Dexter Township gets new plan for former Boys Club of Toledo land

By Lonnie Huhman,

The former Boys Club of Toledo property at Silver Lake is under different ownership with a new plan for the site that had been used as a day camp since 1936.

According to Dexter Township Supervisor Harley Rider, a group of private investors has purchased the property at the north end of Silver Lake that was formerly owned by the Boys Club of Toledo and the plan is known as the Big Silver project.

“The current owners wish to develop five lake-front lots, each of which is less than one acre, and maintain the remaining property in Dexter Township, and a substantial portion of the property that is in Putnam Township, Livingston County, as open space,” Rider said in his report to the township board at the May 21 board meeting.

This is the access point at Tiplady Road, in Putnam Township, into the proposed development on Silver Lake.

The ownership team is an LLC owned by five Ann Arbor-area families and they intend to occupy the five properties, Rider said.

The ownership team was represented by Bill Davis at the board meeting, who is part of that team and intends on owning one of the residences built on the property.

The ownership team is requesting the township to rezone the Dexter Township portion of the property on the north end of Silver Lake from Recreation Conservation (RC) to Rural Residential (RR) for the purpose of developing a limited Open Space Community.

The portion in Dexter Township is 12 acres while the portion in Putnam Township is 10 or so acres.

After much discussion, which included township clerk Debra Ceo and trustee Jim Drolett stating they would like to see the plan go back to the planning commission before it comes back to the board for rezoning.

Rider said the township board voted unanimously to support the rezoning once the Planning Commission has approved a final site plan that is consistent with the concept plan that has been presented. The Board then postponed action on the re-zone until the Planning Commission approval of the plan.

Davis said a big part of the plan is to preserve open space, 42 percent of the part in Dexter Township, and its natural features. He said they do not intend to sell the land, but rather develop it for themselves into an attractive site where some of them would have summer homes while others will eventually relocate there full-time.

Putnam has approved the rezoning of the part of the plan that is within its township boundaries. Davis said they would build two new residences on that portion and sell them in an effort to help pay for the road project the development needs to undertake.

The site has access from Tiplady Road. Rider said the one road in the proposed development will be private.

“The developer will request that Dexter Township grant approval for a road that is narrower than usually required and approved for gravel, rather than pavement, as it only serves five residences,” Rider said in his report. “The Dexter Area Fire Department has provided tentative approval of the plan. In addition, the developed properties will be connected to the MultiLakes Sewer System. Also, the developer is not requesting any Common Use (CU) district zoning for the property.”

Township consultant, OHM Advisors, said the five proposed lots are smaller than what is typically allowed, but they are proposed to be placed in a way to minimize impact to the site and preserve natural features. OHM said the amenities referenced in the project narrative include the existing recreation hall and open space

The township board expressed support for the plan with trustee Bill Gajewski saying he likes the open space feature and thinks the plan overall will not overcrowd the area. However, the board agreed it should now go back to the planning commission for more work before any rezoning change.

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