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                                 MARION TOWNSHIP

                  AGENDA and DRAFT MINUTES

                          APRIL 4TH, 2005  





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

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:   April 4th, 2005


OLD BUSINESS:               

                           ZBA Case # 1-05 – Dennis GottschalK

                           ZBA Case # 2-05 – Fred Brown

                                  ZBA Case # 3-05 – Fraternal Order of Eagles                




                       DRAFT MINUTES

MEMBERS PRESENT:     John Lowe, Larry Fillinger, Dan Lowe, Linda Manson-Dempsey, and Dan Rossbach

MEMBERS ABSENT:                 None

OTHERS PRESENT:                  Annette McNamara , Zoning Administrator                                                                                                              



John Lowe called the meeting to order at 7:32 p.m.  


Larry Fillinger motioned to approve the agenda as presented.  Linda Manson-Dempsey seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.


The members of the Zoning Board of Appeals introduced themselves. 




Zoning Board of Appeals, March 7, 2005

Larry Fillinger motioned to approve the minutes as presented.  Linda Manson-Dempsey seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.


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

Jim Barnwell from Desine, Inc. was present on behalf of the applicant. The applicant is

proposing a site on Mason Road , with Turtle Creek to the southeast, and Maple Farms to the

west.  They are requesting a variance from the ordinance in regard to the number of units. 

The ordinance calls for no more than 25 units with a single access, and 75 units with more

than one access. If the proposed development were to connect with Maple Farms, a variance

would still be required because there would be 88 units.  The fire department has mandated a

second access.  A review was submitted to the Livingston County Road Commission for

connection through Turtle Creek and it was rejected.  Mr. Barnwell is proposing an emergency

access to Maple Farms and a variance for 88 units with dual access. 

John Lowe read the review letter from the Howell Area Fire Department. The HAFD

found the site plan unsatisfactory; however, they would approve it with a connection

between Turtle Creek and/or Maple Farms.  Mr. Lowe received input from various

emergency services agencies in Livingston County .  The consensus is a full

connection to Maple Farms and a walking path connection to Turtle Creek. 

Mr. Barnwell expressed concern with the legalities of connecting the road to Maple

Farms. Mr. Lowe said that was always the intent with Maple Farms and it was made

very clear to the developer. 

Call to the Public

Dan Gerhardt, 3152 Painted Drive : Mr. Gerhardt asked if the stub road going through to

Maple Farms is what’s being proposed.  John Lowe said yes.  There would be a walking path

to Turtle Creek.

Bob Monroe, 3107 Ridley Way :  Mr. Monroe said if this type of thing is going to happen all

the time in subdivisions, the builders should make buyers aware of it.  John Lowe said he’s

not sure what the builder discloses, but when there’s a cul-de-sac running to the edge of the

property line and there’s vacant property adjacent, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion

what will take place. 

(Close Call to the Public)

Dan Rossbach asked for a description of the walking path.  John Lowe said normally about

five feet wide.  Jim Barnwell said that would be done through the site plan approval process.

Mr. Rossbach asked if it would be wide enough for an emergency vehicle.  Mr. Lowe said no.

He also said that the fire department indicated that there wouldn’t be any significant difference

in response time. 

Reopen Call to the Public

Rachel Gordon, 3027 Painted Drive :  Mrs. Gordon asked what the walkway will be made of and who

would maintain it. John Lowe said probably concrete and the homeowner’s association would maintain it. 

Darrell Powden, 3077 Ridley Way :  Mr. Powden asked if there are any plans for the other property just

north of Turtle Creek that the Planning Commission is aware of.  John Lowe said there was a plan that was

withdrawn for property to the immediate north (Marion Pines).  They are redrawing the site plan.  The property to

the east is Mr. Lowe’s property.  He has no intention on doing anything for several years at this point. 

Jean Porter, 235 Slider:  Mrs. Porter asked if the Turtle Creek homeowners decided that they wanted

streetlights, who would pay for it?  Mr. Lowe said he isn’t sure, but he could check with the township attorney.

Bob Hanvey said it could be a special assessment.  Mr. Lowe said the PC tried to stay away from streetlights within

the subdivision and stayed with the entrance lights. 

