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Posted on Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 5:57 a.m.

Pittsfield Township to decide Michigan Islamic Academy's fate Wednesday at board meeting

By Tom Perkins

The Pittsfield Township Board of Trustees will consider a rezoning request by a group wanting to build an Islamic school at the intersection of Ellsworth and Golfside roads.

The decision at the board's regular Wednesday night meeting comes after the planning commission voted 3-2 in August to recommend that the trustees reject the request made by the currently Ann Arbor-based Michigan Islamic Academy.


The Michigan Islamic Academy now offers classes in northeast Ann Arbor, but wants to expand to a larger building that it would build along Ellsworth Road.

Tom Perkins | For Ann

The planning commission only makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees, which has the final say on rezoning requests.

Opponents’ biggest issue has been traffic concerns, but officials involved with the school say two separate traffic studies have found there would be little effect on traffic. They say the planning commission bases all its traffic planning decisions on the studies and questioned why, suddenly, the traffic studies are meaningless.

Commissioners who voted to recommend against rezoning also brought up other issues they said weren’t addressed in the site plan such as specific lighting questions, a landscape screen and pedestrian circulation.

But after the Aug. 4 planning commission meeting, Tarek Nahlawi, an Islamic Academy board member, said those issues had been discussed and resolved and called the commissioners publicly stating that they didn’t have the information “a cheap shot.”

Nahlawi said there haven’t been any adjustments to the plans since the planning commission meeting.

“We are meeting all the requirements and exceeding some of it, so why do we need to change anything?” he said via email on Wednesday. He added he doesn’t believe anything will change the outcome and the township has already decided against the proposal

Township Supervisor Mandy Grewal had no comment on the upcoming meeting.

The bulk of the complaints have come from residents in the Roundtree Apartments complex on Ellsworth and the Silverleaf subdivision located just to the property's west. The property was zoned as part of Silverleaf subdivision, and homeowners have said they bought their homes expecting the adjacent property to stay residential. The property was foreclosed and went back to the lender, and would have to be rezoned.

Officials from the school say they have tried to meet with neighbors in the Silverleaf to discuss issues multiple times, but they were either ignored or few residents showed up to meetings.

Officials say they have addressed every concern neighbors brought up and suspect residents simply don’t want a Muslim school there.

Plans call for a school that accommodates 360 kids, and previous plans to include a community center several years down the road have been scrapped. Nahlawi said the school has no plans for expanding beyond that number, its planned capacity.

The site is a 26-acre parcel on the south side of Ellsworth, where Golfside dead-ends. Cars would exit via a new, short street that would create a four-way intersection at the dead-end.

The driveway running in front of the school is designed to accommodate 70 cars and runs diagonally from Ellsworth to the new street. Nahlawi said the school, currently located on Plymouth Road in Ann Arbor, has nearly 200 students enrolled. Many families carpool, and the school also has two buses and vans, Nahlawi said, so there wouldn't be a situation where the traffic is backed up out to Ellsworth.

“A good percentage of our member community lives in Pittsfield Township,” Nahlawi said. “(The site) is 26.5 acres, which is more than enough for a school. It is among residential area, which is perfect for children. After all, schools are built around communities.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations recently sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice alerting them to the situation. Lena Masri, a CAIR and Islamic Academy attorney, said the department is not yet monitoring the case, but CAIR did send a letter detailing MIA and Cair’s concerns.

She said if the proposal is rejected, then the department could be asked to review the case.

"We hope that the township will not adopt the recommendation of the planning commission and allow Michigan Islamic Academy to move foreward with building a school," she said. "In the event of a denial, we are prepared to look into other options available to us, such as potentially asking for a justice department investigation."

She previously explained she believes the school’s religious rights could be violated because the township cannot deny a religious school the right to operate because of a minor impact on traffic and noise. She also underscored that the traffic studies have demonstrated that traffic volume wouldn’t significantly increase.


E Pluribus Unum

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 7:05 p.m.

