Huron County, Michigan – The Lake Township Board has been forced to schedule a hearing on May 25th, just before the Memorial Day holiday due to pressure from resident concerns over the proposed elimination of current zoning restrictions of beach easements. The Lake Township Planning Commission is currently considering elimination of Section 1203.4 regarding restrictions on beach easements in the township. The issue was tabled and the board asked Huron County Planning Commission for guidance.
ThumbWind.com has learned that the State of Michigan is clamping down hard on those easements with multiple boat hoists or dockage arrangements coming out of common “access only” easements. The State is viewing such an arrangement as a meeting the criteria of a marina. Higgins Lake in Roscommon County has been the location with recent mitigation action where homeowner associations have erected dockage allowing multiple watercraft to be moored or secured within a commons area on the lake. The State views these arrangements as a marina.
The Lake Township board is looking to eliminate zoning restrictions which have been in effect since 2007 thinking that it may infringe upon the authority of the State of Michigan to regulate its navigable waterways. However residents currently located in easements affected by the zoning cite that the Lake Township zoning provisions offers a “guard rail” as to the proper use of an easement. Some homeowners with easement rights are mis-informed as to what their use provisions are. Some believe it includes year- around storage of boats, hoists and other recreational items. It was further noted that a total elimination of Section 1203.4 would place any improvements on easement property outside of zoning authority of the Township. The meeting scheduled for May 25th at the Lake Township hall promises to be interesting and ThumbWind.com will be there.