Public hearing to gauge support for ordinance on Square Lake
By Tom Hickey,
Special to The Review
August 15, 2007 - The Orion Township Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing regarding a proposal to adopt a public ordinance that will limit Square Lake watercraft activity to boats with electric motors.
|Boaters on Square Lake will have their eyes on Monday's board meeting. Photo by Tom Hickey.|
The meeting, which will be held at Orion Township Hall on Aug. 20 at 8 p.m., will be an opportunity for community members to voice their approval or concerns regarding the ordinance before it is adopted.
Square Lake property owner Audrey Blake brought about the hearing by submitting an advisory petition to the board. Blake and 149 other Square Lake property owners signed the petition.
"There is a pretty strong majority in favor of making that lake what we call a quiet lake," Township supervisor Jerry Dywasuk said. "I've only got one person who's really been upset about it."
Similar ordinances have been enacted on various Township lakes, including Manitou, Indianwood, Voorhies, Mill and Little Square Lake, among others.
The proposed ordinance would ban the use of gas motors on the lake.
"The people are used to having a quiet lake and they're just concerned about the amount of traffic or the speeds of the boats," said Dywasuk.
The board will use the upcoming public hearing to gauge the amount of support behind the ordinance amongst Square Lake property owners, in order to determine whether they will support its adoption. If the board is in support of the ordinance, it will forward a Watercraft Resolution to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
According to the MDNR's local watercraft control ordinance procedures, "within 90 days following the public hearing, the department will propose a local ordinance…if the [local] governing body approves the proposed local ordinance, the local ordinance shall be enacted."
Some of the same Square Lake property owners have also petitioned to request that Orion Township establish a special assessment district for the maintenance of the private roads in their area.
The district, proposed by owners of property in the Sunset Hills and Sunset Hills #1 subdivision just east of Square Lake, would include Kempster, Hill Lawn, Crestmont, Willow, Maple Point, Elkhorn Lake Road and Devon.
The property owners have requested this district be established "for the purpose of providing maintenance and improvements to these private roads," according to the petition. These improvements could include grading, gravel, snowplowing, mowing and signing, among others.
Members of a Special Assessment District must contract and pay a road maintenance company of their choice. Orion Township will cover 10-percent of the expenses.