PLANNING COMMISSION - SPECIAL MEETING
June 16, 2004
JOHN LOWE, CHAIRPERSON
OTHERS PRESENT:BOB HANVEY, SUPERVISOR
PHIL WESTMORELAND, TOWNSHIP
MICHAEL KEHOE, TOWNSHIP ATTORNEY
ANNETTE MCNAMARA, ZONING ADMINISTRATOR
The meeting was called
to order at 7:00
Jean Root requested the agenda be amended as follows. Items under Old Business to be
addressed in the
Debra Weidman-Clawson clarified Township Planner, Noise Ordinance and Section 6.24 are
tonight’s agenda. Noted.
June 16, 2004
Ordinance Workshop. Jim Anderson
seconded. Motion carried 5-0.
CALL TO THE
Jean Root requested the residents, who have attended tonight’s meeting for a particular agenda
item, make their
statements during the discussion on the agenda item.
Jim Anderson motioned to approve the May 17, 2004 Comprehensive Plan minutes.
Dave Hamann seconded.
Motion carried 5-0.
John Lowe would like to know if the Planning Commission recall and agree with the intent for the
adoption of Section 6.24 Landscape Buffer. He explained for the members who were not on the
Planning Commission at the time. A proposed development requested the access road along the
property line. The property line was lined with mature Oak trees, which would be destroyed as a
result of the access drive. This is how the ordinance for Landscape Buffer was conceived to
protect adjacent property and natural features. At the last Planning Commission meeting
John Ambrose, Township Planner said that was not the intent of the ordinance. John Lowe and
Jean Root disagree. It seems to be an ongoing problem (Knolls of Grass Lake, Ironwood,
Family Golf) that surfaces after the fact, and then it is the Planning Commission responsibility to
explain to the residents why this takes place. The Board of Trustees has authorized Dave Hamann
to do research for a new planner. The current planner is not under contract. John Lowe asked
the Planning Commission for a consensus and questions. Jim Anderson expressed concern with
the planners’ agitation during meetings when residents comment and ask questions and that is not
the image the township wants to project. Dave Hamann asked the Planning Commission if
another meeting with the planner to discuss these items is an option. Debra Weidman-Clawson
has concerns that the language being presented to the Planning Commission can be easily found
on the internet. Jean Root scoured the minutes from the Knolls of Grass Lake to find the statement
made by the planner that the number of lots would be negotiable and the next meeting that was
held it was brought up that the number of lots is not negotiable. Discussion ensued regarding the
collaboration between the attorney and the planner when developing language for the ordinance.
The Planning Commission does not see this happening. Also, the formatting of the current
ordinance must be corrected to aid in adding sections without throwing off the format of the
entire document. Jean Root stated that the Planning Commission may find that the planners’
performance is within today’s standards. A committed was formed to research this issue. The
committee will consist of Dave Hamann and Debra Weidman-Clawson. Annette McNamara and
Sandi Longstreet will
also help with this project.
to list and evaluate potential new planner for the township. The committee will consist of
Dave Hamann, Debra Weidman-Clawson and Annette McNamara. Debra Weidman-Clawson
Nancy Johnson, 2677 High Meadows Road has come to the Planning Commission for the second
time to ask if there
High Meadows Road. The road is in disrepair and Mr. Johnson is not willing to continue the
potential new residents.
last meeting. Documentation was found stating the township accepted the road yet, the
Livingston County Road Commission did not accept the road. There were handwritten notes on
the letter stating the Livingston County Road Commission standards were too strict. Mike Kehoe
is looking in his files to see if there is any documentation showing how many lots the township
approved to gain
access thru High Meadows Road.
homeowners to participate in the maintenance of the roads. The township cannot deny a Land
Division because it is on an unapproved road. The township can deny a land use permit if the
private road is not approved or if the addition of another home exceeds the number of homes
approved for that road. The other option would be to apply to the Zoning Board of Appeals for
a variance. The list of private roads in the township that the office has been using is a starting
point. Our township engineer can review the roads and tell us whether they currently meet
Livingston County Road Commission standards or not. The township cannot force homeowners
to bring the road up to standards. If a land use permit is submitted for one of the original parcels,
the land use permit can be approved. If the original parcel is split and a land use permit is
submitted, that land use permit is denied until the road is brought up to standards. For the roads
the Planning Commission is reviewing now, who will be responsible for reviewing the roads at a
later date, how often should the roads be reviewed? How will the township hold the homeowners
township leave these pre-existing non-conforming non-standard private roads as they are; or
does the township become the enabler of bringing the roads up to specification and charging it
back to the resident?
ordinance. Mr. Walsh has called the local police authority and was told that if the township does
not have a noise ordinance, the police cannot enforce. Mr. Walsh has a neighbor who plays loud
music with profanity. Discussion ensued as to the effectiveness of a noise ordinance. The cost for
the township to have the decibel level documented is a considerable amount. Having a qualified
when the offense is occurring.
when offense is taking place. When it comes to profanity; first amendment rights have to be
Mike Kehoe will review
Private Roads – continued
John Lowe updated Mike Kehoe on the previous discussion and asked if a land use permit can be
withheld. Mike Kehoe stated yes, legally you can with hold a land use permit under section 6.19.
