Northville fine-tunes zoning law

The Northville Village Board during its regular meeting on Tuesday discussed the proposed updated zoning law. From the left is Trustee Sue Eckert, Trustee Steve Collins, Mayor John Spaeth and Trustee John Markiewicz.

NORTHVILLE — The village board at its regular meeting on Tuesday discussed the progress the zoning committee has made so far regarding the proposed updated zoning and subdivision laws and what their next steps are.

The zoning and subdivision law is required by the state to be updated and adopted in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan. Northville’s Comprehensive Plan was adopted in October 2017, thus beginning the process to update zoning.

The zoning committee held an public meeting on May 11, in which residents had the opportunity to give their feedback on the proposed changes and speak with members of the committee.

Mayor John Spaeth said some informative suggestions came out the meeting.

“A lot of good conversation took place and I know there were some key items that the committee took away from the public that they’re going to re-address,” Spaeth said.

He said the three main concerns he knows of include the concept of dividing five-acre plots into 1.5 acre recreational/residential plots; the signage; and trailer parks.

Spaeth said there were a lot of concerns made by the public, but those were just the three major themes.

“If you read through the document and have taken the time to read through the old document, you’ll find that a lot of the restrictions have been lessened in a lot of cases,” Spaeth said.

The zoning committee will meet Wednesday to address all concerns made by the public and make changes accordingly.

Spaeth said the next step in the process would be for the village board to review the changes made to the zoning and subdivision law and either approve or deny its final draft. If the board accepts the final draft it will then go to the planning board and Fulton County planning to review the updates.

“They could potentially go to public session to gather more input,” Spaeth said.

Once that is done, the zoning committee has 30 days to again review the changes and give it back to the village board.

Once the village board has the final draft, they can hold a public meeting, to get another chance for public input before moving to the formal process of a public hearing.

The village will then vote on the updated zoning and subdivision law.

The law will not go out to public referendum due to state law, Spaeth said.

“The main reason is the state considers zoning to be an important legislation and everyone, even people pro-zoning are going to have some concern in that zoning code, something they’re not going to like. So the chances of ever getting the zoning code to pass a public vote are very slim.”

Spaeth said that is also why he wants to get as much public input he can.

He said they are looking at approximately late summer or early fall when the village will have a final vote on the zoning. If the new zoning doesn’t pass, the village will fall back on the old zoning laws.

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