Traverse City Horse Shows (TCHS) to be suspended for 2022 season unless all violations are resolved

Photo © Adam Hill

Acme Township regulates TCHS land development to better meet health, safety, and welfare of event participants, guests, neighbors, and community

In Spring, 2021, Acme Township identified multiple violations at TCHS site after significant improvements were made without permits TCHS has not yet met Township requirements to operate

Williamsburg, Michigan, May 12, 2022 — Acme Township in Grand Traverse County, Michigan, announced today that it has issued a letter on May 9, 2022, informing attorneys for Traverse City Horse Shows, LLC (“TCHS”) of impending suspension. If TCHS does not satisfy the conditions stipulated in the Special Use Permit prior to the beginning of the 2022 TCHS season, Acme Township will issue an order to cease and desist all TCHS operations in violation of its zoning ordinance.

Violations of Acme Township and Grand Traverse County regulations on the TCHS site were first identified in Spring, 2021, just weeks ahead of the 2021 season’s June start date. Acme Township, working with TCHS in good faith to identify all violations, did not shut down operations for the 2021 horse show season.

In September 2021, Acme Township’s attorney issued a letter to TCHS’ attorney stating that TCHS must be in full compliance with the Acme Township Zoning Ordinance requirements for the 2022 TCHS season or risk a cease and desist order or injunction. As a result, Matt Morrissey of TCHS retained a land use consultant and submitted an application for the required special land use permit to the township. Acme Township worked with TCHS through multiple township meetings and public hearings, with consistent communication throughout the process to encourage progress.

On April 5, 2022, the Acme Township Board of Trustees approved a Special Use Permit for TCHS that included over twenty (20) conditions to be satisfied prior to the opening of the TCHS 2022 season. Conditions outlined in the special use permit address violations and speak to the health, safety, and welfare of participants, public, neighbors, and community: organized, adequate parking; proper access for fire and ambulance services; pedestrian walkways; storm water containment during heavy rains; manure management; dust control, dirt and debris management on Bates Road; landscaping buffers to shield view from neighbors’ properties; obtaining all relevant permits from other agencies; and more.

On April 28, 2022, and with no specified conditions met, as yet, by TCHS, Acme Township’s attorney received a letter from TCHS’ attorney requesting certain considerations and waivers.

If conditions approved by the Township Board at its April 5, 2022, meeting are not addressed ahead of TCHS 2022 opening in June, Acme Township will order that TCHS cease and desist its operations for the 2022 season.

About Acme Township

Acme Township, located in Grand Traverse County about six miles northeast of downtown Traverse City, has a population of around 4,700. With easy access to urban amenities, the largely-rural township offers open rolling terrain, forests and streams to explore, and more than two miles of beaches and Lake Michigan shoreline for public enjoyment. Founded as a township in 1891, Acme’s early logging industry benefitted from its great lakes location. Today, the township is focused on planned growth balanced with thoughtful management of its prized natural resources.

For further information, please contact:

Doug White, Supervisor

Acme Township

Office: (231) 938-1350

Email: dwhite@acmetownship.org

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