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                    MARION TOWNSHIP

             DRAFT MINUTES

         AUGUST 26, 2003  - PUBLIC HEARING

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Jim Anderson, Debra Wiedman-Clawson, Dave Hamann, John Lowe, Jean Root

MEMBERS ABSENT:            None

OTHERS PRESENT:             John Ambrose, Planning Consultant

Bob Hanvey, Township Supervisor

                                                Annette McNamara, Zoning Administrator




John Lowe called the meeting to order at 7:15 p.m.


Dave Hamann made a motion to approve the agenda.  Jean Root seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.




Special Use Permit #01-03 Commercial Stable - Mr. & Mrs. Carsley


No appearance by public


Dave Hamann made a motion to close the Public Hearing at 7:22 p.m. Jim Anderson seconded. Motion carried 5-0.  



MEMBERS PRESENT:            Jim Anderson, Debra Wiedman-Clawson, Dave Hamann, John Lowe, Jean Root

MEMBERS ABSENT:            None

OTHERS PRESENT:             John Ambrose, Planning Consultant

Bob Hanvey, Township Supervisor

                                                Annette McNamara, Zoning Administrator




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

Annette McNamara requested the agenda be amended to include Blossom Farms last under Old Business.


Dave Hamann made a motion to approve the agenda as amended.  Debra Wiedman-Clawson seconded.  

Motion carried 5-0.


August 5, 2003 Regular Meeting. The following revisions were suggested:

-          Page 5, under Call to the Public, heading entitled, “Highland Mobile Home Development” will be inserted above 

   second paragraph beginning with “Bob Hanvey distributed…”

-          Page 5, under Township Attorney, John Lowe questioned whether these are questions or comments posed by 

 members of the Planning Commission. Dave Hamann’s comment will be revised to read “is comfortable with…”

-          John Ambrose questioned if clear information is getting to the attorney.

Dave Hamann made a motion to approve the August 5, 2003 Regular Meeting Minutes as amended.  Jean Root seconded.

 Debra Wiedman-Clawson abstained.  Motion carried 4-0.


Special Use Permit #01-03 Commercial Stable - Mr. & Mrs. Carsley

John Ambrose summarized his July 16, 2003 letter of recommendation. Debra Wiedman-Clawson questioned the Carsleys regarding 

the proposed location of the manure pile and whether it will be enclosed and how it will impact drainage into wetlands. The Carsleys

stated they will spread it in their hayfield. Debra Wiedman-Clawson also questioned how close to the property line the red barn is on 

the adjacent property.  John Lowe commented it is close to the 15’ minimum side yard setback.  This poses a possible scenario of a 

home being built in the future and still maintaining the isolation distance required for a commercial stable.  John Ambrose stated that

would not apply. Jean Root questioned the status of the Special Use Permit (SUP) if property sold.  Annette McNamara stated that

the Planning Commission can place conditions on the SUP. If the property sells, the new owners are required to come to the Planning 

Commission for review and approval.  John Ambrose commented if landowners who received SUP altered the site plan, by law they 

are required to go before the township before doing so.  The Carsleys have concerns regarding future neighbors and complaints. 

Ambrose responded that as long as landowner meets all criteria of the ordinance, new neighbors would have no standing with complaints,

and they would have to verify a violation of the ordinance. Otherwise it will be handled administratively.

Jean Root made a motion that the Planning Commission grant conditional approval of the site plan for Majestic Oak Commercial Stable, 

Tax Code 4710-17-200-012, and Special Use Permit #01-03 based on following conditions:

1.      All issues addressed in July 16, 2003 letter from John Ambrose be addressed with three subheadings:

-         Permit must be administratively recertified every two years

-         If problems arise, applicant must come to Planning Commission for resolution

-         The SUP does not transfer upon the sale of the property

The Carsleys want to know what date will administrative review be held?  The date of the Township Board of Trustees’ approval.

Dave Hamann seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.

Preliminary Site Plan Review # 03-03 – Pardiac Shell Addition

Robert Deipert introduced himself as Mr. Pardiac’s architect and requested that the Site Plan Review be tabled for tonight due to

inadequate information on the Site Plan. Jean Root made a motion to table the Preliminary Site Plan Review – Pardiac Shell Addition. 

Dave Hamann seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.

Proposed Rezoning of Darakjian Property

Present were Ian Schonsheck, 51331 West Pontiac Trail, Wixom, Schonsheck, Incorporated, and Ara Darakjian, Darakjian Properties, 

29333 Northwestern Highway, Southfield.  Mr. Schonsheck’s presentation tonight is in response to John Ambrose’s, Township Planner, 

assessment of the request to rezone 59 acres from Mobile Home Park (MHP) to Urban Residential (UR.)   

Ian Schonsheck stated the buildable area on the parcel north of the CSX Railroad is severely limited by wetlands, grades and proposed 

mitigation.  The residential concept plan shows how buildings with a smaller footprint can be set on the site in harmony with the natural 

features.  Industrial development requires large flat rectangular sites for the building and adjoining parking.

John Lowe asked John Ambrose to summarize his review letters dated June 10, 2003 and August 15, 2003. The June 10th letter 

recommended the request be denied.  This request was previously reviewed; however, the applicant did not submit the requested materials

when the original review was done.  The requested information has a significant impact on the recommendation concerning the rezoning 

petition. The Township’s current Master Plan (March 1992) designates this area for mixed urban land use. This proposed rezoning from

MHP to UR is one of the few areas for high density development or commercial or non-residential type uses.

Based on letter dated August 1, 2003 from the Livingston County Department of Public Health (LCDPH), concerning a plan 

review of the Marion Township Manufactured Homes Community, which is generally located in the vicinity of the subject 

property, the general site suitability for development was discussed.  Of particular interest is that this area of the Township,

north of Interstate 96 in Section 1, has several gas wells and pressurized gas pipelines ranging from 4-inches to 20-inches in 

diameter at depths four (4) feet below ground surface.  These gas wells and pipelines are regulated by Panhandle Eastern 

Pipeline Company, who have indicated that there are several gas wells and pipelines in this area, however, the applicant’s 

rezoning materials makes no mention of these facilities.  Also, the LCDPH feels that the presence of pipelines in this area 

presents a public health concern in that there was an explosion just a few miles south of the subject property, which was 

caused by the deterioration of a pressurized pipeline.

John Ambrose’s recommendation to rezone 59 acres of land from MHP to UR is modified as follows:

      ·         The area north of the wetlands and west of National Street (as extended to the south) be rezoned to the UR, Urban Residential

            District; and

·         The remaining area remain zoned in MHP with the option of possibly rezoning this area to Light Industrial (LI).

The reasons for this recommendation are as follows:

1.      The proposed UR zoning will provide a buffer between residential uses to the west (City of Howell) and the existing land use patterns 

found in the northern portion of the subject site as there are existing industrial uses that are located adjacent to or in close proximity to this

 portion of the subject site.

2.      Also, the UR as previously noted is a high density residential category that is capable of having single-family detached units developed 

at a density of 2.9 units per acre and up to 10 units per acre for multiple-family developments, which are permitted in the UR District.

 This land use category is consistent with the Township’s current comprehensive plan or master plan.

3.      The proposed rezoning is more suitable the northwest corner of the subject site with the remaining area being more suitable for the 

current zoning classification (MHP) due to the existing topography.

4.      In the overall scheme of sound planning practices, a community needs to have adequate land set aside for non-residential use (commercial and 

industrial) in order to provide an adequate tax base that will help support the required services and infrastructure. Without such a tax base, the 

Township’s residents will feel the brunt and burden of supporting the services and infrastructure that are needed to function as a successful community.

 Also, the loss of industrial land in the Township at this location will most likely not be found or gained elsewhere in the community, as there are no suitable 

locations remaining for industrial development.  Therefore, the option of rezoning the southern portion of the subject site to light industrial has merit as it will 

be adjacent to other light industrial areas as well as the CSX Railroad, where it is conducive to locate industrial uses.

