Settlement Agreement Provides Expanded Housing For Disabled Veterans, Elderly In Oakland Township

Veterans' Memorial Park, 30-Acre Community Park Lands, Military Veteran Rent Assistance, EMS Substation Also Provided in Agreement

Feb 03, 2016, 10:22 ET from Moceri Companies

OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich., Feb. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly five years of contention around a state-of-the-art housing project for disabled veterans and the elderly in Oakland Township is coming to an end with a settlement agreement that provides for an expansion of the project and a long list of community amenities. The settlement agreement, reached between the Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America, Moceri/DM Investments, LLC, former Oakland Township Supervisor Joan M. Buser and Oakland Township, allows the Blossom Ridge development to move forward with an additional development on a second parcel of land, a veterans' memorial park, rental assistance for lower-income disabled veterans and additional 30-acres of community parks. The settlement agreement awaits entry as a consent judgment by Federal Judge Terrance Berg before taking effect.

"This is a landmark agreement for the disabled veterans and seniors who were seeking the simple dignity of living in the community of their choice," said George Googasian, attorney for the Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America.

"This agreement galvanizes us on a pathway forward that improves our community with beautiful spaces intended to bring us together," said Joan Buser. "This agreement represents a fair plan that will make Oakland Township a better and more desirable place in which to live."

The Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America (MPVA) in December 2014 filed a lawsuit against Oakland Township in Federal Court contending the Township had engaged in discriminatory housing practices in violation of the Federal Fair Housing Law, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The complaint charged that the Township discriminated by means of a highly restrictive and exclusionary zoning regime and by refusing to grant a reasonable accommodation to  Blossom Ridge, a housing development designed to accommodate paralyzed veterans, other disabled persons, and the elderly. A separate lawsuit with a similar complaint was filed in December 2014 by Moceri/DM Investments and former township supervisor Joan Buser.

The 189-unit, age-in-place Blossom Ridge development, proposed by Moceri on 42 acres of land it owns at the northwest corner of Dutton and Adams Roads, will include 100 congregate care residences; 21 two-to-three bedroom cottages; 20 duet residences and 48 four-plex ranch style residences.

The settlement allows the development to move forward with 329 residences spread over the original Blossom Ridge footprint and that of Carillon Creek, a 140 residential development located a quarter mile north of the Blossom Ridge development at Adams and Silverbell Roads. Carillon Creek will include 56 health and wellness suites to accommodate assisted living residences as well as other services to the disabled and elderly; a family style bistro with outdoor seating and 84 custom townhomes for lease. Moceri has dedicated 30 acres of parkland, including public easements for public enjoyment throughout both properties.

Moceri and MPVA stipulated that Oakland Township's insurance carrier match $400,000 Moceri is providing to the Michigan Paralyzed Veterans to help enable rental assistance for those veterans who wish to live in Blossom Ridge/Carillon Creek, and have an annual income of less than 80 percent of the Oakland County statistical area median income, depending on qualifications.

In addition, Oakland Township will raise contributions of $125,000 to match funds an equal sum provided by Moceri to erect a military veterans' memorial on land donated by Moceri.

In all, more than $1 million will go towards aiding and honoring Michigan veterans.

"We are so pleased that this agreement provides a way forward for our community to heal and be made whole," stated Oakland Church Senior Pastor Russo. "This agreement not only brings us closer to being the inclusive community we aspire to be, but provides a necessary place for our citizens to honor, pray and respect our cherished Veterans who protected our rights to enjoy the quality of life we have in Oakland Township."

Oakland Church is located next to the planned Carillon Creek residences at Adams and Silverbell Roads.

"Healthy communities can't survive on a diet of McMansions alone," according to Dominic J. Moceri, Vice President of the Moceri Management Company. "This agreement ensures that Oakland Township is on a pathway to sustainable inclusion. It needs a greater cross-section of individual and multi-family dwellings to contribute to the character of the Township.

"We are honoring our veterans by providing them with wonderful, affordable places to live that respond to their needs, but also gives a space to demonstrate profound respect and recognition to our fallen brothers and sisters," Moceri said.

SOURCE Moceri Companies