1996 Meeting Minutes
OCTOBER 1, 1996
The regular meeting of the WILLIAMSTOWN TOWNSHIP BOARD OF TRUSTEES was called to order by Supervisor Obst on Tuesday, October 1, 1996 at  7:31 p.m.  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 with several additions; Sidewalk construction, the Constables report, computer update, Kane violation, Cox violation, and the Township hall’s storage area.
County Controllers 911 money - meeting this week and next week to discuss availability of funds for this area.  New ambulance to be delivered in January 1977 or shortly thereafter.  Fire Board will attend the Ingham County Law and Courts sub committee meeting to present our position.  The meeting, chaired by Mark Grebner - County Commissioner, will be held at 7:30 p.m., October 10, 1996 at the Ingham County Social Services building.
ATTORNEY’S REPORT, Stephen O. Schultz
Noo Fear - attempting to locate Mr. Squires.  Have found several old addresses through the Secretary of State’s office.  Will drive by the Aurelius Rd address to see what it is.  1440 E. Grand River is still the address listed on all licenses and permits held by Mr. Squires.  A violation of ordinance will be filed against both Mrs. Speaks and Mr. Squires.  Whomever they locate will be held responsible for cleanup.  This will be a district court matter.  Both nuisance and zoning violations.
Annexation petition - City of Williamston - No news from the Boundary Commission.  No hearing date has been set.  They are very backed up due to a loss of staff.
Kane Issue - Mr. Kane believes he can act under the approved split plan in perpetuity.  Attorney Schultz needs to meet with the Planner to see when he pulled the permits and any construction activity.  Will make recommendations after this meeting.
All permits that are final in report.  Very busy.  Mr. Kane has a stop work order. 
Attempting to stop residency on the Struebel property, 212 E. Grand River Rd.,  until permits have been obtained from the Health Department.  Current pole building is not a residence.  No C of Ode issued.  Per Attorney Schultz: Issue will be taken up in District Court if Mr. Jerry Deck attempts to rent out an apartment on the property without the proper permits. 
Cox Complaint - A six month temporary residence permit is allowed while the main residence is under construction, but Mr. Cox appears to be living on the property without the required permits.  Will know more by the end of the week.  Building Inspector Aven to check on Cox issue as it pertains to section 2.07, pages 2-9 of the zoning ordinance.
Building Inspector attended conference last month.  Absence at board meeting due to the conference.
ATTORNEY SCHULTZ:  Enforcement of the sign ordinance.  The Flagshop owner sees it as outdoor advertisement of their product just as Litchfield’s does of theirs.  This is a mute point.  Litchfield is operating under a lawful pre-existing non-conforming use.  Also, one company violating the ordinance does not make it OK for another to do so.  No outdoor display of goods is permitted in zones B-1 or B-2.  Flag store has threatened to change their display to be only National and State flags.  Their intent clearly goes against the ordinance prohibiting banners and signs except for National and State flags without a permit. 
Township can enforce the ordinance or go to the Board of Appeals to seek definition of sign.  Attorney Schultz is comfortable with the language in the ordinance.  If banners flying for quite some time before the ordinance went into effect, then a lawful pre-existing non-conforming use can be invoked, but only for the same number and size of banners that were displayed before the ordinance.
Will be sent back to the Planning Commission to clarify or amend the ordinance.  Per Planning Commission Chair Martin, The wording of the ordinance can be changed if needed.  Currently no limitation on the number of National/State flags is stated.
Treasurer Nilsson asked what the history of this complaint was.
Per Trustee Zaban, a member of the Planning Commission requested that the ordinance be enforced.  And that from day 1 there have been some flags flying on the site.
Question from audience (Nancy Fink) - Are the flags legal due to blocking visibility to the road?  This issue must be addressed by the Road Commission and /or State Highway Act.  Not part of the Township’s jurisdiction.
Clerk Graham - Send the issue to the board of appeals for clarification and then to the Planning Commission or the Board based on the Appeal Board’s decision.
Planning Chair Martin - Page 7-9 of the zoning ordinance needs to have the sentence on flags clarified.
Attorney Schultz - Planning Commission should revisit the issue.  Sent back to the planning commission to decide if the ordinance should be amended.  Attorney will work with the Planning Commission chair and have recommendations at the next Township Board meeting.