I attended both planning commission meetings when the recommendation to rezone was denied due to the outcry of the local people most affected by an additional school locating the in the Golfside/Ellsworth intersection. I have read the traffic study and noted that it only addresses whether or not the capacity of the roads are exceeded; it does not address any ancillary effects that result from the current traffic situation of Fortis Academy. I heard that if the school does not go in, the traffic problem will not be solved which I agree but if the school does not go in, the traffic problem will not be exacerbated. I have read and heard that the people speaking about the MIA locating at the end of Golfside is a Muslim issue; that is far from the the sentiments of the speakers who stated that they support the MIA's efforts to seek a new school. I am within the 1000 feet radius that the MIA people said they contacted for comments however, neither myself nor my immediate neighbors were contacted. I have heard and read that the community center is not part of the plan but I have also read and heard that the community center is seven to eight years down the road. I have heard that the school student population will be capped at 360 students but based on the conflicting statements regarding the community center, I feel that once the MIA obtains approval, all restrictions are off the table and they will build a community center, expand to as many students as they want to and add anything else they want. They have not been honest and truthful with the varying statements. To seek legal action to foster your wants on your potential neighbors is not my idea of being a good neighbor; more like the "bully-on-the-playground". The person who purchased the property did so at his expectation that the property would be rezoned and he would donate the property thereby obtaining a sizable tax deduction. He neglected to take into consideration the feelings of those a


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 4 p.m.

What keeps getting lost in this argument, is that there is another school for 750 students right across the street. Adding another school for 360 would be a bad decision. This would make over 1100 students on that corner! The end result of having 2 schools on the same corner would be equivalent to having an Ypsilanti High School on that corner. In contrast, there would only be 52 homes going in there when that property does get developed. Another school on that corner is too intense for that neighborhood area.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 3:50 p.m.

As a former Fortis Academy parent, traffic is definitely a legitimate issue in the mornings and the evenings. Though the school is on Golfside, Ellsworth tends to be backed up for blocks east of Golfside. I can't imagine another school being in that area whether it is a public or private.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 10:51 p.m.

I wonder what all the liberals in this town are really afraid of. Oh, that's right traffic and noise. OK, I'll start a petition to move Michigan Stadium out to Dexter and you will all sign it, right??? Didn't think so. Wonder how many Muslims play on the team? Some of you might actually support my ridiculous offer if there actually 15 or 20 on the team. What are you REALLY afraid of??????????


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 2:46 p.m.

You bet I'd sign it! In a New York minute! When do we start?


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 9:32 p.m.

The property is not large enough for a school and parking. It is low land, and I would think that developing it intoa a large building and paved parking would cause flooding to the homes on Persimmon. Traffic is a mess at Golfside & Ellsworth twice a day, and there is no crossing guard (private school, not public, remember). What is wrong with building a school on Platt Rd near the 'Eastern Washtenaw Multicultural Academy'? That would seem like a more logical location.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 12:07 p.m.

Uh.... "What is wrong with building a school on Platt Rd near the 'Eastern Washtenaw Multicultural Academy'? That would seem like a more logical location". There's already a school there. Would you build a McDonalds right next to a McDonalds?


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 7:15 p.m.

I'm very sorry to hear that we are yet again discussing this issue. I own a condominium at Roundtree Condominiums and have found myself stuck in these same traffic jams that occur twice a day (albeit temporary) along with all of the rest of the residents who live in the nearby neighborhoods. You count yourself lucky if you don't get delayed by longer than 10 minutes or so! My Understanding of the issue is that this is a rezoning request made by the M.I.A so that they may build a private school on this parcel of land that they had already purchased, perhaps not realizing at the time that it would need to be rezoned? I suspect that if any other group had purchased this same plot of land, and had not noticed if it was not already zoned for the building of a school (regardless of the "type" of school to be built) that they too would be seeking to get their newly purchased plot of land rezoned as well. I suspect that this "other group" would be experiencing the same kind of trouble that the M.I.A. folks currently are. Pittsfield Township is fairly large isn't it? Perhaps the M.I.A. folks could interest the nearby associations an opportunity to purchase the acres in question to be used as a small extension of their association's property, the M.I.A. folks may find another location, still in Pittsfield Township, not needing rezoning? Sure, another delay, but perhaps this would allow all to benefit, and many may actually profit because of the delay? For instance A true realization of the dream the M.I.A. folks had started with, and not just settling for a school to be built, but actually have room in addition for ALL of those other features that were first purposed to go along with the new school? I think that this would be something that the students and their parents would really like to see happen instead of these compromises they have to keep making that will end up giving them way less than what they had first set out to achieve?! Win win,

John Q

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 4:30 p.m.

