Few communities can boast the recreational opportunities or scenic open spaces that exist in Springfield Township. Our officials and our residents recognize and enjoy the natural resources of the area and support our land use policies based upon conservation and preservation of those resources.
Quality housing is nestled among the hills and trees and along the lakeshores. Beautiful tree lined gravel roads wind throughout our countryside. Centrally located, just 20 minutes along I-75 from either Flint or Pontiac, Springfield Township provides easy access to the major cultural, educational and employment centers of Southeast Michigan.
Springfield Township was established on March 2, 1836 by the Legislature of the State of Michigan. One of the very first settlements was developed along the Detroit and Saginaw Turnpike, now known as Dixie Highway. The settlement was known as Springfield. Andersonville, located at the intersection of Andersonville Road and Big Lake Roads, was settled shortly thereafter in 1833 with the Hamlet of Davisburg being settled in 1836.
The first Township meeting was held in the spring of 1837. Early Township meetings focused on surveying and maintaining roads, organizing and financing schools and solving problems of a rapidly growing community. The first post office was located in the Village of Springfield on the Detroit to Saginaw Trail in 1835. The post office in Andersonville operated from 1895 until 1912. The Davisburg Post Office, established in 1857, still operates today.
The Detroit and Milwaukee Railroad now Canadian National was built in 1856. Springfield boasted two stations. One was opened in Andersonville and another built in Davisburg. The railroad provided a major impetus to growth in the Township. Agriculture was the mainstay of the local economy and trains allowed the farmers to ship produce and live stock to market and to receive supplies and equipment.
In 1924 Dixie Highway was paved from Pontiac to Flint. Agriculture was already declining as a major economic activity in the Township and this paved road allowed many residents to travel to Pontiac and Flint for employment in the developing automotive factories. Even more changes occurred in the 1960’s with the construction of I-75. The accessibility provided by two interchanges accelerated residential growth in the late 1960’s and 1970’s.
Springfield Township has had a long-standing commitment to Zoning and Planning dating back to the early 1950’s. The Township Board adopted an interim Zoning Ordinance in early 1952. This Ordinance contained five zoning districts. In 1965 an Ordinance which contained 13 different zoning districts was adopted. Planning and Zoning functions were coordinated with the adoption of the Townships first Master Plan in 1972 and subsequently the adoption of an entire new Zoning Ordinance in 1973. The 1973 Ordinance serves as a basis for the current Zoning Ordinance.
The Township experienced very rapid residential development in the 1970’s. Between 1970 and 1980 the population nearly doubled. Out of concern for the growth and its effects on the entire Township, the Planning Commission embarked on a comprehensive review of the Master Plan and the Zoning Map in the early 1980’s. As a result the revised Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance incorporated natural resource protection information and standards. Another comprehensive review and update was done in the early 1990’s and again in 2002 and 2009. The primary basis for the Township’s Planning, Zoning and Land Use decisions for at least the last 20 years has been the protection and preservation of our abundant and very special natural resources.
In 1860 Springfield’s population was 1,425. By 1930 our population had diminished to 923. By 1950 our population had increased to 1,825, 1960 to 2,664, 1970 to 4,388. Due to rapid growth a special census was done in 1976 which resulted in a population of 6,502, which increased to 8,295 by 1980. Our population in 1990 was 9,927, 13,338 in 2000 and 13,940 in 2010.