The meetup in a nutshell, by Jim Nelson.

The Dreff family has paid Highway Commercial zone taxes on their Whitmore Lake Road property for thirty years. Last week they found out it had been rezoned AR in 1992.  In AR zoning, they can't even put a house on the less than five acres they've got.  Planner Paul Lippens is now on the case.

TerraFirmas Pet Pipeline 115ftwide easement 12 ft deep 814w617h
TerraFirma's Pet Pipeline.  This section is 12 feet below grade. Where it passes beneath US-23 (behind the viewer) it drops to 30 feet deep.
The owners of TerraFirma found out that Consumers Power plans biannual inspection excavations of the 115 foot wide easement which bisects TerraFirma's Whitmore Lake Road property. According to Consumers' contractors, the pipe must be inspected but only a single 30 foot length of pipe may be replaced each time. (wtf?) The portion underneath US-23 is buried 30 feet deep to avoid frost. This year's excavation left a 120 foot wide path of destruction the length of Terrafirma's property, from Whitmore Lake Road to US-23.  (Whitmore Lake Road is behind the fence in the above photograph.) TerraFirma says asphalt and geogrid are too expensive to replace biannually. They want to use gravel for the parking area encumbered and undermined by the easement.  Commissioner Zarzecki says that excavations of this extent and depth take five years to settle.  Winter is on its way and TerraFirma requested that an expedited variance be made to happen, so that their proposed plan may move forward.  There was vigorous discussion of TerraFirma's options.  PC Chair Roman dug in his heels, insisting on adhering to the llines of responsibility determined by Statute and practice.  Planner Paul Lippens is on the job, escorting this case through the next necessary step, an appeal to the ZBA ..
Kishan Sutariya's Kheti LLC pitched a marijuana grow-op of great sophistication to be sited on a 127 acre hunk of land just east of the long mythologized Meijers site. In an almost allegorical departure from the habits of most developers, their proposed five+ site industrial park respects the wetlands areas which comprise a majority portion of the 127 acres Kheti owns or has optioned.  Planner Lippens noted that this is the only applicant for medical and recreational growing facility licenses. 
As with all prior marijuana business license applications, the can was kicked to the Township Board, recommending approval of the conditional use and tabling consideration of the applicant's site plan until after, if ever, the Township Board acts to formally approve the Conditional Use.
Kheti pres 800w pic04
 Kheti's Proposed North Territorial Road Industrial Park.   More slides from Kheti's presentation are below.
This meeting video has an index of timestamps in its VideoNorthfield description.  Clicking the timestamps teleports you, figuratively, to various points in the video.

The link ----->

Listing of the time stamps:  This is not a LiveAgenda.  

00:14 1. CALL TO ORDER
00:58 4. CALL TO THE PUBLIC [None]
A. Michigan Pure Green: Future Development Agreement

04:05 A. Case #JPC200014 : Kheti, LLC Conditional Use
05:10 Planner's introduction to Kheti's application
08:56 Applicant's presentation
09:43 Aerial view of 127 acre site
15:08 Public comments
16:54 Motion by Iaquinto to close the public hearing

17:12 B. Case #JPC200012 : Shirley Dreffs rezoning
18:00 Planner's introduction to the issue
21:30 Applicant's presentation
23:46 Planner and applicant make cellphone contact
27:42 Public comments
28:52 Iaquinto: motion to close the public hearing

A. Board of Trustees Chick is absent
B. ZBA will meet 9/21
C. Staff
30:38 D. Planning Consultant
32:23 E. Parks and Recreation
F. Downtown Planning Group


32:40 A. Case #JPC190009 : TerraFirma
33:45 Planner's review
38:00 OHM Engineer Marcus McNamara's review
40:45 Applicant's presentation
49:50 Commissioners' comments and questions
54:36 Photo of the Consumers Power pipe inspection excavation
1:25:28 Motion to table by Iaquinto 5:1 in favor, Cousino No

