The fate of a proposed shopping center and housing development outside Petoskey may hang in the balance of the Nov. 5 election when voters from Bear Creek Township decide a referendum on rezoning the site of the project.
Over one year ago, the township board voted against rezoning the Strathmore Co. site to allow a 175,000-square-foot big box store development along with 224 low-income housing apartments and 36 duplexes. Opponents of the project believe that threats of a lawsuit by Strathmore against the township prompted the board to reverse its position a year later.
Earlier this year, petitioners gathered some 450 signatures to force a referendum vote on rezoning the site. Although attorneys for Stathmore and its members in the Petoskey Investment Group tried to block the referendum, the right of township citizens to vote on the matter was upheld in court. Since then, the Citizens Against Special Interest Zoning have been active in trying to get out the vote against the proposed shopping center and housing project.
We have a sense that the majority of people are opposed to making zoning decisions based on threats of litigation, which is whats happening here, said Petoskey attorney John Rohe, who has been active in opposing the development.
Rohe added that it would be a precedent-setting vote for townships across Michigan. These townships need the power of the people who live in them to uphold the power of the zoning laws.
New bike trail dedicated
A superb new 7.5-mile non-motorized trail running along U.S.-31 north of Charlevoix was dedicated on Oct. 24, dramatically advancing the regions trail opportunities.
Visible all along the highway, the trail begins in Charlevoix at Waller Road and runs along the Lake Michigan shoreline to Bayshore Road where it connects to the Petoskey portion of the trail system. The trail is 10 feet wide and paved with various sections of constructed boardwalk over wetland areas. The $2.6 million project is funded through a federal enhancement grant.
Michael Moores must-see film
Author Michael Moore was on hand at last weeks packed premiere of his film, Bowling for Columbine, in Traverse City with some good news for local filmgoers: the documentary has broken box office records for single theater showings across the country and will be released early in Northern Michigan as a result of local interest.
The premiere was a benefit for the Mideast: Just Peace film series in Traverse City, which is presenting two films on Israels policy of demolishing the homes of Palestinians this week. “Speaking of Peace“ and The Right to a Home and a Homeland“ will be shown this Monday, Nov. 4
ANTIWAR ACTIVISTS turned out in force in Petoskey and Traverse City on Saturday as part of protests in 1,500 cities around the world, opposing the proposed war in Iraq.
President Bush has declared his intention to wage a pre-emptive war against Iraq, and is trying to coerce the international community into submission, said Stephen Brede of the Another Way Peace Coalition, which sponsored the protest in Petoskey. The administration is waging a campaign to convince the people of the United States to finance -- with tax dollars and blood -- a war of conquest on behalf of the corporate and oil interests that comprise Bushs true constituency.
This massive con job by our so-called ‘leaders‘ would send tens of thousands of young GI‘s to kill and be killed in another war for big oil, said Sally Neal in Traverse City.
Pictured is a march in Traverse City held in mid September.