The private access drive has 15 new 22-foot LED light poles. The lighting complies with the illumination standards specified in the township’s zoning ordinance.

The private access drive has 15 new 22-foot LED light poles. The lighting complies with the illumination standards specified in the township’s zoning ordinance.

Photo provided by Howard Berenbon


Hospital addresses driveway lighting glare into neighborhood

By: Sherri Kolade | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published September 28, 2018

 The lights illuminate the extended driveway owned by Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.

The lights illuminate the extended driveway owned by Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.

Photo provided by Howard Berenbon

WEST BLOOMFIELD — A private driveway designed to enhance access to Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital is causing a glaring issue, according to a nearby resident.

The new driveway was recently completed on the north side of 14 Mile Road, leading to the Henry Ford Maple Grove parking lot and into the hospital, past Camelot Drive and across from Berryhill Street in Farmington Hills.

The driveway is getting attention from some nearby West Bloomfield residents, like Ray Dembek, who said in an email that at various meetings, there were concerns raised about the effect this driveway would have on the West Bloomfield Woods subdivision he lives in.

The subdivision is on Drake Road, between West 14 Mile Road and West Maple Road, near the hospital.

“There were concerns about noise, safety, lighting and the effect this would have on traffic on 14 Mile Road,” Dembek said.

Dembek said that instead of installing lights on short poles as on the other driveways at the hospital, they installed higher light poles with “very bright lighting.”  

Township officials said that the 15 new light poles are 22 feet tall and are topped with LED lights.

“This was very annoying for some of our members who live next to this area,” Dembek said. The issue has sparked conversation among subdivision members. 

Township Supervisor Steve Kaplan said that residents are being heard. Kaplan said in an email that the lighting complies with the illumination standards specified in the township’s zoning ordinances.

“The residents have valid concerns in raising the issue of bright and glaring lights,” Kaplan said.  “Our residents deserve to enjoy their homes without extraneous intrusions such as bright lights and loud noises emanating from nearby businesses and homes.”

Kaplan said the hospital has been responsive to the residents’ complaints and concerns.

“And (it) has made efforts to reduce the severity of the outdoor lights,” Kaplan said. “The hospital wants to be a ‘good neighbor’ to the neighbors. I am confident that the hospital will rectify the disturbances by way of working with its lighting vendor. The hospital already has reduced the number of outdoor light fixtures.”

Stephanie Scheer, a senior public relations specialist for Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, said that the lights are part of the hospital’s property, and the hospital operates the lights.

“Obviously, we have to light that driveway because the lights were just installed, and last week (the week of Sept. 17) they were glaring into (residents’) homes, and we took that concern very seriously,” she said, adding that, currently, two of the lights in question have been shut off, but others remain on. “They (hospital staff) are already looking into it ... to make sure that is not an issue anymore. … It’s not an issue right now; we’re looking at solutions to ensure that doesn’t happen anymore.”

Scheer said that on Sept. 27, a ribbon cutting took place to show first responders and others who will frequent the private driveway what it looks like. The driveway will remain closed for public use until the light situation is sorted out; it is also still under construction.

“We’re super appreciative of (residents) bringing the issue to us now. … We can make these fixes now,” Scheer said. “It is a really cool thing we have for our emergency traffic to have that secondary access (driveway); if there are ever issues on Maple Road, we have ... other access points for other emergencies.”

Scheer said that secondary access point is right on the border of the township and Farmington Hills.

“It’s actually pretty cool, because those coming from Farmington will have another access (point) too. … The positive thing is we do have another emergency exit.”

Dave Groth, the administrator of support services at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, said that it is the hospital’s intention to better serve the community with the secondary emergency access extended drive.

He said that the hospital is working with contractors and is communicating with neighbors to make sure the driveway is “safe to drive on.” 

“We’ll be monitoring and maintaining the (driveway) ourselves,” he said. “We really want to make sure the light situation is proper before we move forward.” 

Kaplan said that months ago, the township’s Planning Commission approved the light fixture plans.  

“We intend to have our electrical inspector examine (on Sept. 27) the locations of the light poles and the brightness of the lights to determine whether improvements can be made to alleviate the residents’ concerns about the exterior lighting,” he said.

For more information, go to www.henryford.com/locations/west-bloomfield.