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MILFORD TOWNSHIP, MI-Trustees are expected to discuss some sort of settlement deal regarding a 677-acre multifamily project at a special meeting Tuesday night. Developer Paul Robertson Jr., unhappy about not receiving zoning approval for a plan to bring about 760 new single-family homes and multifamily condominium buildings on a former gravel pit, has sued Milford Township and is threatening annexation to neighboring Wixom unless he gets his way.

Robertson has partnered with local developer Joel Garrett of Ladd Development to accomplish the project.

Dale Garrett, Joel’s son, says his company is set to fight the township to the end.

“We’ve been in negotiations now, and it sounds like we might be able to work something out,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “We could have settled this last year at the zoning board meetings, but they wanted to draw it out.”

He says his company is willing to file the annexation request if a settlement is not reached. Wixom officials have indicated an interest in acquiring the property.

The two developers were 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, Robertson has 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 buildingson 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 adds.

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.

Robertson has collected petition signatures from 75% of the owners of industrial buildings along the edges of the property. He says if he can get the property switched to Wixom, he could build 2,500 units instead of 200.

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