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Quick Hits: Drive-Thru Food Officially Coming to Maple and Orchard Lake Intersection

The West Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees votes to approve a site plan, special land-use permit and stormwater management system at its meeting Monday in Town Hall.

After debating concerns regarding the best way to deal with stormwater detention and present contamination in the soil underground, West Bloomfield Township trustees approved a at the northwest corner of Maple Road and Orchard Lake Road on Monday.

"I think the project that you've proposed is really a beautiful, top-notch, very impressive project," West Bloomfield Township Treasurer Teri Weingarden said at the board meeting Monday in . "I was pleased to see the pictures provided and I could picture myself sitting in there."

This item was postponed at the so review could be done by the township’s environmental consultant. The board was concerned about the Planning Commission having voted to allow the site plan on a condition of a 25-year stormwater management system, utilizing an underground infiltration system. However, upon review by township engineering staff, a pipe system was proposed instead due to the presence of on-site contamination caused by the gas station that has occupied the property since 1997.

“West Bloomfield has previously never allowed (food) drive-thrus … we need to follow a set that (previous boards) have about how they felt about the township and the way the township was going,” said Trustee Howard Rosenberg. “You can understand why we're picking nits."

The township board agreed to ask applicant Mark Drane of Rogvoy Architects to get rid of some of the contamination underneath the site as part of the conditions for acceptance of his special land-use permit to build a drive-thru at the site.

Instead of the originally proposed filtration system, a 52-inch pipe system will be installed. A letter dated July 8 from township environmental consultant Steven Niswander states that redevelopment of this site will result in a significant improvement in water quality, green space and stormwater storage and that runoff will be decreased by 15 percent to 20 percent.

“(Niswander) indicated to me that ... when the excavation is done for the underground storage of the water, that it was his hope that much of the contaminated soils would be removed as well,” Clerk Catherine Shaughnessy said. “There will still be some contaminants, but as long as we don’t pass water through it and we’re not doing that, then the site was basically a secure contaminated site.”

The site plan, which calls for a two-story, 25,099-square-foot, mixed-use building with a first-floor coffee shop and a second-floor medical office on a 1.8-acre site, does not indicate when construction will begin. While a tenant has not officially been selected, the applicant indicated it is believed to be a Tim Hortons franchise.

A motion to approve the site plan was approved with a 7-0 vote.

Other meeting highlights

  • The board approved ballot language for a 10-year public safety millage renewal at a rate of 3.14 mills and an 11-year public safety millage renewal increase at a rate of 2.85 mills, as voted on at the June 27 meeting, with little change to the proposed language. According to documents provided, the renewal would allow the authority to collect $9.9 million in the first year if approved and levied, while the increase would allow the authority to collect $9 million in the first year. While the board may not endorse a position on the proposed millage, an amendment to consider funding a mailer to send to township residents detailing the positives and negatives of voting for or against the millage was agreed upon by the board. A motion to approve was passed with a 7-0 vote.
  • With a 7-0 vote, the board approved a motion to consider a concept to move operations from the second floor of Town Hall to the , pending further negotiations regarding the workload of the TV staff between the district and the Greater West Bloomfield Cable Commission, which provides Civic Center TV. Under the current concept, the commission would operate the district's educational access channel, WBTV (Channels 19 and 905) from the building and have the authority to renovate the building as needed, provided the commission pays for the cost.
  • With a 6-1 vote, the board approved an ordinance to adopt a for the official township website and various social media sites that the township operates. Trustee Steve Kaplan was the lone nay vote.

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