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                                 MARION TOWNSHIP

                  AGENDA and DRAFT MINUTES

                          January 25, 2005  





CALL TO THE PUBLIC: Agenda Items Only - 3 minute limit

APPROVAL OF AGENDA: January 25, 2005  

APPROVAL OF MINUTES FOR: December 20, 2004 Regular Meeting


            Comprehensive Plan - Review Changes & Adoption

            Plan Review, Inspection and Construction Standards

            Proposed Text Amendment Article XVII Site Plan Review Procedure

            Copperfield Villas - Site Plan Review

            Woodland Ordinance                     


            Pinebrook Meadow - Site Plan Review

            Marion Pines - Site Plan Review



                                 DRAFT MINUTES



                                           JEAN ROOT, SECRETARY

                                           JIM ANDERSON

                                            DAVE HAMANN

                                            DEBRA WIEDMAN-CLAWSON

ABSENT:                             NONE


                                           ANNETTE MCNAMARA, ZONING ADMINISTRATOR

                                          PHIL WESTMORELAND, ORCHARD, HILTZ & MCCLIMENT

                                           JOHN ENOS, CARLISLE/WORTMAN



The meeting was called to order at 9:20 p.m.


Dave Hamann asked the agenda be amended to include the Comprehensive Plan under Old Business.

Dave Hamann motioned to approve the January 25, 2005 regular meeting amended agenda. 

Jean Root seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.


The Planning Commission members introduced themselves at the public hearing.


During the approval of the agenda, it was noted that Copperfield Villas had requested to be removed

from tonight’s agenda.  A resident had come to the meeting for that agenda item. The Planning

Commission asked if he had any questions or comments.  The resident asked the pricing of the

homes in Copperfield Villas.  The Planning Commission could not answer the question. The resident

questioned the plans noting the current vegetation to be kept, how will that be done?  John Enos

answered his question and clearing limits and buffering were discussed. The resident questioned the

usability of the park. John Enos answered it is more of a natural area.


Dave Hamann motioned to approve the December 20, 2004 regular minutes.  Jim Anderson

seconded.  Motion carried 4-0.  Jean Root abstained.


Comprehensive Plan Review and Adoption

John Lowe asked the Planning Commission members if they had any comments. 

Jean Root motioned to approve Resolution No. PC 1-25-05 and read the following:

WHEREAS, the Marion Township Planning Commission desires to adopt a comprehensive plan and

has made the necessary inquiries, investigations and surveys of the appropriate resources of the

township; and

WHEREAS, the comprehensive plan will promote the public health, safety and general welfare; to

encourage the use of resources in accordance with their character and adaptability; to avoid the

overcrowding of land by buildings or people; to lessen congestion on public roads and streets; to

facilitate provision for a system of transportation, sewage disposal, safe and adequate water supply,

recreation and other public improvements; and consider the character of the township and its

suitability for particular uses judged in terms of such factors as the trend in land and population

development; and

WHEREAS, the Marion Township Planning Commission has noticed and conducted a public hearing in

accordance with the requirements of the Township Planning Act (Public Act 168 of 1959, as

amended), said hearing held on November 10, 2004;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Marion Township Planning Commission hereby adopts

the 2005 Marion Township Comprehensive Plan.

Dave Hamann seconded the resolution and noted that page two of the comprehensive plan

introduction needs the date inserted, the date should also be inserted in the footer, and 2004

should be changed to 2005 on the cover page.  Roll call vote:  Jim Anderson, Jean Root, John

Lowe, Dave Hamann, and Debra Wiedman- Clawson —all yes.  Resolution passed 5-0.

Plan Review, Inspection and Construction Standards

John Enos asked that this agenda item and the next agenda item be combined. John Enos updated

the Planning Commission on the progress and summarized.

Chris Fleck, Advantage Civil Engineering, would like a checklist included in the protocols; too

difficult to follow.  A preliminary and final site plan review is a must.  He feels construction issues

are holding up site plan review.  John Enos said that is the ultimate goal.

Jean Root motioned to table Plan Review, Inspection and Construction Standards until John Enos

and Phil Westmoreland request placement on an agenda.  Dave Hamann seconded.

Motion carried 5-0.

Proposed Text Amendment Article XVIII Site Plan Review Procedure

Dave Hamann motioned to table Proposed Text Amendment Article XVIII Site Plan Review

Procedure until John Enos and Phil Westmoreland request placement on an agenda.  Debra

Wiedman-Clawson seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.

Copperfield Villas Site Plan Review

Dave Hamann motioned to table this item as requested by the applicant, and this item will not be

placed on an agenda until requested by the applicant. Jim Anderson seconded. Motion carried 5-0.

Woodland Ordinance

Phil Westmoreland asked for direction and suggested a performance ordinance instead of a regulatory

-type thing. That way, tree identification/survey is eliminated.  A certain percentage of vegetation is

to remain 6 inches in diameter or larger. Jim Anderson asked how the Planning Commission would

know what is on site.  Phil Westmoreland said it is up to the developer to identify trees.

Jean Root would like drip line language included. John Lowe would like to see language included that

anything other than the building envelope is not to be disturbed.  Maybe they can get credit for

undistributed tree stands. John Enos suggested a condition in Planned Unit Development or Open

Space Development to give a credit for preservation and get more units for this. We have to provide

incentive. Incentive to developer was discussed. Jean Root suggested revisiting the Single Family

Cluster Housing language. Dave Hamann motioned to table the Woodland Ordinance until John Enos

and Phil Westmoreland request placement on an agenda. Jean Root seconded. Motion carried 5-0.


Pinebrook Meadows Site Plan Review

Chris Fleck asked if this was to be reviewed as a preliminary tonight.

