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Author Topic: Anti-Funneling Ordinance  (Read 118769 times)
srm
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« on: September 15, 2009, 07:01:03 PM »

The proposed ordinance and the current one can be downloaded here...
http://www.crystalonline.org/doc/2009/

15A is the current anti-funnelling ordinance.

Additional Reading...
www.mlswa.org/.../LWR-262583-v1-LWR%20-%20%20No%20More%20Excuses%20for%20Municipalities.pdf
www.montcalm.org/downloads/sidneytwpantifunnelingordinance.pdf
www.mlswa.net/Legal/Archive/legal23.htm
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srm
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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2009, 07:01:46 PM »

The next meeting is meeting Wed Sept 16th at the Township hall.  The DNR and DEQ will be present to answer questions.
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Bonnie
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2009, 08:58:36 AM »

The attached neighborhood letter was distributed to about 75% of the lake over Labor Day weekend.  If you know someone who did not receive one, please forward a copy to them.  Thanks!
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Bonnie K
srm
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« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2009, 03:23:04 PM »

I would like to note the letter that was passed out around the lake was from the township created committee and not the CLA directly even though CLA is active and has representation in this committee. If you were missed it was an informal passout.
-srm
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bwoodruff
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2009, 04:42:01 AM »

The letter that was passed out around the lake was not from the township created committee.  Some of us who wrote and passed out the letter happen to be on the committee.
Bonnie W.
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srm
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2009, 07:22:25 AM »

Bonnie W. Thanks for clearing that up. Some thought it came directly from the CLA.

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srm
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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2009, 08:23:11 PM »

September 16th 2009 special township meeting.

The DEQ did a PowerPoint on marina permits and the rules associated with them. The DNR answered a few questions.

It quickly became very apparent that there are three separate yet related issues on the table....

1. Road End and public access use

2. Proposed anti-funneling ord 15a

3. Marina permits and use by both road ends and commercial use

Everyone there had only one of the above they wanted to address and didn't seem on the same page.

Lets talk about each item, how they relate and what a possible solution is.

1. Road End use.

I believe now stronger than ever that road ends need to be turned over to back lot owners and here is why.

   A.  Most back lot owners purchased their property knowing they had the ability to access the lake and have been for the past 100+ years.

   B. If back lot owners lost this privilege their value would drop, become run down and that in turn would cause the riparianís value to drop.

   C. Back lot owners to either have deed or lease rights to the road ends gives the township the ability to tax once un-taxable land and the back lot owners property value would increase thus improving everything including the property values of the riparion owners.

   D. Back lot owners to either have deed or lease rights to the road ends would remove the "public" right to access the property and that could be bad for adjacent riparians. Imagine a website that has a map with all the "public" access on it and ANYONE can legally access the lake. They have those now in Hawaii. We need to be proactive to prevent potential future problems and this would address it.

   C. Back lot owners would have to obtain a DEQ marina permit to place a dock. DEQ will only permit that which would respect riparianís land yet allow for reasonable dock, boat and even the now illegal sun bathing.

   E. The above provides a win-win for both riparian owners and back lot owners and we can move on.

2. Proposed anti-funneling ord 15a

   A. Why change or remove the existing ordinance?

      1. The Township believes the previous board violated the ordinance by approving South Shore Campground swer connection to an additional 15 sites.

         a. Did the Township obtain a legal opinion that the previous board acted in error? No.

         b. If they did act in error, the issue would be between the riparians and South Shore Campground.

         c. At this time, doesn't appear that there is any problem here.

      2. The Township stated they believe the existing ordinance is hard to read.

         a. The Township's attorney wrote the ordinance.

         b. Seems clear to us.

      3. Garret Bakker's proposed campground would be in violation of the ordinance.

         a. Again, no legal opinion on this.

         b. There was once both a motel and hotel so there is the argument of grandfathering.

         c. Garret could simply have his people use the next door Township property so in the end, cannot be stopped.

         d. He would have to obtain a marina permit and that gives the riparian owners a chance to express their view. Addressed more below.

