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                       MARION TOWNSHIP

                Draft Minutes -   July 15, 2004  



                                      JIM ANDERSON

                                       DAVE HAMANN

                                      DEBRA WIEDMAN-CLAWSON


                                      MIKE KEHOE, TOWNSHIP ATTORNEY

                                      ANNETTE MCNAMARA, ZONING ADMINISTRATOR



The meeting was called to order at 7:37


Jean Root requested the Planning Commission Rules and Procedures of 1996 be added to Old

Business. Jean Root motioned to approve the agenda as amended.  Debra Wiedman-Clawson

seconded.  Motion carried 4-0.


None heard.


Jean Root requested the following corrections.  Page 2, change committed to committee.  Page 5,

change it to is.  Page 5, add the word so.  Jean Root motioned to approve the minutes as amended.

 Jim Anderson seconded.  Motion carried 4-0.

Dave Hamann asked that the record show John Lowe, Chairperson is absent.


Planning Commission Rules and Procedures of 1996

Jean Root noted one correction remaining.  This will be given to Annette McNamara, Zoning

Administrator for correction.  Jean Root would like a clean copy for the Planning Commission

members for review and adoption at the July 27, 2004 Planning Commission meeting.

Jean Root motioned to add the Planning Commission Rules and Procedures of 1996 for the Planning

Commissions final review and approval.  Debra Wiedman-Clawson seconded.  Motion carried 4-0.

Section 19.02 Non Conforming Lots

The Planning Commission is looking for a better understanding of the language Mike Kehoe is

proposing. Mike Kehoe responded.  The corrections provide more emphasis on the intent of

Section 19.02, which is to require those combinations for the purpose of meeting the lot width and

area requirements.  A property owner who owns any lots or parts of lots that had to be combined in

order to meet the minimum lot width requirements of the ordinance cannot transfer or convey any of

 those lots or portions of lots that were combined in order to meet minimum lot width or area

requirements of the ordinance.  That was the intent of the existing language, yet the exiting language

does not put the burden on the property owner. The information in the margin of the document

provided to the Planning Commission must be ignored.  This was for the purpose of comparison for

Mike Kehoe only.  Mike Kehoe apologized for not removing it.

Dave Hamann has concerns that the township is trying to enforce zoning on a sale of a lot in a pre-

existing non conforming subdivision.  We can enforce zoning when someone uses the lot. This issue

came up on Triangle Lake .  Two lake front lots, that were legal lots in that subdivision had legal

descriptions and could change hands. The owners of the lots were not allowed to keep one of the

lake front lots (they lived on a lot across the street) and sell the other lake front lot.  Dave reasoned

we are looking at pre existing nonconforming situations, like with private roads. We are trying to

enforce zoning on situations related to the ownership and sale of property, when the zoning should

come into play when people try to use their property. 

Questions regarding the approval of land divisions on lots that are not buildable, is this unfair to the

potential buyer. Potential buyers need to practice due diligence as to the potential use of the property.

Dave Hamann explained Mr. Cesarz has two lots across the road from the lake front lots,

neighbors have asked Dave, if one buys one and one buys another and they tie it to their house

on the lake front can they use that and put a garage on it. This language would block that.  The

two lots today are contiguous and so you cannot sell them separately.  Dave read ‘if it no longer

meets minimum lot width or area requirements of this ordinance shall hereafter use, transfer or

in any manner convey any such lots’. Mike Kehoe stated in a manner which diminishes compliance

with the lot width and area requirements.  It would be OK if you had two lots side by side, and if

someone wanted to buy one and someone on the other side wanted to buy the other one they

could do that. Jean Root asked what if a road divides the lots, Dave Hamann answered that it is not

contiguous and would not apply. Mike Kehoe believes the Ordinance addresses Dave’s concerns. 

Mike Kehoe tried to make it clearer that if you owned two of the lots you cannot divide them.

Dave Hamann added, to allow someone to build on one and then someone else builds on the other.

  Mike Kehoe wanted to make it clearer that there is a burden on the owner of those lots to see to it

that they don’t do anything to diminish the lot area or width.

Debra Wiedman-Clawson commented that they are really not splitting it as opposed to acquiring it.

It is not a land split in that case.

Mr. Hanvey What about a situation where there are two adjacent lots with two separate owners if

one of the owners bought the other lot could they ever then divide again. 

