Cleveland nixes county ORV proposal
The Cleveland Township Board will tell Leelanau County that the township does not support the county’s adoption of a proposed Off Road Vehicle (ORV) ordinance.
At its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night, the Cleveland Board reviewed a draft of the county’s proposed ORV ordinance at the request of District No. 6 county commissioner David C. Marshall.
Leelanau County plans to hold a public hearing on the proposed ordinance on Tuesday, and Marshall asked township officials to offer their thoughts on the draft prior to the hearing, according to Cleveland Township supervisor Tim Stein.
Stein said neighboring Glen Arbor Township had decided to “opt out” of endorsing the ordinance; and the ordinance did not appear to have much support in Empire Township either. Marshall’s district includes Empire, Glen Arbor and Cleveland townships.
Stein said Cleveland Township is similar to the other two townships in that a high percentage of its area is located within the boundaries of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore where ORVs and All- Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are not allowed.
Township trustee Walt Daniels said he’d reviewed the proposed ordinance and thought it would be nearly impossible to enforce.
Township clerk Jan Nowak said that road shoulders along major rights-ofway in the township are very narrow to non-existent, and that allowing ORVs or ATVs to travel along the rights-ofway would quickly result in vehicles traveling through residents’ front yards.
Township treasurer Taryn Daniels acknowledged that as the mother of a 12 year-old she is uncomfortable with the ordinance. Under the proposed new law, children as young as age 12 would be allowed to operate ORVs along county rights-of-way.
The board agreed by consensus that Stein should let Marshall know that Cleveland Township would prefer to opt out of endorsing the proposed ORV ordinance as written. Trustee Joe Dechow was absent.
In other business at this week’s meeting, the Board:
• Learned that Stein had followed up on the board’s direction last month to send letters to the National Park Service and the Leelanau County Road Commission indicating the township board’s support of a proposal by the Little Traverse Lake Property Owners Association to route the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail along the Lake Michigan shoreline rather than along Traverse Lake Road.
• Learned from Walt Daniels that the township Planning Commission is continuing to review an attorney’s analysis of the township zoning ordinance, and that four of five Planning Commission members recently attended a training seminar in Cadillac sponsored by the Michigan Townships Association. Trustee Daniels serves as the township board’s representative on the planning commission
• Learned that Stein will be absent from the township board’s next meeting on Sept. 11. The meeting will be chaired by clerk Nowak.