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Oshtemo aims to make roads in future developments more pedestrian and bike-friendly

beige building with glass windows and flags in front , green grass
Jessi Phillips
The Oshtemo Township offices on W. Main St. Oshtemo oversees its private roads, while its public roads are maintained by the Kalamazoo County Road Commission.

The Transportation and Mobility Ordinance that went into effect in late February creates standards for private roads in new developments.

Oshtemo Charter Township has created new standards for private roads. Township staff say private roads within subdivisions and commercial developments will now have clear design requirements.

“We have a community that wants to be progressive, wants to see maybe a more urbanized look on the east side of the township,” said Township Attorney James Porter. “And so that was part of the impetus for developing these private road standards, so we give developers choices.”

The standards are part of a Transportation and Mobility Ordinance that took effect in late February. They’re intended to make those roads safer and friendlier for users who are not in a motor vehicle.

Township Supervisor Cheri Bell says there’s a lot of interest in developing western Kalamazoo and eastern Oshtemo, and the ordinance gives the township more say in what that development looks like.

“If we don't invest in our community right now, and put out the ideas that we that, that we know, residents prioritize—connectivity, safety, you know, responsible development, the whole thing—we're going to miss the boat,” she said. “We're not going to get what we want.”

The ordinance ends the six-month moratorium on new private road development.