Washington acquires equestrian farm to be used as community greenspace

Washington acquires equestrian farm to be used as community greenspace

Hox Farms Purchase

Hoxy Purchase 
Washington Township Supervisor Sebastian ‘Sam’ Previti with Phil and Veronica Hoxley at the signing of the purchase of the couple’s 27-plus acre parcel of property known as Hox Acres on Mound Road.

Talk about an early Christmas present, Washington Township officials recently purchased a 27- plus acre equestrian farm with the intention of preserving it as a community greenspace in the future.

The Washington Township Board of Trustees recently approved Supervisor Sebastian “Sam” Previti to make the $1.3 million purchase of Hox Acres on Mound Road south of 30 Mile Road in northwest Macomb County.

In a statement released last week, township trustees said the purchase “underscores the unwavering commitment to community greenspace and environmental conservation to ensure our rural character that Washington Township residents want to preserve.”

“The purchase of Hox Acres marks a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to create a more sustainable and livable community,” Previti said in a statement. “This greenspace will serve as a testament to our commitment to preserving the natural beauty of Washington Township for generations to come.”

Previti originally made the announcement at his Dec. 14 State of the Township address, hosted by the Macomb County Chamber of Commerce.

Owned by Phil and Veronica Hoxley, Hox Acres is a 27-acre horse farm with a home, barns, and equipment. The purchase agreement calls for the couple to remain living on the property for two years as the township makes payment installments.

Officials said the Hox Acres property was previously used for equestrian activities, and will now become a dedicated conservation greenspace, fostering environmental stewardship and providing residents with a natural oasis for recreation and relaxation.

Previti said he has held discussions with local school districts, Oakland University, and Michigan State Extension Center concerning the partnering use of the land. He has also had talks to create a working relationship with the schools in farming activities, as well as, sharing ideas to use the land as a farmers market and a community garden.

The township board voted 5-2 to buy the property with Treasurer Mike Nicley and Trustee Dennis Stevenson voting against the measure.

Stevenson, a former elected official in Fraser, said he didn’t agree with spending so many taxpayer dollars on what he considers a vague mission. He also said the Hoxleys will end up living rent free for two years on the land.

“When we spend taxpayers money on something like this, I like to know for sure what it will be used for,” Stevenson said Sunday. “But nobody had a reason to buy it other than making it a community farming space for $1.3 million. Out here, there are vegetable and fruit stands all over the place.”

Key highlights of the Hox Acres Conservation Project:

  • Preservation of Valuable Greenspace: The acquisition of Hox Acres ensures the preservation of 27+ acres of scenic greenspace, contributing to the township’s commitment to maintaining a healthy and sustainable environment.
  • Community-Driven Conservation: The Board of Trustees recognizes the importance of involving the community in decision-making. Public input will be sought to shape the future use of Hox Acres, ensuring it aligns with the desires and needs of local residents.
  • Educational Opportunities: The township plans to implement educational programs on the property, promoting environmental awareness, wildlife conservation, and sustainable practices for current and future generations.
  • Recreational Enhancement: Hox Acres will be transformed to offer enhanced recreational opportunities, including walking trails, picnic areas, and community events, fostering a sense of community and well-being through the implementation of community gardens and a farmer’s market location in the Western portion of the Township.

Previti also said he hopes to gain additional land to “capture our rural character in upcoming years.”

Read the full article on the Macomb Daily website: