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Pending Lawsuit with Township
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mikewhite
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 8:24 am    Post subject: Pending Lawsuit with Township Reply with quote

Keep the following handy for future reference:

Excerpts about Commercial Development
Bois Blanc Township Master Plan
Adopted Oct. 18, 2001

Page 20
People are split regarding encouraging commercial development. The slight majority favored an increase in development if it is limited and restricted in area.

Page 21
Insights of focus groups – enforcement of the ordinances that arise from the Master Plan process should be a concern because without enforcement the creation of an ordinance is useless.

Page 23
Presently there are only about a dozen parcels zoned as commercial. – the majority of the current commercial development existed prior to the adoption of the original Existing Land Use Map and Zoning Ordinance of Bois Blanc.

Page 25
--to every extent possible, that commercial development should be consolidated in a restricted area.

Page31
Planning for future commercial use was a sensitive topic. Whereas much of the input received acknowledged a need for additional commercial area, the general feeling was that it should be limited in scope and centralized in the area near the dock.

Pages 31 & 32
In the final analysis, the most conservative plan for commercial development was determined. It was to be the area referred to as “from Hoffman’s to Hoover Road.” This was the plan favored and eventually adopted by the Planning Commission for commercial development.
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Charlie Trie
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's the pending lawsuit involving the Township?

Perhaps you could scan and post the entire document, rather than just a few excerpts? - (BTW, I've found that if you scan documents using Adobe, there's wonderful compression such that I've been able to email 100 page documents without any problem.)
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Squeaky
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike, where is Page's 1-19? 22 & 24? 26-30? We should be able to read the Whole Thing. Is helpful to know all.....
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John Elmer Engel
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 5:40 pm    Post subject: Whole thing Reply with quote

I would love to read it all too. I'm sorry I have to miss the twp meeting tomorrow, 4pm. If anyone would like to pass on what happens I would love to hear about it.
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John Elmer Engel
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 6:04 pm    Post subject: commercial restrictions Reply with quote

I have an immediate negative reaction to this. What stipulations beyond the location are in effect? As long as "the commercial interest" is in that location, does that mean it can be anything... some thoughtless, irreverant structure that "meets code" and "zoning ordinances"? More important than keeping commercial interest crammed into one area, closest to the dock and the dustiest areas on the island, I believe that 1) it depends on the commercial business, and 2) how it is put in. If I wanted to start a "quiet sports"(Kayaks, canoes, snowshoes, Xskiis, bikes) getaway I would love to pull it off on property where you didn't have to cross a road to get to the water. A detailed land use overview should have to be submitted to the twp. Noise, lights, and other possible intrusions need to be addressed BEFORE any business, anywhere on the island, can be undertaken.

This is thought provoking stuff, Mike.
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mikewhite
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:09 pm    Post subject: Read Closely Reply with quote

This is a part of YOUR master plan, in effect since 2001. The pending lawsuit is, in part, based on the master plan. The master plan was created, based on what the people of the island wanted. A master plan is of no value, though, if the township, that approved it in the first place, does not follow the will of the people expressed in YOUR master plan.
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Squeaky
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How does one obtain a copy of "The Master Plan"-Your master plan?Would be interesting to those of us that are not aware as to what it says and how it is worded.
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boisblancgirl
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Pages 31 & 32
In the final analysis, the most conservative plan for commercial development was determined. It was to be the area referred to as “from Hoffman’s to Hoover Road.” This was the plan favored and eventually adopted by the Planning Commission for commercial development.


It's funny how YOUR master plan is supposed to be followed to the tee, but only when it suits the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission has denied a rezone request for Commercial II property that they DID NOT provide for in YOUR master plan. Their justification to denial was simply "a spot Zone". The township board, however, reviewed the request and with common sence thought, decided to approve the rezone. Hence, the lawsuit.

In regard to the above quote by Mike White, the Planning Commission violated YOUR master plan by recommending approval to the township board to two (2) additional Commercial I rezones, well OUTSIDE the parameters they ADOPTED in YOUR master plan. It is of my opinion and MANY others that they just approved some spot zoning!!!

The area in which the Planning Commission finally ADOPTED for Commercial I property, which was from "Hoffman's to Hoover Road", is all swamp, and is unsuitable for any kind of land development. Some of it is even state land!! I doubt highly that anyone from the Planning Commission walked the area they designated for Commercial I property, as this area is enviornmentally sensitive ie: swamp!!!

It is rumored that 3 of the Planning Commission members are initiating the lawsuit, one of which is a township board member.
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boisblancgirl
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John,

I have a copy of the Master Plan and new Zoning Laws here at the house. The next time you come up, if you would like to borrow them and browse through them, feel free to stop in and pick them up.

