Austin Commons Residents Oppose Andelina Farms Plan at Saline Township Meeting

 10/11/2017 - 01:37
Jim Ohren-Hoeft (in the orange shirt) speaks to the Saline Township Board about the Andelina Farms development planned for Saline Township.

As Saline Township Supervisor Jim Marion called the Township Board meeting to order at 7 p.m. Monday night he told those in attendance that the developer of Andelina Farms said their attorney was unavailable and asked that the Andelina Farms discussion be rescheduled for the November meeting.  But that announcement didn’t stop more than half of the meeting time being spent on discussing the controversial proposal.

In the citizens' comments portion of the meeting, Jim Ohren-Hoeft, representing Austin Commons Homeowners Association II (ACHII), told the board the association was against the Andelina Farms proposal to hook up to the water and sewer system at River Ridge. 

“The ACHII is against Andelina Farms’ proposal to hook into the well and sewer system at River Ridge.  The utilities for this development belongs with the City of Saline and the developer and city need to continue to talk to work it through,” he said.

Ohren-Hoeft went on to to thank the township board for the work the board has done on the issue

Saline Township attorney Frederick Lucas reminded the board there was a “binding, signed legal consent agreement between Saline Township and River Ridge that prohibits any entity or development from connecting with the water and sewer system at River Ridge.”  Lucas continued, “nothing can happen unless both signatures to the consent agreement agree to amend the terms.  The Township board does not have to do anything if it doesn’t want to.” 

Supervisor Jim Marion said Andelina Farms would be on the township agenda at its November meeting.

Short-Term Rentals Legislation a 'Power-Grab'

The board spent several minutes discussing Michigan House Bill 4503 and Senate Bill 329 dealing with the issue of short-term rentals.  Critics of the bill, supported by township attorney Lucas, say it usurps local authority to regulate and ensure safety standards are being met when a homeowner want to use their property for short-term rentals (like for a Michigan football weekend rental.  Lucas called the bill a “blatant power grab by the state from local townships, villages, cities and counties.”  Groups like the Michigan Municipal League, Michigan Association of Counties and others have come out against the bills. The township board encouraged residents to read the bills and call their representatives to voice their opinion.

No Timetable for Macon Road Bridge Repair

The township board discussed the closure of Macon Road, between Braun and Willow roads, for bridge repair.  They were uncertain of the time frame for the repairs.  The board heard comments about the proposed Michigan Medical Marijuana Act which sets regulations for the commercial marijuana growing operations.  Attorney Lucas indicated he did not think the Act would impact Saline Township in any meaningful way and asserted that “if the township didn’t want it they simply had to do nothing.”

Paper Shredding on Cleanup Day?

Trustee Robert Prehn wanted to explore the possibility of offering township residents free shredding at its next township clean up day.  He said that Pittsfield Township offered that service and it was widely used.  The Board asked him to do research and report back.  Prehn also reported that he visited long-time Saline Township resident Bob Cook and said that he was “doing well”.  The Board adjourned at 7:40pm.