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Old August 15th, 2013, 08:50 AM   #281
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I was left with a bunch of questions after the parks and rec did their presentation. They also failed to repeat that this was simply to get into a testing phase.

The board also did what they were elected to do, and that is to represent their constituents. I did not hear a single local resident state that they wanted the park in their back yard.
I agree 100%. I had sent several suggestions to OCPR after Tuesday's meeting outlining items to refute. They used my idea but only in the handout that I am sure no one read. They chose to present the canned presentation that was all flowers and fluff. No substance and since they were forced to rush through it, not even presented as well as it could have been.

RE the vote, damn straight. Very few residents said they wanted it so they did their job. Sure would have been nice to have 20 residents there to support it. But, once again, that falls on the OCPR, not us. Out of all the user groups, DJ and I were the only ones they even spoke to for advice. NO quads, sxs's or bikes were even contacted. So, if you only contact 25% of your user base, that's what you get......... or don't get.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 08:53 AM   #282
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This is what I sent to the OCPR on Wednesday morning after the dismal meeting at the villiage council. I feel I did my part trying to get things going.

Gentlemen,
Unless there is more to politics than I understand, I suspect the project died last night. The local opposition knew to stack the small room way in advance and the ORV users who were coming from a further distance had no chance to speak. Is there more interaction going to happen between you and the council? Was there a plan to present the information you gathered at the local fair a couple weeks back with local positive comments? With the information presented and the local resistance, why would the council ever want to vote for this? Do they understand that this is only a testing phase? I don’t think that was made clear enough last night.

Moving forward, I will have very little communication time today and my mom is in the hospital and I may not make tonight’s meeting. But I suggest the following; After your normal presentation, I think you need to spend 5-10 minutes addressing the most common complaints/misconceptions. If you were to present something along the lines of my outline below, I think it would negate a lot of the comments before they can be made. You have some homework to do to make a slam dunk presentation tonight.

NOTE, some of my assumptions below are probably wrong but at the moment, it’s the topic suggestions that count.

After meeting with the local community 4 different times, we have compiled a list of concerns by the citizens and would like to cover them before we start the public comments.

Noise.
This is a major concern and we recognize it. Therefore, we are proposing 4-6 different testing dates over the course of the next 10-12 months. We will bring in certified sound testing equipment and used trained testing personnel. We will use the same state established guidelines as is being done at Silver Lake State Park. We estimate 6 different testing locations including within the property boundaries in the ORV designated area and the surrounding areas, INCLUDING the front porches of those of you who have invited us. We will compare this information to a baseline testing of ambient noise within the park, the current mining operation and the local high school band. Once these guidelines are in place, no vehicle that exceeds the noise level will be admitted.

Police and fire.
We will have a contract with the county sheriff and local fire. What does this mean? It means that OCPR will budget for these services and it will be paid by County taxes and entrance fees, NOT from the local tax rolls. If the budget is reduced due to cost constraints, the park hours will be reduced accordingly.

Insurance.
OCPR is self insured. What does this mean? It means that OCPR has an insurance fund that is funded for all parks by Oakland County and all park fees. This means that we DO NOT need to solicit an outside insurance company to cover our costs or impose on the local community.

Traffic control.
We anticipate a staging area on the main access road that will not back up onto Lakeville road. Will there be traffic? Yes, but no more than would be expected for a high school football game. There is always traffic congestion for special events, just like there is for your local city parades. Comparing this to Silver Lake State Park is not a fair comparison. Silver Lake is unique as it is the only available sand dunes for recreation east of the Mississippi River. Thanksgiving at the Mounds is an annual event that is a once per year event. Again, this is no different than other special local events throughout our society.

Local economic impact.
Will it add new food venues? NO. Will the visitors use the existing venues and bolster their business? Yes. How much? Only time will tell.

Alternatives.
We have met with the current owner and if this does not go through, he has expressed an interest with a partnership with other gravel mining operations and ramping back up the entire complex.
Land fill.
Other heavy industry.
Housing.
By having the facility as a county park, there will be very little visual change to the property.

Comparison to the Mounds.
The Mounds is loosly run and that is not how OCPR runs our facilities. Period.
There will be an attendant at the gate for sound testing at any time the park is open. Period. We are willing to put that in the master plan rules.
We contacted the township that incorporates Bundy Hill ORV park south of Jackson. Here is what we were told by the township supervisor………………………
We contacted the township that incorporates Rocks & Valleys ORV park in Harrison. Here is what they had to say………………….

