Planner Patrick Sloan:

"There's a Trunk or Treat at Northfield Community Park from 2 PM to 5 PM and the reason I bring this up is that we are, McKenna is, working with the Township on a Future Vision Master Plan for the property of Northfield Community Park.  It will be a long process of developing a plan but one of the first steps will be this sunday.  We'll have one of our planners there doing a little bit of public engagement.  There will be a couple of boards where people can write some ideas for future visioning.  There will be a small survey, a handout that people can quickly fill out and give back.  He'll also have a sign-in sheet and a little bit of information about the purpose of the plan, the process going forward, and additional opportunities for public partipation.  So, it won't be the only opportunity for public participation.  There will be a lot of that, but it's one of the first and more significant ones.  So I just want to mention that."

Patrick Sloan:

"We're still trying to get clarification about the impact of the latest Michigan Marijuana legislation.  It doesn't sound like communities need to adopt ordinances prohibiting the uses.  It sounds like communities must adopt an ordinance in order to have the uses.  But it may not hurt for communities to adopt ordinances prohibiting the uses if they want to prohibit them or if they want the uses to adopt regulating ordinances in terms of where, how much, how often, et cetera.  The licensing of the act won't take effect until sometime in late 2017, so communities will have about a year to get their ordinances set and figure out what they want to do.  Hopefully there will be information from groups like the MTA that can advise communities in terms of how they should proceed on a legal basis..."

Finally, this exchange between Commissioner Iaquinto and Planner Sloan, at the end of a riveting 73 minute discussion of ES district outdoor storage, outdoor restaurant seating, and conditional vs permitted uses.

Location, Location, Location [a LiveVideo link]

Commissioner Iaquinto:

"Mr Sloan, I would like to ask you, what communities do you feel have done well and are with their highway commercial?  I mean, I just look at like Genoa Township, which has blossomed.  You know, along the Grand River corridor, which was a properly zoned corridor, you know, to have that kind of development and I mean I look at our North Territorial from the highway through the sections that we have zoned, where we are looking for that similar type of growth, what have those communities put in their zoning ordinances to foster the proper type of development like that?  Have they been restrictive?  Have they been not been been non restrictive?  Have they...?"

Planner Sloan:

"Sometimes it's a just a matter of traffic and what's already there.  And you know the retailer will follow the traffic and base it on traffic counts."


"Well yes, but they'll only go to a place if it's properly zoned.  Right?"


"Right, in some cases, they'll, in some cases if it's not they'll push for a rezoning.  Up in Green Oak, the development off of Lee Road, I believe they pushed for a commercial P.U.D. or something like that, where I believe, I don't know if they amended the Master Plan but that was something that they pursued because of the traffic on 23 and the residential growth in the area.

There are a lot of different factors, some of which many of which are outside of the Township's control.  But some of the ones where you can try to attract growth is to allow flexible types of zoning standards, P.U.D. standards.  You would want to make sure that you're looking at it from the Township's standpoint in terms of what you want out of that.  You want high quality development; you want superior design; you want landscaping; you want nice architectural materials.  You'll want something that is conducive to traffic and fits well with the community.  But then the applicant's also going to want flexibility in land use.  He'll want more density, may want some modifications in parking requirements, things like that.  In many cases it can work well both ways.  You'll just want to make sure that whatever it is that the community wants out of it, in terms of it being nice, that's kind of at the forefront of it, and then get into, ok, what can we do to incentivize development to come in?"