John Ambrose also strongly recommended that before rezoning any of the land in the subject rezoning petition, it is strongly recommended that 

the Township require the applicant to supply the Planning Commission with accurate and detailed information concerning the location of any

gas wells and/or pipelines that may be located on the subject site.  If there are significant gas wells and pipelines located on the subject site, it 

would be recommended that the rezoning request be denied, which is consistent with the recommendation of the Livingston County Department

of Public Health. John Lowe questioned two different applications on map and using a 1 on 1 swap for the mitigation, which has always been a 2 

on 1 and how that will impact the northern portion and could change the map substantially. Mr. Schonsheck stated the same people are doing the 

mitigation of the road and on-site mitigation and it’s been stated the wetlands are not high quality and what they are building is improving to higher quality 

wetland.  Mr. Schonsheck also stated that there’s only one well and one line on their property and there’s no easements to the west of that wellhead.  

Debra Wiedman-Clawson commented that Panhandle has one to the north. Based on topography there will be multiple type buildings that would be 

detached condominium units of approximately 900 to 1400 square feet. Jean Root agreed with John Ambrose’s assessment of this and expressed concern

that if this was rezoned, where would they put a MHP, if that housing had to be provided.  Mr. Schonsheck has expressed this is an all or nothing proposal.

John Lowe agrees that it would not be prudent to change zoning at this time. Mr. Darakjian asked if the requirement was specific to mobile home or

specific to affordability type of cost. John Ambrose stated it has nothing to do with affordable housing but what Mobile Home Commission and courts

have stipulated that you can’t exclude mobile homes from your community, which this land was set aside for.

Jean Root made a motion to deny the rezoning for the Darakjian property, Tax Code No. 4710-01-200-018 for the following reasons:

1.      Letter dated, August 15, 2003, from John Ambrose & Company in its entirety

2.      Referencing Livingston County Department of Public Health Preliminary review letter dated August 1, 2003 regarding Highland Mobile Home Park

3.      Applicant had stated it was an all or nothing proposal at this time.

Dave Hamann seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.

Proposed Rezoning of Howell Industrial Center (formerly Darakjian)

John Ambrose stated recommendation was to approve rezoning of 32 acres from MHP to LI primarily would be compatible with his letter of 

June 10, 2003.

There was no response to the Call to Public.

Jean Root made a motion to approve the rezoning for the Howell Industrial Center, LLC, tax codes 4710-01-200-001 and 4710-01-200-002 based upon 

the recommendations of a letter dated June 10, 2003 from John Ambrose.  Dave Hamann seconded. Motion carried 5-0.

Preliminary Site Plan Review – Fox Meadows

 Pat Kehoe from Advantage Engineering reviewed John Ambrose’s letter on landscaping and stated it was their interpretation that Section 6.13 of the 

ordinance pertains to screening between land uses. A greenbelt and series of landscaping plantings have been provided.

John Lowe asked if in area of detention pond, the elevation is changing in 25’ slope? It was stated that it will be above water level with a grade change 

of 924 down to 920.  John Ambrose confirmed that Section 6.13 does indicate that landscape requirements are between residential and non-residential 

uses. However, under 6.24, which is a landscape buffer, it states Planning Commission may require a landscape greenbelt buffer between “any use”; 

states a 20’ wide greenbelt established around side and rear and could be natural vegetation or landscaping.  In light of Section 6.13, for a landscape 

buffer along a greenbelt area that has virtually nothing in it now, the standard of one tree for every 20’ makes sense.

John Lowe verified detention area has changed and a fence will be put in, 3 on 1 slope.  The top elevation of the pond will remain the same; all changes

of grade will be inside; the trees will be on the outside.

Debra Wiedman-Clawson pointed out that page six is incorrect with tree line on the west side of property, east of Lot 27.  There’s a small hedgerow 

next to pole barn and entire existing pine tree row that was left out and is to remain on Lot 27.  There are already 35+ trees. Debra Wiedman-Clawson 

agrees with John Ambrose that some buffering is needed.  The big issue for screening would be on Mason Road and one side on the east side of the field.

 Pat Kehoe stated 20’ sign easement will be addressed about six months down the road.  John Ambrose concurred that as long as landscape is shifted on-site 

and sign is addressed, there’s no problem.

  The Tetra Tech letter dated, August 12, 2003, addressed the following:

 1.      Item number 1 will go away because pond will be a 3 on 1 slope all around and will be fenced.

2.      A typographical error in the Livingston County Drain Commission Guidelines dated August 2001 concerning the calculation of the bankful flood

 volume was discovered recently and was told to go ahead with the 5160 in the formula rather than 8170 that affects the number of holes or where the

holes will be placed in the outlet structure and changes nothing on the site plan.