Dave Hamann owns two lots next to the lot he built his home on. Does this lock him in if he

decided to sell those lots? Mike Kehoe asked how many extra lots he has.

Dave Hamann answered a lot and a half, that make the minimum width yet not the minimum area.

Mike Kehoe stated he could possibly have a problem.

Mr. Hanvey asked if there is no problem taking two contiguous parcels that are two platted lots with

a single parcel number and making them into two parcel numbers, is that correct?  A resident in the

Existing Residential District (ERS) has four lots; two are with the house, with one tax code. 

One of the lots is on another tax code. The front lot on the lake has its own tax code. The resident

wants to get a separate parcel for the back lot that doesn’t have the house on it, but is attached to

 where the house is.  So the resident would have four parcel codes that she could give to her

children. Debra Wiedman-Clawson stated that the lot would not be buildable.

Mike Kehoe stated, she is allowed to get separate tax codes, because each parcel has a separate

legal description.  Just because she can get separate tax code numbers does not mean she also has

the right to individually deed those four separate parcels.

Jean Root asked if they would all be nonconforming.

Dave Hamann nonconforming implies zoning; it does not imply if you have a legal description on a

platted lot it can be given a separate tax code number.

Jean Root asked if the changes would affect the ERS district and no other area of the township.

Dave Hamann answered yes, Coon Lake , Cedar Lake , Pleasant Lake and Triangle Lake .

Jean Root motioned to hold a public hearing on section 19.02 non conforming lots on August 24,

2004 @ 7:15 p.m.  Debra Wiedman-Clawson seconded.  Motion carried 4-0.

Section 6.20 Private Roads

Dave Hamann review previous discussion.  Requiring owners who want to split their property and

the buyer of the split parcel on private roads would take on addressing the Ordinance item that we

currently have requiring a maintenance agreement. 

Jean Root would like to see a list of private roads within the township.

Discussion ensued on denying land use permits for primary structures on parcels split from the

parent parcel.  The township does not have the right to deny the use of accessory structures, pools

or decks on non conforming private roads.

Dave Hamann would like to see Section 6.20 that is addressing private roads from the time of this

ordinance forward, to be intact with a few adjustments.  And take anything related to pre existing

non conforming private roads and all of the issues with them and set up a section in Article XIX

that is non conforming private roads.  In a fair way that does not restrict someone who wants to

split their land, but also address what happens when someone does not want the land split.  And

when the land split takes place can that be the beginning of a road maintenance agreement for the

splits. Discussion ensued as to forcing other homeowners to sign the road maintenance agreement. 

If it was an approved road that had an agreement, it covers in our ordinance that it could be turned

over and the township could assess appropriately.  There are roads without a maintenance

agreement. Dave Hamann stated if you want to have an Ordinance addressing private roads and

non conforming private roads.  Then you should be the one to facilitate helping people to fit the

ordinance. Discussion ensued regarding the classification of existing private roads and the township

engineer evaluating existing roads to set a baseline.  There are roads in the township, such as

Lange, Truhn and Sanatorium where portions of the road were abandoned at one point in time. 

These roads need to be addressed also.  The township has no method of certification other than

Livingston County Road Commission requirements. Jim Anderson would like to see approved

private roads on the list also.  Is there a statute of limitations?

Dave Hamann stated that is why Article XIX

  Jean Root motioned that Annette McNamara will provide a rough draft list of private roads for the

Planning Commission review at the July 27, 2004 meeting.  Jim Anderson seconded. 

Motion carried 4-0.

Jean Root excused herself from the meeting.

Discussion of agenda items

There were items not placed on the agenda that should have been.

Mike Kehoe provided review and comments for Section 8.02 and Section 6.07 yet they were not

placed on the agenda. Debra Wiedman-Clawson question the language provided by Mike Kehoe,

she does not see the difference in what is already in place.  Mike Kehoe stated the change is in the

 statement limiting the number of parcels per private road.  He thought the township wanted some

 type of control as to the number of lots on a private road. Debra Wiedman-Clawson believes the

township can only approve the private road.  The township does not approve the number of parcels

 as long as it does not exceed 25 parcels as allowed by the Ordinance.  Unless we rewrite the

ordinance to state the developer also has to show the maximum number of lots that will ever be

allowed on that private road.  Then the potential buyer can go to the Register of Deeds, and see

the survey along with the legal that specifically states that this parcel cannot be divided or split.

