sun and news 4-10-2021

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Page 2/The Sun and News, Saturday, April 10, 2021

Middleville planners bid farewell to longtime commissioner
Greg Chandler
Staff Writer
The Middleville Planning
Commission Tuesday night
said goodbye to its lon-
gest-serving member,
Tuesday was the final
meeting for Fran French,
who had served on the plan-
ning body since April 2006
and had been its vice chair-
woman.
French herself wasn’t sure
of how long she had served


  • but long enough to work on
    “two master plans,” she said
    with a laugh.
    “I don’t think this body
    would be what it is today
    without your ... years of ser-


vice,” planning commission
Chairman Jason Holzhausen
said. “Our current and last
master plans would not have
been the same without you.
Our ordinance book would
look different, and it proba-
bly [would be] not as good as
it is.”
Earlier this year, French
was interviewed for a vacan-
cy on the village council,
along with former planning
commission colleague Tom
DeVries, who was appointed
to fill the opening.
French promised to keep
an eye on the planning com-
mission’s activities.
“Just because I’m not

going to be sitting up there
with you, doesn’t mean you
won’t hear from me,” she
said. “I’ll keep my eyes on
your guys and give you my
opinion.”
French praised the work of
village planning and zoning
administrator Brian
Urquhart, but at the same
time, called on commission-
ers to still check any propos-
als that come to the village
against the ordinance book.
“Brian does an awesome
job, but never give him 100
percent. Always dou-
ble-check him. You’ve got to
double-check everything,
because it’s public domain,

guys. You’ve got to make
sure every dot’s there, every
T’s crossed,” she said. “It’s
becoming much more appar-
ent now than 10 years ago ...
make sure if you question
something in his report, you
look it up, you look at the
ordinance, you’ve got to that
extra mile so you have a bet-
ter understanding.”
Urquhart responded, “I’ll
take that as a compliment.”
Village Manager Patricia
Rayl thanked French for her
service to the community.
At the end of the meeting,
French made the motion to
adjourn and was the last per-
son to vote, saying “Aye, and
goodbye.”
In other business Tuesday,
commissioners unanimously
voted to recommend approv-
al of the final plat for the
eighth and final phase of the
Misty Ridge subdivision on
the village’s southwest side.
This phase will add 22 more

homes on about 7 1/2 acres
of property, bringing the
final number of homes in the
development to 182. Byron
Center-based Westview
Capital is the project devel-
oper.
“The underground pipe is
complete, and we anticipate
the road construction to be
done by the end of this
month,” Westview Capital
land manager Ryan Leary
told commissioners. “That
includes paving and curbs.”
Misty Ridge was first
developed in the early 2000s,
Leary said.
The final plat would set up
a temporary cul-de-sac for
View Pointe Drive. The vil-
lage has discussed with
Thornapple Township the
possibility of extending View
Pointe into the township to
connect with Bender Road in
the future, Urquhart said.
The village council is
expected to grant approval

for the final plat April 27.
Commissioners also
reviewed the upcoming
reconstruction of Johnson
Street from M-37 to Lem
Paul Street. The village
council last month approved
moving ahead with the
$460,000 project, which will
include a new road surface,
new sidewalk on the south
side of the street, as well as
replacement of the water
main, sanitary sewer and
storm drain system.
The planning commission
reviewed the project to com-
ply with a portion of the
Michigan Planning Enabling
Act, which requires the local
planning commission to
comment on a govern-
ment-proposed construction
of a street, square, park,
playground, public way, or
other open space, Urquhart
said.

Middleville Rotary Club
Presents

Spring Fling


Chicken Dinner


Drive Up


April 16, 2021


5:00-7:00 pm


Middleville Middle School

10375 Green Lake Rd,

Middleville, MI 49333

Tickets Available from any Middleville
Rotarian or Request online:
MiddlevilleRotaryClub@gmail.com

Presale only by April 13
Ticket Needed at Drive Up
Take Out Only - No Dine In
$10.