Item 5 is also not a correct statement.  A 25’ drainage easement was provided with a berm and swale that runs along the property. The swale itself is 

within the 25’; some of the berm goes out of the 25’ easement, but we don’t need the easement around the berm.  The 25’ easement is the appropriate size.

 Basically, the detention pond is set up in the general common area and there’s a 25’ easement on the adjacent property to account for the grading that’s

needed to put the pond in.  That easement needs to be shown more clearly on the site plan. Item 7 came up in their letter before and was responded to. 

Basically, they are saying that the road needs to be a foot wider.  We don’t agree.  We have a 31’ back-to-back curb section road.  We’ve designed that

on every county and private road we’ve done in the past ten years.  In talking with Gary Markstrom, he agreed. 

Item 8 is basically a statement.  We realize that once we get site plan approval, we have to submit plans for water permit.

Item 9 is a statement pertaining to the placement of hydrants.  On some lots, if the house is on the back of the lot, they won’t be within 250’ of a fire hydrant.

One of two things can be done:  either additional hydrants can be added, or a restriction can be imposed that would require the building be put on a 

certain portion of the lot. Item 10 is a comment regarding possibility of surrounding sanitary sewer and the water main so it goes down Burkhart Road 

and Mason Road.  This is a very costly endeavor. There are fiber optic phone lines. There is an existing utility easement. A reasonable compromise 

would be to provide a stub on the water and sanitary sewer and then provide an easement to Mason Road for future township connections. Gary seemed 

to feel that was a viable option.  John Lowe asked about item 1—the location of the top of the retention pond will not change. Pat Keough said that was 

correct.  Fox Meadows owns everything other than 25’ easement. The property would be .997 acres, which is permanent lot line and easement is 25’ to 

the west from that. John Lowe suggested on that basis to change the wording to protect the trees, berms, and holding capacity of detention ponds. The

 wording should be “permanent grading, greenbelt and drainage easement.” John Lowe said he wasn’t able to discuss item 2 with Ken Recker. 

Item 3 was addressing size of holes and making a bigger retention pond.  John Lowe questioned if there’s a problem in increasing size of easement on 

Item 5 due to if berm is not part of easement and if someone doesn’t like hump in backyard. Pat Kehoe stated that would not be a problem.

Items 7 and 8 are okay.  Item nine, John Lowe commented that 250’ distance is an MHOG requirement and could hydrants be shuffled and maybe not 

add one. John Lowe asked if they came in and wanted to build to back of it, push to the building envelope? John Ambrose said if in addition to site plan 

and include it in master documents.  John Lowe asked them to incorporate the 250’ distance in the documents. John Lowe requested that Item 10 be 

addressed for a way to take care of homes along Mason Road; everything flows downhill toward that point and intersection of Mason and Burkhart. He 

also commented that a suggestion was made that township could come in with some of the costs as far as sewer caps to get it extended to cover their 

costs to accommodate people in future and brought this up for a possible joint venture. Pat Kehoe commented time is of the essence and would be main 

issue with that. It was suggested to provide a stub and easement along the back. John Lowe asked if the township should extend sanitary sewer while 

under construction for the 25’ easement. John Lowe commented that Les Rodwell was satisfied with the distances of hydrants and 250’ distance. 

However, Les Rodwell also pointed out that the “No Parking – Fire Lane” signs shall be posted on the fire hydrant side of the roadway.  

Debra Wiedman-Clawson stated the Fox Meadows grading plan, which shows outside of perimeter on page three, and soil erosion plan on page six, 

appears to be within fenced area.  Debra Wiedman-Clawson questioned whether they will grade between the two greenbelts. Pat Keough said they will.

Page five does not have Lot 17 depicted. She would like to see existing tree line added to Lot 17 with wording “existing trees to remain”. She also stated

there’s an existing hedgerow that lines detention basin, which should be added.  There is only one street light at entrance.

