Livingston County Daily Press and Argus from Howell, Michigan on January 4, 2005 · 3
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Livingston County Daily Press and Argus from Howell, Michigan · 3

Howell, Michigan
Issue Date:
Tuesday, January 4, 2005
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Tuesday, January 4, 2005-DAK.Y PRESS & ARGUS SA County Mike Malott news editor (517)548-7125- EDITORIAL INFORMATION LINE (517) 548-2000 ext. 3710 More county news Obituaries............ 4A Police Blotter. , 5A News Briefs ....5A 'PresArgus1 Pifliii if mm New Year's By Lisa Roose-Church DAILY PRESS & ARGUS Livingston County sheriff's officials have identified a Putnam Township woman killed in a New Year's Eve fire in Putnam Township as 52-year-old Margie Kauserud. Kauserud's husband, 13-year-old daughter and 20-year-old son "By making this change, it's kind oj providing a better blend. Wejeel that this is a reasonable request." Builder hopes to play ball with village planners Former Tiger Stanley seeks rezoning for 64-lot housing project in Pinckney By Christopher Behnan DAILY PRESS & ARGUS Several Pinckney residents including the village's police chief came out in opposition Monday to a 64-lot project proposed by former Detroit Tiger baseball player Mickey Stanley. Stanley, a Brighton resident and local builder, U seeking to build 1 2,000-squaipfoot homes on about 28 acres irf (he vicinity of Howell Street and Mower Road, north of Patterson Lake Road. He's requesting rezoning from low- to medium-density residential on the property. Pinckney's Planning Commission asked for clarification on a previous recommendation for denial again recommended denial of the rezoning Monday. The commission said it voted to deny the rezoning after public outcry last month, and increased public services that would be required by the project. The Village Council could take action on the rezoning request as early as its next regular meeting on Monday. Patrick Keough, an engineer representing Stanley, countered that medium-density housing meshes better with nearby industrial property than currently zoned low-density. Several residents, including Livingston County By Dan Meisler DAILY PRESS & ARGUS Five new members of the nine-person Livingston County Board of Commissioners took their oaths of office Monday night, and a new committee to examine growth and development issues was formed. Jack LaBelle was re-elected board chairman and William Rogers was named vice chairman. The new commissioners are: Maggie Jones, 47 representing District 1, which includes most of Brighton Township and part of Hartland Township won in the general election over Anne King-Hudson. Mike Randall, 31 representing District 2, which includes Deerfield and Oceola townships, City, landowner wrangle over unused By Lon Medd DAILY PRESS ARGUS A dispute between the city of , Howell and the owner of the former Holkins lumber yard property has stalled getting the property a full city block valued at nearly $2 million dollars up and running again. The center of this argument has to do with who has ownership of a parcel at the north end of Center Street The driveway is fenced-in and Eve blaze were not at home when the fire broke out at about 10:35 p.m. Friday at the family's Patterson Lake Drive home in southwest Putnam Township. However, four cats and a dog also were killed in the fire. Kauserud was identified through dental records. The cause of death has not been released, but police do not believe foul play is involved. 4 Patrick Keough Representative of developer Mickey Stanley Police Chief Denis Aseltine, raised concerns about Stanley's proposal with regard to water, sewer, traffic and wetlands issues. Aseltine recommended that Stanley reduce the number of homes he seeks to build. "Why does he want to rezone? Build more homes," said Aseltine. "Why does he want to build more homes? Make more money. Make it on the zoning that's there already." Paula M. Pisaneschi, a former planning commissioner, said Stanley's property is close to the former Patterson Lake Products site, part of which was once proposed for a similar residential project. Pisaneschi raised concerns about building homes near wetlands. "I'm a little confused (about) the size of the properties. My understanding is there are a ton of wetlands over there, and I wouldn't want to see any of that messed up," she said. Keough said Stanley's property has access to sewer and water, and is located in favorable proximity to Pinckney's central business district. Wetlands in the back of the property will be protected by the state. "By making this change, it's kind of providing a better blend," Keough said. "We feel that this is a reasonable request." and parts of Howell