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Ambience and Zoning/ Hand in Hand?
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John Elmer Engel
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 8:37 pm    Post subject: Dozer Madness Reply with quote

This is the first time I heard about this dozer mess. I live on the east end and have spent many hours on the Lake Mary shoreline or on the water in a canoe or kayak. I have been on the roads around the lake a few times. By reading all the posts I think I know where this dozed road is...sort of... a more exact description of the area affected would sure be appreciated. Are we talking the road at the east end of Lake Mary?

While we are talking about "improvements" on Bois Blanc Island, I wanted to throw my opinion out there about Island construction. My first pet peeve about most shoreline property owners/builders is this mentality that the property must be cleared, sideline to sideline, to have a full view of the water. Guess what? For one, I do not want to look at a plastic house from the water. I love the natural shoreline and the deer browse line on the cedar trees that arch out from the forest/lake edge. It's one of the natural wonders we have on this island. The edge of Lake Huron and the end of the forest trees is another wonder. Yet in the haste to build, owners destroy the very essence that is the island...the natural beauty. How many people know of lots purchased, driveways dozed in, property dozed, trees cut, and lo and behold, the property is put up for sale a short time later? I call this "Gash and dash". I live next to a "Gash and Dash" lot. It is a travesty. Every construction on this island should be scrutinized and evaluated to first consider the impact on the natural surroundings. Cabins nestled into the forest at the lakes edge are fine. Its this clear cut mentality that ruins lots. Bulldozers transform the landscape FOREVER. This should not be taken lightly.

I say that you should go for the throat on this issue. Perhaps it will make people much more careful, professional, and respectful of this island paradise.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 8:12 pm    Post subject: slash and gash Reply with quote

J.E. Engle.

I hear you loud and clear.

What you describe is what zoning should/could prevent to preserve island ambience. The upside of zoning. Since I have all but run BBI zoning issues in the dirt. I am reluctant to express further opinion.

I will say this much:

Cheboygan country just tried to pass a county wide zoning ordnance which would have prohibited just what you described, in the future. Setbacks from lakes and rivers with a mandatory 100' un disturbed/native greenbelt. It was essentially a watered down version of the wild/scenic protected rivers act passed in the 70's.

It went down in flames. The outcry was so huge and negative the county commission bailed. Almost 2000 protesters at the first hearing. They had to cancel it and reschedule at a larger facility.

It was all about money. That zoning would have rendered many high $$$ waterfront lots unbuildable. Land owners screamed. Real estate people screamed louder. A tad late for that. Not too late for BBI.

Many know I own property on the Pigeon River which is HIGHLY controlled as far as building, improvement and development. Technically, I need a permit from the DNR to trim tree limbs, dig a hole etc anywhere within 100' of the river. (short version) The sum total of the PR act is to prevent what you described and preserve the character and ambience of the wild. Having been through the process of obtaining permits in this highly restricted area, I understand the long terms ideals. There is "ONLY SO MUCH" Finite ambiance.

Same thing has occured in Lelenau county where development has threated to take over all the orchards and ambience which has attracted people in the first place. Cut it all down, pave it and make it a Traverse City burb? It was going there. Zoning stopped it.

Should anyone be interested. I will elaborate. else not. I don't see many differences between the wild-preservation of BBI and the Pigeon River. There is only so much of either. Finite.

Maybe it is time? Do it right and by the rules... or not at all?

Zoning is a double edge sword. 2 cents worth.

C

ps Excuse my conservation oriented attitude.
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doug miller
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although I am not always a fan of compromise, I think where land use is concerned, compromise is necessary.

Conis, you said the proposed ordinance would have required a 100 foot section of undisturbed greenbelt around lakes and rivers. It is not clear just what "undisturbed" means, but if it meant you had to leave all of the trees and branches--effectively blocking a view of the water, I would have voted against it too.