Home values.
Studies show (which ones?) that a home with proximity to a park raise the property value by xxxx.
A look at the region around Silver Lake State Park shows that homes within 5 miles of the park have a dollar value xxx% higher than homes further away.
(someone needs to get on the phone to a local real estate agent in the area or the chamber of commerce)

Noise from the water.
The current proposal includes a cable tow mechanism for special water events which will reduce the boat noise. Special events that include tow boats will utilize modern tournament ski boats that are quiet and meet new standards. (you need to talk to Ron Koenig about this)
Other water events will be special events with township approval.

Mud on the roads.
The current proposal does not include mud pits and we do not expect any more dirt on the roads than the current mining operations generate. However, we recognize that a wash station may be something that could be added if there becomes an issue.

What we are requesting right now.
The ability to move forward with sound testing. If the testing is not satisfactory, the project will be terminated.


By providing the above information (& possibly more) in advance to the public comments, you have headed off the major complaints in a professional way. Just my $0.02………
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Old August 15th, 2013, 08:54 AM   #283
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We wondered who you were. Now we know.
Wait, there was someone there that said that? Haha. It just popped into my head last night at home.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 09:03 AM   #284
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Man...wow...

I think the most important thing I can say is thank you to those who have helped try push this and many other who have tried to push the boulder of good ideas up hill, up stream, into an avalanche for the past decades. Your effort is greatly appreciated!

In some ways I totally understand the residents concerns. I'm not 100% sure I'd want an ORV park in my back yard either. BUT, being an educated person I wouldn't make that decision on ignorance and emotion. I would want to see DATA about how that will effect my life. I would have for sure wanted to at least do testing.

Like Jim said, I quickly got the feeling too that this whole thing was just a dog and pony show and the minds were set and decisions made long before this meeting.

The Mounds: Holy shit... I know a lot of you guys have tried hard to get improvements there over many years. But, I honestly either want to see that place fixed or shut down. It is and will continue to be a black eye for our hobby until something changes. But then again shutting it down would just be a good, "See this thing was so horrible it had to be shut down". I really don't see it getting fixed though either. The woman that said there is just a girl at the gate that waves you through is actually pretty accurate. I have never seen any kind of sound testing done. I think the other big issue is that the Mounds themselves wants to portray the place as some place just to tear up. I think that image issue needs to be addressed immediately. As the saying goes, it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch. The Mounds is our bad apple.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 09:12 AM   #285
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I did find it funny that there were two people there with the same first and last name.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 09:16 AM   #286
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Originally Posted by clarkstoncracker View Post
I was left with a bunch of questions after the parks and rec did their presentation. They also failed to repeat that this was simply to get into a testing phase.

The board also did what they were elected to do, and that is to represent their constituents. I did not hear a single local resident state that they wanted the park in their back yard.
If you felt a little under-informed after last night's meeting, you should be thankful you did not sit through the village meeting Tuesday night. The township meeting was actually an improvement. And I agree with the second part of your statement wholeheartedly - the folks in Oxford that were against this were well organized, passionate and out in numbers, and as I posted from the meeting last night if the township board had done anything to suggest that this should go forward there would have been a public lynching. There was no organized, coordinated presence of supporters at either meeting and they have no obligation to consider anything brought to the discussion by non-residents.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 09:35 AM   #287
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Just want to say thanks to everyone that put in so much hard work to try and get this thing to move forward. I hope that something, somewhere else will eventually happen. Clearly there are a lot of people who would use a park like this.

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What about the old Ford plant off Wixom Rd? I know it may not be topigraphically correct but just a thought. I just had to leave tonight before I was carried out of there. I went in trying to see both sides and then draw a conclusion but those people just really got to me and if I would have got up to speak it would have made the off road community look worse in their eyes so I felt it best to leave. Haha.
Not only is it just flat, the land is owned by a developer who is already selling parcels to build new things on. Next year my dads company (General RV) will be opening a new superstore there, a bass pro shop will go there and so will Manards. It will be an outdoor super area there though
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Old August 15th, 2013, 09:35 AM   #288
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I didn't show Because I had more important things to do Dana...and it's VERY clear your calm level headed approach didn't work
I disagree with your opinion. I can point to a long history of the 4x4 community acting belligerently towards the DNR, making accusations and demands in public meetings. It didn't work.

