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                                      MARION TOWNSHIP

                    PLANNING COMMISSION  

                              MAY 27, 2003 

MEMBERS PRESENT:   Jim Anderson, Debra Wiedman-Clawson, Dave Hamann,

                                           John Lowe and Jean Root

MEMBERS ABSENT:            None  

OTHERS PRESENT:             John Ambrose, Township Planner

                                                Bob Hanvey, Township Supervisor

                                                Annette McNamara, Zoning Administrator                                             



John Lowe called the Regular Meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.


 Jean Root motioned to approve the agenda.  Dave Hamann seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.  


There was discussion of the Blossom Farms Amendment to Final Site Plan regarding the last sentence

of that section to be reworded and to read as follows:  “John Lowe asked Brent LaVanway to provide

documentation that the current residents had been notified of the changes in the site plan of public and

private roads.”

Motion:  Jean Root made a motion to approve the Planning Commission Regular Minutes of April 22, 2003

as amended.  Jim Anderson seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.


Knolls of Grass Lake – Preliminary Site Plan Review (revised)

Mike Boss of Boss Engineering discussed deliberations at the last meeting regarding the consultant reviewing the

parallel plan and whether or not it showed the correct number of homes.  To ensure that the township planning

consultant had a chance to review it, they provided the submittal and met with staff members to discuss concerns

and as a result made some changes from the previous plan: removed a section to make open space and included as

two lots within the development so the condominium association would handle the entire area and have control over

open space. Boss Engineering with this change would like to present this plan to the township as an acceptable plan

that they were looking for when looking at the cluster option.The amount of open space would be open to homeowners.

A berm and more landscaping was proposed on Rubbins Road on the proposed plan. There was no allowance for

access and no way for people to make physical contact into the subdivision.  Concerns were addressed and an

appointment was scheduled with the Health Department to go out and perform perks. It was pointed out that the

Health Department and Road Commission and Drain Commissioner do not review this plan until the township

Planning Commission gives their preliminary approval. Boss Engineering was present to get preliminary site plan

approval in order to submit to all other agencies for approval. John Lowe asked John Ambrose to summarize a

letter dated, April 22, 2003, regarding this revised plan and the staff meeting held that Mike Boss and other

members from his office attended and Bob Hanvey, Annette McNamara, John Lowe, Mike Kehoe and John Ambrose attended where

they went through key issues from the initial submittal and requested, and arrived at a consensus that the changes discussed would be

made, which Mike Boss indicated, 1) A & B parcel at the end of cul-de-sac be removed and develop them as Lots 23, 24. 2) A parcel

that was on western side of wetland with a lot that had access through the wetland was deleted to address the concerns of the township.

With those changes, John Ambrose recommended the approval of the preliminary site plan, which meets the township criteria.

The question of engineered fields was discussed and Mike Boss pointed out that the Health Department does not want engineered fields

in subdivisions unless they are two acre lots.  If this area is dedicated as permanent open space equivalent to the two acres, the Health

Department would approve that.  There is no problem with it being in a site condo with engineered fields.

John Lowe questioned the Health Department’s concern as being isolation distance for engineered fields. The rule is two acres but if

there’s undeveloped property that is permanent, the Health Department will require documentation. Mr. Lowe also questioned the

100 feet away from the wetlands with an engineered system on that 1 ¼ acre and still be able to get a building envelope.

Jean Root questioned the berming behind Lots 24 –27 and it was explained that a 10 foot strip between the road right of way and the

development property line and whoever owns that the developer will have no rights to use Rubbins Road. The berms will be placed on

the owners’ lots and the maintenance of those berms could be included in the condo documentation.

Debra Wiedman-Clawson voiced concerns about public roads should not serve more than 25 residents.  And an explanation was given

that with an intersection that all changed and she is counting 28 residents on Derbyshire Farms and Clivedon Road.  John Ambrose

stated that that has not been discussed. Another concern is an easement that is available to get off of Bentley Lake, but the easement of

Bentley Lake is on paper only. It goes through a wetland and is not developed. Another concern was access.

John Ambrose commented that there’s a conflict in the zoning ordinance that says you cannot have more than 4 on a cul-de-sac.

The subdivision regulation ordinance says 2; and that is for a platted subdivision and this is a site condominium development. There is

only 1 entrance to a main road. John Ambrose stated you’re allowed 25 and they have less than that.

John Lowe read/reviewed Tetra Tech letter, dated, April 24, 2003 and Feb 13, 2003 was referenced stating that 38 lots may not be

feasible on the parallel plan. Agencies will not approve parallel plan. If Boss Engineering was before the township with just the parallel

plan, there would be enough criteria met for approval to proceed with their site plan.


An excerpt from the Triangle Lake Homeowner’s Association meeting was read by John Lowe.

Lowe highlighted main areas of concern of letter:  Through road and viability of 2nd road was addressed in earlier discussion;

proposed lot sizes are less than ½ acre; current zoning is two acres, which is purpose of cluster which is the overall density

 isn’t any greater but it allows more open space. Overall density is equivalent to a standard one acre subdivision

1)      Mike Heisner, 2989 Rubbins, voiced concern regarding Clivedon subdivision with road going through to Bentley Lake

 Road would double the lots. Also, with a berm along Rubbins drive being placed on the homeowner’s property would

 change their lots configuration and suggested that it might be easier to incorporate it into greenspace. John Lowe stated

 that language could be added to the plan to address the maintenance upkeep of the berm and if homeowner does not keep

up with maintenance, add the language that association would take care of it. Ambrose pointed out that township cannot

enforce association bylaws or master deed; when you have a site plan approval and if anyone is in violation of altering it,

they are in violation of changing the site plan and the township has access to them through the site plan review and litigates

 in court for any damages.

