Week of 2.20.17

Welcome to the home of Social Lights. New online reports with photos appear each week on the website and in the monthly print editions for the Birmingham-Bloomfield area and the Rochester-Rochester Hills area at the start of each month. If you want e-mail notification of when new Social Lights columns are posted to this site each Monday, sign up in the Newsletter Sign Up box at the lower right side of this home page.

Bates Street Society Dinner

The Community House Board of Directors welcomed 200 to the second annual dinner ($200, $250 tickets) honoring significant donors ($25,000 plus). It also saluted community Pillars of Vibrancy who were toasted at a preliminary champagne reception. The 2017 Pillars are: Culture - architect Victor Saroki and publisher of Downtown Publications David Hohendorf; Wellness - Richard Astrein and Beaumont Hospital President Rosanna Morris; Philanthropy - Lois Shaevsky and George Miller; Education - Margaret Matthes. They were eulogized by house CEO/President Bill Seklar and received tribute pins from past pillars before joining the dinner crowd.
This weeks social light photos…


oakland confidential

March 2017

MARCIA, MARCIA, MARCIA: Oakland County Commissioner Marcia Gershenson (D-Bloomfield Township, West Bloomfield) may have picked a fight with the wrong person in power when she called out county board chair Mike Gingell and vice chair Mike Spiz , both Republicans, during board swearing-in ceremonies on January 11. "She seemed determined to create dissension," said a fellow commissioner. "She ...more»
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Proposed township subdivision shot down

By Lisa Brody
News Editor
01/27/2017 - 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.

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