John Enos stated the Planning Commission is not comfortable with seeing a plan only once. This will

be a preliminary review tonight. Jim Lawrence gave a presentation.  The Master Deed and Bylaws are

being reviewed by Mike Kehoe. Chris Fleck noted an easement agreement with a neighbor needs to

be reviewed by Mike Kehoe.  Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) requirements were

discussed—street lights, sidewalks and signage.

John Enos summarized his review letter dated January 13, 2005, which explains how to handle

outstanding issues and gave preliminary approval.

Phil Westmoreland summarized his review letter dated January 11, 2005. Mr. Westmoreland spoke

about the outlet at the detention basin and thinks this can be accomplished without changing the site

plan.  He also spoke about the necessity of the easement agreement with the neighbor.  Orchard,

Hiltz & McCliment is recommending preliminary approval.

Jean Root questioned the lot frontage of lot 7.  Chris Fleck explained there are two dimensions that

equal 85 feet.

John Lowe asked about the water main from Crystal Court along the property line to the proposed

development.  The fire hydrant that Phil Westmoreland referenced was too far off the road right-of-

way.  The water main is within the 25-foot greenbelt, there are large oaks on that lot line. Is there

enough room to move that water line within the easement to avoid the trees.  If there are no trees in

the way, it is not a problem.  John Lowe would like Chris Fleck to look.

Chris Fleck will locate any existing oak trees and move the pipe around it.  Phil Westmoreland does

not think there are any oaks within that area.

Debra Wiedman-Clawson questioned street lighting and a general note with the easement issue.

Planning Commission recommendations were contingent.

Phil Westmoreland stated he will not issue construction plan approval without the easement agreement.

Jean Root motioned to recommend preliminary approval for Pinebrook Meadows,

Tax #4710-03-200-005 located on Mason Road .  Dave Hamann seconded. Motion carried 5-0.

Marion Pines Site Plan Review

Larry McCarthy gave a presentation and expressed his frustration with the site plan review process.

John Enos summarized his review letter dated November 12, 2004.  Mr. Enos has concerns that

the building envelopes on lots 3, 13 & 14 are too small, the adjacent wetlands may need to be

mitigated to build a home.  Another concern is lots 11 & 12:  depending on how Marion Township

 calculates the 4:1 ratio, these lots may not meet these requirements.  If we can come to a

conclusion on those issues, he is comfortable granting preliminary approval.

Phil Westmoreland summarized his review letter dated January 18, 2005. Mr. Westmoreland noted

ongoing issues with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) permit. Yet this

will have no impact on a preliminary site plan approval.  There is a question of the 50-foot

greenbelt and the point from where the measurement is taken.  They are showing a proposed

right-of-way and an existing right-of-way.  The detention basin and the cul-de-sac encroach on the

 50 feet if measured from the proposed 60-foot right-of-way.  It does not encroach from the

existing 33-foot right-of-way.  This should be explored by the Planning Commission and will not

require major changes for the final site plan, should the Planning Commission desire a change.

Phil Westmoreland is recommending preliminary approval other than discussion on the 50-foot

greenbelt issue.

Discussion of the encroachment of the greenbelt ensued.  The cul-de-sac is a minor issue as it is

just within the greenbelt.  The entire detention basin is placed within the 50-foot greenbelt. 

There are no existing trees within this area and disturbance within the greenbelt was discussed.

Planting within the easement without disturbance to underground utilities is possible.

Debra Wiedman-Clawson noted they already have the 60-foot right-of-way plus the 50-foot

greenbelt.  There will be 77 feet of buffer.

John Enos said if the Planning Commission accepts this, the applicant will need to include

significant landscaping around the detention basin.

John Lowe questioned where the mitigation area is for the 14,000 square feet of wetland.

Larry McCarthy answered that to preserve the woodlands on the site, they applied to MDEQ

without showing mitigation on the plan.  The MDEQ review letter came back with no comment.

MDEQ does not require mitigation under 1/3rd of an acre and this is ¼ acre.  It is not worth it to

cut the trees for the mitigation.  John Enos asked Larry McCarthy to provide documentation of that.

The 4:1 ratio requirement for lots 11 & 12 were discussed and reconfigurations of these lots to meet

the zoning ordinance were reviewed.  Larry McCarthy said the owner did not want to keep the

property and this affords ownership of a large parcel for the proposed development.  John Enos

reiterated to the applicant the Planning Commission is concerned with the length-to-width ratio and

the policy of Marion Township is the measurement of lot width is at the front lot line, there is no

averaging. John Lowe told applicant the Planning Commission does not want to set a precedent for

allowing distorted lots.  He does not see a demonstrated purpose, unless you have something that

would benefit those two lots as opposed to having the property go with the front house.

John Enos suggested an Open Space Preservation project, due to the unbuildable land behind lots

11 & 12. He also suggested a variance. John Lowe answered that the Zoning Board of Appeals does

not look at variances that are economically driven.

Debra Wiedman-Clawson asked if the property lines were redrawn, how many acres would the

parcel be. Larry McCarthy answered possibly 20 acres and would be 75% wetlands.

John Lowe asked if they planned on using engineered fill on lots 8 through 14. Larry McCarthy

answered yes.

Jean Root motioned to recommend preliminary approval for Tax #4710-04-200-013, Marion

Pines, on Mason Road .  Jim Anderson seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.


Jim Barnwell commented on preliminary versus final approval for site plan review. On the

woodland ordinance, he hears the Planning Commission say the developer will pay for this. 

Keep in mind that the developer will pay for this and all the costs will be passed on to the



Dave Hamann motioned to adjourn the meeting at 11:05 p.m.  Debra Wiedman-Clawson

seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.