Zoning Change Proposal
The Lake Association,
responding to the wishes of many lakefront property owners, is giving
strong consideration to applying for a zoning change for Van Vliet Lake.
Currently the Lake has two zoning districts. Most of the Lake is
zoned REC (recreational). A smaller portion is zoned GB (general
business). The effort to change these two classifications to R-1
(single family residential) is an attempt to more closely reflect actual
lakefront property use and protect the Lake from possible future
overdevelopment. Under the past HR.115 State mandated land use
management plan, the Presque Isle chain was designated R-2 (multi-family
residential). Since that plan implementation has faded from view,
many lake associations are applying for and receiving R-1 status before
the State comes back with another plan. The process itself
requires a number of steps. Township approval is necessary and
that requires a public hearing. At the County level, petitions,
worksheets, and annotated maps must be submitted. Every landowner
abutting the Lake must be contacted. A fee must be provided with
the attendant paperwork (approx. $1800.00) and then the matter goes to a
County public hearing after being reviewed by the County Zoning and
Planning Office. If all these steps prove successful, an amendment
is prepared, signed and approved and the new zoning goes into effect 40
Lake property owners
wishing not to be included in the rezoning may opt out and will retain
their current zoning designation. This is referred to as skip
zoning and is an acceptable method for a landowner to retain present use
needs. Petitioners who do sign the petition document and specify
their opposition to the change may speak at a public hearing.
While landowners are free to disagree with the change, the County does
not give particular weight to the opposition if the landowner simply
disagrees with the change. Landowners in opposition to the
proposal must demonstrate a negative impact on their property or a
financial hardship to their land asset. Clearly, a landowner
speaking against the proposal who contends only that the zoning change
isn't "good" for the Lake is not likely to be given much weight.
This zoning change effort
is a direct reflection of the democratic process and does not seek to
infringe on any single landowner. More than adequate redress or
remedy is available to a property owner in opposition and there is no
need for contentious dialogue or protracted strife over the process.
Majority rules and the process moves smoothly.