Michigan Land Use Institute

MLUI / Articles from 1995 to 2012 / Benzie County Commission Candidates Respond to Michigan Land Use Institute Survey

Benzie County Commission Candidates Respond to Michigan Land Use Institute Survey

July 18, 2008 | By Jim Lively
Great Lakes Bulletin News Service

On August 5, 2008, voters in Benzie County will vote in a primary election to narrow the slate of candidates for a new board of county commissioners. With rapid population growth and aggressive residential and commercial development occurring in the county, it is crucial that voters clearly understand the positions of the candidates on land use issues.

All of the candidates for the Benzie County Board of Commissioners were given the opportunity to answer the exact same five questions on important land use issues facing the county. Candidates were asked to limit their responses to 100 words. We have reprinted the responses of all candidates who returned completed surveys.

Commission candidates were asked the following questions:

  1. The Benzie County Comprehensive Plan recommends directing future growth to villages and the city of Frankfort. As a county commissioner what practical steps, if any, would you support the county taking to direct new development to areas of higher density? Specifically, would you support county financing of the necessary sewer and water infrastructure to allow for more people in these areas?
  2. Many working families in Benzie County live far from their jobs , schools and commercial centers. As gas prices continue to increase, transportation costs are placing a heavy burden on county residents. What specific policies and programs can Benzie County undertake to help residents with housing affordability and transportation costs?
  3. Last year, a study by two Michigan State University planning experts determined there is a crisis in confidence in Benzie County planning and zoning. Recently Inland and Homestead Townships pulled out of county-wide zoning. What specific steps would you take to restore public confidence in Benzie County’s planning and zoning? What steps would you propose to help restore the confidence of the townships?
  4. Benzie County adopted an award-winning Comprehensive Plan in 2000, but most of the recommendations in the plan have not yet been adopted. Would you make updating and implementing the county comprehensive plan a priority? If so, how?
  5. Earlier this year, the Benzie County Board of Commissioners voted to join five other counties in support of the regional Grand Vision planning Process. What opportunities do you believe the Grand Vision will create for Benzie County? As a commissioner, how will you ensure that the final recommendations from this citizen-led process are put into action?
Click here To Find Your District
Last Name District Party
(This candidate did not answer)
1 R
(This candidate did not answer)
1 D
Pitcher 2 R
Casey 2 R
(This candidate did not answer)
2 D
(This candidate did not answer)
3 D
Bayer 3 R
Fite 3 D
Damm 4 D
(This candidate did not answer)
4 R
(This candidate did not answer)
5 R
(This candidate did not answer)
5 D
(This candidate did not answer)
6 R
(This candidate did not answer)
6 R
(This candidate did not answer)
7 R
(This candidate did not answer)
7 D
Michigan Land Use Institute

148 E. Front Street, Suite 301
Traverse City, MI 49684-5725
p (231) 941-6584 
e comments@mlui.org