Dinner Includes:
1/2 Baked Chicken
Baked Potato, Butter, Sour Cream
Green Beans
Dinner Roll & Butter

Middleville considering change


to overnight parking ban
Greg Chandler
Staff Writer
Middleville village offi-
cials are considering chang-
ing a longstanding ordinance
to allow residents to park
their vehicles on village
streets overnight during
warm-weather months.
The village council took a
look at the proposed change
at the committee of the whole
meeting Tuesday, during
which it moved the proposal
to Tuesday’s regular council
meeting agenda. If approved,
overnight on-street parking
would be allowed between
April 1 and Oct. 31.
“Right now, no matter
what time of year it is, on any
public street, there is no
parking between 2 a.m. and 6
a.m.,” Village Planning and
Zoning Administrator Brian
Urquhart said.
The primary reason for the
ban on overnight parking is
for allowing the public works
department ample room to
clear snow and ice off village
streets, Urquhart said.
However, the ordinance is
frequently violated because
of a lack of coverage and
enforcement, Urquhart said.
Urquhart met with DPW
Director Alec Belson and

Sgt. Tim Stevens of the Barry
County Sheriff’s Department
Middleville unit to discuss
the proposed change, and
they are supporting the rec-
ommendation.
The ordinance language
also includes a provision that
would allow the street admin-
istrator, police chief, village
manager or anyone assigned
by these officials to have any
vehicle removed from a pub-
lic street if the vehicle causes
a hardship for any emergen-
cy, school or village mainte-
nance vehicle to maneuver in
the street. Inoperable, unli-
censed or dismantled vehi-
cles also would not be
allowed on village streets.
“It’s not intended to be a
storage of vehicles on the
street during that time, just
parking,” Urquhart said.
The proposed change led
to comments by two mem-
bers of the planning commis-
sion Tuesday night com-
plaining about the lack of
enforcement of the present
ordinance. Jennifer
Hagemann and Ellie Burke
both spoke of seeing cars on
streets in their respective
neighborhoods parked during
overnight hours.
“Nobody’s actually get-

ting tickets from the police
themselves. It’s just useless,”
Hagemann said. “[People]
just continue to park on the
street. As the traffic contin-
ues to increase here at
Rolling Oaks [subdivision],
and all of these new houses
that are being constructed, it
is getting increasingly more
and more difficult to drive
through on some of these
main roads in Rolling Oaks
that are the through streets
because of the consistent
parking on the street. I get it
that you can park on the
street during the day. But
some of these vehicles don’t
move at all, and they are
there overnight, and they are
there for days on end.”
Burke said she sees a sim-
ilar situation at Misty Ridge,
where she lives.
“We’ve got lots and lots of
angry citizens in here,
because people are just
parked up and down the
roads all night long, all sum-
mer, all winter,” said Burke,
who attended her first plan-
ning commission meeting
Tuesday. “It’s hard getting in
and out for them in the morn-
ing and at night. It’s a defi-
nite problem.”

Caledonia again named Tree City USA


For the 26th straight year,
the Village of Caledonia has
been recognized as a Tree
City USA by the Michigan
Department of Natural
Resources and the National
Arbor Day Foundation for its
promotion and caring for
trees within the community.
Caledonia is among 124
Michigan communities, nine
campuses, one healthcare
institution and one utility
recognized with a Tree City,
Tree Campus, Tree Campus
Healthcare or Tree Line USA
designation for 2020. The
certifications are for work
accomplished during 2020,
and all recipients will receive
their awards in April, said
Kevin Sayers, a DNR urban
and community forestry spe-
cialist.
“Michigan ranks eighth
nationally in the number of
communities with Tree City
designations,” Sayers said in
a press release. “Trees are a
very important part of the


landscape in our cities, towns
and villages. They add beau-
ty to college campus and
hospital settings, making
them more inviting, while
also helping to cool side-
walks and clean the air.
Properly maintained trees in
the spaces around power
lines helps improve safety
and service, too.”
The Tree City USA pro-
grams promote proper care
and management of commu-
nity trees and calls attention
to the multiple benefits they
provide.
“Tree City USA is about
recognizing cities and towns
that celebrate and care for
their community trees and
forests. It’s also about
improving the quality of life
for people who live in a Tree
City community,” Sayers
said.
The program’s four stan-
dards were created so that
communities of any size can
achieve success. The stan-

dards that must be met each
year are: a local department
or tree board, a public tree
care ordinance, a community
forestry program with an
annual budget of at least $
per capita and a proclamation
about and celebration of
Arbor Day, which takes place
April 30 this year.
One Michigan utility, ITC
Michigan, was recertified
through the Tree Line USA
program and nine campuses
through the Tree Campus
Higher Education program.
The newest campus certified
is North Central Michigan
College in Petoskey.
Spectrum Health Blodgett
Hospital in Grand Rapids
recertified for the second
year as a nationally recog-
nized Tree Campus
Healthcare facility.
“Michigan is still looking
forward to seeing its first
K-12 school become certi-
fied through the newest pro-
gram, Tree Campus K-12,”
Sayers said.
Each of these programs
requires organizations to
commit to proper manage-
ment of trees, offer tree care
education programs and
sponsor tree planting events.
More about the Arbor Day
Foundation’s various Tree
USA programs can be found
at ArborDay.org/Programs.
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