While I see this as a disappointing outcome, there was a lot of good that came from the process, part of a slow but steady improvement in our relations with folks that make the decisions:

-10 years ago, did anyone at the DNR call to ask the 4x4 community for input on projects like the rocks at St Helen?
-10 years ago, would Genesee County have invited input from the 4x4 community on the rock crawl areas?
-10 years ago, would Oakland County have been receptive to their hired architectural/design firm suggesting they seek input from the 4x4 community?
-Were any other user groups asked to provide input to the planning team?

We also have a "new sheriff" in town - State of MI Parks and Recreation took control of the recreational trail programs from the Forest Division about 18 months ago. Although the ORV program still stands on its own financially, the P&R team brings a new perspective - let's have fun in a responsible manner, vs let's grow trees and if there is room/budget left we might let you drive on dirt roads in the woods. Although we still work with the same team at DNR, they have counterparts at P&R that they bring into the conversation on a regular basis.

So in short, the calm level-headed approach is bringing tangible results, but no miracles happening overnight. Is there room for a more aggressive approach? Absolutely - the Forest Division still controls the woods, and they don't seem to have much interest in seeking public input on closing rustic/primitive roads in the state forest. We stood there helplessly when the DNR bulldozed Pinball Alley closed, and are now fighting a long uphill battle to get it back. We need to get in theoir faces when they break the rules, or act without public input. But we need more people involved - more people watching websites and news outlets for notices of public hearings or comment periods. We need more people at public meetings to continue to make personal contacts with decision makers - by "working the room" Tuesday night we introduced ourselves to one of the top guys at DNR P&R who came to town for both meetings to present the State's view on the proposal. He had no idea there was a state association for 4x4 enthusiasts.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 09:50 AM   #289
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If you felt a little under-informed after last night's meeting, you should be thankful you did not sit through the village meeting Tuesday night. The township meeting was actually an improvement. And I agree with the second part of your statement wholeheartedly - the folks in Oxford that were against this were well organized, passionate and out in numbers, and as I posted from the meeting last night if the township board had done anything to suggest that this should go forward there would have been a public lynching. There was no organized, coordinated presence of supporters at either meeting and they have no obligation to consider anything brought to the discussion by non-residents.
If I had known the logistics of what was going on, I could have compiled a large amount of data to talk about at the meeting last night. hindsight, I'm happy I didn't waste my time compiling it.

However, my data would have been priceless to the parks and rec board who assembled this.


I still can't get over the noise issue. They could have handled it in such a better fashion. I hope they learned a thing or two last night about this.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 09:50 AM   #290
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Maybe Mr. Koenig should open up a private ORV park on his land himself?
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Old August 15th, 2013, 09:51 AM   #291
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The belligerence on FB is dissappointing
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Old August 15th, 2013, 09:57 AM   #292
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The belligerence on FB is dissappointing
link?
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Old August 15th, 2013, 10:11 AM   #293
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https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?i...032245&_mn_=11

The status with over 100 comments.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 10:13 AM   #294
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Well. We coulda tried the pit off. Sleeth road if it hadnt been bought already and having a Chaldean church built there....
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Old August 15th, 2013, 10:34 AM   #295
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There is a gravel pit behind my house (quite a ways), I can hear the motorcycles running around out there from time to time (the owner rides). I'll admit, if someone wanted to put an ORV park there I would be opposed to it. I wouldn't want to hear motorcycles and ORV's all the time while I was trying to relax at a family BBQ.

I thought this park would have been a great idea, in the end however, I understand why the oxford residents opposed it.

I do applaud you guys for your effort, I also hope there is a chance another suitable location can be found to give us an option outside of the mounds and the other ORV areas that are further away.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 10:35 AM   #296
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Originally Posted by silveradoboy View Post
Just want to say thanks to everyone that put in so much hard work to try and get this thing to move forward. I hope that something, somewhere else will eventually happen. Clearly there are a lot of people who would use a park like this.



Not only is it just flat, the land is owned by a developer who is already selling parcels to build new things on. Next year my dads company (General RV) will be opening a new superstore there, a bass pro shop will go there and so will Manards. It will be an outdoor super area there though
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Old August 15th, 2013, 10:37 AM   #297
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Well. We coulda tried the pit off. Sleeth road if it hadnt been bought already and having a Chaldean church built there....
That's the one I was thinking of last night...
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Old August 15th, 2013, 10:52 AM   #298
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Im not seeing it??
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Old August 15th, 2013, 10:58 AM   #299
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you really have to search for it. I just started to typing it in and found it.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 11:01 AM   #300
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It might be childish and spiteful, but I really hope they ramp the gravel pit back up, or better yet open a landfill there.
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