Whether a school is public or privately owned is immaterial to the discussion. A judge is only going to look at the land use impact. A private school will generate the same impacts as a public school. The Township would have to show that a public school would be treated the same as a private school, doubly so because it's a religious school. Looking at the information from the Township's web site, the land isn't "residentially zoned" as some claim. It's zoned as a PUD, a Planned Unit Development. The language for the PUD allows a wide range of land uses so long as the uses are "...compatible with the Township's adopted master plan." The Township Board can't claim that a school is incompatible with the Township's adopted master plan. Even if one takes the position that the area is residentially zoned, the claim that a school is a non-residential land use is contradicted by the Township's own zoning ordinances. The Township's zoning ordinance allows primary and secondary schools in almost every residential zoning district. By the Township's own ordinance, schools are appropriately located in residential zoning districts. From the Township's planner's review of the project: "Schools are a permissible use through conditional approval in all residential districts, provided certain standards are met to ensure compatibility with residential uses. A number of measures have been employed by the applicant to promote compatibility. The school has been moved from the rear of the site, where site configuration is more constrained and natural features are more significant, to the front of the site. A proposed community center is no longer proposed. Finally, extensive berming along the boundary with existing single-family dwellings." The only issue for the Township to decide is whether they want to play to the crowd and pay down the road or approve the project as the Planning Commission should have done in the first place.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 7:49 p.m.

The Pittsfield Township zoning ordinance requires a rezoning of the current land classification from PUD residential to PUD-non residential. The proposed use as presented by the Michigan Islamic Academy is not a permitted use which is why a rezoning is necessary. Re-zoning the land from residential to non-residential is a concern especially for the surrounding neighborhood community and the residents. The Michigan Islamic Academy indicates the school fits within the meaning of a "small scale school" per the Master Plan. I am not really sure if this accurately fits within the intended meaning as there is no definition within the Zoning Ordinance for small scale school under a PUD designation. However, a small scale school may have been intended to mean a school of fewer than 200 or even 100 students. The term is open to interpretation. I would argue a school accommodating 360 students in grades 1-12 is significant and may exceed the common meaning of a small scale school. Again, while schools are permitted in all residential districts a proposal for a school is subject to conditional approval by the Board after recommendation by Planning Commission. The school must still be compatible with the surrounding residential uses. This is really the question. Whether the proposed school fits within the Master Plan as a small scale school and if the proposed use really is compatible and adheres with the standards outlined in both the Zoning Ordinance and the PUD designation. Maybe this location really isn't suitable for a school and would be better served by another subdivision or a mixed used residential and commercial design plan. With a PUD designation and the rezoning request its not so cut and dry and there is a lot of room for interpretation and deliberation to decide whether the rezoning should be approved based on the proposed use.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 4:07 p.m.

ANY development will affect traffic patterns. I remember the neighbors irritation when they found out Silverleaf was coming to their area. "Look at the traffic problems it will create!" "Ellsworth can't handle that kind of traffic." The people of Silverleaf didn't bother to come to an announced meeting but they are SO concerned? PLEASE. We would ALL like to live at a dead end in the middle of a meadow with no traffic. But-- welcome to the real world This is a school that has outgrown it's present location. It was denied moving to another school! Have there been problems where it is currently located? Not that I've heard of and I'm a 40 year resident of the area. Rezoning happens every day for many reasons it's not a tragedy. Yes Ann Arbor caused problems when it changed it's bussing plan. Know any private schools that have done that? C'mon everyone, and especially the Trustees. Take a chill!


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 3:06 p.m.

The Golfside/Ellsworth intersection is already gridlocked twice a day when parents of Fortis Academy students drop off and pick up their children. Adding another school with hundreds of kids across Ellsworth Road is a very bad idea and would raise serious safety concerns for drivers and students, IMO.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 7:54 p.m.

Gramma, what are you smokin'? Where'd the 350 houses come from? You've got 26 acres already zoned residential. As treetowncartel points out, some of that land will be needed for roads, etc.--6 acres is probably a conservative figure. That leaves 20 acres, each lot is roughly 1/4-1/3 of an acre, so maybe more like 60-80 homes. If they ever get built.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 4:10 p.m.

According to some people, 350 houses would supposedly create 700 jobs. But, that will never happen here because you can not fit 350 single family houses on a 26 acres. Especially, since some of that land would be needed for roads, set backs and right aways.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 3:39 p.m.

Think what it will be like if 350 houses are built in this area.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 2:41 p.m.