After I purchased a waterfront lot on the west end 6 years ago, I spent a great deal of time with a hand saw selectively cutting trees near the water. I did so because I wanted a view of the water and the bridge, but I also wanted to preserve the site (including the remnants of a lime kiln and that large moss that requires much shade to thrive) as much as possible. I think the results have been very good--a great view of the bridge through a 60 to 70 foot wide-at-the-shore, mostly-cleared opening, and trees undisturbed on the other 100 feet of shoreline. And the moss and the dwarf lake iris and other plants growing largely undisturbed. Basically, a compromise.

Given the nature of the rocky shoreline and the cold, sometimes turbulent waters of Lake Huron, for many of us a view of the water is a more realistic "use" of the water than swimming or boating in it. And because many of us come from parts of the state and country that don't have the natural beauty of BBI, we want a cottage site that allows us, even on days the black flies are biting, to take advantage of that natural beauty. That means, in part, cutting down some trees.

The other issue I think about is fire danger. There is something to be said for clearing a sufficient distance around your cottage--of both live trees and dead ones.

The other practical issue is this: Unlike the way it was not so long ago, you just can't build a simple cabin in the woods anymore. Because anyplace you want to use as a dwelling must meet all of the various code requirements, even a simple cabin is going to cost a great deal of money to build. And if you are going to build it on a waterfront lot on an island, it doesn't make financial sense to not build it in a way to best take advantage of the natural setting, including the water. And, if you have to invest $100,000 plus to build a cottage, I think you will more likely be interested in a zoning ordinance that will protect that investment from other land uses that would hurt both your enjoyment of your property and its value. So somewhere between the person who wants to clearcut their lot and someone who wants to leave it virtually untouched, there will have to be compromise.

On a related note, I still find it hard to believe that Michigan's various building codes don't have more flexibility when it comes to seasonal dwellings (in fact, there is no provision for season dwellings or cottages--the same rules that apply to a mini-mansion in the suburbs of Detroit applies to an 800 sf cabin on the island). It requires us to spend far more money than we should have to. A good example is the energy code and the costs of meeting insulation requirements that just don't make much sense for small cottages that will rarely if ever be used in the winter months. And the septic system requirements are also not justified. C'est la vie.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doug:

I totally agree with the points you have made... It is all about compromise and zoning is all about compromise: protecting the interests of the majority of landowners... all of which have vested interests in maintaining property values and so forth.

The proposed Cheboygan County waterfront ordinance proposed greater setbacks from the waters edge. These setbacks varied between lakes rivers and streams. The "problems" being that this rendered many lots unbuildable because the setback distance exceeded the depth of the lot. Obviously the lots platted before setbacks were a consideration (as it was)

So on grandfathered "lots of record", building may or may not have been permitted. And this where things really got sticky. If a house/structure was destroyed by fire (example). Would zoning permit a replacement on the same location with the same size building, previously grandfathered in? The ordinance said no and this is where landowners went ballistic.

Example: There are hardly ANY homes along Indian River that would be within the new setbacks limits (on 50' deep lots) What happens when these homes reach end of life? tear them down and replace them with a tree? The ordinance was a good idea in concept. Too bad it wasn't implemented 100 years ago... too bad it didn't apply only to NEW subdivision of waterfront property. I don't think people knew how and what it applied to, nor could the zoning board clarify anything?

The "greenbelt" issue was also not clearly understood. I think the intent was to prevent landowners from clear cutting to the waters edge. Leave primary trees and cut limbs for a filtered view... No lawns, no sprinkler systems and fertilizer running into the water. Lawn behind the greenbelt OK and the greenbelt to be a buffer.

I brought up the protected rivers act. This is another subject all together however there are many parallels. There are numerous restrictions pertaining to land use, setbacks, green belt, construction materials being "natural" and in natural colors... all designed to keep the river natural and prevent whats left from becoming a vinyl clad mega home subdivision from top to bottom. I will see if I can find the on-line copy of this act... it is interesting reading...

Lastly...(I am sure some will disagree which is OK).

