- Extremely well attended, 100+ people, standing room only.
- Only one person was in favor of the marina.
- Many citizens voiced their concerns with passion and great knowledge
The Lake Margrethe Property Owner’s Association (LMPOA) president, Chuck Spencer, has been meeting with legal counsel and gathering information over the past month regarding the proposed marina on M-72. LMPOA Directors wanted to be sure we had accurate information before we made any public statements. These are the comments presented by Chuck at the township meeting on March 28th. You can see by these comments that we are vigorously opposed to this marina due to the effect it could have on the lake, surrounding neighbors and the environment as a whole.
Comments presented to the Township Planning Council
March 28, 2018 by Chuck Spencer
Thank you to members of the township planning council for time for consideration of this contentious issue: whether to grant a special use permit to a commercial business in an R-2 general residential district on the shores of Lake Margrethe at the far western end of the lake opening off M-72 West. This is a privately-owned section of lake frontage which is located very close to a residential neighborhood. I will be referring to Article 7, Article 18 and Article 19 of township regulations in special permits.
This special use permit is not for a seasonal dock as stated in the Avalanche, but for a privately-owned marina which proposes to sell slip space to dock 12 boats, at this point to individuals who may or may not own property in Crawford County or in the State of Michigan. Only those who can afford to pay the going rate will be able to use the facility. This commercial operation therefore constitutes a marina and not a “seasonal dock”. No marina of this type is allowed on Lake Margrethe since shores of this lake are not zoned for commercial purposes. This special use permit is required because this is not a “seasonal dock”.
As you can see by the attendance this evening, there are many tax-paying residents who are here to oppose the granting of a special use permit for the operation of a commercial marina which is in a residential area. Under township regulations Article XVIII Special Use Permits, Section 18.01- Purpose Part A states: “The proposed use (A MARINA), is one listed as a special permit use for the district in which the use is to be located.” Unless a marina is listed, a special use permit CANNOT be issued.
The next issue which would argue against the approval of a special use permit is the problem of traffic on M-72 West, a two-lane highway at the location of the proposed marina, with no viable pass through lane. Vehicles on M-72 travel at 60 mph and to try to make a left turn while traveling west is especially dangerous in the summer. The potential for a serious accident at the proposed location of this marina would increase exponentially for vehicles traveling in either direction. Article VII Section 7.04 (special permit uses) states “special use permit shall be issued only on lots fronting on and with principal driveway access to a public street, and located and designed to avoid undue traffic…”. This area is not a private driveway but is designed to provide parking for as many as 12 vehicles, at a distance of less than 20 feet from M-72. The site plan presented does not provide an accurate assessment of the per foot scale.
Further objections to approving this special use permit would include Article VII of General Residential District R-2 Section7.04 Special Permit Uses B: “Recreational facilities compatible with the intent of the district.” A marina is not compatible with the intent of this district, which is residential and constitutes a neighborhood. Article XVIII- Special Use Permits Section 18.02 Part C: “Be designed to protect the health, safety, welfare, social and economic well-being not only of those who will use the land, but also residents and landowners immediately adjacent to the proposed land use…” Living next door to or in the neighborhood of a public marina will significantly reduce the property values of those residents nearby. Article XVIII- Section 18.03 Part B states that the use is to be harmonious with the character of the general vicinity. A marina is not. The character of the general vicinity is a neighborhood in a residential district. In the same section, it states “the use is not to change the essential character of the area.”. Operating a public marina will change the character of the area, which is now an undeveloped wetland with woods extending to the lake shore.
Further objections to issuing a special use permit are derived from Article XIX-Section 19.02: Standards for Site Plan Review, parts B, D, E, F, and G:
Part B- “Storm water will not adversely affect neighboring properties.” According to the site plan, water from the parking lot is to flow west, directly onto the nearest neighbor’s property.
Part D- The nature of this use is definitely in conflict with the immediate neighborhood.
Part E- The use will create a major traffic problem or hazard, as referenced earlier.
Part F- The use is certainly objectionable to adjacent and nearby properties.
Part G- The use will discourage and prevent the development and use of adjacent premises and neighborhood.
For all of the aforementioned reasons, I strongly oppose the approval of a special use permit for this proposed marina. I do hope that this council will strongly consider not only what the township would gain, but also consider carefully what Grayling Township would lose by granting this permit.