    B. The proposed ordinance is "pro funneling"

       1. The proposed ordinance appears to promote funnel. This is oddly opposite of what the Township's attorney Cliff Bloom is all about. He obviously hasn't reviewed their proposed changes.

       2. Can you imagine having your neighborís cottage sold to someone that is allowing 7 households anywhere in the county to utilize it.

       3. The proposed ordinance could severely impact land values.

       4. The CLA was created on June 5, 1923 (excerpt from association articles) "for the purpose of joining together in order that they might protect the natural advantages of said lake and preserve for themselves and their families the natural beauty, health and welfare afforded by said lake. To protect the interest of the members of this Association in the real property owned by them". Therefore the CLA will address this potential detriment to its members and help were it can.

       5. There is an overwhelming number of members very upset over this issue and our membership made a motion in the annual July meeting to address it fully

    C. Nearly every lake has an anti-funneling ordinance

        1. Is the only way to protect property values.

    D. The existing ordinance is fine and doesn't need to be changed in our view.

        1. Since the Township seems reluctant to hire Cliff Bloom to review the ordinance. The CLA has offered to pay half of the Township's attorney fee to review the existing ordinance.

            a. The Township believes we are in the development stage of rewriting Ord 15A and it is too early to seek legal opinion.

     E. They are trying to write an ordinance that addresses zoning.

         1. If the Township wants to do things right. Put in proper zoning and don't attempt to put zoning into an ordinance.

              a. Zoning in our Township failed before but that was because isn't wasn't proper zoning and way too complex. Good zoning is possible.

      F. By changing this ordinance just for one person they open it up for everyone anywhere and that is dangerous.

         1. First get a legal opinion if this campground even falls into anti funneling as its temporary usage.

 

3. Marina Permit and use by both road ends and commercial use.

  1. The DEQ has what appears to be a well defined process already in place.

  2. They don't allow marina operators to violate riparian rights.

  3. They take into consideration local ordinances as well.

  4. They have a time-framed hearing process for riparians and/or Township to resolve issues.

  5. No issue here, I'm sure this cannot be changed and appears very reasonable for both sides.

  6. See http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,1607,7-135-3313_3681_3711-17921--,00.html  for more info.

As you can see from the above information there is a possible resolution to ALL the current issues. Crystal could be the model for the entire state if everyone works together.

I'd like to hear your thoughts and comments.

Steven R. Meinhardt
CLA President
« Last Edit: September 17, 2009, 08:25:39 PM by srm » Logged
mdspike
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« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2009, 10:23:09 AM »

Thanks for the follow up Steve.  Regarding the road ends, I wonder how the properties might be deeded and to whom?  What entity would determine who is and is not deemed as potential owners of the property.  For example, the Owosso St. road end has been used actively in the past by families beyond Owosso St.  In some cases the neighbors as far as a block or more away have utilized the space.  I would hope that this critical issue would be resolved before any final action is taken.
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bwoodruff
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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2009, 06:36:27 PM »

The township board has also stated (on more than one occasion) that they believe they need to give others the same opportunity that South Shore Campground had; they said that in order to be fair to everyone they needed to change the ordinance.  Last time I checked, life wasn't meant to be fair.

Wow!!!  Think of the ramifications.  There could be campgrounds, more funneling, unlimited back- lot developments popping up in several locations. 

Cliff Bloom, attorney for the township and Reparian Rights expert says "enacting and enforcing reasonable lake access controls for developments should be the absolute top priority for riparians and lake associations.  Although sometimes this means having to beccome politically involved, it is highly likely that riparians will rue the day if they do nothing." 

Rue is "to regret."  If we don't try everything we can to stop the township board from changing the existing ordinance, we will never get back what we have now.  It is imperative that we take this very seriously .  We cannot do nothing; every riparian must do something whether it is attending meetings, speaking publicly, writing a letter, sending an email, writing a letter or making phone calls.

