Seneca Township: Planning commission has updating to do 2009.11.11

 The Seneca Township Planning Commission aims to get busy in December with a review of some ordinances that need attention. They’ve got their work cut out for them.

The long saga of troubles relating to a fence at a child care center easily points out the need for an update—not only to get ordinance wording that fits contemporary usage, but also to make requirements more precise.

The intent of laws written in the 1970s seems clear—trustees at the time thought it would be wise to have a fenced play area at a child care center.

Through the years, definitions of various child care facilities have changed, so if you want a fencing issue to apply to all facilities, you better figure out a way to word it properly.

The other problem that came to light during the debate about the fence is that the word “fence” wasn’t even used in the ordinances relating to child care facilities. So maybe the trustees of the 1970s didn’t really want a fence anyway.

Now it’s the job of the planning commission members of 2009 to look over the issue and decide what they want, what they think is important for child care centers.

We learned from a report of Monday night’s township board meeting that a small, fenced-in area has been created at the child care facility in question, as directed by state licensing officials.

We wish we could report that the issue is now over with and township business will move onto to different matters, but that’s not the way it is.

There’s still the matter of the recall attempt which we wish wasn’t happening. It’s an unnecessary expense for the township that only expands on some existing strained relationships between the board and township residences.