Effort to pave some neighborhood streets fails

February 28, 2020

A public hearing was held at the Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees meeting Monday, February 24, on an accepted petition to pave part of Brookdale Street and all of Dryden Lane in the Bloomfield Estates Subdivision, but a motion failed and the streets will remain unpaved, consistent with the rest of the subdivision.

The petition would provide for paving part of Brookdale Street between Strathmore Street and Dryden Lane, and all of Dryden Lane.

The proposed project would consist of .51 miles in the subdivision and put an asphalt surface over the gravel road base.

A question was raised during the meeting's public comments section asking how the board could let this happen, which supervisor Leo Savoie addressed during the public hearing.

"Once it's submitted, we're obligated to take certain steps and do certain things that protects everyone's rights," he said. "It (public hearing) doesn't mean that because we're here it's automatically going to be approved, but I will tell you we are here because statutorily, by law, we're required to be here."

In a memo to Savoie, the township assessor confirmed that 60 percent of the property owners signed the petition. The proposed project's preliminary estimated cost is $662,780, and would have property owners pay $44,185 per parcel.

During the public hearing, the majority who spoke on the issue opposed the project, with only one saying he thought it was a good idea.

The commenters' main issues were that the paved roads would ruin the aesthetic of the subdivision, which has been around for 100 years and is almost all dirt roads, except for the major access roads around it.
 
"Paving a portion of our roads is contrary to what the original developers envisioned and what our residents want versus what a handful of residents are now proposing," an email to the board of trustees from the board of directors of Bloomfield Estates Improvement Association stated.

That same email said the petition circulated without the knowledge or approval of the board. Many in the community didn't even know the petition was being circulated until a few weeks ago.

Some feared if the roads were paved that the community would suffer as the volume of traffic would increase and drivers would begin using it to cut through the subdivision.

Savoie asked township attorney Derk Beckerleg what the appropriate way to handle this would be if they didn't want to go forward.

"The appropriate action would be to simply not approve resolution number two and then the project would die," Beckerleg said.

The resolution failed a motion for approval, and the board voted unanimously to not approve the project..

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