Planning Commission hears residents’ input on Draft Zoning Ordinance and makes changes

At the November 7, 2017 Oakland Township Planning Commission meeting, the Commission heard public comment on a number of sections of the Draft Zoning Ordinance.  The sections reviewed were the areas some citizens raised concerns at previous Township Board meetings.  After hearing citizen input, and considerable discussion by the Commission members, several changes were made to the Draft Zoning Ordinance.  The revised Draft Ordinance will now be forwarded to the Township Board for their review and approval.

The Planning Commission reviewed 8 specific areas of the Draft Zoning Ordinance based on concerns raised by citizens at the Township Board’s ‘readings’ of the proposed document.  There were many comments made by citizens indicating they did not understand the content of the ordinance.  These items were clarified by the Planning Commissioners, our Planning Consultant and our township Attorney.

Here are the sections that were reviewed and the changes made:

16-11 Penalties for Violation

Change – The penalty for zoning violations was changed from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction, with the  request that the Township Board develop the criteria that would be used to raise a violation from a civil infraction to a misdemeanor.  An example of this might be repeated violations by a home owner.

16-303B Location of Accessory Buildings

No change

16-306 Animals

Change – The maximum weight of a class 1 animal, such as a dog, was eliminated.  The previous maximum weight was 150 pounds.

Change  – The minimum lot size allowed for having class 3 animals, such as rabbits and chickens, was lowered from 2 acres to 1.75 acres.

16-212E Dwelling Standard

No change

16-323 Home Based Businesses

No change.  It was pointed out that the proposed ordinance is much less restrictive than the current zoning ordinance.

16-331 Outdoor storage

No change

16-343 Test Plans

Change – The lots shown in a developer’s ‘test plan’ must be 5000 square feet of contiguous area.

Change – Eliminates the ability to default to a higher density lot count in the developer’s ‘test plan’ if a parcel is shown be in two different zoning districts.

16-505 Bed and Breakfast

No change

The draft zoning Ordinance as it was prior to the November 7th Planning Commission meeting can be reviewed by clicking on the following link:

Draft Zoning Ordinance (prior to proposed changes discussed above)

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  The actions of the Township Board and the Planning Commission demonstrate that the Township’s leadership is committed to listening to, and responding to, the issues raised by our citizens.  During the November 7th meeting, the citizens present applauded the recommended changes.  There were a few citizens present who wanted to eliminate many of the current zoning ordinance restrictions.  The Township residents will all benefit from the Planning Commission’s patience and hard work in developing the revised draft Ordinance.  The ball is now back in the Township Board’s lap.  The first reading will probably take place at the December Board meeting, with the second reading occurring at the first meeting in January.

Richard Michalski

 

 

 

 

 

 

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