$100,000 to build a cottage/camp is about right. It has to be built to residential year round code. Would someone invest this money back in the hinterlands where the is no power? Probably not. I wouldn't. It would be a bad investment is why. This is the precise reason seasonal-use landowners construct "garage camps". They don't intend to live in "it", all they want is simple shelter, a wood stove, pitcher pump and outhouse. A camp. (note I didn't call it a hunting shack). I suppose there is something wrong with an environmentally-low-impact, small-basic structure? Don't ask me. I wonder if it has anything to do with tax base?

Building on high value, more densly poplulated waterfront is an apple and not an orange (above). I suppose the cumulative value of such property has to be taken into consideration. It really wouldn't be fair to allow a "garage camp" to be plopped in among numerous high value beachfront summer homes.

Again, in Cheboygan county (I keep referenceing because of familiarity), Boondock garage camps are approved and accepted as "garages". Zoning doesn't really care if the owner sleeps or cooks in it, or not. BUT don't think about living in it. I have been told that the county will also issue a "camp variance" for a structure as small as 400 sq ft, but only if it is well beyond the end of the powerline and on sufficient acreage: unlikely to ever become a residence. Why not? Nor will the county permit this variance on small lot subdivisions because ot the camp-ghetto potential. To me, this appears realistic; a compromise with some guidelines.

It is all compromise. "good" zoning is about compromise and exceptions and long range planning which makes sense. I am not going there with "bad" zoning or "no" zoning.

C
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John Elmer Engel
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 11:03 am    Post subject: Doug Miller's post Reply with quote

I, too, believe in compromise. A path from cabin to water is good. I believe that water front builders must understand that the water is public. And as we build, we should be considerate of our neighbors whether on land or water. Personally, I do not want to see your cabin/summer home/mansion from the water or beach, no matter how beautiful it may be. I love the natural undisturbed shoreline. This is what ultimately separates us from the Houghton Lakes of the world. I have a path to Lake Huron. One cannot see my cabin from the waters edge. I am proud of the fact that people on the water or on the beach, see a natural shoreline on my property just as an explorer or native American saw 300 years ago. This mentality that we must see the water 24-7 is old thinking. Trees provide privacy, protection, and shade. The water is there. Walk, wheelchair, or golf cart to the Shoreline to see the expanse. Currently there are two inland lake construction sites, that I have seen, that have cleared the natural shoreline flora: one on Mary's Lake and one on Twin Lakes' Echo Lake. Look at them. In my book, these people were not considerate of their neighbors...the neighbors being the public that uses that water. We must understand that this vision I have of waterfront construction is not popular to those whose vision is blinded by the almighty dollar. This is not a realtors idea. I do not subscribe to traditional thinking. Build near the water and enjoy knowing the lake is there. Enjoy the sound. Enjoy the aroma. Enjoy the view by walking to the water's edge. Preserve the shoreline for all to enjoy. What is best for "ME" is being selfish. What is best for "ALL" is being considerate.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/Pigeon_River_Plan_22975_7.pdfPage 21 defines the land use restrictions.

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/RiparianZoneMgmt-TroutStreams_64164_7.pdf Also good: riparian land management
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

John and Doug.

I would tend to be philosophically alligned with both of you as far as aesthetics... I also look at environmental impact of groomed shoreline. Displaced species, erosion and run off. What constitutes "improvement" is subjective.

For those who want to display their vinyl clad monstrosity with a golf course to the waters edge... there is Houghton, Burt, Mullet and in fact most lower peninsula lakes. Same along many michigan streams prior to protection act. Lets call it a "clear it and groom it and show it off downstate mentality" or "aint it purty".

Some don't see it as purty... but offensive and environmentally unfriendly. And therin lies the conflict.

Short of restrictive-definative-protective zoning... How else will wild be kept wild and prevent shortsighted waterfront owners from "improving" on wild?

C
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doug miller
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, as much as I love looking out at the uninhabited shore of Round Island, I also like looking out at a technological marvel like the Mackinac Bridge, beautifully designed cottages like the Frank Lloyd Wright Craftsman-style cottage next to mine, and even small, quaint looking cabins with woodsmoke curling up from their fireplaces. In short, I think the beauty of the natural world is often enhanced by man-made creations.

