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Listen to- December 9 2019 Board of Trustees Meeting

Listen to- November 11 2019 Board of Trustees Meeting

Listen to- October 14 2019 Board of Trustees Meeting

Listen to- September 9 2019 Board of Trustees Meeting

Listen to- July 8 2019 Board of Trustees Meeting

Listen to- May 13 2019 Board of Trustees Meeting

Listen to- April 23 2019 Special Board of Trustees Meeting

Trustees Sign Engineering Agreement With Becket & Raeder To Fix Safety Issues At Sea-Gull

Camp Sea-Gull Rock Danger

This photo was taken on November 11, 2019 by Warren Nugent at Hayes Township Park Camp Sea-Gull. The shedding of the rocks and slabs was new within the prior week. The two biggest rocks were measured at a diameter of 4 and a half feet each. This writer could not budge them. Their presence underscores the need for a strong, safe wall that can withstand 4-5000 pounds of lateral pressure per square foot.

The Hayes Township Board of Trustees set a new record for efficiency at their regular meeting Monday, November 11, 2019. They moved through their agenda in barely over an hour taking care of two important pieces of business. The first task was the review and signing of a contract with Beckett and Raeder Engineering to provide an engineering design and construction supervision for resolving current safety issues at the Park including a fence along the shale wall bordering the boat launch parking area at Camp Sea-Gull Park. The price tag for these services will be $25,230. The Trustees voted unanimously to proceed with the plan noting that they should be able to have the proposed work done by Memorial Day of 2020. The cost of this project will take the Township’s general fund below the reserve mark temporarily, however Clerk Warren Nugent reiterated how important it is to find grant funding for the Park or our reserve fund may suffer permanent damage.

Coincidentally, Nugent reported that he had been down at the Park earlier in the day to check on things and discovered some larger-than-usual shale pieces which have fallen off the shale wall at Camp Sea-Gull sometime in the past week. He took the picture shown below and passed it out at the meeting to emphasize the need for a strong reliable fence along that wall immediately.

The second piece of urgent business was the appointment by the Board of Ron VanZee as the Interim Zoning Administrator, replacing Larry Sullivan who resigned effective October 21. Van Zee would earn the same salary that Sullivan was earning. The other four Trustees appointing VanZee believe his experience and credentials make him an ideal person to serve in that position until the Board decides how to restructure the Zoning Administrator’s position, either to include other responsibilities or perhaps to contract with an independent agency specializing in zoning administration. VanZee’s Interim service will give the Board time to make a thoughtful decision regarding staffing.

Bryan Graham, the Township attorney, advised the Board that to comply with the laws relating to conflicts of interest that regulate Michigan townships, the Hayes Board must do the following in order to employ VanZee as Interim Zoning Administrator as he is also currently the elected supervisor of the Township:

“....The township board must disclose the following summary information in its minutes of the meeting at which the compensation was approved: the name of the party involved in the contract (your name); the terms of the contract including duration, financial consideration between parties, facilities or services of the public entity included in the contract, and the nature and degree of assignment of employees of the public entity for fulfillment of the contract (attach a copy of the zoning administrator’s employment agreement to the minutes); the nature of any pecuniary interest (the amount of the compensation to be paid to you as zoning administrator).”*

November Park and Rec Committee Highlights

Hayes Township Park, Camp Sea-Gull is open for business, but the boat launch is closed for the season due to the possibility of early ice forming. The bubblers that will hopefully prevent ice damage to the pier and the launch will be set after there is approximately an inch of ice present. The contractor says having ice present will keep the bubblers from being dashed and broken in rough water.

Julie Collard reported that signage for the winter is being set up. Some public comments on the lack of amenities at the park have been received. Visitors are complaining that there is nothing to do at the Park but launch a boat.

Chunks of shale continue to calve off the headwall in the boat launch area. Beckett and Raider have been engaged to design a safety fence to protect Park visitors from shedding shale. The fence will be about 6 feet tall and its furthest point from the wall will be approximately 5 feet. The wall must be strong enough to withstand 4000-5000 pounds of lateral pressure per square foot. Township officials hope to have the fence completed by Memorial Day of 2020.The Township has received the “as built” drawings which will facilitate future planning.

The lower level of the park will be closed to vehicle traffic for the winter season but open to snowmobiles. Additional remediation as required for safety concerns will be designed over the winter with the intention of completing the work as early as possible in the spring.

Swanson, K&D has been engaged to tear down the old cabins on the east side of the Park at the lakeshore to make way for a swimming area and a possible picnic pavilion.

The committee discussed which entrance ice fishermen should use for the winter season. It decided to recommend that the old entrance be used for this winter, with a parking area to be provided just to the right of the entrance. The Committee will send its recommendation to the Board for action at the December meeting.

Julie Collard also reported that the Eastern Ave. Beach the swim buoys have been removed. A land survey of the beach area is pending as the boundary monuments have disappeared. Neighbors have expressed approval for the removal of dead trees and debris from the natural boundary on the north side of the property. The question was raised whether or not the Township is still pursuing the construction of a bathroom building on the property. Julie Collard will ask Bob Jess.

Planning Commission Completes Master Plan Revision Draft

For the Hayes Township Planning Commission, one of the many responsibilities it holds is to plan for future land use and at the same time to make sure that the land’s rural and woodland character is preserved as the residents of the Township envision it. In the process of doing that job it holds public hearings, grants or denies special use permits, reviews site plans, and most importantly plans for future land use in Hayes Township. To that end, the Commission has been laboring over a required Master Plan draft revision for several months. The Commission has been assisted by Shawn Winter from Beckett & Raeder Engineering and Consulting Firm.

