General Lansing Township Development

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  • Well that's interesting, you'd think there's some sort of reason this hasn't been applied with Lansing Township, be it later laws on the books or case law, but who knows? I'd really, really like to hear a definitive answer on if this can apply to those sections of Lansing Township and if so I think it should be applied.

    Have you contacted anyone to ask if this has been pursued before?
  • edited August 2019
    That's suuuuuper interesting. Time to call my council member.
  • I will write to the Mayor, he or his office staff always respond. It would be good to see the city take over these silly boundary islands that are just lines on a map. I think the people who live and own businesses there deserve the better infrastructure and services that the city can provide. The little "ghetto" on the east side and the Urbandale area are below the standards of the Capital City of Michigan which surrounds them.

  • edited August 2019

    Just got a message back from the State Boundary Commission I sent last night. They said that "yes," my reading of the law is correct. They also said that the other option is an "Intergovernmental Agreement" where the township board and city council could compromise.

    I believe this is what Ann Arbor has done with its surrounding townships in which many, many islands exist. They made agreements with these township that each island would be annexed over time. This has been contentious, but the law mandated it.

    Here's a map showing some of the islands, though, the islands are only often a house or two:

    Here's a map showing Lansing Township:

    The part that stretches west of Frandor up through the township's part of the Groesbeck neighborhood is the one we'd be talking about, here, as it's the only one completely surrounded by the City of Lansing. There is also a part of the township down off Dunkel on the southeast side of the city, but this one is completely within the boundaries of MSU's experimental farms, and wouldn't (and shouldn't) be for development.

  • edited August 2019

    Lansing Township's existence is bad for the region, whether due to mismanagement, neglect, or duplication of services/competing interests. There's no vision, no leadership, no cohesive community. It's just a patchwork of tax dodgers.

    Obviously in a dream land it would be great if the voters all agreed to join Lansing, but we know it won't happen. But I'd also support Delta and western Lansing Township incorporating into a City of Waverly, and the rest essentially facing a Sofie's Choice; struggle as a diminished entity or join Lansing and/or East Lansing.

    The Lansing Township island on the east side is really evident when you look at the Lansing boundaries and the gaping hole in the NE.

    Maybe this type of annexation would push the remnant of Lansing Township towards pursuing incorporation with Delta ala 1964-1966.

    I sent an email to a few council members that I thought my be receptive plus Adam since he's my rep. Adam already responded, says that council (a few of them) are actually looking into it and the downstream impacts.

  • Yeah, the northeastern section and Urbandale directly to the south obviously belong within Lansing's borders. The southeast section could go with East Lansing since it's part of MSU's research/experimental farms.

    The western portion is large enough and straight enough that I imagine it could go it alone as a small city; or like you said, join with Delta in a "City of Waverly."

    I also imagine the northeaster section, "Downtown Lansing Township," could also go it along as a small city since it would have a tax base. I say "would," because they mismanaged the development of Eastwood in a way that it's actually not making the township much money because of how they structured the debat and all of the tax incentives used for it.

  • This comes up on the Lansing subreddit occasionally (normally because I bring it up) and a lot of people hate the idea. I imagine there would be a lot of pushback and litigation, but I’d still love to see it happen. Though I’d prefer that Eastwood be included.

    I think one of the big disadvantages with a divided region is the divided/competing economic development strategies. Is it in the region’s best interest to have a ton of apartments and hotels on the edge of town in a mall parking lot? I’d say no, and that those resources and developments would be significantly more beneficial if located downtown to help build a dense, vibrant urban core. But I don’t think Eyde or Lansing Township has any plan to slow down in Eastwood. Unless of course that land was also annexed by Lansing.
  • Lansing Township was created for tax evaders and casual racist back when those areas where really the edge of town. It is much different today of course, as anyone who drives by Waverly High School could tell you. I think that today though it may be no longer segregated, it's more of a anti-Lansing thing, the folks there like their little fiefdom that has million dollar homes and completely sub-standard little tumbled down bungalows that stand on streets with no curbs or sidewalks. They like that their tax dollars don't go to Lansing, and think the poor job they do taking care of the infrastructure and their development of the Cement Factory District is good enough. I do not think these folks with their anti-urban mind set would ever willingly give up any of the township even though most could care less about the areas surrounded by Lansing. When I think of what Eastwood is like I don't have not much faith that the Waverly golf course development will be much better.

  • To be clear, Lansing Township existed before the city did. The township was organized in 1842, even before the area was even chosen as the capital; Lansing wouldn't even exist until 1859.

    I'd like to see the parts of it on the east side annexed or merged with either Lansing or East Lansing, but it wasn't some new creation. The township looks the way it does because Lansing and East Lansing ate away at it until the Charter Township Act passed in the 40's, which provided some additional protections against further annexation. But as you can see, there are loopholes even to that for certain sections of it.

  • Yep, townships were surveyed well before Lansing existed. The early history of the region is an interesting read. Surveyors hacked their way through the area measuring 6x6 miles of wilderness.

    Lansing had a lot of success with annexation through the 50s using the school district as a “join us or be left out” threat back then. That seemed to stop working in the 60s, not sure if due to a law mandating school services or the formation of secondary education in competing districts.
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