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                                 MARION TOWNSHIP

                   AGENDA and DRAFT MINUTES

                        FEBRUARY 7, 2005  





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

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:     February 7, 2005 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES FOR:   December 1, 2004

OLD BUSINESS:                        

NEW BUSINESS:        ZBA Case # 1-05 – Dennis GottschalK

                                    ZBA Case # 2-05 – Fred Brown

                                            ZBA Case # 3-05 – Fraternal Order of Eagles



MEMBERS PRESENT:   John Lowe, Larry Fillinger, Dan Lowe,

                                           Linda Manson-Dempsey, and Dan Rossbach


OTHERS PRESENT:      Annette McNamara , Zoning Administrator                                                                                                                    



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


Linda Manson-Dempsey motioned to approve the agenda as presented. 

Dan Rossbach seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.


The members of the Zoning Board of Appeals introduced themselves. 




Zoning Board of Appeals, December 6, 2004

Larry Fillinger motioned to approve the minutes as presented.  Dan Rossbach

seconded.  Motion carried 4-0 (Linda Manson-Dempsey abstained.)

ZBA Case #1-05—Dennis Gottschalk (Spruce Run)

Jim Barnwell from Desine Engineering was present to represent Mr. Gottschalk.  The site

is on Mason Road , Section 4.  Directly to the west is Maple Farms, and to the south and

east is Turtle Creek.  Mr. Barnwell pointed out topography, sight distance issues, etc., on

the site plan.  The Livingston County Road Commission has reviewed the proposal and

made suggestions. For the health, safety and welfare of the residents, a boulevard entrance

will provide dual access to the development.  The proposed development will have 36

parcels, with two exceptions over to Painted Drive . Mr. Barnwell feels this proposal

preserves the natural features and follows the intent of the township ordinances and master

plan. Mr. Barnwell read from Section 5.03—regarding practical difficulty and unnecessary

hardship.  He feels this development is consistent with other developments in the township.

Therefore, the applicant is requesting a variance to Section 6.20 H.

John Lowe read the Variance Analysis provided by Carlisle/Wortman, which recommends

approval of the variance request. Additional reviews were provided from the township

attorney and the township engineer. John Lowe asked Jim Barnwell about connecting this

development to Maple Farms, which has a stub road and was the intent of the Planning

Commission.  This would allow traffic between the developments without going out on the

main roads.  Mr. Barnwell said that was considered, but the ordinance calls for two public

roads.  He felt that wouldn’t be consistent with the other developments in the township. 

The ZBA discussed different options, such as connecting to Maple Farms, Turtle Creek,

or both. Dan Rossbach asked if the stub road is paved.  John Lowe said he believes it’s

paved up to the greenbelt.  Mr. Barnwell said it’s approximately 130 feet away.

Mr. Barnwell showed the ZBA members an alternate plan he designed, which connects

Spruce Run with Maple Farms.  The alternate plan has 38 lots, but eliminates a lot of the

wooded area.  He feels this plan isn’t economically feasible. 

Call to the Public

Dan Gerhard, 3152 Painted Drive :  Mr. Gerhard said he would not like a connection

between the proposed development and Turtle Creek.  It would increase traffic because it’s

 going to be the only throughway between Norton and Mason.  He feels the health and

welfare of both subdivisions would be jeopardized.  Mr. Gerhard also said he is one of the

few people in Turtle Creek who was notified of this meeting. 

Close Call to the Public

John Lowe asked Mr. Gerhard who plows the roads in Turtle Creek.  Mr. Gerhard

said he’s not sure, but he believes Mitch Harris is doing it. 

After further discussion about which developments were designed with stub roads to

interconnect, Larry Fillinger motioned to table ZBA Case #1-05 until the March ZBA

meeting for additional information, including finding the original purpose and feasibility

of connecting to the stub road in Maple Farms, having the attorney review the Master

Deed and PUD agreement for Maple Farms, and the pros and cons of connecting to

Turtle Creek.  Linda Manson-Dempsey seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.

