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                                 MARION TOWNSHIP


             April 27, 2004 @ 7:18 p.m





JEAN ROOT, JIM ANDERSON, DAVE HAMANN,  DEBRA WIEDMAN-CLAWSON                                          


                                   JOHN AMBROSE, PLANNING CONSULTANT

                                   ANNETTE MCNAMARA, ZONING ADMINISTRATOR



The meeting was called to order at 7:18


Dave Hamann motioned to approve the agenda for April 27, 2004 Public Hearing.  Jim Anderson

seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.


No response.




TXT# 1-04 Article XIII Planned Unit Development District

John Ambrose summarized the addition of the word “Overlay” to the Heading for Article XIII; to 

read Planned Unit Development Overlay District.  The intent when implementing this zoning 

amendment, and the language, implies that it is an overlay district to the underlying zoning.




No response.


Jean Root motioned to close the public hearing for Article XIII, Planned Unit 

Development Overlay District, changing of the heading.  Dave Hamann seconded.  

Motion carried 5-0.



MEMBERS PRESENT:  Chairman Jack Lowe, Jean Root, Jim Anderson, Dave Hamann, 

                                   Debra Wiedman-Clawson                            

OTHERS PRESENT:    Bob Hanvey, Township Supervisor

                                  John Ambrose, Planning Consultant

                                  Annette McNamara, Zoning Administrator



The meeting was called to order at 7:30 pm.


Jean Root noted a change to Old Business; proposed text amendment - TXT# 1-04, remove set a 

public hearing from that agenda item. Jim Anderson motioned to approve the agenda for 

April 27, 2004 regular meeting.  Debra Wiedman-Clawson seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.


Mary Ann Bahr, 3201 Grass Lake Court.  Gave The Planning Commission a handout and read out loud.  She stated

her opposition to the Knolls of Grass Lake development.  Mary Ann Bahr also reiterated information stated at

 previous Planning Commission meetings and stated in previous letters attached to planning commission minutes.

John Zwerlein, 2501 Clivedon Road.  Would like to state the Planning Commission minutes are not verbatim. 

Feels they are vague and misleading in regard to the review letter from the Howell Area Fire Department on the

Knolls of Grass Lake development.  John Zwerlein is concerned with safety and the Knolls of Grass Lake 


Galina Zwerlein, 2501 Clivedon Road.  Noted the Attorney General opinion on the International Fire Code and 

how does this opinion affect Marion Township.  Who will be responsible if anything happens? 

Close Call to the Public.


Jean Root noted, page 3 of 11; second paragraph; add ‘municipal approval’.  Jim Anderson noted, page 2, second

line from bottom; delete the word ‘it’ add the word ‘in’.  Jean Root noted, page 5; item #4; delete ‘howell town 

commons’.  Debra Wiedman-Clawson noted page 11 of 11; add the word ‘master plan’ also, delete ‘one needs to’

add ‘ reference to that master plan should be’.  Dave Hamann motioned to approve the March 23, 2004, public

hearing minutes as amended.  Jean Root seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.

Jean Root noted, page 16 of 17; motion for Fox Meadows; motion carried 4-1; Jean Root voted no.  

Debra Wiedman-Clawson noted, Gronow is spelled incorrectly throughout the minutes also, page 16 of 17; 

fifth paragraph; ‘if the corner parcel becomes commercial, would they have access to the private drive’; add 

‘is there anything in the ordinance that would allow’.  Dave Hamann motioned to approve the March 23, 2004, 

regular meeting minutes as amended.  Jim Anderson seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.


RZN# 4-03 - Family Golf

Kirt Anderson introduced the group and summarized the rezone request. 

Bill Stimpson gave a comprehensive impact study for the site.  Assume one access at Mason Road and one at 

Peavy Road.  Peak hour traffic count without the development and with the development.  They predict future 

background traffic development with and without the development.  Current Level of Service (LOS) during 

morning and peak hour is at a level B. With background growth and Sunridge traffic it would change to a LOS C.  

If you add the proposed development it would not change from a LOS C.  Left turn in off Mason would be LOS A.  

Proposed development would add a total of 90 morning peak hour trips (in and out) and 106 in the afternoon.

