Lettter to the Editor: Blossom Ridge 'Clearly Headed for the Courts'
Oakland Township resident Francis Hughes offers a compromise on Blossom Ridge in hopes of avoiding litigation.
I was attending the Oakland Township hearing on Sept. 26, 2012 relative to the application for a special accommodation use when I realized that there were five attorneys representing the parties (a sixth attorney will likely soon appear) and the matter is clearly headed for the courts. If it does end up in litigation, I would project the total attorney fees to be in the range of $500,000-$600,000 or more, and it will be at least 18 months before it reaches the Michigan Supreme Court or the Federal Court of Appeals.
If, on the other hand, the matter is settled or compromised, most of that legal expense can be avoided and the parties can move on to other endeavors that are just as important if not more important than Blossom Ridge. The only persons that would be seriously affected by a settlement or compromise would be the attorneys, who would, of course, earn less.
The settlement? The main building would be two stories in height and would be 200 feet in length and 220 feet wide, which is 44,000 square feet per floor. There would be 42 living units/apartments per floor, and each apartment would be 800 square feet in size. There would be 21 one-story clusters with each containing four living units of 1,000 square feet (excluding garages). Each such living unit shall be built on a 4,500-square-foot lot which will accommodate the house, an attached garage, a driveway and a front and rear yard.
The developer shall have the option of building the main building in a 220-foot length and a 250-foot width quadrangle configuration with a square or oblong court or outdoor activities, gardens, etc.
Exit and entry driveways would have to be located on Adams Road on the northern end of the parcel, facing Adams Road with separately signed exit and entry lanes. Identical signed lanes would also be located on Dutton Road at the western end of the parcel, facing Dutton Road.
The total number of liing units would be reduced to 168 or 84 in the main building and 84 in the clusters. The quadrangle option might allow up to eight additional living units in the main building for a total of 176 living units in the development.
All living units would have to include modifications for the handicapped, such as wider doorways, lower kitchen cabinets, front loading laundry, appliances, etc. And such other safety features that are required by applicable building codes.
The foregoing proposal is a reasonable settlement taking into consideration that the zoning on the 42-are parcel does allow senior housing as a use, and the reduced number of units would certainly lessen the impact on the surrounding neighborhoods.
Francis P. Hughes
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