Lake Township Homeowners Object to Revocation of Easement and Boat Hoist Oversight

Sylva Beach Cabana Plan

Huron County, Michigan…there will be a Lake Township zoning meeting on Jan 25th at 6:30pm to discuss revoking Lake Townships current oversight over beach easements.  The rare, mid-winter, mid-week meeting is being held at a time when many seasonal owners will not be in attendance. However several members of the Sylva Beach Association will be submitting letters of concern and object to striking a successful ordinance provision put in place in 2007.

Some wildeyed members of the current Lake Township board feels it has no jurisdiction over beach easements and is willing to ceade any oversight responsiblity back to the public. If the ordnance is revoked, certain residents with beach easement rights have mentioned that it’s their intention to place storage sheds, cabanas (see their envisioned photos provided by architect), and seasonal dockage well in excess of the four boat hoist restrictions now in place.

Dockage Model for Small Easement

The Sylva Beach easement has 24 households sharing a 50 foot beach easement. The current ordinance allows a limited number of boat hoists but not year around storage. Homeowners who do not have boats but use the easement have felt the current restrictions are fair and serve to keep beach easements from looking like a junk yard.

Residents are also wondering what is behind this move by the Township. Published opinions by the Army Corps of Engineers and the Michigan Supreme Court have upheld that local governments are within their jurisdiction to regulate the storage, number and placement of boat hoists along the beach. Published minutes and agendas posted on the Lake Township website give no indication of the problem with the current zoning rules. Rumors are that by revoking the current ordinance will allow certain owners friendly with the Lake Township Junta to entertain and allow guests to camp on the beach during Cheeseburger.

It promises to be another evening of drama at the Lake Township hall on January 25th. See you there!!


My First Music Video

I was messing around with a PC studio program trying to publish some video from a trip down in the Florida Keys in 2008. One thing led to another and I found that the program has the ability to create special edits that would sync with music. So I coupled the video with a song by The Shy called  Get Through Another Day.  Its not bad.

The Problem with Beach Easements…People.

As long as I’ve been coming up to the Upper Thumb the ongoing topic is property lines and easements. Because of the varied lines of the lake, there is no truely square lot within the first 1/4 mile of the beach. Everything is at odd angles and measurements. As a result folks are always putting sheds on their neighbors lot or cutting down someone elses trees. Harsh words are spoken and sometimes hard feelings are felt for years.

Beach Easement
Sylva Beach

Any beach with an easement is always fodder for potential for words and out right blow ups. Easement folks are viewed dimly by property owners who border the area. Conversely guests of those who use the easement tend to spawl outward as they near the waters edge. It has all the makings of a potential border war each and every weekend. It doesn’t help that, because of the low water level, there is now over 100 yards of sand between the waters edge and the old breakwalls from the 1970’s. Fences, berms, signage all seem to spring up in an attempt to mark the territory. Some areas have a sandy getto look.

Millions for Michigan Countys, except for Huron

I found an interesting piece at the on-line version of the Detroit Free Press. There is a searchable database that displays all the earmarked funds from congressional appropriations. You can search by which Michigan county is getting the funds and what the purpose is.  Much of the spending is for military and veterans affairs programs. However about $13 million is slated for educational, health and human services programs.

Huron County’s portion is a pittance. Of the over 200 earmarks, Huron county had one program totaling $150,000 denoted as “Huron County Safe Place – domestic violence service programs”. The thought immediately struck me was with all of the issues facing Huron right now; wind power, muck in Saginaw Bay and a reduced population why aren’t our elected officials bringing more resources to bear to remedy some of the area’s economic and environmental problems.

Maybe our elected officials don’t see any opportunities in the Thumb.  Sanilac County got $450,000 for two projects and Tuscola County is missing from the list altogether.  I suspect that Representive Candice Miller has chosen totally ignore the upper thumb in favor of the more urban Macomb County which comprises the southern part of her district. Looking at her website it obvious that she is more interested in being a mouth piece for the extreme right wing of the Republican Party then supporting the 10th District.


Fun in Michigan's Upper Thumb

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