To the editor:
I'm writing in response to the July 18 article about campers situated on dwelling lots for a maximum of 90 days per year.
We would all like to have a cozy hideaway on a lake somewhere. But in instances where "temporary" campers, trailers, etc. are parked on lots and then change hands over the years, they sometimes evolve into full-time dwellings. Health Department regulations may not have been met for the proper installation of sewer-water-electrical systems and safety standards to qualify as a residential dwelling.
As a neighbor of one of these temporary structures, wouldn't you be curious as to how the sewage and waste is being disposed of? Nowadays, a 50-gallon barrel buried in the front yard or a buried 2-inch pipe on the property line between neighbors would cause even more problems, particularly if it empties into a body of water. Ugh!
Mrs. Gasperich and the Zoning Board of Appeals made the right call. They followed the letter of the law. If humans were perfect, we would not need regulations. Regulations are there to remind us to be good neighbors, and to prevent unpleasant situations like the one above from taking root in our community. If these owners refuse to move their campers, then they should be prepared to face the consequences and accept personal responsibility for their actions.
Also, the County Board of Commissioners who are siding with the temporary dwelling crowd of 500 -a very questionable number-- are suggesting they will hold a public hearing and change the zoning ordinance.
They need to read Michigan Law. The Planning Commission has the exclusive authority to change the ordinance; it is outside the authority of the Board of Commissioners. They can forward a request to the Planning Commission who may or may not favor their request. That is how the powers of the various commissions are held in check, which is in the interest of the citizens of Keweenaw County.
If the Board of Commissioners feels the Zoning Commissioner and the Zoning Board of Appeals were wrong in their decisions, then the next step is to file suit through the Courts. They cannot override the ZBA directly.
Power corrupts; and the Board of Commissioners have already been cited twice in recent years for overstepping their authority. They are about to do it again if they do not follow existing legal protocol.