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Bloomfield planning division updates board

By Lisa Brody

In its annual report, Patti Voelker, Bloomfield Township's Planning, Building and Ordinance Department Director, showed to trustees at their meeting on Monday, April 25, that “2021 was a very busy year.”

The township's planning division is comprised of Voelker, who has been director of the department for 19 years; Andrea Bibby, with the township for eight years, and is assistant director; planning/ordinance administrative assistant Kelly Jacobson, with the township for 16 years; and planning/building administrative assistant Kristi Thompson, 18 years of service.

Voelker said the mission of their department is provide their services “in a fair and consistent approach with the highest level of professionalism. We are dedicated to upholding the township adopted plans, codes, ordinances to ensure a safe, sustainable and enjoyable community for present and future residents.”

The department works with the design review board, planning commission and zoning board of appeals.

In 2021, the building department issued 1,537 permits, collecting $2,546,771 in fees. There were 85 new residential building permits, 1,204 permits for residential additions, and 512 commercial permits issued, up from 350 commercial permits in 2020.

Voelker said in the fall of 2021, Bloomfield Township entered into an agreement to perform inspections, plan review and permitting services for Sylvan Lake, for which they collected $72,222.

“Building division permit, plan review and general fees were updated for the first time since 2005,” Voelker said. “An in-depth study was conducted to ensure that the building division was recuperating operating costs consistent with current market standards. The updated fees and forms went into effect July 5, 2021.”

Goals for the building division for 2022 include providing technical information and application requirements at the counter, over the phone and by email; promote and encourage the use of the website to increase efficiency and added convenience for customers; and collaborate with the clerks office to develop a plan to convert hard copy issued permit applications to an electronic copy.

“Overall, we had a very busy year, a very productive year, and we expect that to continue,” Voelker said.

Trustees accepted the report, 6-0, with supervisor Dani Walsh absent.

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