Hayes Township 2019 Meeting DatesThe Commission and Winter wrapped up the revision work at the November 19, 2019 meeting of the Planning Commission and voted to send the complete draft to the Board of Trustees for permission to release the draft, including the map of future land use, to the public for review and comment. The draft must be available for 63 days before the Planning Commission can schedule a public hearing to approve the document. If approved, then the draft plan can be forwarded to the Board of Trustees for approval and adoption.

One of the primary difficulties with the old Master Plan was that the current land use map in it and the official zoning map of Hayes Township do not agree. And the map in the Master Plan does not reflect the stated goals of the Master Plan. Further, the current land use map conflicts with the records of Charlevoix County.

One example is that the current land use map shows the former C.H. Smith property on the corner of the Boyne City Road and Maple Grove zoned as industrial. According to County records, the property is zoned as just under half agricultural and larger portion is zoned industrial.

Interim Zoning Administrator Ron VanZee says that the Township has four pages of zoning citations that do not match the County’s zoning descriptions. He speculates that, “The records are wrong in many places.”

Added to the problem of inaccuracies in the records is that of spot zoning. Again the old Smith property now owned by a new resident is a good example of this. There are only agricultural, residential, and upland forest land parcels surrounding the old Smith property. It is a “spot” of industrial land among parcels owned by neighbors who do not want an industry in their midst. The new owner will have to get the property rezoned in order to do anything at all with it.

Existing Land Use Hayes Township 1

Existing Land Use Hayes Township 2

Leslie Cunningham Observatin Deck
Above is the existing land use map that has been published in the 2018-2019 Hayes Township Master Plan. Township officials say that it does not match the Township’s official zoning map on file at the Township Hall. Further the official zoning map does not match the Charlevoix County records. The map to the right represents a draft picture of what the Planning Commission wants to work toward as land use for the Township. Kudos to the Planning Commission for trying to set the records straight and get all of us on the same page. The Sentinel has some questions for the Commission: Why not use the same color per zoning area in the new map as in the old? It is confusing for readers to analyze the map as it is. The old C.H. Smith parcel on the corner of Maple Grove and B.C. Road is still designated all industrial, and the new owner has a deed restriction placed upon the property by Elmers’ forbidding any industrial use of the parcel. Is the goal to move all industrial property into one area near Bay Shore? Is there a need for a commercial zone on the Boyne City Road? I urge all residents to take the time to study these maps, write down your questions or comments, and send them to Better yet, attend the Planning Commission meetings and any open houses they schedule for review of the new master plan.

Hayes Township Futue Land Use

Opinions Header

Continue the Hayes Township Sentinel

How fortunate we, the residents of Hayes Township, have been to have the Hayes Township Sentinel delivered to our mailboxes for the last two years. It began publication in November of 2017 after the former Township Board of Trustees moved to forever change the natural beauty and simplicity of Camp Sea Gull which they had purchased by promising to turn it into a “low-impact community park with picnic grounds, rustic camping, a swimming beach, and fishing opportunities via a small boat launch.”

What that former Township Board proceeded to vote for and then build instead of what they promised us was an asphalt road leading to a boat launch for large boats and a sizeable fishing pier costing $1.2 to $1.4 million dollars. Many township residents were alarmed at not only the construction costs but at the future perpetual maintenance costs which would be needed from our tax dollars. We live in a township of approximately 2100 tax paying residents.

Many people asked the Township Board to listen to their concerns but were ignored. Citizens formed committees, circulated petitions, wrote letters and spoke at Hayes Township Board meetings. The Board was determined to build their plan with minimal taxpayer approval.

Luckily, the Hayes Township Sentinel came into being with Frank Shepherd, Publisher and Leslie Cunningham, Editor. It informed, educated and revealed the dramatic differences between the original park concept and what the Township Board voted to build.

This letter is written in support of the Hayes Township Sentinel. I hope you, each reader, will agree! The Sentinel is still needed as the one and only information tool to inform Township residents and taxpayers of the pressing financial crisis the current Board of Trustees must try to solve. This current Board was elected in November 2018 after the Hayes Township Sentinel began publishing the evidentiary facts regarding the Camp Sea Gull Park project.

Consequently, three members of the prior Board were recalled by a surprisingly large margin. Their voting decisions spent $1.6 million for a boat launch and fishing pier for a small group of people who desired the project. Meanwhile the Park was not able to open this past summer because of serious safety issues and drainage problems. I wonder, and I visualize what a magnificent park could have been built for half the money, to enrich the lives of all the families that live in Hayes Township!

The good news is that the Hayes Township Sentinel can continue to be published with the pledges and support of Township residents and taxpayers. Hundreds of emails and Facebook comments have been received in the past two years of publication. Editorials and opinion columns have given the Sentinel positive ratings above the 90% mark. The Editor and Publisher are willing to continue to write, print, and deliver the Sentinel to Hayes Township. Monetary contributions of support can be sent to Hayes Township Sentinel, P O Box 581, Charlevoix, MI 49720.
Susan Pyke,
Hayes Township property owner

*Editor’s note: Donations to the Sentinel, a 501c4 organization are not tax deductible. The Sentinel does not make the names of donors public unless a particular donor gives permission.

Your Township Offcials

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