By Mike Kruzman /

Lyon Township officials have agreed to more discussions with a housing developer seeking to build on a Brownfield Authority site.

Jim Clark, President of Robertson Homes and his team were before the Lyon Township Board of Trustees at their March meeting. Robertson is seeking to develop 94 units on 6.5-acres off of Lyon Center Drive and Grand River. He said they have had success with these town home units in several locations. Clark said they are trying to fill a need, and that while these aren’t cheap homes, they ill be starter homes for most of their buyers.

The site, however, was formerly home to industrial uses and suffers from trichloroethylene, or TCE, contamination that has made it to the groundwater. Due to this, Clark said they need some level of Brownfield Redevelopment financing from the township to help clean up the site. Studies show the contamination is in several pockets and not continuous throughout the site.

Robertson’s plan would be to set up a mobile testing station which would save money compared to shipping the dirt off-site for testing. Their conservatively high estimate for their needs was $1.5-million.

This money would be deferred from the Lyon Township DDA and recouped over future years. The developer claimed it would take 7-8 years, but Treasurer Patricia Carcone felt it would take 15 years before the DDA, which is already said to be working with a lot of debt, was fully reimbursed. There appeared to be mixed signals between the developer and the township when the project first went through the DDA. Supervisor John Dolan said he felt Robertson’s representation at the DDA meeting presented the township with an ultimatum for the $1.5-million.
Clark said he apologized for the offense and said they didn’t mean to make it sound like an ultimatum. He said he is willing to work with the township to find something that works well for all.

An agreement for a meeting for further exploration between Clark, Carcone, and Dolan was struck at the end of the discussion.