The Saline Township Planning Commission postponed taking action on the Andelina Farms development at Tuesday’s meeting. Commissioners cited the need for more detailed information about the on-site water and sewer system.
Representatives from MI Homes of Michigan, the developer of the proposed development between Michigan Avenue and Austin Road, were present to provide the commission with an update to the project. They said the project is still waiting for permit approval from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).
“The MDEQ have been on-site testing the well and conducting studies about the impact upon existing aquifers,” said Andelina Farms engineer consultant Bill Anderson. “The state needs to ensure that the proposed well and water source has adequate capacity to support the new development.”
Residents of nearby Austin Commons, which has two existing wells in the community, have expressed concerns about the Andelina Farms development and the potential impact it would have on the existing homes in the area.
Andelina Farms is projected to have three phases. Phase one will include 45 single family homes, ranging in size between 2,400 – 3,100 square feet and 60 townhomes. (See map for location of phase 1)
The single-family homes are estimated to cost starting in the $400,000 range, while the townhomes will be priced starting in the low $300,000.
MI Homes of Michigan has contracted with Process Results to develop the sewer system. Process Results is a Saline company experience in designing sewer systems. It is hoped that MI Homes of Michigan will have the final plan, with details and specifications about the water and sewer system, and permit approval from MDEQ in time for the Planning Commission meeting on February 5, 2019.
During the presentation by MI Homes of Michigan there was concern expressed by local residents in attendance about the water run-off on adjacent properties south of Michigan Avenue. Anderson detailed the design and projected operation of the detention ponds that will be a part of the development that will help to control water run-off.
Anderson explained that all of the detention ponds will have a discharge plan into the existing ditches along Michigan Avenue. The ditching system along Michigan Avenue eventually drains into the Saline River.
In the discussion, Saline Township Supervisor Jim Marion asked about the possibility of connecting into the City of Saline’s water and sewer systems. Anderson explained the option of connecting into Saline’s systems was “dead”. He said the conversation with the City of Saline has been going on for over six years and no reasonable and affordable way for the Andelina Farms development to connect to the city’s water and sewer system has been identified.
It has been noted previously that the City of Saline and Andelina Farms not coming to an agreement about the water/sewer system issue has essentially land-locked the city, making future expansion and development to the west of the city limits along Michigan Avenue very difficult. The city’s master plan identifies the Andelina Farms area as an “urban development area” which might be served by city water and sewer.
The planning commission voted to postpone any action on the Andelina Farms project to their February meeting.
In other business, the Commission set their meeting schedule for 2019. The meetings will occur on the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. The dates for the 2019 meetings include 2/5, 4/2, 6/4, 8/6, 10/1 and 12/3/19.
Of the four townships surrounding the city, grew the fastest between 2000 and 2010. The population jumped from 1,302 to 1,896 – or 46 percent. Lodi grew by six percent, York grew by 18 percent and Pittsfield grew by 15 percent. Washtenaw County grew by seven percent.