Kimball Township Zoning Board of Appeals
Kimball Township Municipal Office
2160 Wadhams Rd., Kimball Michigan
August 10, 2021
Open Meeting: Sturdevant opened meeting at 7:00 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Roll Call of Members:
Present: Orr, Sturdevant, Taylor and Strait.
Also Present: Carwyn-Recording Secretary, Deputy Clerk, Wrubel-Clerk and Neil Erickson, Building Inspector/Ordinance Enforcer.
Orr motioned for Sturdevant to Chair the meeting. Second by Taylor. Motion Carried.
Approval of Agenda
Sturdevant motioned to approve agenda as presented supported by Orr. Motion Carried.
ZBA Minutes from the June 8, 2021 meeting
Taylor motioned to approve the minutes as presented supported by Sturdevant.
- Campbell: Class A Designation: 7129 Main Street: 74-25-670-0017-000
Wants to get a Class A Designation because of insurance reason as well as getting a mortgage or if there was a fire, she could rebuild there.
Sturdevant motioned to approve the Class A Designation at 7129 Main Street supported by Orr.
ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Sturdevant, Orr, Taylor and Strait. NO: None.
ABSENT: Belesky. (4-0-1) Motion Carried.
- Campbell: Class A Designation: 7129 Main Street: 74-25-670-0017-000
Audience Participation: Regarding 7268 Smiths Creek Road
Matthew Crowe, 7261 Smiths Creek: I am directly across the road of the property of which we discussed on Smiths Creek Road.
Sturdevant: The place where the pole barn is going up?
Crowe: That is correct. How and why did the split occur? Why does the township tells some property owners that can’t put up a barn first before their house and others are told they can. This gentleman is obviously putting the barn up first. Will each parcel have their own address? Are there different tax codes for different acres?
Bud Plummer, 7320 Smiths Creek Road: I own the property right next to the barn in question. How do we find out who owns the property? Was it purchased through an LLC? Is each parcel going to have a separate well and septic tank? Is it going to affect our wells when they are trying to pump all that water into their plant? I don’t want that smell in my backyard.
Sherry Simpson, 7340 Smiths Creek Road: I would like to know what is going to be built there. From our understanding they are going to be building barn dominium’s. Can you explain to us what a barn dominium is? What is going to be put in there? Are there any restrictions regarding the barn sizes on the smaller parcels? Do you have to file a permit to do business in Kimball Township?
Carl Nelson (told by Kristina Nelson) 7263 Smiths Creek Road: We were here last week at the Township Board Meeting and it was made very clear to us that those weren’t just barns going up, that those were actual grow houses. Commercial operation grow houses in a residential area surrounded by residential homes. The supervisor said that he was aware of it and would have been considered as an exception.
Sturdevant: It would have been a special exception use. That would have occurred if we had a marijuana grow ordinance but we don’t.
Nelson: Does the property owner have an air filtration system on his blue print for the permit? Is the property owner aware of the smell and lights?
Kristina Nelson: Talked about an essay about Medical Marijuana by Connell who is a Forensic Industrial Hygienist. He discussed about the water use and untrained workers as well as the disposal of chemical run off.
How many barns and how will it affect neighbors? House values will drop if we try to sell by 20% because of the smell.
Candace Bradley, 7330 Smiths Creek Road: There is one property between her house and the barn property. Concerned about the air quality with having children around it. Also I am concerned about the crime rate that may come out of this.
Child: I just want to say that I ask that you do not allow this to be built.
Dawn Nowicki, 150 Burns Road: Has the property owner included in his blue print for the building permit how he plans to discard of chemical waste and run off? Is the township prepared to take legal responsibility for any improper waste water management and or possible pollution to the nearby water resources? Do we know if this property owner is planning on growing for commercial use or medical use?
Sturdevant: We don’t know yet.
Anthony Castonia, 7395 Smiths Creek Road: I am a licensed building in this area. How many people can grow with a license per barn as a caregiver? What is the minimum acreage that Kimball Township allows per parcel as agricultural? Can you tell me what dates it was zoned as 2.5 acre parcels? I was told that I couldn’t build a pole barn without a resident built first. Why is this man given special treatment? There are two on Richman Road that a guy is living in one of the barns. How many barns are allowed on a parcel? Does he have a permit to build? Concerned about the smell and the electrical shortage.