Debra Wiedman-Clawson removed herself from the board and expressed concerns about 25’ sewer easement. She asked where the dirt reserves would 

be on the 25’ easement when sewer and water is being put in?  Pat Keough said it would be temporarily hauled away if there isn’t room.  She also 

questioned who would bear the cost of removing two 30”+ maples when they die due to tying into the water and sewer system. Carroll Strange said it 

could be added to the Master Deed that the association would absorb the costs.  On page 20 of the Master Deed, it says flat roofs may be installed over 

Florida rooms, porches or patios.  The zoning ordinance requires a 4:12 pitch. Another concern is dog animal pens. The township and county cannot

control barking dogs. She also stated she does not like wet basins but asked if aeration would be possible in the pond to keep water moving?  Pat Kehoe 

stated they cannot make dry ponds due to outlet being so restrictive (15” tributary area) make up difference of total volume of water coming off site in the

permanent pool and that it could maybe be addressed at a later date. That’s required by the Drain Commission. John Lowe questioned on page three 

regarding storm sewer with emergency overflow that goes out into road, and Pat Kehoe stated county has looked at it and it’s acceptable. The rim

elevation for overflow is 921 and then overflow would go to the emergency overflow. There was discussion regarding extension of sewer easement 

along back of and association Master Deed would take care of trees if they died. Debra Wiedman-Clawson would like to see paper showing ownership

of .997 acres and permanent easement. Jean Root pointed out that this was tabled June 24, 2003 with no preliminary site plan approval. Pat Kehoe 

stated they do not want to document/approve easement until they have site plan approval. Jean Root made a motion to give preliminary site plan approval 

for Fox Meadows based upon lengthy discussion to resolve many issues at which time they will come back with final site plan for further review. Jim 

Anderson seconded. Motion carried 5-0. Steve Morgan asked for specifics to be outlined in a letter.  John Lowe suggested that they could get a copy 

of the minutes to address issues before next scheduled meeting, September 23, 2003.

  Amendment to Final Site Plan – Blossom Farms

 Mike Boss requested Planning Commission revisions. Due to problems with Edison corridor through property, they eliminated the walking path within the

 corridor and changed it to walking path that connects the two roadways and the sidewalks within the development would stay as proposed. A bus type 

structure was replaced with detailed plans of landscape play structure. Final discussion was that Edison will not take a second position on the property 

they own in terms of easement. So the Road Commission will not accept the roadways into their system unless Edison does that, which they won’t do.

Blossom Farms’ Master Deed document is written so that it can be converted if it should change in the future. Mike Boss has taken all steps to make 

public roads but cannot get beyond issue with Edison so therefore they need to be private roads.  Master Deed and bylaws provided for that that says 

it’s up to the Road Commission to take over the roads when they will, until then to be funded privately by homeowners. Jim Anderson asked what

happens when lines cross like County Farm Road and it was explained the roads were there first. John Lowe had a conversation with Mike Kehoe, 

Township Attorney, and was satisfied it meets their needs.

Dave Hamann questioned if thee was a private road maintenance agreement? Mike Boss stated it’s in the Master Deed and it’s assumed by the

Homeowner’s Association and it’s not a separate agreement. Dave Hamann also asked is there criteria to that so when cul-de-sacs add on to future

property, if issues come up with having to go through this, two neighborhoods would not have disagreements to go over this criteria for private road? 

Mike Boss stated they don’t have a right to connect, which is a negative aspect. John Lowe commented potential for expansion is really on one side by 

Gerald Knight’s. The other parcel is 10 acres. Jean Root made a motion to accept the amended site plan for Blossom Farms, dated, August 5, 2003, and 

as subject to Item 1, the letter from Mike Kehoe dated, August 26, 2003. Jim Anderson seconded.  Debra Wiedman-Clawson abstained.  

Motion carried 4-0.

  NEW BUSINESS: Proposed Rezoning Tax ID # 4710-01-300-030, 031 and 032 from Suburban Residential to Urban Residential

 Jean Root made a motion to move the proposed rezoning from New Business to after Blossom Farms.  Jim Anderson seconded. Motion carried 5-0.

  Mike Boss represented the proposed parcel at Frances Road, bordered on north by expressway with the Eagles and church in vicinity. Mr. Adler has a 

purchase agreement on property. There are two parcels and one is owned by Mr. St. Onge who is selling the property to Mr. Adler.

