Township of Lawrence, MI
Van Buren County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Board of Trustees of the Township of Lawrence 6-9-2011 (Ord. No. 23 of the 2005 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
An ordinance to confirm the establishment under the Michigan Planning Enabling Act, Public Act 33 of 2008, MCLA § 125.3801 et seq., of the Lawrence Township Planning Commission; provide for the composition of that Planning Commission; provide for the powers, duties and limitations of that Planning Commission; and repeal any ordinance or parts of ordinances or resolutions in conflict with this chapter.
A. 
This chapter is adopted pursuant to the authority granted the Township Board under the Michigan Planning Enabling Act, Public Act 33 of 2008, MCLA § 125.3801 et seq., and the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act, Public Act 110 of 2006, MCLA § 125.3101 et seq., to establish a planning commission with the powers, duties and limitations provided by those Acts and subject to the terms and conditions of this chapter and any future amendments to this chapter.
B. 
The purpose of this chapter is to provide that the Lawrence Township Board shall hereby confirm the establishment under the Michigan Planning Enabling Act, Public Act 33 of 2008, MCLA § 125.3801 et seq., of the Lawrence Township Planning Commission formerly established under the Township Planning Act, Public Act 168 of 1959, MCLA § 125.321 et seq., to establish the appointments, terms, and membership of the Planning Commission; to identify the officers and the minimum number of meetings per year of the Planning Commission; and to prescribe the authority, powers and duties of the Planning Commission.
The Township Board hereby confirms the establishment under the Michigan Planning Enabling Act, Public Act 33 of 2008, MCLA § 125.3801 et seq., of the Lawrence Township Planning Commission formerly established under the Township Planning Act, Public Act 168 of 1959, MCLA § 125.321 et seq. The Lawrence Township Planning Commission shall have nine members. Members of the Lawrence Township Planning Commission as of the effective date of this chapter shall, except for an ex officio member whose remaining term on the Planning Commission shall be limited to his or her term on the Township Board, continue to serve for the remainder of their existing terms so long as they continue to meet all of the eligibility requirements for Planning Commission membership set forth within the Michigan Planning Enabling Act, Public Act 33 of 2008, MCLA § 125.3801, et seq.
A. 
The Township Supervisor, with the approval of the Township Board by a majority vote of the members elected and serving, shall appoint all Planning Commission members, including the ex officio member.
B. 
The Planning Commission members, other than an ex officio member, shall serve for terms of three years each.
C. 
A Planning Commission member shall hold office until his or her successor is appointed. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment.
D. 
Planning Commission members shall be qualified electors of the Township, except that one Planning Commission member may be an individual who is not a qualified elector of the Township. The membership of the Planning Commission shall be representative of important segments of the community, such as the economic, governmental, educational, and social development of the Township, in accordance with the major interests as they exist in the Township, such as agriculture, natural resources, recreation, education, public health, government, transportation, industry, and commerce. The membership shall also be representative of the entire geography of the Township to the extent practicable.
E. 
One member of the Township Board shall be appointed to the Planning Commission as an ex officio member. An ex officio member has full voting rights. An ex officio member's term on the Planning Commission shall expire with his or her term on the Township Board.
F. 
No other elected officer or employee of the Township is eligible to be a member of the Planning Commission.
The Township Board may remove a member of the Planning Commission for misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance in office upon written charges and after a public hearing.
A. 
Before casting a vote on a matter on which a Planning Commission member may reasonably be considered to have a conflict of interest, the member shall disclose the potential conflict of interest to the Planning Commission. Failure of a member to disclose a potential conflict of interest as required by this chapter constitutes malfeasance in office.
B. 
For the purposes of this section, "conflict of interest" is defined as, and a Planning Commission member shall declare a conflict of interest and abstain from participating in Planning Commission deliberations and voting on a request, when:
(1) 
An immediate family member is involved in any request for which the Planning Commission is asked to make a decision. "Immediate family member" is defined as an individual's father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, and spouse and a relative of any degree residing in the same household as that individual.
(2) 
The Planning Commission member has a business or financial interest in the property involved in the request or has a business or financial interest in the applicant's company, agency or association.
(3) 
The Planning Commission member owns or has a financial interest in neighboring property. For the purposes of this section, a neighboring property shall include any property immediately adjoining the property involved in the request.
(4) 
There is a reasonable appearance of a conflict of interest, as determined by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Planning Commission.
The Planning Commission members may be compensated for their services and reimbursed for their expenses as provided by the Township Board.
A. 
