FLINT TWP. — A Text Amendment to the Zoning Ordinance, revising language that blocks the selling or rebuilding of damaged properties, passed first reading at the township board meeting Monday night. The board also approved an updated zoning map.
Both actions were based on unanimous recommendations from the township Planning commission, said Tracey Tucker, township economic enhancement director who coordinates Planning Commission meetings and building issues.
The Text Amendment is needed because of ongoing issues in the past few years with mortgage companies that wll not allow owners to remortgage or sell a property because it does not conform to the zoning classification. Non-conforming structures include residences in areas rezoned office or commercial.
Most zoning ordinances have a clause not allowing rebuilding of a structure not used for more than a year after being damaged by a fire, flood or other natural disaster, Tucker said,
“This has been hurting the sale of homes,” she said, adding that she has no knowledge of the township actually ever telling a family whose house has burned down that they could not rebuild, if they wanted to.
The Text Amendment is being added to the zoning ordinance to reassure mortgage companies and facilitate home sales.
The code will still be enforced for properties that sit unused for more than a year, she said.
The Text Amendment will come up for second reading and adoption at the Dec. 2 board meeting.
After making a few corrections noted by Tucker, the board also approved an updated township zoning map.
Corrections include a parcel in Section 16 on North Linden road just south of Calkins Road that serves as a Consumers Energy Power station and is zoned residential for no apparent reason. It affects the setbacks of al neighboring Office zoned uses and will be changed to the O-1 classification,, Tucker said.
Also two parcels off Corunna Road in Section 17 were mislabeled on the previous map but should be zoned C-2( general business) as they always have been, she said.
The third correction is to a parcel in Section 20 off Dye Road zoned Office-1 but is surrounded by property zoned Multiple Family Residential that is owned by the Woodhaven senior community.
Tucker said a more user-friendly zoning map is being created that will be available online and can be printed by section and in different sizes instead of having to print out the entire map which was the old way.
The old zoning map printing machine has died and would cost thousands o dollars to replace, she said.
Tucker said she is working with the county to get the new maps created in pdf. format for a cost of about $800 compared to about $3,000 the old way. Property owners, Realtors and title companies will find the more accessible maps easier to use, she said.