Wednesday, December 7, 2011

WED: 12/7/11 -Design Review Board @ 2 pm: Cell Tower on Agenda

Hi All,
Immediate question for today's Design Review Board agenda Wednesday, 12/7/11 @ 2 PM:
What is agenda item B. 2. CELL TOWER ?
Nothing is described in the agenda as to the issue:   ie:  is it existing or proposed new or what? The fact that there is no Board Packet to review doesn't help.
Does this property back up to residential areas?
Will any final decision be made today?  
Should this item been scheduled before the Planning Commission on Monday 12/5/11? (That meeting was cancelled.)

More Questions About the Legality of the Design Review Board as it currently exists:
The Design Review Board is three people: the Township Supervisor, Clerk and Treasurer.  Alternates to the committee are elected Trustees.  This committee was formed by ordinance:
1. Creation. The Design Review Board is hereby
created and established for the charter
Township for the purposes of assisting the
Township Planning Commission and Township
Board to preserve, protect and enhance the
aesthetic appeal of the Township, protect
property values through the application of good
design principles, and promote the general
health, safety and welfare of the community
This Board was created to ASSIST the Planning Commission and the Township Board...but the DRB.... IS three members of the Township Board.

The Design Review Board meets at 2 pm when most citizens cannot attend due to work schedules.  The agenda is posted only 18 hours before the meeting and no Board Packet is included as to the particular issue of each agenda item.  Every agenda item is discussed with no microphone and no technical means to share architectural plans or other information concerning the project with the public in attendance.  Just a "cozy" conversation between the Board, employees from the Planning Department and the petitioner(s) of the agenda item at a group of small tables set up in the room.  However, decisions ARE being made by only the 3 elected officials.
The Planning Commission on the other hand is a group of 7 residents that have been appointed by the Board of Trustees for three year terms,  including one person who is a current Trustee.  The regularly scheduled meetings are the first and third Monday's of the month @ 7 pm.  The microphones and projectors are in use for the audience to hear and view the agenda item.  The Planning Commission was cancelled this past Monday (12/5/11).  No reason was given. However, by the looks of the agenda for today's Design Review Board, there were items to be discussed. 

Last archived minutes for the Planning Commission:  September 19, 2011.    
The Design Review Board minutes include  many meetings after 9/19/11.

I do not believe it is in the best interest of this community to have the 3 elected officials performing the duties of the Planning Commission.  I have asked for a legal opinion concerning the Design Review Board as it currently exists.  I sent an email to Supervisor Savoie on November 1, 2011, asking the following:
"Question:  Is the Design Review Board (as it is currently configured with only elected members on the Board) a legal board in a Township?
All I want to know...can the elected Township officials:
write an ordinance creating a Design Review Board;
state what responsibilities that Board would have;
designate themselves as the only members of that Board;
name alternates with no stated expiration term limit

effectively making the elected officials the first to review/make decisions and recommendations and also to be the last group making the FINAL decisions?"
A reply from an email from Supervisor Savoie on November 3 indicated to me that he has asked the Township attorney, Bill Hampton, to provide a written opinion.
"To:     Bill Hampton <>
 Bill,    When you are back in town could you please refer to the question below and give us a written opinion as of the legality of the Design and Review Board."
December 7, 2011 update:  I have received NO news of a recent legal opinion from the Township concerning the Design Review Board.

Here is today's agenda for the Design Review Board, Wednesday, December 7, 2011  @ 2pm  (in part):

III. New Items:
A. Signs:
1. 2157 Telegraph Rd. – Ulta Beauty – Wall Sign
2. 2519 W. Maple Rd. – Total Tennis – Wall Sign
3. 43141 Woodward Ave. – Bloomfield Urgent Medical – Wall Sign
4. 2172 Franklin Rd. – Fred Astaire Dance Studio – Wall Sign
5. 36880 Woodward Ave. – Sayeg Plastic Surgery / Joann M. Smith, MD – Wall Sign
6. 3655 W. Maple Rd. – Pure Hair – Wall Sign
7. 6801 Telegraph Rd. – Fifth Third Bank – Ground and Wall Sign
B. Site Improvements:
1. 3951 W. Maple Rd. – Oakland Hills Country Club – Entry Way / Landscaping
2. 6785 Telegraph Rd. – Vestevich Office Building – Cell Tower
3. 37000 Woodward Ave. – Frank Simon Building – Site Revisions / Landscaping
C. Site Plans:
1. Bloomfield Hills Shopping Center – ATM Kiosk

(agenda) Posted: Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

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