Open Letter from FFP to the Residents of the Charter Township of Independence
Our Foundation has received notice that the Township of Independence, Oakland County, is contemplating granting permission for a subdivision outlot to maintain a marina on Deer Lake. We wish to weigh in with the homeowners who pay taxes as residents of lakefront property on this beautiful and pristine lake. The contemplation of allowing a marina to exist is indefensible.
The alarm and anger of these voters and property tax payers residing on Deer Lake, as well as other lakes in their township, as to the township’s course of conduct over the past year regarding this potential marina is well founded. The township’s course of action and contemplation of permitting a marina, if uncorrected, poses a DANGER to the SAFETY of the children, grandchildren, and all others who enjoy the waters of Deer Lake. Additionally, it sets a precedent to create the same dangers and hazards on all other lakes in the township.
Further, granting marina and watercraft privileges at this outlot will decrease the value of all 75 lakefront properties. Given that the lakefront homeowners pay the highest property tax rates of any residential tax classification in the township, damaging their taxable values will ultimately deprive all citizens of the township of the substantial tax dollars currently paid by these residents.
Consequently, the Foundation for Future Prosperity agrees that the future prosperity of not only these Deer lake residents and other township lake residents, but all the citizens of Independence Township, stand to be unwisely and unfairly diminished if Supervisor Kittle, Treasurer Brown, and the township board of trustees do not correct their current course of action regarding establishment of a Marina on a subdivision outlot on Deer Lake and the manner in which they have conducted the business of the township.
We believe, as do these homeowners, that their elected officials have a duty to provide a level of diligence and integrity at all times, and in this particular instance, a level which recognizes an obligation to protect the taxable value of these homes, whose tax rates are an asset the township cannot afford to deliberately diminish.
Most importantly, we agree that the township elected officials have a DUTY to put the SAFETY of the children and adults who recreate on the township’s lakes FIRST and FOREMOST. We deem it negligent of this duty to safety to contemplate adding to watercraft congestion already stretched beyond limits by boats from the township beach area. Granting special land use permission for an outlot defies common sense and is a dereliction of duty. (A current review of the tax rolls shows the outlot is NOT taxed whatsoever, nor are the residents utilizing this outlot assessed any property tax assessment on it.) Allowing a special privilege to an association outlot which contributes not a single dollar to the good of the township as a whole or to the health of the townships lakes, and doing so at the cost of endangering the safety of residents and diminishing the property of all citizens, is unfathomable.
We have been given the impression that the elected township officials may believe that they are at liberty to pick and choose the statutes of Michigan and regulations of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality with which they will abide. We suspect that the governor and higher courts of our great State of Michigan differ with that belief.
It is time for these officials to wake up and enjoin any further launching, mooring or docking of watercraft from this subdivision outlot. If not, they should expect to be held accountable for their acts in negligent disregard for the SAFETY and prosperity of the township they were elected to represent.
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