Few hands rose when resident Connie Novak posed the question,"How many are for it (Blossom Ridge)?" at Tuesday night’s Oakland Township Board of Trustees meeting at .
Novak is one of the residents that stood to say she is in favor of the project. The rest of the 25 or so residents in attendance stood firm in opposition to the proposed senior living community as presented by applicant Moceri Development, the majority of their hands shooting up when asked who is opposed to the project, and many speaking during public comment.
This is the second time the board has decided to table the decision of whether or not to approve the first reading of the ordinance that would amend Ordinance 16, allowing the property at the northwest corner of Adams and Dutton roads to be rezoned from a Medium Density Residential (MDR) to Multifamily Residential Density with Planned Residential Rezoning Overlay (RM-PRRO). Trustee Marc Edwards made the motion to table the decision because two board members, Trustees Sharon McKay and Kathrine Thomas, were not in attendance at the meeting.
Ongoing concern of the project's density
Trustee Michael Bailey said that even with the decrease in units, 238 as opposed to 282, , he still is not comfortable with the density of the project.
“The current density of 238 is still higher in my mind than what it should be in order to make me happy with going forward with this,” Bailey said.
Many residents echoed Bailey’s feelings as well. Bailey asked if looking into cutting more units would be possible, which Dominic Moceri of Moceri Development later in the meeting responded "no."
“Any further reduction in the total number dwellings proposed for Blossom Ridge takes away from who we’re trying to serve,” Moceri said.
“Let's not be shortsighted and say let's reduce the density or the number of people we’re going to serve,” he later continued.
Moceri also rattled off facts against the density, including saying that there will be 53 percent of open space not including the front or side yards of the units. In addition he revisited letters that Bob Sirna and Ron Hein of the Blossom Ridge opposition group Residents for Responsible Growth in Oakland Township (RRG-OT) wrote in support of the project after the number of units was condensed in April.
A look at other input from residents, trustees
Novak said she agrees that Oakland Township needs senior housing and said she thinks Moceri would do a nice job developing the property.
“Initially I was opposed to this but now I’m not. And the reason I’m not is because you indicated that half of the property will be green, the other half will be housing … I think that you do a very nice job at decorating and landscaping.”
Another resident asked that Moceri consider moving the proposed project to one of the other areas outlined as suited for a senior living community in the master plan. Resident John Giannangeli said he opposes the "massive" project.
“When the master plan was first revised to indicate senior housing development I did not object … I understood it to mean senior housing that’s over age 55 with all the protection … of zoning and building codes,” Giannangeli said.
Along with many of the concerns that have previously surfaced, including questioning whether or not the development actually fits the intentions of the master plan and character of Oakland Township, Clerk Judy Workings requested an actual study on the emergency services that would be necessary for the development, saying she wanted actual numbers to review.
Workings said she thinks it is important to know how many times the emergency vehicles will be running up and down the roads and if Oakland Township will have the manpower for the services needed.
For more Blossom Ridge coverage, click here. For more coverage of Tuesday’s meeting see: .