You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 4:13 p.m.

Salem Township officials say they are not out to steal Christmas at Three Cedars Farm

By Janet Miller

Salem Township officials say they are not pulling a Grinch on the popular Three Cedars Farm near Northville, in the northeast corner of Washtenaw County.

While the township this fall cited the farm, located at located at 6 Mile and Curtis roads, for a number of safety violations, it never ordered the operation to close its doors, said Ed Plato, township attorney.

three cedars.jpg

Three Cedars Farm

From Facebook

In a letter posted on their website, owners Gary and Sherry Whittaker said they were forced to cancel this year’s Three Cedars Country Christmas to focus on the legal issues.

“Unfortunately, the legal process is a slow one that requires our involvement. The time and energy that we must invest in fighting to preserve our right to operate Three Cedars Farm has prevented us from being able to prepare the farm for Christmas,” the letter said.

While the township cited the farm for safety violations, it never issued red tags to close it down, Plato said. Three Cedars Farm is open seasonally and offers you-pick pumpkins, a corn maze, a country store, a doughnut hut, a barn yard playground, hayrides and bonfires in the fall and Christmas trees, wreaths and visits with Santa Claus in the winter.

“Unfortunately, there’s apparently been a campaign to make the public officials of Salem Township look bad,” Plato said “The township did not say they could not be open for the Christmas season…. They could open tomorrow if they want. They voluntarily closed.”

The Whittackers could not immediately be reached for comment.

The operation was inspected Sept. 9 when it opened for the season, Plato said. There were a number of safety violations, including exposed outlets in the children’s play area, exterior lights that were not rated for outdoor use, a furnace that was not properly vented and extension cords that were trip hazards. Plato said the township was not allowed on the property for re-inspection. “In spite of that, the township did not want to shut the business down,” Plato said. “They understand it’s a popular place.”

In the Sept. 9 letter, Holly Battersby, the assistant township attorney, advised the Whittakers to cease commercial activity until the structures were re-inspected. But Three Cedars Farm operated for the fall season, Plato said. “He (Gary Whittaker) said he would address the safety issues and we took him at his word,” Plato said. “We were trying to work with him. But we wanted to impress upon him the seriousness of the issues that needed to be addressed.”

In addition to the safety violations, zoning has become an issue over time, Plato said. When Three Cedars Farm opened nine years ago, it was a small operation and allowed under the state’s Right to Farm Act, Plato said. But since then, it has grown into a commercial venture, Plato said. “There are hundreds of cars and thousands of people there on a given day. It’s not a little mom and pop fruit stand.”

The Whittakers need to scale back their operation or apply to have the land re-zoned commercial, Plato said. Still, the township does not want to close the operation. “If the township wanted to, they could have. But they want to work with him.”



Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 6:36 p.m.

Good post Linda, I feel for the guy with the Greenhouse and I believe that your property is different also. The Barn at Three Ceders is full of goods to sell, it does not store feed, or hey, cow, or goats. It has candles, candy and other gifts. Maybe only part of the propery should be rezoned, the Barn, the Donut Hut. I bet Three Ciders pays less in Taxes then the Little General Store. I always try to buy local, if I'm going to get on the freeway and want a drink, sandwich, iice cream I stop at the General Store. I shop at Martin's uptown, I go to the Vet next to the General Store. I by Pet supplys in South Lyon, I try to eat out in South Lyon. I go to the RocK Shop. I use locals for electrical, plumbing. Three Ceders is a beautiful setting and is a landmark. Give the guy Landmark status but it sould come with the price of paying the right amount of property tax. I should be able to open a gas station and grow corn on the back 40 then all of my property will be taxed as farm land. I could put up a any business and do this it seems and is that right? I do not know what does the IRS say? If the IRS is cool with it then end of argument. If Three Ceders wants to be a Farm then get 30 cows, a chicken coop, goats and grow some real crops. The pumpkin Patch is just a front for the rest of the business, it is the lure. The owners are smart business people and have done a great job, they are not farmers, no way no how. All of the above is just my opinion.

Linda Hamilton

Sun, Nov 20, 2011 : 12:35 a.m.

TAXER I am sure I must know you since you support the local businesses. I'm sure you get your postage at the Salem Post Office. See you there.

Linda Hamilton

Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 3:01 p.m.