I certainly would not find a shoreline dotted with rectangle-shaped mobile homes very attractive and hope BBI never looks like that. However, I do think the right of property owners is one that must be protected--even to the extent that it might at times offend my aesthetic sensibilities.

Finally, I don't think the concept of living within the view of the water is out of date. I don't think it ever will be. In fact, I think the reason many of us continue to sacrifice our time, money and convenience to have a place on an island is so that we can live in the woods in sight of the water and in sight of the whitecaps and seagulls and sailboats and freighters and stormclouds and children who swim and play in the water.
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John Elmer Engel
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 9:49 am    Post subject: Water view Reply with quote

I respectfully disagree. What you describe, watching the whitecaps, children in the water, etc. is a very pretty picture. All of us love these images. This is what most people have engrained in their heads when they purchase waterfront property. This was engrained in my head. "What can "I" do to this property so "I" can see the water." Rather than, "What can "I" do to maintain the natural beauty of this ground for future generations to view and still enjoy this waterside land." When I say "old thinking" I am saying "traditional thinking." Traditional thinking told us to "drain this swamp, kill these weeds, flatten that berm, run ATVs over the beaches and off the roads. We now know, in hindsight, that this thinking is detrimental. This is my point. For this "isolated in time" island paradise to keep its wild beauty, we need vision that does NOT adhere to traditional thought. "Vision" means doing what perhaps is unpopular NOW so that future generations can enjoy this "lost in time" paradise and its natural shorelines. I believe with zoning laws that preserve a waterside natural area, be it 20' or 100' deep, waterside property values on this island will increase! The further we separate ourselves from the "downstate, realtor mentality, of water side construction" the more valuable the beauty of this island becomes. The more we expose buildings, parked boats, PWCs, docks, and other beach "crap" the more we lose this incredible wild beauty. Some argue, "It will never happen on this island." Bull! It is happening as I speak and it has happened in the recent past. It is a slow, incidious, disease. One buldozed waters edge lot is like an open sore, especially on the island inland lakes. I can remember the first time I saw Twin Lakes. My jaw dropped. Nothing but natural shorelines greeted my eyes. It was like I was in Canada when I was young. Call me radical or any other expletives you please. Without vision, Central Park in New York would have been nothing but more streets, alleys, and buildings. It was intially an unpopular vision. Thank God someone broke away from traditional thinking. Please, get on the water, look back at the island, look back at the inland lakes shorelines, and realize that once lost, it essentially is lost forever. Manmade "stuff" cannot improve on the Natural Garden that is so beautiful and fragile.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doug - well said, and (for whatever it's worth) I agree.

Dan
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 3:57 pm    Post subject: Perspective! Reply with quote

Re:

Zoning, compromise, politics, land use and anything else anyone cares to toss into this mix. If we could all agree on ideals, we would be clones.

I recall, not so many years ago…(within 30) here in rural Mecosta County, the term “Land Use” was an uninvented PCism. Owning land meant just that. If you owned it you controlled it… and by merit of owning it, you could pretty much do whatever you chose to do; to develop, improve, destroy it or whatever. You could clear cut it, drain the swamp, fill the swamp, make a swamp… Start a dump in a swamp. If you wanted to build something, it was a landowners privledge to build a shack or a mansion out of whatever materials were so chosen. Rocks, sawmill lumber, cardboard and duct tape. Unless the bank was holding a note, permits and codes were strictly optional. Whatever went, went. Whatever happened, happened. If the house fell down and the swamp flooded, it wasn’t anyones problem but the landowners. If the neighbors didn’t like the way things looked? Tough lumps. The land owner might not like his neighbors digs either… Just so long as no one did actual physical damage to one another. A mans home and his swamp and trash was his castle. Back in the good old days when “owning land” was pretty straightforward and came with asumed rights and privileges. Welcome to the past. Is the above remnants of “traditional thinking” Maybe so. Don’t ask me what rights and privileges still remain? I can’t answer a question that hard.

