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Best Outcome Would Have Been:
Three Affordable Units
Out of Maximum Allowable of 16 - not 42

As reported in a June 12, 2024, Detroit Free Press article, residents objected to the pay-to-play scheme behind the approval of 42 units at the former bank building site at 4704 Rochester - instead of the maximum of 16. Of these 42 units, only three will be designated "affordable housing".

 

Far more suitable would have been if there were three affordable units designated out of the

16 maximum allowed.

 

No one would have objected to that.

 

Affordable housing is welcome - it's the very small units, super high density and resulting lack of parking and increased traffic that are the problem. Providing three affordable units does not justify almost tripling the density. People living in affordable housing deserve a better quality of life than living in a motel-room-sized apartment without adequate green space or other amenities.

Detroit Free Press reporter Bill Laytner stated in the June 12, 2024, article in part:

'One of the group’s leaders, Rudy Stuglin, said that he "wants the neighborhood to continue with one-story houses, not four-story buildings.” The area's housing stock is almost entirely single-story ranch houses built in the 1950s,  and zoned for single-family occupancy. The new apartment building would be nearly four stories high.

On Monday night, the same residents jammed a Royal Oak City Commission meeting. They spoke in sharp opposition to the project and brandished petitions with hundreds of signatures against it. Brian Herman, who lives two blocks east of the site, said he was shocked that commissioners were ignoring the wishes of homeowners who paid taxes. “We’re told that we don’t know what’s good for our neighborhood,” Herman said. Royal Oak's city commissioners “show extreme bias for the developer,” he said.

The protesters had petitions with enough signatures to throw a challenge at the elected officials. To approve the apartments, the officials needed a two-thirds majority — that is, at least five of the seven commissioners. Yet, that was no challenge at all. Despite residents’ heated protests, the commissioners voted 7-0 in favor.' [...]

'As he has in the past, Fournier skirted the allegations of critics who said, during public comment, that Fournier received campaign donations from the development’s architect and from others who promoted the project. Trish Oliver, a 38-year resident of the city, said Fournier was supporting the plan only because he’d taken "special interest money.” Oliver said that Fournier, as well as Douglas, "paid back their obligations to those who gave them the money" by supporting certain projects such as the apartment plan. Douglas did not address Oliver's statement.'

The former Huntington Bank building at 4704 Rochester Rd., Royal Oak

Bill Laytner/Detroit Free Press photo

Residents protest a city plan to put 42 units in on a site zoned for 16.

Bill Laytner/Detroit Free Press photo

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