A brief summary of events – detailed pages will follow…
Perhaps the biggest controversy in Oakland Township has been the Proposed Blossom Ridge senior community. In June 2011 Moceri Development proposed a senior community on the Northwest corner of Adams Rd. and Dutton. The Plan is for 238 independent and assisted living units on a 41 acre parcel.
There is planned to be a number of duplex buildings, a large residential building and a community/recreation center. The plan calls for the site to remain heavily wooded with 53% open space (23+ acres) including paths, ponds and streams, and 41% less building hardscape coverage. Walking trails would wind through and around the natural features and provide exercise stations.
Planned berms with natural landscaping along Adams and Dutton will virtually hide the development from the outside and lessen traffic noise for residents.
Throughout the year, many members of the community spoke against the Blossom Ridge development, citing traffic, safety, density, character and property value concerns. The Planning Commission recommended approval of the rezoning to the Board.
The following steps have been taken by the Board of Trustees in handling Blossom Ridge:
- August 14, 2012 -The former Board approved the re-zoning.
- August 15, 2012 – Special Accommodation request submitted.
- Citizens circulated and submitted petitions for a referendum on the rezoning.
- September 19, 2012 – Citizen’s petition submitted to Township Clerk
- October 9, 2012 –
- The former Board considered the developer’s application for consideration of a Special Accomodation Use under the zoning ordinance to comply with the Federal Fair Housing law. This would have the effect of allowing the development regardless of the outcome of a referendum on the zoning change.
- Supervisor Fogler recommended that the Board approve the Special Accomodation Use.
- The former Board postponed and the referendum went forward.
- November 27, 2012 –
- The new Board discussed an opinion by an attorney not employed by the Township saying that the Blossom Ridge rezoning is invalid because it was not reviewed by the Oakland County Zoning Coordinating Committee (CZC);
- The new Board delayed setting a date for the referendum;
- After hearing our Township Attorney Steve Joppich’s opinion on the requirement for the CZC review, the new Board decided to ask another attorney for an opinion.
- December 3, 2012 – The new Board:
- moved to ask for an Attorney General’s opinion;
- stated its intent to place the referendum on the May ballot;
- moved to seek a fourth legal opinion from another attorney on the CZC review.
- December 11, 2012 – The Board:
- Retained attorney John Kingsepp to provide another legal opinion on the Blossom Ridge rezoning
- Directed Supervisor Gonser to obtain an opinion from the Attorney General relative to the Blossom Ridge rezoning
- February 12 2013 – Board directed Attorney Joppich to prepare a Blossom Ridge package to submit to Oakland County CZC
- March 26, 2013- Oakland County Zoning Coordinating Committee recommends approval of rezoning for Blossom Ridge.
- April 9 2013 – Board set the date of the Blossom Ridge referendum to August 6 2013.
There are many issues remaining: the outcome of the referendum, the delayed Special Accomodation Use decision and a Federal Fair Housing Act complaint. We will keep you posted.