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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Master Plan Who is your Daddy ?

Hills Highlights Spring 2009 #79. Click on to enlarge.

By early 2009, the Projects  had the Tom Toms beating. The natives were restless. It should be noted however that in the City of Bloomfield Hills, which prides itself on being unique, even the Tom Toms were different.One did not thump on animal hides, make phone calls, or ring door bells. Instead one wrote a letter, and had it professionally printed and mailed every household in the city. The cost of such an endeavour was estimated at  $1300 at a Cheap Charly's  to $1700 at the Creme de le Creme. With the latter you could get upgrades  like a little "Urgent Projects Alert ! Please Read ." message for the envelope. In the tough economic times having a bevy of signers who also might also help defray the cost was not considered gauche. 

The concern about the projects  helped  the Master Plan. The Plan said  NO to commercial development. . The Project letters urged readers to vote for commissioner  McCready, and Mayor Zambricki who could not succeed himself  as Mayor but would be running for commission. It was believed that McCready and Zambricki  were  champions of the Master Plan and they would listen to the people.

 Then a couple rather candid articles is  in the Hills Highlights  which should have raises a series of embarrassing questions slipped by, as did the years, before those questions were eventually asked.It seems the Master Plan  wasn't  like  Chicken in a Bucket that you pick up on the way home,eat what you want, and discard the rest. The Master Plan was a child of  State Law and it required a certain protocol.
 State Law required "each city" to have a Master Plan. That meant the City of Bloomfield Hills had to have
one. Mayor Zambricki implied as much  when he said the city "was completing the most comprehensive revision to the Master Plan in City History." That meant there was an old unrevised one. Where was it ? What did it say ? How was the new one different ? A year later Mr. Zambricki  again in a Hills Highlight article referred to the Master Plan Tune Up of 2009 and again no one asked. "do you mean to say that immediately after it's inception in 2009 the Master Plan needed a tune up or are you again  as you apparently were in 2009, referring to an earlier master plan which was the predecessor our current plan ? And if so where is it, what did it say, and why was it revised ?"  One imagines an old,old Master Plan living in a shanty by the railroad tracks next to Department of Public Works. The truth is even stranger, which is  why such questions are seldom asked.

Click on to enlarge. Then click on right
hand corner  box for full size.

Yes,  There was an old Master Plan but per usual (see Master Plan: How it Got This Way) no one could remember  seeing it or recall what it said.. Then one bright fellow on the Master Plan Task Force paid a visit to the Department of Plans. He waited and waited and waited some more, while a clerk rummaged around in back. Eventually  the Clerk returned with  The City's Master Plan on a  single sheet of paper.
"That's all there was !  A single sheet ! Woefully inadequate!  I mean there are mandatory topics the plans must cover like Land Use and Transportation that could hardly be put on a single sheet ," the  fellow explained. "The pressure was on .We  had to produce."

Was the City of Bloomfield Hills smarter than a fifth grader who just discovered the  family dog eating the homework ? Stay Tuned....

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