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  • By Dana Casadei

New township developments get planners' okay

A new subdivision, along with two residential lots, on Franklin Road between Maple and 14 Mile Road in Bloomfield Township, were reviewed by the township planning commission on Wednesday, September 9, and were unanimously recommended for approval, moving the issue forward to the township board of trustees. Bloomfield Township’s Director of Planning, Building & Ordinance Patti Voelker introduced the two separate tentative preliminary plat proposals by developers Terry Nosan and Buzz Silverman, the first of which was for a proposed plan to create two residential lots and establish a new subdivision, Bloomfield Mill, at 7010 Franklin Road, where the lots would front. The 1.7-acre parcel was formerly a single family home that was demolished several years ago. The developers are now proposing it become two single family lots. “Unique in this process is that we’ll be following the requirements defined by the State Land Division Act but also referenced within our Chapter 18 subdivision control provisions within the township guidelines code,” Voelker said. She noted these standards call out very specific criteria for the planning commission to consider as part of this proposal, such as how it complies with the zoning ordinance and the availability and adequacy of utilities. The State Land Division Act provision states that the planning commission review must be within 30 days of the application for the tentative preliminary plat and within 60 days, their recommendation will be forwarded on to the township board for consideration. There are three more plat stages that will follow. Voelker commented that this is different compared to their normal site review process for any type of development. She said the proposed Bloomfield Mill subdivision plat meets the criteria for the State Land Division Act. Each resultant lot exceeds the minimum required 22,000-square-feet lot area by containing 27,539-square-feet for lot one and 26,660-square-feet for lot two. Each proposed parcel also exceeds the required minimum lot width of 130 feet with 153.66 feet and 156.09 feet, respectively. The proposed lot sizes are compatible with the range of lots areas in the abutting Franklin Ravines subdivision and Franklin Woods Manor subdivision. The design review board passed the motion unanimously to forward this request to the planning commission in early September. At the September 9 meeting the planning commission recommended tentative approval of the preliminary plat proposal at 7010 Franklin Road, finding that all conditions had been met with an added item of discussion regarding the tree preservation and protection ordinance, and therefore, gave a positive recommendation to the board of trustees. The second introduction of a tentative preliminary plat proposal was for 7141 Franklin Road, where nine residential lots would be constructed. Previously, Nosan and Silverman had presented the planning commission with a residential planned unit development (PUD), to develop the 10.02 acre parcel on the east side of Franklin Road north of 14 Mile Road, just north of the Franklin Cider Mill on the opposite side of Franklin Road, and call it Franklin Forest, which would have had 15 detached single family residents, clustered in order to allow green spaces, trees, open spaces and wetlands. But after mixed reviews from the commission it was tabled in order to allow the developers redesign their site plans. The development team elected to withdraw that site plan application for PUD before returning with the application to begin the state platting process as prescribed by the State’s Land Division Act to plat the 10.02-acre parcel to create nine residential lots, to be known as Franklin Woods subdivision. Each resultant lot exceeds the minimum 22,000 square foot lot area by containing between 22,057 to 45,368 square feet for each lot. Further, each proposed parcel meets or exceeds the required minimum lot width of 130 feet with sewers. A sanitary sewer is proposed for each lot. The tentative preliminary plat plans were found to be satisfactory by the township’s engineering and environmental services department, and there was no objection or comments from the police or fire departments. The property is currently owned by the George R. Pickering Revocable Trust, and has an iconic red barn on it, which is about 100-years-old. There are plans to remove or sell it so it can be moved. Much like their first proposal, this second proposal was met with a lot of vocal opposition from residents from surrounding subdivisions during the public comment period. In spite of that, the planning commission unanimously recommended tentative approval of the preliminary plat and noted that the standards presented had been met.

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