I am part of one of the last 3 remaining dairy farms in Salem Township. Taxer wants to know what we think. I think that Three Cedars is a farm and belongs in agricultural zoning. Michigan has a document titled, "Agricultural Tourism Guidebook". Three Cedars is exactly the type of operation that fits into this designation. I would like to share how "real" farmers are treated in Salem. We have had the assessor sic'd on us - because township officials have been overheard, at public meetings to rant how we don't pay enough in taxes. I called the assessing company and asked about their decontaimination process and was met with silence. We have a herd of dairy cows and disease can be carried from farm to farm. This is a major concern, but Salem's assessor has no process. Nor, are their people trained to be around animals that weigh in excess of a ton. We, in writing told the assessor not to visit our parcels, a Constitutional right. Less than 72 hours later she was visiting us. We had a visit from one of the vegetable growers. The assessor valued his plastic greenhouse at $85,000. Raising his taxable vaule by $42,500. This was for a metal frame covered with plastic. He has little options - tear it down, pay the extra $1000 in taxes or fight. Last I heard he is trying to have the value corrected. One township official at a public meeting ranted about buying locally grown food suggesting that it is contaminated. I have the comments on digital video, so that people can verrify this claim. At the last Planning Commission meeting Trustee Wallazy suggested the size of signs be reduced in agricultural zoning. (This too is on digital video) The Planning Commission allowed me to speak and explain why signs are important to farm stands, etc. Fortunately, the Planning Commission decided not to reduce sign size. Another couple trying to make a go of a small farm have been given a hard time because they own less than 10 acres. This isn't support f


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 10:10 p.m.

All that want to vote out the Salem board, once again I look forward to seeing your names on the ballot. Not only do I look forward to seeing your names on the ballot, I would like to see you at the board meeting offering your professional services for up to 1/2 the rate currently paid to the "overpaid" government workers.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 8:23 p.m.

Yo Stacy u made my point Three Ceders is a business, u said it yourself. They pay less in Taxes then almost every home owner in Salem Farms. Less then $3,000. Not right in my opinion. It is a great place, just do the right thing , that does not seem much to ask. Just my Opinion. What do real Salem Farmers think, please post!


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 6:56 p.m.

Good reply Hoodoo25. Just thinks this is about taxes thats all. As to the people against the dump, the dump pays for our little town hall and fire dept. So do not dump on the dump. In my opinion. PS I love the smell of the dump in the summer reminds me of that real farm smell. I wonder what the other farmers in Salem think? JUST MY OPINION!! GO LIONS!


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 6:49 p.m.

Only my opinion again. Could not agree more, Trent and Mr. W need to go. The 3 ciders link <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> and video show a busness in action not farming. Is all of the Christmas stuff farming also? Are they non-profit? Why the org? The problems do not seem to be aimed at Christmas just, the fall stuff. Since they are not doing Christmas then there display can go out as there own tribute to Christ. Check out Carousel acres on 8 mile great stuff. Just my opinion. Keep up the good work.

G. Orwell

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 6:21 p.m.

Looks like time for regime change.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 6 p.m.

This is all just my opinion so here we go; This is about not paying property tax. We went to 3 ciders. 1. $5 hey ride 2. $7 corn maze times 5 people 3. $10 a pumpkin 4. $12 donuts we spent $62. There were over 400 cars there when we went. 3 ciders had at least 15 such days this fall mostly cash. If each car spent $50 that equals $20,000 a day x15days (being conservative) = $300,000. This does not include the week. It is about property taxes, since when should land owners support a business. And yes cables were on the ground in the mud everywhere waiting for a senior to fall. Do they have the proper permits to sell food? What if people from outside of Salem get sick or Hurt? Will they sue Salem along with 3 ciders? You bet they will. Nobody shut them down, this is just a ploy in my opinion. They are not farmers, it is a big business. Again just my opinion. Is the IRS involved? My Opinion.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 6:59 p.m.