My concern is the fact that a school will be built there. Pittsfield blocked this request and I am happy about it because between two school on opposite corners there will be more traffic, meaning foot and cars and more potential for accidents. If the children have to cross the street they will use the crosswalks. But what about those who try to run the light? Really need to think about what is really best for everyone involved. Fortis does have walkers but they go further down the street to cross where traffic is minimal. Get real people, foot traffic is going to be a major concern for all involved if a school is built there. Everyone needs to rethink this through. The police can attest to the fact they are writing tickets to those not stopping for the crossers in crosswalks. Glad Pittsfield has hind site on this one.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 2:03 a.m.

I could care less where children go to school. But you really need to see how much traffic really goes thru there and then ask yourself would I want mine crossing thru that? I wouldn't.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 3:39 p.m.

jns, it sounds like you support the "right" of people to run traffic lights over the right of children to go to school.

Go Blue

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 2:30 p.m.

Examine the real issue. Drive past any school in the morning and afternoon when parents drop off students and buses as well. Twice per day, five days per week. How often is there a traffic backup? How early do the cars actually arrive and then sit on site, idling for ten to fifteen minutes - again, twice per day, five days per week. Add to that if there are after school meetings with parents, soccer, etc., activities. Take race and religion out of the equation just like an adult should and then look at the situation compounded by the nearby school with the same traffic twice per day. When did it evolve that a person cannot protect the investment of their home and must smile and accept anything that anyone wants to build. Like a child, have a temper tantrum and threaten if you can't get what you want.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 9:09 p.m.

ps. i don't have a dog in this fight myself, i'm just curious.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 3:37 p.m.

Maybe schools should be banned from our communities.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 3:20 p.m.

This will not effect me either way. But suppose the zoning IS changed. Will the neighbors "Like a child, have a temper tantrum and threaten" when they don't get what they want?


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 1:57 p.m.

This school might even increase the property values in the Silverleaf area. More demand for the houses from people wanting to send their kids to this school. I am a little fuzzy about how the school can be denied because of traffic, when two studies have been done that say there will be no or little impact. If the township does not believe those studies, they should do one of their own, but I suspect that is would come out the same as the others, so thats why they have not done it. I would be more than happy to have a school built as opposed to a whole bunch of houses. I live across the street from an Ann Arbor elementary with 500 students and all the neighbors take their dogs there for a run and the kids play on the play structures. My street is the only way in and out of the school and its not so bad. Because the entrance to this proposed school is not in Silverleaf, what is their problem with it? I don't see how the board can deny it. Bet things would be different if it was a Christian School.

Adam Betz

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 6:15 p.m.

No Gramma, I never said that. Can you please post me as EVER quoting that? But yes, I am in the Army Guard. Yes, I'm enroute to Afghanistan. As mentioned in other posts, I don't fight for the reason you mention...if you'd like to know, simply ask me :) In regards to the school not being placed there, the way I understand it, that area is not zoned for that type of is a private business in fact, not a public school. I am opposed to this particular school being placed there because it is in my neighborhood (when I'm home and not away fighting your wars for you) and I don't think the people who are pushing for this school to be built should be given special treatment simply because of their faith or lack there of.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 3:42 p.m.

Adam, Aren't you the National Guardsman who said you would fight and die for the right of girls to go to school in Afghanistan? Why are you opposed to a school here in Michigan?

Adam Betz

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 2:26 p.m.

I really don't think it has anything to do with religion. Especially in the times we are living in when people are TOO concerned with hurting other peoples feelings or offended others. It's just too easy to immediately pull the discrimination card. Chris makes a good point above about this being a rezoning issue and not an issue regarding discrimination towards another group of citizens.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 1:56 p.m.

This is a rezoning request and the current zoning is for a residential use. The proposed school is not a residential use but a school and is not allowed by right under the zoning ordinance. I believe Pittsfield Township is within its legal rights to deny a rezoning request because changing the use will impact the character of the surrounding uses. Clearly this group is threatening litigation as a scare tactic. A request/application for rezoning is just that and it can always be turned down when the use is not consistent with the current zoning. As a resident in an adjoining neighborhood north of Ellsworth I believe traffic especially in the morning is a concern. I also believe while the use may be somewhat benign the Board of Trustees should carefully examine whether the proposed use will ultimately impact the surrounding community and what impact the school may have in the future. There is always the possibility for expansion in the future, this is a large parcel of land. Once rezoned the use of the property as a school may continue and any increase in traffic congestion, traffic light timing, and deceleration/turning lanes should be considered as part of the request.

Basic Bob

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 8:45 a.m.

