Michigan town submits zoning petition for referendum
GANGES, Michigan: The Ganges zoning referendum will likely be on the November ballot following the submission of approximately 307 signatures last month. The petition is supported by a group called Ganges For All. The referendum calls for citizens to decide if the parcel should be rezoned. The referendum comes in light of a recent 3-2 decision by the town board to rezone approximately 1 acre of residential land for commercial use. Controversy surrounding the zoning decision developed after news that although the county planning commission accepted the plan, the planning commission did not recommend the rezoning. Shortly after the town board's decision, two of the planning commissions members resigned. Andy Murch, a supporter of the referendum, said that the group is "focused on educating people on the township master plan," and because they seek "objective and consistent decision-making." Opponents call the petition a "waste of time."
Currently township officials are verifying the signatures but as long as 180 of them are valid the township board will decide to place it on the ballot. The referendum could be placed on the ballot as early as this year or as late as November 2010.