The Planning Commission shall elect a chairperson and a secretary from its members, and may create and fill other offices as it considers advisable. An ex officio member of the Planning Commission is not eligible to serve as chairperson. The term of each office shall be one year, with opportunity for reelection as specified in the Planning Commission bylaws.
B. 
The Planning Commission may also appoint advisory committees whose members are not members of the Planning Commission.
A. 
The Planning Commission shall adopt bylaws for the transaction of business.
B. 
The Planning Commission shall hold at least four regular meetings each year, and shall by resolution determine the time and place of the meetings.
C. 
Unless otherwise provided in the Planning Commission's bylaws, a special meeting of the Planning Commission may be called by the Chairperson or by two other members, upon written request to the Secretary. Unless the bylaws otherwise provide, the Secretary shall send written notice of a special meeting to Planning Commission members at least 48 hours before the meeting.
D. 
The business that the Planning Commission may perform shall be conducted at a public meeting held in compliance with the Open Meetings Act, Public Act 267 of 1976, MCLA § 15.261 et seq.
E. 
The Planning Commission shall keep a public record of its resolutions, transactions, findings, and determinations. A writing prepared, owned, used, in the possession of, or retained by a Planning Commission in the performance of an official function shall be made available to the public in compliance with the Freedom of Information Act, Public Act 442 of 1976, MCLA § 15.231 et seq.
The Planning Commission shall make an annual written report to the Township Board concerning its operations and the status of the planning activities, including recommendations regarding actions by the Township Board related to planning and development.
A. 
Under the authority of the Michigan Planning Enabling Act, Public Act 33 of 2008, MCLA § 125.3801 et seq., and other applicable planning statutes, the Planning Commission shall make a master plan as a guide for development within the Township's planning jurisdiction.
B. 
Final authority to approve a master plan or any amendments thereto shall rest with the Planning Commission unless the Township Board passes a resolution asserting the right to approve or reject the Master Plan.
C. 
Unless rescinded by the Township, any plan adopted or amended under the Township Planning Act, Public Act 168 of 1959, MCLA § 125.321 et seq., need not be readopted under the Michigan Planning Enabling Act, Public Act 33 of 2008, MCLA § 125.3801 et seq.
A. 
The Township Board hereby confirms the transfer of all powers, duties, and responsibilities provided for zoning boards or zoning commissions by the former Township Zoning Act, Public Act 184 of 1943, MCLA § 125.271 et seq.; the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act, Public Act 110 of 2006, MCLA § 125.3101 et seq.; or other applicable zoning statutes to the Lawrence Township Planning Commission formerly established under the Township Planning Act, Public Act 168 of 1959, MCLA § 125.321 et seq.
B. 
Any existing zoning ordinance shall remain in full force and effect except as otherwise amended or repealed by the Township Board.
To further the desirable future development of the Township under the Master Plan, the Township Board, after the Master Plan is adopted, may prepare or cause to be prepared by the Township Supervisor, or by a designated nonelected administrative official, a capital improvements program of public structures and improvements, showing those structures and improvements in general order of their priority, for the following six-year period. The prepared capital improvements program, if prepared by someone other than the Township Board, shall be subject to final approval by the Township Board. The Planning Commission is hereby exempted from preparing a capital improvements plan.
A. 
The Planning Commission may recommend to the Township Board provisions of an ordinance or rules governing the subdivision of land. Before recommending such an ordinance or rule or any amendments of such ordinance or rule, the Planning Commission shall hold a public hearing on the proposed ordinance or rule. The Planning Commission shall give notice of the time and place of the public hearing not less than 15 days before the hearing by publication in a newspaper of general circulation within the Township. The Township Board retains the right to approve any such ordinance or rule.
B. 
The Planning Commission shall review and make recommendation on a proposed plat before action thereon by the Township Board under the Land Division Act, Public Act 288 of 1967, MCLA § 560.101 et seq. Before making its recommendation, the Planning Commission shall hold a public hearing on the proposed plat. A plat submitted to the Planning Commission shall contain the name and address of the proprietor or other person to whom notice of a hearing shall be sent. Not less than 15 days before the date of the hearing, notice of the date, time and place of the hearing shall be sent to that person at that address by mail and shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the Township. Similar notice shall be mailed to the owners of land immediately adjoining the proposed platted land.
The provisions of this chapter are hereby declared to be severable, and if any part is declared invalid for any reason by a court of competent jurisdiction, it shall not affect the remainder of the chapter, which shall continue in full force and effect.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict with this chapter are hereby repealed. The resolution or ordinance establishing the Lawrence Township Planning Commission under the Township Planning Act, Public Act 168 of 1959, MCLA § 125.321 et seq., is hereby repealed.
This chapter shall take effect on the date of its publication.