Saturday, June 23, 2012

Monday, June 25 @ 7 PM /Board to Pass Questionable Items?

Hi All,
Well, questionable items on the agenda Monday night?...Yes, I think so.  However, I believe the votes for each agenda item are predetermined and no matter what is said by the public, the township leadership has their vote already decided.

Here is the complete agenda copied from the township website:

LET'S START WITH # 3.  Liquor License Policy

I have been calling for this item to be taken off the TABLED list of the January 23, 2012  Board of Trustees meeting.  Go Here for the written minutes of that agenda item and Go Here for the audio/video recording of that January 23 meeting:

Pages 9-22 out of 206 pages in the PDF version of the "board packet"  discusses this item.

Well, to be more accurate, those pages in the current board packet show the FINAL COPY that the township board will vote on Monday night.  Another predetermined vote to be held. Apparently the new liquor license policy was written by the legal firm representing the township...and perhaps other township employee input?  Who knows?  More behind closed doors discussion and decision making by our township leaders?  Certainly no public "study session"  as indicated back in January.
This topic should first say on the June 25 agenda: "take from the table".  This is not a new item.
This topic should show in the board packet WHAT was on the agenda last January 23, 2012 ( the link needs to then click on Board of Trustees, then Board Packet, then Jan. 23, 2012)   when it was TABLED.
This topic should have had a "study session" held by the township leadership and open to the public. It did NOT. 
CORRECTION to my blog 6/24/12:  
OK.  So, when was the study session that the Board of Trustees said they needed back in their January meeting on the liquor policy?  March 15 at  8 AM.  Did you wake up in time? Did you know about it?  You won't see  a video/audio tape of the meeting archived because the Board of Directors refuse to approve taping even though they have the capability to do so.
Here are the minutes of the one hour and 40 minute STUDY SESSION meeting.  Rather short minutes for so long a meeting.  Notice who attended.  Another law firm.  Who were they representing at this meeting?  Our township attorney was present.  Different law firm.  Hmm...could it be the Maple Theater lawyers?  Why another law firm for OUR liquor license policy? Why couldn't this powerpoint and discussion been done at a Board of Trustees meeting at 7 pm?

End of correction to the blog.  Continue with original blog.

This topic should show in the current board packet....HOW the EXISTING POLICY has been changed or altered as there is currently a liquor license policy in effect and was referenced in January 2012.  What is different about this policy versus the one being changed in Jan.23, 2012?

The township leadership has allowed five months to pass....without addressing the problem of what the liquor license policy actually SAYS.....  meanwhile has accepted many liquor license applications...  and intends to approve those liquor license tonight or in the near future.

ARE THEY GETTING THE LIQUOR LICENSE UNDER THE NEW POLICY APPROVED TONIGHT?  Doubt it.  These minutes tonight must be approved first...and that won't happen until the next scheduled meeting.  Will the township table these liquor licenses to meet the new policy?

NOW TO AGENDA #4   Bagger Dave's Restaurant
From the Board Packet, Page 23-168   out of 206 pages    A lot of documents for this issue.


The parking study is flawed.  Assumptions were made that are not based on fact.  More details at the meeting.  Our tax dollars pay for a company that seems to always find a way for traffic and parking to work....just as needed for the projects to be a go.....even though the words "non-conforming" are often part of that decision.
The question of outdoor seating is in question.  At times, I read in the board packet that there is no outdoor seating, and other times there is outdoor seating.  WHICH IS IT?
What exactly is the applicant seeking for a liquor license?  The police review seems as though is it just Class C.  However, there is more in the application: (NOTE:  SDM...entertainment permit)

So, what is entertainment at Bagger Dave's Restaurant?  In the middle of a paragraph describing the alcohol they would serve is the following:

I NEVER saw any of this mentioned in the MINUTES of the Design Review Board or the Planning Commission meeting or in the parking study notes or the police or fire reports as to whether or not these types of "entertainment"  will have any effect on police, fire, parking, traffic, etc.   I believe these types of "entertainment" could on occasion, definitely change all the above mentioned reports. Did they know about this entertainment when writing their reports? 
IF THE ABOVE meetings were VIDEO/archived...we would know who knew about this "entertainment" and when....but we DON'T. 
Please ask your township leadership for open and transparent meetings that are video recorded and archived on the township website.

