Conceptual Site Plan Approved for Holly Heritage Farmstead
(Crystal A. Proxmire, Aug. 13, 2021)
Holly, MI – The future of Holly Heritage Farmstead has been taking shape thanks to the efforts of the volunteers, civic leaders, planners, and philanthropists who have been working together to dream up an invigorated community space.
Discussions about the property have been happening in earnest since 2017, with the pandemic slowing the progress. And the plans have finally come together – with the Conceptual Site Plan being approved by the Holly Township Board in June. The property is a 14 acre strip that lines 13409 North Holly Road, which currently has two farmhouses, the Hawley Barn, and a community garden.
The plans include a new Township Hall, livestock area, community gardens, pollinator garden, the existing farmhouses and barn, plus a sugar shack to help support maple syrup harvesting from the property’s ample maple trees. The plans set locations for entrances to the property, a parking lot with both a paved area and a permeable area to allow for drainage, pathways to the property’s features, and a gravel two-track.
Prior to the concept plan, a Master Plan was created to nail down ideas. The Master Plan was prepared for Holly Township by Oakland County Economic Development and Community Affairs, with a team that included Planning Manager Bret Rasegan, Preservation Architect Ron Campbell, and Associate Planner Joe Frost. The 99-page document includes ideas and examples of similar projects, organizational goals such as identifying stakeholders, developing a 3 to 5 year plan, and creating a budget and goals. There are results of community surveys about the property’s future. It also includes ideas for the property and examples of historic preservation projects done elsewhere. These initial ideas were taken into account by Conceptual Site Plan creators Hubble, Roth and Clark McKenna.
The Conceptual Site Plan makes the vision fit the space, by looking at things like regulations for ingress and egress, parking needs, drainage needs, size and distance of the plan’s components, Americans with Disabilities Act compliance etc.
What happens next depends on funding. Holly Township Supervisor George Kullis told Oakland County Times the next step is to “identify funding sources and start prioritizing parts of the project.” The overall cost is unknown because there are so many pieces to the overall plan. Opportunities for grant funding could come up, or donors may want to fund a specific piece. Some projects might make sense to tie together, such as paving the parking lot and creating the two track road. Or pairing fencing and landscaping needs. “As we seek funding for the specific pieces, it helps that we have this plan. We don’t want to just start piecing things together when we can plan it out and work towards something that’s a bigger picture. It could take 10 years, or 20 years, but at least we know where we’re headed.”
The project started in 2017 as the Township stepped in, with help from the Charles S. Mott Foundation, to stabilize the barn that had been leaning precariously. The structure was righted and a new foundation was laid.
“We are grateful for everyone who helps us preserve history, and build this space for the community to enjoy,” Kullis said. Anyone with interest in helping raise funds or make donations can reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Uplifting in Store for Hawley Barn in Holly (Sept. 9, 2017)
Collaboration and a Clear Plan to Give Holly Farmstead a Future (Nov. 5, 2017)
For more Holly-related stories visit the Oakland County Times Holly News Page.