  The proposed road between Peavy Road and D-19 would alleviate traffic on Mason Road.  The only off site

 improvement deemed necessary would be a passing lane or center turn lane on Mason Road.  Site distance over

the bridge is 600’ +- and is safe by all standards.

Phil Westmoreland stated the analysis did estimate maximum number of trips, which is what the Planning Commission

 asked for.  In the analysis, there is an assumption that build out of Sunridge will be 50% complete when the 

proposed development is complete.  The peak numbers on the road did not include Sunridge at total build out.  

Orchard, Hiltz & McCliment traffic engineer did an analysis with Sunridge and proposed development and the LOS 

was still at C.

John Lowe asked the range of LOS C.  Bill Stimpson answered average delay of 15 to 25 seconds.

John Lowe is concerned with cars stacking up over the 1-96 bridge.  Bill Stimpson answered that should not happen

with the delay factor.

Jean Root questioned water and sewer availability.  John Lowe answered there is an 8” sanitary line sufficient to

serve the site, the site is also served with water. The site has one REU. Maximum build out would use approximately 

40 REUS.

John Lowe commented although the 1992 Master Plan call this out as Urban Residential (UR), the build out did not

take place under UR.  The development is Suburban Residential (SR) and large parcels to the west.  Introduction 

of UR is essentially an isolated district. It would impact the SR parcels to the west and south. The increased number 

of REUs necessary for potentially 160 units has not been planned for the sewer district.

Jean Root agrees with John Lowe and does not want to set a precedent when it is not being assessed.

Nick Balberman, Crescendo Homes, interjected the request makes sense along Mason Road and Peavy Road.  

This parcel would serve as a transition zoning.  What parcel in the township would be appropriate for multi-family 

zoning?  They have demonstrated no adverse affect to the traffic.

John Lowe asked is it an injection of higher density or a buffering—lower density with higher density around it.

Nick Balberman continued to debate the validity of the rezoning request.

John Lowe stated it is a viable option to develop the site under SR zoning.  Does not want to see a line of dense 

housing abutting Foxfire Drive, a change in overall density and character.

Discussion ensued on the requirements for a special use permit application under UR zoning.  John Ambrose 

reviewed the potential and process with a special use permit.

Dave Hamann requested the Planning Commission comment on the eight criteria in reviewing a rezone request.

  1. Is the zoning justified by change or changing conditions in the area?  Jean Root does not believe so, agrees 

with John Lowe that it creates an isolated district.  The area has developed as SR.  Jim Anderson agrees with John

Lowe and Jean Root. Rezoning to UR would not fit in this area especially with a special use permit under the UR 


  1. Is the zoning consistent with the township’s future land use plan and established land use patterns?  Addressed 

by first comment.  Future land use plan shows as SR and established land use patterns are SR and large lots. 

  1. Would the amendment create an isolated district unrelated to adjacent districts?  Earlier comments have 

addressed this.

  1. What is the capacity of providing public utilities road and service if the rezoning was approved?  Dave Hamann 

stated issue of plant capacity and additional number of REUS.  Not prudent.

  1. Will the rezoning be compatible with neighboring properties?  John Lowe reiterated this is the crux of argument.
  1. Would the rezoning adversely affect the value of those properties?  John Lowe stated this is subjective, not an

 asset to surrounding properties on Foxfire Drive and large parcels to the west.

  1. Is it economically feasible to develop the property under current zoning?  John Lowe stated yes, Sunridge is an 

example, south of subject property developed under SR zoning with a Planned Unit Development Overlay District.  

Planned Unit Development was discussed, density stays the same, yet the lot size can be reduced.  Same ratio if there

 are 20 or 200 acres.

  1. Is there is adequate property elsewhere in the township for the proposed use?  Yes, D-19 corridor and the 

proposed connector road.  This is stated in the Master Plan as well.  Also, property to the north of I-96 that was

recently rezoned to UR.

Jean Root clarified it is being assessed for 1 REU.  Previous rezoning has been denied due to the build out for sewer 

and water. John Lowe stated 40 REUS have been allotted for the site under SR zoning, not 200 REUS for a more 

dense development.

Nick Balberman addressed the Chairperson.  The property to the north of Mason Road is in another jurisdiction, 

correct?  Hasn’t part of the property been annexed into the City of Howell?

