Blossom Ridge Referendum Pushed To May

Three attorneys. Three opinions. Now there will be a fourth.

After its second closed meeting in as many weeks, the Oakland Township Board of Trustees voted at a special meeting Monday to seek a fourth legal opinion regarding a rezoning granted for the proposed Blossom Ridge senior housing development.

The board will also seek an opinion from the Michigan Attorney General and is now hoping to put the referendum on the rezoning on the May ballot, not February as originally intended.

“I think it is incumbent upon us to do as much due diligence as we can to represent the citizens and do it right,” said supervisor Terry Gonser. “It’s unfortunate in my mind that we can’t go forward on Feb. 26. … I’ve always felt it was better to be right than fast.”

Last week, the newly elected board received a letter from attorney Gregory Need, who said the township had skipped a required step in the rezoning process. Need was hired by several residents, one of whom filed the referendum petition.

Because the Blossom Ridge site at Dutton and Adams borders Rochester Hills, the township was required to notify an Oakland County committee of the planned rezoning so that the bordering community could weigh in. Because that didn’t happen, Need wrote, the rezoning is invalid and the referendum cannot go forward.

Edward Kickham, attorney for developer Dominic Moceri, reminded the board that he wasn’t allowed to see Township Attorney Steven Joppich’s opinion on the matter. But, he said, “If it is the decision of the board (that) Blossom Ridge is rescinded, it would be a case of selective enforcement because it’s not something the township has done in the past.”

Moceri argued that the township has not submitted other border developments to the county, including Country Creek, a PUD with commercial development that borders Orion Township. He also noted that Deputy County Executive Matt Gibb spoke in support of Blossom Ridge at a 2011 planning commission meeting.

Several residents at Monday’s meeting remembered Gibb’s comments and said they found them offensive in their focus on job creation, not resident concerns like traffic.

“He did suggest that Blossom Ridge would create many, many new jobs in Oakland Township,” said Annalisa Rogers. “It would actually be a business, a senior business there that would actually have people show up for work on any given day. … Mr. Gibb didn’t really help Blossom Ridge’s initiative as it relates to how he positioned it.”

At next week’s meeting, the board plans to select another attorney. Beyond that, many procedural questions remain unanswered and Monday’s motion did not, in the end, address the county issue at all.

“In a perfect world, the plan would have gone from the planning commission to the county before it came to the board of trustees. But that obviously didn’t happen.” Gonser said. “So technically, now, the decision is in the hands of the electorate. It will not come back to this board.”



Protect Oakland Township December 16, 2012 at 10:32 PM
I understand the other sites don't have sewer but would appreciate someone listing the possible alternative sites for senior development.
justacitizentoo December 17, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Dear Protect Our Township, No other proposals exist. No viable alternatives sites exist they lack the following: a) not owned by a viable financially sound housing provider b) properties are not available for sale ; a property owner is not required to sell; private property rights c) topographically impracticable for ADA compliance and fit the needs for the elderly and disabled d)in the more rural areas of the township; Adams & Dutton is NOT rural e) just another witch hunt waiting to happen: disengenuos to suggest another location when the current site us already approvedf) according to Trustee Keyes " not having senior housing makes Oakland Township 'unique' ...." Unique indeed! g) according to Treasurer Langlios, " seniors are content to look outside of Oakland Township for their housing choice " TOTAL B.S. h) according to Supervisor Gonser, " senior housing is a commercial use and should only be in land zones commercial". Being that there is practically no commercial zoned land in Oakland Township, Mr Gonser is stating that we really shouldn't have any housing provided to for the elderly and disabled. More importantly, Housing for Seniors is a Residential Use and belongs in Residential Zones Areas i) the Fair Housing violations stated above are causes for great concern "Protect" us from these zealots. Now that is cause for an opening prayer before the next Board of Trustees Meeting......Happy New Year
Dominic J Moceri December 17, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Concerned, All the financial information was submitted in May 2011 with the first submittal. The records are on file with the Township. Also on file with the Township are several dozen homes, churches, schools(private and public) and a mausoleum that are as long, taller, wider and in residential areas. Question: Why the abscence of outcries for those uses not "not fitting into the community". Answer: Prejudice and Selective Ignorance. A Bias against Housing for the Elderly and Disabled. The claims of reduction in sourounding property values are BOGUS and are BlockBusting methods which violate FEDERAL FAIR HOUSING LAWS. It has been proven that the proposal would generate 64% LESS traffic at peak hour has 400% more open space than a conventional subdivision and is LESS in height (even with 3 stories still under 35') than the sourounding homes. As to Trust, I use my real name and do not hide behind a pseudonym. You are entitled to your opinion but not your own set of facts.... err fiction. Regards, Dominic J Moceri
Concerned December 17, 2012 at 06:42 PM
I was not present at the meeting in May of 2011 so if Mr. Moceri states the financials where submitted at that time and the township personnel can verify this, I obviously accept this as fact and apologize for my error since my statement comes from the multiple meetings I attended. Again, I do not object to senior housing simply the size of the development in the proposed location.
Frank Aragona March 14, 2013 at 03:19 PM
I live in the area and I think this corner is a perfect fit for this assisted living development. Do you really want another bank or Walgreens there? Be careful of what you are opposing the alternative could be much worse.


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