelle Denno.

"It's just a very nice community," she said.

The property is currently zoned Suburban Farms (SF-2), which calls for lots with a minimum size of 5 acres.

Hamlin LLC is requesting the site be rezoned to a planned unit development (PUD).

A PUD gives both the township and applicant more flexibility than is allowed under existing zoning and encourages development of a property based on its unique characteristics.

An alternative to traditional development, a PUD combines site plan and rezoning approval into one package. The new zoning is tied to the details contained in the accompanying site plan, plus any other conditions attached by the township as part of the approval.

Converting the property to a PUD would not only allow Hamlin LLC to build more homes than the current zoning, it also allows the developer to preserve more of the property's natural beauty and minimize the number of trees that would need to be removed, according to Denno.

"It's a really pretty parcel," she said. "There are a ton of huge trees (on it) and we don't want to cut them down."

She noted that under the proposed PUD, 53 percent of the 42.5 acres would be preserved as open space.

"We just want to maintain the integrity of the space – keep it as natural as possible," Denno said.

The proposed development is "unique" in that it would offer potential residents the opportunity to be surrounded by nature, but still close to shopping, restaurants, "everything that a family would want nearby," she added.

Although Hamlin LLC hasn't decided on details such as the size and look of the homes in White Pine Estates, Denno said they won't all be the same.

"We don't want it to look cookie-cutter," she said.

White Pine Estates is proposed to have a private road running through it and the homes would not be connected to the township's water and sewer systems. Each unit would have its own well and septic systems.

The proposed development includes an asphalt path for walking, running and bicycling. It's proposed to be 8 feet wide and approximately one mile long.

A copy of the plan can be viewed by the public at the Oxford Township office (300 Dunlap Rd.).

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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