Planning or Prejudice?
It's harder to get Pittsfield's side since they won't talk. Beyond noting that the township is diverse and includes the Jewel Heart Buddhist temple plus two Hindu centers, supervisor Mandy Grewal will say only that Pittsfield has a policy of not commenting on open litigation--which means she won't say anything for months.
The township planning commission opposed the rezoning based on the traffic the school would create. Neighbor and Ann Arbor developer Ed Shaffran says that was the right call. "I live on Golfside, and with the school that's there already [the charter school Fortis Academy], it's tough getting around. During the morning and afternoon school hours, it's pretty congested. You have to be cautious because people are parked all over the place. And when they have events there with four, five, six hundred kids and their families, it's impossible.
"I was at a couple of the public meetings," Shaffran adds, "and I made comments that referred to the township's master plan. Just recently, the board of trustees inked a two-year master plan [that] calls for the preservation of the existing housing stock. The property is zoned residential and it has been for eons, and they're asking it to be rezoned.
"I applaud the township's decision because I want it to remain housing," Shaffran concludes. "In my opinion, the township has listened to the will of the people and is standing behind their master plan."