The Planning Commission is meeting Monday, July 16 @ 7 PM. Other than approving old minutes, there is only one agenda item:
III. Public Hearing
A. Proposed Amendments to the Zoning Ordinance – Rezoning from O-1, Office, to B-2, Community Business, a portion of the Bloomfield Plaza Shopping Center known as 4145 W. Maple Rd.
I believe this agenda item should END at the Planning Commission meeting and NOT be recommended to go forward to the Board of Trustees.
PLEASE REVIEW THE "MEETING PACKET" LINK ABOVE
Here is WHY:
The shopping center owners (at the SW corner of Telegraph and Maple) are requesting the change in Zoning for a building that is adjacent to residential. This is the BUFFER building and the O-1 current zoning protects the residential area from the kinds of uses that are permitted in a B-2 zoned area.
This property has been protected since 1962 with a special agreement with the township. That agreement will be broken if the township approves rezoning.
The particular building is a former (now vacant) bank. It is attached to the Maple Theater Cinema that was just granted a Class C liquor license and entertainment permit. Is there a plan to use this building with the recently granted liquor license/entertainment? No plans have been made public.
Most importantly for DENYING this change in zoning is: there is no new ANNOUNCED tenant for the space. Are there potential tenants that have already approached the owners of the shopping center that may be "controversial" and don't want to raise public attention? Are there tenants just waiting in the background for the zoning change to happen? Just asking.
This potential change in ZONING should be applied for with a specific tenant in place. B-2 zoning does allow for fast food restaurants. That use would be adjacent to the back yards of residential. Ask the people near Woodward and Square Lake what they think of the townships permitting a Tim Horton's fast food restaurant in their back yard.
Once this change in Zoning occurs...it will NOT go back to Office....and the residential area adjacent to this shopping center...including the back yards to the P-zoned areas (Parking Lot) will find the possibility of a building and use of those spaces that may not be welcomed.
The time to speak up is NOW. Once the change in Zoning is made....all legal uses of B-2 zoning will be considered and be difficult to stop.
I SAY STOP THIS PROCESS NOW...and DO NOT SEND IT TO THE TOWNSHIP BOARD
Please advise friends and family that live in the area of Telegraph and Maple to attend the meeting. Attendance and comments can make a difference at this meeting. The planning commission is a recommending board. The decision can only be at the Township Board of Trustees. That is why it is important to convince the planning board to stop this at this stage.
If you live near a shopping center, changes could happen there. This is your community. Promises made to protect the residential areas from commercial development are being challenged.
When a potential tenant comes to the township with plans and a business model for this location, THEN it is time to present to the community and the nearby residents what action should be taken as to the zoning and related issues. A new tenant may actually be one that only requires O-1 zoning.
The appointed citizens that make up the RECOMMENDING Planning Commission Board, should act FOR the other residents of Bloomfield Township and STOP this zoning request for this vacant bank building because the future use has NOT BEEN DETERMINED. The Planning Commission does NOT need to forward this to the Board of Trustees.
Remember this: The first step was the Design Review Board...which is three trustees....they already said ...yes.
The last step is the Board of Trustees...they only need one more vote yes and the Zoning is changed. Don't let this issue get to the Board of Trustees. Please attend the PUBLIC HEARING.