The Board took action to delay the referendum vote on the Blossom Ridge Senior Development until August, or possibly cancel it completely, by attempts at getting the State Attorney General to weigh in on the matter.
ALSO, Supervisor Gonser’s recorded comments regarding the letters he sent ARE NOT CONSISTENT with the actual letters sent. SEE BELOW! He sent a letter “as an individual” 8 days AFTER he announced he had sent the letter. He had no authority to send the earlier letter, dated April 3 , “on behalf of our constituents”.
The Blossom Ridge Development has been a very contentious issue among the citizens of Oakland Township. Information on that development is shown elsewhere on this website.
On August 6th, a referendum vote occurred on whether the citizens of Oakland Township agree or disagree with the rezoning which would allow the Blossom Ridge Senior development to be built in Oakland Township. The August 6th referendum occurred because a number of citizens obtained enough signatures last year to place the issue on the ballot.
One of the main arguments citizens have against approving the development is that a step in the Planning process was missed. That step was a review by the County Zoning Coordinating Committee (CZC). The County Zoning Coordinating Committee ultimately unanimously approved the development on March 26, 2013 . They are an advisory body only.
The Township Board attempted to get input from the State Attorney General’s office on whether the referendum was even necessary due to the improper sequence of the CZC approval. If the Attorney General agreed with the Board, the development would have to start the approval process all over again, and the referendum would not be necessary.
The referendum could have occurred much earlier. One major reason for the delay is the Board’s attempts at getting the Attorney General’s opinion by their on again-off again-on again attempts at requesting the opinion.
Here is the chronology of events:
- On December 3, 2012 a motion was approved by the Board to seek an opinion from the State Attorney General on the Blossom Ridge rezoning request. (The process requires that a request be sent to State Senator Marleau asking him to pursue a position from the State Attorney General)
- On December 11, 2012 a very similar motion was approved to direct Supervisor Gonser to pursue avenues to obtain an opinion from the State Attorney General regarding the Blossom Ridge rezoning request.
- A request to the Attorney General was never sent based on the December 3 and 11 approved motions.
- On February 12, 2013 a motion was approved by the Board to rescind the request for an Attorney General opinion.
- At the April 9th Board meeting, during the discussion about the wording for the ballot proposal, Treasurer Langlois commented that a letter “has been sent” to Senator Marleau. Here are her comments:
- It was confirmed that a letter, dated April 3, 2013, had been sent to Senator Marleau by Supervisor Gonser. Here is the letter:
- At the April 15th meeting, one of our citizens asked the Board to clarify under what authority had the April 3rd letter been sent, given that the Board had rescinded the request at the February 12 meeting.
- Supervisor Gonser responded with:
- He stated that he had sent the April 3rd letter “as an individual”, even though he used the terms “on behalf of our constituents” in the letter.
- On April 23, 8 DAYS AFTER SUPERVISOR GONSER STATED HE SENT THE LETTER “as an individual”, HE FINALLY SENDS THE LETTER, this time directly to the Attorney General, with a copy to Senator Marleau. Supervisor Gonser violated the process since he knew the process required that any request had to go THROUGH Senator Marleau. This letter appears to be an attempt at “covering his tracks” for the statement he made at the April 15th meeting. Here is that letter:
- On May 16, 2013 the Attorney General’s office indicated that they would not provide any opinion on the issue since the issue is unique to Oakland Township, the Township’s legal counsel should handle it, and the ballot wording is already approved. Here is their response:
- The reasons given for rejecting the request are consistent with the criteria stated on the Attorney General’s website.
- As a result, the referendum was delayed 6 months from February to August.
Why is this important to the residents of Oakland Township? We expect our leadership to be truthful. Supervisor Gonser’s comments on the letters he sent are not supported by the facts!
Why did Supervisor Gonser send a letter to Senator Marleau “on behalf of our constituents” after the Board agreed they would not send one?
Under what authority did he send that letter? Why did he say he sent it “as an individual” when the letter clearly implies he was representing the “constituents”?
Why did he send a letter “as and individual” 8 days after he said he sent one “as an individual”?
Do you think the citizens of Oakland Township were well serve by delaying the referendum 6 months?