John Lowe answered we are not sure.

Nick Balberman stated if the rezoning is not approved, he does not know what could be done. Questioned the 

zoning contiguous (bisected only by Mason Road) to the property to the north of Mason Road.

Discussion ensued on the surrounding proprieties, zoning and jurisdiction.  Planning Commission believes the zoning 

north of Mason Road is compatible with Marion Township zoning.  The public facilities are not available for that 

dense of a development.

Nick Balberman asked that the rezoning request be tabled until the next regularly scheduled Planning Commission


Jean Root motioned to accept the request of Crescendo Homes representative to table RZN #4-03 to the next 

regularly scheduled Planning Commission meeting.  Jim Anderson seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.

Sundance Meadows Phase 3 & 4 Final Preliminary Plat Approval

Debra Wiedman-Clawson is abstaining on this project. 

Jim Barnwell, Desine, Inc., gave a presentation on Sundance phase 3 & 4.  The plans have been reviewed and 

approved by all agencies.  Tonight Jim Barnwell is here requesting final preliminary plat approval.

John Ambrose summarized his review letter dated April 15, 2004, recommending approval contingent to township 

engineer approving construction plans.

Phil Westmoreland, Township Engineer, stated the only issue as of now is the parcel to the south which is technically

landlocked.  The final plat stage is when it becomes and issue to resolve.  Phil does not want this falling through the 


John Lowe addressed the HAFA letter asking no parking signs on one side of the street be posted every 60’.  

Is this a typo, and can we verify?

Livingston County Drain Commission (LCDC) sent a second letter of approval.  Sidewalks are required by our 

ordinance now, yet in the first two phases of Sundance Meadows, they were not.

Jim Barnwell stated the developer requested sidewalks in phase 3 & 4.

Jean Root motioned to recommend approval for Sundance Meadows, phase 3 & 4, final preliminary plat site plan 

dated April 1, 2004.  Review letters with the conditions to be included are Livingston County Road Commission 

(LCRC) dated 3/31/04, LCDC dated 4/6/04, HAFA dated 4/20/04, John Ambrose dated 4/15/04 and OHM 

dated 4/22/04.  Jim Anderson seconded.  Motion carried 4-0-1 abstention.

The Knolls of Grass Lake - Final Site Plan Review

Mike Boss, Boss Engineering, gave a synopsis of the project and discussions with the HAFA and the LCRC. 

 The IFC is a non binding code, yet Mike Boss was asked to mitigate concerns.  First option was a boulevard 

entrance, not feasible.  Second option is a second access thru Rubbins Road, the township would have to force 

this option, not feasible.  Third option is no parking on one side of the road which HAFA wants every 60’, yet is 

willing to accept one sign at entrance and one sign in the back.  LCRC will not allow signs every 60’.  Mike Boss

 is working with the HAFA and LCRC.  Again, the IFC is not a binding code that is not adopted by the state, only

 adopted by two communities in the state.  HAFA has no authority to deny, simply recommending it does not meet

 the requirements of HAFA code.  Township Attorney said it is not binding from their stand point.  Mike Boss is 

here tonight asking for final approval and believes there is no reason for the Planning Commission to delay. 

Landscaping issue has been addressed by increasing the height of the berm and addition of trees. The Master 

Deed language will insure wetland, abutting lots, will not be disturbed.

John Lowe asked for clarification of easement to Bentley Lake Road.

Mike Boss said yes and showed 66’ wide easement on plan.

John Lowe stated our township attorney was requesting a resolution (writing an approval letter) and we are in a 

catch-22 situation.

Mike Boss is not certain the HAFA will write an approval letter.  LCRC is adamant on where they stand on this 


Dave Hamann referred to the Timber Bluff development with 36 units and the HAFA recommendation for a 

second emergency access.  The access is onto a private road.  The Planning Commission recommended this 

emergency breakaway access without permission from the residents of the private road.

Mike Boss believes the Board of Trustees can require that. yet not the Planning Commission.  They are willing to 

do that onto Rubbins Road.

Dave Hamann was not suggesting Rubbins Road.  The easement to Bentley Lake Road is a valid option. Need to

address wetlands. Planning Commission did recommend this emergency access to a pre-existing non-conforming 

private road. A road base was installed to accommodate the fire trucks and has shrubs that can easily be driven 


Mike Boss said this would need the full construction of a road.  There is no easement to the cul-de-sac to the south.

