City Moves Forward With Purchase of Two Properties Along Adams Road

The properties, each containing a residential home, will add to protected green space in Rochester Hills.

Rochester Hills leaders are negotiating with the owners of two 5-acre lots on Adams Road to purchase the properties for city green space.

The properties at 950 and 884 N. Adams Road, south of Tienken Road, are next to the undeveloped Nowicki Park. By buying the land, the city would prevent any private commercial or residential development from happening there. 

The city's Green Space Advisory Board, a citizen committee charged with helping the city preserve natural green spaces, wildlife habitats and scenic views in the city, walked the properties in August and September and declared them an attractive buffer to Nowicki Park with high-quality wetlands. 

Because of how close they are to Adams High School and the Village of Rochester Hills, the advisory board said the properties were at risk of development if not eventually owned by the city.

Both properties have residential homes on them; the owners are willing to sell, advisory board representatives said in their recent presentation to Rochester Hills City Councilmembers.

The city will now enter negotiations with the property owners. 

MargeH December 12, 2012 at 12:10 PM
I think that is a wonderful plan- apart from the cost- there is no downside to this idea. the additional green space, while not critical to our collecting green space is critical to it not becoming a commercial strip mall or something that would really increase congestion to an area that already has massive traffic jams with people needing to go north or south or to the High School.
Lilly Theodoroff December 12, 2012 at 01:43 PM
I am thrilled with this decision. I have lived in the sub across from this parcel for 33 years, and often worried it would be developed. LillyT
Michele Manhire December 12, 2012 at 01:48 PM
I wish the City would have been this 'on the ball' for the property located along the East side of Rochester Road between Avon and Hamlin. This wonderful, green space bordering along a very busy road is slated for development which residents in the area DON'T WANT, and are dreading. It seems the horrible economy of late has kept it from being actually developed thus far, thankfully. But it sure would be nicer to know that our City's dedication to Green Space in the north would apply to this area of town also.
Lynn Loebs December 12, 2012 at 02:31 PM
For a property to be considered for Green Space acquisition the property owner has to submit it for consideration.
Barbara Krueger December 12, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Hopefully, those two eyesores on the corner of Adams and Tienken will be torn down. It would be nice if they would widen Adams to make that a right-turn lane from Adams going east on Tienken which would help the traffic congestion at rush-hour.
doug December 12, 2012 at 03:08 PM
As someone who routinely critiques the City and Council for lack of vision, I applaud this effort. It would be great to see a more comprehensive plan that is focused on preserving the character and history of the city. That character is what differentiates our city which is great from both a lifestyle and financial perspective (Home values)
karen Mountz December 12, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Would they consider putting in a dog park there?
Peter Griffin December 12, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Isn't that the space that had that nice historic home on it and the owner's "let" it go into a state of disrepair so they could tear it down and sell the vacant land for more money? Is that the parcel?? Funny how the Rochester Hills council allowed a historic home to be torn down so easily. I heard that the owners (allegedily) purposely left the doors unlocked so vandals could get in and help make a case that it would cost too much to repair the home and it should be removed from the historic list. Is this true??
Lisa Rutherford December 12, 2012 at 03:35 PM
These sound like the areas being considered by Jordan Management/West Bay/Land Strategies for oil drilling. Timely, as they are currently pursuing residential land leases in Brookedale Woods. A dog park sounds like a much safer idea.
Scot Beaton December 12, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Lynn... not sure -- I don't remember reading that as a requirement?
Scot Beaton December 12, 2012 at 07:50 PM
"Now Therefore Be It Resolved, that the Rochester Hills City Council adopts the GSAB recommendation to pursue the acquisition of 884 Adams Road N, parcel #15-08-100-005, with primary interest in the natural features area of the parcel; Be It Further Resolved, that the City Council authorizes the City Administration to create an acquisition team and begin the acquisition process with the property owner. .............................. Whereas, based on its findings, GSAB recommends the City pursue the acquisition of 950 Adams Road N, parcel #15-08-100-004, with primary interest in the natural features area of the parcel, and only if 884 Adams Road N is also acquired; Now Therefore Be It Resolved, that the Rochester Hills City Council adopts the GSAB recommendation to pursue the acquisition of 950 Adams Road N, parcel #15-08-100-004, with primary interest in the natural features area of the parcel, and only if 884 Adams Road N is also acquired; Be It Further Resolved, that the City Council authorizes the City Administration to create an acquisition team and begin the acquisition process with the property owner." -- City Council resolution
Scot Beaton December 12, 2012 at 08:10 PM
doug... Pursue is a different than the word purchase -- and yet again a questionable move by City Council and our Mayor. In the past if the City was interested in purchasing property for parkland we used third party negotiators to negotiate the best price... now that they know the 'deep pockets' up at City Hall want the land who knows what price the property owners will ask for. note: Years back campaigning door to door I meet one of the property owners... need I say more. P.S. -- Even if one of the property owners did approach the City -- the response should have been thanks for the offer... and a third party a few months later might have been a better approach for the best price.
