Dexter Township connects with Ann Arbor-based firm to help with planning
Citing the consultant’s knowledgeable experience, Dexter Township has a new contract with area firm Carlisle Wortman to be the contracted planner for the township.
At their Sept. 19 meeting, the Dexter Township Board approved an agreement to have the Ann Arbor-based firm provide planning help with Megan Masson-Minock acting as Carlisle Wortman’s representative to the township.
The Sun Times News followed up with township supervisor Karen Sikkenga about the agreement.
“We selected Carlisle Wortman as our contracted planner partly because they provide planning services to many Washtenaw County townships,” Sikkenga said. “This opens the door to seamless collaboration with neighboring townships around land and water stewardship and fresh food access.”
According to the agreement, “The consultant agrees to provide the Client (Dexter Township) with day-to-day general consultation services for planning, zoning, and land use matters including permit applications and resident inquiries. Services will be billed at the agreed upon hourly rate.”
And it states,” Consultant will provide development reviews for site plans, special land use requests, rezonings, variances, planned unit developments, etc. Reviews will be transmitted to the Client within two weeks of receipt by the Consultant. Services will be billed at the agreed upon hourly rate for all development reviews with pass-through costs to the applicant.”
Sikkenga said, “The planner will build leadership on the planning commission and zoning board of appeals to ensure a unified vision in alignment with the Dexter Township master plan and strategic plan. This will include setting the agenda for the PC (Planning Commission) and ZBA (Zoning Board of Appeals), and recommending agenda items for the Board of Trustees. She will make sure our boards are aware of any items that have fiscal impact, and items that impact quality of life for residents (such as zoning enforcement issues). She’ll identify opportunities to serve our residents better, especially proposing improvements to the zoning ordinance for greater clarity and effectiveness. The planning firm will be able to provide back-up staffing for our in-house permit processing/zoning enforcement position, ensuring uninterrupted service and quick turnaround to our residents.”
“A planning firm provides better oversight and internal controls than we can provide in-house. The firm shares liability for zoning enforcement with the Township,” Sikkenga said. “We expect no increases in the ongoing cost of planning and zoning services as a result of this change.”
She said Carlisle Wortman is known for providing stable staff assignments.
“This means that we can expect lower turnover for our planner,” Sikkenga said. “The planner assigned to us, Megan Masson-Minock, is a long-time Scio Township resident who is currently building a home in Dexter. Megan is deeply familiar with the opportunities and challenges we face, and we are excited to benefit from her expertise.”