John Lowe read the letter from Mike Kehoe dated April 20, 2004 addressing the letter from HAFA on the IFC

for the benefit of the audience.

Mike Boss said he will do everything he can to bring these two parties together.  He will bring something to the 

Board of Trustees stating a resolution.

Jean Root even if the IFC has not been adopted and is advisory in nature, some type of documentation advising us

that they were able or unable to agree.  Our attorney has advised us that we have been made aware the plans are


Mike Boss stated they have worked toward a resolution and it is that the code does not have to be met, the

township has not adopted it. The site plan meets all of the township requirements. They will make every attempt

 to mitigate that, but if we cannot, HAFA has no authority to deny this plan.  This was brought up at the February 

meeting and we were told the township would have something by the March meeting.  Your attorney sent this 

letter one week prior to the April meeting.   This is not enough time to set up meetings, I have been on the phone 

trying to resolve.  The township has caused the delays and they do not have the authority to do so.  We cannot 

afford these delays. 

John Ambrose read from his letter dated February 16, 2004, based on the findings of this review the site plan is in

compliance with the township zoning ordinance, for all the issues discussed to date. Township Zoning Act, 

P.A. 184 1943, section 16 e (5), states a site plan shall be approved if it contains the information required by the 

zoning ordinance and is in compliance with the zoning ordinance and the conditions imposed pursuant to the 

ordinance.  Based on the revisions the site plan is in conformance with your zoning ordinance.  The township has

 no authority to base a recommendation on a fire code that is not adopted by the township.  Under state law the 

Planning Commission is required to approve a site plan when it meets all the conditions in the ordinance.

John Lowe stated this is a Board of Trustees issue to approve or deny the IFC and final determination as far as the

responsibility of the how it relates to public safety.

Jean Root left the meeting at approximately 10:00 p.m.

Mary Ann Bahr again questioned the issue of the access road through the wetlands.  Tom Klebba said in regard to 

Rubbins Road, this developer does not own the property up to Rubbins Road.  It is privately owned. There are 

also properties along Bentley Lake Road that are landlocked.  If this access road is approved to Rubbins, others

 will want to have access via Rubbins.  Mr. Klebba also mentioned a variance that was granted when Derbyshire

was approved for the length of Clivedon Road, either by the ZBA or the Road Commission. 

Dave Hamann motioned for the Knolls of Grass Lake site plan review, from a planning perspective, to approve the

 final site plan dated 2/10/04, contingent upon the following:  resolution by the applicant of the access issue 

referenced in the April 21, 2004 letter from the attorney concerning the fire issue; compliance with the landscape 

plan agreed upon with the Planning Commission representatives;  Master Deed requiring protecting vegetation 

along all wetlands; township attorney approval of Master Deed and Bylaws, to be forwarded to the Board of 

Trustees for evaluation as it relates to health, safety and welfare.  Jim Anderson seconded.  Roll call vote: 

Jim Anderson, Jack Lowe, Dave Hamann, Debra Wiedman-Clawson—all yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

Proposed Text Amendments – TXT #2-04 Section 6.30 Private Sewage/Waste Water Treatment Plant 

and TXT #3-04 Section 3.02 Definitions

John Lowe read letter from township attorney dated April 20, 2004 requesting two changes regarding setbacks.

Dave Hamann motioned to recommend approval for Section 6.30, Private Sewage/Waste Water Treatment Plant 

to the Board of Trustees and Livingston County Department of Planning.  To be forwarded to the Livingston 

County Department of Planning for review and comment then to the Board of Trustees for final approval.  

Debra Wiedman-Clawson seconded.  Roll call vote:  Jim Anderson, Jack Lowe, Dave Hamann, Debra 

Wiedman-Clawson—all yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

Dave Hamann motioned to recommend approval for Section 3.02, Private Sewage/Waste Water Treatment Plant 

definitions to the Board of Trustees and Livingston County Department of Planning.  To be forwarded to the 

Livingston County Department of Planning for review and comment then to the Board of Trustees for final 

approval.  Jim Anderson seconded.  .  Roll call vote:  Jim Anderson, Jack Lowe, Dave Hamann, Debra 

Wiedman-Clawson—all yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

Site Plan Review Application

John Ambrose gave a review of changes made to the application, and discussed engineer review of implementation 

of certain projects, such as private roads.

