Macomb Township won’t restake the property lines on township land off 21 Mile at this time as the Board of Trustees await proposals for what to do with the land, which includes a possible dog park.

Macomb Township won’t restake the property lines on township land off 21 Mile at this time as the Board of Trustees await proposals for what to do with the land, which includes a possible dog park.

File photo by Joshua Gordon

Township won’t define property lines on potential dog park site at this time

By: Joshua Gordon | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published July 30, 2018


MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Macomb Township won't restake the property lines for the site of a potential dog park after Trustee Roger Krzeminski's motion to do so was dismissed at the July 11 Board of Trustees meeting.

The board revisited the idea of a dog park on a piece of township land off of 21 Mile Road behind Fire Station No. 2 during a June meeting. However, several residents were concerned about the dog park being so close to the homes in the neighborhood surrounding the property.

The proposal was eventually tabled to allow Parks and Recreation Director Sal DiCaro time to come up with a few alternative ideas for the property.

Krzeminski brought forth the motion to build the dog park in June and at the time said he was aware of several residents who had put structures or other items on township property and the township should "reclaim our property."

At the July 11 meeting, Krzeminski said despite other ideas being brought forward by DiCaro, the township should move forward with the restaking so the township knows exactly where the property lines are.

"Because of the encroachment some property owners have taken, it would be advantageous for the township to reclaim our property," Krzeminski said. "By restaking, it would define the homeowner's respective bounds and also allow the township to properly maintain our property."

An estimate for the services came in at $3,500, according to Township Engineer Jim Van Tiflin. Krzeminski made the motion to restake the property lines, but there was no support, so the motion did not move to a vote.

Trustee Tim Bussineau said he went out to the property, which lies between Garfield and Romeo Plank roads, after the June meeting and met with five homeowners, as well as one resident who lived a mile away and wanted a dog park at the site. Bussineau shared the same sentiment that several spoke of during the meeting that the township should save money on restaking and just send letters to residents asking them to move their belongings off the township property.

"I had two residents that have encroached on (township) property with some structures who looked me in the eye and said they will move it back," Bussineau said. "I like the idea of asking homeowners to do it on their own and maybe revisit this if they don't."

Township Facilities and Grounds Manager Jason Gelle said his staff has been told by residents not to cut the grass where people have already cut, even if it was on township property. So he has told his staff not to cut those areas.

Clerk Kristi Pozzi said Gelle's staff could do an assessment without restaking to establish property lines and maintain the property as such. She also agreed that letters would be a better way to approach the situation as opposed to spending $3,500 to restake while DiCaro works on alternatives.

Van Tiflin said if it is the proposed dog park that goes in, that is about 84 feet from the property line and it wouldn't be necessary to stake the entire property. But other ideas may make use of more of the property.

Pozzi followed up that this issue doesn't need to be contentious and believes residents will work with the township.

"I find it to be almost borderline insulting to the residents only because we haven't done anything with that property in several years and it has stayed vacant," Pozzi said. "It seems it is turning into something ugly and it doesn't need to be. I think we all agree to put something behind there because we own this property and it needs to be utilized. The residents didn't cause any harm to the township and I think we can go about this in a more peaceful manner."

A dog park was originally proposed to be built on that property in 2016, but there was also a concern by residents about a lack of privacy. Van Tiflin said the park is estimated to cost $161,000, which includes $30,000 for a 4-foot fence around the park.

Pozzi and some residents said a property at the corner of 24 Mile and Foss roads could be a better fit for a dog park because it has more space and wouldn't affect as many residents. In December, the board approved a $14,900 contract for planning services on a potential park on the northern property.