the 81, pud, public hearing, peninsula township
The 81 on East Bay | Jane Boursaw Photo
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A public hearing on The 81 on East Bay PUD is scheduled for the Peninsula Township Board Meeting on Tuesday, August 23 at 7 p.m.

Note the venue: This meeting will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 12675 Center Road (about a half-mile south of the Township Hall), in the Parish Hall, which is accessed on the south end of the building.

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The 81 on East Bay is an 81-acre parcel of land known locally as the Old Boursaw Farm, which borders Boursaw Road and includes frontage on East Grand Traverse Bay. The developer is Kevin O’Grady, owner of “The 81 Development Company, LLC.”

As mentioned in our recap of last week’s public hearing on The 81 Pre-Preliminary Plat Subdivision, there are currently two proposals being reviewed by Peninsula Township for this parcel. The Plat Subdivision is a “use by right,” which means it’s a use permitted in the zoning district and is not subject to special review and approval by the Township. It needs only meet the standards and requirements specified in the Zoning Ordinance. The PUD (Planned Unit Development) must be reviewed and approved by Peninsula Township.

The 81 PUD includes 41 single-family lots, new paved roads, and up to 40 boat docking spaces. The plat subdivision plan includes 53 units/lots, each approximately one acre, with individual wells and septic, and 150 feet of frontage on a private road. Thirteen of the lots would be located along the eastern boundary of the property and have private water access on East Grand Traverse Bay. The remaining 40 lots would not have water access.

The 81 PUD was approved by the Township in August of 2015. However, issues involving fire access, soil erosion and engineering were remanded back to the Township Board by 13th Circuit Court Judge Philip Rogers, after legal action was brought by adjacent property owner James Komendera and the group “Preserve Old Mission.” They noted that the character, density and environmental impact of the proposed project was inconsistent with the Old Mission Peninsula and the standards of the Zoning Ordinance.

Also on the meeting agenda is the appointment of a clerk to fill the vacancy left by Monica Hoffman, who submitted her resignation at the August 9 Township Board meeting and will leave office on September 8, 2016. The Board will likely designate Joanne Westphal, who beat Hoffman in the August primary, along with a team of six other candidates who swept the election.

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

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