Planning Commission - Special Meeting
MEMBERS PRESENT: Jim Anderson, Debra Wiedman-Clawson, Dave Hamann, John Lowe,
John Ambrose, Planning Consultant
Bob Hanvey, Township
Annette McNamara, Zoning Administrator
Lowe called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.
Jean Root asked to add under New Business, election of officers and also add Public Hearing Procedural
Anderson seconded. Motion carried 5-0.
John Lowe introduced Jim Barnwell representing Cascade Development (formerly Premier Farms) for a
meeting for discussion, comments and questions.
historical overview of the project that began in the mid-1980’s. The proposal in 1986 was for a Planned Unit
Development (PUD) to develop the property into single-family lots with attached units. A sewer treatment
was also proposed in that location. These are similar proposals to what is
being proposed today.
A referendum turned the project down in that 1986 time frame and the developer sold the property to Waste
Management in 1990. Waste Management proposed a landfill. Property was sold to another developer in
1999-2000. In 2001 a conceptual plan was developed. A commercial area was planned along the north
property of 17 acres; school site or community facility site 10 acres; various densities throughout the
1150 acres of property, 2 units per acre was overall density.
A mix of single family attached units, townhouses, and commercial was proposed. A clubhouse was
included. After a number of public hearings in late 2000-2001, it was approved. General concept was
2000 plus homes was discussed.
conceptual plan with more detail was developed. Concerns with the conceptual
2. Attached units were placed in denser area. Relocate school site near wetlands was changed for
educational benefit for the school.
lots were put around perimeter; wooded areas were left near center area.
you do not get in a standard subdivision.
2. Impact on the environment: wetland areas are pulled away and
preserved in a PUD.
4. Amenities improve sales; less impact on environment.
gives variety for developer and township.
2. Large costs in
Smaller lots equal smaller return on investment.
This conceptual new plan has approximately 322 acres of open space. On the eastern border, community
31 acres; 171 acres of wetland; 524 acres open space.
pick up project from where it left off, it must stay close to approved original conceptual plan. Open space and
will have to stay exactly to what was previously approved.
John Lowe confirmed with Jim Barnwell that they wanted a general overview of what was approved and
477 acres. A number of grants proposed is in the same realm (2000 units). The Public Hearing was 2200.
Jim Barnwell stated they would not deviate.
John Ambrose stated density indicated 2000 square feet lot sizes permissible for this PUD. Previous minutes
2200 was listed.
Jean Root questioned there were sites set up for five acre lots in the original plan but the plan does not reflect
Jim Barnwell indicated there were seven lots on 35 acres on the east
John Lowe asked about area set aside for commercial. Jim Barnwell stated there’s around 17 acres for
They’re showing about 6-10 now.
Jean Root stated it’s indicated on page four there’s 14 acres for seven future units. Jim Barnwell stated they
were looking at two acre lots in that area and Jean Root questioned the accessibility. He stated there’s been
no determination regarding that yet. Jim Barnwell pointed out area that crosses the creek and wetlands,
an old easement off a paved portion in the Georgetown area that could
possibly be used.
Jean Root asked about interior roads being proposed as public roads. Jim Barnwell stated private roads were
being considered for the project to stay in keeping with building a community. What they are proposing would
couple full-time employees.
Jean Root questioned the shaded area on the first page along the perimeter, which are designated walking
paths. She also questioned future problems with continuing maintenance in that large of a project that may
result in legal recourse. John Ambrose stated they are only as good as the association is. He also spoke to
the several phases proposed to be fanned out over an 8-10 year period and questioned as each phase
comes in, would they form their own association. People, who come in at the end, pay the same as those
had paid over a number of years. The township cannot govern that.
Jean Root asked if the township can say they want the roads to be public? John Ambrose stated private
roads have to meet county standards. He stated there is no central core road that ties into the original
unified neighborhood development with a clubhouse, a community for continuity. He also commented they
would contribute to a traffic study. Howell Township may also participate. They would also contribute money
off-site pool resources.
TO THE PUBLIC
Steve Cavaney, 4152 Emily Court, questioned the 6-10 commercial sites’ future vision. John Ambrose
explained commercial uses would be limited to convenience type functions for residents. One element is a
wellhead protection zone that overlays all the zoning and wellhead protection zone. That precludes a lot of
businesses. There may possibly be a small grocery store, small office but no service stations. The paving of
Lake Road due to its usage was also posed.
Norma Flaherty, 4120 Norton Road, questioned the different roads that go away from there and where the
in the existing subdivision will come in.
Richard Hitchcock, 4218 Emily Court, stated their road is private and asked if their road would be used.
Jean Root pointed out on the drawing their road is not considered. Another concern is whether with the
added houses and people coming to the Township Hall if Cedar Lake Road between Jewell and
Coon Lake Road be paved; no, not in the near future. Mr. Hitchcock also asked if the township can handle
extra sewer. Yes, it can.
recess was taken.)
