Bulletin Board

Business Directory


Clerk's Corner

Community Events

Contact Information


Development Documents


Financial information

Heritage Days


Meeting Calendar






PropertyTax/Assessing Data

Township Agreements

Rental Policy

Treasurer's Report



                                 MARION TOWNSHIP

                  AGENDA and DRAFT MINUTES

               January 25, 2005  @ 7:15 pm

     The following New Business items are Public Hearings that 

                           will run consecutively.







NEW BUSINESS:  Creative Discovery Pre-School - Special Use #3-04

                         Proposed Text Amendment 8.01 F

                         Proposed Text Amendment 8.02 F

                         Proposed Text Amendment 6.18 F & G

                         Proposed Text Amendment 6.20 E

                         Proposed Text Amendment 6.24 




                                DRAFT MINUTES  

                        JANUARY 25, 2005   @ 7:15 P.M.


                                    JEAN ROOT, SECRETARY

                                    JIM ANDERSON

                                    DAVE HAMANN

                                    DEBRA WIEDMAN-CLAWSON

ABSENT:                      NONE


                                  ANNETTE MCNAMARA, ZONING ADMINISTRATOR

                                  PHIL WESTMORELAND, ORCHARD, HILTZ & MCCLIMENT

                                  JOHN ENOS, CARLISLE/WORTMAN



The meeting was called to order at 7:15 p.m.


Dave Hamann motioned to approve the January 25, 2005 Public Hearings agenda.  Jean Root

seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.


The Planning Commission members introduced themselves.


No response.




Creative Discovery Pre-School - Special Use Permit #3-04

Terry Clark of Lindhout Associates introduced himself as the applicant’s architect.  He also

introduced Bill Goodrow from Civil Design Services and Sharon & Ken VanOrd, the applicants.

Bill Goodrow gave an overview of the general workings of the site.

Mr. Goodrow noted the site is ¼ E of D-19 on the north side of East Davis Road on a 2-acre site. 

The area of development is 1.6 acres.  The existing trees on the site will be kept.  The building will

be 2,600 square feet, access is off East Davis Road and there will be 22 parking spaces. Due to the

soil constraints of the site, we have designed an elevated septic field currently being reviewed by

the Livingston County Department of Health. There will be a well on site. The detention basin will

be located at the low point along East Davis Road .  Comments have been received from the

Livingston County Road Commission (LCRC), the township planning consultant and the township

engineer.  Comments were of a technical nature that cannot be met in order to develop the site. 

Mr. Goodrow then invited any questions.

Terry Clark gave a presentation on the structure.  There will be two classrooms and a small kitchen

 for warming food and serving snacks. Each class has its own bathroom. They tried to stay with a

 residential theme using earth tones for the elements of the building. Terry then turned the floor

over to Sharon VanOrd. Ms. VanOrd introduced herself and Ken VanOrd and noted they are residents

of Marion Township .  Ms. VanOrd gave a description of herself and her activities.  She would like

to provide an educational opportunity to the community, and gave an overview of her educational

background, including 20 years experience as a teacher, specializing in pre-schoolers.  The

pre-school would run during the Howell Public school year, there would be a morning group and

an afternoon group.  During the school year, she may need to meet at night with parents. She will

not be running a 12-hour shift.  She will hold week-long programs during the summer; the

program would run three hours.

John Lowe asked John Enos to summarize his review letter.  Mr. Enos explained the special use

permit process allowed by our zoning ordinance.  The special use permit is only allowed under

certain conditions.  The Planning Commission decides if the conditions are being met.  It is our

job to review the conditions and elements to reduce the impact to the residents. A thorough

review was done by John Enos and documented in his letter dated January 17, 2005 and he read

that to the public.  Mr. Enos noted landscaping is aesthetically pleasing and provides a noise buffer,

he is recommending additional landscaping, conifer and deciduous.  He would like the outside

lighting to be off at 7:00 p.m.  He is recommending additional canopy trees on the playground

and that it is fenced in.  Future submittals need to spell out clearly that they meet all the

requirements of the zoning ordinance, they need to provide maximum lot coverage, soil

information, sidewalk details, details of the trees to be planted, landscaping calculations, tree

protection details, 50’ buffer along East Davis Road, the caliper of trees need to increase for

proposed maples, move detention basin to the north, 25’ buffers along the east and west property

lines. Mr. Enos noted that the 22 parking spaces exceed the number required by the zoning

ordinance and would like it reduced to the minimum number. They have concerns about the

existing barn on site, the children’s accessibility to the barn and safety.  Mr. Enos ended by stating

several items need to be addressed on the plan, and per our ordinance and meeting the special use

 standards, that is something the Planning Commission will have to discuss based on the public

input and looking at the ordinance requirements. John Lowe read a detailed review letter from

