The Board approved Zoning Ordinance revisions to permit Conditional Use by Churches and other Religious Institutions in most of Northfield Township's zoning districts.  This was recommended for approval at the April 6, 2016 Planning Commission meeting.   Our new $130/hour planner, McKenna's Sally Hodges, marked up the necessary changes to existing Township zoning ordinances.  They comprise three pages of PDF in the April 6, 2016 P.C. meeting packet. 

Buried in the financials included in this meeting's packet is McKenna's bill for their services in handling the Conditional use revisions.

The Darlene Curtis property donation was discussed.  The Board approved accepting the donation on the conditions that the title was clear and the house could be demolished for less than $25,000. 

$25,000?  Doesn't anyone on this Township Board read the Detroit news?


If you're visually impaired you won't be able to have your computer read the meeting packet.  Once again, it is a PDF in name only.  What's that mean?  It means that the original electronic documents were printed out, stacked and fed into a scanner, then saved by the scanner as a pdf collection of jpegs. The result cannot be searched. 

You will also notice that the financial reports, pages 7-28 of the packet, are unreadable as well as turned sideways.   This guarantees that no one but Trustee Wayne Dockett will actually make the effort to read them.    

In the past, we, your Northfield Neighbors, have converted some items like these from scans back to machine readable text that your Windows or Mac reader needs.  Google does the heavy lifting, but it's a painfully indirect process that neither you nor I should have to go through.

So, what's in tonight's packet? 

The meeting agenda

Minutes of the March 15, 2016 Township Board meeting

Minutes of the March 29, 2016 Township Board joint meeting with the Planning Commission

Minutes of the March 31, 2016 Township Board special meeting where Van Curler negotiations came into the open.

A barely readable copy of the March 15, 2016 through April 7, 2016 financial journal entries, invoices, checks.  Buried in this is the new Planner's bill for their work on the Church conditional use issue, over $4,000.

Other documents relevant to the Church Zoning issue

Presenting perfectly useful electronic documents, like meeting minutes and electronic financial ledger data, as unsearchable and barely legible paper simulacra has become a pattern with our Township administration.  There is no reason to pretend to believe that this is accidental.  We will examine the issue of ersatz transparency vs Open Government in an upcoming piece.

Here's a bit of reading on the subject, a book O'Reilly Press placed in the public domain following the death of one of its authors, an open government activist.  You can read Open Government online at GitHub or download a copy from here. [it is 9 MB]