Actually, schools are consistent with residential zoning. Especially if you walk to school. OTOH, maybe it would be better to put the school next to vacant commercial land, just like Saline Schools did on the other side of the township. That worked fine until the commercial land was developed to hold a Walmart Supercenter. Then the school board's grand plan wasn't so popular with the constituents.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 3:49 p.m.

Schools are in residential neighborhoods all over town. How does a school not belong in a residential neighborhood? Would you put it by the mall instead?


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 3:34 p.m.

If this property is used for housing, with the population density of Roundtree, there would be a significant increase in traffic.

Adam Betz

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 2:19 p.m.

Well put. Thank you.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 1:40 p.m.

I live in Pittsfield Township, not too far from this property. I would be delighted to see this school built. Undoubtedly, the new Costco store will cause an increase in traffic on Ellsworth. Since Ellsworth was widened in certain areas, it has become a major traffic corridor to Meijer's and the Briarwood commercial area. This school would have little impact. I cannot understand how a faith based school could lower property values, unless it is based on people's discriminatory beliefs.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 1:11 p.m.

Can a real estate expert chime in on what having a new subdivision next door do to the values of the old neighborhood? Aren't there already too many houses on the market? What would happen if the school were to be built? Granted that it's not public, but would it be damaging to the property values or supporting? I understand that the neighbors had expectations for what was going to be built nearby, however, given that the people who promised them it foreclosed on the land, doesn't that inherently change the expectations? There are consequences to events like that.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 12:43 p.m.

I believe that at least part of the problem is that this group already purchased the land at Ellsworth and Golfside and did so before the rezoning process was completed. So if the land is not rezoned to accommodate a school, this group is out whatever $$ they put into purchasing the property. That is really their problem and no one else's. I do sympathize with the Silverleaf homeowners and Roundtree renters. They are already subjected to the morning, noon, and later afternoon traffic around Fortis Academy (yes, it is considerable, despite what these traffic studies might say) and will now have the same issue with another school basically in their backyards. There will also be noise (cars and kids) that meer berms aren't going to keep out. I wouldn't want this situation near my house, either. These are legitimate concerns, but ones that the potential school builders seem to think are insignificant or not worthy of consideration. And I agree, threatining the discrimination card is an inappropriate way to handle this. I doubt the Silverleaf homeowners would care who was trying to build a school in their backyards, they would be opposed anyway.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 7:39 p.m.

Adam, I have no idea how your comment relates to this issue.

Adam Betz

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 6:11 p.m.

Gramma, I like how gunpowder smells...should I be allowed to fire my weapons near your home just because I enjoy that scent?


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 1:45 p.m.

How sad that people feel that the "noise" of children is offensive. I believe those living in Roundtree and Silverleaf also have children and cars. Are they offended by the thought of the particular children who would attend this school? That is discrimination.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 12:41 p.m.

As a Christian and resident of one of the neighborhoods on Ellsworth just down from where the proposed school is to be located I just have a couple of comments. One is what about the school that is already near that location. Our neighborhood has many parents dropping off or picking up students at that school only to have them race through our streets to avoid the traffic created by that school which is Christian based. And as for Mr. Nahlawi's comment about carpooling and the school having two buses, hasn't he heard about the problems created at the public schools when Ann Arbor cut bus services? No let's just make it into an anti-Islamic issue.

Matt Cooper

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 8:03 p.m.

"As a Christian..." did you complain just as vociferously when they built the Christian school? Have you complained to the township just as loudly about the traffic from the Christian school? If not, why are you now, "as a Christian", complaining about the supposed increase in foot traffic from the Muslim school? It only becomes an "anti-Islamic issue" when you treat Muslims differently than you treat others.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 4:24 p.m.

Omniscient. That one means all-knowing.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 2:24 p.m.

Thank you jcj, that was my point exactly.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 1:59 p.m.

Matt READ the post! "Our neighborhood has many parents dropping off or picking up students at that school only to have them race through our streets to avoid the traffic created by that school which is Christian based." I don't believe Walking Joe would be for another school even if it was Christian based. You must be omnipotent to know what his motives are!

Matt Cooper

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 12:52 p.m.

And you display your true motivation when you start you comment with "As a Christian...".


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 12:30 p.m.

It's about time this group has started "fighting back" a bit more and this time using Ann Why this group was denied purchasing a closed school to become, here you go, a school, is beyond me. "Not in my back yard" is what I keep hearing when I read the stories of how this group has battled for building a school in the area of the past few years.

Adam Betz

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 1:05 p.m.

