General Lansing Township Development



  • It was the 60's; I think you can guess why it stopped working.

    BTW, school districts existed outside the city limits; though I imagine being a city Lansing's was regularly the most modern as opposed to the rural districts. I'd imagine if Lansing used anything to compel annexation more than anything else, though - and, really, they should have never stopped the tactic - was hooking up to Lansing publicly-owned water and power system. It's amazing to me given that city governed power and water companies are not exactly the most common form of those type of utilities that the city got to the point where it allowed the BWL to extend its services to rural areas without requiring them to be annexed into the city. I believe that Midland still uses this tactic.

  • edited August 2019
    Parts of Ward 3 are an example of Lansing using LSD as the hook. In particular the Pleasant Grove School District (Holmes/Pleasant Grove). They had an elementary school but relied on Lansing for high school education. Lansing threatened to cut that access unless they joined. Needless to say, voters in that area of Lansing Charter Township voted to join the city.

    I agree wholeheartedly though, using the city utility services would have been the better approach.
  • I'm not sure the payoff is there right now to compel the township to give up any of its current holdings. Personally I don't have any issues with the charter townships act and actually agree there should be protections against aggressive expansion of city limits, within reason.

    My biggest gripe right now is how hard it is to have a unified vision over in Frandor, where Lansing, East Lansing, Lansing Township, and MDOT all have control over various pieces of roadway. This isn't just a Lansing Township issue, but they contribute to a large part of it due to their holdings around the north, west, and south ends of this area. MDOT takes first place though, Saginaw/Grand River could have a lot of improvements made to control and calm traffic through this area and East Side east of Pennsylvania Rd. and I don't think anything is on the table with regards to that.

    I guess my thoughts are I just don't see Lansing forcing Lansing Township to merge into it as the biggest priority in the region right now. It may make more sense to try and get everyone on the same page with economic improvements to the area first, and if they want to be difficult about it then proceed with absorbing some of the areas most in need of regional improvement (Frandor).

  • edited August 2019

    The city has tried to get Lansing Township to get more regionally for years to no avail. They've tried that. Before I mentioned the annexation thing, I'd mentioned the attempt for years to get Lansing Township to put in a sidewalk on the eastside of Waverly Street to be a good neighbor so that Lansing pedestrians could access their park on the other side of the river. This was a simple pathway; we're not even talking about reconfiguring of a road or anything...and the township scoffed at the city...over a sidewalk. If they aren't going to be a good neighbor over a sidewalk, they aren't going to do anything like work with us on traffic issues. They simply aren't going to work with us on anything.

    For me, if Lansing has the ability to unilaterally annex this part of the township, they simply should.

  • I believe that latter era was what I was referring too. I do not know that the area was named "Lansing" Township before there was a City of Lansing. The township laws and boundaries that were later devised where often used for red lining and to create restricted subdivisions and segregated schools. When i was a kid there were few if any minority students going to Waverly Schools. Black kids knew it was not a good idea to cross Clare Street or go to Sully's Drive-In. When the people of the day found they had the power to stop annexation they did, for many reasons taxation schools local control of services and race restrictions among them. I think that some of the townships around Lansing still have that mindset today. The people who live in the surrounded areas of the township would be better served if they were part of the city.

  • Looking at the township's most recent planning commission agenda, last week, it appears a BJ’s Restaurant is moving into the long-vacant Max and Erma's building on Lake Lansing in Eastwood. Never heard of the chain, but apparently, they are out of Orange County, CA, and it sounds like they are your typical America fare restaurant, except that some are branded pizza places and microbreweries and such. It'll be interesting to see which concept they choose to put, here.

    There also looks to be some work being done on the long-abandoned former Krispy Kreme site up the hill at 2129 Lake Lansing. Can't find anything on that.

  • We have a BJs out here in Folsom, CA. Your description is pretty spot on. Think more upscale version of Chilis and you're about there. Throw in custom pizzas and a "brewery" (ours does both), and you have the idea. It's fine. Nothing exciting. Ours has decent lunch specials.

  • Well, that would certainly make it better than Max & Erma's, which I only went to once since it was completely forgettable.

  • edited September 2019

    Coming to correct something I posted last month concerning annexation.

    (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the state boundary commission may, under procedures initiated and conducted under section 9 of the home rule city act, 1909 PA 279, MCL 117.9, order a portion or portions of a charter township to be annexed as necessary to eliminate free standing islands of the township completely surrounded by an annexing city, or to straighten or align the exterior boundaries of the city or village in a manner that the charter township and city or village contain uniform straight boundaries wherever possible.

    I'd originally read this to mean the city could just unilaterally annex "free standing islands of townships completely surrounded by an the annexing city" by petitioning the State Boundary Commission, which would have to order the annexation. Re-reading it, it's pretty clear to me that the important part is what I bolded. Public Act 279 of 1909 is the old Home Rule City Act, and the section they sat out is rather complicated.

    But, what is clear to me now, though, is that the quoted section above of the Charter Township Act is saying that the State Boundary Commission can order the annexation of township islands after it goes through the procedure laid out in the Home Rule City Act. And that section of the act says that a referendum can held for annexations where the territory proposed for annexation has a population over 100 residents if 25% of the registered voters in that area petition for a referendum. Realistically, I can't imagine a scenario in which that many voters in the township wouldn't petition for a referendum.

    Long story short, I jumped the gun. A city can not just petition the State Boundary Commission to unilarerally order the annexation of "freestanding islands of a township" unless those "islands" have fewer than 100 residents. It means that it's unlikely the part of the residential Groesbeck neighborhood in the township would vote for annexation of their properties/section of the township.

  • That makes a lot more sense, but it still seems like a pretty realistic hurtle to get over. If I were in the section of the township around 127 from Michigan to Kalamazoo I'd definitely be petitioning to become part of the city because it would likely be a pretty big positive for that area. If I were in the Groesbeck or westside neighborhoods the benefits would admittedly be less significant and less obvious. In the long-term, if the city and the school district can truly get their act together there might be a better chance to see the whole township annexed by the city.
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