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Author Topic: Anti-Funneling Ordinance  (Read 118773 times)
birdjc
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« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2009, 02:03:21 PM »

Great comments. I'm finally feeling a little encouraged. Apathy has been the name of the gae for too long. Keep up the good work.
JB
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scottmat28
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« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2009, 09:09:38 AM »

This is regarding SRM's September 17 post discussing the issues arising at the September 16 township board meeting (very good synopsis of what transpired at the meeting, SRM!)

I fully agree with SRM's belief that the road-ends should be turned back to back-lot owners.  I know you can't remain in the "good old days" forever, but it dismays me that after years of shared use, we can no longer work out our differences as individuals and feel the need to file a lawsuit at the drop of a dime.  I share SRM's belief that, if back-lot owners lose essential lake privileges then certainly their property values will decline leading to decaying properties which in turn will lead to a general loss in desireability of the Crystal Lake area and a depressing effect on riparian property values.  Lets face it, if you were a back-lot owner with little or no meaningful access to the lake, is your cottage or home worth as much?  Are you going to continue willingly paying the same property taxes (loss of revenue to the township for maintenance and improvements)?  Are you going to willingly support the Crystal Lake Association to maintain the quality of a lake you can't use (loss of revenue to CLA for operations)?  Control and use of road-end access is, I think, THE major issue of the day.  By the way, I am a riparian owner.  I do also own cottages/homes on back-lots, but I personally do not need road-end access.  However, I can tell you that I rent out back-lot homes and cottages and without lake access I could not maintain the rental stantards I do now.  I would be forced to consider lower rents and perhaps less desirable tenants. 

Regarding the anti-funneling ordinance, I admit I am somewhere in the middle.  I do believe that the current ordinance is way too restrictive, but I also think that the proposal currently up for consideration goes too far the other way.  I don't have a solution, but I would like to see discussion about some middle ground as opposed to simply keeping what we have. 

Thanks for creating this forum and giving everyone a convenient opportunity to get their two cents in!
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Michael OB
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« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2009, 11:32:45 AM »

If one of the issues regarding how to fight proposed/potential changes to the current anti-funneling ordinance is hiring an attorney, I would be more than willing to help pay for an attorney out of pocket. 

Let's be clear: I'm not talking about suing anyone here; I'm talking about the potential need to fight fire with fire, because the presence of attorneys anywhere always requires the presence of more attorneys. So if hiring an attorney to help us is an issue, I'd like to help resolve that issue.

My wife and I are riparian first-tier owners on Crystal Lake, CLA members, MLSA members, and feel that while current back-lot owners do deserve lake access, the proposed new condo and marina development (?) is way over the top. The lake is only 730 acres, for goodness sake!

One of Crystal Lake's best features (among many others) is its lack of a marina, requiring visitors to haul in their gas. This is appropriately self-limiting and reduces lake traffic correspondingly.

To change even this by allowing a marina to be built would be to the detriment of the lake and to everyone who owns property on it. Yes, such a facility would probably line the pockets of the developer(s), but at what cost to everyone else? The argument for doing something simply because you can is no good argument at all.

In closing, and again, please allow me to repeat that I'm perfectly willing to help pay for an attorney out of pocket. The CLA should not have to foot this bill alone; the fight is everyone's.

Best regards... Michael
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Bonnie
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« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2009, 11:42:03 AM »

At the last CLA Board meeting held Labor Day, it was motioned, seconded and passed to establish a legal fund for future actions, consultations, etc.  Monies are available now to seek legal resources, however, should it come to pass, voluntary contributions may be necessary.  Thank you for your comments, it is good to know the board has the support of our membership on this important issue!
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Bonnie K
Michael OB
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« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2009, 12:13:33 PM »

Are you accepting contributions to this fund, Bonnie?
If so, please send a payee and an address!
Best regards... Michael
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southside
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« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2009, 02:22:07 PM »

This is a response to Steve's post on September 17th.

Allowing back lot owners to purchase or lease a road end is the same as funneling.  If we have an ordnance which is anti funneling then I see no reason to promote road end funneling.  The comments I remember hearing at the meetings were from riparian owners near the Thelma road end and they tended to be negative to the current use.

