This is not an official blog of the City. It is the work of Mark Kapel who is solely responsible for content.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mayor Hardy Writes: Woodward Avenue Landmark Kingsley Radisson Hotel for Sale.


 The Mayor revealed that in the current Spring 2014 edition of the Hills Highlights, the official newsletter of the City. Writing in a front page article she claimed  "the  only thing official about the news (of the for sale status) is that  it is true !" 

She then adds,  "That when  the sale officially takes place, we predict  the site will be one more  inviting  destination in the fair City of Bloomfield Hills."

The matter was discussed at the March City Commission meeting under the catch all topic "other business" which usually occurs at the last item on the Agenda. While not mentioned by name the predominant location of the Kinsley  was hinted at, as was the fact that it is zoned differently on three of the four sides. The rooms on the second floor of  the motel like adjacent structure also present zoning problems.

Commissioner  Sherr said the proposed sale was perfect  for a PUD or Planned Unit of  Development.

 According to the Michigan Association of Planning, a PUD is a development processes that ties the a site plan to zoning approval and allows modification of zoning standards  where innovative design can achieve significant benefits to the community. Mixed land is usually the key in a PUD. It has also been said that PUDs are all about negotiation between City and Developer.

There are requirements for a PUD and one of them is minimum site area. Commissioner McClure said a PUD was more applicable when considering something large like the sale of a golf course. Significant natural features or unique site characteristics are also requirements.

The Plaza Shopping Center on Woodward at Long Lake is a recent example of a PUD for development purposes.  Today  it is still debated today as to whether the City or developer or for that matter the city residents got the best deal of that PUD. There the property was much larger than the Kingsley's  It also had uphill topography on two sides, and was intended to replace a gas station and historic building with a  shopping center, and parking while maintaining a pleading countenance.

Most recently at the April City Commission meeting  that PUD was revisited  with an amendment to replace the closed  Fox  Grill with another restaurant. Visible outdoor topics of discussion in the amendment approval process included signage, entrance awning, and landscape.

In the City of Bloomfield Hills as every citizen and City official knows  however,  "For sale" is not absolute. In many cases the"for sale" sign (if there even is one)  means "just fishing"  It is a bit of a game in the City of Bloomfield Hills. So stay tuned.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

April 8th City of Bloomfield Hills Commission Meeting

To see the meeting in its 1 hour and 36 minute entirety Click Here

City Commission 
Agenda for Meeting April 8, 2014 

The regular meeting of the City Commission will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, 
April 8, 2014 at City Hall 45 E. Long Lake Road Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304. Phone 
248.644.1520, FAX 248.644.4813. 

1. Call to order and Pledge of Allegiance. 

2. Consent Agenda 
A. Bills Payable for March 2014. 
B. Department Reports: 
a. Finance Director / Treasurer 
b. Public Safety 
c. DPW 
d. Building 
e. Engineering 
C. Minutes: 
a. City Commission Regular Meeting held March 11, 2014. 
b. City Commission Special Meeting held March 18, 2014. 
D. Correspondence: 
 a. Memo from City Manager: 2013 – 2014 Goals. 

3. Recognition of Citizens in the audience. 
4. The commission will consider an Agreement with Baldwin Library and adoption 
of a resolution to approve ballot language. 
5. The commission will consider adoption of a resolution setting a fee schedule 
under the grass and noxious weed ordinance. 
6. The commission will consider approval of an agreement to join the Major Case 
Assistance Team for the Department of Public Safety. 
7. The commission will discuss the north city entrance sign. 
8. The commission will hear City Manager comments. 

9. The commission will hear an update on individual lead responsibilities. 

10. The commission will consider other business. 


March 11 City of Bloomfield Hills Commission Meeting

To see this meeting in its 2 hours and 35 minutes in its entirety   click here.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

NCAA "March Madness App" allows Spartan and Wolverine Basketball Fans a chance to relive the glory and cram for finals!

