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  April 12, 2007


APPROVAL OF AGENDA FOR:        April 12, 2007 Joint Meeting


CALL TO THE PUBLIC:                  Agenda Items only – 3 minute limit



1)     Premier Farms Planned Unit Development – Conceptual Site Plan Comparison




                                                         DRAFT MINUTES





                                                DEBRA WIEDMAN-CLAWSON

MEMBERS ABSENT:                   JEAN E. ROOT, SECRETARY                                            


                                                JOHN ENOS, CARLISLE/WORTMAN

                                                PAUL SIERSMA, CARLISLE/WORTMAN

                                                DAVID SCHROEDER, ORCHARD, HILTZ & MCCLIMENT



Jack Lowe called the meeting to order at 7:07 p.m.


Dave Hamann motioned to approve the April 12, 2007 joint meeting agenda as amended.  Debra Wiedman-Clawson seconded.  Motion Carried 4-0. 


The members of the Planning Commission introduced themselves.  Jean Root was absent


James Simmons, 2808 Black Eagle Ridge; Gave his background working for municipalities and township wide garbage pick up.  He offered the Board of Trustees a copy of a contract they used for garbage pick up.  There are advantages, the residents can write this off of their taxes and they save money when everyone uses one service.  He spoke of the disadvantages; the Board of Trustees will get phone calls at home if the job is not done right.

Mr. Hanvey asked if the penalties were too strong.

James Simmons responded; they are common in Wayne County . 

Discussion ensued between the residents about whether they want township wide pick up or not.

Les Anderson spoke with many residents who think there is an opt out clause.  He spoke with Alchins and there are two options the township can use.  One is forced pick up and the other is to opt out.  Iosco Township used the forced pick up and as a result are paying the Clerk to come one more day a week to take care of billing and complaints.  The forced pick up is the same price as the senior citizen rate and the township puts in an additional $26.00.


No minutes to approve.


Premier Farms Conceptual Plan Discussion

John Enos introduced himself to the audience.  He explained the Planned Unit Development (PUD) process then gave a history of the Premier Farms project.  Around 1999, 2000 the applicant and Marion Township did an extensive amount of work prior to approving the Premier Farms conceptual plan. Approximately 5 years have gone by and the applicant is coming back to Marion Township with a plan that has slight changes from the approved plan.  As the planner for Marion Township he reviewed the revised plan and found it to be substantially compliant.  The plan preserves natural features, provided the family units proposed in the first plan and meets the spirit of the PUD ordinance.  He does believe the plan will lose several units. If the Board of Trustees agrees then the applicant moves on to the preliminary plan.  At that time the Planning Commission, Board of Trustees, local and state agencies will review the plan.  If the preliminary plan is approved then they move on to the final plan. The final plan will be more detailed and will again be reviewed by the Planning Commission, Board of Trustees, local and state agencies. The Planning Commission reviewed this conceptual plan and found it to be in substantial compliance.

Kuehn, 4630 Cedar Lake Road; has there been a review of the viability of the project?  Town Commons on M-59 has been sold off in auction.  This may not be what this area needs.

John Enos noted that Marion Township will ask the applicant to provide a market analysis.

Bauer, 5757 Lange; the new proposal has increased density and the land donated for a school has been decreased.

Mr. Hanvey responded the number of units is not fixed at the conceptual approval.

John Enos stated 2,300 units are allowed with the underlying zoning, the unit proposed is below the number allowed.

Resident, no address; will a variance be required for each house?

Mr. Hanvey answered the PUD language does not provide for variances.

Bauer, 5757 Lange; will this effect the amount of water I get from my well?

Mr. Hanvey explained that the aquifer can provide for all, we are now using ¼ of the projected capacity.

Steve Williams, 5118 Hinchey; introduced himself to the audience, he is our county commissioner.  He wants to clarify to everyone, since the article in the local paper indicating a widening and reconfiguration plan for the Burkhart I-96 interchange.  The article in the paper was misleading; the only work to be done is resurfacing.  There has been no formal study done by Michigan Department of Transportation and they do understand it is a safety issue.

John Lowe asked John Enos to explain to the audience the lack of ability on the part of the township to force the developer to provide off site improvements.

John Enos stated some states require the off site improvements be done prior to the implementation of the project, Michigan does not.  He told of the Arrowhead Subdivision law suit, the township tried to force the developer to pay for off site improvements, the developer sued the township and won.

Richard Pennala, 4024 Emily Court; has conceptual approval been given?

John Enos answered yes; there is no time limit on conceptual approval, preliminary and final there are time limits.

John Lowe asked John Enos to show the changes that have been made to the conceptual plan.

John Enos summarized the differences; the 15 acres set aside for the school is reduced to 10 acres.  More open space has been added and the buffering around the development has increased.  There is now 100+ acres of significant open space.  The senior and multi-family areas have been moved.

David Latcha, 5480 Norton Road; is this good for the township?

Mr. Hanvey answered the State of Michigan gave townships the authority by PA 110 Michigan Zoning Enabling Act with a PUD component that must be allowed.  The State of Michigan does not give the township the ability to deny if the application meets the requirements.

