WCRC Clarifies Scully Road Initiatives

From the Washtenaw County Road Commission:

Over the past few weeks, there has been a lot of discussion about actions being considered by the Washtenaw County Road Commission (WCRC) regarding Scully Road north of Walsh Road in Webster Township.

There are two matters at hand for WCRC’s consideration concerning Scully Road:

  1. A permit application submitted by Peters Building Company requesting full access to Scully Road.
  2. A petition for abandonment submitted by residents of Webster Township.

There has been some confusion and misinformation shared about these complex issues. Below is a summary of the facts regarding the permit application and proposed road abandonment.

Background

Scully Road in Webster Township dead ends at a gate at the Washtenaw County border with Hamburg Township in Livingston County. Most of Scully Road north of Walsh Road is a certified public road maintained by WCRC.

In the early 2000s, Hamburg Township approved the Mystic Ridge Development with access to Strawberry Lake Road and ultimately Scully Road at the county line. In the early stages of development, a gate was installed at the county line restricting access to the Mystic Ridge community. The gate can be opened by the Dexter Area Fire Department for emergency access.

WCRC’s understanding is that as a condition of development approval, Hamburg Township required that the gate be opened once Peters Building Company reached a certain threshold of building permits. WCRC believes Peter’s Building Company is nearing that threshold.

Peters Building Company is seeking a permit from WCRC to remove the gate for full access to Scully Road.

Permit Application to Remove the Gate, Providing Access to Scully Road

  • In 2017, Peters Building Company submitted a permit application to WCRC asking for permission to remove the gate, providing full access to Scully Road. WCRC staff reviewed the permit application for compliance with the Procedures & Regulations for Permit Activities as approved by the Washtenaw County Board of County Road Commissioners.
  • No permit has been issued at this time by WCRC.
    1. In October of 2017, WCRC responded to the application providing direction to Peters Building Company on what needed to occur before full access to Scully Road could be permitted. Peters Building Company would be required to improve Scully Road as a condition of permit.
  • WCRC does not make land-use decisions, including the approval to build subdivisions or other buildings.
  • Once a development, like Mystic Ridge, has been approved by township government, WCRC has the authority and responsibility to regulate elements of the public road right-of-way, including driveway access, traffic impact, drainage, etc. to ensure a “reasonably safe” environment for the traveling public.
    1. In this situation, significant tree removal, road widening, and drainage improvements would be required to accommodate increased traffic.
  • Any proposed improvements would be paid for by Peters Building Company.
  • WCRC cannot arbitrarily decline a permit application if the applicant is willing to make changes to the road, as deemed necessary by WCRC, that improves safety for the traveling public.
  • Granting full access without making the necessary improvements to Scully Road would create an unsafe condition between Walsh Road and the county line. This would be unacceptable.

If you have further questions about the permit application, please contact Mark McCulloch, senior project manager – permits, mccullochm@wcroads.orgor (734) 327-6679.

Abandonment of Scully Road

  • In the fall of 2018, WCRC was approached by property owners along Scully Road to discuss the permit application submitted by Peters Building Company.
  • Staff explained to the property owners the complicated situation involving the gate and the permit application. After reviewing their options, the property owners elected to approach their neighbors concerning the abandonment of Scully Road.
  • In November 2018, more than 40 property owners within Webster Township submitted a signed petition to WCRC. The petition asked for the abandonment of Scully Road north of Walsh Road to the county line.
  • The submission of this signed petition triggers a formal process regulated by state law.
  • Per the law, WCRC has scheduled a public hearing to listen to input as the board considers this abandonment petition. The public hearing will be held at 555 N. Zeeb Road starting at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, January 8. The hearing is only for comment on the abandonment of Scully Road, not the permit application submitted by Peters Building Company as outlined earlier in this summary.
  • No decision will be made by Washtenaw County Board of County Road Commissioners regarding the abandonment at the public hearing on January 8.
  • If Scully Road north of Walsh Road is abandoned by the Washtenaw County Board of County Road Commissioners, maintenance of that road will become the responsibility of the property owners along the abandoned roadway. Per statute, existing utilities will still maintain rights to their infrastructure located within the abandoned road right-of-way.

If you are unable to attend the public hearing on January 8, please email your comments to brochuec@wcroads.org by 3:30 p.m. on January 8. If you have further questions about the road abandonment process, please contact Curt Brochue, right-of-way specialist, brochuec@wcroads.org or (734) 327-6686.

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