NO ZONING ORDINANCE CHANGES WERE “PASSED!”
On October 3, the Planning Commission voted to recommend that permissive zoning changes requested by RES and Weyerhaeuser be approved by the L’Anse Township Board.
Tonight’s Planning Commission went as we expected. The members voted unanimously (with two abstentions – we advised them before the meeting that two commissioners live outside the township jurisdiction, while state law permits only one) to recommend the Twp board approve not only the proposed ordinance changes that would permit industrial turbines, but also the Weyerhaeuser letter received just a couple weeks ago asking for further changes that have not been evaluated.
We expected they would adopt the changes discussed last week; the Weyerhaeuser letter is yet another example of not following procedure, as the public was not afforded the required public hearing.
MICHIGAN ZONING ENABLING ACT (EXCERPT)Act 110 of 2006125.3306 Recommendations of zoning commission; submission to legislative body; public hearing; notice; examination of proposed text and maps.Sec. 306.(3) The notices required under this section shall include the places and times at which the proposed text and any maps of the zoning ordinance may be examined.
The good news is that this opens the door to a referendum if the township board (again, as expected) approves the recommendation. We again noted that the planning commission should have considered the previous commission’s recommendation to correct ordinance errors, because (if we prevail) the referendum will simply put us back to where we are today. This fell on deaf ears. We will prepare a paper to inform you on the steps required by law to get to a referendum.
Our comments at last week’s public hearing were given lip service at best. The Planning Commission didn’t even bother to summarize them last night (as required).
MICHIGAN ZONING ENABLING ACT (EXCERPT)
Act 110 of 2006
125.3308 Summary of public hearing comments; transmission to legislative body by zoning commission; report.
(1) Following the required public hearing under section 306, the zoning commission shall transmit a summary of comments received at the hearing and its proposed zoning ordinance, including any zoning maps and recommendations, to the legislative body of the local unit of government.
The referendum would not happen for several months, allowing more time for us to educate the voters. In the meantime, don’t believe the developer’s suggestion that it’s a done deal.