By Seth Kinker,

In the mid 2000s, before the economic recession, the Doan family in Manchester, MI. proposed some type of residential development on their property in Manchester township.

At that time, the cost and economy didn’t justify it but that may change in 2019.

The Doan family approached the Manchester township planning commission in early 2018 with plans for an upscale six-months out of the year RV Park. There are many issues that still need to be hashed out before the park could become a reality, but the township and village of Manchester have begun to address some of those.


Revised plans brought to the township at the beginning of the year have the project broken down into four phases, a new combination of motor home sites and cabins, a store, an office area, and a swimming pool just to name a few.

Another big issue that remains pertains to water, sewer, and police services for the park.

In Nov. of 2018 the village first talked about a potential PA 425 agreement with the township. PA 425 would “permit the conditional transfer of property by contract between certain local units of government; to provide for permissive and mandatory provisions in the contract; to provide for certain conditions upon termination, expiration, or nonrenewal of the contract; and to prescribe penalties and provide remedies.”

The township and village have both appointed members to work together on a potential agreement that would have the township contract with the village for all of those aforementioned services if development reaches that stage.

Current estimates place the cost at $1 million to put in their own water and sewer lines. Upon initially hearing these figures, the township was unanimous about not wanting to get into private septic fields and the village didn’t want to provide sewer unless water and police services were included.

“We’ve started talking about it,” said Manchester Township Supervisor Gene DeRossett on the potential PA 425 agreement. “We had a meeting with the village and sheriff’s department about police services and how it would affect that development. On the other hand, I understand if they want to develop it in stages. It’s cost prohibitive to spend $1 million up front but you could develop it in stages and maybe have an on-site sewer system temporarily or an on-site well system as it develops. If and when the revenue is there, you could tie into water, sewer, natural gas.”

On Feb. 12 at the monthly township meeting board member John Seefeld gave the board an update on discussions with Carlisle Wortman and Midwest Consulting, two entities helping plan the potential park.

An on-site septic system was brought up again and the discussion of how many units would be needed to sustain a successful on-site system was had.

With water, sewer, and police protection a big part of what needs to be solved moving forward, DeRossett touched on the potential timeline for the project.

The plans would go through a vetting before approved with the many different entities involved. Carlisle Wortman has developed plans for the project, the planning commission for the township, the joint planning commission of the township and the village, the village council are all involved with the project as well.

“I think the Doan’s are looking at what the costs are to connect immediately to water, sewer and natural gas and what, if any, the police services are going to cost because that’s going tohave an effect on profitability of what they’ve proposed,” said DeRossett. “We’ve appointed a couple of people to work with representatives from the village to look at a potential 425 agreement. There’re some legalities to that, we’ll be working with the village on that, their attorney, our attorney, joint planning, as it moves forward, I think the Doan’s would like to have final approval by spring, because they would like to be working on this project in 2019 with possibility of first phase opening in 2020-2021.”

“I think it’s a possibility,” added DeRossett when asked about if he saw that timeline as doable. “A lot of questions have to be answered, as these meetings progress a lot of those will be and I think the planning commissions, joint planning commissions, township board village council will make an informed positive decision. As the Doan’s do their due diligence, we’re doing the same thing. I think it’s a possibility it can be resolved this year.”

Seefeld told the board on Feb. 12 that a public input session was planned for March with the date to be determined but probably being the week of the Mar. 18. With three planning commission members scheduled to be absent the date of their regularly scheduled meeting, Seefeld told the board a different date was to be selected so more members of the township planning commission could be in attendance.


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