If it was such a hazard for you, why did you proceed to stay and use the facilities that they offer, and on top of that spend $62? Plus I didn't realize they offered hey rides, I only thought they had hayrides. Most (with one exception, see below) of these type of businesses are consistent with their prices, after all they are not charging you an admission to enjoy the &quot;free&quot; areas such as the children's play area - but those things do cost money and have to be refreshed or purchased each year. In fact, I attended two such businesses this year, Three Cedars Farm and one in Plymouth. The Plymouth facility charged nearly double on its donuts compared to Three Cedars. I would rather spend my money at Three Cedars as it is a better facility and the lower prices compared to the other is only a bonus. Regardless of whether they are farmers or not, they are certainly not big business. Salem Twp. is the last holdout between Ann Arbor and Detroit and would never allow that. They do not want major commerce - but maybe along with their other reasons, they fear that the farm is getting too big. When they have a big industrial business trying to move into town, spewing toxic fumes, that's when they need to worry. Since you make it sound like it was such a bad experience for you, maybe you should spend your money at a more expensive place like that in Plymouth. Or better yet, drive to the city and pull into your closest big supermarket and see if you get the same wholesome experience that Three Cedars Farm and other farms are trying to convey to you.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 6:44 p.m.

Hmmm, if growing hay and corn to feed livestock, and pumpkins to sell, (as many people with hardly any property do) is not considered farming, I wonder what is... and what's more, you may say that this mud everywhere and cables were just waiting for a senior to fall, but funnily enough, they have made it for 9 years without having an incident... hmmm, wonder how that happens... probably a better record then most &quot;big businesses&quot; have...


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 5:03 p.m.

I read the letter posted on the Three Cedars website from Holy S. Battersby, I feel for the Whittakers. Attorneys are not cheap and the courts system is slow at best taking hours, and hours of time to make your point, that you are right and the other party is WRONG. Attorneys get paid NO matter what kind of job they do, good or bad they get paid and they get paid MORE the longer they keep both sides fighting. Go to your local township and see how much is paid to the township attorneys each year. Most people in township offices maybe nice and good people BUT they have NO idea how to run a multi-million dollar business and that is what a township is.

Olan Owen Barnes

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 5:01 p.m.

What part of cease operations do people not understand? and about working with them - if it is not in writing it does not exist - period. Why can not the A2 dot com not write objective stories?


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 4:01 p.m.

Sounds like Salem Township is trying to avoid the same problems Webster Township is having with Jenny's Market outside of Dexter. With that being said, All township employees are &quot;goverment&quot; employees, with most being paid far more then what they are worth. As far as &quot;ALL&quot; Township attorneys go, they gets paid no matter what, so why not run up their hours and bill the tax payers.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 6:59 p.m.

Yeah the last lawyer for the old administration ,made a boat load in my Opinion. We all need that kinda gig. My Opinion


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 4:48 p.m.

Yes, they do get paid a monthy retainer for every day stuff but more if added hours for &quot;special&quot; stuff. Go to your local township and see how much is paid to the township attorney each year. Attorneys get paid NO matter what kind of job they do, good or bad they get paid.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 4:27 p.m.

If the township lawyers get paid &quot;no matter what&quot;, why do anything at all. GN&amp;GL


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 2:21 p.m.

I smell some sort of political payback for some unspecified offense. The township attorney come across a, whats a politacaqlly correct term for useful idiot? The letter says public building could not be used. That sounds like a cease &amp; desist order to a non-laywer. Vote in a new board.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 4:56 p.m.

I agree, attorneys get paid NO matter what kind of job they do, good or bad they get paid. Go to your local township and see how much is paid to the township attorneys each year. Most people in township offices maybe nice and good people BUT they have NO idea how to run a multi-million dollar business and that is what a township is.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 2:42 p.m.



Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 1:43 p.m.

Looks pretty simple to me, use appropriate cords, lights and facilities for a commercial operation. Christmas will be happening, on Dec 25, with or without 3 Cedars.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 7:02 p.m.

Dead on Clownfish!!! Get the right cords at Martin's they have em.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 2:40 p.m.

the only thing simple is the officials in salem twp. if you did your homework you would know this is just another issue

G. Orwell

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 1:27 p.m.

Violations cited are relatively minor and can easily be rectified. The fact that Three Cedars felt the need to close, foregoing huge Christmas season profits, tells me Salem Township made it too difficult for Three Cedars to operate. You would think the township officials would do everything to please businesses like Three Cedars since they are generating tax revenues for Salem and the state and create needed jobs. Also since the farm is feeding people with local produce. Is there a war on local, family owned farms? The township officials should be ashamed of themselves for not working with TC to ensure it is successful and becomes even bigger to serve the community and provide jobs. Maybe the township needs new leadership. Some honest ones that works for their residents.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 1:23 p.m.