ISSUE FOR ATTORNEY SCHULTZ - House under  construction in the Woodview Subdivision does not meet the required setbacks on one corner of the house.  Owner did not want to pay  to have the property properly surveyed before construction began.  They are already  framing the second floor of the house.  Attorney sees this as a self created hardship, and not something the Township should have to compensate the owner for.  Per Planner Martin, the owner has three options: 1) tear down the structure and start over; 2) redesign the house so that they can just cut off the corner that is in violation; or 3) go to the Zoning Board of Appeals to see if they will allow the structure to stand.  Per Attorney Schultz, this matter is not yet at the stage where it is a legal issue for the Township.  Zoning Board of Appeals meeting scheduled for Oct. 14, 1996.
PLANNING COMMISSION REPORT, Chair person Mickey Martin;
Williamstown Estates - Need approval of Phase II and approval of the tentative and preliminary plat all in one.
NBQ Flood Plain mapping has not come in yet.  Mr. Kyes is in contact with Larry Bryan.  He should have a report by Thursday and will have the mapping available 1-3 weeks after that.  The Flood Plain could be a problem if it changes.  Chair Martin requested the board approve Phase II  of Williamstown Estates planned development with the provision that the issue will be revisited if the flood plain changes significantly.  Clerk Graham so moved, seconded by Trustee Wiegandt.  Motion passed as written by the Planning Commission with conditions #1 - #5 stated in the minutes of the Sept. 17, 1996 Planning Commission meeting.
Clerk Graham moved to approve the tentative and preliminary Platte as written by the Planning Commission on Pages 4 & 5 of their report subject to prior final approval of PD and submission of preliminary plat application.  Trustee Wiegandt seconded.  Discussion followed on amount of open space provided (40 plus acres out of 137 acres), size of lots (2-6 acres) and certification of the foot bridge.  Motion passed unanimously.
Trustee Zaban voiced the board’s appreciation to the Planning Commission for all the hard work over the past three and a half years that led to the passing of these two motions this evening.
Option to divide an Ag Commercial Lot into two lots discussed.  Purpose of this option is to allow farm owners to remain in their residence on a 2-5 acre parcel, while still being able to sell the remaining agricultural land.  The letter by Mr. Petrides on this issue was addressed.  He is in favor of this part of the plan.  Another issue to be addressed later is of concern to him.
Existing single family dwelling allowed to be split off on a two to five acre parcel.  Larger remaining parcel can then be built on if sold and a conforming lot.  Intent is to preserve the agricultural land when someone wants to remain living in their home but no longer wishes to work the land.
Treasurer Nilsson moved that the township allow splitting off of Ag Commercial as proposed by planning commission with additional detail as presented.  Seconded by Clerk Graham.
Attorney Schultz pointed out some ambiguous wording: “ Ag Commercial lot legally created”, implies that only the smaller lot is conforming and that the larger remaining lot would not be.  This is not the intent of the board.  Intent of the section is that both lots would be considered conforming.
Motion amended by Trustee Zaban to put the word “both” in front of “lots” in paragraph 4 of the proposal.  Accepted by Treasurer Nilsson.  Supervisor Obst called for a roll call vote
   Ayes   Wiegandt, Graham, Obst, Nilsson, Zaban
   Nays   None
Motion passed unanimously.
Noo Fear issues already covered earlier in the meeting.
Board would like to congratulate the task force on the great job that they are doing.  Believes they have an excellent working relationship with the County Road Commission’s representative, Mr. Bob D’Alcorn.  Report received and filed.
CAPITOL CITY RIFLE CLUB - response has been received and they will propose a solution.
SIDEWALK - Only 1 bid was received.  Viable bid, compared to bids received by the School District.  Sidewalk would extend for approximately 1068 feet, from the Woodview Subdivision south to Mitchell Road and from Mitchell Road south to the High School entrance.
The Williamston School District would like a breakdown of the costs and ability to approve composition .  Per Mr. Tebeau, since the schools are responsible for maintaining the part of the sidewalk that is on the school property, they want to be sure that it exceeds minimum pounds per square inch (psi) requirements.
Discussion on who would be responsible for liability and maintenance of the sidewalks.  Decided since this was the first sidewalk in the Township it would be a good time to adopt a sidewalk ordinance.  Attorney Schultz will get copies of some other Townships’ ordinances to use as a base for creating Williamstown Township’s.
