Plans for 25-home development in Troy proceed

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published March 7, 2018

TROY — The Planning Commission gave the green light to the 25-home Oak Forest-4 development, on just less than 10 acres in the Square Lake and John R roads area, after residents’ concerns over traffic prompted a traffic study. 

The Planning Commission voted 7-0 to approve the preliminary site plans at the Feb. 27 meeting. Planning Commissioners John Tagle and Philip Sanzica were absent. 

The Planning Commission voted 7-0 to postpone consideration of the preliminary site plan at its Dec. 12 meeting after more than a dozen residents voiced concerns about traffic. 

The Planning Commission directed the city staff to meet with residents, police and the city’s traffic consultant to look at traffic calming devices to lessen the development’s impact on the neighborhoods. 

“The plans have not changed in any way, shape or form since the last time the Planning Commission considered it,” said Ben Carlisle, of Carlisle/Wortman Associates, the city’s planning consultant. 

In the traffic study, OHM Advisors states: “The existing traffic concerns in the Golf Trail subdivision are not expected to worsen as a result of the proposed cross-connectivity with Oak Forest; it is possible they will improve instead as residents gain additional routing options once Willow Grove is paved.” 

OHM traffic engineer Sara Merrill told the Planning Commission at the Feb. 27 meeting that Player Drive would see a “slight” increase in traffic as a result of the development — one additional vehicle every four minutes during peak morning drive times, and one additional vehicle every three minutes in the peak evening drive times. 

Seven residents spoke at the meeting, citing concerns with increased traffic and the existing traffic backups at Rochester Road and Player Drive. 

Merrill said that the Road Commission for Oakland County would be responsible for making any changes to traffic signals. 

About 200 people signed a petition, which was submitted to the Planning Department the afternoon of Feb. 27, asking for a temporary barricade on Trillium Drive. 

The petition states: “As part of approval of Oak Forest No. 4 preliminary site plan by the Troy Planning Commission, we the undersigned homeowners of Golf Trail subdivision request the installation of a temporary barricade at Trillium where it is proposed to meet Willow Grove Drive until Willow Grove has been paved from Square Lake to end of Willow Grove.”

Planning Director R. Brent Savidant told the Planning Commission that he submitted the petition to City Manager Brian Kischnick the afternoon of Feb. 27. 

Savidant explained to C & G Newspapers that the site will be developed as approved, which does not include the barricade. 

Troy Assistant City Attorney Alan Moczny told the Planning Commission that the city zoning ordinance allows the Planning Commission to make a recommendation on the barricade, but said the Traffic Committee would be a more appropriate body to bring the matter forward. 

OHM did not support installation of a temporary barricade. 

Residents of the Golf Trail subdivision met with city staff, traffic engineers and engineers for the developer at Troy City Hall Jan. 9. 

Merrill said the location on Trillium Drive for the barricade put forward by the residents “poses a concern for maintenance vehicles. There is not enough room for city plows, school buses, mail delivery trucks, all that, to physically turn around,” Merrill said. 

“Based on the speeds and volumes along Player, along Trevino — we don’t feel it’s necessary,” she said. “It would be a detriment. My recommendation is to maintain connectivity. However, should the Planning Commission and City Council decide to place an EVA (barrier), we would strongly recommend against placing it on Trillium.” 

Troy Planning Commission Chair Ollie Aphidean said he feels more comfortable having the Traffic Committee start the review process for placement of a barrier. 

“We don’t control what the Traffic Committee does. We have a right as a Planning Commission to take this up,” said Planning Commissioner Donald Edmunds, who said he’s lived in the Golf Trail subdivision for 40 years. 

Planning Commissioner Karen Crusse said she would not support a resolution to encourage a barrier. 

“We have our expert traffic consultant who has indicated, in her expert opinion, it’s not necessary and it would not be useful,”  she said. 

The homes in the proposed Oak Forest-4 development would come in four styles, from 2,500-square-foot ranches to 3,750-square-foot colonials. The colonials would be priced at around $495,000. John Thompson, spokesman for the developer, said at the Dec. 12 meeting that they had not yet set a price for the ranches.