and Genoa townships defeated longtime Commissioner Martin Belser in the Republican primary last August and, was unopposed in the general election. Dave Domas representing District 3, which includes Tyrone Township and part of Hartland Township previously served on the board for 10 years, including three as chairman. He beat one-term incumbent Linda Palazzolo in the Republican primary and was unopposed in the general election. Ronald VanHouten, 63 representing District 4 replaces Richard Anderson, who retired. VanHouten was unopposed and has served on the county Planning Commission for 22 years. Howell was used for storage while C.N. Holkins & Son was open. The drive appears to be a continuation of Center Street, once it crosses Wetmore Street Howell City Manager Shea Charles said the city records show it's a public right of way and the city would have control of it. Property owner Joe Parker said that parcel was included took life of Putnam Township woman, 52 "There are no immediate signs of foul play," said Detective Ed Moore, chief fire investigator of the Livingston County Sheriff's Department's Fire Investigation Unit, which is handling the probe. "We do not know the cause of the fire," he added. "There are several things at this pqint that we cannot rule out. There are Developers make their mark Livingston County leads region in home construction By Christopher Nagy DAILY PRESS & ARGUS Livingston County outpaced and outdistanced the rest of southeast Michigan in residential construction in 2004. According to figures compiled by the Building Industry Association of Southeastern Michigan (BIASM), the number of single-family home permits issued in southeast Michigan grew by 1.63 percent from 2003 to 2004. In that same time, the number of permits in Livingston County grew by over 19 percent. For attached condominiums, the numbers were a little closer, but Livingston County still leads the way with 19.2 percent in 2004 compared to 18.7 percent in southeast Michigan. The 2004 figures will be part of a presentation Wednesday when the BIASM holds its annual economic forecast, looking at what the upcoming yqar holds in store for the residential construction industry. The 2004 findings aren't a big surprise, according to Fred Dillingham, executive director of the Economic Development Council of Livingston County. "I think all we have to do is look around us," he said. "Homebuilding is really strong in Livingston County, and from all indications it's going to hold that strength in 2005." The county is somewhat unique to the region because of the job opportunities that have continued to grow here, Dillingham continued. Those jobs have attracted more residents to the area and, as far as he can tell, Dillingham said 2005 will continue to be a "flurry of business" for Livingston County. "I think it continues to indi- board welcomes new commissioners rlQf " r Photo by DAN MEISLERmly press i arous Livingston County commissioners take the oath of office to begin Monday night's meeting, the first of the year. Steve Williams, 43 repre- Putnam Township and parts of senting District 6, which includes Marion, Genoa and Hamburg with his purchase of the Holkins site in the fall 2003 and it belongs to him. As of now, that particular piece is in quiet title litigation, while the entire city block may have to wait a long time to see any kind of redevelopment because it's up for sale again. Parker said the entire property is tied into the lawsuit with the city. Until it's resolved, there is no way to determine if-or when a redevelopment project will begin. The property has been vacant many things we cannot say because of the fact we don't have enough information to point us in a direction." Moore said the Kauserud family's insurance company, AAA, is also conducting its own probe. The home was fully engulfed by flames upon firefighters' arrival. Although the blaze threatened l I M . ' Jeff Doyle, owner of Doyle Livingston County in 2004. cate the high quality of life out here," he said. The number of building permits in southeast Michigan has risen for the past three years, but, fas far as forecasting for 2005 goes, a slight decline is expected, according to Andrew Hopko, of Marx Layne & Co., the public relations and marketing firm for the BIASM. "It looks like 2005 might be down a little bit, and that's only because 2004 was the best year on average nationally," Hopko said. As the economy begins to turn around, interest rates are expected to rise, Hopko said. Rising interest rates, in turn, are expected to slow home-building. Although home building is expected to slow, Hopko added that it will still be strong. "People still continue to see homeownership as a safe investment," he said. At