Steven Gordon, 3027 Painted Drive :  Mr. Gordon said this has been a very enlightening experience.

He also thanked the PC for its consideration during this process.

(Closed Call to the Public)

Linda Manson-Dempsey motioned for ZBA Case #1-05 for Spruce Run LLC to grant a variance to Section 6.20

 H to allow 36 units, and addressed Section 5.05 C:

  1. How the strict enforcement of the provisions of the township’s zoning ordinance would cause an unnecessary

hardship and deprive the owner of rights enjoyed by all other property owners owning property within the same zoning

district. The property has limited locations for placement of roads.  The Livingston County Road Commission and the

Howell Area Fire Authority has denied the original application and have indicated they will approve a connection to

Maple Farms, which will provide two accesses to Mason Road more than 660 feet apart.

  1. The conditions and circumstances unique to the property, which are not similarly applicable to other properties in

the same zoning district.  The unique characteristics on the site include the grade on Mason Road , which has significant

drops in elevation to the east and west, and have a negative impact on placement of additional road approaches.

  1. The conditions and circumstances unique to the property were not self-created.   The property and the road were

established many years ago.

  1. Why the requested variance would not confer special privileges that are denied other properties similarly situated

in the same zoning district.  There aren’t many parcels left that exhibit the physical features of this parcel. The applicant

has provided access consistent with the ordinance by providing two access points to the public road by connecting to

Maple Farms.

  1. Why the requested variance would not be contrary to the spirit and intent of this zoning ordinance.  The purpose of

 the ordinance is to promote public health, safety, comfort, convenience and general welfare.  By putting in a second

access point, emergency vehicles can get in and out.  A walkway path will also be put in to Turtle Creek to allow access

between developments.  The variance affects the 36 lots in Spruce Run, and will put a total of 88 parcels between

Spruce Run and Maple Farms.  Granting this variance also reduces the non-conformity in Maple Farms. Access between

Maple Farms and Spruce Run will be a maintained road up to the property line.

Larry Fillinger seconded.  Roll call vote:  Dan Rossbach, Larry Fillinger, Linda Manson-Dempsey, John Lowe,

Dan Lowe—all yes.  Motion carried 5-0.

ZBA Case #2-05—Fred Brown

At the request of the applicant, Linda Manson-Dempsey motioned to table ZBA Case #2-05 until the May 2005

meeting.  Larry Fillinger seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.

ZBA Case #3-05—Fraternal Order of Eagles

Art Munsell was present on behalf of the Eagles.  The Eagles want to proceed with the sign depicted in the drawing

previously submitted, but with cultured stone on the bottom rather than brick.  The church is interested in using the

bottom portion of the sign.  The sign will be prepped for digital to be added later.  Mr. Munsell is asking for approval

of the 11’ x 15’ (20’ from ground level) sign as submitted.  The Eagles will landscape around the sign. 

Linda Manson-Dempsey asked once the sign is started, how long will it take to finish?  Mr. Munsell said they would

comply with the ordinance.  Larry Fillinger confirmed with Mr. Munsell that the FOE has the money to pay for the

sign. Annette McNamara said the land use permit requires that construction start within six months. 

Dan Rossbach motioned for ZBA Case #3-05 to grant a variance to allow a sign to be constructed according to

details on the Garlock-Smith survey dated 8/8/03 .  Crossroads Apostolic Church may have access to the bottom

portion of the sign at its expense.  There will be no moving text.  Construction must be started within six months and

completed within 90 days.  The Eagles representative, Art Munsell, will initial the artwork depicting the sign.

Linda Manson-Dempsey seconded.  Roll call vote:  Dan Rossbach, Larry Fillinger, Linda Manson-Dempsey,

John Lowe, Dan Lowe—all yes.  Motion carried 5-0.

Mr. Munsell asked if the Eagles could put up the temporary sign for the carnival.   Annette McNamara said that would

be considered a temporary use and can be handled through the zoning office.  Mr. Munsell asked about permission to

use searchlights.  Ms. McNamara will discuss with the township attorney. 




Linda Manson-Dempsey motioned to adjourn the meeting at 8:29 p.m.   Larry Fillinger seconded. 

Motion carried 5-0.