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History

Parkview Hills blossomed from the unique partnership of
the late Dr. H. Lewis Batts, Jr., educator and ecologist,
and the late Burton H. Upjohn, businessman. Dr. Batts'
vision became reality because of Mr. Upjohn's financial
planning. Dr. Batts' environmental expertise merged with
Mr. Upjohn's commitment to residents' needs, resulting in
a truly harmonious community.

The partners worked with the city of Kalamazoo to formulate
the dynamic Planned Unit Development ordinance to create
new flexibility in land use. Their forward-looking ideas
for "clustering" buildings increased useable open space and
amenities for everyone. They acquired some 288 acres of
rolling, glaciated land within the city limits with one
navigable stream, one intermittent stream, two small lakes
(Lime Kiln and Hill 'N' Brook), open marshland, old farm
fields, some mature Oak-Hickory sub-climax forest, and
scattered young Cherry, Aspen, Sassafras and various native
and escaped shrubs. A third and fourth lake (Willow and
Cherry Creek) were restored and the intermittent stream
dammed to encourage ground water re-charge and to reduce
surface water run-off. The purpose is to capture water to
fortify re-charge capabilities and provide more
water-related amenities for residents.

Streets were planned carefully to mesh with land contours
and tree locations. Native trees are being planted
continually to create "mass" and often constructed elements.
There are many more trees at Parkview Hills now than there
were when the partners embarked on their imaginative venture.
Dr. Batts and Mr. Upjohn forged convenants that set aside
more than 100 acres as open space, encompassing at least 20
feet around all marshlands and waterways, and insured the
preservation of the natural environment. Although the PUD
ordinance permitted 900 residential units, the partners
opted for even lower denisty with a cap of 850.

It is not customary for developers to stay involved
personally for the long-term in a community they build. The
Batts-Upjohn team departed from that cynical tenet as long
ago as the ground breaking, June 5, 1970. Representing the
partnership, Mr. Upjohn served actively on the board of the
Parkview Hills Community Association and happily made his
home here for many years. Together these gentlemen set the
highest standard of land-use planning and environmental
concern for us to emulate and continue within our
urban setting.