You cannot prevent a
parcel split, yet you can prevent the building of a principal structure.
Jean Root asked if on the land division application the township makes the owner aware the
parcel is on a
non-approved private road.
current ordinance are
restrict decks, pools,
accessory structure for the homes on non-conforming private roads.
Mike Kehoe stated no.
Can only deny a primary structure on a parcel split from the parent
Mike Kehoe explained as the ordinance reads today once the road has been
Mike Kehoe explained as the ordinance reads today once the road has been constructed to
specifications and is approved, even if the parcel owner waited 5 years to build they can as the
road meet the requirements at the time. There is no annual or bi annual review. The ordinance
can be amended to include language on annual reviews. There is language in the ordinance now
that if the road falls into disrepair and so forth the township can make the repairs and do an
This goes on a case by case basis.
on High Meadows Road.
High Meadows Road was approved, and then yes it would apply. Yet we cannot take the ordinance
that is in effect now
and enforcing it to parcels that were created fifteen years ago.
Mike Kehoe explained with a Private Road Maintenance Agreement states the ingress/egress for
the parcels within the legal description. If a parcel is not part of that legal description then the do
not have access thru the private road. An example would be; the Board of Trustees approves
18 lots to have access via a private road. This shall not be expanded beyond 18 lots without
township approval. You also must make sure that is in the language that is recorded. Amend
the ordinance to have PRMA reviewed after being recorded and prior to issuing a land use permit.
The Planning Commission would like a list of the non-conforming private roads within the
township should be a
part of the proposed Comprehensive Plan to make the residents aware.
Discussion ensued on the review of existing non conforming private roads. Some private roads
would not need review. If they were constructed to specification and the township has the
paperwork to back it up. A list of the private roads and attached documentation will be given to
Phil Westmoreland and a review process will be developed. The first step would be to identify the
private roads within the township and narrow the list to the ones that would need a review.
The Planning Commission feels this should be done within the next few months. There could be
a PRMA recorded at the Livingston County Register of Deeds office and not a copy at the township.
Make the number of lots to have access a part of the motion. For instance say the number of lots
has to be in the declaration of restrictions recorded with the county and submitted to the township.
Should the roads be evaluated based on the standards in place at the time the township approved
the road. Can homeowners on a private road deny an upgrade to allow a land use permit if one
resident is paying for the upgrade? Mike Kehoe said that is possible. The court will look at an
unreasonable burden. Mike Kehoe asked is it wise for the township to allow additional homes to be
build on a private e road that may have standards that are less than the current are and also at
the same time letting those additional housed to be built on a private road where there are no
means to maintain and share cost. It that the townships problem and is the township creating
bigger problems by lettering these things happen. Or the parcel that is created when the road
was created is the only parcel to be built on. If you want to make money by splitting your property
you have to do under a
standard that is safer.
This is for the health safety and welfare of the residents.
asked Mike Kehoe to provide language for the General Provisions article/section. Mike Kehoe
6.20 J 3 and 6.19 B.
John Lowe would like to Planning Commission to discuss the viability of an ingress/egress next to
a property line. Does the language address the intent? Mike Kehoe responded this has not been
applied to recent developments due to extenuating circumstances. If there is only room for a
66 foot road, and the ordinance only provides for a 66’ ingress/egress and is the Planning
Commission justified asking for an extra 50 feet in width. The language states between uses,
if you look at the definition of use. It is a stretch to say the road itself meets the use definition.
Mike Kehoe does not
feel the language is strong enough to defend that.
Jean Root noted section 8.01 D that refers to a development boundary, then when you look at
6.26 the sticking
point is the word development. This
was just a private road parcel split.
Mike Kehoe can tie in language to connect with 6.24, if considering placement of easement to an
adjacent parcel the right of way width may have to be wider to accommodate the landscape
buffering required in section 6.24. Mike Kehoe will provide language that meets the intent of the
Planning Commission and is acceptable and defensible. Mike Kehoe will have this by July 15, 2004
A Special Meeting was scheduled for Thursday, July 15, 2004 @ 7:30 p.m. Mike Kehoe will attend
CALL TO THE
Dave Hamann motioned
to adjourn at 10:45 p.m. Jim
Anderson seconded. Motion