A preliminary plat proposal to create five single family residential lots into a cul-de-sac subdivision from vacant property that front Franklin Road south of Hickory Grove Road, just north of Bloomfield Hills Schools' E.L Johnson Nature Center, was unanimously denied by the Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees on Monday, January 23.
The land, located at 3355 Franklin Road, had previously been denied twice by the township, in 2002 and 2005, for lot split requests, by a previous land owner, who had requested the property be split into two and three lots. At the time, the township board denied the requests because they failed to comply with the township's lot split ordinance. In both instances, the decisions were appealed to circuit court, which found in favor of Bloomfield Township based on the lot split ordinance regulations.
Patti Voelker, township planning, ordinance and design director, explained to the board that a new owner, Terry Nosan of NVTN Acquisitions, LLC, made an application to commence with the state's platting process as prescribed by the Michigan Land Development Act in order to replat a western part of lot 6 of the property for the proposed five residential lots into a cul-de-sac, to be called Franklin Club Court subdivision, with each lot having 24,000 to 26,000 square feet.
She said that while traffic, engineering, landscape, and other consultants did not find any negative impact upon the area, and the township's design and review board forwarded the proposal to the planning board, who reviewed it in September, "The planning board denied it due to environmental and drainage concerns relative to wetlands."
Nosan explained that the plat proposal "has not been done in the township for 20 years. This used to be the only way to subdivide land in the state." He explained he was not requesting any rezoning, unlike a site condo development.
"Frankly, if this project required rezoning, we wouldn't have taken it on. Neither is it a request for a lot split. Our development by definition is low density," he said.
He also explained that there were limitations to the powers of the township board, and that platting a subdivision is a state act. "Under the Michigan Land Development Act, there is no local approving authority. However, Bloomfield Township has numerous ordinances that go beyond the state act."
He noted that the plat was filed with the township clerk in March 2016, with money deposited to take care of necessary reviews, including planning and engineering; environmental, engineering, sewer and water reports came back excellent in May; and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality determination on the site stated, "the proposed development will not disturb the wetlands....continued on page 2