LCRC regarding Creative Discovery Pre-School and read the site distance review performed by the

LCRC.  Additional information is required by the LCRC prior to its approval.  John Lowe read the

review letter from the Howell Area Fire Authority (HAFA).  They recommend approval upon the

conditions stated in the letter and strongly recommend a heat/smoke detection and/or fire

suppression system within the building. John Lowe then asked Phil Westmoreland to summarize

his review letter.  Mr. Westmoreland stated the comments are related to the site plan and not the

special land use.  There are a number of items to address.  The reserve septic system needs to be

reviewed.  Livingston County Drain Commission requires a sedimentation fore bay on the

detention basin that will need to be added.  They are recommending the driveway entrance be

widened to 30’ and the radius where it turns into the parking lot be increased to allow better

access for emergency vehicles.  Also curb-and-gutter be added around the perimeter of the

parking lot to help control storm water. John Enos asked Terry Clark if they could decrease the

number of parking spaces.  Mr. Clark responded that the applicant wants the parents to park their

car and enter the building to drop off the child and talk with Ms. VanOrd.  With two classrooms

and staggered times, the increased parking spaces are necessary.  When the first session is leaving

and the second session arriving, there may be a little mingling of time when someone would still

be there when the next session is coming.  If it was the 10 spaces required by the ordinance,

there would not be enough. Mr. Enos is concerned that it retains a residential feeling and character.

A large span of asphalt in the front takes away from the residential look and creates an impervious

surface and storm water run off.  That will be a decision of the Planning Commission, yet you are

over the required amount. Mr. Goodrow noted the parking is 6’ above the elevation of East Davis

Road , that and landscaping should help.  Mr. Enos said they can show the potential for future

parking or deferred parking; this is shown on the site plan yet not developed.

John Lowe asked the applicant the number of children that would be attending.

Ms. VanOrd said the state requires 35 square feet per child, each class room is 700 square feet,

and each class would be licensed for 20 children.  For four-year old children, she would have 18

children per 700 square feet and for three-year old children; she would have 16 children for every

700 square feet.  Ms. VanOrd asked permission to address the parking questions.  She staggers

the classes so class one will arrive and start 15 minutes prior to class two; this applies to pick up

also. Ms. VanOrd wants to greet each child and parent individually to start the day on a positive

note. When the class ends, she insists on speaking with the parent to summarize the child’s day.

Mr. Enos asked for clarification on the number of children.  By his calculations, there would be a

maximum of 34 children.  Ms. VanOrd answered 16 three-year olds and 18 four-year olds—one

three-year old class and one four-year old class.  On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, she would

be hosting four-year old children in the morning and in the afternoon.  On Tuesdays and

Thursdays, the three-year olds will come.  On Tuesday and Thursday, each classroom would hold

16 children.  There are two classrooms per shift and four shifts per day. Mr. Enos noted due to this

being a special use, conditions can be attached, a maximum number of children per day or per

week.  Mr. Enos would recommend attaching that condition.

John Lowe clarified, two classrooms per shift, that is 40 per shift, a morning class and afternoon

class. Ms. VanOrd answered yes. She also noted that all do not use the play area at the same time,

that is staggered also. John Lowe asked the applicant if they are comfortable with reducing the

number of parking spaces.  Mr. Clark answered no. John Lowe asked if they could meet the 50’

setback requirement along East Davis Road and move the detention basin to the north and still

make the site work.  Mr. Goodrow acknowledged this is a design problem and he plans on

meeting with the LCRC and thinks the basin can be moved to the north.

