Let’s talk about master plans…

Lakes_to_Land_1-3_cover11182013It is wildly exciting here today. After a year and a half of work, the first batch of seven Lakes to Land Collaborative Master Plans have all been released by their communities’ decision-making bodies for public and agency review: Arcadia Township, Blaine Township, Crystal Lake Township, Gilmore Township, the Village of Honor, Joyfield Township, and Pleasanton Township. Under Michigan’s planning enabling act, a draft master plan must be made available to the public, neighboring jurisdictions, county and regional planning agencies, select state departments, and transportation and utility providers for a period of 63 days before it can be adopted. SO, this happy event kicks off the adoption process for the largest planning collaborative in Michigan history!

Packets will be mailed to the required agencies on Tuesday, November 26. However, word has already arrived that it will be difficult for some agencies to complete the review within the 63-day timeframe (particularly those which are responsible for reading all seven plans in their entirety), especially with the holidays intervening. So we intend to give them a little lead time by stating in the cover letter that the 63-day agency review process will officially begin on December 23 and run until February 23.

Comments from the public are warmly welcomed from now until February 23. All seven plans are available on this site, accessible either from the link on the top right side of this page or from the community’s individual page. One full-color hard copy has also been mailed to each community. You are welcome to comment directly on the master plan page (all comments are moderated, so there may be a delay before it appears), to send comments via the “Contact Us” page (please specify your community!), or to use your community’s regular venues for public participation. Let’s talk about it!


Let’s talk about master plans… — 6 Comments

  1. Thoughts on Joyfield Townships ‘Master Plan’.
    There is a plan afoot in Joyfield Township which is developing into what may well be described as a land grab, more accurately a land-use grab effectively seizing land use potential away from a significant number of property owners in order to economically and esthetically benefit the members of the townships’ planning commission, board, and their supporters. With guidance from The Lakes to Land Regional initiative and the backing of the Township board the planning commission has ignored numerous appeals by township residents to expand the commission to include a more balanced representation of Joyfields population. With single-minded determination they continue to march to the drums of their supporters and their own prejudices.
    Business ventures not tied to agriculture will be relegated to a tiny area at the northernmost tip of the township. Large landowners will be limited in their ability to create cash flow by restrictions proposed by the planning commission. A few months ago farmers were asked by the Lakes to Land regional initiative what they would need to assure their viability while not “compromising other priorities in the township”. Those who through hard work and stewardship provide the coveted “rural and scenic character” of the township are finding themselves demoted to something akin to a nuisance. As one farmer put it, “It’s like we’re zoo animals…they like to look at our farms but God forbid we do something they don’t like”.
    Someone said without a plan nothing gets done. This is a bad plan born of crony politics, cookie cutter guidance and outright Hatfield and McCoy feuding. Without fail a bad plan will result in bad outcomes. We could quickly find that bad zoning is far worse than no zoning at all.

  2. people tom’s comment above is right on! best heed his warning or your property and property rights will be a thing of the past!

  3. The Pleasanton Township Board has been hood-winked into passing a resolution in support of Lakes to Land. There was no Due Diligence done concerning this resolution what so ever. So now the residents of Pleasanton Township will be at the whim of Zoning Regulations put into place by Lakes to Land when they re-write Pleasaton’s Zoning Ordinance to match their so called Master Plan. The bottom line is loss of the residents property rights. Township Board members take an Oath of Office which states that they will up hold the US Constitution and the State of Michigan Constitution, however, Lakes to Land saw fit to take out of their Master Plan for Pleasanton Township a statement upholding the US and State Constitutions concerning individuals property rights because they know that their new Zoning Ordinances will take away private property rights of the residents of Pleasanton Township. All of this is tied directly to Regional Government which will make in the end be the deciding factor when it comes to individual property rights, all of which may be decided by someone in the new Regional Government in some place other than the local level of Townships. It is truly a sad day for those entrapped in the Lakes to Land web.

    • Hi, Dave. The Pleasanton Township Board has only approved the distribution of the plan for public review, and all residents of Pleasanton Township are encouraged to read the document and offer their assessment of its vision for the Township. A public hearing will be held before its adoption by the Pleasanton Township Planning Commission, and zoning revisions are an entirely separate step. All of the revisions to the Pleasanton Township Master Plan were made by the Pleasanton Township Planning Commission. This is fully in keeping with the model of the Lakes to Land Regional Initiative: each community has written its own master plan using common resources provided by the consulting firm and AES. Zoning regulations are fully within the purview of local government under Michigan law.

  4. We in Joyfield have offered our assessment of the master plan right from the beginning and have been summarily dismissed by both the planning commissioners and the township board. They are using Lakes to Land as a weapon as they wage war against their neighbors in an effort to gain de facto control of their property. No fewer than four of them committed fraud through the aeronautical division of MDOT by creating pretend helicopter landing areas in the belief that this tactic would obstruct the completion of a proposed wind farm in our area. This had NO effect on the project but illustrated very clearly how they operated. These are the people that are in a position to mold the future of Joyfield in any way they wish. I don’t trust them to make decisions that affect me and mine. I suspect that other townships have similar stories.

  5. Hi Leah, I appreciate your assurances and thank you for them. It is nice of you to reply. As Pleasanton Township is a very rural Township and there is not much of an outlet for news and info coverage in this area, I have a suggestion for you. Can you ask Tamara to ask Pleasanron Township to post a link to the draft Master Plan and/or have them post the draft Master Plan on their web site? This would give the residents a means of reading the draft Master Plan. Unfortunately, not many residents attend any of the Township Board or Planning meetings, however, they do access the internet, Just a suggestion. Thanks again as I really do appreciate you insight. Dave