I left a copy of both sit down at Hawks Landing for 3 months, but not too many people noticed it or were aware of all the big changes that were made.
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boisblancgirl
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Planning Commission did send out a survey requesting different views on different issues, however, out of 1500 +/- parcels on the island, they sent a survey to 97 different people. Fifty seven were returned. Not a very big percentage to justify some of their decisions in the Master Plan, NOT ONE business person on the island, or even a full time resident received this survey.
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theeislandgirl
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:28 am    Post subject: Hi Reply with quote

How do I get a copy of the Master Plan and new zoning laws ????
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boisblancgirl
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Connie,

You can get a copy of both from the townhall. If I remember correctly, I purchased the last copy of the master plan. Not sure if they have gotten new copies in or not. It would cost you somewhere between $35 or $45 to purchase both in total, can't remember exactly. To call the office and order, dial 231-634-7275.
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mikewhite
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:19 am    Post subject: Due fo an Overhaul Reply with quote

The Master Plan is due for a planned overhaul this year. It would be nice to see a lot of input from everyone to the Planning commission on that overhaul. I see my plan to "kick the hornets nest" has worked. Here is a thought. Why not get the Planning Commission to rezone everything from the cemetary to Sand Bay curve as commercial. that would keep it away from the east & west ends and out of the Pines.
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doug miller
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel like someone who has walked in on a conversation that has been going on for a while.

What exactly is the concern here--that the Master Plan or the Township or the Planning Commission have designated land for commercial development that can never be developed--and that means no commercial development? Is the concern where the commercial development would be, the fact that it opens up such development, or something else?

And why would the planning commission members be suing, who are they suing, and what do they hope to accomplish?

And finally, is anyone else as confused about all of this as I am?

I would be interested to here an overview of what the issue is here. Thanks in advance.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

boisblancgirl wrote:
The Planning Commission did send out a survey requesting different views on different issues, however, out of 1500 +/- parcels on the island, they sent a survey to 97 different people. Fifty seven were returned. Not a very big percentage to justify some of their decisions in the Master Plan, NOT ONE business person on the island, or even a full time resident received this survey.


I, too, feel like doug miller. I hear second-third hand information which is fact, fiction, interpretation, BS or some combination of all?

It occurs to me that if there are 1500 taxable parcels on BBI, there are 1500 property owners, each with some vested interest in island planning and policy; residents, non residents, business owners, all. Some with greater interests than others.

How can these plans be made by sampling less that 10%, with even less being returned? Who's obligation is it to get this information to those it affects?

What happens at the local government level is truly important? I can appreciate printing and mailing costs. Why cannot this information be made public on the internet even it it requires a BBI TWP website. Minutes of the twp meetings and other public affairs likewise posted? Cheboygan county does this.

Bois Blanc Twp is an anomaly in that the majority of property owners are NON RESIDENT and scattered all over the planet, but they still pay taxes and deserve access to information without having to work for it or wait for copies to be printed.

I think we would ALL like to be kept up to date on planning and zoning issues, and be offered a heads-up in advance so we can enter our 2 cents worth before the fact and before decisions are made?

Consensus of opinion of the majority? Or a perpetual "hornets nest" without?

C
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j. munro-duncan
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was feeling a bit lost as well....Thanks Doug and Conis for asking questions to clarify.
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Squeaky
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with you Conis 150%. There are many of us that pay taxes on BBI and the majority of us do not live there and so therefore we cannot get to the township meetings. We definitly need some way of knowing what is going to be voted on before those few vote on it. Our township also has a website where we can go to and view. Surely the board can do something. $35-$45 for the Master Plan? Wow! How is it that a township board member can be part of the lawsuit? I am not knowledgeable on this.
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IslandDeer
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like to me , its the same old stuff that has always happens on the Island The first zoneing they had you couldn't believe what all they put in it. And you always had people on it that hadn't been there that long and bought with them all the city ways. Also having an Real state person that hadno business being on the board. Anyway, would be interesting what Mike W. has to say as of today. They will end up making the Island like M. Island and the taxas get so high we would have to sell our places, thats what happen over there, people that was born there and lived there. What kind of commercial development do they want? see you next time.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Squeaky wrote:
There are many of us that pay taxes on BBI and the majority of us do not live there and so therefore we cannot get to the township meetings. We definitly need some way of knowing what is going to be voted on before those few vote on it. Our township also has a website where we can go to and view. Surely the board can do something. $35-$45 for the Master Plan? Wow! How is it that a township board member can be part of the lawsuit? I am not knowledgeable on this.


The majority of island property owners know nothing about anything until after the fact. I had heard nothing about this "lawsuit" until it was vaguely mentioned on this website and still have no details? Is this not public information? It also occurs to me that making this infomation available to all affected, has much to do with accountability?

There is no "BBI newspaper" per se. I have no idea if twp board minutes and notices are published in the St ignace paper or not. I don't get that either. Nor am I in the mood to pay $40 for public information.

At some point, this text-information has to be typed, recorded and archived? It is the printing costs. Should the taxpayers pay for 1500 "books"?

