Southfield, Michigan is a suburb of Detroit, but it is just another pin on the map for the Target corporation. Residents in Southfield filed the following report with Sprawl-Busters: “The City Council in Southfield enacted an ordinance on Monday February 6, to rezone 11.2 wooded acres of land, enjoyed as a spa/health club for the last 40 years, to commercial use! Target is now demolishing 184 trees, at least 8 1/2 inch in diameter, along with the luxurious health club housing a glass, 2 story indoor pool (rennovated less than three years ago for $750,000), the two outdoor pools, tennis courts, miniature golf course, sand volleyball, etc. in order to allow Target to build its 126,400 sq ft store and water detention basin. Not only are people up in arms about Southfield destroying such a unique resource in the community, the site is completely surrounded by homes/ apartments, woodlands — except one side is office use. The trees on the site, and the trees adjacent to the site, are at stake, when the double-sided concrete wall is erected to separate the delivery trucks from the trees and homes. There are seven individual homeowners within 100 feet of the property, apartments within 25 feet of the property on another two sides of the property, and more apartments and condominiums across the street. Target’s own traffic study said the closest intersection currently functions at an F level of service ( A is highest, F is the lowest). In addition, they have to add yet another traffic light to accommodate the traffic, which will be the 6th traffic light in one mile, on
Southfield road between 12 and 13 mile. According to the Southfield City Charter, for a citizen zoning referendum we have 30 days, the first day began Tuesday – February 7 to collect 1,382 signatures, 10% of the 13, 818 voters who voted in the last general election, to get this issue to the ballot or repeal the ordinance, whichever the City Council chooses. The city attorneys took four days to approve the zoning referendum petition!! It is now Friday night. We are a very small group, because many local residents who fought at the planning commission meeting, and fought at the public hearing for the city council became extremely disillusioned when they lost.”
Because their City Council did nothing to protect them, the taxpayers of Southfield have to spend their time and money defending their own property. The fact that a Target big box two and a half times the size of a football field is being placed this close to homes and apartments is a failure of the fundamental purpose of zoning in Southfield — to protect the health, safety and welfare of local residents. Anyone wishing to help the citizens of Southfield stand up to Target and their City Council, please email [email protected] for local contacts. When developers are faced with such a referendum process, they hire professional signature gatherers to collect names, and pay for each signature. The residents of Southfield, who are threatened with loss in property value and a very intrusive neighbor, have to gather their own signatures.