Hartland Township and Livingston County must approve permits for Spicer Orchards for not only future improvements to buildings on-site, but for past projects as well.

Repair and expansion work has twice been carried out at Spicer’s without the required building or land use permits, and without the township or county’s approval. In December, the township’s Planning Department was informed Spicer’s owners had made improvements to the kitchen located in their farm market building sans permit or approval.

A wine-storage building was also constructed in 2014 under what officials believe was an expired land use permit. Officials found that while the majority of that building was being used to store tanks and grapes, part of it had been converted into a wine tasting room. Township Planner Troy Langer says the wine tasting room was not approved as part of the previously-issued land use permit. He tells WHMI though retroactive, Spicer’s still needs a special land use permit for the wine tasting room.

On Thursday, the township’s Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of Spicer’s permit application, which next requires approval from the Board of Trustees. If approved, Spicer’s can then pursue a land use permit with the county in order to continue the improvements being made to the farm market kitchen.

Spicer’s celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, which Langer says is of note as the establishment received its first permit from the township in 1979. Langer says there have been a number of permits Spicer’s has applied and been granted approval for since, which may have contributed to some of the confusion. (DK)

Facebook photo.