Oakland Township land preservation renewal approved

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published November 13, 2018


OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — Township voters approved a land preservation renewal Nov. 6, paving the way to continue to purchase and protect local green space.

According to unofficial results from the Oakland County Elections Division, 6,521 residents voted yes on the ballot question, and 2,994 voted no.

Oakland Township Parks and Recreation Director Mindy Milos-Dale said election turnout was high.

“It was a really good turnout,” she said. “Which makes me feel even better. We had a high percentage of our residents voting on this. We’ve been working hard with these land preservation funds. We are really grateful we can continue this good work.”

Since 2001, the township has used voter-approved land preservation millage funds to purchase and protect 444 acres of green space. Those funds have also been used to manage natural areas across the township’s 1,100-acre park system and along the Paint Creek Trail.

Oakland Township has leveraged the land preservation funds with grants and donations to protect important natural areas.

The proposal is a renewal of the 0.6310-mill levy for 10 years. Voter approval results in the authorization to collect up to $927,318 in the first year. Residents of an Oakland Township home valued at $200,000 will pay $63 per year for the land preservation millage.

Natural areas acquired by previous land preservation millage funds include 60 acres at Stony Creek Ravine Nature Park, 6 acres at Lost Lake Nature Park, 5 acres at the Paint Creek Heritage Area and 170 acres at Watershed Ridge Park.    

Improvements include a new entrance drive and parking lot, an accessible pathway, a boardwalk and a dock at Draper Twin Lake Park; management of 200 acres along the Paint Creek Trail; and right-of-way invasive species controls.

According to township officials, 3,000 acres of land in the township remain available for preservation, equaling 13 percent of all township land. In 2006, 5,400 acres of undeveloped land equaled 23 percent, and in 2001, there were 6,375 acres, representing 27 percent.