Protected: Report from Jason McCarthy, Marquette Township Planning & Zoning Administrator

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National Trails Day Saturday

Marquette Township would like to invite area residents, businesses and organizations to celebrate National Trails Day on Saturday, June 1, 2013 from 11 AM – 2 PM. Our Township event will take place at Schwemwood Park and will feature information on conceptual plans to develop the Township’s newly acquired 4.75 acre parcel of property located along the Iron Ore Heritage Trail (off of County Road 492, south of WalMart). Light refreshments will also be available.

Thanks to a grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) and supporting contributions from local residents, businesses and organizations, Marquette Township acquired the 4.75 acre parcel of property that is adjacent to both the Iron Ore Heritage Trail and the existing Schwemwood Park property (see conceptual plan map and donor sign below).

Since the acquisition of the property in the spring of this year, the Recreation Committee has been working with the Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority to draft a conceptual plan for the development a of proper trailhead on the property. Proposed site amenities include standard Iron Ore Heritage Trailhead signage and markings, restrooms, improved parking, improvement of existing trails, drinking fountain, picnic tables, bike racks, benches, and maps denoting access to the commercial business corridor.

Funding of the project is proposed to be through a combination of public and private partnerships, fundraisers and a MNRTF Development Grant application. Depending upon funding opportunities, it may also become a phased project; with certain amenities being constructed with priority.

We would like to take the opportunity to thank all those who have supported the project, by installing a permanent sign that recognizes the stewardship of those who have contributed to the property acquisition. We would also like to promote opportunities to get involved in the future development of the site, as well as recognizing the continued importance of trail development in our community.

We hope you will join us,

Jason McCarthy
Planner/Zoning Administrator
Marquette Township

MQT TWP IOHT Donor Sign

2011 Summary and 2012 Activity Update from Jason McCarthy Marquette Township Planner

Below you will find the Planner’s report to the Marquette Township Business Association from the Marquette Township Planner & Zoning Administrator.

2011 was another busy year for the Planning & Zoning Department. Between revamping the department to be more user-friendly and technologically up-to-date, we also administered a season of new development:

West Town Center is a commercial retail and service development along Wright Street and adjacent to Super One Foods features the new Arby’s restaurant. Wild Birds Unlimited and The Safety Store will also be located with in the development this year.

Cedarville Apartments added a new multi-family residential development in 2011 that included sixteen (16) two-bedroom units and 24 one-bedroom units. Our department has recently received a Site Plan Application for another building to be constructed in
2012.

Grandchamp, McBride & Prophet relocated from Ishpeming to Marquette Township and developed an 8,000 SF Accounting Office in the Cornerstone Office Park off of Commerce Drive.

Dr. Jeffrey Karr, MD is leasing space in a new medical office for family practice on Wright Street (just north of Target) and adjacent to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife building.

Our department also approved Zoning Compliance applications for improvements and/or renovations to Fox Motors, Kohl’s, 906 Technologies & Target.

2012 has already seen newly proposed development including the commercial construction of T.J. Maxx and Pet Smart stores that will be located immediately West of the Lowe’s store.

The Planning Commission has been busy and working diligently to complete necessary projects:

The Marquette Township Master Plan Update will be completed this summer and the document will provide a “road map” for the community regarding future growth and development for the next 5 – 10 years.

The Planning Commission along with staff assistance has also been addressing the results of the Community Survey that was completed towards the end of 2011.

Roads and road maintenance
continue to be a major concern of residents and the Planning Commission is actively pursuing potential zoning text amendments that may influence how our roads are built and maintained as well as making it easier to navigate the Township without having to use the highway corridor all of the time.

To this end, the Township Board (based on the Planning Commission’s
recommendation) has approved a new Sign Ordinance and more recently, a Complete Streets Ordinance. Our new and improved sign ordinance is more user- friendly and it is easier to administer. One of the key provisions is the requirement for all signs to be professionally designed and installed.

The Complete Streets Ordinance is a work-in-progress which aims to provide better pedestrian access within existing and future rights-of-way in Township. The Planning Commission is also actively looking at ways to improve access to local businesses as well as better circulation along the corridor. We will continue to keep residents and businesses in the community ‘in the loop” with regard to proposed changes to the zoning ordinance or Master Plan.

If you have questions, please call Jason at 228.6220 x105.

Jason McCarthy
Planner/Zoning Administrator
Marquette Charter Township
161 County Road 492
Marquette, Michigan 49855
Ph 906.228.6220 x105
Fx 906.228.7337
www.marquettetownship.org

January 2012 Jason McCarthy Marquette Township Planner Report:

Jason said that it was important for him to be associated with the group. He is a conduit of information and would prefer to attend every meeting so he can be a sounding board.

Jason discussed the site plan for the project west of Lowe’s known as “retail ABC.” Dick’s sporting goods pulled out of the project due to economical issues, and TJ MAXX is a confirmed retailer for the 13,000 sq ft space. A 24,000 sq ft space is reserved for an unknown national chain that does not currently have any businesses in the UP.

Jason then discussed revisions to the sign ordinance that would require all signs to be professionally installed and designed. The new ordinance requires signs to be framed in and will allow signs on all sides of a building.

Jason went on to discuss how reduction in parking for businesses will lead to cost savings for businesses. Parking will be based more appropriately on net sq footage rather than gross sq footage.

Jason discussed the township facilities and a new building with offices as an example for potential businesses. He added that things that are specific to the township need to be exploited to diversify the area.