The Forest Home Township Master Plan is intended to convey the residents' vision for the future of Forest Home Township. It is evident that growth will occur whether or not we desire it.
This plan provides for development while guiding it to those areas we believe it is most appropriately located.
This plan will be implemented through the actions of Forest Home Township officials and the owners of property within the Township. The. Township should be engaged in the following activities:
· continually identifying issues and concerns,
· researching means of addressing or resolving each issue,
· coordinating with other groups and agencies, and
· using available tools to educate the public.
To effectively reach our goals and objectives, we will use the following management tools:
Continue to review and improve the zoning ordinance to assist in implementing the Master Plan.
A number of different types of zoning districts can be utilized to establish the way in which land can be developed. The purpose of this plan is to address the overall density of the development within the township rather than the specific language used to achieve those densities. Specific language within the existing zoning ordinance should be examined to determine if the language and the location of each district provides adequate means to guide the development in the direction envisioned in this plan. In the zoning ordinance, require detailed studies to be completed prior to development approval that outline the intended uses, potential benefits and problems that could or will result from the development being proposed.
General Police Power Ordinances
Develop other ordinances as appropriate to assist in implementing this plan.
Provision of Public Sewer and Water
Develop agreements with the Village of Bellaire for the Township to participate in future expansion of the Bellaire
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Waste Water Disposal System into Forest Home Township. Higher density residential uses as well as commercial and industrial uses will require the provision of municipal sewer.
If unable to reach an agreement with the Village of Bellaire to obtain services under a good neighbor policy whereby each community assumes a share of the ownership and responsibility for the system, enter into agreements under Public Act 425 of 1984 which allows for sharing of the tax base resulting from future development which would not be able to occur without these necessary services.
Public Health and Safety
Antrim County should be encouraged to amend the County Sanitary Code to require on-site sanitary waste disposal systems to be inspected upon the sale or conveyance of the property from one party to another to assure the system is functioning properly. Systems not functioning properly should be required to comply with current code requirements prior to conveyance or occupancy by a new owner. The Sanitary Code should be amended to restrict the use of areas having highly permeable soils for locating tile fields.
Require a review of all proposed development by the Fire Department to ensure the Department can service the proposed development both in terms of appropriate equipment as well as having the ability to access the property twelve months of the year.
Encourage new developments to install either dry hydrants to provide water or install underground tanks holding a quantity of water deemed sufficient for fire suppression purposes.
Continue to explore options for recycling of solid waste. Consider the adoption of a "spring cleanup" program as an opportunity for residents to rid their structures of large unwanted items that might otherwise be dumped along the roads or in the woodlots within the Township.
with Antrim County to promote household hazardous
Work with Antrim County on the concept of multiple use of the county forest land within the township for nonmotorized trails.
Work with the Bellaire and Central Lake School Districts to ensure the lands under their stewardship are available as active and passive recreation areas to assist in meeting area needs for recreation lands and open space.
Maintain and improve the existing township park on Torch Lake as the needs and desires of the township residents change over time.
Retain and maintain the existing road endings in the public ownership as a viable means of lake access for the back lot owners.
Work with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and property owners adjoining the State Access Sites to minimize conflicts which could threaten the closure of these sites over time.
Work in conjunction with adjoining municipalities and the Bellaire School District to provide active recreation sites such as basketball courts, tennis courts, soccer, baseball and softball fields. The population of Forest Home Township does not warrant, and it is questionable if the township has the resources to provide for, all of the recreational desires of its residents.
Lakefront property is increasing in price at a much higher percentage rate than non-lake front property. An on-going program should be initiated to acquire lakefront property for recreational usage. Priority should be given to the acquisition of recreational lands contained within the Urban Development area as this is where the need for recreational land will exist in the future. Acquiring lake frontage in areas of the township where development is not desired should be a very low priority as development will tend to occur in those areas where lake access is available. Make use of state and federal grants to assist in acquiring and improving property for recreational purposes.
Encourage new developments to provide a minimum level of recreation facilities for the future consumers or inhabitants of the development.
The existing county road network shall serve to provide for movement of people and goods between locations within the township and out of the township East Torch Lake Drive, M88, Bellaire Highway (C620) and Clam Lake Road are the major through routes in Forest Home Township. These roads are not intended to serve as residential streets. As a result, access to these roads should be restricted to maintain a free flow of traffic as development increases.
Public and private road right-of-ways and easements for that purpose should be a minimum of 66 feet in width. Dead end roads and cul-de-sacs are to be discouraged due to the inability to provide access and maneuverability for emergency vehicles. Roads serving developments on steep slopes shall access the development from the direction that disturbs the least amount of hillside and vegetation inorder to minimize erosion and maintain aesthetic appearances. Roads shall follow elevation contours and be designed and constructed to allow for connection to adjacent properties to prevent large numbers of driveways and roads serving small numbers of residential lots from being constructed up and down steep grades.
Road grades shall not exceed 6% unless paved or blacktopped. Paved roads shall not exceed 8% within 500 feet of an intersection with another road or shared driveway. In no case shall any road exceed a 10% slope.
Roads shall not drain storm water from a development or from the road itself directly into ditches along county or state roads within Forest Home Township. Detention and retention basins shall be provided to accommodate stormwater runoff from private roads and drives.
Forest Home Township should develop a policy establishing and periodically reassessing the priority for future road improvements.
Require persons developing or improving property to provide the necessary road and trail system to service the transportation needs of the development.
Develop a non-motorized trail system to provide a safe means of movement within the township without having to rely upon automobiles as the sole source of transportation. Priority routes for non-motorized trail development shall be East Torch Lake Drive, M-88 and Bellaire Highway.
Encourage utility companies to bury transmission lines.
Encourage the minimization of energy consumption through the type and location of land uses, types and styles of structures and though the use of landscaping.
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