  During this past year a dozen lawyers wrote hundreds of pages of comments and the court made a ruling which allows back lot owners to access the lake via a road end but the uses of the road end are admittedly restricted ie, they may not keep a boat docked over night.  To my way of thinking the road end issue has been resolved and I see no reason to try to change it.

I share the opinion of several others that have commented that the lake is "too" busy on many weekends.  I am a riparian owner and many times find that I cannot enjoy the lake as much as I would like due to the high boat traffic.

I believe that the current ordinance is satisfactory.  Yes the wording is a little clunky and difficult to read but the message is there.

Bruce
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srm
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« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2009, 08:22:55 PM »

Bruce,
   Good points.

Allowing back lot owners to now own or have rights to isn't funneling as its been used the same way for past 100+ years.  Think of it as grandfathered. Now, if the road was extended and developed further, would that fall under funnelling? No, as road ends are public today. And now you know the rest of the story.

The Thema Street adjacent owners very well could be right about use intruding onto raparian rights but that is why the DEQ Marina permit process exists and would keep it in line if its not already. I think the bigger issue is if that road end were to remain "public" and show up in online map for the world to stop by and use. The other bigger issue is if the back lotters can no longer have a dock their values will deteriorate and your value will to.

The road end issue appears to me far from over. What other laws and such exist today, right or wrong, shouldn't keep our Road Commission, Township, adjacent and back lot owners from doing what is right for our people. There is certainly no laws preventing the Road Comm from transferring ownership. I think its up to the back lotters and adjacent owners to work together to create the condo agreements and then obtain marina permits. With that in place, the Road Comm I know would like to get this off their plate. And then...  1. Township can collect on the once non-taxable land. 2. The adjacent owners value will increase having a solid set of guidlines and no "PUBLIC" use. 3. The back lot owners value will increase and then so does the raparian's.

The lake is busy. See topic... http://www.crystalonline.org/forum/index.php?topic=8.0  Is road end overuse causing overcrowding on busy days? Seems like a mute point to me as again, the marina permit would regulate it nicely.

My Wife's aunt's cottage is 2 doors down from Thema so I see it up close all summer long. Certainly is a well kept dock, nice looking dock, but certainly sticks out much farther than the adjacent docks and has a lot of boats. I will say its very shallow there and prob needs 120ft before you get 3ft deep. Again, the marina permit process would take all including raparian rights into account.

Keep the comments coming.
-srm

This is a response to Steve's post on September 17th.

Allowing back lot owners to purchase or lease a road end is the same as funneling.  If we have an ordnance which is anti funneling then I see no reason to promote road end funneling.  The comments I remember hearing at the meetings were from riparian owners near the Thelma road end and they tended to be negative to the current use.

  During this past year a dozen lawyers wrote hundreds of pages of comments and the court made a ruling which allows back lot owners to access the lake via a road end but the uses of the road end are admittedly restricted ie, they may not keep a boat docked over night.  To my way of thinking the road end issue has been resolved and I see no reason to try to change it.

I share the opinion of several others that have commented that the lake is "too" busy on many weekends.  I am a riparian owner and many times find that I cannot enjoy the lake as much as I would like due to the high boat traffic.

I believe that the current ordinance is satisfactory.  Yes the wording is a little clunky and difficult to read but the message is there.

Bruce
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southside
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« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2009, 09:49:48 AM »

Steve,

It looks as if we are going to disagree on the road end funneling.

My thought process is:

If a group of families were to obtain ownership of a road end from the Road Commission and use it as a group then that would be no different than the same group of families buying a current lake front property and co-using it.  In both cases this use would be funneling and fall under the rules of the ordinance.  Anti funneling is pro singe family and prohibits multi family use and access.  I do not think that grandfathering would apply here since the back lot families did not have deeded access to the road end.

Bruce
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srm
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« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2009, 07:37:32 PM »

Bruce,
    Its all good.  But doesn't it seem cut and dry to you as the road ends are today used by the same families that would use it tomorrow therefor not funneling more familys in and therefor grandfathered? The ord appears wrote to address the future, not the past. Now if those same families got together, bought a cottage and used it for access it would certainly be in violation of todays ord.  That is funneling "more" people in to an area not currently used in that manor. Take todays ord out and you'll have a free for all.