Jim Anderson questioned the number of cars accessing the site and time frames. There would be

40 cars in the morning, 80 in the afternoon and another 40 in the late afternoon.  Ms. VanOrd

said they are staggered:  class A starting time is 15 minutes prior to class B. Jim Anderson noted

the potential for overlap and there would be 80 cars accessing the site at one time.  Ms. VanOrd

stated over an hour and fifteen minutes there will be 80 cars coming and going from the site

around lunch time. Jean Root asked about the hours of operation?  Ms. VanOrd answered that the

classroom hours will be 8:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m., 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon, 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m., and

1:15 p.m.-4:15 p.m. Jim Anderson noted again over an hour and fifteen minutes, you will have

80 cars coming and going. Ms. Root asked about staff arrival and departure times, prep time and

summers. Ms. VanOrd responded the staff will be in at 8:00 a.m. and out at 6:00 p.m. She will

have two teachers, two assistants and one manager for a total of five employees all day long,

including Sharon .  These employees will park in parking lot. Ms. Root asked about summer hours.

Ms. VanOrd said she will hold week long classes during the summer from 9:00 a.m-12:00 noon

on different subjects, six to eight weeks out of the summer. Ms. Root asked if the driveway for the

flag lot behind the subject site has been approved by the LCRC?  She is concerned and wants to

see documentation the driveway has been approved.  The existing drive is cut into the hill and

run-off is a problem onto East Davis Road .  Annette McNamara will provide Ms. Root with a site

distance review for the flag lot. Ms. Root clarified the schedule:  six-eight weeks during the

summer and 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. during Howell public school year, and she is concerned with the

dozen busses that come down East Davis Road at 8:30 a.m.  Ms. Root also told audience that she

lives on East Davis Road . Ms. VanOrd addressed the barn.  It will be used for storage of

maintenance items and will not be accessible to the children. Mr. Anderson questioned

curb-and-gutter and drainage.  Mr. Westmoreland answered that it deters parking on grass and

directs water to the detention basin.


George Holt, 459 East Davis Road :  Mr. Holt wrote a letter to the Planning Commission, yet

he has additional comments.  East Davis Road conditions are too poor to handle 240 vehicles per

day.  He has concerns about parking on the road when the parking lot is full, and does not agree

that natural colors help this to blend into the residential.  This is a for-profit business. They should

put it in their back yard, they can’t, people don’t want it and won’t have it, and we don’t either.

They should build in a commercial area.  It lowers our property value.  He does not believe there

 is a need for pre-school, he spoke with two others in township and they are not at capacity.

He has concerns about enough parking.  If the business fails, who would take over?  We would be

stuck with building.

Andrew Atamanchuk, 590 East Davis Road :  The speed limit on East Davis Road is 55 mph. 

Mr. Atamanchuk had a company track the cars from 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., the speed of the cars

was averaging 65 mph.  There should be no parking on East Davis Road .  In winter, this could be

more hazardous.

Chris Fleming, 843 East Davis Road :  Is concerned about the storm water run off and the

detention basin.  Will the water become stagnant and what about the safety of the children. Will

there be signage and what will it look like?  Reiterated Ms. Roots’ comment about East Davis Road

becoming a main drag, this needs to be considered. John Lowe asked the applicant to address the

sign.  Terry Clark answered a 3’ brick sign, yet had no drawings.  He showed Mr. Lowe the

placement of the sign on the site, 15’ off the front property line.  Mr. Enos reviewed the sign

requirements.  He assured the public there would be no lighting in or on the sign.  Mr. Clark said

the sign will be 3’ X 8”.

Pat Stratton, 354 East Davis Road :  This is directly across the street.  Has lived there 29 years

and raised kids, does not see a problem with homes. Does not want a commercial building across

the street, it is a business.  His wife wrote a letter.

Dave Burton, 840 East Davis Road :  The neighbors are upset with this proposal.  Does not

want to sound threatening, yet he shares the neighbors’ sentiments that they are willing to go the

 full distance to fight this.  Would like to know if barn is encroaching on greenbelt.  What is

frontage on East Davis Road ?  Is opposed to project. Answer 186’.

