Wineries - Zoning Ordinance; Old Mission Peninsula Farmland | Jane Boursaw Photo
Old Mission Peninsula Vineyard and Farmland | Jane Boursaw Photo
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A rewrite of the Peninsula Township Zoning Ordinance has been in the works for some time, and the Township Board is holding a public hearing on the draft document at their meeting on July 13, 7 p.m., at the Township Hall.

The public hearing will continue through two more Township Board meetings, on August 10 and September 14. This is a chance for all residents of Peninsula Township to voice their opinion and offer suggestions for the updated Zoning Ordinance.

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View the updated Zoning Ordinance draft here.

If you are unable to attend the in-person public hearing, feel free to send a letter to Peninsula Township, 13235 Center Road, Traverse City, MI 49686, or email Christina Deeren, Director of Zoning, at [email protected].

As noted in the Summer 2021 Peninsula Township Newsletter (big thanks to Township Clerk Becky Chown for another beautiful and informative newsletter), the Planning Commission approved the updated Zoning Ordinance in May of this year.

Hundreds of hours went into the rewrite, which includes both a revised document and a digital zoning map that more clearly shows the boundaries of zoning districts with current parcel data.

From the Summer 2021 Peninsula Township newsletter…

The Planning Commission’s action to approve the updated draft zoning ordinance comes on the heels of formal public hearings held last October, November and December. At those hearings, Planning Commission members received comments on a variety of topics.

Most of these issues were successfully addressed with relatively simple edits, but several more complicated issues that require special consideration were temporarily set aside, including the portions of the draft ordinance that address short-term rentals and wineries. For the time being, for these specific issues, the original zoning ordinance language has been retained within the new draft ordinance; these issues will be revisited at a later date.

Watch for these hot-button issues to be addressed at future Planning Commission meetings.

With the approval from the Planning Commission, the updated Zoning Ordinance now moves to the Township Board for final approval. This process includes another formal public hearing that will occur over the course of three regular Township Board meetings scheduled for July 13, August 10 and September 14, as noted above.

Public Hearing Also Scheduled for Noise Ordinance Amendment

Also at the July 13 meeting, the Township Board is holding a public hearing on Noise Ordinance No. 40, 1st Amendment. The amendment includes this wording for earth moving, tree cutting and construction or repair of buildings in “Section 103 Prohibited Acts and Enforcement”:

Construction or repair of buildings, earth moving, tree cutting and chipping operations. The erection, alteration, repair or demolition of any building or structure, excavation, earth moving, tree cutting or wood chipping activity other than between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday where such activity results in the creation of unusually loud or repetitive noise and not limited to back up alarms on construction or earth moving equipment or undulating noise from the use of a chain saw or wood chippers which annoys, disturbs, injures or unnecessarily impairs the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others except in cases of urgent and necessity in the interest of the public health and safety for the duration of the emergency.

Also from the Amendment, under “Section 104 Penalties”:

A violation of this ordinance is a municipal civil infraction, subject to a maximum fine of $1,000.00 plus any court costs incurred. Any person who refuses to abate a noise disturbance upon the demand of an authorized local enforcement officer, interferes with the officer’s enforcement of the ordinance, or retaliates against another who filed the complaint of a noise disturbance is also guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum 90 days in jail and a fine of $1,000.00 plus any court costs.

Exempt from the ordinance is any activity defined as a “farm operation” by the Michigan Right to Farm Act of 1981.

View the draft of the Peninsula Township Noise Ordinance No. 40, 1st Amendment here.

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 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 OMP. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

Bay View Insurance of Traverse City Michigan


  1. As residents on Center rd., I can say in places where the houses are right on the road, and the speed limit is 45 mph, most drivers and heavy trucks always are going 50-60 mph. The noise and danger to bikers and walkers is a given. What’s 10-15 minutes more in your commute compared to someone’s life? Please, let’s all just slow down


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