My husband and I are voting NO on the Acme Township moratorium this Tuesday, August 2 and want to tell you why.
We were born and raised in Traverse City, with family roots in Bates, Williamsburg, and Acme. We feel fortunate to have finally returned to Acme, year-round. For 31 summers, East Bay was our summer cottage destination, where our boys played with other Acme kids along Bay Valley Drive and Maitland Road, occasionally enjoyed Arne‘s Funland, and raced the bumper cars behind Don‘s Drive In. We felt like we had “come home“ when we added on and created our permanent residence here.
We wanted to do something special for Acme, as a way of giving back to the residents who have been such good stewards of the land. Our partners joined us in designing the most beautiful mixed-use village on 182 acres along the M-72 trunkline.
Perhaps you can imagine our surprise and dismay when ex-Governor Milliken gave what we felt were misleading impressions of excess in describing our project which includes a hotel, esplanade, shops and Meijer anchor store, TART Trail bike paths, senior housing, various types of residential housing to meet a continuum of economic needs, community and educational buildings,
recreation fields, and numerous entertainment venues.
The Village at Grand Traverse was designed to contain Milliken‘s predicted “sprawl“ over its 20 year build-out, and would have given “heart“ and economic synergy to Acme‘s Towne Center. That‘s why the previous Township Board twice granted us permission to build. And each time they did, the Concerned Citizens of Acme Township (CCAT) sued the township to obstruct our progress, hiding behind the courts and local judges rather than mediating to find common ground and a win-win for everyone.
Unfortunately, powerful special interest and non-profit groups are at work in Acme, such as CCAT, the Michigan Land Use Institute, Grand Traverse Land Conservancy, Grand Traverse Watershed, and NMEAC. They seem to want control of our land and waters for their own purposes. A Traverse City Smart Growth advocate has indicated Acme should be a rich bedroom community, like Grand Haven. If we lose this moratorium vote to the “yes“ side, we will never again have any say about future direction or growth in Acme. It will be visioned and mapped by Traverse City and regional interests to meet their needs, not ours.
If you‘re a property owner, taxpayer, or voter, beware of the advice our township board is taking from ex-CCAT lawyer, Chris Bzdok. The obstructive direction of this new board is opening our wallets to unjust taxation without compensation; the cry “Taxation without representation!“ is way too close to the truth!
Last August, only 50% of us were heard from at the polls. Please, let‘s make it 100% on August 2 and learn what Acme really wants. Vote “NO“ to welcome Meijer to Acme and discover what wonderful neighbors we all can be.
Mary and Jim Goss are part of the development team for the Village at Grand Traverse in Acme Township.