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Farmington Hills, Michigan

Farmington Hills, Michigan

Farmington Hills is an affluent, as well as the most populous city in Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 82,111. It is an upscale suburb of Detroit. The city is known for a center of business, great schools, and a trendy housing market.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 33.3 square miles (86.2 km²), all land.

History

The first white settler in what became Farmington Township, was a Quaker from Farmington, New York, named Arthur Power. He purchased land in 1823 and returned in 1824 with a group of family and associates to clear the land. The settlement became known as Quakertown. A post office was established in January 1826 with the name of Farmington. The township of Farmington was organized in 1827. The settlement incorporated as the village of Farmington in the winter of 1866-67. A fire on October 9, 1872 destroyed many buildings in the center of the village. Farmington incorporated as a city in 1926.

A small settlement also developed in Clarenceville, in the extreme southeast corner of the township on the boundary with Livonia in Wayne County. Stephen Jennings built a tavern and general store to accommodate travelers on the plank road between Detroit and Howell. The name remains in the Clarenceville School District. Even though the school buildings for Clarenceville are in Livonia in Wayne County, the school district serves a portion of Farmington Hills.

In 1847, a post office named North Farmington was established a mile south of the township line as Wolcott's Corners. After the death of postmaster Chauncey D. Walcott in 1865, the office moved to the township line in the northeast quarter of section 4 (near the intersection of 14 Mile Road and Farmington Road). The post office operated until September 1902.

Before the remainder of Farmington Township incorporated as the city of Farmington Hills, there were two other incorporated entities within the boundaries. The first began as a subdivision named Quaker Valley Farms that incorporated as the village of Quakertown in 1959. The other was Wood Creek Farms, developed in 1937 as a subdivision by George Wellington of Franklin, Michigan, who named it after a New England estate. It incorporated as a village in 1957. The villages together with the remainder of Farmington Township incorporated into the City of Farmington Hills.

Demographics

Farmington Hills is one of the largest communities of the Metro Detroit area. As of the census of 2000, there were 82,111 people, 33,559 households, and 21,813 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,466.4 per square mile (952.3/km²). There were 34,858 housing units at an average density of 1,047.0/sq mi (404.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 82.95% White, 6.94% African American, 0.17% Native American, 7.54% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.46% from other races, and 1.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.47% of the population. 12.6% were of German, 9.1% Polish, 8.3% Irish, 7.1% English and 5.5% Italian ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 33,559 households out of which 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.0% were married couples living together, 6.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.0% were non-families. 29.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.1% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 31.3% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 93.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.2 males.

According to a 2006 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $65,672, and the median income for a family was $85,775. Males had a median income of $61,757 versus $39,540 for females. The per capita income for the city was $36,134. About 2.4% of families and 4.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.2% of those under age 18 and 7.6% of those age 65 or over.

Government

Farmington Hills utilizes the Council-Manager form of government, and thus is governed by a City Council consisting of a Mayor and six council members. The city council appoints a City Manager, who manages the day-to-day operations of the city.

Farmington Hills is neighbor to Farmington, Michigan. Together, the two cities form a district represented in Michigan's State Government by Democrat Aldo Vagnozzi, who is a former mayor of Farmington Hills. Farmington Hills is part of state senate District 14, and is represented by Democrat Gilda Z. Jacobs.

The Mayor's Youth Council is an active teen committee/council who work under the city to help address teen problems and issues. This council is run by the youth, for the youth, and is helping to build the Riley Skate Park (the largest skate park in the midwest), sends delegates the National League of Cities (NLC) conferences, has articles published in the local newspaper, helps run city wide events, organizes battle of the bands, and hosts their own talk show.

On Monday, December 18, 2006, a public meeting was held in Farmington Hills to discuss the possible merger of the two cities. This has been an ongoing discussion for years but there had not been any recent formal meetings on the subject. Officials are touting it mainly as a money saving venture, and also as a way to keep the two communities vibrant. Farmington and Farmington Hills already share several services, such as a school district, a library system and a district court, however, both cities utilize their own fire departments, and Farmington has a public safety department rather than a police station.

Education

The city and Farmington, Michigan also share a school system, Farmington Public Schools. Farmington Hills also encompasses parts of the West Bloomfield School District; the Clarenceville School District; and the Walled Lake Consolidated School District. The city also includes several private schools, including two parochial Catholic schools run by the Archdiocese of Detroit, an all-girls Catholic high school, Mercy High School, and a day school affiliated with Conservative Judaism, Hillel Day School. The city also contains a branch of the Oakland Community College system, as well as a suburban center for Wayne State University, which is based in Detroit, Michigan. It is also home to Harrison High School, from which Al Jean graduated, famous for his work on the animated comedy The Simpsons. The football team, The Hawks, are also known for excelling at football led by Coach John Harrington who has been the coach since the opening of the school in 1970.

Media

In addition to the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press, regional newspapers serving all of southeast Michigan, the city is served by two community newspapers. The Farmington Observer is published twice a week, on Sunday and Thursday. The Farmington Gazette is published weekly.

The City of Farmington Hills has its own cable station, channel 10.

Transportation

Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) operates local and regional bus transit.

The major thoroughfares in the city are: Grand River (M-5), Orchard Lake Road, 12 Mile Road, 8 Mile Road, Northwestern Highway, I-696 and I-275. The city contains several freeway interchanges connecting local roads to the two interstates.

Notable residents

References

External links

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