I feel we should all come together and have no regrets.

Sincerely,
Bonnie Woodruff

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srm
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« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2009, 08:53:57 AM »

Mike,
Good questions. Up until a few years ago I was a back lot owner and I currently have a few condo type ownerships so I feel I understand those systems fairly well.

It needs to be looked at as a whole with respect to who is using it now and where the other accesses are located in relation to the one being addressed. I think  the access use by whom is fairly addressed already as they've picked one or the other for years.

There would also need to be something put in place for someone to be added to one later should that come up, could be due to someone being located between and theirs being busier than the other at a later date. Better to address things now then later.... like our problem today! Probably would come down to a vote of the owners as to allow others and/or address really anything. Condo style ownership is nothing new. Double edged sword... More owners = less cost to each owner but also means less dock space per owner.

As for dock and boat use. The already in place DEQ marina permit process puts the limit on dock length which in turn limits the number of boats. Dock length divided by number of owners = max length of dock the owner has right to occupy. Of course the owners have the ability to create their own system of sharing they agree to and each would have one vote and majority rules like any other condo association. Every access is different. Government doesn't tell condo owners how to manage their condo's and its the same here. Certainly details would be addressed, but overall seems fairly cut and dry to me and you must start somewhere.

Steve Meinhardt
CLA President
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Sota
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« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2009, 04:53:45 PM »

   As far as road ends go --they are deemed public accesses, and if deeded to back lot (or condo) owners, the DEQ permit process will not allow boat docking on most of the right-of-ways, because it can't meet their guidlines for not infringing upon the adjacent riparians---i.e. the one and a half boat length or width plus the dock width along with the width of the boat.  Most docks are at least 2 feet wide if not more, and most boats are at least 8 feet wide and anywhere from 16 to 24 feet long, so any marina permit issued would have to be on a road end with a width of at least 25 feet  for mooring along side of the dock not perpendicular.  Then as I understood Milne, you still would have to have room to get aound without going on the riparian.  And, can the public road end be given to private owners?  What would the state have to do to allow this to happen?    As far as the anti-funneling goes, I agree  that the ordinance should stay as is, and if we need to get an attorney's opinion, then contact Cliff Bloom.
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srm
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« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2009, 05:21:35 PM »

Q: can the public road end be given to private owners? Yes, Several ways. Most road ends are owned by the County and under rule of the Road Commission. According to the Road Commission, the County must first deed the property to the Township, which can then deed the property to the back lot owners or do 99year lease. The County Road Commission might be able to directly lease to a "condo" type association made up of the back-lot owners.

Q: What would the state have to do to allow this to happen? State really not involved. As relates to the state DEQ marina permit... That process is in place already and the program appears to be fair and polished. DEQ doesn't get involved in what happends on the land but will take township ordinances into consideration.
-srm

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Bonnie
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« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2009, 04:47:31 PM »

I spoke to Scott Brown, MLSWA, today.  I gave him the history and background of issues pertaining to the proposed rewrite of ordinance 15A.  At the township meeting, Bob N encouraged us to get copies of other anti-funneling ordinances.  After googling for weeks, I was coming up with only a few. 

Scott is going to email me copies of sound and exemplary anti-funneling ordinances which are in use today which we can then compare with our own.  I should be receiving them by early next week.
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Bonnie K
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« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2009, 10:27:36 AM »

Bonnie,

Two ordinance's from Montcalm county that I know of are Sidney Township and Eureka Township.  Both of these are available on Township websites.  Eureka is a zoned township and has an extensive zoning document.

Bruce
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Bonnie
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« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2009, 10:49:16 AM »

Thanks!  I just got off the phone with Scott.  Reminded him to get us the copies and he promised he will do so this weekend.  I have Sidney's and it's relatively very simple.  I'll get Eureka's and take a look!
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Bonnie K
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