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July 08, 2014 | 02:42 PMBLOOMFIELD — The person who had numerous trees cut — without permits — at the former Honey Bear Farm property on the Powers Lake shore was ordered by the village and the state to stop his project.
On the phone July 1, village president Ken Monroe said Eugene Martin, of Naples, Fla., owns the property on N1612 Powers Lake Road.
“He gutted it out, and he wants to make, I believe, three condominiums in this (former) restaurant,” said Monroe.
He said Martin hired a tree service, and several Powers Lake residents didn’t like what happened next.
“The neighbors were pretty perturbed, because they kept all their trees up to snuff, and these trees were just cut down,” said Monroe.
Apparently, the cutting didn’t stop on Martin’s property. “Lo and behold, some of the trees that were taken down were in the neighbor’s yard,” said Monroe. He clarified that “up to snuff” meant following the ordinance about not cutting trees without a permit.
Monroe said Bloomfield Building Inspector Joe Mesler told Martin to stop work on the property until he meets three conditions.
• Put up a silk fence on the property, for erosion control. “The silk fence is already up,” said Monroe.
• Clean up the property and obtain village approval of a landscaping plan. There were waste piles on the property. In a June 24 letter to Monroe, Jim Michels, chairman of the Powers Lake District, states, “The waste piles are still there as of this date.”
• Have this plan call for planting more trees and vegetation on the property.
An attempt to reach Mesler for comment was unsuccessful. However, his voice mail message stated that he was on vacation until July 7.
June Notbusch, Mesler’s building inspection partner, said Martin has not been cited for his violations. “He’s been working with us,” she said.
The Regional News attempted to obtain contact information for Martin last week from Mesler, Notbusch and the clerk-treasurer’s office. Those attempts were unsuccessful by press time.
The state Department of Natural Resources also contacted Martin. DNR Water Specialist Travis Schroeder sent him a letter dated June 26 that states written authorization is typically required prior to tree cutting and grading work on such a property.
“A review of department permit records indicates that approvals have not been issued,” he states. “At this time, please discontinue additional work until the department has had an opportunity to discuss your project in detail.”
Schroeder also advised Martin to contact the village and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Michels stated that “residents expressed grave concerns about the recent shoreland activity” at a June 13 district meeting. The concerns involved shoreland disturbance, tree and vegetation removal, as well as whether the village was enforcing shoreland zoning ordinances.
“We hope to work with you to help allay the fears of our residents as to current ordinances and enforcement efforts,” Michels states.
He also requested a meeting with village officials. Monroe said that occurred June 26 with himself, Michels, Mesler, Martin, and other district board members.
Monroe said they asked Martin why he didn’t obtain permits before working on the property.
“Of course, there was no answer on that,” said Monroe.
The issue also was on the Parks, Lake and Recreation Committee agenda June 30, at the Bloomfield Committee of the Whole meeting. Monroe said about 18 Powers Lake District members were in attendance.
Powers Lake District Board members were asked via email if they were happy with the outcome of the June 26 and 30 meetings, but they didn’t respond by press time.
The committee took no action on the matter, but Monroe believes Martin will approach Bloomfield zoning officials soon. Martin wants to join the two lots on that property, said Monroe. The next planning and zoning commission meeting is July 15. There is a petition going around that’s opposed to the lot joining, building condos on the Powers Lake shoreland and the “unpermitted mass removal of trees and shrubs from the shoreland.”