Category Archives: Uncategorized

Oakland Township Water Iron Removal Workshop

As residents of Oakland Township, many of us are familiar with the issues related to the iron content in our public and private well water.  For the residents on public wells, the Township Board is considering whether a centralized iron removal treatment system should be part of the enhancements for the public wells.  The survey results from residents on public wells were mixed as to whether the residents wanted to have the iron removal feature added.  A centralized treatment would involve capital expense, as well as an operational expense, both of which would be responsibility of the residents on the public well systems.

There are iron removal options that individual homeowners have for private treatment of their water, regardless of whether it is from a private or public well.  These options will be discussed at a workshop that the Township is sponsoring.  Here is the information on the workshop:

  • Water Iron Removal Workshop
  • August 22, 2018
  • 7 PM
  • Location – Delta Kelly school located at Adams and Gunn Roads.

This meeting will provide information that could be of benefit to residents on either private or public wells.

The following two items give more information on this workshop.  It is from Township documentation that is not readily visible on their website:

Screen Shot 2018-08-15 at 9.57.26 PM

Screen Shot 2018-08-15 at 9.58.18 PM

Hopefully, the Township office will make this information more visible on the official Township Website.  Please mark your calendars and attend if you are interested in options available to you for improving your water quality.

Richard Michalski

Will Township Board approve Iron removal treatment facilities to two water systems in Oakland Township?

If you live in one of two regions in Oakland Township that are serviced by a community water system, the Township Board will be making decisions that will impact your water bills in the future.  You may have responded to a Water System survey that had been sent to you in the past.  The survey results are in.  The Board will be making their final decisions based on the results of the survey and any further input they receive from impacted citizens.

At the October 24, 2017 Oakland Township Board meeting, a representative from the Oakland County Water Resource Commission (WRC) presented the results of a survey requested by the Board regarding issues pertaining to two water supply systems in Oakland Township.  The two issues the Board was hoping to get citizen input on were:

  • The location of the required water storage facility for each of the two systems, and
  • Whether the citizens, serviced by those systems, wanted to add, and pay for at approximately $400 per year, a centralized iron removal system.

The results of the survey indicate that the majority of the citizens who responded are not supportive of adding the centralized iron removal system, although a minority of respondees indicated they had severe iron issues. They also indicated they wanted the water storage facilities to be as hidden as possible, and as low in cost as possible.

The Township Board unanimously approved a motion to have the WRC undergo an engineering study to determine the possible locations for the water storage facilities. The locations are to be large enough to allow for the possible addition of iron removal facilities.

The Board did not take action on the iron removal treatment issue. There was some concern expressed by at least one Board member that, even though the response to the survey was high (32% & 38%) based on typical survey results , he wanted the survey results to be more visible to the impacted residents before making a decision.  No official action was taken by the Board on this issue.  It will certainly be discussed at future Board meetings.

In order to help communicate the results of the survey, I have attached the following images.  As previously stated, there are two regions impacted by these decisions.  A map and survey results are shown for each.  They are only the highest level findings from the survey:

(CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE)

The following map shows all the community well systems in Oakland Township.  This map, along with the ones shown above, may provide a better understanding of the areas that will be impacted by the Board’s decision.

If any citizens want to review the entire survey results , please click on the following link and review pages pages 30 through 116 .  If you want to provide input to the Township Board, either send them a letter with your thoughts on this issue, or watch for this topic on future Board agenda’s and attend the meeting to provide your input.

October 24, 2017 Board Meeting Packet

Richard Michalski

Reminder: “Down of the Farm” event this Saturday

Reminder – October 7th “Down on the Farm”

Please join the fun on Saturday October 7th for the “Down on the Farm” event planned by the Oakland Township Historical District Commission.  The festivities will take place at the Cranberry Lake Farm located on 388 West Predmore from 11 AM to 2 PM.

Here is more information on the event (click on image to enlarge)::

Richard Michalski

Township Board hears input from citizens on Draft Zoning Ordinance 16

The Oakland Township Board did not approve the Draft Zoning Ordinance at their September 26, 2017 meeting.

The current Zoning Ordinance was originally approved in 1976.  It has been modified many times through the years.  That Ordinance has played a key role in defining the character of Oakland Township. The Draft Ordinance was intended to include revisions in State Law as well as providing an opportunity for citizen input.

