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To the Editor, This is an alert ...

To the Editor,

This is an alert to all Independence Township waterfront property owners.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014, the township board listened to attorney Steve Joppich try to explain extensive changes to ordinances covering Wetlands and Watercourses. The stated goal of Township Supervisor Kittle is to bring ordinances in harmony with state law.

Dozens and dozens of interested individuals, many owners of waterfront property listened, then questioned the wisdom of proposed changes. I congratulate those who came and spoke for their diligence on such short notice.

The supervisor, having seen and heard the large concerned crowd, floated the idea of a volunteer citizens panel to make suggestions. People were encouraged to sign up, and meet with building department officials to guide changes. Their first discussions will have already happened by the time you read this.

This is a dodge.

If the township wanted to become harmonious with state statute they merely could 'cut and paste' verbiage from state law and leave jurisdiction to the alphabet soup of state and county regulators, DNR,DEQ, WRC, RCOC, rather than spend taxpayer money on rewrites that deny rights to riparian property owners.

To see this meeting at home, fire up that computer, go to the township website, click on departments, click on Independence Television, go to the small beige box on the right, and click on 'on demand' viewing to watch the meeting.

Your waterfront property rights are in jeopardy. Proposed ordinance changes would make removing debris from your culvert or weeds from your beach a ticket-able offense. The number of boats, docks, rafts, jet skis, and hoists and how you can use them will be dictated by township building officials.

Contact your township officials and trustees after watching the meeting, and become involved now. Ice out is just a few weeks away.

Rob Namowicz
March 10, 2014

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