Our Recommendations for revisions to Waterfront Regulations--given to Hayes Township Planning Commission, October 16, 2023

Handout for Planning Commission meeting July 18, 2023

The Planning Commission's 2023 draft of the Zoning Ordinance (in 2 pdf's)

Stop the new 2022 Hayes Township Zoning Ordinance

Hayes Township off-ramped the Planning Commission's discussion to re-examine the Master Plan to an "Advisory Focus Group" with appointed volunteers in late 2022. The group met in November, January and February 2023. The township's only goal is to open up the Master Plan's "future land use map," as requested by the petition by 470+ residents. There are several pro-development members of the advisory focus group including 2 realtors.

Listen to the Advisory Focus Group meeting of Feb 8, 2023 here -->

Topics discussed:

--Commercial future land use along US-31 hotly debated

--Beckett & Raeder consultant dismisses resident concerns for proper land use designation of High-Level Radioactive Waste (spent fuel rods in casks) on former Big Rock Point Nuclear Plant land, now owned by Holtec and Consumers Energy.

The Township's consultant from Beckett & Raeder divided the township into four focus areas:

Area 1: Along US-31 near Petoskey
Area 2: Along US-31 near Charlevoix Township
Area 3: the Lake Charlevoix Shoreland areas
Area 4: Interior of the township

Lake Charlevoix is expected to be topic of March 8, 2023 Focus Advisory Group meeting.


Join us in a unified campaign to Stop the new Hayes Township Zoning Ordinance from taking effect. 

The Planning Commissioners received the draft Zoning Ordinance at the October 2022 Planning Commission meeting. It is a combination of a rewrite of the Bay Township ordinance and rewritten chapters of the current Hayes ordinance. Commissioners are each providing suggested edits. Anew compiled version expected at the Feb. 21 meeting. (Now cancelled. Watch for rescheduling).

 As expected, the revised Zoning Ordinance:

–IS A MASSIVE, radical rezoning of the entire Township

–Will harm the lakes, streams and creeks in the Township by gutting protections for the Shoreland Protection Strip, defining it not as land but as “an area of protective ground cover”

-Completely revises the language of the Waterfront Regulations section to allow the Law Boathouse/Dining/Event facility and boat basin and channel project to go through, after the Zoning Board of Appeals decision that determined the ordinance prohibits excavation of shoreland. (The Laws’ developer was a part of a 3-person waterfront subcommittee who rewrote this section).

–Is harmful to Lake Charlevoix’s water quality and scenic beauty by rezoning R-1 and R-2 residential zones into one, reducing residential lot size (from the current 2 acres to 1/4 acre) for waterfront lots, increasing the number of people, buildings, and septic systems 8-fold

t–Rezones much of the Agricultural Zone as Rural Residential, allowing  lot sizes to be smaller, which is adverse to maintaining the rural character of the township.

–Has a whole new definitions section, with some important definitions no longer there, and introduces many new terms, such as “Earth Changes” that would allow cuts through the shoreland.

The new Zoning Map has not yet been revealed. The one pictured to the right, however, is from the Beckett and Raeder draft produced for the Township. The Planning Commission has never provided it to the public nor discussed it. (We obtained it through a FOIA request).

Based on a Flawed Master Plan

The entire Master Plan, approved in January 2020, is flawed by not following what surveys of the residents indicated was the “community’s desired future.” They desired protection of shoreland and water quality, they desired no more industrial operations, they want to preserve the community’s rural character, and limit growth and development. Some of the language in the Master Plan says this, but the massive rezoning plan would achieve the opposite results.

First petition: 475 signatures submitted to the Planning Commission

We circulated a petition to the Planning Commission and gathered 475 signatures of Hayes Township residents. We submitted the signatures at the October 2022 Planning Commission meeting. The petition asked the Planning Commission to amend the “Future Land Use” map to align with the plan regarding parcels in Bay Shore that erroneously got designated for future use as “industrial,” and go back to the drawing board and re-do the Master Plan process so that it accurately reflects the “community’s desired future.”  Any new Zoning Ordinance based on the flawed Master Plan will not be good. Rather than deal with the issue themselves in their own public meetings, they created an “advisory focus group” of 5 residents plus two commissioners to look at the Master Plan. They formally opened the Master Plan process and notified the county and neighboring communities.

Second petition: Official petition to put the new zoning ordinance, if they adopt one, on the ballot for a vote of The People

If the Planning Commissioners and Board of Trustees adopt a new ordinance, we will rescind it using a petition process. If you are a registered voter in Hayes Township, we’ll need your signature! Contact: StopHayesOrdinance@gmail.com to sign up.

See the current Hayes Township Zoning Ordinance at this link

The Beckett and Raeder draft of the Zoning Ordinance (center) (already discarded)

The 2019 Master Plan (right). Future Land Use Map is on page 17. Survey of residents is at the end.

Help with the petition drive to rescind the new ordinance

Contact us at StopHayesOrdinance@gmail.com to get involved in our petition drive. If you are a Hayes registered voter, you can sign the petition. We haven’t started this petition yet. Stay tuned.