On February 2, 2016, the Oakland Township Board voted to approve a proposed Consent judgment settlement regarding the Blossom Ridge Senior development. The agreement also included a second parcel on the corner of Adams and Silverbell (by the Church). The Blossom Ridge issue has had many posts on this website over the years. It has been a contentious issue during this Board’s entire administration. In fact, every member of the Board played a role in having this issue proceed to a referendum vote in the summer of 2013.
The legal advice from our Township Attorney, and Judge Howard, clearly played a role in having the majority of the Board vote to approve this Consent Judgment. The vote was five to two, with Treasurer Langlois and Clerk Reilly being the dissenting vote. Their objections centered on the fact that they did not think that the agreement should have included the second parcel (Carillon Creek parcel), even though our Township Attorney stated that a mutually agreeable solution to the Blossom Ridge parcel was not possible without consideration of the second parcel due to demands made by the Board on the Blossom Ridge parcel.
Most of the Board members shared the rationale for their decisions in great depth (exception being Clerk Reilly), and can be seen by visiting the Township website link included below.
Trustee Buxar summarized her decision by using a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King:
“Cowardice asks the question – Is it safe?
Expediency ask the question – Is is political?
Vanity asks the question – Is it popular?
Conscience asks the question – Is it right?
And there comes a time when one must take a position that is not, safe, political, or popular, but must make it simply because it is right!”
Here is a link to the Township’s website:
Once you go to the website:
On Playlist tab, click on Board of Trustees 2016
On Video tab, click on February 2, 2016 BOT meeting
On Chapter tab, click on Chapter 3
The following link to a press release provides additional information on the agreement
So what does that Township get out of this agreement?
- A Senior Assisted Living development that meets our ordinances and community needs.
- A Senior Health and Wellness Center that meets our ordinances and community needs.
- Eliminates the burden of Township having to prove it has provided ‘reasonable accommodations’ to a protected class of citizens.
- Eliminates the potential $17M in delayed damage.
- Eliminates the loss of being covered by our Insurance Company.
- Decreases the potential density on the Research Laboratory zoned parcel.
- Eliminates the potential for oil and gas drilling and cell towers on the parcels.
- Accessible parkland available to the public in the portion of Township with the highest residential density.
- Protects the Township against future similar lawsuits if the Carillon Creek parcel gets rezoned to the zoning districts as proposed by our attorney.
- Township continues to have Engineering Control over the proposed developments.
- Plan includes a restaurant in our community that our recent survey indicates is a desire of our residents.
- Developer contributes $400,000 for a water storage facility to help improve seasonal water pressure issues (location will be determined by County water resource commission.)
- Developer contributes $200,000 for an Advanced Life Support vehicle.
- Developer contributes up to $125,000 in matching funds for a Veteran’s Memorial facility.
Finally, the biggest win for our Township is that we get this divisive issue behind us and heal the rift in our Township.
Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township? The passage of this consent Judgment puts this contentious issue behind us. The five Board members who voted to approve the agreement made their decision concluding that it was in the best interest of the Township. Their decision was made in spite of their earlier concerns over the initial proposed development. They need to be commended for taking that action.
Citizens should consider whether the decisions made by two of our top Township officials, (Treasurer Langlois and Clerk Reilly), really were made in the best interest of the Township.