Michigan State Bills Passed Allowing Brownfield TIF for Housing Development Projects, Potential Water Testing Discrepancies Under the Benzie-Leelanau Sanitary Code, and Milton Township Passes Winery Amendment to Allow Accessory Uses like Guest Quarters
Gov. Whitmer signed into law 4 bills that allow brownfield Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to fund affordable housing developments costs with the approval of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), potential water testing discrepancies causing delays and additional costs to point-of-transfer transactions in Benzie-Leelanau Health Department district, and Milton Township passes a new zoning ordinance allowing guest quarters at wineries and cideries.
1. Michigan State Bills Passed Allowing Brownfield TIF for Housing Development Projects
On July 19th, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed into law, with immediate effect, four Michigan State Bills [Senate Bill (SB) 129, SB 130, SB 131, and SB 132] which expand the use of brownfield zones to support the redevelopment of abandoned properties with affordable housing projects. These bills allow tax revenues captured (Tax Increment Financing, or TIF) through local brownfield redevelopment authorities to fund affordable housing development costs with the approval of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). According to the MSHDA Executive Director Amy Hovey, this new tool “can be used to help fund rental, for sale, single family, multifamily, new construction, and rehabilitation opportunities for those up to 120% of area median income.” (The Center Square) A Traverse City Housing Tools Workshop was hosted on July 18th by Housing North and Traverse Connect where representatives of Civic Engineering firm Fishbeck Susan Wenzlick, Senior Brownfield Specialist, and Mac McClelland provided information on the multitude of funding that could be partnered together under these new laws to reduce the cost of some building units from over $400,000 to a little over $200,000.
2. Potential Water Testing Discrepancies Under the Benzie-Leelanau Sanitary Code
Aspire North REALTORS was contacted this past week by an attorney representing the Michigan Ground Water Association (MGWA) regarding a concern with a potential discrepancy in the source used for water testing by the Benzie-Leelanau Health Department versus the testing source/practices utilized by area well drillers. This discrepancy has resulted in situations where area well drillers have improved water systems in Leelanau County, and taken water samples to confirm satisfactory water testing results, only to have the Benzie-Leelanau Health Department water testing result in failed/unsatisfactory water testing results. We have provided information on this situation to Michigan REALTORS and reached out to the Benzie-Leelanau Health Department to better understand the situation. If you have any questions or would like more information on this issue, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 231-947-2050.
3. Milton Township Passes Winery Amendment to Allow Accessory Uses like Guest Quarters
The Milton Township Board and Planning Commission after much discussion and back and forth passed a Winery Amendment (ZO-2012-01, pages 6 to 8) to their Zoning Ordinance at the July 10th Milton Township Board Meeting. The intent of the Winery Amendment is “to provide standards for the development and use of a winery/cidery and accessory uses such as tasting room, guest quarters and related or event facilities as a part of a single site operation subject to the provisions of this ordinance.” The main point of contention expressed in the July 6th Milton Township Planning Commission Meeting and the July 10th Milton Township Board Meeting was the allowance of guest quarters in the Winery Amendment. Guest quarters are defined in the Winery Amendment as “an accessory use to a winery/cidery with a tasting room that provides a room for temporary lodging.” Under the Winery Amendment, guest quarters would be held to the following standards:
- More than 50% of the winery’s revenue must be generated from the sale of its (winery/cidery) products not including guest quarter income.
- Guests shall only be permitted to stay on the property when the tasting room is open and available to the public.
- Each guest quarter shall be a minimum footprint of 150 finished square feet and a maximum footprint of 500 square feet.
- The guest quarters shall contain rooms for sleeping and sanitation purposes. An individual kitchen shall not be provided for each guest quarter.
- Overnight stays shall not exceed fourteen (14) days.
- The owner of the winery must live on the property where the guest quarters are located and the owner or manager shall reside on the premises during the occupancy of the guest quarters.
- The number of guest quarters shall not exceed three (3) units in total.
You can review the entire Winery Amendment via the May 3rd Milton Township Planning Commission Meeting Packet (pages 6 to 8) and the main points of discussion through the Planning Commission and Board minutes links above.