Deny rezoning and NFP overlay removal for the property adjoining Asylum Lake Preserve

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We strongly oppose the rezoning of the former Vermeulen property at 4301/4305 Stadium Drive and 2231 S. Drake Rd. Kalamazoo, MI from current residential (RS-5) status to Community Commercial (CC) and secondly, the removal of Natural Features Protection (NFP) Overlay, from any of these properties.  

This property adjoins the northern boundary of Asylum Lake Preserve, a 274 acre public nature preserve enjoyed by many city and county residents. As a land preserve, Asylum Lake Preserve needs to be protected from any development that would endanger it's health and viability now and in the future. It contains two lakes and lies within the West Fork of the Portage Creek Watershed. The largest of the two lakes and the wet meadow/emergent marsh area border the land with proposed development. A high intensity development located adjacent to this preserve would endanger its water areas and expansive ecosystem as well as destroy both the visual and noise buffers it provides this treasured, peaceful area.

The proposed development of this property with a CC zoning (a large carwash/oil change operation owned by an out-of-state developer who has recently opened a $10 million facility only two miles away) is an unacceptable level of development at this specific property. Allowing this rezoning and removing the NFP overlay would set a terrible precedent as it goes against one of the main NFP objectives to "ensure natural features within the city are protected long term for the enjoyment of the public and health of the environment – with special focus on properties being developed or redeveloped" and it does not align with the goals of the City's Strategic Vision of Environmental Responsibility.