Marie December 13, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Why cannot the city consider the Rochester Road property acquisition at this time? The property appears to be on the market. Do I detect a bias or an agenda?
Erin December 13, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Kristin - was it noted if the city's Open Space Fund monies were to be used towards these parcel purchases?
Erin December 13, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Lisa - yes, that is rather curious on the location and timing. These are the areas Jordan is interested in. Also, it is City Council and City's Attorney opinion(s) that they can "legally" do an endrun around the 2011 Charter Amendment by saying that any drilling would really be more UNDER city owned/park/green spaces, not so much ON TOP, so it wouldn't REALLY be going against the hard fought amendment the people earned. Does anyone think that sounds: 1) in keeping with the intent and letter of the law? 2) like what folks had in mind when they signed petitions and then voted it in? That all being said, if this is indeed intended to be kept Green Space as defined by the Charter- above and below the ground - then I think it's a great move. I will be interested to see it play out. Curious - with all the cuts we've seen in recent years, why did this green space suddenly leap to the top of the priority list? And, why move on it so fast?
Kristin Bull (Editor) December 13, 2012 at 05:10 PM
The Green Space millage funds? Yes - I believe they would be used.
Scot Beaton December 13, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Rochester Hills Master Land Use Plan Commercial land Master Land Use Plan -- all designed to increase density "Commercial land use as a percentage of the overall community has remained relatively stable since the 1991 land use survey. While the overall land area devoted to commercial use has remained relatively stable, there has been continued infill commercial development since 1991. A good example of such development is the Village of Rochester Hills. However, most commercial centers do not currently have excessive vacancy rates, and the City is increasingly pressured to develop additional commercial areas. This indicates that Rochester Hills may want to consider allocating additional commercial land area or intensifying existing commercial developments in the City." Master Land Use Plan page 3.8 "Objectives for Future Retail Development -- To maintain the current level of retail development, an additional 27.5 acres of new retail development will be needed. The future land use plan should address this discrepancy." Master Land Use Plan page 5.19 "The following retail objectives should be evaluated: Each neighborhood area should have convenience goods and services available at a convenience or neighborhood scale retail shopping areas within approximately a 1½ mile distance." Master Land Use Plan page 5.22
Scot Beaton December 13, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Rochester Hills Master Land Use Plan 19 Recommended Neighborhood Changes all designed to increase density -- two examples: "Neighborhood 8 – The CHRISTIAN HILLS area contains many older homes on lots that are larger than the minimum lot area required in the underlying zoning district. Two adjoining lots could be assembled and split into three new lots." "Neighborhood 9 – EYSTER'S AVON ESTATES Many long, narrow lots are located along Avon Circle. These lots could also be assembled and further developed. Alternately, the rear portion of the lots could be sold for development." Master Land Use Plan page 3.7 Erin... Don't know why any of us continue to vote yes for any of our 8 elected officials; mayor or council. Every year they support and vote yes for this increase density in our City's Master Plan! Here are just a few examples their words in black and white. "1½ mile distance" translates into the Mayor and his City Council future plans for Rochester Hills is to put a strip mall on every mile road corner, and destroy the character of our neighborhood with large lots! Erin... Happy Holidays
Linda December 13, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Love this idea, and applaud our city leaders for taking these steps!
Susan M. December 13, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Being a property owner who has been approached and have leased land for "mineral rights" to determine if there is oil present (not on any locally-owned property), mineral rights and land rights are 2 different matters. Selling/leasing the mineral rights also allows the user a "reasonable" amount of surface space necessary to access the minerals. I don't remember the specific wording of the Charter Amendment or if this applies, but mineral rights are not ON TOP anyway. The citizens group may want to contract with an attorney who is knowledgeable about such matters.
Erin December 14, 2012 at 03:10 AM
Susan M. - understood. I merely oversimplified the terms City Council themselves used a few meetings ago with regard to city property. I understand that property vs. mineral, surface vs. subsurface rights are different, and different between private/commercial/municipal properties, and local ordinances, deed specifications, state regulations, etc. I too would strongly recommend any private citizen have a properly qualified attorney advise before signing any mineral lease, and become aware of changes in risk pool status for mortgage and homeowners insurance with such leases. I’m hoping that City Council is familiar with such provisions and rather weedy complications with regard to these specific types of rights and leases. From what I witnessed them saying, I believe they need more consultation on these matters. Maybe they want to get the second opinion of an attorney “who is knowledgeable about such matters”.
karen Mountz December 21, 2012 at 06:52 AM
Will they be fracking in the area ? Time for city council to wake up. http://cleanwater.org/page/fracking-dangers
CaringHuman December 22, 2012 at 06:06 PM
@Barb, Those "two eyesores" are occupied by families. Good, hardworking families.
Christopher January 07, 2013 at 07:53 PM
CaringHuman, I'm not sure why that's relevant. Is a home not in disrepair because nice people live in it? They're going to get more than market for houses they didn't keep up, congrats!


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