SO, WHAT IS BEING APPROVED and WHAT IS BEING PLANNED By Bagger Dave's Restaurant?  Should the liquor license decision be made Monday night?

NOW TO AGENDA #6   Maple Theater
The township at least recognized that this issue was tabled...and agenda item #5 removes the item from "tabled".  
However,  WHO made the decisions and WHY were the decisions made the way presented in this Monday night agenda?
There were changes made to ordinances and zoning to permit a "CINEMA" to have a Class C liquor license.  However, check out this preprinted form for the trustees in the board packet to be voted on Monday night:  Note: Entertainment Permit as part of liquor license:

It appears that the "decision".... is predetermined....  although I never read or heard mentioned anything about this "entertainment permit" in previous meetings.  Might have missed it, but....
I did read an article written by Lisa Brody for Downtown publications on their on-line edition this information:
"... At that time, Goldstein said they planned to completely renovate the theaters and reopen them, while still maintaining the theaters as an independent art theater. Goldstein said that is still the plan, as well as upgrading it to an all digital theater so they will be able to provide alternative content, such as operas and Broadway shows.

"We also hope to start film programs," Goldstein said. Another innovation for the site, he said, is to offer family films on weekends in the mornings."

Excuse me???   in the mornings???   the times APPROVED for this site begins at NOON.  That does not allow for "morning" activity.  What REALLY is going to happen at this theater...movies?  coffee shop?  bar?   entertainment?  bake shop?   Where is their MENU of food at the concession stands?   What will people be able to purchase?  Hopefully , all will need a MOVIE TICKET !

continuing further in the article:
""Goldstein has great plans for the theater. It's the only movie theater in the township," Roncelli noted. "He plans to open a coffee house there during the day, when the movie theater is closed, with open windows. It's really a unique idea."

Goldstein confirmed that he has signed a deal with Great Lakes Coffee Shop to open a coffee cafe in the theater. Great Lakes Coffee has a roasting operation on Enterprise Court in Bloomfield Township. "They're opening their first coffee shop in midtown Detroit, and this will be their second," Goldstein said. "We're proud to have them."

One reason the issue was tabled on June 11 had to do with WHO could buy liquor at the "cinema". 
From the June 11 meeting:

 It is NOT CLEAR from the board packet "AGREEMENT"  letter from Bill Hampton, township attorney,  that anyone (of age) who enters the "theater area" may purchase alcohol and need not purchase a ticket for an actual movie.   Pages 177-179 out of 206 pages in the board packet for the June 25, 2012 meeting outline the agreement.

The two drink policy is mentioned, but not the SIZE of the drink.
No alcohol during G-rated movies.
No alcohol in the outdoor seating, but that may be changed with township approval.

Should this agenda item get approval for a liquor license Monday night....or is more information needed?

The Maple Theater is connected to a vacant bank building via a breezeway, which the theater has enclosed and is using as part of their operation.  The bank property is zoned O-1....since 1962 because of a special agreement with the adjacent residential area.  O-1 zoning is a great buffer to residential as to the type of business that can be located there.  The owners of the shopping center recently (June 18 Planning Commission meeting) requested that the vacant bank be REZONED to B-2.  They claim there is no potential renter for this bank....just want the zoning change.  The owners said they would like a business "complimentary" to the movie theater.  OK, what would that be?  It would be EASY to knock out a wall in the "breezeway" into the bank building to further extend this liquor license permit.  They already applied for the "entertainment" permit with alcohol.  If not that, what?  Other B-2 businesses could include FAST FOOD.  I hope the residential area is paying attention to all the issues before the township in this shopping complex at Maple and Telegraph Rd.
 Andiamo's, Steve's Deli, Bagger Dave's, Gallery, and Maple Theater....all with or soon to get liquor licenses.....with Hogan's, and others across the street....and Honey Tree Grille and a proposed ML Restaurant at Maple and Lahser......HOW MANY LIQUOR restaurants do we need in that area of the township?  These liquor licenses are LIMITED....why give them all out at one time in the same area?