ZBA Case #2-05—Fred Brown

Jim Barnwell from Desine Engineering, representing Mr. Brown, showed the ZBA

members the proposed site plan.  The applicant is requesting variances to

Section 8.01 F 2 b and Section 6.18 B.  An MDEQ permit will be required to cross

the creek.  Mr. Barnwell also showed alternate plans that would have a greater impact

on the environment.  Dan Lowe asked if lots 34 and 35 are on high ground. 

Mr. Barnwell said yes. 

Call to the Public

The residents familiarized themselves with the proposed site plan and the alternate


Bill Ormerod, 3435 Sesame Drive :  Mr. Ormerod said it appears that the alternative

plan makes sense.

Larry Diedrick, 3371 Sesame Drive :  Mr. Diedrick asked if there was a timetable in

place.  Mr. Barnwell said no.  The project would be done in phases, and the earliest it

would be started would be next spring. 

Close Call to the Public

John Lowe summarized a review letter from the township attorney, and a Variance

Analysis from the planner, which recommends denial.

John Lowe asked Jim Barnwell his opinion on the suggestion to eliminate two lots. 

Mr. Barnwell said it is an option.  However, he disagrees with Mr. Enos’ statement that

there are many parcels that contain many similar features as the subject site. 

Linda Manson-Dempsey said that Mr. Brown created it.  Mr. Barnwell said it is a

unique parcel.  Many parcels have some of the same features, but not all of them. 

John Lowe asked about reconfiguring the lots from five on the cul-de-sac to four. 

This would eliminate one of the variance requests.

Linda Manson-Dempsey motioned to table ZBA Case #2-05 for additional information.

Jim Barnwell will discuss options with Fred Brown such as redesigning the lots around

the cul-de-sac.  Larry Fillinger seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.

Mr. Diedrick suggested that lots 36 and 37 be combined.

ZBA Case #3-05—Fraternal Order of Eagles

Art Munsell and Jerry May were present on behalf of the Eagles.  Mr. Munsell said this request is

 the same as the previous variance that was granted, but had expired.  Mr. Fillinger said the last

variance was issued in November 2003.  Ms. Manson-Dempsey asked if it would have lights. 

Mr. Munsell said yes—no moving lights.  Ms. Manson-Dempsey asked who they would be

sharing the sign with.  Mr. Munsell said he’s not sure.  There are no intentions to, but they

possibly would.  Mr. Fillinger asked about the changes in the drawing for this new request. 

Mr. Munsell said it’s just the artist’s conception.  Possibly, the bottom portion would be used

for ongoing membership drives, etc. 

Dan Lowe said he wants the remnants of the old signs removed immediately. 

Mr. Munsell said he would remove it once weather permits, then restated he would

remove it within one week.  John Lowe said the other problem is not getting it done.

Ms. Manson-Dempsey suggested the Eagles post a bond.  Mr. Fillinger asked the

approximate cost of the sign.  Mr. May said about $50,000.

John Lowe asked Mr. Munsell if the Eagles will discuss the sign with the Crossroads

Church .  Mr. Munsell explained that the Eagles can have four public functions per year,

per the Liquor Control Commission, and they have to obtain permission from the

church for each function.  Therefore, it behooves them to be good neighbors to the

church. Larry Fillinger motioned that the ZBA will consider approval of the variance

request in March once the site has been cleaned up.  Linda Manson-Dempsey

seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.


Sue Lingle, 3808 Brent Drive :  Ms. Lingle said she supports the proposed sign for the Eagles,

but does agree that the site needs to be cleaned up.  She also suggested some landscaping

around the sign.  Ms. Lingle also suggested to Mr. Munsell that some kind of contract could be

worked out with the church.


Linda Manson-Dempsey motioned to adjourn the meeting at 9:15 p.m.   Larry Fillinger

seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.