2)      Paul Springer, 2645 Rubbins, requested that the township enforce the site plan behind him, Derbyshire, which was bulldozed up.

3)      Chris Lloyd, 2653 Rubbins, expressed concern regarding the aesthetics of the berm and or visual barriers to be used

 and would like to see it specific and enforced. Mr. Lloyd also questioned the price range of the homes but that has not been

 established yet.

4)      John Hubert, 2629 Rubbins, expressed safety concern if tree goes over road, for people on Clivedon due to no road

 going through to Bentley Lake Road. Debra Wiedman-Clawson questioned the viability of the 1992 site plan from Boss

Engineering. Mike Boss explained that if a through road was constructed it would actually increase traffic. One problem is

 that there’s ½ mile of undeveloped property that crosses wetland to get the road in.

5)      Dave Brant, 2637 Rubbins, rebutted Mike Boss’ comment about lack of use of through road and stated same argument

  was made about a road going into Triangle Lake to Jartnick Pond, but the road is used significantly.

6)      Charles Beadle, 2797 Rubbins, questioned possible water runoff into his yard from any berms and wanted to know if it

 will be funneled away from Triangle Lake. It was stated that normally berms divert water. Left over land would be owned by

 condo association.

7)      Tom Klebba, 1615 Triangle Lake Road, requested a parallel plan be submitted. If state mandated cluster option is

considered then a parallel plan should be reviewed with possibility of putting in road. John Ambrose spoke to the township’s

attorney’s letter, dated, April 03, 2003, stating you cannot force the total review of a parallel plan; it is unreasonable. Zoning

as far as the courts and litigation are concerned is based on reasonableness. Township attorney, Mike Kehoe, said it was

not reasonable to require Boss Engineering or any developers to go through rigorous reviews of a parallel plan to get another

plan approval. If you do that, why go with a cluster? There are advantages for anybody in the township to go with a cluster,

which would enable more open space rather than all usable space occupied with homes. This allows for more protection and

screens it away from other developments. Tom Klebba rebutted by saying State mandates change; the township added

that Township attorney wrote a letter, May 20th, dealing with an associated issue. Tom Klebba respectively disagreed

saying that it was the desire to keep the rural character (large lots) maintained.

8)      Steve Zehnder, 209 Clivedon, questioned if there would be a buffer area.  John Lowe stated there was existing

vegetation to remain and a 25-foot buffer on existing property but nothing has been discussed as to what will go into buffer.

 Tom Klebba suggested that verbiage be added that if berm, bushes or fence are put in, that they be maintained by the

 association rather than part of those lots.  John Ambrose concurred.

Planning Commission Discussion:  Concerns expressed about lack of 2nd entrance to development; number of homes on

 one road; preservation of environmental issues leaving open spaces/land; definition of sprawl by John Ambrose usually

refers to larger region moving to townships.  And from a planner’s standpoint it’s the goal to develop at the highest quality

and build into zoning ordinances, to strive for a quality development and develop something that meets the objectives of

community as a whole; submit to Township Board after receiving final approval with master deed and bylaws. John Ambrose

stated that this development does not fit into the definition of sprawl. John Ambrose commented to keep in mind that approval

of site plan says you accept general layout of plan, lot configurations; in final site plan detail will be provided, such as

berm, drainage, etc. An approval does not finalize this plan.


Knolls of Grass Lake-Preliminary Site Plan Review (revised):

  Jean Root motioned to approve the preliminary site plan for the Knolls of Grass Lake, Tax ID # 4710-27-100-003,

dated May 6, 2003, at which time this plan shall be submitted to the Township Board for its review.  Please note page six

in the parallel plan, and would like review and comments from the Board.  Jim Anderson seconded. 

Roll Call Vote:  Jim Anderson, Jean Root, John Lowe, Dave Hamann, Debra Wiedman-Clawson—all yes.

Motion carried 5-0.


Richard Hartigan of the Schonsheck Company, industrial developers, presented to the Planning Commission requesting a rezoning

for two parcels:  Parcel 1 located south of CSX Railroad and west of Lucy Road from MHP to Industrial; Parcel 2 located north

of CSX Railroad and west of Lucy Road from MHP to Urban Residential. 


Jean Root made a motion to have Public Hearing for Parcels #1, known as Howell Industrial Center, LLC, and Parcel #2,

Tax Code 4710-01-200-018, on June 24, 2003, at 7:15 p.m. Jim Anderson seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.

Dave Hamann made a motion to table the proposed ordinance amendments:  Section 6.14 –Home Occupation;

Section 3.02—Definition of Lot Lines, #3 Side Lot Line; Section 6.20 F—Cul-de-sacs, new item #4.  Jim Anderson seconded.

 Motion carried 5-0.

Dave Hamann made a motion to table the Review of Site Plan Checklist until the next meeting.

Jim Anderson seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.

Proposed Language for Open Space Parallel Plan

John Ambrose reviewed Mike Kehoe’s letters of May 17th and 20th regarding his review of parallel plan.  Mr. Ambrose would

 like to speak with Mike Kehoe regarding his understanding of buildable land and then readdress at next meeting.


Jean Root made a motion to have on a Public Hearing on June 24, 2003 at 7:30 p.m. a Public Hearing for Section 6.29,

Open Space Preservation option.  Jim Anderson seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.

Debra Wiedman-Clawson made a motion to delete in Section 6.19, Access Controls, Part B, “Lots to Have Access,” the last

 sentence.  Dave Hamann seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.

Jean Root made a motion to have a Public Hearing on June 24, 2003 immediately following Open Space Preservation option for

 Section 6.19, Item B.  Debra Wiedman-Clawson seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.  




John Lowe motioned to adjourn at 10:25 p.m.  Dave Hamann seconded. Motion carried 5-0