Can a business be run out of a pole barn? How many acres are you allowed have to be agricultural?
Sturdevant: The amount of acreage doesn’t dictate the zoning.
Castonia: Then why did he pull a permit to put up this building? Did he have to?
Sturdevant: If he plans on having livestock or cattle there.
Eric Montayne: No address yet, but lives at 34334 Rhode Island, Riley Twp., 48035: Deeply concerned about what is going on. I own property directly behind the property of concern. Talked with Neil about putting up a temporary structure. He had to jump through hoops to get anything done. He is worried about putting a well in on his property because of the barns that are going in on Smiths Creek Road.
Cassandra, Licensed Emergency Medical Technician: Lives across from the property in question. I would like to know if you plan to be held accountable as a township or who plans to be held accountable to protect our firemen and police officers? With grow houses a lot of times it requires a lot of electricity and they don’t hook them up correctly. There have been several reports of incidents of offices and firefighters being electrocuted when trying to put out fires when these grow house catch fire. Another issue is crime. People that put these grow houses up also booby trap their barns to protect their plants. Who will be held accountable for all these problems?
Mike Burg, East China Township: Talked about the affect marijuana has on children.
Candace Bradley: In these barns that they are allowed to grow in, are they allowed to produce their oils or manufacturing them? Is that something that they are allowed to do?
Audience member: We are going to pursue the owner’s name. I will get a FOIA if I have to. I personally want to ask the gentleman who owns this property “why aren’t you putting this crap in your backyard or across the street from your house?
Citizen: I was told that anything west of Wadhams Road has to be 10 acres with 300 foot frontage. If you don’t have that then you have to get a variance. Was this done? Were the neighbors notified about this? I didn’t hear about this. Why is this person getting preferential treatment?
Sturdevant: What I do know is that Kimball Township at this time does not have a marijuana ordinance to regulate any of this. We have a sample in house that we got from another neighboring township that is addressing some of the same issues that you people are talking about. There are definitely some concerns and some problems and we need to put some restrictions on where these can go and what they can do. At this time we don’t have anything so we have nothing we can enforce.
To our records, we believe the property was split back in July of 2002 and it was split into four parcels. Prior to 2008 you could do that. As of 2008 you had to have 10 acres and 330 foot of frontage.
Sturdevant: We are working on an ordinance and we have some sample ordinances from surrounding communities as well as Michigan Township Association helps us to develop new ordinances. Please come to some of the Planning Commission meetings to help us plan what you want. Community involved is what we need.
Neil Erickson: There was a plan for a pole barn. As far as electrical and air filtration, the electrical had to go through engineering at DTE for approval. I called DEQ today and I want to thank you for sending me that DEQ permit. The Road Commission thanked you for getting the dirt off the road. We want to make sure all the permits are correct. The gentleman in question is not trying to skirt the issue.
Citizen: Who has the authority to red tag this property until we sort out the acreage?
Erickson: Under our ordinance of Permanent Use in agricultural area is agricultural, horticultural, dairy farming, cattle, etc. So he has the horticultural.
Citizen: That doesn’t answer the question. He legally, according to your own ordinance, cannot build that many pole barns. Until that gets sorted out, it seems that the whole operation should be red tagged. Who would be person or board to make that proclamation? Is it you?
Erickson: The supervisor will be here tomorrow. Between him and me we can call the attorney, and we can go down and see Lori Ebner at the county to verify all this.
Citizen: Are you saying you are going to do that?
Erickson: I am going to talk to the supervisor and the attorney tomorrow, yes.
Citizen: Are we able to pass the ordinance before they get their marijuana permit?
Sturdevant: We don’t know that yet.
Sturdevant: We will present all these questions to the attorney.
Orr: I want to applaud every one of you for being here. I’m the chairman of the Planning Commission and I ask that you show up at our meeting. It is the fourth Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. We have to follow the same ordinances that Neil follows.
Sturdevant motioned to adjourn the meeting at 8:22 p.m. Supported by Taylor. Motion Carried.
Meeting adjourned at 8:22 p.m.
Submitted by Charles Strait, Chairman