Wednesday's economic forecast in Sterling Heights, David Seiders, chief economist for the National J since C.N, Holkins & Son closed in August 2000. When Parker made the purchase of the property official in September 2003, his dream for that block was a five-story mixed-use development of retail, residential and office space that would encompass the entire city block. The block was valued at one time to be $1.6 million. Parker is upset with the way the matter has unfolded, which came to his attention several months two area homes, it reportedly only caused heat damage to one across the street. The fire wasn't extinguished until about 4 a.m. Saturday. Putnam Township Fire Department Chief Greg Amburgey said the home's location, atop a hill near Patterson Lake, made fighting the fire a major challenge. ft r 1 ; ql r0f 1 tyta c r or File photo by GILLIS BENEDICTdailv press argus Homes, was one of many builders who descended on 'IF I HAD A HAMMER' Building permits issued for Livingstori County Single-family 2003:1,479 2004:1,765 Percent change: 19.3 Multiple-family 2003:186 2004: 48 Percent change: -74.2 Attached condominium 2003: 297 2004: 354 Percent change: 19.2 Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C., will discuss the various economic factors expected to affect the residential construction industry nationally in 2005. He will townships ran against two opponents in the primary and was unopposed in the general election. He replaces David Reader, who is now 44th Circuit Court judge. The incumbent commissioners are Don Parker, Dennis Dolan, LaBelle and Rogers. The new economic development and infrastructure committee will include Rogers, Parker, Dolan and VanHouten, with the assistance ' of Drain Commissioner Brian Jonckheere and head of the Road Commission, Mike Craine. LaBelle said the point of the committee was to take a "cool, analytical" look at growth and development in the county. "We just can't throw caution to the wind with some of this devel parcel of after he purchased the land. Parker has conducted a title search and found that the property has had an owner for 130 years, taxes have been paid on it, and permits have been issued to put structures and fencing on it The plan for the development was to use that particular parcel to install a power grid to supply that block. "My development needs that outlot," Parker said. "We went in there as good neighbors, and we don't understand their actions. The single-story home was destroyed. Assisting at the scene were fire departments from Unadilla, Hamburg, Dexter and Green Oak townships and the Howell Area Fire Department. The American Red Cross and Livingston County Ambulance were also on scene assisting firefighters. ; I offer suggestions for preparing businesses to capitalize on the projected economy. Dominic J. Moceri, 2005 BIASM president and principal of Moceri Companies in Auburn Hills, will provide the results of the 2004 homebuild-ing season in southeastern Michigan and forecast new home starts for 2005. The association's 2005 officers will also be introduced at the meeting. Headquartered in Farmington Hills, the BIASM is a trade association representing more than 2,300 builders, remodelers, multi-family property owners, developers and suppliers to the single-family and multiple-family residential construction industry. The association is affiliated with the Michigan Association of Home Builders in Lansing and the National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C. Membership nationwide includes more than 215,000 individuals and companies. opment," he said. "Perhaps this committee can help. I have high hopes for it." ' For the coming year, LaBelle also has set up a "committee of the whole" that will meet on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. , The full board will meet on the first and third Mondays of each month. The committee of the whole will meet, then break up into smaller subcommittees, LaBelle said. The idea is to get all commissioners together more often to foster better communication. . "We've got to get it more cohesive," LaBelle said. "My biggest job is to inform (new members) and make sure everyone gains the overall knowledge they need." property I'm personally concerned with the way it's been handled." In the meantime, Parker said that since he put up the sign, there has been interest about buying the property. From the city's point of view, Charles is hoping to resolve this dispute and get this property redeveloped as soon as possible. . "Everyone is trying to work through this," Charles said. "We are all trying to figure out what happened. We are obviously interested in seeing it redeveloped," si

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