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The city is roughly bound by Galaxie and North End avenues to the north, Myers Road to the west, 8 Mile Road to the south, and a line running north-south along the backyards of Mitchelledale Avenue to the east. The township is bisected by Wyoming Avenue and is a general mix of residential, commercial and industrial space. While mostly consisting of single-family homes, there are apartments along Fitzgerald Boulevard and Pasdena Avenue. Royal Oak Towers, an 11-story senior citizens apartment tower, is located off Wyoming Avenue. Commercial and retail space lines the southern border of the township along 8 Mile Road, while industrial space is located along the northern borders of the township.
Royal Oak Township was established in 1833 as a regular, 36-square-mile (93 km2) civil township, and at one time consisted of all or parts of the following modern cities and villages of Hazel Park, Ferndale, Oak Park, Madison Heights, Pleasant Ridge, Huntington Woods, Royal Oak, Berkley, and Clawson. The township began to shrink beginning in 1921 with the incorporation of the cities above. To provide greater protection from easy annexation, the township incorporated as a charter township in 1972. Currently, the township has neither its own police department nor a post office. Its police department was disbanded in 1998. For public safety, the township contracts with the Michigan State Police for police services and the Ferndale Fire Department for fire services. For postal purposes, the community records its location as "Ferndale, MI 48220".
Until 2004, the township consisted of two small non-contiguous parcels of land within Oakland County. The larger portion was along Eight Mile Road, adjacent to Detroit, Oak Park, and Ferndale. A second portion, located northwest of the other portion, adjoining Oak Park and Southfield, was annexed by Oak Park on November 1, 2004.