Saturday, February 17, 2018

Planning Commission: Will they be the obedient "PUPPET" ?

Hi All,
 Step ONE of many meetings coming soon:   Call for Public Hearing @ 7 pm Planning Commission meeting 2/19/18

Well, the township has finally put the "Project" at the corner of South Boulevard and Squirrel Road that has had the neighborhoods upset (for the most part) since late 2015, on the Planning Commission agenda.  After two years, the Developer of one lot and the Township Treasurer Kepes owning the other lot,  seem to have the Township's  leadership and Planning Department's blessing as to what MAY occur.   Years of "manipulation".  FYI:  I don't think there are a handful of neighboring residents who want what is being proposed.   There are MANY issues to overcome.  The township has linked the many issues  all together... basically saying and perhaps confusing the PC members.  By linking all the issues into one Public Hearing,  the public has only 3 minutes to discuss many different issues that will be voted on.   The PC members have hundreds of pages and documents to understand with mostly just the developer and township point of view.   This is not fair.  Wear down the public until they give up.  I wonder, also, is there pressure on the PC members to make a decision immediately?    This entire project could have been handled so different and fairly.  

One:    yes, the lot owners  have the right to develop the land.  But in what way?   So,  a lot split between the two parties can be accomplished.  However,  should the Consent Judgment be decided first?  Should the RE- Zoning be considered first?  Should the Site Plan be decided first?   If the zoning doesn't pass the township boards, will the developers still want to split the lots?  If the Site Plan is denied or forced to be changed in a major way would the 2 lot owners still want to split the land in the manner proposed?

Two:   the consent judgment currently on the land says Commercial Zoning.  The township has "manipulated" the issue of what this land could/should/ perhaps be used for by hiring Giffels Webster for a land use study (survey included many outside of this area/neighborhood) and by re-writing the Master Plan to MATCH what the developers wanted.    So,  the re-writing of the Master Plan with an amendment "co-incidently" mirrors what the developers want on this corner. 
Three:  since the "manipulation" noted above resulted in "facts"  to support  both residential and business at this corner,  the re-zoning is asking for RM multi-family housing (59 apt.) on less than 10 acres of a combination of the O-1 lot owned by Treasurer Kepes and a portion of the currently zoned B-1 (with Consent Judgment).   ALSO  a change from B-1 Local Business to  B-2 Community Business on less than 3 acres/ with 2 commercial buildings each with a drive-thru window.
For the record:  most neighboring subdivisions did not want ANY commercial.  The township basically through the land use study and Master Plan re-write w/ amendment didn't listen to the public.   Certainly, the public does not want  B-2 ZONING  that allows much more high traffic businesses such as fast food restaurants.  But, that is what is being asked for...not the more neighbor friendly B-1 zoning.

Four:  the site plan originally had been "unofficially" presented to the township at a "town hall" meeting that didn't go well for the developer.  My opinion.  You would think that the project would have changed and reflected more of what they heard at that meeting.   NOT.   Almost all meetings and deliberations presented to the various boards (often with no public comment permitted) were what the developers wanted and the township steered the agenda that way.  Some people have met with one of the developers.  Did it make a difference?  Maybe more landscaping ?  Don't know.  I don't see a material change from the first "unofficial" presentation. 

Five:  this proposed  project is so congested on the property that it needs the adjacent closed Fifth Third Bank (currently for sale) to grant an easement over their property (which would run with the land which a new owner must accept)   and for the proposed commercial lot to allow the use of their property for an entrance to the residential property so fire trucks can maneuver in/out of the residential streets of this apartment /proposed RM multi-family rental project.  

Six:  THIS site plan has so many VARIANCES  needed on both the residential proposed lot and the commercial proposed  lot.     FYI:   The township plans to send the Site Plan to the Zoning Board of Appeals and most likely the Wetlands Board   BEFORE the PUBLIC HEARING  of all three of these issues at the Board of Trustees meeting. 
On February 19, 2018 @ 7 pm,  the Township will present to the PC Board a proposed project that has been ongoing for years that involves the current Treasurer and a Developer working together with the township leadership and planning department,  basically ignoring the voices of the public. 
WILL THE PC members be what I call  "Savoie and gang"'s   obedient "PUPPET"  and approve this agenda as submitted?    I hope not.  
My opinion.   Marcia

Previous BLOG by me on this subject:

All the following paragraphs below are copied from:   
Planning Commission, PC Packets, 2-19-18   a 338 page PDF document with the township's review of the "facts"/ details.   Obviously, I copied only a small section.  



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