Good planning is critical to the future quality of life in Briley Township. The final critical step in completing a Master Plan is to determine the types, location and intensities of development that will occur over the next twenty years. With the establishment of a Future Land Use Plan, Briley Township intends to ensure that existing land uses can continue, natural resources will be protected, and reasonable growth can be accommodated with minimal land use conflicts or negative environmental impacts. While future land uses are difficult to predict, a future land use plan provides a scenario which Briley Township can use as a guide when considering land use and development decisions.
Future land use recommendations are based on social and economic characteristics, environmental conditions, existing land uses, available community services and facilities, current zoning (found in Figure 7.2 and 7.3) and community goals and objectives (Chapter 6). The future land use plan illustrates the proposed physical arrangements of land use within Briley Township. It identifies and defines the major future land use categories as well as the approximate locations for each use. The boundaries reflected on the map are not intended to indicate precise size, shape or dimension; rather they portray a general land use arrangement, which may be refined as the community develops. The plan is prepared to serve as a guide for the Township regarding current issues, land use decisions, investments, public improvements and zoning decisions. The plan is also intended to be a working document which will provide for the orderly development of the Township, assist the community in its efforts to maintain and enhance a pleasant living environment, protect important natural resources and foster economic development and redevelopment.
Low Density Residential
Areas of low density residential are present or planned for in the future. Low density residential are large residential lots with privacy from neighbors and/or other development and are located on roads with light vehicular traffic. No municipal water or sewer services are available. Access to municipal services (fire, police, ambulance) is more limited than in more populated areas. Low density residential has less restrictive zoning than in other areas with buffers or physical separation from incompatible uses (industrial, agriculture) recommended when located adjacent to this type of development. Principal uses recommended for inclusion in the Low Density Residential areas include single-family and two-family dwelling units, home-based businesses and cottage industries, child care uses, parks, and other uses which are considered compatible with residential uses and do not alter the existing character of the neighborhood.
High Density Residential
High density residential areas are present or planned for in the future. This type of development located where high-value municipal services and infrastructure, such as paved roads, central water and sewer services, exist or are planned. Maintenance would be financed by user fees or special Briley Township Master Plan 2016 Future Land Use/Zoning Plan | 7-2 assessments, where necessary. These areas have more restrictive zoning than other residential areas. The placement of light business or office buildings adjacent to these developments is compatible for support services. Buffering or separation is recommended from incompatible land uses (industrial, agriculture). Principal uses include those found within the low density areas in addition to higher density uses such as multi-family housing.
This future land use category includes land used or planned for use for small retail or service establishments without large parking demands or heavy amounts of ingress and egress of traffic. These uses are compatible adjacent to high density residential areas to provide services to residents (e.g. convenience store, hairdresser, insurance, legal, etc.).
Large Business or Business District
This future land use category includes large retail or service establishments with large parking lots and heavy vehicular traffic or a cluster of smaller retail and/or service businesses located along a major thoroughfare (e.g.: central business district). Municipal water and sewer services should be planned for these areas. These areas are compatible with light manufacturing, but not compatible with residential without a buffer.
This future land use category includes manufacturing facilities with lesser amounts of ingress and egress of traffic. These uses produce minimum amounts of manufacturing by-products (smoke, noise, waste products, chemical usage and storage) and are compatible with a business district but not with residential without a buffer.
For all three business use categories above, signage, lighting, and parking regulations should be incorporated to ensure that these elements maintain the rural character of the Township. Signage should be small and ground mounted with a low maximum height, lighting should be designed to direct downward and should not interfere with pedestrian or traffic visibility or encroach onto neighboring property, and parking should be located either in the rear or side yard. In addition, adequate buffers should be provided to screen commercial uses from residential uses. As the Zoning Ordinance is updated, development regulations will be incorporated which insure compatibility between uses.
This future land use category includes manufacturing facilities with possible 24 hour traffic entering and leaving the facility, heavy truck traffic, rail sidings, heavy use of infrastructure and municipal services. These uses possibly produce manufacturing by-products (smoke, noise, waste products, chemical usage and storage). This type of development is not compatible with residential land uses or natural areas.
Transportation or Mining
Briley Township Master Plan 2016 Future Land Use/Zoning Plan | 7-3 Mineral mining (i.e., gravel, sand, etc.) operation, road maintenance facility, rail loading yard, trucking operation, and other large shipping or warehouse processing facility are included in this future land use category. By-products of these uses possibly include noise, exhaust, used oil, or salt products. This type of development is not compatible with residential land uses or natural areas.
Educational facilities, government buildings, correctional facilities, military facilities, and cemeteries are found in this category. All buildings, grounds and parking lots that compose the facility are included within the Institutional class. Small institutional units in developed areas that do not meet the 2.5 to 5 acre minimum size standard are placed within the adjacent categories which are usually residential or commercial.
This category includes indoor and outdoor recreation facilities as well as open land areas which are used for outdoor activities such as parks and campgrounds. This category may contain the grounds, parking lots, and incidental buildings on these lands, such as shelters, toilets, beach change areas, etc.
This category includes forest lands that are at least ten percent stocked by forest trees of any size, or formerly having such tree cover, and not currently developed for non-forest use. These lands may also, at times, be used for outdoor recreational activities such as golf, skiing, hunting, fishing, or hiking. On some forest lands there may be large areas that have little or no visible forest growth. Lands such as these on which there is forest rotation (involving clear cutting and regeneration) are still considered forest land. Lands that meet the criteria for forest land but are also being used for a higher category are placed in the higher category (i.e., Residential, Agriculture or Non-forested).
