1997 Meeting Minutes
JANUARY 7, 1997
The regular meeting of the WILLIAMSTOWN TOWNSHIP BOARD OF TRUSTEES was called to order by Supervisor Obst on Tuesday, January 7, 1997 at 7:34 PM.  The Clerk was asked to record who was present and if a quorum was present.  Clerk Graham stated a quorum was present and recorded the following: Supervisor Obst, Clerk Graham, Treasurer Nilsson, Trustee Zaban, Trustee Wiegandt and Building Inspector Aven.
The agenda was read over, there were no additions.
PUBLIC COMMENTS:
John Taylor - Oak Leaf -
Mayor's letter to editor of the Enterprise seemed to be a challenge to the Township.  Only solution he proposed that he thought viable for curing the City’s financial problems was annexation.  He talked about a need for sense of community.  Moved to the area because of the rural nature of the Township and the nature of the city.  Township residents obviously shop in the city and are in and out of the city regularly.  This Mayor and city council has made a dent in Mr. Taylor’s image of the area.  Does not appear to have been much planning involved in their recent developments.  Cited such things as building too close to Williamston Road, putting in an oil change downtown and putting in a truck stop next to the new restaurant.  The truck stop will attract many trucks to the area, especially on Williamston Road.  These things do not fit Mr. Taylor’s image of how development should proceed in this community.  City has made a mess of it.  There is also a lot of development in the Township.  Mr. Taylor wants the board to know his view that he did not move to this area to see significant development.  He does not want to see any, but low, low density development.  Does not believe that the sewer capacity issue fits in how the Township should develop.  It is not inevitable that high density development come to this Township.  Cited examples from Livingston County where development has been slowed.  Does not believe it is the job of this board to promote significant development.  Haslett road issue allows for more development by allowing more traffic.  Concerned that board has voted 3-2 for development that most people in the community do not want.  Believes both the township and city are off track, but especially the city.
Supervisor Obst: - invited Mr. Taylor to Jan 16th meeting on the Haslett Road issue.  Does not want to stop development, but promote it in such a way so that it is not obvious that it is there.  The entire board wants to preserve the charm of the township and the rural nature with the master plan, etc.  Sewer capacity is a difficult issue.  More capacity would encourage more development, but reality is that the development will still occur, but it will occur in the city due to annexation.  Annexation issues are already before the boundary committee.
Mr. Taylor - not saying no development - but wants to see lower density development.
Clerk Graham stated that as a member of fire board she has had first hand knowledge of an area where the city and surrounding townships have cooperated and worked to the advantages of the entire area.  She does not understand why other such community wide issues cannot be handled in the same spirit of cooperation to the benefit of all in the area.
FIRE BOARD REPORT -Report read and filed by the board.
ATTORNEY’S REPORT - Steve Schultz
It was a busy month.
The Boundary Commission dismissed the petition for annexation of the properties on the west side of the city that contained the hub cap and shoe stores.  Petition was dismissed because the property descriptions submitted were inaccurate.  A refiling has not yet occurred.  A public hearing will occur at such time that a complete and accurate petition is filed.  Reason for the annexation request is to get municipal water service to the properties.
Noo Fear - Mrs. Speaks obtained default judgment to evict Mr. Squires, but no order has yet  been served.  She still has not taken any further action to follow up on the judgment.  Mrs. Speaks is not seeking any additional rent.  No further legal action has been taken.  Attorney Schultz suggested that Constable  Dahlstrom should file a blight complaint and serve it to Mrs. Speaks.
Subdivision control ordinance - working with Mr. Price on Woodview II and road issue.  Addressing continuing sewer dispute and will have more to report later.  Also working on the Sidewalk Ordinance, Mrs. Spagneuolo needing a site plan and other issues.
BUILDING PERMIT DEPARTMENT - Walt Aven
51 new homes were built in the Township this year. 
10 Sherwood Road - Mr. Aven wrote a letter to Mr. Garcia.  Mr. Garcia’s response was that he is In process of taking the building down in the next few months.  The building has been made more secure, but is still easy to get into.  If Mr. Garcia does not follow up on obtaining a demolition permit, the Township will have to board up the building.  Time frame for this action is two weeks.