WOW people... I lived in the Salem/South Lyon area for roughly the first 22 years of my life. I attended the Salem Elementary School and frequent a couple businesses in the town. I am quite certain that I would not be the only person to say that Salem is not the most affluent of areas, but does have a great &quot;small town&quot; appeal to it. When I was in high school the Whittakers began to really fix that place up and make it look great. It started to add something to the area and became somewhat of an icon around there, &quot;the big red barn&quot;... Their son would host church events there or invite people from school to come and hang out as a safe and comfortable place to go. I was always so amazed at how spectacular it was and loved the fact that a family took so much PRIDE in not only their home, but the CITY that they lived in. I also was there numerous times putting up hay in their fields that so many people seem to think have nothing of value grown in them. In the beginning their pumpkin stand started out very small, and yes, over the years has grown into not only a pumpkin stand, but to include many other things, and has progressed into a celebration of other holidays also, but who is being hurt by this? I understand that the township says they aren't trying to shut Three Cedars down, but when you look at their extremely untimely choice to serve this ridiculous, and extremely unprofessional letter to the Whittakers, when there are roughly 8 months out of the year that they could have addressed any of their so called &quot;concerns&quot; it does appear that they had an ulterior motive other than just safety and zoning concerns. Heaven forbid the Whittakers bring actual recognition to Salem by having an amazingly well kept and well done home and place to share their love for the holidays. Well Salem Township, the past few days worth of news/radio stories is your recognition, Nice Job...


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 1:12 p.m.

Wow - read the letter from the township officials - this is so very sad. Are the township, county and state officials trying to run as many people out of this State as fast as they can? Wake up - these folks are trying to make a living and trying to give back - Salem Township officials - shame on you!


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 12:14 p.m.

does this mean that Salem Township likes its garbage dump more than it likes Halloween and Christmas must be. there is not to many bright spots in that Township along six mile road or any other road


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 7:08 p.m.

Just thinks this is about taxes thats all. As to the people against the dump, the dump pays for our little town hall and fire dept. So do not dump on the dump. In my opinion. PS I love the smell of the dump in the summer reminds me of that real farm smell. I wonder what the other farmers in Salem think? JUST MY OPINION!! GO LIONS!


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 2:24 a.m.

What this article fails to explain is that the building inspector does not have the authority to perform this safety inspection and cannot shut down the business for the listed &quot;violations.&quot; If such violations were noted, by the FIRE INSPECTOR, the property owners would have to be notified, in writing, of such violations with a time frame for correction and a reinspection date. This did not happen. What isn't mentioned in this article is that all this took place shortly after the rumor started around town that Mr Whittaker was going to run for Township Supervisor next year. I guess the smear compaign needed to start early.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 7:06 p.m.

U are dead right Mr. Murrow could not say it better myself, u to Michelle. Why cancel Christmas, sounds like a run for office. In just my Opinion.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 7:34 a.m.

Thanks for making some kind of sense of this Michelle. I'm still confused of why they would shut down, and did they or is it a rumor too?

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 4:46 a.m.

Oh, I dunno. Sure seems like Whitaker has overracted to all of this. Why not get the permits? Why &quot;cancel Christmas&quot;? LOLOL Maybe as a first blow in a campaign to be supervisor? There's way too much smoke being blown here by the Whitakers. I mean, &quot;cancelling Christmas&quot;. Seriously?? GN&amp;GL


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 1:12 a.m.

Interesting how some readers now believe what Plato the township attorney is being paid $175 a hour to spin. The facts are not based on spin and are as follows: 1. Three Cedars received a letter from the Zoning Administrator in 2004 that said the operation and buildings were approved for operation. Seven years later, Heyl, the Zoning Administrator, the Building Inspector and Battersbyshowed up opening day with a letter that informed the Whittakers to cease operations. The Fire inspector had been there the day before. 2. They claim there are serious safety issues, yet it took the township 60 days to get a list to Three Cedars. That sounds like they were real concerned about safety. 3. Three Cedars grows feed corn and has a maze cut into it. The courts have already ruled that corn mazes are considered agriculture. The same is true for u-pick pumpkin patches. 4. Hay rides don't go down main street in Ann Arbor, but they do belong in agricultural zoning. 5. Farms have commercial components - they sell hay, corn, milk, riding lessons, fruits, vegetables, etc. They aren't commercial they are agricultural. The State of Michigan has a great document about Agri-tourism and Three Cedars would be considered agri-tourism. 6. The township never wrote another letter stating that the owners could work with them, they left a letter, modified by hand as they left. That letter said cease operations. 7. Three Cedars owners cancelled Christmas because of the stress, duress and harassment by Salem Township officials, including Plato. read the actual letters at <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

average joe

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 12:30 p.m.

I agree with Salem_Res.- The inside of this Country store isn't much different than cracker barrrel restaurant.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 5 a.m.

Do farms also have commercially produced cookies, candy, holiday decorations, crafts and many other items such as are being sold at Three Cedars? The Christmas trees weren't grown on the property. As far as I know neither were the apples for the cider, the materials for the wreaths and many other items being sold in their 'Country Store'. I've been there and wondered how they were getting by operating under the guise of a 'farm stand' in an agricultural district. Quite the prosperous retail establishment albeit seasonal.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 1:11 a.m.

This has already been thru the Appeals court: !2006 Court: Michigan Court of Appeals (Unpublished13 No. 268920 (2006)) Case Name: Papadelis v. Troy (Papadelis III) (Oakland County) Plaintiffs own a greenhouse and garden center in Troy. Property is zoned single family residential. Defendants argue that plaintiffs are engaging in commercial activity on their northern parcel in violation of the city's residential zoning ordinance.... Court of Appeals concluded that sections 1 and 2 of M.C.L. 286.473 should be read separately. "A farm operation that conforms to generally accepted agricultural and management practices is entitled to the protection provided by the RTFA without regard to the historic use of the property in question." Also, an ordinance limiting agricultural activity to parcels of a certain size is preempted by the RTFA. Also, a farming operation must be at least partially commercial in nature for the RTFA to apply. Also, zoning ordinances regarding building specifications are preempted by RTFA to the extent that the city is attempting to enforce them against a use protected under the RTFA. Application for appeal was made to the Michigan Supreme Court. See also Troy v Papadelis I case on page 4, Troy v Papadelis II case on page 4, Troy v Papadelis IV case on page 10, and Troy v Papadelis V case on page 12. Bingo. <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;ZoneCourt%20RTFA%201964-2006.pdf</a>

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 3:25 p.m.

1) If you had read both articles, you would have seen that over the past nine years this operation has gone from a small one that attracted a few visitors on a few weekends in the fall to a large scale commercial operation akin to a strip mall. Mr. Whittaker has admitted as much. At some point--there is no finely defined line written in stone--this no longer was just a &quot;farm&quot;. 2) But let's suppose that on Day 1 this operation was breaking the law and has been doing so for 9 years. So what? Two things are true: a) continuing to allow this operation to violate the zoning ordinance will make it near impossible to enforce zoning in the township. That is not in the best interests of the township's residents; and b) because this is zoned for farming, and because there is an operating farm (apparently growing corn for a maze = farming) on the property, the Whittakers pay substantially less tax on that property than they would were it zoned commercial. Some see this as a money grab by the township. Perhaps. But the Whittakers also are getting a tax break that other small business owners have not received--their properties are zoned commercial and they are paying the proper taxes. But the truly funny thing about this--no not really, it's rather repugnant--is the Whitakers' continuing theme that the township cancelled Christmas. Yeah, because when one boils it down, Christmas if about going to a farm where there's a Santa Claus. Clearly they are auditioning for Bill O'Reilly's annual rant about the &quot;War on Christmas&quot; Time for the Whittakers and all who think like them to watch Linus's soliloquy in &quot;A Charlie Brown Christmas&quot;. &quot;. . . and that's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.&quot; No where does Linus mention Santa on a farm. Good Night and Good Luck

Shawn Planko

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 5:02 a.m.

So Ed, and i am trying to understand several issues here. But if they have been operating for 8 plus years under the RTFA with no issue and now the Township out the blue says they need to go commercial. And order a cease and desist order for that? One would think the township would work with them, and as for the &quot;safety&quot; issues see the other link posted: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> I am all for proper zoning but the approach the township used is just too much.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 4:43 a.m.

Just because you grow corn on your property doesn't mean you can have a strip mall on it, too. The zoning permits farming. It does not permit a seasonal strip mall. And I therefore fail to see the relevance of the FTFA. GN&amp;GL

Shawn Planko

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 2:46 a.m.

