Play structures, basketball hoops to be allowed

February 21, 2020

The Bloomfield Township Planning Commission on Monday, February 17, unanimously recommended for approval to the township board the adaption of a zoning ordinance for basketball apparatuses and play structures, to allow residents to pull a permit rather than going before the zoning board of appeals (ZBA).

"The planning commission, at the conclusion of their public hearing, made a motion to forward on to the township board a favorable recommendation to consider adaption of the ordinance as presented," said Patti Voelker, director of planning, building and ordinance for Bloomfield Township.

The new language would effect site standards for basketball apparatuses and play structures, amending the current ordinance states that for those who want a basketball apparatus, such as a basketball pole or garage mounted backboard with a hoop, or a play structure, they must get approval by the township's zoning board of appeals. Under the proposed amendment, residents would no longer need approval from the ZBA, but could instead pull an ordinance permit.

"That would just allow us to confirm that it met the locational standards that are in the zoning ordinance," Voelker said.

The specific standards are based off of polling the department did in adjoining communities, like Birmingham and West Bloomfield, Voelker explained.  

Both basketball apparatuses and play structures are currently considered accessory structures, just as sports courts are. Sport courts would remain as accessory structures under the new zoning ordinance.

Not regulated under the current zoning ordinance are seasonal and/or sports equipment or play toys, like sports nets and trampolines. Those are considered temporary since they are portable.

According to a memo to the planning commission, Voelker said upon review of the last several years, the ZBA has generally granted approval for basketball apparatuses and play structures.

Voelker was set to introduce the ordinance at the township board meeting on Monday, February 24, for purposes of setting a public hearing date at a future board meeting.

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