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Dock ordinance amendment moves forward

March 26, 2014 - Independence Township resident Rob Namowicz said waterfront property owners should be wary of an ordinance amendment in the works.

"Your waterfront property rights are in jeopardy," Namowicz said. "The number of boats, docks, rafts, jet skis and hoists and how you can use them will be dictated by township building officials."

Independence Township Board of Trustees approved first reading to amend the township's wetlands and watercourse ordinance during their March 4 meeting.

The township's attorney, Steve Joppich said the amendment was in relation to temporary docks installed in waterways.

Joppich said the township's ordinance is being amended to mirror Michigan laws regulating structure and items in watercourses.

Residents who want to put in temporary, seasonal docks are required to apply for a permit.

"If a resident has a temporary dock they are supposed to be coming into township to get a permit," the attorney said.

In the past two years, Independence Township has received many complaints regarding seasonal docks. Joppich said there are a lot of seasonal docks in the township, but not a lot of permits.

Namowicz added the proposed ordinance change will make removing debris from your culvert or weeds from your beach a ticket-able offense. He also encouraged property owners to get involved in the issue and contact township officials to express opinions.

Another reading of the ordinance is scheduled at the next meeting, April 1.

– Andrea Beaudoin

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