Jan Hartford, 3681 Kipling Circle :  As a parent of younger children, she would welcome this

pre-school.  Enrollment of the facilities mentioned before are down because they do not have the

structured programs that prepare children for school.  She supported Sharon VanOrd.

Allison Gibb, 189 East Davis Road :  Is opposed to the proposed special use permit. The traffic

from Three Fires Middle School has increased the use of the road and she does not think it is a

good idea. John Enos wants to clarify the parcel will stay Rural Residential.  If this special use is

allowed, the only uses that could ever go there would only be Rural Residential uses.  If it went

under, an office building could not go in.

Terry Marvel, 161 East Davis Road:  Would like the Planning Commission to clarify—in the

opening comments it sounded like if the applicant met all the requirements that the special use

would be approved.  Are we deciding to have it or are we deciding how to have it?  It is not safe

for her kids to ride their bikes on the street or for her to walk her dog.

John Lowe responded, no this is to let the public know what the final product looks like, and to

present it to the public, the public has input, letters are read, see how it fits with the ordinance.

Make a determination if that is an acceptable project in that location or if it is not.  It will also go

before the Board of Trustees for its review and decision.

Mary Hammond, 216 East Davis Road :  What about fencing, what kind and where?

John Enos said the children will be housed in the building or within a fenced in area.  Sharon

VanOrd is choosing to fence in the area.  There will be one adult for every nine children at the

four-year old level and one adult for every eight children.

Sharon VanOrd presented the Planning Commission Chair a letter from a consultant she is working

 with to make sure that all state requirements are being met.  She is also working with the National

 Association for the Educational of Young Children.  She would like to become state certified and

nationally accredited.

John Lowe read the letter from Childcraft Education Corporation.  Then asked for details on the

fence.  Terry Clark said 3’ high and green chain link.

Sue Fleming, 843 East Davis Road :  What is the difference between day care center and


John Enos answered day care is a permitted use with a limited number of children. A pre-school

that allows more children requires a special use permit.  He read the list of what is permitted in

Rural Residential with a special use permit.  If the business failed and another special use came in,

they would need to go through the same process.  Jean Root clarified if this failed, then one of the

other uses permitted with a special use permit could be allowed in.

Maggie Stratton, 354 East Davis Road :  She wrote a letter and has thought of something else.

She lives directly across the street.  If 40 cars are coming into the pre-school, I will not be able to

get out of my driveway; my neighbors have the same problem.  This will have a negative impact

on their daily life and the lives of their neighbors.

Dave Burton, 840 East Davis Road :  Will there be any sign normally seen with children and

schools.  Questions were asked about a fire suppression system and the well that a system like that

would require, there are children in the building.

Terry Clark said what they have at this time does not require a fire suppression system.  John Lowe

 asked if that is required by the state.  Mr. Clark answered he would rely on the HAFA comments

and he suggested alarm systems.

Dave Hamann read the HAFA letter strongly recommending, yet did not state it was a requirement.

Chris Fleming, 843 East Davis Road :  Did the LCRC talk about improving the road?  John Lowe

said cannot require off-site improvement.

George Holt, 459 East Davis Road :  Questioned if this all can physically fit on site. Is there gas

in the barn, a safety problem for children.  Water run-off is a problem now.  Parking was discussed

again. John Lowe noted all agencies will have to review this project to avoid these problems.

Vance Ferguson, East Davis Road :  He reiterated the concerns of the other residents.  He has

concerns the run off will affect his driveway. He will be moving his construction trucks and trailers

weighting 20,000 lbs. up and down the driveway trying to get in and out with all that traffic. I

moved out here to have room to store my things and for my kids to play.  He has concerns about

the pond on his property.

John Lowe read the following letters, Dick and Mary Haan, 325 East Davis Road and Pat and Maggie

 Stratton, 354 East Davis Road .  Letters were also submitted by George Holt, 459 East Davis Road ,

A.J. Gibb and Mary Hammond, 216 East Davis Road .

Jim Anderson asked if the building was stick built and if it had a basement or was on a slab? 

Terry Clark answered, stick built on a slab. John Enos reiterated the process to the audience.

Dave Hamann motioned to close the call to the public at 8:55 p.m. Jean Root seconded.

 Motion carried 5-0.




No response.