This is the defacto BBI website. I wonder if we asked ROB nice, if he might allocate space for TWP news and documents which would include meeting minutes, current zoning regs, Twp master plan and etc. Perhaps, with cooperation, the twp would keep this current or provide it to someone in text form so it could be posted and kept current. Not all that big of an effort compared to printing, collating, distributing and mailing mass piles of paper. Short of that, anyone with a scanner, could scan these docs and pull the text.

This is the information age, isn't it? If this information is posted on line, free, at no charge, the twp's responsibility is fulfilled and is reduced to informing property owners to where it can be found. A notice and url link memo on tax notices would do this.

This is the most positive suggestion I can come up with. Not expensive, not time consuming, not requiring a great deal of organization and beats paper publishing the old fashioned way.

C
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This is the most positive suggestion I can come up with. Not expensive, not time consuming, not requiring a great deal of organization and beats paper publishing the old fashioned way.

I agree with the positive part.. Time consuming and the organization part would be another thing all together.. Making copies in a web friendly format, creating the space required, listing, labeling, uploading, designing, ect.. Shocked

Pick up the phone and request your copies or pool the money and pass it around. Everyone wants to be involved and know the answers. Get in touch with the township people and ASK.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

<<Time consuming and the organization part would be another thing all together.. Making copies in a web friendly format, creating the space required, listing, labeling, uploading, designing, ect..>>

I routinely post documents such as this. It should take no more than 10-20 minutes to put it online:

1. If the document is two sided, xerox one-sided.
2. Scan it in .pdf format.
3. Export to server.

That's it!


(The time consuming part is xeroxing. If it is in loose-leaf, one-sided format like most legal documents are, then total time is ~5 minutes for 50-100 pages. If you have a two-sided copier, the xerox part is eliminated. Just scan directly into your network.)
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mikewhite
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 8:59 am    Post subject: More Details Reply with quote

Now that the lawsuit has been filed, it is real and not pending. I can now let you know more details. Fran Vallely, Lani White, and Bill Heinlen, all Planning Commission people, want a reforendum vote on the issue. They feel that the township is not going along with the wishes of the majority of the landowners/taxpayers. So it is a principle thing.

If it does come to a vote and the voters say it is OK to zone that area on the inside of "Westcott's" curve as commercial, than so be it. The lawsuit is over details of wording of the description of the property in question as written in the reforendum petition. I might add that the township clerk has the final say. She turned the petition down even though her name is on it.

To fully disclose who is involved, you need to know who wants to rezone and I leave that to Joe Schlund and the VanVoorhees, people with a vested interest in the outcome of this, to let you know how they feel. I must also say that I have a vested interest because I have seen how hard my wife has worked for the people of the island and she says she must follow the Master Plan.

I wasn't on the island in 2001 but it is spelled out in the plan, every step that was taken to find out the wishes of the people. There were at least three posted public focus group meetings held on the east end, the west end and at the Pines. A random survey was taken. Public meetings of the Commission were held asking for as much public input as they could get. The resulting plan was praised by other townships and was used as an example of how it should be done.

Now go back to the top of this thread and you will find the results, as it applies to commercial property, that was arrived at. The Commission must make tough decisions. Sometimes they must even tell their own friends no.
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shelby
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This lawsuit issue is not complicated. The Planning Commission was asked to rule on a request to rezone a piece of land from residential to commercial. They rejected the request. The issue moved to the Township Board who overruled the Planning Commission. The Board ruled to accept the rezoning request. The Planning Commission member who also sits on the Township Board and others chose to pursue the issue by putting it to a vote of citizens of the Island. They circulated a petition, which I signed since I desire to see a large body of voters participate in deciding the issue. The legal number of signed petitions required were turned in to the Township Clerk. The clerk has the power to accept or reject the petition. She ruled the criteria used to determine acceptance of a petition had not been met. Therefore the petition was rejected. The supporters of the petition have sued seeking a court ruling affirming the legal correctness of their petition.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
<<Time consuming and the organization part would be another thing all together.. Making copies in a web friendly format, creating the space required, listing, labeling, uploading, designing, ect..>>

I routinely post documents such as this. It should take no more than 10-20 minutes to put it online:

1. If the document is two sided, xerox one-sided.
2. Scan it in .pdf format.
3. Export to server.

That's it!


Not quite.. Smile A place to put it has to be created.. I'm just saying.. I don't like speaking for Rob but I know his plate is pretty full.. I'm finding it hard to keep up with just moderating.. I'm sure you realize the time it takes to create and keep a web page(s) updated..
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Squeaky
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conis, sounds to me that there is and always will be excuses as to why the tax (majority) payers on BBI do not know ahead of time as to what is going on-being voted on, etc. until it is happening or has already happened. This is 2006 and if there is this website then it seems like there could be something on this website or another website informing all as to what is going on. Word for word as to what is said and done at these meetings. I am sure there is someone that is taking notes or whatever. ( Mike are you assigned for this job or just taking an interest?)There are a lot of pockets that are being dipped into now or in the future. We all have a right to be clued in. Our property is of value to all of us whether we live there, have a summer home on it or not.
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