Discussions: Webster Township Master Plan, Lake District zoning non-conformity, RTM district zoning, PC Bylaws, Whitmore Lake Schools Chromebook Laptop fund drive

There were some interesting discussions at this meeting.    Webster Township, our western neighbor, is updating its five year old Master Plan.  They were kind enough to distribute preliminary copies to our Planner, Leah DuMouchel.  She reviewed their thoughtful plan. Webster is a Township seemingly doing its best to preserve its rural quality of life.  Remarkable stuff.  How different is Webster Township's approach?  For one thing, they have a Farmland and Open Spaces Preservation Board.   What do we have?  A Downtown Development Association that's trying to develop the Rural area.

In another presentation, DuMouchel used Washtenaw County GIS (Geographic Information Service) data to analyze conformity with Zoning laws of housing surrounding Whitmore lake and Horseshoe Lake.  Some areas show an astounding 80+% non-conformity.  Since many plattings and buildings precede the existence of zoning laws, this isn't a surprise.  Manager Fink, Planner DuMouchel, and ZBA Chair Ken Dignan led a discussion of ways to reduce the need of Lakesiders to go through the ZBA appeals process when they want to improve their homes.  

DuMouchel presented the final cut of rules governing the RTM (Research, Technology, and Manufacturing) district.  Public notice and a public hearing will follow (not sure when.)   The RTM district is the North Territorial industrial park where Balance Technology is located.  If you're wondering why they're changing the rules for RTM to allow more manufacturing, it's because Manager Howard Fink is courting an unnamed company to locate here.  The Board has already granted the unnamed company favorable tax abatements.  According to Fink, there are several municipalities competing to site this company's facility.

The Planner cited as her source for the definitions contained within the RTM revision, the American Planning Association Planner's Dictionary.  The 495 page, 11.4MB version you'll read or download if you click that link comes to you courtesy of the City of Galveston, Texas.

The Bylaws discussion dragged on pretty much the way we've come to expect.  56 minutes of quibbling and power-tripping.  DuMouchel's revisions will be revised and resubmitted at a future meeting for even more discussion. 

[Opinion] Why are one year old Bylaws being revised again?  Because those pushing the Bylaws revision are convinced that manipulating the rules will allow them to someday manipulate the Master Plan. 


Please consider donating to the Whitmore Lake Schools laptop fund drive.  The Chromebooks are an extremely inexpensive laptop computer, around $185 apiece including the teacher's supervisory software.  It's for kids and public schools.  The promo is on top of our Home Page.  Clicking anywhere on the promo will take you to the donations page.