Dave Hamann motioned to adjourn the public hearing at 9:18 p.m.  Jean Root seconded.

Motion carried 5-0.

                          PUBLIC HEARING - 9:00 PM


                                       JEAN ROOT, SECRETARY

                                       JIM ANDERSON

                                       DAVE HAMANN

                                       DEBRA WIEDMAN-CLAWSON

ABSENT:                        NONE


                                        ANNETTE MCNAMARA, ZONING ADMINISTRATOR

                                        PHIL WESTMORELAND, ORCHARD, HILTZ & MCCLIMENT

                                        JOHN ENOS, CARLISLE/WORTMAN



The meeting was called to order at 9:00 p.m.


Dave Hamann motioned to approve the January 25, 2005 Public Hearings agenda.

 Jean Root seconded.  Motion Carried 5-0.


The Planning Commission members introduced themselves prior to the previous public hearing.


No response.




Proposed Test Amendment 8.01 F 6 & 7 - Rural Residential Site Development


John Lowe read the proposed language and opened the call to the public. 

Jim Barnwell asked the Planning Commission to clarify the goals and objectives of the proposed

language.  Jim Barnwell thought the language was redundant (which would consist of but not be

limited to.)  Can the Planning Commission members expound on what else would be included

other than the trees, shrubs and vegetation.  Also, regarding the definition of negative impact on

adjoining developments, he would also like to see a definition for natural vegetation and the

landscaping as provided above.  He thought the proposed language was vague. John Enos said

the Planning Commission intent was to take what vague language exists and make it more detailed

 for the developers and for the Planning Commission in the review process, what vegetation would

be allowed in the greenbelt and what would not be allowed.  As to the negative impact, this would

be on a case-by-case basis. John Lowe stated it was designed to give the Planning Commission

flexibility with each development.  It is not possible to get specific.

Phil Westmoreland asked what the Planning Commission idea is for the greenbelt—can this be

excavated for utilities as long as they are returned to green or no disruption from the state it is in

when the plan is submitted? John Lowe responded that the Planning Commission wants flexibility

to save valuable trees on a case-by-case basis to consider the variables. 

Chris Fleck, Advantage Civil Engineering, said the township is requesting a looped system from the

adjacent development. He asked if they maintain the buffer or do they, at the township’s request,

bring water to the site?  You cannot plant trees on top of utilities.

Jean Root reiterated the Planning Commission’s desire for flexibility.

Closed Call to the Public at 9:05 p.m.

Proposed Test Amendment 8.02 F 6 & 7 - Suburban Residential Site Development


John Lowe noted this is essentially the same language, only the Suburban Residential District.

Debra Wiedman-Clawson asked if the Planning Commission would revisit the definitions and have

them cross-referenced. Jean Root noted Mike Kehoe had submitted possible definitions.

Closed Call to the Public at 9:12 p.m.

Proposed Test Amendment 6.18 F & G - Condominium Projects

John Lowe asked if there were comments.

Jean Root noted that on all of these, we made sure to include language that no lots shall have

access to roads other than those interior to the project.  The developers have tried to maximize

use by creating lots with access to other roads.

Closed Call to the Public at 9:14 p.m.

Proposed Test Amendment 6.20 E 1 - Connection to County Roads

John Lowe read the proposed language and asked for comments.

Jim Barnwell questioned developments where you develop on one side of the road and dedicate it

to the public; if the adjoining parcel is developed at a later date, why shouldn’t these be accessible.

You need to clarify that these are main county roads, not some of the other internal roads.

Debra Wiedman-Clawson also asked for clarification.

John Enos read the language.  The Planning Commission is trying to prevent exception lots from

gaining access or having a subdivision with three lots on a county road.

Debra Wiedman-Clawson asked if a parcel can be developed with a portion as a subdivision and

some parcel splits that access off of another road. 

John Enos answered.  The intent is if it is only part of the master deed.

Closed Call to the Public at 9:16 p.m.

Proposed Test Amendment 6.24 - Landscape Buffer

John Lowe opened the floor for discussion.

Closed Call to the Public at 9:18 p.m.




Dave Hamann motioned to adjourn the public hearings on the proposed text amendments at

9:18 p.m.  Jim Anderson seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.