  John Ambrose summarized letter dated, August 13, 2003. His recommendation is to approve this rezoning based on the following:

 1.      The proposed rezoning is consistent with existing land use patterns found in the general location of the subject request. The UR

 (Urban Residential District) is a high density residential category that is capable of having 10 units per acre for multiple-family developments, which are

 permitted in the UR District by Special Use Permit, which is also consistent with the applicant’s plans for the subject site.

2.      The proposed rezoning would be in harmony with the existing zoning pattern that would lay east, south and west of the subject site.

3.      The proposed rezoning request is in keeping with the Township’s Master Plan and the planned land use policies that have been adopted by the

 Township for the subject site.

4.      The proposed rezoning and potential resultant land use would provide an excellent land use buffer from the I-96 corridor to the north and from 

commercial zoning and development located to the west of subject site to other single-family residential developments located south and east of subject site.

5.      This rezoning recommendation does not imply that the attached site plan for a proposed attached condominium project meets the requirements of the

Township’s Zoning Ordinance nor does it imply any sort approval for such a development.  The Planning Commission needs only to consider the proposed

 rezoning and the potential uses allowed in the UR District. By no means should there be any discussion concerning the applicant’s proposed project as this

 could be construed to be contract zoning, which is illegal in the State of Michigan.

6.      If the subject site is rezoned to the UR category, the applicant will need to submit for both site plan approval and Special Use Permit approval, the latter

 requiring a public hearing.  

Jim Anderson asked if there are any pipelines and John Lowe stated they are located on the north side of expressway and one is located near the road at

 the subdivision east of expressway. Mike Boss indicated the title work they have does not show anything on the property.

Jean Root made a motion to hold Public Hearing for the rezoning of Tax ID # 4710-01-300-030, 031 & 032 for September 23, 2003, at 7:30 p.m. 

Debra Wiedman-Clawson seconded. Motion carried 5-0.

 Proposed Ordinance Amendments

 Jean Root made a motion to table Section 6.14 – Home Occupation – until next Regular scheduled Planning Commission meeting. Debra Wiedman-Clawson

 seconded. Also, Section 3.02 and Section 6.20 F will be skipped for tonight’s meeting.

 Section 6.29 – Open Space Preservation – New Language Review of Site Plan Checklist

 John Ambrose addressed new language for Site Plan Checklist. Revisions are in italics. Also, Item E was added due to last meeting and Planning 

Commission members approved this. Mike Kehoe suggested this go back to Public Hearing due to significant language being added.

Jean Root made a motion to set the Public Hearing for September 23, 2003 at 7:15 p.m., for Section 6.29, Open Space Preservation option. Jim

 Anderson seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.

John Ambrose reviewed redesign of Site Plan Checklist and actual application page and asked committee to review and make any additions or deletions

or revisions. All items on first page are part of site plan review and requirements out of township ordinance. This makes applicant fully aware of what 

committee will be reviewing this plan for and what is required to be addressed. Jim Anderson suggested adding boxes for members to be present at

pre-application conference. Dave Hamann asked when a pre-application fee is determined for pre-application conference, do they normally only include

the costs of the outside services and it was answered yes. Debra Wiedman-Clawson pointed out Hamburg Township published their Article 4.00 Site 

Plan Review first two items have an optional pre-application conference and an optional conceptual site plan review. John Lowe brought up aerial 

photograph overlay and John Ambrose stated that would be part of ordinance and part of language under “Site Plan Review”.

Jean Root made a motion to table Site Plan Review Checklist until further review and additional information is provided. Debra Wiedman-Clawson 

seconded. Motion carried 5-0.


Paul Stephens, 3063 Norton Road, lives across from new subdivision, Turtle Creek, and is interested in hooking up to water and septic. 

He stated the township has provided leads but cannot find the lead and cannot find documentation. John Lowe suggested that there should

be a 4 x 4 stake that can be found with a metal detector and the township has videotapes of distance from manhole that comes out of main

 which gives distance along front of property and will give a 4’ or 5’ area to look at.


Dave Hamann made a motion to adjourn at 10:45 p.m.  Jim Anderson seconded. Motion carried 5-0.