Also brought to the board’s attention that the sidewalk should be put in 90 days before the first frost.  Already past this time period.  Will discuss options with contractor.  The schools will be FAXed ASAP about the bid.  There is no time frame on the bid.  Trustee Zaban moved that Supervisor Obst and Clerk Graham be delegated to approve the length of the sidewalk up to 1062 feet and cost up to the current bid of $13,800.00.  Seconded by Treasurer Nilsson.  Discussion on available funds from the Road Commission and the money held in escrow by A&D.  Motion passed.
10 E. Sherwood Road is being cleaned up.  Board is satisfied with what the new owner is doing.
Streubel property definitely inhabited - needs to meet code.
COMPUTER UPDATE - in packet.  Machines and software are being installed as they come in.
Cox - already addressed.
Noo Fear - More junk has been removed.  Has not been able to catch Mr. Squires.  There appears to be a new business in the front part of 1440 E. Grand River Road.
DNR ANNIVERSARY - No one from the Township plans to attend.
INGHAM COUNTY MTA - Open House at their new building on October 16, 1996.
MARIE WOODMAN - A letter of appreciation for her many years of service to the Township has been written.
TOWNSHIP HALL STORAGE AREA - Mr. Graham can extend the storage area above the ceiling with two 4’x8’x3/8” boards.  This will enable the Township to no longer store things directly on the ceiling joists.  A $20.00 expense.  Trustee Zaban moved that Mr. Graham be allowed to do the work providing that it does not exceed $100.00.  Seconded by Treasurer Nilsson.  Motion carried.  Project was completed on Oct. 4, 1996.  Spent $30.00 on materials and $20.00 on labor.
ROAD COMMISSION - Letter from Mr. Bob D’Alcorn of the Ingham County Road Commission was received.  He apologizes for not including the Township in the discussions of the Beeman and Rowley Road project.  The Township will write back that in the future the Supervisor and Clerk should be involved in any  issues relating to roads in Williamstown Township.  The board will extend an invitation to Mr. D’Alcorn to present the Road Commission’s agenda for the year at a regular Board meeting when he has it available.
PARK LAND - On Wednesday, September 25, 1996 there was a 1 hour walk through of the land.  The park committee is made up of new faces who are eager to work on the project and have some good ideas about fund raisers and grants.  Need to find out the needs of the Red Cedar Rec., the Schools and other citizens in general for the park.  The committee is attempting to set a Saturday morning meeting schedule.
The Constable noticed the Mead family having a get together on the property in September.  They told him that they would not close on the property until September 20th when in actuality they had closed on it August 28th.  No action was taken by the constable at this time.
Discussion on the Township’s current liability coverage on the Park property.  The park is not open to the public yet.  No Trespassing signs need to be posted.  The billboard will be taken down. The current crops in the field will be the last crops allowed.  Treasurer Nilsson brought up the fact that the park committee can apply for the same DNR grant to develop the park that the Township used to purchase the property.
CITY OF WILLIAMSTON - They are looking for people who are not elected officials of the City to serve on a Williamston/Williamstown Township Sewer Committee.
The next meeting of the Williamstown Township Board is scheduled for Tuesday, November 12, 1996;  The next meeting of the Planning Commission is scheduled for October 15, 1996; and the next scheduled meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals is October 14, 1996.
Brief review of the Treasurer’s Financial Report for September  1996, the Clerk’s List of Accounts to be Paid October 1, 1996, and no amendments to the minutes, as presented, of September 10, 1996.
Wiegandt moved, Nilsson seconded; PASSED to acknowledge the Treasurer’s Report of Financial Activities for September 1996, Approve the minutes of the Regular Township Board meeting held on September 10, 1996, and to approve the Clerk’s list of Accounts to be paid checks #7502 through #7560, for a total of $39,591.54.
Supervisor Obst: Roll call vote please.
   AYES:      Zaban, Nilsson, Wiegandt, Graham and Obst
   NAYS:      None
Zaban moved to adjourn if there were no objections.  None voiced.
Meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.
___________________________            _____________________
Shirley A. Graham, Clerk            Susan E. Jennings
Township of Williamstown            Recording Secretary