2018-06-07 / News

Clayton Twp. man cancels wedding business plan

BY LANIA ROCHA
810-452-2652 • lrocha@mihomepaper.com

CLAYTON TOWNSHIP – A Clayton Township man has withdrawn his request for a special use permit that ruffled the feathers of many of his neighbors, including his brother.

Tom Case had planned to rent designated portions of his 7-acre property at 1202 S. Van Vleet Rd. for wedding ceremonies.

Township attorney Ken Tucker said he received notice Friday that Case wished to withdraw his petition for a permit to do so. Tucker said Case’s attorney, Kyle Riem, did not state a reason.

The View could not reach Riem by press time.

Neighbors had packed the township hall three times to ask that Case’s permit be denied.

They voiced concerns about the effect of increased traffic on the dirt road, trespassing on neighboring property, the potential for increased crime and that Case advertised in Detroit and Pontiac.

After hearing public input in March, the township Planning Commission recommended the Board of Trustees deny the permit. The township board consid- ered the matter in April but tossed it back to the Planning Commission when Riem presented new information.

Following a second round of public comment, the Planning Commission reiterated their recommendation for denial.

Riem had argued that Case obtained a permit in 2016 and had hosted at least two weddings, one for a family member and one for a member of Case’s church, without incident.

Case’s brother, Ron Case, said Tom Case did not own the property at that time and had no authority to acquire a permit.

Township Treasurer Rick Caruso said the permit allowed for home occupations, which does not include weddings. Riem disagreed. Caruso also noted that home occupation permits must be renewed annually, so the permit Case obtained was no longer valid. Tucker added that, while Tom Case may have applied for a permit, the township never granted it.

Case, whose property features a large pond with an island and bridge, had offered to limit the number of weddings to two per month or 10 per year. The property would not have been used for receptions and alcohol would have been prohibited. Case also offered to hire private security. Riem said Case spent $26,000 to improve his property and build a website to promote the wedding rentals.

Area residents said the added traffic would kick up dust and create pot holes, and make it difficult for emergency vehicles to get down the road. In addition, they said the activities, including preparations and cleanup, would disrupt the peace, threaten their privacy and affect home values.

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