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Peninsula Township Hall | Jane Boursaw Photo
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A public hearing for the Blight and Nuisance Ordinance currently under review will take place at the May 14 regular meeting of the Peninsula Township Board, 7 p.m. at the Peninsula Township Hall.

This ordinance, which would repeal and replace the previous Junk Ordinance dated April 13, 2010, aims to “secure the public health, safety and general welfare of the residents and property owners of Peninsula Township, by the regulation, prevention and/or reduction or elimination of litter, junk, trash, rubbish, refuse,  debris, and/or other blight and blighting or nuisance factors or causes of blight and/or nuisance upon public or private property within the Township and to provide civil remedies for violations.”

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The ordinance draft is available to read in its entirety here, but here are a few specific items, as defined in the ordinance as litter, junk, trash, rubbish, refuse or debris:

Any worn out and/or discarded material, including but not limited to scrap metal; dismantled or partially dismantled vehicles; unlicensed or inoperable vehicles; construction materials, garbage, scrap, and waste materials including metals, boxes, cartons, bottles, cans, rope, rubber, rags, plastic, paper, glass, wood, and wooded skids or pallets or parts thereof (excluding those stored and used with a farming operation on site); hazardous compounds waste, offal, rubbish, food containers, oil, broken glass, discarded paper products, used tires, any type of trailer or device that lacks all of the necessary component parts to make it operative and serviceable; yard trimmings, cut or detached tree branches, appliances, televisions, or furniture not usable for the purpose for which it was manufactured, or any other scrap or waste material of any kind, including parts or components of any of the above or any other material that constitutes a threat or menace to the health, safety, or general welfare of the public.

Further, “the litter, junk, trash, rubbish, refuse, or debris must be screened from the view of all adjacent properties and abutting public or private right(s) of way and may be stored for no more than seven (7) days.”

“Blight” and “Blighted premises” are also included in the draft ordinance, including those which “pose a serious or immediate danger; a life-threatening condition or a condition that threatens the health, safety, or welfare of an individual or the public at large.”

During the public comment time at the April 15 meeting of the Township Board and Planning Commission, Old Mission Peninsula farmer Dave Edmondson noted that every farm has a collection of things that haven’t been used for a while.

“I do have a lot of relics at my place and I have a plan for them and they have value,” he said, adding that if the ordinance passed as worded, he would be subjected to someone else telling him how to farm.

Edmondson said he feels that the ordinance needs to be more practical for the Old Mission Peninsula farming community.

Read Peninsula Township’s full draft copy of the Blight and Nuisance Ordinance here. The draft includes language involving a multitude of items, including building materials, compost, farm equipment, junk or abandoned vehicles, contractor’s equipment, trailers, watercraft, docks, boats and much more.

Enforcement, hearings, abatement and costs are also covered in the ordinance.

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 like the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and magazines like 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 of course, I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my 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 Old Mission Peninsula. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

Bay View Insurance of Traverse City Michigan


  1. Hello Jane. You are missing some very valuable points in your article.

    You may not park your car/boat/rv/trailer for sale for any more than 3 days in a row, and no more than 10 days per year. Nuisance.
    You can not burn ANYTHING if it may make someone “uncomfortable”. Nuisance.
    If a farmer’s tractor is broke down in a field and he’s waiting for parts, it’s a blight.
    Your compost pile? blight.
    If a farmer crosses the road to get to a field on the other side and and dirt or mud falls from the tractor tires, it’s a violation. Blight.
    Your coolers with locking mechanisms on the outside that you have put away for the winter? Nuisance.
    Your orv/4wheeler/boat & trailer/snowmobile that isn’t stored inside of a building while not in use? Nuisance.
    All those building materials sitting at the new library not in some sort of building or “at the back of the property” and not screened from view of all adjacent properties? Blight.
    The zoning administrator and code enforcement have the sole authority to decide what farming equipment is blight and what isn’t.

    Every time I read it, I’m more outraged.


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