Debra Wiedman-Clawson asked if we can require developer to supply documents as to the construction of the

private road.

John Ambrose stated we should have the township engineer review and certify road meets standards.

John Lowe asked that we add the aerial drawing verbiage we recently added to site plan review requirements.  

Should it be a part of this application?  John Ambrose will add to application.

Debra Wiedman-Clawson would like to see “owners of record” added to owners or owner’s representative.

Dave Hamann motioned to approve, with John Ambrose’s final revisions, the Site Plan Review Application to be

effective June 1, 2004, and forward to Zoning Administrator for implementation.  Debra Wiedman-Clawson 

seconded.  .  Roll call vote:  Jim Anderson, Jack Lowe, Dave Hamann, Debra Wiedman-Clawson—all yes.  

Motion carried 4-0.

Proposed Text Amendment – TXT #1-04 Article XIII Planned Unit Development District

Dave Hamann motioned to recommend approval for proposed text amendment Article XIII Planned Unit 

Development Overlay District to the Board of Trustees and Livingston County Department of Planning.  To be 

forwarded to the Livingston County Department of Planning for review and comment, then to the Board 

of Trustees for final approval.  Jim Anderson seconded.  .  Roll call vote:  Jim Anderson, Jack Lowe, Dave 

Hamann, Debra Wiedman-Clawson—all yes.  Motion carried 4-0.

Planning Commission Rules and Procedures of 1996

Dave Hamann motioned to table Planning Commission Rules and Procedures of 1996 revisions with John 

Ambrose’s latest updates, until the next regularly scheduled meeting.  Debra Wiedman-Clawson seconded.  

Motion carried 4-0.


Proposed Amendment to Section 19.02

Dave Hamann requested the Planning Commission review the proposed revisions and provide comments at the

next Planning Commission meeting.  Dave Hamann asked John Ambrose to review and make comments.


Galina Zwerlein, 2501 Clivedon Road.  Reiterated comments made earlier in meeting regarding minutes being 

done verbatim.  Mr. Lowe explained that the letter/document she mentioned is included with the minutes as an 


John Ambrose informed the Planning Commission and audience.  There is nothing in the requirement for minutes 

that they be verbatim. You can provide a summary in minutes. He suggested Planning Commission recommendations

to approve or deny, or approve with conditions be as close to verbatim as possible for the record. To put everything

 verbatim is unreasonable.  There are no communities required to do that in this state.  John Ambrose would not 

recommend putting this burden on the township staff.

John Lowe asked what her contention with the minutes was.  Put it in writing and submit to the township. The 

Planning Commission will make reference to the letter in the minutes and letter will be attached to the minutes.  

In regard to public safety, it was discussed at length earlier.

Discussion ensued on minute requirements and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA.)


Debra Wiedman-Clawson motioned to adjourn the meeting at 10:30 p.m.  Jim Anderson seconded.  

Motion carried 4-0.


Meeting called to order:  

Members Present:  

Members Absent: 

Call to the Public:  Agenda items only - 3 Minute Limit

Approval of Agenda: April 27, 2004    

Approval of Minutes:

                                                        March 23, 2004 Public Hearing

                                                       March 23, 2004 Regular Meeting

Old Business:          

            RZN# 4-03 – Family Golf

        Sundance Meadows III – Preliminary Review

            The Knolls of Grass Lake Site Plan Review

             Proposed Text Amendment – 

TXT# 2-04 Article VI General Provisions – Section 6.30 Private Sewage/Waste Water 

                                                           Treatment Plant

Proposed Text Amendment – 

TXT# 3-04 Article III Definitions– Section 3.02 Private Sewage/Waste Water  

                                                Treatment Plant

           Site Plan Review Application – Comments from Board of Trustees

Proposed Text Amendment – 

TXT# 1-04 Article XIII Planned Unit Development District – Change Heading – 

                                                                                    set a public hearing

Planning Commission Rules and Procedures of 1996

New Business:

Call to the Public: