By Jack Rodzik
Bath-DeWitt Connection staff writer
BATH, Mich. – The Planning Commission Committee met last Tuesday, Sept. 27, to discuss a special use permit for Leray Steel Welding Inc., the Urban Service Boundary Management Study and Flag Lots and Private Roads.
The first discussion was the special use permit for Leray Steel Welding Inc., reaching an agreement to make its use of the land at 13530 Walnut St. less of an eyesore to the community. The property has visible machinery, metal and supplies that look dangerous to many.
Carl Crofts, past treasurers of Bath and neighbor of Leray Steel Welding Inc. to the east, said the site is degrading to property value, “I’m lucky because of my tree line.” He made it a point that safety is also a big issue and said he is worried about children playing on the equipment. “I have told kids to get out of there,” said Crofts.
After much debate over what is intended for the site, the committee decided to require the company to make some changes. The decisions were to lower the lot’s two white trailers, install a 6-foot fence around some of the areas said to be eyesores as well as plant small trees around areas to make them accessible as well as more aesthetically pleasing. Some of the conditions of this requirement were to follow the initial site plan, to keep all of the storage within the designated area and to have it finished by June 1, 2012.
The Urban Service Boundary Management Study was briefly discussed in Old Business with the committee saying, “no one thought that was a good idea.” Board members also had a strong debate over private roads.
The talk of flag lots and private roads was a highly debatable topic for the committee, with board members disagreeing with what should be done with the matter. A flag lot is a piece of land that looks similar to a flagpole, the pole being an access from a road and the flag being the site itself. The concern is what should be done with the land that has the potential to develop.
In a public comment, one citizen said, “If you haven’t got into the rural settings of Bath yet, you probably won’t get into the rural settings.”
The committee said that the approximate number of flag lots located within Bath is around 118, 50 of those having the potential to be developed. With the topic of discussion still in high debate, there will be more talk of flag lots and private roads to come.