Since the October 25th Oakland Township Board meeting some work has been done to answer concerns three of the Board members had regarding the use of the Adams Road location for the water storage facility for the Southwest water district of Oakland Township. The Board has scheduled a Special Meeting for November 1, 2022 at 2:00 PM to discuss this matter and possibly make a decision. The concerns articulated by the three Board members supporting the Kern Road location were:

  • Desire to preserve the potential use of the proposed donated 5.7 acre parcel for maximum beneficial use for ALL residents of Oakland Township.
  • Desire to see a plan for Adams Road site that includes Firehouse, Police substation, EMS and water storage facility
  • Visual impact of water storage facility on residents and travelers on roads near water storage facility
  • Environmental impact
  • Cost

The following discussion attempts to respond to these issues.

Maximizing benefit to all residents and site plan

Oakland Township Leadership has recognized a need for added Fire, EMS and police support in the Southwest portion of our Township for some time. Our EMS response times are currently not consistently meeting the County recommendation to be less than 6 minutes. The Board has considered the use of the 5.7 acre potentially donated parcel as a site for having a new Fire Station, EMS and Police substation to satisfy this growing need in our Township. This potential use was part of the Board’s decision to approve the Arimus Villa’s PUD development on October 25th. However, at least one of the Board members (Trustee Elder) was not convinced that adding the water storage facility to the other desired uses on the parcel could be accomplished, hence his reluctance to agree to have the water storage facility added to that site.

Trustee Elder commented at the October 25th meeting that “I’m OK putting it (the water storage facility) wherever” but he also said “I’d like to see a study on how we would layout a Police, Fire and EMS unit on this site”. He went on to say that he saw some information that indicated that adding the water storage facility was not feasible.

A draft site plan showing how the Police, Fire/EMS AND water storage facility could fit on the site was developed by Giffels Webster. It includes the ‘footprint’ of Oakland Township’s Firehouse 2, as well as substantially the same ‘footprint’ as the new Orion Township Police substation, along with a water storage facility that would meet our current building elevation requirement of 35 feet. This plan will be shown later in this discussion.

Visual Impact

The overwhelming issue regarding the location of the water storage facility is the visual impact it has on residents who live near the facility, or those driving past the facility. Clearly, Kern Road will have less traffic than Adams Road. However, more current residents of both Oakland Township, and Orion Township will be directly negatively impacted with it being located on Kern Road.

Many residents shared with the Board that a decision to place the facility on Kern road impacts many more current homeowners. Placing the facility on Adams will impact a few current owners. It may influence future homeowner’s decision to purchase in the Artimus development. The developer for the Artimus PUD has already mitigated that issue by placing large berms between the 5.7 acre site and the development.

The visual impact of any structure can be either ugly or appealing. A large water storage structure can challenge the creativity to accomplish an appealing structure. Commerce Township has done a marvelous job in making their water storage facility as attractive as possible. In the plan that is shown below, you will see picture of their 2 million gallon storage facility.

Berming and tree plantings can also be used to minimize the view of the storage facility. View ‘site lines’ from Adams road show how these techniques can be used to minimize the visibility of the storage facility.

Finally, regarding visual impact, as one of our resident, James Carter former Oakland Township Planning Commission Chairperson, suggested we could actually use the design of the Fire station, the Police Substation and the water facility to accentuate the historical farming character of our Township. The Adam’s Road complex could become a showcase for our Township, while serving the multiple functional needs of our community. The plan shown below shows several architectural concepts that could provide added character to our Township.

Environmental Impact

The two issues raised here were the impact of the additional tree removal from the site and the potential added cost and issues with the unregulated ‘wetland’. First, regarding the tree removal. The consultants report indicated that approximately 1.5 acres of trees would have to be cleared. It did not state how many acres of trees would have to be cut to accommodate the Police and Fire Station usage. Also, the trees used to help hide the water storage facility would offset some of the loss of trees. Secondly, the unregulated wetland issue is one that is not significant, in that, even though the consultant mentioned it in their report, they did not list it as an issue in their summary of pro’s and con’s for the site.


The consultant’s cost estimate comparing the two sites concluded that the Kern Road site was “Slightly lower cost because the site is already developed”. Several residents from the Crossings Subdivision said that since they were part of the group that will ultimately pay for the facility, they thought the minimal increase in price was worth it to them to have it on Adams Road. It should be noted that the consultants analysis did not review the draft site plan shown below.

Another point is that some of the ‘site development’ costs that would be incurred for placing the water treatment site at Adams, would also be required when putting in a Fire Station or Police substation.



Why is this important to the residents of Oakland Township?

Will the information shown above influence any of the Board members to support a decision to place the facility on Adams? Your continued input, especially to those that seemed open to considering the Adams location (Trustee Elder and Clerk Buxar??) could make a difference. The final decision is one that will impact the Township for many years to come. Further delay in a decision will certainly result in higher costs, and possibly a much higher density development on the Northeast corner of Adams and Gunn Roads.

Attend the November 1 meeting if you can!!!

Richard Michalski

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