Lowe hearing no more comments from the public closed the Call to the Public.
Jean Root asked if another traffic impact study would be conducted. Jim Barnwell believes it should be done
but would be more beneficial to the community to do it later. They are considering contributing to
for off-site roads, such as Pingree.
Jean Root pointed out in the original site plan there were costs to be incurred by the developer and asked if
they were willing to do off-site improvements at a minimum? Yes, but no comparison was done dollars to
done in Phase I and Phase II simultaneously? Jim Barnwell stated that sales
would be the driving force.
Bob Hanvey stated he spoke to Merry Berring from Howell Township and they would be willing to participate
joint traffic study.
original conceptual plan.
Mr. Sanch, developer, commented that the one thing that changed was moving the school for the safety of
children. Mr. Flaherty
commented where Amos Road empties out and traffic flow would be hard to
John Ambrose stated that the significant difference in traffic control would be: previous plan had a
connector road and the new plan has only one access to driving through residential streets, which creates
of internal traffic.
be around $170,000 to $300,000. The developers stated they are open to meeting and talking with
if they have questions.
Jim Anderson mentioned there are two large neighborhoods in the area and if this project is in the center,
have to use main roads to get out of development.
John Lowe asked if this plan is neighborhood friendly. It is with a combination of paved walking trails and
Jean Root asked if the school should be contacted again on this plan. Jim Barnwell stated he has contacted
them and will contact again but the school has decided to sell the property. Thirty-one acres of the property
may be donated to the township for a purpose beneficial to the township such as a public facility, fire hall,
problem? John Ambrose stated no.
problem with association dues and paying property taxes and would like input from the township attorney.
Ambrose stated that bylaws and guidelines would clearly state association
John Lowe asked Jim Barnwell to go back and work with people at the end of court that would benefit both
parties. Jim Barnwell stated there is a similar layout that shows the main road going through the center of the
number of units for each phase. Jim Barnwell agreed to do that and stated Phase I has 2084.
John Lowe asked if this layout is similar to the Hometown layout on D-19 and John Ambrose indicated it is
John Lowe questioned the efficiency of the road, such as a road like Grand River down the center of project
would like to see the road funneled to Amos Road.
size with a collector system to help funnel traffic out to Cedar Lake Road to south end where there’s an
access point and then up to Amos Road, pulling traffic up and funneling out. As the plan exists, it is such a
it would be difficult for fire trucks to efficiently navigate.
Jim Barnwell commented there will be about 500 residents to the north of Norton. The original number was
1500 and then split it becomes 750 and then next intersection would break it up even more. He would like to
This plan is much more favorable. John Lowe asked the township engineer to confer with their traffic engineer
critique this internal plan regarding functionality.
was 41% open space. John Ambrose commented that the conceptual plan was approved with 477 acres of
space. Jim Barnwell stated 522 is on the current plan.
Based on density, 2215 units would be allowed at the maximum. This would be allowed based on the
zoning district of 20,000 square foot lots of buildable acres.
Lowe pointed out original plan had 17 acres of commercial and new plan is
six, which may go up.
Jean Root asked if there’s a plan to sell commercial land and to who. Jim Barnwell stated this will be set up
according to PUD, with their suggestions that would be acceptable with a universal theme. Their suggestion
would be possibly small grocery/party store, video store, small restaurant like doughnut shop, hardware,
services, day care, etc.
Barnwell is proposing:
One tree for
every lot; perimeter and main roads, tree every 40 feet
collection – one hauler
and signage for on and off site
Barnwell listed several issues for the township to consider:
to off-site improvements to road over time
allow: mini storage on site, consideration for assisted living later on in
John Lowe does not believe that storage units would fit. He also proposed the upper right corner for Phase I
II. John Ambrose stated that would be submitted at that time with updated
Bob Hanvey asked if there’s a checklist for the developer to complete before obtaining first land use permit?
The question was asked what triggers a permit? Dave Hamann stated there’s a preliminary and then final site
in Phase I and then to the Township Board.
Jim Barnwell stated he plans about four more formal meetings. The developer thanked everyone for coming
stated they are willing to meet with any resident to answer questions.
BUSINESS – Election of Officers
Jean Root nominated John Lowe as Chairman of the Marion Township Planning Commission. Debra
seconded. John Lowe abstained.
Motion carried 4-0.
Jean Root nominated Dave Hamann as the Vice-Chairman for the Marion Township Planning Commission.
Anderson seconded. Dave Hamann abstained. Motion carried 4-0.
Debra Wiedman-Clawson nominated Jean Root as Secretary. Jim Anderson seconded. Jean Root abstained.
Jean Root pointed out that the Rules and Procedures of 1996 need updating, which will be done and be
at February meeting for review.
Guide”, and reviewed with the Planning Commission.
Dave Hamann made a motion to adjourn at 9:30 p.m. Jim Anderson seconded. Motion carried 5-0.