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HIGHLAND TOWNSHIP, MI-The Edward C. Levy Co. is still awaiting an answer from Highland Township on the company’s lawsuit regarding a mixed-use development expected to cost almost $300 million. The company tried to persuade the township Board of Trustees to approve a development of 678 upscale houses, a $10-million wastewater treatment plant, an elementary school and 50,000-sf of retail space on 800 acres in the township.

The property is a former gravel mine formerly owned by American Aggregates. According to a 1994 agreement with the township, the company–now through Levy–is supposed to build houses on the site. Berl Falbaum, a spokesman for the company, says the project has been delayed four years after numerous negotiations with the township over various issues with the development.

Subsequently, the company has filed suit in Oakland County Circuit Court to force the township to approve the development. “The township has not yet responded to the suit,” Falbaum tells GlobeSt.com. He says at this point, the main dispute is over the location of the wastewater treatment plant.

“The township ordinance requires the plant to have a setback of 75 feet. We’ve offered a setback of 500 feet, but they want at least 2,000 feet,” Falbaum said.

He said the school would be donated to the local school district, Huron Valley, as soon as an agreement is reached. The retail would be comprise office space including a dental practice and a market, he added.

The company filed a lawsuit because it had no other choice, Falbaum said. “Our proposal meets all standards and ordinances of the township, and all safety requirements,” he asserted. “Even though we abide by all their laws, we’ve not gotten their approval.”

Township officials did not respond to calls about this story.

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