John Enos told the residents the Marion Township Comprehensive Plan has this area planned for Suburban Residential (SR).  If this were conventionally developed under the SR zoning they would be allowed 2,300 homes.

Resident, no address; at one time this was a farm why can’t it stay a farm?

Mr. Hanvey answered economic viability.  If the owner wants to continue to farm he can, if he wants to develop he can.

Resident, no address; will the senior housing be low income.

That question cannot be answered at this time.

Gary Dunn, 893 Hurley, what good is a master plan, when a developer wants to do something he threatens to sue the township and the township folds.

Mr. Hanvey advised the residents that Marion Township is currently in court with both Marion Oaks and Red Hawk Landing.  Just because they threaten to sue the township does not fold.

Jim Barnwell; told the residents he has been involved with the project for some time.  This plan is consistent with the Marion Township Comprehensive Plan; the applicant is not taking the township to court for 3,000 homes, he submitted a plan that is allowed.  He went on to give a history of the site.

Mr. Hanvey said there has been no request to rezone the property.

Charlie Musson, 333 Triangle Lake Road; asked what kind of PUD this is.

John Enos answered an overlay district.

Resident, 3355 Jewell; is the town center going to be Marion Township town center?  Can he use the commercial that sits at the site?

Mr. Hanvey answered no it will not be the center of Marion Township and yes all residents can use the commercial and open space in the development.

Resident, 109 Amos; are there plans to pave Amos?

Mark Janeck addressed the residents’ questions.  He stressed he will be here for at least 4 more meetings.  It has taken 1 year, working with the township and their consultants to decide if this conceptual plan is in substantial compliance.  He is looking for an affirmation from the Board of Trustees and realizes he has a lot of work to do.  He would like the residents to know the following.

1)      Originally they planned to align Cedar Lake Road and Amos, they have since come up with a better plan

2)      The school site has increased from 15 acres to 20 acres

3)      The underlying zoning allows 2,300 homes on this site, he is asking for less

4)      Wooded area and wetlands have been preserved with the new plan

5)      Previous plan the open space placement has changes, now there is more acreage and accessibility to the open space

6)      There will be a 200’ to 250’ buffer between the major roads and homes

7)      There will be public utilities (sewer and water) thus no impact on homeowners wells

8)      Public sewer is environmentally as opposed to septic fields

9)      There are 100 acres of wetland on the site; they will impact 3 acres of wetlands

10)   He has hired a firm to do a traffic study and they are ¾ of the way complete

11)   He recognizes there will be necessary road improvements.  Amos Road will have to be paved; he wants the site to be accessible and attractive

12)   Is it good for Marion Township ?  It was made by Marion Township and their consultants when they put together the Marion Township Comprehensive Plan.  Also, by Marion Township when they approved the conceptual plan

13)   This is a great development for what could be, this is the only kind of development that will leave large areas of open space for all residents to use.

Resident, no address; will you leave an area for a fire station?

Mark Janeck answered yes.

Resident, no address; how will the open space area be maintained if the developer does not finish the project?

Mark Janeck answered there is a letter of credit to finish public improvements.  There will be a master home owners association and smaller home owners association under the umbrella of the master association.  This will be done by phases, not all open space and road networks will be completed at once.

Mr. Hanvey asked John Enos what criteria he used to determine substantial compliance.

John Enos answered he reviewed the plan verses the criteria in the PUD ordinance.

Mr. Hanvey asked what the consequences are if the developer proceeds to the preliminary stage.  What is cast in concrete from approving the conceptual?

John Enos answered that the houses are placed where the bubbles are, the number of units and the road layout won’t change.

Dave Hamann noted the Board of Trustees has a copy of the current PUD ordinance; this plan was submitted under the old PUD ordinance and should be reviewed under that ordinance.  Under the old PUD a conceptual plan was optional.  If the applicant has to start at square one there will be additional steps in the process.

Debra Wiedman-Clawson informed the residents that the old PUD ordinance is not on the Marion Township web site and asked if this could be put on the web site.

John Enos asked Mike Kehoe if this plan is to be reviewed under the old PUD or the current PUD ordinance.

Mike Kehoe answered Marion Township is bound by conceptual approval granted under the old PUD ordinance.  He only sees 1 or 2 exceptions and thinks they are almost identical.  The current PUD ordinance requires a conceptual plan and parallel plan.

Richard Pennala, 4024 Emily Court, asked someone to explain phasing.

Jim Barnwell showed the phasing plan which starts at the North end of the site.

Mr. Hanvey wants the residents to check the cable channel (channel 18), the web site or call the Marion Township hall to find out when Premier Farms will be on an agenda.  Marion Township cannot do a mailing or advertise in the newspaper.

John Lowe wants to reiterate the commercial area is for all residents to use.  It was planned for so people do not have to drive into town for every little thing.

Debra Wiedman-Clawson wants the residents to know this commercial area is within the wellhead protection area and the businesses that can locate are limited by that.  No gas stations or dry cleaners.


No new business.


None heard.


Dave Hamann motioned to adjourn the meeting at 8:50 p.m.  Debra Wiedman-Clawson seconded.  Motion Carried 4-0.