Welcome to Peninsula Township
The Old Mission Peninsula is perhaps Michigan's most unique and scenic township. Unlike the typical six-mile by six-mile-square township, the Old Mission Peninsula is finger-like in shape, projecting approximately 16 miles into Grand Traverse Bay. The township varies from one to three miles in width and encompasses approximately 42 miles of Great Lakes shoreline. The 2010 U.S. Census lists a population of 5,433.
Peninsula Township Offices Are Open
Township staff will be at the office during our normal business hours and are seeing residents by appointment. If you do not need to see a staff member, feel free to use the after-hours drop box out in front of the office to drop off anything you want to get to a staff member or use the Township Directory (directory opens in new tab) and then email the staff member you think will best be able to help you. Note: please contact the treasurer’s office for all property tax-related inquiries and the clerk’s office for election and cemetery inquiries.
Planning Commission - Monday, April 19, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom. To join using the Zoom App on a computer, tablet, or smartphone click the following link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86157224751 (website opens in a new tab) Telephone participation information: Dial 312.626.6799, then it will prompt you to enter the Webinar ID: 861.5722.4751:
Job Opportunity - Planning Director
Peninsula Township in Grand Traverse County is accepting applications for the position of Planning Director. Peninsula Township is a very unique northern Michigan community. It manages one of the first PDR programs in the nation and includes more than 40 miles of Great Lakes coastline. The Planning Director is responsible for a wide range of tasks including master plan development/updates, zoning updates, special use permits, community engagement, grant writing/administration, and planning coordination with adjacent jurisdictions and other government entities. This position requires strong communication and organizational skills and an ability to work effectively with others. A master's degree in urban planning, public administration, or a related field is preferred but not required. Applicants must be able to demonstrate substantial years of experience in the aforementioned job skills and/or in related fields. AICP certification is preferred but not required. Please submit a cover letter and resume no later than Thursday, April 22, 2021. More information is available by contacting the Peninsula Township Clerk at 13235 Center Road, Traverse City, MI 49686.
Vacancy on the Peninsula Township Planning Commission
Peninsula Township is accepting letters of interest and/or resumes for individuals to serve on the planning commission, which meets the third Monday of each month. The remainder of one two-year term ending August 2022 is available. Applicants must be qualified electors of the township. Please submit a letter of interest and/or resume to Township Clerk Becky Chown at email@example.com or by mail to 13235 Center Road, Traverse City, MI 49686, by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. Please contact Director of Planning Randy Mielnik at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Participate Old Mission
Peninsula Township recently launched a new public participation tool called Participate Old Mission. This tool provides a means to constructively share ideas, ask questions, and exchange thoughts. One component of this online platform is an opportunity to weigh in on topics relevant to updating the township master plan. Please take some time to explore this site and contribute your thoughts about the future of Peninsula Township. Visit https://participateoldmission.com (website opens in new tab) and check it out.
Winery Lawsuit Status from the Peninsula Township Attorney Gregory M. Meihn
March 3, 2021:
For those residents that are seeking information regarding the WOMP lawsuit, the demands, and other matters related to the lawsuit suit, please refer to our minutes of past Board meetings (website opens in a new tab) and legal updates at current Board meetings. Further, residents can view any documents at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, using case no. 20-CV-01008. If you request documents, feel free to contact the Board attorney, Gregory M. Meihn, at email@example.com and he can provide you with the originally filed complaint and amended complaint.
February 8, 2021:
Recently, an article published in the Old Mission Gazette written by PTP stated that PTP has intervened in the lawsuit with the wineries. While no such intervention has occurred as of yet, PTP is invited into the battle regarding the actions sought by WOMP and the 11 wineries. The article also made reference to the fact that the answer filed by the township might not protect the residents of Peninsula Township.
First, the township’s actions included an initial motion to dismiss, which forced WOMP and the wineries to properly plead their complaint by filing a first amended complaint. Second, the township defeated the motion for temporary restraining order sought by WOMP and the wineries to enjoin the township from enforcing its zoning ordinance and the contractual agreements with the wineries. Third, the answer filed by the township was drafted with the protection of the residents in mind. At this time, the township is fighting the lawsuit on its own to protect the township and residents.
The township welcomes PTP’s intervention in this matter and will greatly appreciate it when it happens. Nevertheless, the township will continue to pursue a path that is designed to protect the township and the residents of Peninsula Township.
January 19, 2021:
As you are aware, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan reviewed the Wineries’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction and denied the same based upon a lack of showing of irreparable harm and lack of showing likelihood of success on the merits at this stage of the litigation, among other arguments. This result was a win for the Township and the residents of Peninsula Township.
