It’s Spring Time for Road Work in Troy

by CYNTHIA KMETT

Well, construction season will soon be upon us and Troy has quite a list of projects that will make you realize “I can’t get there from here.”

Slated for roadwork are South Blvd., Square Lake, and Wattles, making driving on Long Lake and Big Beaver a bit more common this summer. There will also be work done on some subdivision roads.

This will make almost all of Troy’s roads in relatively excellent conditions, especially compared to other cities in Oakland County. Mayor Dane Slater noted that the Road Commission for Oakland County’s (RCOC) map of “poor roads” highlighted in red, shows very few of them in Troy, and two, John R and Dequindre are due for major expansions in the not-too-distant future. (See the map on page 551 of the council’s March 21 agenda packet.)

The really sad road, South Blvd., is getting some upgrades starting this summer. Troy has been asking Rochester Hills, which is also on South Blvd. to join it for a tri-party agreement with us and the RCOC for several years. This year they agreed. Council voted its approval of the plan at last Monday’s regular meeting. Work will be done from Crooks to Livernois (which get intersection improvement, too) and John R to Dequindre.

You may have already notice work on Wattles between John R and Dequindre where they are replacing a 50-year-old water main. Paving will happen this summer. And there a couple of sections of Square Lake to work on, too.

What you won’t see this summer is a pawn shop in Troy on an out lot at Oakland Mall. Despite the Troy resident explanation that he wanted to put up a jewelry store that would pawn high-end items as a service, and his telling council most jewelry stores in Birmingham offer that service, Council was concerned about who might be next to ask for a pawn shop license if they approved this ordinance. The city’s law department had written a very, very long ordinance, but council voted 5-0 to deny pawn shops in Troy, with Ethan Baker and Dave Henderson both absent.

The absence of these two members also put the question of an EZ Storage facility on Long Lake, west of Livernois and next to the Ridgedale Players, on hold until the next meeting. As this is a conditional rezoning request with “special use” approval needed, it was before council for a public hearing.

Residents were out in force to protest a three-story building in this corner where everything else is just one story high.

One argument was that Troy doesn’t need another storage facility, with 12 in Troy and 18 in Rochester Hills. Others, especially from the north side of Long Lake asked who would buy their home if it looked out at a storage facility?

There are also a couple of small retail spaces in the proposed building and residents noted those could remain empty as there are already plenty of empty retail spots in the vicinity.

However, this proposed rezoning to Neighborhood Node is supported by the Master Plan and advances the general and specific development policies of the Master Plan. It was also approved by the Planning Commission, with just one “no” vote.

Only supporting the rezoning was the Ridgedale Players board, which has talked to folks near the other EZ storage facilities and found them to be excellent neighbors.

The EZ Storage developers will make their presentation to council at the next meeting.

With two members absent, council decided to postpone the vote until the next meeting.