Northfield Township officials have created a committee to work with the potential developer of 23 acres of property in downtown Whitmore Lake.

Three years ago the Board of Trustees began exploring options for the North Village district of downtown Whitmore Lake, with heavy input from residents. When they put out a request for proposal earlier this year, Lockwood Development was the only company to submit a plan. Lockwood is known primarily for senior rental housing, which was reflected in their proposal. Senior rentals, however, do not match up with the Northfield Township community vision plan for the district. While this has caused some strife with certain Board members and the Downtown Development Authority, being the only developer to submit an RFP has caused the township to continue working with Lockwood. Representatives from the developer were before the Board of Trustees, Tuesday night, to answer concerns the Board has about Lockwood’s vision. The two sides seemed far apart.

Northfield Township Supervisor Marlene Chockley talked about their differences, saying the big division is in the financial aspects of the project and how it will play out. She also wondered if a different location in Northfield Township might better work for both parties.

Treasurer Lenore Zelenock said she doubts about the project altogether, with services proposed being inclusive to renters and not for the public. She said the delays in Lockwood getting their information to the Board in time to be ready for packets and the public were also unacceptable. She said she believes it won’t bring in students or tax revenue to the community township.

With officials and the developer still not seeing eye-to-eye, the Board of Trustees elected to form a committee to work with the township’s planning consultant and manager as they continue to work with Lockwood. Chockley, and Trustees Janet Chick and Tawn Beliger will make up that committee. (MK)