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DETROIT-Developer Paul Robertson Jr., unhappy about not receiving zoning approval on 760 new multifamily condominium buildings and single-family homes on a former gravel pit, has sued Milford Township and is threatening annexation to neighboring Wixom unless he gets his way.

The Bloomfield Hills developer was denied a request to rezone the 677-acres east of Milford Road, between Maple Road and Pontiac Trail, from single family to multifamily last year. Since then, he and partner Joel Garrett have filed a lawsuit in Oakland County Circuit Court claiming the township’s three-acre-per-house zoning on the property takes away his rights to develop the land.

The developer has presented a plan that would place multifamily buildings on 100 of the acres, and single-family homes on the rest. The township Board of Trustees, Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals have all said Robertson should follow the master-plan zoning for the property, which has been set since the gravel pit was created and would only allow about 200 homes.

However, Robertson says he has to install a sewage plant to serve the countryside property. Building a plant for 200 homes would not work financially, he argues.

Milford is the newest community to be discovered by suburban Detroit residents fleeing the commercialized central Oakland County.

Robertson says the court case is still going through discovery, and no hearing date has been set. While he waits, Robertson tells GlobeSt.com that he’s collecting petition signatures from owners of industrial buildings along the edges of the property. He must get at least 75% of the owners to sign in order to get the State Boundary Commission to look at his annexation case.

“We’ve reviewed the annexation with Wixom, which is about a mile away from the property,” Robertson reports. “That petition is circulating, and should be ready in the next couple weeks.”

He says if he can get the property switched to Wixom, he could build 2,500 units instead of 200. “You tell me what you’d do,” he states. “If we can settle something with Milford, fine, but I told Wixom if we file for annexation we’re going all the way. Those industrial properties don’t have sewers, and we could help them out with that.”

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