Zoning updates pass second reading and adoption

FLINT TWP. — From now on, tent sale applications will not be approved by the township board. Instead they need only pass muster with the building, police and fire departments.

But they are now required to be tied to the use of the adjoining business. Third party vendors are no longer allowed. The change protects the interests of established businesses from temporary and seasonal vendors selling the same products. Fireworks vendors are one example of competing seasonal sales. The board set a moratorium on fireworks sales this year while the Planning Commission worked to establish new guidelines.

That and other changes were part of zoning ordinance amendments that passed second reading and adoption at the Sept. 2 township board meeting.

Township Supervisor Karyn Miller asked building administrator Tracey Tucker to provide regular updates to the township board about approved tent sales.

Miller also commented on zoning updates that apply to group homes including but not limited to adult foster care homes, day care homes, small group homes, substance abuse treatment service for seven or more people, halfway housing inmates under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections and other special uses in residential areas.

Questions have been raised about group home locations. There is one in Western Hills for Alzheimer patients, Miller said.

Group homes are licensed by the state, which may still approve an application after it is turned down by the township, Miller said. But group homes must comply with township building codes.

Tucker said zoning changes made were mainly is to clarify definitions of the types of group homes.

Another update to the ordinance prohibits the use of razor wire on residential structures. Planning Commissioners discussed the growing use of razor wire in other municipalities to protect air conditioners from copper theft.

The appearance of commercial buildings will become more consistent in the future under the ordinance amendment. Now the Planning Commission will have more control over setting minimum design requirements such as that at least 60 percent of the front of a building be brick, stone or other ornamental materials but not steel or vinyl siding. Earth-toned colors also are stipulated with limited use of primary colors unless required to meet corporate design standards.

Other changes apply to commercial and residential building setbacks, to screening mechanical equipment from view and to prohibit parking lots that requires backing into the street.

All ordinance changes were reviewed and recommended by the township Planning Commission after a public hearing in July. Tucker said updating zoning ordinance is required every five years to stay current.

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