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Letter: Residents Ask for Support for Referendum Opposing Blossom Ridge

These Oakland Township residents outline their case for opposing the Blossom Ridge development and say why they feel residents should sign the referendum petition.

Signing the Referendum Petition opposing Blossom Ridge, the proposed senior housing development, is in the best interest of the registered voters of Oakland Township. We know who the developer and applicant is, but we do not know who the owner or operator of Blossom Ridge is going to be.

Public Housing?

There are approximately 150 companies that operate/own/control senior housing developments in the U.S. The top 50 companies own/operate/control almost 500,000 living units.  Some of them have good reputations, some don’t . There is nothing to prevent these companies from turning such facilities  into quasi-public multiple housing units subject to a multitude of Government regulations, many of which defy common sense.

Traffic Nightmares?

The single family homes that could and should be built on the 42 acre parcel would result in 183 motor vehicles (3 per home). By comparison, there would be 400+ motor vehicles generated by the 154 living units in the three story building, the 84 cluster/duplex units located on the site and the 100-120 employees/independent contractors working there on a daily basis. Also, parking lots would have to provide for at least 400-500 vehicles including those belonging to visiting friends and relatives of the residents. Do we want a five lane Adams Road and another traffic light ?

Does the Open Space Include the Parking Lots and the Streets?

The claimed 53% of open space includes wetlands which cannot be built on any way and it likely includes lawns and landscaped areas and maybe even paved areas. In a comparison to the 61 home subdivision allowed on the parcel, one must include rather than exclude the front and back yards of each home.

Tax Revenue?

More tax revenue really should not even be considered in any comparison. If otherwise, we should have more Commercial and Industrial zoning. One hundred twenty two more children from the 61 home subdivision is not going to burden the Rochester Schools.

Greater Fire Safety Costs, Etc.

Either use would likely still result in a 3rd fire station which is already under consideration . The other two are in Goodison and on North Rochester Road. The proposed 3 story building which would be 1 ½ football fields in horizontal length (450 feet), would likely cause a much greater increase in fire safety costs and the development itself  would produce an  estimated additional 180 emergency calls per year. And yes, bigger buildings often mean bigger fires.

Shortage of Senior Housing?

There is no shortage of senior housing in the Rochester area. There are in fact 8 such developments in Rochester Hills and 2 in the City of Rochester. Many seniors living in big houses down size to single story ranch style homes or ground floor condos. There are hundreds of such homes/condos available in Oakland Township, Rochester Hills, Rochester and Shelby Township.

Multiple changes in the zoning ordiance and master plan!

Two stories high would change to three stories high, minimum square footage in living units would change from 800 to 650 square feet, living unit density would increase from 3-5 to 6.2 per acre, maximum horizontal length of a building would increase from 135 feet to 450 feet, etc.

Negative Impact on the single family homes in the area

We, as senior residents of Oakland Township, sincerely believe that Blossom Ridge would destroy the single family home character of the area around this 42 acre parcel. Our Township is about large residential lots, several parks, not many subdivisions, wildlife, clean water, good, deep, cold water wells, lots of unpaved roads, some golf courses, good schools, no gas stations, and not so much traffic. It is not about cramming seniors into 154 undersized rental apartments, nor is it about turning Adams Road into a 5 lane highway. We are a unique and friendly community in many ways and most of us want to keep it that way.

Please sign the Referendum Petition which opposes the Blossom Ridge Development and vote against The Blossom Ridge Development when the referendum is on the ballot .

Sincerely yours,

Francis and Marlene Hugues, Peter and Carolyn Fontana, Richard and Gretechen Dietz, Alvin and Phyllis Andrus, and Eugene Beres
Oakland Township residents

Have something to say? Send letters to the editor to clare.ramsey@patch.com. Or contribute to our Local Voices section.