PLANNING COMMISSION REPORT - Mickey Martin
Brunner Issue:
57-60 acres is currently on the zoning map as RE. The property was originally zoned RR.  When the new zoning ordinance was adopted the planning commission proposed to rezone this parcel and surrounding parcels to RE.  Mr. Brunner requested at that time to remain RR.  The commission agreed to do that and reported to the board that he would remain RR.  Board saw the recommendation letters and the chart for all the rezonings.  Due to an oversight the map was never changed.  No one caught the oversight at time of final adoption.  When Mr. Brunner went to sell his property the issue came up.  Planning commission recommended to approve leaving it as RR.  Planning commission minutes page 3 have the record of the public hearing.  Findings of fact also in the packet on Mr. Brunner's property.
Obst: Findings of fact were accepted bottom of page 5.  Recommended correction of administrative error.
Area residents submitted a petition to the board objecting to the RR zoning of the Brunner parcel.  Surrounding parcels are all RE and the neighbors believe RR will allow for higher density housing than they want to see in their neighborhood.
The following residents voiced their concerns and objection to zoning the Brunner parcel as RR:
Mr. & Mrs. S. Terry, Mr. J. Creighton, Ms. R. Zimmerman, Mr. F. Goodman, Mr. P. Apostle, and Mr. and Mrs. J. McGarey.  Concerns stated were lack of informing neighbors that Mr. Brunner had asked to remain zoned RR initially so that objections could have been made known at that time.  Fear that development of the property if zoned RR would result in doubling the number of residents in the immediate area.  Life savings tied up in their properties on the assumption that the area would retain its rural nature. Traffic on Zimmer Rd, especially at the corner of Zimmer and Grand River, becoming a major problem for residents.  The Township’s inability to get a traffic light installed at this intersection to date.  Do not believe that proper procedures were followed in granting Mr. Brunner RR initially, and in addressing the correction to the map from RE to RR.
Planner Martin and members of the board addressed issues raised.  Proper processes were followed.. RR under the current zoning is the same as RR was under the former zoning ordinance.  The parcel could not be zoned to anything denser than RR.  The board has been trying to get a traffic light at Zimmer and Grand River for the past 5 years.  It is the state police departments decision on where traffic lights will be installed.  They have a list of 11 warrants, at least some of which must be met before a light will be installed.  They will no longer install one just by the will of the people.  They did that in another township and then were successfully sued when a fatality occurred at the intersection after the light was installed.
Treasurer Nilsson moved that the map be changed to reflect the RR zoning.  Supported by Trustee Wiegandt.  Motion passed unanimously.
Supervisor Obst stated that he does not believe nature of the area will be changed.  We will do our best to get the traffic light.  A state trooper is going out to look at the intersection with the Ingham County Road Commission.
Clerk Graham stated a petition from the people in the area will carry more weight than anything else the township can do on their own.
Mr. Terry stated that he hopes the board will be more responsive to the petition for the traffic light than they were to the petition from the surrounding residents on the zoning ordinance.  Believes the board has sided with the land owner who is leaving the township instead of the 19 home owners who are staying.
Attorney Schultz stated that it is illegal by state law to zone by petition.  Zoning has to be based on a planning ordinance and other state laws.
Supervisor Obst stated that statutes allow that this zoning can be reversed by a referendum on a ballot.  The Board appreciates the citizen input and understands the consequences of going against what the people want as we are elected officials.
Schneider, Brannan and Schwartz Rezoning.  Recommendation to approve the rezoning.  Total of 74 acres, rezoning 13.2 acres to AG-SF and the small parcel of RR to AG-SF.  Keeps major portion in agricultural and satisfies concerns of the neighbors. Will square off properties in the area, no new parcels will be created.  Mrs. Stillwell be contacted to change the zoning of her property from AGC to something more conducive to her property.
Trustee Wiegandt moved to approve the planning commission’s recommendation.  Treasurer Nilsson supported.  Motion passed unanimously.
The Board agreed to have Planner Martin contact Mrs. Stillwell about changing the zoning of her land, and if she is agreeable to this, to hold a public hearing on her rezoning.
Woodview 2 - Final Plat.  Has not gone to the planning commission yet.  Asking for board to agree to sign off on the final plat if the planning commission finds that they agree to it.  Planning commission will get their reports from McKenna and associates and go through their regular thorough process of reviewing the final plat.
Treasurer Nilsson concerned that the planning commission not be rushed in their evaluation of the final plat.
Planner Martin assured the board that they would be thorough.
Trustee Wiegant moved that the board authorize signing off on the final plat pending approval by the planning commission and acceptance that any conditions that the commission may set will be met.  Seconded by Clerk Graham.  Passed unanimously.
Subdivision Control Ordinance - Brian Jennings - Praised by the board and Planner Martin for his efforts..
