Wednesday, May 15, 2013
The agenda includes discussion of a vision being drafted by the Corridor Improvement Authorities for both cities.
Farmington Planning Commissioners got a look Monday at a vision for the Grand River corridor in Farmington and Farmington Hills that includes redevelopment, a connected system of bike and walking paths, and high quality design elements. Economic and Community Development Director Kevin Christiansen said representatives from both cities are working on a plan that covers three miles of the state-controlled road, from Mayfield in Farmington to Eight Mile Road in Farmington Hills. He said the strategy includes eight development principles: Christiansen said an overlay district will be proposed for inclusion in the master plans for both cities, and a tax increment financing (TIF) district will be established later this year to capture any …
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
City council member Bill Galvin calls redevelopment of the Maxfield Training Center in downtown Farmington a 'hundred-year decision'.
Whatever happens to the Farmington Public Schools Maxfield Training Center (MTC), redevelopment of the property is expected to have a powerful impact on downtown Farmington. The 65,000-square-foot building sits on Thomas Street just north of Grand River, the heart of the city's central business district. Vacant for about three years, the property lies within the Farmington Downtown Development Authority Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district. Moving it from public to private ownership will boost tax revenues and likely influence how the city develops in the future. "Whatever's going to go there, it's a hundred-year decision," mayor pro-tem Bill Galvin said during a discussion at Monday's city council meeting. "We've got to hit a home run…
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Residents at a Wednesday night meeting contribute more specific ideas that will be presented at a future public meeting.
Is it time to re-boot Riley Park in downtown Farmington or to look for an adaptive re-use for the Masonic Hall at Grand River and Farmington Road? Consultants working on the City of Farmington visioning process distilled more than 550 ideas gathered during community meetings into a draft vision they unveiled Wednesday night. The 6-point draft envisions a city that is: "This is really your vision," Aaron Domini of OHM Advisors told a group of more than 30 people gathered at the Farmington Community Library downtown Farmington branch. "We just tried to capture it from what you've said to date." Domini said that the core values residents expressed are basically the same as those in the city's 1998 vision plan, "and you wouldn't expect that …
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Officials give organizers an exception to city's noise ordinance on Thursday nights after school year ends.
A popular Thursday night swing dance group will return to the Walter E. Sundquist Pavilion in downtown Farmington May 2, after dancing indoors all winter long. Alexander Steward, who organizes Swingfusion in Farmington, told city council members Monday that the group has been meeting at St. John Lutheran Church in Farmington Hills. He said dancers stay until 11:30 p.m. and would like to continue that schedule, requiring a waiver of the city's noise ordinance from the end of June through the end of August. "We've never really had any issues, and we'd love to stay out a little later," he said. The dances draw from 80 to 200 people, ages 15 to 30, on an average night; events open to the community bring out more people. Officials …
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Public Safety Director Bob Schulz says nearly $20,000 has been raised to create the monument.
A Farmington monument that incorporates a beam from the World Trade Center could be completed in time for the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack that brought down the "twin towers". Farmington Public Safety Director Bob Schulz, who heads up a committee that has been working on the project, brought a "re-visioning" of the monument plans to Monday night's city council meeting. He asked for a "nod" from the city council to move forward with the project, in order to meet the Sept. 11 target. "Believe it or not, the granite could take up to four months to get in," he said. "It has to be ordered from India." Cost for that element alone is nearly $10,000. Designed by S3 Architects, the memorial will be set apart with …
Monday, April 1, 2013
Kristen Kuiken announces Monday that her family will move to Colorado this summer.
Farmington city council member Kristin Kuiken said Monday that she will resign her post in May, because her family will be moving this summer. Kuiken said her husband, Jim, has been transferred to the Denver area. "I leave this position with a heavy heart," she said. "My family and I have loved living in this community for the past 11 years." The Kuikens have been active volunteers for many of those years. Jim served on the Farmington Downtown Development Authority board, and Kristin was a member of the Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals. "Farmington loses, but Denver gains," council member JoAnne McShane said. Kuiken was elected in 2011 to a 4-year term; her last meeting will be on May 20. City manager Vince Pastue …
The business installed an indoor ropes course last fall, after the Farmington planning commission voted down plans for an outdoor recreation area.
UPDATE: According to Farmington city officials, the Farmington Tennis Club had two years' worth of unpaid taxes on the books when members arrived Monday morning to find the doors locked and signs the business may be closed for good. City treasurer Chris Webber said real property taxes haven't been paid for 2011 and 2012. The business' personal property taxes were paid through 2012, he said, and the property is not in tax foreclosure. Barbara Hauswirth said she played in a club league on Monday nights, and one of the league members who also plays on Monday mornings reported finding the doors locked and a note on the door saying the business was closed and bankrupt. She said members received no notice, and the club collected full-year dues …
Thousand-eye glassware and quilts are among the additions to the city-owned museum's displays.
- LOCAL CONNECTIONS
Monday, April 1
The Governor Warner Mansion, a city-owned museum on Grand River in Farmington, begins its 31st year with an April 7 open house. Docents have been working at the Mansion all through the winter months preparing new displays. In the Sunday parlor, look for a display of “thousand eye” pressed glassware, and in the everyday parlor, check out a new Victorian clock on the mantel. Upstairs, a red and white quilt that dates back to 1914 is embroidered with names of Farmington residents in each square. A newly-donated quilt made by a heritage Farmington family will also be on display, along with other quilts from Farmington area quilters. Costumed docents will conduct tours of the house and period tunes will be played by pianist Annika Taylor on the…
Friday, March 29, 2013
Consultants leading a Wednesday visioning session urge residents to think about giving officials a final answer on a merger with Farmington Hills.
It's time to call the question of whether Farmington should merge with Farmington Hills, consultants told 50 Farmington residents gathered for a Wednesday visioning session at city hall. The long-debated move is part of a maximum growth strategy presented with other options during the 2-hour meeting. While the first visioning meeting held last month centered around big ideas, the second focused more on specific alternatives. "We really want to get a handle on where you think Farmington should go in the future," said Aaron Domini of OHM Advisors. After a review of the 1998 vision plan and current data, participants ranked their preferred rate of growth, in a range from status quo to moderate to maximum. The average answer landed between …
Thursday, March 28, 2013
City offices in Farmington will be closed March 29.
The Christian observance of Good Friday and Easter Sunday will mean some public building closures in Farmington and Farmington Hills. Farmington city offices will be closed for the day on March 29, while Farmington Hills city offices remain open until noon. The 47th District Court building in Farmington Hills closes at noon that day. The Farmington Community Library Main Library and Farmington branch remain open on Friday and Saturday, but will close March 31, Easter Sunday. Trash collection is not affected by the Easter holiday. Related: Correction: Farmington Hills city offices close at noon on Good Friday.