1:27:30 B. Case #JPC200001 : Peoples Express
1:28:10 Planner's review
1:31:54 OHM Engineer Marcus McNamara's review
1:33:10 Applicant's presentation
1:35:10 Commissioners' comments and questions
1:35:30 Motion to Approve by Iaquinto Passes unanimously


1:37:30 A. Case #JPC200014 : Kheti, LLC Conditional Use
1:38:17 Planner's review
1:42:33 Applicant's followup
1:43:58 Commissioners' comments 5 recreational grow permits, 2 medicinal grow permits, 2 processing permits
1:49:44 Motion to Approve by Roman passes 6:0

1:50:42 B. Case #JPC200014 : Kheti, LLC Site Plan approval
1:51:53 Motion by Chair to table passes 6:0

1:53:30 C. Case #JPC200012 : Shirley Dreffs rezoning
1:54:00 Planner's review and recommendation to deny
2:06:48 Motion by Chair to table passes 6:0

2:07:30 11. APPROVAL OF PRECEDING MINUTES: 8/26/2020 and 9/2/2020 meetings
14. ANNOUNCEMENT: Next Regular Meeting – October 7, 2020
2:12:15 15. ADJOURNMENT



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The timestamps are in the VideoNorthfield Forum video description.  To see and use them, click through to the YouTube hosted video.



00:10 Marta Larson: Introduction

Candidate Opening Statements
02:45 Janet Chick (R)
04:00 Dana Forrester (D)
04:58 David Gordon (D)
06:10 Christine Miles (D)
07:30 Nate Muchow (R)
08:36 Joshua Nelson (R)
09:40 Adam Olney (D)
10:50 Jacqueline Otto (R)

12:20 Larson: Question: What are the three most important duties for this office and why do you say this?
12:45 Adam Olney
14:00 Nate Muchow
15:06 Janet Chick
16:16 Joshua Nelson
17:25 Christine Miles
18:28 Dana Forrester
19:08 Jacki Otto
20:16 David Gordon

21:20 Larson: Question: What should be your role in monitoring and reviewing the performance of department heads?
21:35 Otto
22:44 Nelson
23:26 Chick
24:40 Olney
25:42 Muchow
26:29 Gordon
27:38 Miles
28:49 Forrester

29:50 Larson: Question: What should be your role in monitoring budgets, financial statements, and the line items within to ensure compliance with Township Board priorities?
30:05 Miles
30:30 Gordon
31:25 Muchow
32:22 Olney
33:50 Chick
34:50 Otto
36:08 Nelson
37:12 Forrester

38:02 Larson: Question: Is it relevant for you to be involved in state, county, and/or regional networking opportunities? Where might you be involved and with what organizations?
38:16 Forrester
39:22 Nelson
40:16 Otto
41:30 Olney
42:35 Chick
43:44 Miles
44:44 Gordon
45:52 Muchow

46:55 Larson: Question: How do you view the Township Manager's responsibilities and how would you expect the Manager to interact with you as a Township Board member?
47:04 Muchow
48:10 Otto
49:04 Forrester
49:52 Olney
51:05 Miles
52:12 Nelson
53:02 Gordon
54:23 Chick 

55:28 Larson: Question: What is your position on the need for development in the township and what type of development would you support?
55:40 Gordon
56:46 Chick
57:49 Nelson
58:40 Muchow
59:46 Forrester
01:01:50 Miles
01:01:52 Otto
01:03:04 Olney

01:04:18 Five minute break

01:09:35 Larson: Question: What do you think about the need to have a Township Police Department and specifically, what are your thoughts about the Northfield Township Police Department?
01:09:48 Muchow
01:10:38 Nelson
01:11:27 Otto
01:12:50 Olney
01:14:01 Forrester
01:15:10 Miles
01:16:04 Gordon
01:17:10 Chick

01:18:18 Larson: Question: What is your understanding of sources for getting grants, and the restrictions and requirements that come along with grant funding?
01:18:30 Chick
01:19:25 Gordon
01:20:34 Olney
01:21:52 Muchow: EGLE's huge recent grants for stormwater and wastewater handling were completely ignored, no attempt made to defray the cost of the equalization basin.
01:22:58 Forrester loves grants, got SPARC grant, applied for many covid related grants
01:24:00 Miles
01:24:56 Otto Lied, claiming that the need for an equalization basin was demonstrated by the $575,000, SAW funded Wastewater Treatment plant study - a study which TetraTech will not report before December 2020, at earliest
01:26:02 Nelson

01:27:02 Larson: Question: Do you feel the township should set up a fast track for new businesses coming into the community? And if so, what should be the components of the fast track?
01:27:16 Chick
01:28:20 Muchow
01:29:00 Otto
01:30:10 Miles
01:31:00 Olney
01:32:18 Gordon
01:33:28 Nelson
01:34:45 Forrester I can't say I had a lovely experience. 90 plastic surgeons recommend patients to Lovely Monkey. People from all over the state.

01:35:58 As an individual, what activity have you been involved in to the benefit of all the community?
01:36:08 Forrester. (boat show. trunk or treat. DDA. Trunkapalooza. 6 years publicity for CCS)
01:37:08 Otto
01:38:27 Muchow
01:39:30 Miles
01:40:42 Olney
01:41:54 Nelson
01:42:48 Gordon
01:43:55 Chick

01:45:08 Larson: Question: How should the township interact with other community agencies, such as the schools?
01:45:18 Gordon
01:46:05 Chick
01:46:44 Nelson
01:47:26 Muchow
01:48:30 Forrester
01:49:05 Miles
01:49:50 Otto
01:50:56 Olney

01:52:10 Closing statements
01:52:15 Otto
01:53:24 Olney "130% fund balance allows us to fund everything, infrastructure, retention basin, road repairs..."
01:54:36 Nelson
01:55:45 Muchow
01:56:48 Miles
01:57:48 Gordon
01:58:00 Forrester
01:59:50 Chick

02:00:03 Larson: Summation and Good Night



  • Parks & Recreation Committee:  "Give Northfield its 12+ Acre Lakeside Park"! 
  • Shrugged-off Parking Issues Menace Whitmore Lake Downtown Reboot
  • Three Well informed, well prepared Pot Biz Applicants bring focus, vision and deep pockets with Northfield Township Plans


Click below for the 8/26/2020 Planning Commission meetup where the dual medical/recreational licensing of 3 applicants was examined.

Clicking this opens up the meeting on Youtube.  Every Agenda item can be directly jumped to.  Read the links below the video's

description or scrub along the timeline.  This video has chapters!

LiveAgenda version of this 8/26 Northfield Township Planning Commission meeting 

Everything below is a link in the Youtube/VideoNorthfield video description.  I'll turn this into links when I have time.  For now, it's all available on the meeting video itself. Click above.

01:00 1. CALL TO ORDER
          2. ROLL CALL
02:50 Cary ? fails to connect
03:36 David Gordon
06:08 Cary ? again fails to connect
07:08 Adam Olney

A. Scoring Memorandum update from Planner
B. Marihuana Correspondence


08:30 A. Board of Trustees
10:05 B. ZBA
10:11 C. Staff
10:19 D. Planning Consultant
12:30 Cousino question re 1000 foot distance from schools, parks, libraries as input to scoring. Answer, the distance is not in ordinance
1000 ft from a like business, 500 ft from a school, park and library not part of ordinance

16:15 E. Parks and Recreation: Barker Road playpath completed last saturday, a 3 day project effected by volunteers. ribbon cutting scheduled for Saturday, 11am-12noon. Bark Park is noisy and well utilized. A shed has been purchased for the community garden. Parks and Rec Board formally requests that at least 12 acres of the Northfield Village site, exclusive of the lakeside area, be reserved as a park.

18:55 F. Downtown Planning Group


19:25 10. NEW BUSINESS: Chair explains the process.

