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Township Board Votes To Move Forward With Blossom Ridge

Tuesday night the board voted 4-3 on a motion granting preliminary approval for the senior living community.

To the dismay of many residents in the audience at Tuesday’s Oakland Township Board of Trustees meeting, board members voted in favor of rezoning a 41.84-acre plot of land at the northwest corner of Adams and Dutton roads, which would allow for the development of Blossom Ridge, a proposed senior living community.

In order for the 238-unit project to be developed, the applicant, Moceri Development, needs the board to approve an ordinance that will amend Ordinance 16, which allows the property to be rezoned from a Medium Density Residential (MDR) to Multifamily Residential Density with Planned Residential Rezoning Overlay (RM-PRRO). The board voted 4-3 in favor of the first reading of the ordinance, which in effect grants preliminary approval for Blossom Ridge.

Now that the first reading has been approved, if Township Attorney Steve Joppich and Dominic Moceri of Moceri Development can negotiate a PRRO agreement, then it will return to the board for a second reading in the near future.

Trustees Michael Bailey and Sharon McKay, along with Clerk Judy Workings, voted against the motion, citing the density of the project as one of their major concerns. Though the development has been reduced in size from 282 units to 238, some board members said they believe there is still room to shave off additional units.

“The density issue tends to bother me a bit — actually it bothers me a lot," Workings said.

Workings presented supplemental documents from when the Master Plan was being developed, showing that the desired number of units (3-5) per acre is not an arbitrary number. Instead, the documents she read from noted that the number was designed to keep the township from over-zoning and taking on more than it could service.

“My point here is to me the 3-5 units is essential," she said.

Trustee Marc Edwards countered her point saying their was room for exception in the Master Plan when it comes to senior housing, something the township is lacking.

The motion to move forward with the project outlined 14 conditions for Joppich to add to the agreement that the applicant would have to abide by. Conditions included landscaping maintainenance and that the maximum density should not exceed 238 units.

The project was approved by the planning commission in February after months of discussing the development and was tabled two times at the Board of Trustees prior to Tuesday’s meeting.

Edwards noted that he believes that approving the rezoning is the only legal way to vote on the issue.

Many residents at meeting still oppose project

The proposed development has been a source of controversy for residents for months. Many have voiced their concerns about a possible drop in property values, traffic, uptick in emergency services needed and density of the project.

Residents and board members had previously asked for statistics on the stress on emergency services the development would cause. Township Supervisor Joan Fogler read off a report from Chief Bill Benoit at Tuesday’s meeting which noted that an estimated increase of about 180 emergency calls could be expected annually based on his findings. He also stated in the letter Fogler read that the fire department, “is and always will be ready to serve".

Moceri assured the board that 'safety is our foremost concern'.

Meeting attendees asked a variety of questions about Benoit’s findings and continued to plead with the board to move the project to one of the other areas outlined as suited for a senior living community in the Master Plan.

“I really feel that if the board approves this, that this will supersede the debacle of and that this will haunt this township and those subdivisions that surround us for decades to come," resident Judy Keyes said.

Likewise a resident living on the 2000 block of Averdeen Court, who did credit Moceri for constructing 'world class' developments, said, "It's not about not wanting development, it's about wanting development that makes sense, that fits within the fiber of the Oakland Township community."

For more Blossom Ridge coverage, click here.

Hot Wine August 14, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Stop Blossom Ridge Re-Zoning!!! Important Meeting Tonight! There is still time to voice your opinion at tonight's Board of Trustees Meeting for the Second and Final Reading on the re-zoning! The Board of Trustees vote at the First Reading of this proposal was a split vote (4-3) on granting this re-zoning request – so it is not fully supported by those we elected! A change of one vote will make the difference and Stop Blossom Ridge Re-zoning! Make your voice heard tonight! Tuesday, August 14th Time: 7PM Township Offices 4393 Collins Road Blossom Ridge is a proposed high density Independent/Assisted Living Senior development at Adams & Dutton Roads requiring a re-zoning authorization from the Township! Blossom Ridge is Too Dense! Too Impactful on the surrounding sub-divisions! Out-of-Character with the Township’s Master Plan!!! To learn more, or to volunteer to support Stop Blossom Ridge Rezoning! Contact: BRREFERENDUMACTIONGROUP@HOTMAIL.COM
CJ Jones August 16, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Thrilled that Blossom Ridge will be part of our community. Moceri has done a magnificant job of developing our area and this will only enhance the neighborhood. How wonderful to know there will be l a place in the community when we are all ready to downsize that we will be able to live.
Jade Rubino August 18, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Congratulations to the visionary Moceri Companies. It takes a lot of courage in this tough economic environment to make a commitment of this magnitude. They have made the area along Adams road from Dutton to Silverbell the place to live and now retire in Oakland Township. This project will bring needed construction and service jobs to the area.
Hot Wine August 24, 2012 at 11:45 AM
Please sign petition to have citizens vote on whether or not to allow this rezoning. We are not against a senior living community, but we are against the FIRST 3-story 450 foot building in the township, too high density (over 6 units per acre, vs. 3-5 allowed), impact on traffic. The 4 Board of Trustees in favor of this rezoning were lame ducks...they were voted out/retiring from board. If interested in learning more, and to sign petition, contact: BRREFERENDUMACTIONGROUP@HOTMAIL.COM
Hot Wine September 06, 2012 at 08:06 PM
In spite of the builder's attempts to deny our CIVIL RIGHTS rights as citizens of Oakland Township, support for the petition drive has been overwhelming! To have a say on whether or not to allow this rezoning, be sure to sign the petition. If interested in signing petition, contact: BRREFERENDUMACTIONGROUP@HOTMAIL.COM

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