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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 04/17/13
Blossom Ridge project
goes to voters on Aug. 6
by STACY SOBOTKAThe fate of Blossom Ridge will be up to the voters of Oakland Township this summer.
Observer Special Writer
The Oakland Township Board of Trustees approved the ballot language for the proposed Blossom Ridge senior center for the Aug. 6 election at its meeting April 9.
The proposed project would be located at the northwest corner of Dutton and Adams, and would consist of a senior housing development of single-family units and a senior living center.
It would be solely senior resident living, and not a nursing or dementia care facility.
The board approved the ballot language after seeking multiple legal opinions from attorneys over a failure to complete a step in submitting the rezoning approval to Oakland County. In the end, the Oakland County Coordinating Zoning Committee voted in favor of the Blossom Ridge rezoning at a meeting on March 26.
Originally, the board wanted to get an additional opinion from Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, but rescinded the request.
"Then, upon subsequent consideration at least for myself, I do feel it's appropriate to at least ask if the attorney general, which we have to do through (Michigan State) Senator (Jim) Marleau, is willing and interested in looking at this," said Township Treasurer Jeanne Langlois. "We can still approve ballot language and we've been advised to do that, but we are hoping that the attorney general will decide to take a look at this, and that option is out there."
Oakland Township resident Frank Ferriolo said that both the Planning Commission and the previous Board of Trustees were split on Blossom Ridge but felt the referendum was needed.
"What this ballot is about is not against Blossom Ridge, it's saying let the people decide because it's so impactful that they need to make a decision one way or the other," he said. "There are reasons why this shouldn't be as big as it is."
The board also heard a presentation from Paint Creek Trail Manager Kristen Myers on the activities of the Paint Creek Trailway Commission for the coming year. She explained amendments to the uniform Trailway Ordinance. These include allowing motorized vehicles for handicapped trail users only.
"The width (of the vehicle) can't be more than 36 inches," she said. "One of our concerns was ATVs because as you know, with ATVs out there, it's a little dangerous out there for our trail users and we're worried about the surface, so we want to make sure we allow our mobility-disabled visitors to visit without any problems at all."
Other changes include new park hours from sunrise to sunset, proper trash disposal, updated rules for equestrians, new rules for groups wanting to host special events on the trail, a requirement for dogs to be leashed, and no reckless cycling.
"We're asking that people who use bicycles to ride in a safe manner," said Myers.
Afterwards, the board approved the introduction and first reading of an ordinance amending uniform trailway regulations at the Trailway Commission's request.
In other business, the Board of Trustees:
• Approved a resolution approving a multi-jurisdictional agreement for construction of the Perry Street Diversion project (for water lines) and give notice of the intent for issuance of county bonds for that construction.
• Approved a resolution approving the Clinton-Oakland Sewage Disposal System inter-municipal contract.
• Approved a recommendation to use Troy-based Revize Software Systems for re-designing the township's website.
• Approved a proposed use of West Nile abatement funds to submit to Oakland County for mosquito control within the township.
• Nominated Libby Dwyer as the Oakland Township nominee for the Paint Creek Center for the Arts Awards. Dwyer was nominated for her artwork at the Paint Creek Cider Mill.
• Approved a request for the Parks and Recreation Commission to hire a stewardship manager.