Reader questions Weare Township ballot language.

October 19, 2018

Reader questions Weare Township ballot language.

Letter to the Editor by Lori Green, Weare Township.

“Shall the amendment to Section 8.03(E) of the Weare Township Zoning Ordinance adopted by the Weare Township Board on June 11, 2018, be approved?”  Weare Township residents, this is the Zoning Ordinance Amendment Proposal approved by your township board. Is it clear what you are voting on? Or are you expected to blindly accept a township board decision without question?

What was the amendment approved on June 11, 2018?  As published in the June 25, 2018 OHJ, “Section 8.03(E) . . . shall be amended to delete any reference to or incorporation of Section 13.04(C) . . . and shall now hereinafter read as follows:  E. Bulk propane storage and distribution.” Even the published notice isn’t clear! What is being deleted?

Weare Township Board wishes to delete the safety regulations for bulk propane!  Section 13.04(C) lists four regulations: minimum five acres lot size, arterial street access, 300 feet to any adjacent residential district or use, and proper containment facilities.  Without safety regulations, your government will be able to site bulk propane according to their own desire. Do you trust that your health, safety, and welfare will be considered?

Michigan Election Law requires the local governmental body to approve the ballot question that will be submitted to the voters.  Additionally, the law provides a clear framework for writing ballot questions. Ballot questions should be clear, informative, concise, and not prejudicial to either side.  (See MCL 125.3402 and MCL 168.485.) In other words, the governing body should approve ballot language that the voter can understand and evaluate WITHOUT having to look up additional information.  Does Weare Township’s ballot question meet this criterion? Was the township attorney consulted?

In contrast, the City of Hart has two zoning ordinance proposals on the November 6  ballot.  The first proposal reads: “Shall the Sign Ordinance in the City of Hart be amended to read as follows:  1259.05(j) One, double or single sided, on premise electronic display sign in all business and commercial areas?”  The second proposal reads: “Shall the Sign Ordinance in the City of Hart be amended to add the following: 1259.03(m) Sandwich board signs. Placement and size to be determined as to not impede traffic, right of way or vision of traffic?”  City of Hart voters, congratulations! Your city council apparently respects your ability to read a proposal, consider its content, and vote your mind, not theirs.

Weare Township voters, do you feel respected?

Lori Green

3308 W. Monroe Rd.

Hart, MI 49420