"Not in my back yard" is what you actually keep hearing or is that what you are creating in your own thought process? I didn't see anything like that in the article. I'd be careful about making false claims that it is an issue about the religious aspect of the school rather than ANY school or business. This isn't a PUBLIC school we are talking about here. The people that run this school are very selective about who can attend their "academy." Check out their website and do some research. I wouldn't mind so much if it were a public service but any private service such as this who is very selective about who they will let in, I have questions about. As I pointed out above, why do they need to setup a school in that specific location? If they are denied, why not find another place to setup? Why always assume the worst in human nature? Don't you think it's viable that people just don't care what religion the school is? To assume this is the issue is a typical negative Ann Arborite assumption.

John Q

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 12:10 p.m.

This is a no brainer. The only decision for the Township Board to consider is to approve this as they would any other school in a residential area. Or deny it and open the door to a lawsuit for violating RLUIPA and put every Township taxpayer on the hook for legal fees that a judge will award after giving the school permission to go forward.

Basic Bob

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 8:32 a.m.

These are the same people who opposed a large retail business that complied with zoning and could not be legally stopped. Then bent over backwards to change zoning for another large retail business. Be careful what you label as a no-brainer, we might all be shocked at the board's decision.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 11:43 a.m.

This would be a great location it appears to open up a Bar and night complex with a Party Store attached to it. Sounds like there is not a traffic problem there already, so why not try to create one?


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 2:01 a.m.

Isn't there a law on how close you can be to a school and sell booze? I think there is.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 1:52 p.m.

If this school is not built there, that is a possibility.

David Jenkins

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 11:40 a.m.

I do not understand the fact that at the last Pittsfield Twp. meeting that I attended, we were overwelmed by nearly 100 people in regards to this issue. Not only did this curcumvent any other business that other residents may have had, but it was emphatically denied that there was, or would be ,traffic concerns related to this issue. If this is true ,why is one whole lane of Ellsworth Rd already blocked ,and there is no entry onto Golfside even without this expansion? I have run into this in the afternoon several times recently and wonder why this is permitted by the police on a regular basis.

Adam Betz

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 11:10 a.m.

Ahh yes...the way to go if you don't get what you want in the race/religion card and get whatever you want. So, just like any business, if the owners of the school get denied why would they not take it somewhere else? I suspect they not only want to build the academy there but are also looking to prove a point. This is the type of thing that causes those of us who are not religious to question the intention of buildings like this. Why does it have to be in that EXACT location? Why not move it elsewhere if you are denied? What are the people building this school trying to prove? Litigation and lawyers have handed us the crazy society we live in today all in the name of money. One cannot mind his/her own business, smoke in a public place, tell someone NO without being a racist, bully or a hater of a particular religion and oh yes, don't let me forget the important lost ability to be able to "tamper with, remove or destroy the smoke detectors on planes"......


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 6:40 p.m.

"Hey, if they owned the property already, according to what you're saying they would have every right to setup shot...right?" Nope! Was just answering your question about why they didn't just build somewhere else. I agree it was not a good move to buy the land then hope you could get it rezoned. I am not even saying it should be rezoned. Just saying they have as must right to push for rezoning as those that want to keep it the way it is! How many request for rezoning has the township approved in the last five years?

Adam Betz

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 6:09 p.m.

jcj...Yep...they sure do own the property...but it is not and was not ZONED appropriately for the type of business they are attempting to put up. Would you mind if your residential zoned area in which you live was suddenly rezoned by a factory that wanted to start up next door? Hey, if they owned the property already, according to what you're saying they would have every right to setup shot...right?


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 2:02 p.m.

"Why does it have to be in that EXACT location? Why not move it elsewhere if you are denied?" Pretty simple really. they OWN the property!


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 11:02 a.m.

So basically it is, agree to what we want, or we are going to file suit against you for religious rights violations. Okay, so does the township even have a choice? The threat of lawsuits is a terrible way for people to get what they want.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 6:42 p.m.

They aren't being violated. This area is zoned residential, not zoned for a school. Many people may have purchased their homes under the impression that the area would have homes only. If I bought in the area and was told this, that is what I would expect. It is clear Gramma that you want this school and that is fine. But others might not agree with you and that should be fine as well.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 1:49 p.m.

The threat of and filing of lawsuits is perfectly appropriate when one's constitutional rights are violated. Women used lawsuits to gain protection from sexual harassment and gender discrimination on the job. If the township follows the law, there can be no lawsuit.