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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.

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