Canton Township will prevent the sprouting of a community eyesore by maintaining an abandoned portion of Sheldon Road.
Wayne County sent a request in November to Canton Township for a transfer of a part of Sheldon Road, north of Cranberry Drive. The Township Board of Trustees approved the jurisdictional transfer from Wayne County at its meeting Tuesday night.
The area was abandoned when construction in the area changed the route of Sheldon Road. Instead of continuing straight northward, Sheldon Road now curves into what used to be Cranberry Drive.
The abandoned area was filled with clay, said Tim Faas, Canton Township's municipal services director.
"From the beginning, our intent was just to use it as a green open space," he said.
The idea, Faas said, is to plant it with low maintenance grass and a few trees, for which the township received a 50 percent matching grant from the Alliance of Rouge Communities.
"The county would not really maintain this area," he said about what would happen if Canton didn't take over. "It would be an eyesore to the community."
Trustee Pat Williams asked whether the township could eventually profit from the land. He said the liquor store on one side of the abandoned road, Mirage Liquor & Beverage, may want to use it for expansion.
However, under this transfer Faas said the township is required to use the space only as public property.
"There is a commercial opportunity here we're locking up forever and walking away from," Williams said.
Trustee Thomas Yack brought up the area's lack of commercial success. He said the plaza at the intersection of Sheldon and Sheldon Center roads has been sparse for some time.
"It's probably not the best place for commercial," he said.
The value in this then, Williams said, is that the residents on the east side of the space can have more room in their backyards if they remove their fences.
Faas said that is something the township can look into and speak to the neighborhood's homeowners association about.