During the last three Township Board meetings (Aug 22, Sept 12 and Sept 26, 2017),  the Board heard input from citizens regarding the Draft Zoning Ordinance (Ordinance 16) that the Planning commission had recently approved. The Planning Commissions under three Township Administrations had been working on the document for over 6 year.  There has already been significant citizen input in the document.  This ordinance requires the Township Board’s approval before it is official.  The Draft Ordinance was on the agenda for the August 22 and September 26th Board meetings.

The ‘first reading’ of the Ordinance occurred on August 22nd.  There was very little input from citizens.  At the September 12th Board meeting, as well as during the ‘second reading’  on September 26,  there was quite a bit of input from citizens.

As a result of the input from citizens, the Board did not approve the Draft Ordinance as it is. They will probably be discussing the ‘next steps’ at the October 10th meeting.  Hopefully, the Board will provide their input to the Planning Commission regarding the issues raised by the citizens.

Here is a summary of the concerns raised by the citizens at the meetings.  Most of these issues had been discussed at previous Planning Commission meetings and at the public workshops that the Board held with the Planning Commission.  Some of these  are not true, but they were raised by the citizens as issues and should be addressed at subsequent meetings.

Definitions Section 16-200 to 227

  • ‘Grandfathered use’ (no definition)
  • ‘Rubbish’ (too vague)
  • ‘Nuisance’ (no definition in ‘Definition’ section, but too vague as defined in Section 16-306F)
  • ‘Goods sold in home’ (no definition)

Home Occupation – Section 16-323

  • Believed publishing home business phone number on Facebook, or phone book, was not allowed (this is not true)
  • Prevents publishing address of home business on Facebook or phone book
  • Wording related to preventing people picking up product at their home

Bed and Breakfast – Section 16-505

  • Do not see need to establish minimum room size of 120 square feet for sleeping area of Bed and Breakfast facility

Enforcement of OrdinanceSection 16-110 & 16-111

  • Enforced on complaint basis only– not uniformly enforced
  • Penalty is misdemeanor not civil infraction
  • Others that ‘participate, assist or maintain violation’ are also liable
  • Concern over individual having been jailed for violation in past
  • Concern over process to document the existing ‘grandfathered’ or non-conforming situations

AnimalsSections 16-202A & 16-306

  • 2 acre limits for small animals (chickens and rabbits) is too restrictive – want .5 acre
  • 150 pound limit for domestic animals is too restrictive for some large dogs

Test PlanSection 16-343

  • Test plan definition allows for counting non-buildable land in establishing allowed density count

Cell towerSection 16-416

  • Wording is too restrictive and prevents owners from having cell towers on their property

Home sizeSection 16-312

  • Minimum home size of 1200 square feet is too restrictive – should be able to build smaller homes

Assisted Living facility for elderlySection 16-408

  • 10 acre requirement is too restrictive – should be less

Change in parcel size on gravel roadSection 16-403

  • Questioned whether Ordinance was made less restrictive by allowing 2.3 acre lots with 200 ft. road frontage vs. what was believed to be previous 5 acre on 350 ft. road frontage

 

In addition to the specific issues raised by citizens, several individuals expressed concerns that the proposed Ordinance was an infringement of their property rights.  Here are some of the statements made by these individuals:

  • The Document is too large – it should be no more than 50 pages
  • Large acreage parcels should not have restrictions like subdivisions
  • Let the subdivision owner’s control their property through their deed restrictions
  • “As long as we have wonderful neighbors” no need for ordinances
  • Ordinance has contributed to ‘overdevelopment’ of Township

 

In response to those concerns, having been on the Planning Commission of Oakland Township for over 26 years, I made the following points at the September 26th meeting:

  • The current Ordinance was approved in 1976 and updated many times
    • It has been modified through the years based on citizen input and State Laws
    • The Draft Ordinance is less restrictive in many areas than the current Ordinance
  • Contrary to comment made by our former supervisor, the effectiveness of an ordinance is not measured by number of pages, but by its impact on the community.
    • People like Oakland Township because of “what we are”.
    • We “are what we are” because of 40 years of good ordinances
  • The Draft Ordinance has been under development for well over 5 years
    • Input has been received from many citizens over that time
    • The Zoning Board of Appeal (ZBA) participated in review of changes and provided input
    • The ZBA is knowledgeable of areas where there have been citizen issues – they “feel the hot breath of citizens” through the appeals process
    • The Planning Commission has included the ZBA’s input in the Draft Ordinance
  • Many rural areas in the state have very limited zoning ordinances resulting in issues in their communities
    • Without ordinances there is no method to correct problem areas
  • Some residents suggested subdivision should not rely on zoning ordinances, but should rely on their deed restriction to control problems
    • Deed Restriction enforcement requires sub owners to hire costly attorneys 
    • Township ordinances provide protection without added burden

Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township?  The purpose of the ‘first and second reading’ is to provide citizens one last chance to provide input on the Ordinance.  The Planning Commission and Township Board should consider the concerns raised by the citizens and make changes they feel are appropriate. However, a wholesale re-review of the Draft Ordinance in not warranted given the years of input that many other citizens have already provided the Planning Commission on the Draft Ordinance.  Their input should not be ‘discounted’ as a result of those who just recently got involved.  

The Current Ordinance has served us well. It needs to be ‘tweaked’ not destroyed.

Richard Michalski (former Oakland Township Planning Commissioner for over 26 years)

If you want to review the Draft ordinance click on the following link:

http://www.oaklandtownship.org/boards_and_commissions/planning_commission/docs/Final%20Draft%20CORRECTED%208-31-17.pdf

 

Exhibit honors the legacy of Janine Saputo

Janine Saputo was a long time resident of Oakland Township.  She was active in our Township as a Planning Commission member and a member of Oakland Township’s Historical Society.  Janine recently passed away.

What follows is an article that was published in the September 11, 2017 Community Lifestyles newspaper.

“The Oakland Township Historical Society announces the “Repeat Performance of the Heritage Exhibit Series” to be viewed this fall at the Paint Creek Cider Mill. This exhibit is dedicated to the life and legacy of Janine Saputo, a long time resident and volunteer in Oakland Township.

Saputo had many passions, but close to her heart was historic preservation.  In her 18 years of service on the Oakland Township Planning Commission, she offered her reasoned and thoughtful study of township expansion, always with an eye on history.

Saputo also served on the Histori District Commission for 16 years, four of those as its Chairman.

Upon moving to Oakland Township in the 1980’s, Saputo and husband Chuck joint the OT Historical Society.  Saputo proceeded to volunteer for not only Board positions, but every event and activity that the Society sponsored.

Her volunteer efforts included co-chairing the three exhibits that will be highlighted at this display.  The “Repeat Performance” will be open weekly, and docents will be on hand on the weekends, noon to 4 p.m., now through October 29th.”

Personal comment:

I worked with Janine on the Planning Commission for years.  She was a valuable asset to our Township.  She will be missed by all those who knew her.  ALL Oakland Township residents have and will continue to benefit from the years of service and legacy she gave to our Township.

Richard Michalski

 

September Township Board meetings will define our Township for the foreseeable future

Oakland Township’s Planning Commission has been working on our Township’s Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance for several years.  These are two of the most important documents that control the future growth in our Township.   Recent public statements about the poor planning in the Houston area highlight the importance of good local management and control of future growth in a community.

The September 12, 2017 Oakland Township Board meeting has the approval of the Planning Commission’s Master Plan as a agenda item.  The document is the product of work of the Planning Commission.  Legally, the document does not require the approval of the Township Board.  However, our Board has approved a resolution that requires their approval before it is official.  Here is a link to the Master Plan document:

Full Draft for Adoption 8-7-17 (REDUCED)

Here is proposed Future Land Use Map (click on image to enlarge)

Here is the latest Zoning Map (click on link to view)

Zoning Map- July 2017

Similarly, the Planning Commission has also spent several years working on updating our Township Zoning Ordinance.  This document does statutorily require Board approval.  The “First Reading” of the document occurred at the August 22, Board meeting.  The “Second Reading” is scheduled for September 26, 2017.  Here is a link to the Draft Zoning Ordinance:

http://www.oaklandtownship.org/boards_and_commissions/planning_commission/docs/Final%20Draft%20CORRECTED%208-31-17.pdf

There have been MANY public hearing at the Planning Commission level, and some at the Board level regarding the content of these two documents.  As a result, the Board will probably approve the documents unless there is some ‘fatal flaw’ that residents find in them.  If you have not already participated in the earlier reviews, please look over the documents, and attend the appropriate meeting to voice your approval or concerns.

Richard Michalski