The GAD Top Three | January 8th, 2024

This week on the GAD Top Three:

  1. East Bay Charter Township is considering quite several steps that would allow greater residential density in alignment with the East Bay Charter Township Master Plan.
  2. Paradise Township Board kicks the Accessory Dwelling amendment back to the Planning Commission with some recommended amendments.
  3. Whitewater Township discusses its Master Plan as it considers updates to its Zoning Ordinance.

1. East Bay Township Planning Commission Takes Steps Toward Supporting Greater Housing Density

Starting with the East Bay Charter Township Planning Commission’s December 5th Meeting they have begun efforts to allow for increased residential density starting with a recommendation made to the East Bay Charter Township Board of Trustees to change density in the Moderate Density Residential Zoning District from the current five (5) units per acre to eight (8) units per acre (page 4 of the Dec. 5th Planning Commission minutes). At the January 3rd East Bay Charter Township Planning Commission Meeting (pages 11 to 18) the Planning Commission considered whether or not they would like to open up the master plan amendment process to consider a rezoning request and possible Master Plan amendment requested by Innovo to rezone six (6) parcels from Low Density Residential (LDR) to Moderate Density Residential (MDR). For context, the East Bay Charter Township Planning Commission is considering greater residential density requests in part based on their 2023 Zoning Plan (pages 113 to 118 of the East Bay Charter Township Master Plan). The next East Bay Charter Township Board of Trustees meeting will be held on January 8th at 6:30 pm at the East Bay Township Hall (1965 N. Three Mile Road, Traverse City, MI) if you would like to lend your voice to East Bay Chart Township’s consideration of increasing allowable residential density.

2. Paradise Township Board Recommends ADU Ordinance Amendments Back to the Planning Commission

As previously mentioned in the December 25th GAD Top 3 (Item 3) the Paradise Township Board discussed a proposed accessory dwelling amendment (pages 31 and 32) at their December 13th Paradise Township Board Meeting and the the Paradise Township Board made the following recommendations before sending the accessory dwelling unit (ADU) amendment back to the Paradise Township Planning Commission:

  • ADUs must be smaller than the primary unit/house
  • ADUs must meet health department standards
  • They requested adding language that ADUs must have 20 feet by 20 feet living space
  • That the size of an ADU must be a maximum of 45% of the primary dwelling and not less than 700 square feet (which would require any primary dwelling to be at least 1,556 square feet to be able to build an ADU at the minimum square footage)
  • Removal of the Forest Recreation reference, which—I believe—means not allowing ADUs in the Forest Recreation District.

The next Paradise Township Planning Commission meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 25th at 6 pm located at the Paradise Township Hall (2300 East M-113, Kingsley, MI) if you wish to voice your perspective on the proposed Paradise Township ADU Ordinance.

3. Housing Discussed in Whitewater Township Planning Commission Review of Master Plan

At the January 3rd Whitewater Township Planning Commission Meeting, a discussion was held on Chapter 5 of the Whitewater Township Master Plan. Some important points related to housing presented in this chapter of the Whitewater Township Master Plan include their survey results from 620 township respondents show Whitewater Township to be almost evenly divided on the issue of short-term rentals (STRs), with about one-third (29%) wanting to prohibit STRs, about one-third (32%) who want to allow them without regulation, and one-third (34%) who want to enable STRs with some form of regulation (page 5 of Chapter 5 of the Whitewater Township Master Plan). This chapter of the Whitewater Township Master Plan also reported that the 80 to 100 Whitewater Township citizens in attendance at an open house on September 28th, 2023 were supportive of rural housing development along existing roads and subdivisions with low-density single-family housing units that might also be clustered to allow for common open spaces. However, Whitewater Township citizens were against higher density subdivisions, and regarding non-single family housing units, residents are less supportive of high-density residential development, including developments such as townhouses, multi-family housing complexes, and large density three-story multi-family complexes (page 10 of Chapter 5 of the Whitewater Township Master Plan). This is important context as Whitewater Township considers updates to its Zoning Ordinance. The current working draft with markups can be viewed on pages 166 to 203 of the Whitewater Township Planning Commission January 3rd Agenda Packet.

Connor Miller photo
Connor Miller
Government Affairs Director

As the Government Affairs Director, I work to advocate for the real estate industry through programming that promotes the election of pro-REALTOR® candidates; engage, inform, and activate membership and local government officials on key local and state real estate policies; provide staff support to the REALTOR® Political Action Committee that invests members' voluntary contributions to protect and promote the real estate industry; and support the Aspire North memberships’ involvement in community projects to further grow and strengthen our region.