This was all back when “zoning” was sort of a city thing… to prevent someone from farming in a residential subdivison… things like that. Things that might be offensive to the majority would really didn’t want “that”.

At this point… You ALL probably think, There he goes.. off on another radical tangent again. Not really. I am trying to bring this into perspective. I am not talking about Alaska or the wild west. I am defining the intent of zoning as a long range plan, or goal, representing a majority consensus of landowners.

I saw first hand what happened on Drummond when Monahan came in with mega$$$ and dozers and started making “improvements“. His own little sandbox. No zoning. No way to stop him. He owned the land he bought and let’er rip. And rip he did. The place has never been the same. This occurred back in the mid 80’s. And then he got bored with it and bailed. What Monahan did, made me bail too. Sort of a waker-upper for me... not to mention most of the Drummond Landowners.

I would like to think we have ALL wised up a little. What we leave behind is a legacy for future generations. We don’t “own” land. We are simply stewards and little more. Likewise, humans will never inhabit formerly wild land without altering it in some way. So now we are talking about impact. Or maybe minimizing impact?

And this translates to BBI how? Prudent zoning which reflects the consensus of the majority, is the only single action which will preserve the islands ambience and wild land. I am not speaking of ordinances sprouting from single issue problems, but clear forsight and long range planning. Look at the abandoned trailers and shacks and decaying crap in the woods… all prezoning… anything went. So now this mess has to be cleaned up somehow or another? And by whom?

I spoke of the recent failed waterfront retriction-zoning in Cheboygan county. A great idea... but 30 or more years too late. Back then, both Burt and Mullet lakes had more vacant land than developed lots. All after the fact in these times. I’ll go on a limb and call it “bad zoning” because it isn’t based on here and now reality. I wouldn’t have prevented problems. It would have caused them.

My point is simple: Look around. Learn from what hasn’t been done in time. Or done too little, too late.

These debates are doomed to go around in circles until they don’t. I had a little doodad on my desk that said “Nothing will ever be accomplished if everyone involved, must totally agree.”

It is all about compromise, looking forward, and having a consensus of vision. And THIS is what “good zoning” should accomplish.

So here’s the short version.

C
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sad I will ask once again .. what ever happened with the " Road " original subject matter of this thread.. ? Does anyone know, since Cindy has not responded.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

what's the matter with you Steve?

Can't you see they would rather rant than answer??

kinda a shame

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John Elmer Engel
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 9:36 pm    Post subject: Idle Chit Chat Reply with quote

...and that's why this column is called "Idle Chit Chat". I may be to blame for the "detour" from the original subject. But I'm with you Uncle Steve...what's up with the "road gash"?
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:21 am    Post subject: "Rant" Reply with quote

Hoverusa, who is "they"? Sorry that a conversation about preserving the quality of the island is considered "ranting". An exchange of ideas, philosophies, and opinions is never as damaging as action without thought, such as, bulldozing a road without proper authority.

And besides, if one cannot rant here, where can one rant? Confused
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amen, John!
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While you all are here ranting could you take a moment to vote in our Photo Contest? Last day to vote! Laughing
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I'll tell you what I know. I built log a cabin 5 years ago on the ridge on the south side of Marys Lake. I spent a lot of time studying the lay of the land, and decided where we thought the best building site would be. When we began clearing the site I heard a lot of complaints (and still do) about the amount of trees we left standing, why did'nt we build closer to the water, why did we not put in a circle drive etc. We did what we wanted by leaving the building site as natural as possible, much to others disaproval. We love walking through the woods down to the lake and enjoying the view. I have cleared a spot big enough for four chairs and a fire pit and that is just perfect. I can easily launch my kayak for a morning trip around the lake and pull it back into the cedars as if nothing was ever there. One of our favorite things about our property is the seclusion we can sit on our porch all day and maybe have two or three people/vehicles pass by, some of that used to be because the road was so bad. When we brought our materials back on trailers, I'm guessing 50+ trips. It would have never occured to me to cut a wider trail through other peoples property so I could bring a semi back there. What do people use for their brains what were they thinking, we will never know. Since the road widening it is alot simpler driving back to my place so come visit. We are always there most holidays. As far as anyone being punished for what they have done to the road I personally dont think anything will happen.
When I put my kayak in the lake in the morning I have to close my eyes when I pass a ticky tack house built to close to the lake and out of vinyl and glass (just doesnt fit right does it John.)
I don't know if that helps anybody with the road issue but I feel better
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 7:46 pm    Post subject: Low Impact Building Reply with quote