Reviewed comments from public meeting.  Believes that most of them that addressed the ordinance were covered in the ordinance.  Recommends approving subdivision control ordinance as well as zoning changes required for the ordinance.  MTA comments - The house bill sitting on Governor Engler's desk is nowhere near the form of the previous versions of the bill and is no longer supported by the MTA.  Lot splits are now the only area addressed by the bill.  Should the Governor sign the bill there would be only minor changes required in our act.  We should rewrite our land division ordinance if it passes.  It would no longer be 4 splits allowed in 10 years.  There would be a formula that determines how many splits you can have..  There is pressure for the Governor to veto the bill because it is no longer what the original bill was.  Chris Doozen recommends the board approve the subdivision control ordinance tonight, there would only be minor changes required if the bill is signed.
Treasurer Nilsson wants to have communication between the township and the developers.  Two site plans would be required.
Pre application meeting option before the developers start drawing their plans.  The Township cannot legally require this meeting.  We are bound by state laws as to what can be done.  Pre application can not be required, but there can be incentives to have them.  Need to approve changes to zoning ordinance in order for the subdivision control act to be most effective.
Treasurer Nilsson moved that we adopt the subdivision control ordinance as presented by the planning commission and to publish notice as required by law.  Seconded by Trustee Wiegandt.  Roll call vote:
   Ayes:      Nilsson, Zaban, Wiegandt, Obst, Graham
   Nayes:      None
Recommended Changes to Section 8.03 Subsection C of the Zoning Ordinance
Treasurer Nilsson moved to approve the changes to section 8.03, subsection c of the Zoning Ordinance as recommended by the planning commission.  Trustee Wiegandt supported.  Roll Call Vote:
   Ayes:      Nilsson, Zaban, Wiegandt, Graham, Obst
   Nayes:      None
end of planning commission report.
ASSESSORS REPORT - Listing of splits read over.
BOARD OF APPEALS - Minutes read and filed.
City of Williamston minutes available.
RENTING OF PARK LAND - received the check for last year's rent.  $771.99.
CAPITAL CITY RIFLE CLUB - suggested changes to the letter.  Happy with the letter now and their new sign.  Things going well.
CITY/TOWNSHIP SEWER - proceeding along those lines.
MRS. SPAGNUOLO - Walt Aven
They will be required to stripe their parking lot.  Occupancy permit would be held up until the parking lot was striped.  Remodeling the interior - no structural changes.  When it becomes an office then it is a change of use and will require a site plan.  Recommend that if they are ever going to put in the offices then they should submit a site plan now.
COMPLAINT AND RESPONSE 1197 WILD CHERRY - handled by Constable Dahlstrom
MERIDIAN CHARTER TOWNSHIP - RECREATION EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE - has been forwarded to Mike Nestell.
BURNING PERMIT ISSUE
Question of changing procedures for obtaining burning permits. Chris Nilsson and Sue Jennings will investigate the issue and have recommendations at the February meeting.
INGHAM COUNTY MTA MEETING NOTICE - 1/15/97 Leslie Township Hall.
HASLETT ROAD PUBLIC HEARING - 1/16/97  7:30 PM
Township Board's meeting - not the Road Commission's meeting.  No recommendations to be made by the board at this meeting.  Receiving input from the public.  Per the Ingham County Road Commission’s request, a recommendation will be made on the Haslett Road issue at the Township Board’s February 4, 1997 meeting.
Trustee Wiegandt stated that he has received many calls and expects a large meeting.  His calls have been negative.  Surveys received at the Township are more positive.
CONSENT AGENDA
Reading of the minutes from the December 3, 1996 meeting.  No corrections or modifications required.  Acknowledged the Treasurer’s financial report for December 1996 and authorized the Clerk’s list of accounts to be paid January 7, 1997, checks # 7715-7788 for a total of $41,791.45.  Trustee Wiegandt moved to approve the consent agenda as stated above, supported by Treasurer Nilsson.  Roll call vote:
   Ayes:      Wiegandt, Graham, Obst, Nilsson, Zaban
   Nayes:      None
TRAFFIC LIGHT AT GRANDRIVER AND ZIMMER
Brian Jennings suggested turning this issue over to the transportation committee.  Mr. Jennings will then take the issue on himself since he is on this committee and has just attended a workshop on traffic planning.  The Board agreed to do so.
Trustee Wiegandt moved to close the meeting. Supported by Clerk Graham.  No objections - meeting adjourned at 10:31.
Shirley Graham, Clerk               Susan Jennings, Recording Secretary