Lets's review. The NCAA basketball tournament began two weeks ago with high expectations for both Michigan State and Michigan.  Tomorrow a  victory for either school will earn them a regional championship trophy and send  them to the Final Four for a possible National Championship. If both schools were  to win a game in the final four Michigan State and Michigan would play each other for that championship. While, the possibility of such a meeting is remote it is  a lot less remote than it was when the tournament began. 

On Sunday at 2:02 on CBS Channel 62Michigan State plays the University of Connecticut to decide the East Regional Champion. The Game will be played in New York's Madison Garden and the winner will advance to the Final Four to play the South Regional Champion which is The University of Florida. Loser is eliminated.

On Sunday at 5:05 on CBS Channel 62, The University of Michigan will play the University of Kentucky  to determine the Midwest Regional Champion. The Game will be played in Indianapolis at the Lucas Oil Stadium and the winner will  go to the Final Four to play the West  Regional Champion which is the University of Wisconsin. Loser is eliminated

In short if Michigan or Michigan State win  their next two games they will play each other in an all BIG Ten championship game. Such a pairing of Big Ten schools in the Championship game hasn't happened  since 1976 when Michigan lost to Indiana.

If any or all of this is new or news  to you, Catch Up is as close as your computer, tablet, or even some cellular phones. It is available about as free as free can be.

 At no charge the NCAA provides a March Madness  app (short for application)  which downloads easily to  a computer or tablet. We have tried it and used it with, a  MacBook Pro, an HP portable running Windows 7, a Kindle Fire HD, and a Kindle 7" HDX. The app called March Madness can be accessed by typing "March Madness" into the search engine of a computer or by "shopping" for the free app on a tablet. Regrettably we have no first hand experience with the app on a mobile phone but instructions that come with the app  may be helpful.

The  March Madness App performs differently depending on platform it is used on and it took us a while to figure out all the possibilities. That depends on one's  viewing and life style preferences. For example on an actual computer you may view or review any of the previous played Tournament games. The games are available in their entirety and you may watch them more than once. pause, and fast forward.

On  the Kindle tablets entire games do not replay. You may however review game  in the form of a  2 minute highlight video, or by a time line hopping highlight to highlight. 

Particularly useful on tablets and  computer versions is color bar analysis  of  each teams stats before the game and and similar post game color bar which shows lead changes  during the game. Such guides will tell you when to watch, and what to watch for, thus making you an instant expert.

You may ask  how  or  why  such a service is available free of charge and the answer is three fold and interesting.

The NCAA has been at the fore front of  streaming college sports for years.  This  winter  many of its NCAA  sports championships have been streamed (put on computer for you to view) free of charge. This is keeping with the organization's goal of providing the same championship experience and exposure for all it's athletes in all events.

In 2010 the NCAA, CBS (Columbia Broadcasting) and the Turner Cable TV (TNT, TBS and True Crime TV) signed an unprecedented  multi decade package  to carry  each and every game of (68 this year)  of the NCAA Basketball Tournament to fans at little or no cost. 

 The CBS games are broadcast over the air on regular television.

The Cable viewer whose cable subscription  includes the TNT, TBS, or True Crime TV channels can watch all the games live. 

Anyone with the free  March Madness App and the aid of a computer  and/or tablet  can enjoy the the tournament via the repeats and review functions  we have described above. 

The third component in making all such viewing possible the sponsors. Many have been supporting NCAA events for years. Note them and thank them whenever possible.

With March Madness on your computer or tablet Michigan State fans have until 2:02 tomorrow to review Spartan victories over Delaware, Harvard, and Virginia as well as boning up on opponent Connecticut's wins over  St. Joseph, Villanova, and Iowa State.

Likewise Michigan fans have until 5:05 tomorrow to review Michigan's triumphs over  Wolford, Texas, and Tennessee,  and opponent Kentucky's win over Kansas State, Wichita State, and Louisville.

It is expected that March Madness the app  will be available through the Final Four. Post game interviews with coaches and players are also streamed to computer or tablet viewers.

Can you think of any other sporting event that gives you such an unprecedented opportunity as the free of charge "March Madness?" app  We think not.