Mike Kehoe stated if in five to ten years from now they are going to create additional parcels and

seek additional land use permits on that road, don’t you think the township should to make sure

that the road is still intact.  Mike used the word parcels not land use permit.  It sounds as if the

Planning Commission is not sure as to whether this is a good idea or not.

Debra Wiedman-Clawson believes that if there is a road maintenance agreement and the road falls

into disrepair is it not the townships responsibility to bring it up to standards and assess the

homeowners. Mike Kehoe stated it is the townships option.  The word may is used in the language.

Section 6.24 Landscape Buffer

Mike Kehoe review letter on Section 8.01 D 1 ‘single family subdivisions and condominium

developments’ came up when Annette asked Mike Kehoe to review Section 6.24 he found a conflict

in Section 8.01 D 1 that he believed was not the original intent.

We talked about Section 6.24 Landscape Buffer being applicable to all residential developments. 

In reviewing the language of 8.01 D 1 A, it stated, the significance was caught that a greenbelt

buffer ‘single family subdivisions and condominium developments’ set up as those are a special use.

 Because they are under the heading ‘Uses Permitted By Right Subject to Special Conditions.’

 Mike Kehoe does not think it was the intention to have ‘single family subdivisions and condominium

 developments’ as a special use or that they need to be handled as a special use, yet if you read the

wording that is how it sounds. Annette stated that really what the language meant was that you

had to refer back to General Conditions for site condominiums not necessarily that they were a

special use.  Mike Kehoe answered yes.

Mike Kehoe stated, with single family subdivisions and condominium developments and the density

you may want a greenbelt buffer, yet with parcel splits you may not need a buffer.

Debra Wiedman-Clawson brought up the greenbelt buffering requirement for the parcel splits on

Wolfe Ridge Private Drive . Jim Anderson asked if this was the issue with Jesse Drive , the portion

without a 25 foot buffer and the Planning Commission must be consistent.

Debra Wiedman-Clawson stated it should not have been required of Wolfe Ridge Private Drive .

We do not have to continue to be wrong.

Jim Anderson stated that is what precipitates this discussion about the buffer.

Mike Kehoe felt it was a stretch to say the buffer applies to a Private Road . He has given the

Planning Commission language to use in the future, yet for this situation where there is only

a 66 foot easement how can you force a 25 foot buffer.

Jim Anderson would like stated in the record Section 6.20 does make reference to landscape

buffering. Debra Wiedman-Clawson motioned to table section 6.24 Landscape Buffer until the next

Special Meeting.  Jim Anderson seconded.  Motion carried 3-0.

Access Management

Annette McNamara clarified this agenda item was not about language provided by Orchard, Hiltz &

McCliment, Inc., it should have been listed as Section 6.19 Access Controls.  Mike Kehoe provided a

review letter on this section.

Debra Wiedman-Clawson motioned to table Section 6.19 Access Controls until the next Special

Meeting.  Jim Anderson seconded.  Motion carried 3-0.  

Noise Ordinance

Mike Kehoe told the Planning Commission recent conversation and the problems enforcing a noise

ordinance.  Mike Kehoe will review the language from the Putnam Township Zoning Ordinance.

Debra Wiedman-Clawson motioned to table Noise Ordinance until the next Special Meeting. Jim

Anderson seconded.  Motion carried 3-0.


Section 17.24 A Private Recreational Facilities

Annette McNamara found that the Suburban Residential district was not included in Section 17.24

and is a use permitted by special use permit.  Suburban Residential should be added in this section.

Debra Wiedman-Clawson motioned to set a public hearing to add verbiage to Section 17.24 A,

Private Recreational Facilities to add the word Suburban Residential to be held on August 24, 2004

@ 7:20 p.m. Jim Anderson seconded.  Motion carried 3-0.

Addition Items

Dave Hamann noted two other review letters from Mike Kehoe that were not on this agenda. 

Dave Hamann requested Annette please place on the next agenda.  These are Section 8.02

Suburban Residential - Intent, Section 6.07 Accessory Structures and Article XIII Planned Unit

Development Overlay District.


None heard.


Debra Wiedman-Clawson motioned to adjourn at 9:25 p.m.  Jim Anderson seconded.

Motion Carried 3-0.