Hot Wine September 25, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Next important meeting is this Wednesday, September 26 @ 8PM. Please plan on attending and let your voice be heard. Oakland Township Supervisor posted a Notice of Public Hearing in the Sept. 6 edition of the Rochester Post advising the public that there will be a public hearing on an application submitted by Moceri/DM Investments requesting approval of Special Accommodation Use under Ordinance section 16.15.00 for the proposed Blossom Ridge senior living development. The notice can be read at Township link: http://www.oaklandtownship.org/Portals/0/Document/SAU%20Public%20Hearing%20Notice.pdf If you'd like to know more, or find out how your voice can be heard, email the brreferendumactiongroup@hotmail.com
francis P. Hughes October 06, 2012 at 10:27 AM
Mrs Buser, If you were an expert on senior housing which you are not you would be aware of the fact that several of these developers/management companies have ended up in bankruptcy including Erickson, Levitt, etc. and most of have switched to rental only units rather owned units as the cash flow is better and when the living units are sold their is no fee simple title any way and the owners of the units are subordinate to the first mortgage held by some bank that financed the construction of the living units. As a result seniors lost their deposits or total purchase payments in the the bankruptcies which included many companies that were church affiliated. Pressently there is a glut of senior housing which forces these companies to attempt change the zoning to general or public housing for all ages to avoid bankruptcy.
Joan M. Buser October 07, 2012 at 11:35 PM
I find it hard to believe your information about the viability of senior housing, because you are part of the "no" group that has peppered the township with misinformation, and sometimes out and out lies. Oakland Township has studied Blossom Ridge for over 18 months. The developer has made many concessions to address the concerns of the residents, including significantly lowering the number of units. The development will generate less traffic at peak hours than a subdivision built on the land. The height and width of the main building is the same or less than many of the large houses that line Adams Road. The landscaped berms will make it impossible to see the buildings from Adams or Dutton roads. Mr. Moceri is known for the attractive berming of his developments. You may want to die in your own home Francis, but many seniors are looking for a place where they feel safe, they can enjoy the amenities, and are encouraged to continue to live an active life.
Nestof Vipers October 08, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Dear Former Supervisor Buser: One must question why a resident who has left the area so quickly after her tenure is now so involved in a local debate. Is it possible that Mr. Moceri (whose talking points you parrot) is supporting your sudden return to Oakland Township? To be frank, madam, you have not been relevant in this township for eight years, and I do not know what makes you think you are now, since you are no longer a resident, tax-payer or property owner. As for your “facts,” it’s nice to know Mr. Moceri has another shill, but those of us who follow the Blossom Ridge project know how poorly it was vetted. We also know that the developer was given every opportunity (by both PC and BOT) to write his own guidelines. Once the PRRO passed, the real irony is that the following day the developer applied for a special dispensation (or, as we like to call it, a Do-Over) from the current supervisor. My question is, if all elected and appointed officials did their due diligence over the 18-month period, why was it necessary for Mr. Moceri to ask for a mulligan?
Hot Wine October 11, 2012 at 09:45 AM
Oakland Township Residents, Here's an update....on Tuesday 10/9, Board of Trustee Supervisor, Joan Fogler, recommended to the Board that they approve the August 15, 2012 rezoning application submitted by the developer of Blossom Ridge under the Special Accommodation Use (SAU) ordinance. After much debate and resident input the Board VOTED AGAINST the motion to approve the SAU application on a 4 - 3 vote! Trustees Bailey, Thomas, Workings and McKay voted against this motion which in the opinion of the residents and outside legal counsel was the correct legal action by the Board. Following this vote, Trustee Thomas proposed a new motion to neither approve or deny, but to postpone the consideration of the SAU application until the referendum petition process is completed, and if the electorate reject the Blossom Ridge rezoning approved by the Board of Trustees on August 14, 2012, then the Board will consider the SAU application on its merits. Assuming township validation of the submitted petitions, the ballot vote would be scheduled for Feb. 26, 2013 in a special election. If the SAU application is considered due to a rejection of the original rezoning application by the electorate, the newly elected Board which will be sworn into office on Nov. 20, 2012, will be the Board to consider the SAU application. If you'd like to receive email updates, or find out how you can get involved, email the Blossom Ridge Referendum Action Group @ brreferendumactiongroup@hotmail.com

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