Is our difference that you desire to "lower" todays use where I'm thinking to "maintain" todays use?  Certainly the boat use doesn't apply here as that would be regulated by the deq permit. I haven't heard anyone complain about basic foot traffic road-end use other than Owasso street and that wasn't quantity related.
Steve,

It looks as if we are going to disagree on the road end funneling.

My thought process is:

If a group of families were to obtain ownership of a road end from the Road Commission and use it as a group then that would be no different than the same group of families buying a current lake front property and co-using it.  In both cases this use would be funneling and fall under the rules of the ordinance.  Anti funneling is pro singe family and prohibits multi family use and access.  I do not think that grandfathering would apply here since the back lot families did not have deeded access to the road end.

Bruce

-srm
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Lawful Riparian
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« Reply #24 on: October 09, 2009, 09:01:26 AM »

All

Interesting  discussion and it is a good thing both sides are talking. 

BUT

The DEQ cannot lawfully allow Marinas at "Public" or "Private" roadends because the courts have continually ruled since the 1800's that only a non exclusive Dock is allowed.  The courts continually shut down the arguments even when it can be proven that such was used for "over 40 years". 

Bitter Pills to swallow but that is the law.  (Backus v Detroit , Jacobs v Lyons Township and the never ending Higgins lake case)

Several townships have spent tens of thousands of dollars in legal expenses trying to allow overnight mooring and docking on roadends because of traditional interpretations.

BOTTOMLINE such exceeds the scope of the dedication.  Merely stating on a deed that one has the right of use does not grant riparian rights of dockage but only ingress egress and access only.  NO mooring or dockage.

The other problem with marnias at roadend comes from the state attorney generals opinion to all state agencies that such is unlawful and those a bill in the senate was killed in committee that would have legalized such.

AND LASTLY, even a public roadend is not owned by the county or government.  The land that the road crosses over is OWNED (servient estate) by the adjacent lake front owners.  The public merely has an easement over the soil.

Good discussion but inorder to do these these easements and dedications can only be changed by the court if unchallenged by ALL owners in the subdivision.

regards
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srm
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« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2009, 03:01:22 PM »

Lawful Riparian,
Certainly the land would need to transfer or be leased before a marina permit could even be applied for.

You Said “AND LASTLY, even a public roadend is not owned by the county or government.  The land that the road crosses over is OWNED (servient estate) by the adjacent lake front owners.  The public merely has an easement over the soil.”

Interesting. Do you have a source document or link to this?
-srm
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Lawful Riparian
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« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2009, 03:16:34 PM »

Certainly, there are many cases.  ALL of the Higgins Lake Case confirm this and  certainly Theis v Howland, McCardel v Smolen and the seminal case Jacobs v Lyon Township and of course Backus v Detroit.

Here is how it works if the government owns the road then they would be allowed allow backlotters and anyone else to be able to do what ever they want on it.  BUT, a dedication is not a conveyance of the FEE  (ie title to the land) but is merely an easement to use the road as a road and for no other purposes.

AS to a marina permit it would take a court order to reverse the dedication.  HOWEVER, Little v Hirschman clarified that the individuals in the sub would still have usage rights after the public vacation since these private rights are irrevocable.
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southside
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« Reply #27 on: October 12, 2009, 01:09:35 PM »

SRM,

You asked "Is our difference that you desire to "lower" todays use where I'm thinking to "maintain" todays use?".

The reason for my original post was neither of the above.  It is my opinion that the road end issue was resolved in the courts and should be closed.   I have attended the last couple of Township meetings to discuss the anti funneling ordinance and although I find the comments about road ends interesting I do not see how they fit with the subject at hand.
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bwoodruff
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« Reply #28 on: October 12, 2009, 04:04:38 PM »

I agree with Southside.  The road end discussion is an entirely different issue; we could debate that forever.  Let's not take our eye off the matter at hand. . .the township board's desire to abolish or change the current anti-funneling ordinance.  We need to keep that on the front burner and not let it get away from us.  I hope everyone makes an effort to attend the special meeting October 21 on that very subject.
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Michael OB
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« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2009, 11:20:13 AM »

Will there be any facility at the next council meeting for a conference call? I live in Albuquerque, but am nevertheless keenly interested.
Best regards... Michael
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