Low Density Residential
Within Forest/Recreation, areas of low density residential are present or possible in the future. These areas contain large residential lots with privacy from neighbors and/or other development and are located on roads with light vehicular traffic. No municipal water or sewer service is available. Access to municipal services (fire, police, ambulance) is very limited. Uses allowed are comparable with the uses allowed in Low Density Residential (under Residential). However, development within these areas should be discouraged where natural features present significant environmental constraints including wetland areas and soils inadequate to accommodate septic systems.
Non-forested lands (open land, rangeland) are areas supporting various stages of plant succession consisting of plant communities characterized by grasses or shrubs. It may be possible to use these lands for low density residential development, recreation, or agriculture/livestock. However, development within these areas should be discouraged where natural features present significant environmental constraints including wetland areas and soils inadequate to accommodate septic systems.
Public Forest Land
This category includes forest lands that are at least ten percent stocked by forest trees of any size, or formerly having such tree cover, and not currently developed for non-forest use. These lands may, at times, be used for outdoor sports such as hunting, fishing, hiking, ski trails, etc. On some forest lands there may be large areas that have little or no visible forest growth. Lands such as these on which there is forest rotation (involving clear cutting and regeneration) are still classified under the forest land category.
Public Natural Lands
This category includes land used or planned for uses which may include open space recreational (hunting, fishing, hiking, ski trails, etc.), forestry, wetlands, wildlife habitat, quiet areas, and scenic areas. This land is left in a natural state as much as possible. The only development in these areas is related to public recreation or to logging operations.
This category includes land used or appropriate for use for farming and livestock and related activities. This land use is not compatible with high density residential. It could be compatible with low density residential or clustered housing with buffer zones. Briley Township hopes to encourage ancillary agricultural uses and agricultural tourism by developing zoning regulations which are more conducive to allowing these uses. Such uses include farm markets, roadside stands, bakeries selling goods grown primarily on-site, educational tours, family-oriented animated barns, gift shops for agriculturally-related products, historical exhibits, meeting spaces, petting farms, picnic areas, playgrounds, wagon rides, nature trails, small-scale entertainment, and restaurant operations related to the agricultural use of the site.
These are areas in which the water table is very near the surface, where water covers the surface, or where hydric & hydric inclusion soils exist (areas where soil saturation occurs for prolonged periods during the year). Land is used or planned for uses including open space recreational (such as golf, hunting, fishing, hiking, ski trails, etc.), limited forestry, wildlife habitat, etc. Land is left in a natural state as much as possible with very low density development. When used for recreational activities, such as golf courses, ancillary development (e.g. condominiums, commercial, etc.) is not encouraged in Natural Wetlands. Very low-density residential (e.g. one house for every five or ten acres) is acceptable. Conversion to nature reserve is encouraged in these areas. Also, contiguous reserve areas, river setbacks, quiet areas, scenic areas and wildlife habitat areas are encouraged.
Other Zoning Considerations: General
Many zoning issues have already been addressed in the preceding paragraphs and in the Goals & Objectives chapter; however, the following items in the current zoning ordinance are recommended for review:
A thorough review of the general provisions section of the current Zoning Ordinance should be completed to ensure that the needs and goals of the township are being addressed.
Permitted and Special Land Uses
A thorough review of permitted and Special Land Uses in all districts is needed to ensure all possible land uses are being addressed in appropriate districts.
Site Plan Review
The site plan review process is one most useful and powerful tools in the ordinance. Good site plan review regulations allow the community to insure the requirements of the ordinance are being followed and to insure that adequate and necessary conditions or restrictions are placed on land uses to mitigate any possible negative impacts.
The process for site plan review should be detailed, and it is highly recommended that a pre-application provision be incorporated into the process. Many land uses often vary on the level of detail and amount of information needed to evaluate its impacts. A system to tailor the site plan requirements to the proposal should be included into the process. Pre-application conferences are an easy, inexpensive and effective way for the developers and Township representatives to discuss land use proposals and requirements of the Township ordinance in an informal atmosphere. The pre-application conference allows developers the opportunity to alter proposals to meet conditions of the Township prior to the
submission of an application.
Additionally, better site plan review standards should be incorporated into the Zoning Ordinance. These standards will provide a basis upon which the Planning Commission will make fair and consistent decisions. A statement of findings and conclusions for each decision made should be drafted to show that the proposal was approved because it met all of the standards or was denied based on the fact that it failed to meet the approval standards. This will provide protection for the Township in the event that a decision is challenged in court.
Finally, this chapter should contain provisions for amendments to an approved site plan, the expiration of a site plan, conditional approvals, performance guarantees, and cases in which the requirement of site plan is waived. A further recommendation is to have the Planning Commission Chair, Zoning Administrator, and the applicant sign the final, approved site plan.
Also, the Zoning Ordinance should contain more comprehensive Site Development Standards for more intense Special Land Uses (Supplemental Regulations).
This plan also recommends revamping the Planned Unit Developments (PUD) standards in appropriate districts. The purpose of such a planning tool allows design and use flexibility on a given site while at the same time protecting present and future residents from the adverse effects of unplanned or unregulated development. This approach allows the applicant to utilize innovative designs and methods to control the effects of development rather than having rigid numerical zoning standards dictate design parameters. Allowing the Township and developers to work together to set flexible design parameters can result in low intensity development that is designed around natural features, clusters residences, neighborhood business opportunities, and other development takes the needs, desires, and character of the Township in consideration.