21:00 A. Case #JPC200002 GS Ashley, LLC, 22 Barker/9615 Main, Whitmore, MI 48189, Conditional Use

34:00 Barker and Main Boulevard plan, donation of land plus $400,000
39:45 Lippens on interpretations of McKenna's findings. Recommends tabling this item. Ashley's memorandum.
43:45 Lippens' conditional use review
48:13 Lippens: "I think because there are multiple master plans..."
50:29 "A public private partnership is probably the only way to achieve this..."
51:08 Chair: "I hope to keep the review to the nuts and bolts..."
53:25 Discussion
Lippens explains. Four applications are essentially tied
58:35: Chair limits discussion again
59:21: Chair asks for meaning of "adult use"
01:05:35 Chair: motion to table recommendation on case #JPC00002 Conditional Use

01:06:35 B. Case #JPC200002 GS Ashley, LLC, 22 Barker/9615 Main, Whitmore, MI 48189, Site Plan approval

01:07:30 Lippens' review
01:11:00 OHM Engineering Report
01:12:25 Dwyer asks about employee number and parking, leads into downtown parking discussion, three spots lost to pervious surfaces, shuttle service for employees and customers, Dwyer v OHM on possibility of indent parallel parking. Parking, parking, parking. "If we're successful in revitalizing downtown, parking will become our number one problem."

01:21:08 Cousino: Discussion of parking spots required downtown and parking lost to limits on Impervious vs pervious surfaces
01:25:40 Zarzecki: Limits due to use of impervious surfaces could be solved by using pervious surface materials, as employed in the Community Center
01:28:55 Infante: "The boulevard is part of the connectivity framework that is in the downtown strategic action plan... approved three years ago."
01:30:30 Chair's question on an elevation answered by GS Ashley's civil engineer
01:32:42 Chair: motion to table recommendation

01:37:00 C. Case #JPC200005 Green Guys Group, 9545-9551 Main, Whitmore Lake, MI 48189, Conditional Use
01:43:00 Lippens reviews the conditional use application and circulation offered by proposal to grant easement from Main to Barker
01:47:22 01:47:24 dropouts to desktop
01:48:50 Chair: motion to table recommendation

01:49:43 D. Case #JPC200005 Green Guys Group, 9545-9551 Main, Whitmore Lake, MI 48189, Site Plan approval
01:53:40 OHM Engineer McNamera's comments
01:55:12 Dwyer inquires about alley easement comprising Main street - 75 Barker - Margaret Street circulation, gas meters, mirrors
02:12:40 Motion to table recommendation

02:15:00 -- 7 minute break--

02:23:30 E. Case #JPC200007 Whitmore Wellness / Pure Buds, 8475 Main, Whitmore, MI 48189, Conditional Use
02:24:00 Lippens' site plan report, OHM report
02:35:26 Chair: motion to table recommendation

02:36:18 F. Case #JPC200007 Whitmore Wellness / Pure Buds, 8475 Main, Whitmore, MI 48189, Site Plan approval
02:37:04 Lippens' site plan report,
02:38:52 OHM report
02:57:30 Chair: motion to table recommendation

02:59:00 11. APPROVAL OF PRECEDING MINUTES: August 19, 2020 Regular Meeting

03:00:00 David Gordon
03:02:20 Adam Olney

03:04:15 Cousino
03:06:32 Dwyer asks how the PC can communicate its preferences to the Board
03:07:15 Lippens responds
03:13:45 Chair, Cousino, Infante
03:17:55 Chick
03:19:00 Zarzecki
03:20:30 Township Attorney

03:23:00 14. ANNOUNCEMENT: Next Regular Meeting – September 2, 2020

03:23:23 15. ADJOURNMENT


Watch the hearings with our LiveTimeline.  It's in the description under the video and in the timeline itself. 

Just do it.



[Scooped by the Detroit Free Press in a report by Darcie Moran, August 12, 2020] 

FreePressScoop 2020 08 12 Article 900w 33pct