By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium
ST. JOSEPH — Lincoln Township rescheduled one of two public hearings prior to its board meeting next Tuesday.
Clerk Stacy Loar-Porter said they will still hold a public hearing for the township’s 2016-17 operating budget. However, the hearing regarding a planned unit development variance for proposed condominiums was moved to April 12.
Trustees met March 1 to go over the finer points of the township budget, which has to be approved and submitted by March 31 – the end of the fiscal year. After the board finished its discussion at the second budget hearing in three weeks, trustees realized they had two public hearings on tap for March’s board meeting.
Loar-Porter said the public hearing concerning the PUD variance was rescheduled for two reasons.
Many residents near the property for the proposed 78-unit condo project, on Maiden Lane just east of Upton Middle School, attended a public hearing on Feb. 29, where the Planning Commission approved the PUD variance, sending it to the board for final approval. Because the clerk was notified of the planners’ decision on March 1, the township wouldn’t have had enough time to mail out letters notifying residents of the hearing.
“With public hearings, the township has to send a notification to residents within 15 days of the hearing,” she said. “We’ve had to reschedule hearings before. We were just quick on mailing stuff. We’d rather do it right.”
The second reason the hearing couldn’t be held for the March 15 meeting is because trustees never motioned for one to take place.
The last regular board meeting was Feb. 9, which was three weeks before the Planning Commission made its recommendation.
Since the township sent notifications to residents for the hearing, Loar-Porter said they will send another round of letters telling residents the hearing has been moved to next month.
The notifications don’t cost the township anything, Loar-Porter said.
“We send (notifications) to residents within 300 feet of a project and we put something in the paper,” she said. “The developer pays for the notifications. We just keep track of the expenses.”
People planning to attend the March 15 meeting can pick up a copy of the budget packets at Township Hall at 2055 W. John Beers Road.
While the Board of Trustees normally meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month, the regular meeting was changed to March 15 because of today’s Michigan primary.
In addition to these changes, the Planning Commission moved the location for its March 14 meeting from the municipal building to the Lincoln Township Public Library at 2099 W. John Beers Road.
Loar-Porter said the change of venue is necessary because it conflicted with the Board of Review.
(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on March 8, 2016)