Wednesday, February 9, 2011


It seems like the folks in Oakland Township have contracted the disease that has infected West Bloomfield Township for many years.  It is called 'upscale-itis'.  This disease affects politicians and the NIMBYs.  Anything that even suggests we are not 'above the rest' of the populace causes fits of rhetoric at Township Board meetings with a subsequent rush to the attorneys.  SUE the b--t--ds!

In Oakland Township the issue is the Rochester Cider Mill.  The headline in today's Detroit Free Press reads:  Cider Mill owner could be fined for selling Christmas trees.   OMG. 

As a former Township official, I know how all this occurs.  The cider mill just does not fit the image of how we want our township to look.  Cider Mills?  How old-fashioned and totally low-end.  It's like having big box stores in the local strip mall.  No, no, no.  C'mon.  Franklin has a cider mill and they call themselves 'the town that time forgot'.  None of that for us trendsetters.

For example, in West Bloomfield we do not allow drive-through restaurants.  Of course not.  All of our residents are dining at The Lark.  No need to grab a coke on the go, let alone a burger.  We only sit-down at cloth napkin restaurants.  Give me a freakin' break. 

Another thing we do not allow is multi-level parking structures.  We carp about the coverage a homeowner is allowed for a patio on his property, then we tell hospitals and shopping centers to pave over everything to provide parking for their patrons.  How does this help the environment?  It doesn't, but it provides beautiful vistas when we drive by (that is how it was explained to me years ago by a planner).  It also does not allow penetration of the water into the soil, but hey, it's more 'upscale', right?

As for the NIMBYs, many of these people move in 'after the fact' and then complain, much like the folks who move near an airport and then complain about the noise.  Or buy a house near vacant property and then complain when the owner of said property wants to use it.  Or behind a shopping center and complain about the trash pick-ups from dumpsters.  Or the view of same.  I could go on.  I've seen and heard it all.

And people ask me why I retired from government.  Huh!

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