Thursday, November 2, 2017

Proposal for 708 SEAT "Meeting Room": 11-6-17 @7 pm

Hi All,
choose Planning Commission/  from drop down menu click on PC PACKETS/  then choose 2017/  then choose  Nov. 6    document is 124 pages long  but this agenda item is PDF  pages 5- 48
  • The Design Review Board met @ 2pm on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017.   The agenda was posted on the township website sometime on Oct. 31, 2017,   only  18 Hours before the meeting.  It was forwarded to the Planning Commission for Monday, November 6, 2017 @ 7 pm.
  • I encourage all to attend and learn more and express your opinion, whatever it may be.   The township and the developer have been apparently communicating  for more than one/two years although I have not found any public meeting for this topic.   Monday night, each person will have 3 minutes of public comment.  The Planning Department will post the agenda later today.  Be sure to go to the Planning Department PACKET for Nov. 6, 2017... as there should be more details than in this blog.  Much of my information came from the Design Review Board Packet for Nov. 1, 2017.

  • My first thought when seeing this on the agenda was - did the International Academy change their name?  Answer: NO.   This is property adjacent to that school.  However,  I never heard of this school (Sterling Academy South) so I did some investigating especially since the LAND USE/SITE PLAN proposed  "meeting room"  is a completely separate building to be built with seating for 708, have a large foyer space and lavatories plus new parking lot for over 236 cars.  That sounds more like an auditorium.     With almost 3x the number of seats vs parking spaces,  where will excess vehicles go?  Into the surrounding neighborhoods?
  • ASSESSING department has 1050 E. Square Lake
    Parcel Number: C -19-12-101-002
    property belonging to:
    PO BOX 3707
    MILFORD, CT 06460-0947
  • Sale Date    5/24/2013

    Sale Price $1,200,000
    taxes paid in 2013 for the 7.985 acres as residential homestead:  $34,598.81
    Total taxes paid in 2014,2015,2016,2017:  $0   since it is now a school   non-profit
    apparently the school is called: 

    Sterling Academy South
     The Assessing Dept.  calls this property: Commercial/Industrial 
    Says it has 1 building, yet the sketch shows 2.  Built in 1960.

  • So I searched for Sterling Academy South. 
  • Private school;  grades 3-12;   43 students(248) 731-717
  •  When I called that number I got an answering machine saying "Oakland School and Extension"  directing me to different extensions to reach different people.   I didn't press any, just waited, waited, and then a man's voice/recorded said Alderbrook School.  Leave a message.    So.. I heard 2 different names for what I thought I was calling Sterling Academy South.  WHAT?  
  • Next I searched for Sherman Program, Inc.
  •    NOTE:  I did NOT sign in or create an account with Guidestar,  so basically got limited information.
  • This Guidestar link stated that SHERMAN PROGRAM, INC    is located in Troy, MI

  • Mission (statement) :   The organization's primary purpose is to provide subsidized travel to-attend -religious- meetings- and -travel, and provide hardship relief to the Brethren.
  • Ruling Year     2014
  • Main Address     2144 Grenadier Dr., Troy, MI  48098

  • EIN   38-3303626

  •  Number     765774956
  • Cause Area (NTEE Code)
  • Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)
  • IRS Filing Requirement
  • This organization is not required to file an annual return with the IRS because it is a church.    I highlighted and enlarged this sentence.

 Well,  that fact caught my attention even more. 
  • I did more investigating:
  • NO TAXES PAID to Bloomfield Township since the property was bought in 2013.  
  • QUESTION: (hypothetical)
If  a property owner is RENTING their property and buildings... to a non-profit/ school/church....  does that mean the property owner does not have to pay TAXES?  
Or,  is it just if the non-profit/ school/church  owned the property... it was tax exempt?

  • Why would a school with 43 students need another building to seat over 700 people?  I guess it doesn't.  I think it is a church (owner of property?) that is proposing this building on this same lot as the school.  Is the school renting? owned by property owner?
  •  From the Plans... it appears that a 3rd driveway is proposed on this almost 8 acre lot that would bypass the school and go directly to the proposed parking area and proposed "meeting" building.
  • This project has many ID's.    "DETROIT Meeting Room" may be the client, but what is this building going to be called?  

37900 MOUND RD

  • Are the owners of the property...Sherman Program, Inc. .... a religious organization?   Or a company? Who is the "client" proposing this project?  Same address for Detroit Meeting Room and Sherman Program, Inc.    
  • This entire project seems confusing to me.   
  • From the plans, perhaps a LOT SPLIT is necessary?  How many different uses and buildings can be put on one residential property for non-profit use?
  • What about the wetlands?  
  • What about the residential neighborhood?  
  • What about adding a gigantic building  and huge parking lot on a residential lot?  
  • Will the township allow this SIZE project for a religious group (not sure what religious group)  that reports (at the DRB meeting)  less than 300 people as members?   Is this needed?
  • Where are those people currently meeting for religious services? 
  • From the DRB meeting,   EVENING HOURS and ALL WEEKEND DAYS...   ???
  • Lots of questions.  Looking for answers.    Please attend the  Planning Commission meeting on MONDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2017  @ 7 PM

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