Peninsula Township attempted to file a sur-reply asserting an additional argument that the Motion for Preliminary Injunction should be denied because the wineries at issue entered into contractual agreements with the Township agreeing to abide by such contractual terms and conditions that they are now seeking to have voided by the Court. These contractual agreements were made in exchange for allowing the wineries to conduct its operations on agricultural lands. The Court denied the filing of the sur-reply by the Township at the same time it issued its Order Denying the Motion for Preliminary Injunction. In other words, the sur-reply was moot at this time.
While the Township is always willing to engage in settlement discussions, the Wineries, through their counsel, have refused. Accordingly, the Township is prepared to move this matter forward and expects to file a motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint once discovery is completed.
January 13, 2021:
The purpose of this statement is to provide you a status of the Winery lawsuit. As you know, the 13 Plaintiffs filed a civil action in the Western District Court. Along with the civil action, the Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Injunctive relief to prohibit the Township from enforcing its zoning regulations as it relates to the wineries. On behalf of the Township, and while the insurance carriers are working to determine coverage, we filed 11 different Motions to Dismiss the lawsuit based upon what is called a 12(b)(6) motion-the civil action fails to meet the pleading requirements. In addition, we filed a response to the Motion for Injunctive relief.
Recently, and in an attempt to avoid having their complaints dismissed, Plaintiffs filed amended complaints seeking to remedy the defects. We are reviewing the complaints now to determine if the defects have been repaired. Plaintiffs have also filed a Reply to our Response regarding the Motion for Injunctive Relief arguing in part that the lawsuit is not a zoning issue, but rather a constitutional issue. We disagree that it is not a zoning issue. Further, we believe that this is a contractual agreement between the Township and the wineries, whereby they were granted the rights to build and operate in an agricultural district in exchange for their agreement to not only abide by the terms of the findings of facts and creation documents, but the zoning ordinance.
In these COVID-19 times, we are unsure when the hearing on the Motion for Injunction will be heard, but expect it will be sometime in late January, early February.
Consider Giving Locally This Year to Peninsula Township's Restricted Capital Campaign Fund and Make a Difference Here at Home (website opens in a new tab)
Ordinance Draft (website opens in a new tab)
Peninsula Township Zoning Ordinance DRAFT (3/15/2021) (opens in a new tab)
Draft Ordinance - Background, The Current Status, The Purpose of a Public Hearing and The Process Going Forward (opens in a new tab)
Grand Traverse County Road Commission
Contact the Grand Traverse County Road Commission with any questions at 231-922-4848.
DTE Gas Renewal Project
The project will begin April 5 in the City of Traverse City. The yellow line where the new pipe and services will be installed. They will start at Front Street and Barlow and run east and north up Peninsula. The project is expected to be completed by the end of July however most of the work on Peninsula that would possibly impact traffic is expected to be completed by the end of June. General Questions: 616.551.2621 Restoration Concerns: 616.226.6913. A DTE representative is available Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. If calling after hours, leave a message and expect a return call within 2
business days. FAQ’s: www.dteenergy.com/gasrenewal (website opens in new tab).
All Peninsula Township parks and natural areas remain open. If you visit them, please keep the required social distance from other people, and don't forget to pick up after your pet. Also, the hand sanitizer and toilet paper keep disappearing, so bring your own. Finally, all play structures are closed until further notice, as we are unable to disinfect them.
COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Information - By now you've received a great deal of information about COVID-19, and with the situation changing very rapidly at times, we recommend that you consider the following four sources for your primary sources of information:
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Free Fire Hose
The Fire Department is has 500 feet of 2.5 and 1.5 inch decommissioned fire hose that will be given to whomever would like it on a first come first serve bases. Call Chief Gilstorff at 231.223.4443 if your are interested.
Grand Traverse County Household Hazarded Waste & Scrap Tire Collection:
(Sign up will be available online one month before each event.) Go to the Grand Traverse County Recycle Smart website (website opens in a new tab) to make an appointment.
Thursday, April 15, 1pm - 7pm
Thursday, May 13, 1pm - 7pm
Thursday, June 17, 1pm - 7pm
Thursday, August 12, 1pm - 7pm
Saturday, Sept., 18, 9am - 2pm
Thursday, October 14, 1pm - 7pm
The Grand Traverse County Resource Recovery Department (RecycleSmart) will be conducting Scrap Tire Collection Events in 2021. There is a limit to how many tires we can accept per event so you must call the RecycleSmart Hotline, 231-941-5555, to schedule your appointment. The event is for Grand Traverse County Residents only. No businesses allowed.
Donation of Development Rights
The Township's DDR program may be a great option for you!
Contact Randy Mielnik, Planner, at 231-223-7314 if you are interested in more information.