Ed's Ghost...they grow corn and this not agricultural?

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 1:58 a.m.

Maybe I'm missing something, but the case you cite has nothing to do with the issue here. The case you cite is about farming that was happening on land zoned residential. In the situation at hand, it appears that there is no farming whatsoever happening on the property in question. Moreover, no one in saying they cannot farm. They are not even saying that family cannot operate a seasonal strip mall on land zoned for farming. They ARE saying the family must have the appropriate permits and conform to the appropriate regulations before they can operate a seasonal strip mall on land zoned for farming. Bingo GN&amp;GL


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 10:57 p.m.

All of those comments blaming Salem Township could have been avoided with a little &quot;finger work&quot; on the part of It is important to get both sides of an issue early on. I posted the link to another news organization's site in which the Township did explain their side.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 11:41 a.m.

It looks like deleted that post but here it is again. Look fast, it may get the ax again. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> .

Shawn Planko

Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 2:07 a.m.

Why not post it hear?

average joe

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 10:29 p.m.

&quot;The time and energy that we must invest in fighting to preserve our right to operate Three Cedars Farm has prevented us from being able to prepare the farm for Christmas. &quot; -From the business' website. No one is taking anyone's &quot;rights to operate&quot; here. As noted in last night's story, the owners decided to not open this season. As for the safety issues, I doubt that the township wasn't allowed on the property to re-inspect. Get the proper zoning and all of this will go away. Obviously the owners are fighting this because with the proper zoning that reflects the nature of this business comes a higher tax bill.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 5:04 a.m.

Proper zoning? But that would hit them with a higher tax bill. Intersting how Whitaker's Taxable Value is only $124,000 for 51 acres, big red barn, many other outbuildings, beautiful home (100% Homestead Exemption). Compared to my smaller home on less than 5 acres, I'm being assessed almost as much. We can only guess the Whitakers are friends of the FORMER Salem Twp Board and were beneficiaries of a light pencil on the part of the FORMER Assessor.


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 10:22 p.m.

Sorry can't get over this: &quot; outlets in the children's play area, exterior lights that were not rated for outdoor use, a furnace that was not properly vented and extension cords that were trip hazards.&quot; &quot;...the township was not allowed on the property for re-inspection.&quot; &quot;...thousands of people there on a given day.&quot; &quot;In spite of that, the township did not want to shut the business down.&quot; If the above is true I think some people who commented on the previous post might want to reach under that bus and help dust a few township officials off.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 4:41 p.m.

Agree: once went to the funeral of a 5-year old whose family moved to Mexico (corporate transfer) and was electrocuted in a company sponsored childcare play-yard. Was hard on everyone.


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 10:12 p.m.

I guess the township wants any outdoor store to resemble home depot or lowes. Come on really? have to rezone their property really Isn't this the same township that shut-down the Domino's display becasue to many enjoyed it!! And they had the zoning and infrastructure. Plato said. "We were trying to work with him. But we wanted to impress upon him the seriousness of the issues that needed to be addressed. I read that as i'm sure they did as a threat. Call it what it is Merry Christmas!


Fri, Nov 18, 2011 : 2:38 a.m.

abc - my bad i realized that i had the wrong township after i posted nyx - whatever, it was sarcasm! lightin up geez

Kara H

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 10:23 p.m.

You can easily drive by the location, but if not, please watch the video on Three Cedars' own website (home page, easy to find). This is not an &quot;outdoor store.&quot; A little knowledge before posting please!


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 10:23 p.m.

Dominos is in Ann Arbor Township, so the answer is no.


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 10:10 p.m.

The first article says that the Salem Township officials were unavailable for comment. This article now says &quot;the Whittackers could not immediately be reached for comment.&quot; I suggest that you get both sides of the story AND THEN write your articles. There were some 100 comments to the first story, many of which unnecessarily castigated the Salem Township officials, for not explaining what why the farm had to &quot;cancel Christmas&quot;. Now it sure seems like the Township officials are not trying to be the Grinch after all. Now it seems like they just want the place not to burn down, or to make sure that no one gets electrocuted, or asphyxiated. (Who did all that crappy wiring anyway?)


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 10:41 p.m.

What is that errant 'what' doing in there? Oh editor could you please...