By Jessica Mathews /

Various department updates and year-in-review reports were delivered during a special meeting Wednesday night of the Hamburg Township Board, Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals and Parks & Recreation Committee.

Code Enforcement Officer Ted Michowski reported that they had to change the way a lot of things are done due to COVID when it comes to enforcement, meeting with people and issuing permits. When it comes to code enforcement, the number of complaints are said to be consistently steady without any huge spikes - and that held true for 2020. Michowski said the types of complaints did differ a bit and some were pretty but he attributed that to people being home more and around their neighbors with more time on their hands. He noted that some people were more argumentative but felt that could be from tempers being up so he’s tried to be more sympathetic.

Blight complaints were up by seven while grass cutting complaints were down, which Michowski said was likely because it gave people at home something to do. Michowski said he responded to all 134 complaints filed and typically makes direct contact with homeowners but said he wrote a lot of letters that were posted on doors due to COVID. However, he added that as the pandemic has progressed, people have been a little more relaxed. Of the 134 complaints, 111 were closed out. He said some are from prior years or are tied up in court but noted that many businesses are suffering and needed more time to get things done.

Hamburg’s Parks Coordinator Deby Henneman provided an update on different parks and recreation activities in the works. She said one project they’ll be moving forward with this year is the installation of concrete approaches and ADA truncated domes at every intersection along the Mike Levine Lakelands Trail in the township so people are aware they’re coming to a road. Those are scheduled to be installed this spring or summer. Henneman said although nothing major, some playground upgrades and maintenance items are planned, along with some work on the baseball diamonds. Henneman said prioritized projects for parks moving forward are pickle ball courts and an outdoor community open space and seating area at the Senior Center. She noted the township is also in desperate need of wayfinding signage so they’ll be getting pricing on that. Finally, a survey will also be developed to determine if there’s any interest for a municipal dog park.

For the Planning and Zoning Department, there was said to be a drastic drop in construction and permits issued due to the COVIDd-19 restrictions set in mid-March through early June. A report states when offices began reopening, the permits came in heavier than past years through the summer months. 58 new home permits were issued for Regency Village. It was noted that staff anticipates a slight decrease in the number of new home permits through 2021 as Regency Village is nearing completion. Staff expects the total number of land use permits issued through 2021 to remain steady between 600 and 700.

A large portion of the meeting was dedicated to discussing proposed zoning text amendments, which are a work in progress and will be discussed at future meetings.

The various department reports and year-in-review updates can be viewed in the township meeting packet. That link is provided.