I loved the picture you painted in my mind about your cabin spot. I'm not sure exactly where your cabin is but I have an idea. I think what you describe is what I define as compromise. The lake retains the beauty that nature nuts like me love and island residents, like Bruce, enjoy their cabin in the woods. Sadly, Bruce, I do know exactly where the plastic is located. In fact, I noticed it upon my first kayak trip this past summer on Lake Mary. No plastic was up yet but the open space in front of it promised that EVERYONE will see it.

As I said in my earlier "rant", I came to this island with typical thoughts of clearing a view for my cabin. What changed my mind was that I camped on my property for the first 8 years and just my everyday movements around the property slowly made me love more and more the idiocyncrocies of the land. The trees, the cool plants that grow here, the berms that roll from the road to the beach, the privacy of being in the trees all became as important as "the view" of the water. Like you, I walk out of the forest to the awesome expanse of sky and water. It is always an exhilerating moment...even ten times a day. People that hack out an opening are not bad people. They just haven't taken the time, perhaps, to let the island magic sink in. I have run into new property owners this past summer and I pass on my experiences as a waterfront property owner whose cabin is tucked in the woods. I simply say to them,"build the cabin first, and then, only then, cut any trees to view the water. You can't replace the trees in your lifetime." Rant, rant, rant.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:24 pm    Post subject: Re: "Rant" Reply with quote

John Elmer Engel wrote:
An exchange of ideas, philosophies, and opinions is never as damaging as action without thought, such as, bulldozing a road without proper authority.


An eloquent response.

Let the civilized discussion continue. Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:02 am    Post subject: civilized discussion Reply with quote

Thanks, Rob.

The word civilized got me to thinking. I know, I know...there he goes again! What if, and this kernel of thought just popped into my head, what if there was an unofficial, non-governmental, BBI low impact, set of standards, that would allow new construction to recieve some sort of island stamp of approval that new land owners could brag about. This would have no legal status at all and no enforcement rules attached. Owners would simply volunteer...or not... to achieve this prestigious designation. Let's say there are five or seven or ten basic "suggestions" for new construction that owners could shoot for to receive this "coveted award", like the farms that have been in one family for a hundred years can have a "Centennial Farm" plaque erected on the property. This "highly sought after designation" could be attached to the property description in the case of resale.

"This property, the structures, and land have met the Bois Blanc
Island standards for the preservation of the unique Natural Features
blah, blah, blah..."

Just like "Centennial Farm" it could have a nifty title. "Island Gem" "Natural Retreat" "The Road Less Traveled By.." Some thing that would encourage owners to use minimum physical and visual impact techniques in their construction. Since it would be established outside of any governmental entity, we do not have to get permission from county officials, realtors, DEQ, DNR, etc. Official, traditional thinkers may squawk but since any builder can ignore this "highly, coveted, prestigious designation", I say squawk on. To get the ball rolling, buildings already erected, like Bruce Lords, could apply for the designation if they wanted to. Even old cabins like my neighbors 1934 stone cottage could apply because back in the day, many cabins were put in, intentionally or not, in a very nature friendly manner. It would take a group of island lovers to pull it off. Because there would be no heavy handed agency to answer to, builders would have to simply use civility to meet the standards.

Legal? Feasible? Practical? Dangerous?
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Uncle Steve
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Location: Big Rapids, MI and Eagle Ridge AKA Red Roof Inn (2006) ... East end BBI

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked Legal? Feasible? Practical? Dangerous? Yes to all, however that should
make the task all that much more fun..
Steps as I see them.

