Leah DuMouchel, the new Township Planner, has analyzed the 1996 and 2010 Township community surveys.  At the September 16 meeting, she announced these conclusions:

  • The previous surveys were constructed well enough to offer actionable data.
  • Resident priorities have been broadly determined.
  • The top three priorities are natural features, downtown development, and recreation.
  • Residential development does not appear to be a strong enough priority to justify amending the master plan at this time.
  • Specific questions remain for which community input would be valuable.
  • Community engagement tools other than a survey may be more appropriate to gather that particular data.

What does this mean?  It means that most of the questions have already been answered.  Attitudes toward preservation and development changed little over the fifteen years separating the two surveys.  It is unlikely that opinions have changed in the five years since the 2010 survey.  She recommended stopping the survey project in its tracks.

The story continues below...


 DuMouchel's Analysis of the 1996 and 2010 Surveys (hi definition)

  • If the youtube window doesn't work, click here.  The slideshow pdf can be viewed or downloaded here.

There was no sign of Cobalt or its subcontractor, Douglas Communications, at this meeting.   The packet contained what appeared to be another draft of the Survey Questionnaire.  That turned out to be a compilation assembled by PC Chairperson Chockley.  She said that she had compiled those questions from previous surveys and Cobalt's 3rd draft.  Enthusiasm for discussing the Survey and Cobalt was dampened a bit after DuMouchel's presentation, but it gradually picked back up.

Somewhere in the middle of this, Ken Dignan made a motion to indefinitely postpone further discussion of Cobalt and its survey.

The low point of the meeting: Commissioner Stanalajczo asserting that if we didn't develop AG zoned areas we couldn't develop at all.

Several commissioners opined that "most" township residents had no idea what was going on or even knew a Master Plan existed.  On that basis they opined that survey questions had to be simplistic.

A more constructive approach would be to use the perceived lack of awareness to spur a program of Citizen engagement and education about our Master Plan. 

Instead Commissioner Stanalajczo continued his campaign for less informative Meeting Minutes. 

Case in point: his motion to delete four paragraphs from the August 19th Minutes.  What were those four paragraphs about?  They described the conversation between Chairperson Chockley and Kris Olssen of the Huron River Watershed Council.   They talked about the workshop attendance.  Controlling phosphorus runoff.  Recreation Conservation districts.  The Horseshoe Creek watershed.  The wellhead protection information on the County website.   Stanalajczo dismissed the information as "verbiage."  The irony is that he used five or ten minutes of the Commission's time in arguing about this, far exceeding the amount of time required to read the four paragraphs.

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Above are the four paragraphs that so vexed Mr. Stanalajzco.  (The bottom four)  (zoom controls on upper right of window)


Wednesday, September 16th: Planning Commission