PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP-Pittsfield Township residents have signed enough petitions to force a vote on whether to allow a mixed-use retail/residential project on 530 acres of farmland. John Weaver of the Bloomfield Hills-based Real Estate Interests Group wants to build 120,000 sf of retail space and 1,132 single- and multi-family homes on 530 acres of zoned farmland.

Known as Newmarket, the idea of the project is to create a small village, with $150,000 to $300,000 homes interspersed with retail nearby, in three phases on the $12-million property, says retiring supervisor Douglas Woolley. About 200 of the acreage would not be developed. The township board agreed last month to rezone the existing farmland and wetlands to planned unit development.

However, more than 690 residents signed petitions to force the approval of the project to a public vote. Woolley said he’s not sure when the election would be held, if at all.

“The group opposing it wants to keep this area farm land,” he says. Also, as of Monday, six new members of a seven-member board of trustees will be seated. “Most of those new trustees elected were against the project, so I’m not sure what will happen,” says Woolley.

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