Waldon project moves forward

BY JOETTE KUNSE
Special to the Clarkston News
A proposed 67-acre development on Waldon Road is moving forward with preliminary plans from Silverman Construction and Development delivered to the Independence Township Building Department last week.
The developer, Gilbert “Buzz” Silverman, contracted for a traffic study of Waldon Road and the Sashabaw Road intersection. The study has been completed, said Brian Oppmann, planning and zoning manager for Independence Township.
Independence Township engineers will review the plans and traffic study and make recommendations to the township Planning Commission and Township Board.
Projects for the Independence Township Road Millage approved in 2018 include resurfacing Waldon Road from M-15 to Sashabaw Road in July 2020, on the south side of the proposed development. Vehicles entering or leaving Phase I apartments and Phase II retail sections of the development would enter and exit Waldon Road across from Waldon Center Drive.
The recent renovation project at Waldon and Sashabaw roads was completed knowing the zoning of the area was for retail and apartments, said Craig Bryson, spokesman for the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC).
“Road and paving planning is done with a 20-year projection, which includes looking at undeveloped land in an area. The planning is a rough estimate of the design intended for the current land use around the road,” Bryson said.
The road commission does not mandate road improvement for a new development, but a township can mandate or leverage improvements. New roads or additional lanes touching existing RCOC roads would have to be built to county standards, he said.
Concerns expressed by residents include congestion on the southbound ramp of I-75 exiting onto southbound Sashabaw Road and additional traffic on Waldon Road, especially on school mornings.
Lake Waldon Village residents, across Waldon Road from the proposed development, are also worried about additional traffic using their neighborhood as a shortcut around the Waldon and Sashabaw intersection.
To view the plans, go to Twp.independence.mi.us/departments/building, click on “Building, Planning and Zoning Interactive Maps,” then click on “Active Development and Public Comments.” Preliminary review with the Planning Commission is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 27.