1. Establish a gathering of diverse thinkers ( including J.E.E., Conis, and about 3 or 5 others ) Must be an odd number.

2. Draw up the guidelines and criteria for such an award. ( no voting by this site , we would never come to a conclusion ) If they don't like the criteria they won't apply for the award. This concept is not rocket science.

3. Come up with at least 5 names for the award, and then post for voting by the site.

4. Gathering of diverse thinkers review the final outcome.

5. Initiate for spring 06
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John Elmer Engel
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Joined: 05 Dec 2002
Posts: 835
Location: Bay City-BBI: East End

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those steps sound good.

Here's one more thought and I do not know how it would work exactly but if a BBI flier could be mailed to new land owners, just so they know the designation exists, they could consider it and perhaps it would encourage building in an island friendly way...or not.

It's not rocket science. Very Happy
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Uncle Steve
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing Sorry , I forgot.... Doug Miller , should also be a founding member.. along with JEE and Conis,.. Sorry Doug..
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Conis
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No it isn't rocket science.

The Pigeon River Protection act, in place for nearly 30 years, covers all of what has been discussed in the posts so far and goes well beyond. Suggested reading if only to model something similar for BBI "green awards" or whatever they may be called.

The intent of the act being BOTH environmental and aesthetic... To preserve wild stretches of the river for future generations; to preserve habitat for native flora/fauna; To keep new development-impact to absolute minimums.

It covers greenbelt between structures and both rivers and road and riparian management of same; color/types of building material which would be approved. Erosion, docks. you-name it. The focus of all is to make structures unobtrusive and minimally visable from the river. And what IS visable, natural and blending into surroundings. These mandates are not elective and rigidly enforced by both Cheboygan zoning and the DEQ.

This isn't anything I came up with. Nor was it well received when mandated. It is accepted NOW... mostly because of property value enhancement. The only thing I would add (personally) is a limit on maximum sq footage of new residential structures.

There isn't much development happening on the river any more. What has been developed is pretty much IT. Those with river property feel much the same as landowners on BBI. They like it the way it is. They are guaranteed by this act, and zoning enforcement, it will stay this way.

This was all implemented back in the 70's, when those with foresight saw would would probably occur unless some restrictions were imposed.

Likewise, those on Drummond thought "Hey this is the boondocks... It can't happen here!" . Guess what.

I honestly DO NOT KNOW what lies ahead for BBI or where the majority opinion currently stands as far as any of this. There are already environmental regs covering waterfront development, setbacks, wetlands (and building roads through same). Going beyond them is going into aesthetics.

I don't know where the edge is when it comes to mandating aesthetics... as in "You can't use vinyl siding because it's ugly". It may be ugly but that's subjective judgement imposed on someone else? And Mr. Vinyl Siding retains the right to say the same thing about logs? What about tar paper?

If you figure it out, fill me in.

C

PS. I have vinyl siding on my home. Its ugly but low maintainence and I am not getting any younger. I used cedar (from BBI) from Riker's, to reside my BBI cottage. Hmmmmm. Looks kind of natural and "islandy". Before that it had fake brick tarpaper with woodpecker holes (a nice feature to let the bats in/out). NOW we are talking RUSTIC! #Onfire
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Bruce Lord
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Joined: 18 May 2002
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Location: Grabill Indiana

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK Vinyl is final I have it on my house to. But BBI is a whole different place. I don't think anyone is trying to mandate anything.
As far as I have seen environmental regs aren't being followed. I have watched as a house was built on Marys Lake at flood level (where I have seen 6 inches of water in the spring) a septic system which must of cost a fortune which is in a filled in swamp, and a existing back filled drive in the same wetlands that are on my property filled in so all the materials could be brought back. I talked to the DEQ and since the property wasn't listed as wetlands? it seems to be done and nothing will happen. bunch of crap I gave up.
Also...
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