Columbia Township’s passage of the common use riparian lot (CURL) ordinance has led to considerable discussion at Clark Lake.   John Calhoun, Township treasurer, notes there has been “misinterpretation of the ordinance…”.  He points to a short article that “may help to alleviate the fears of those who may currently dock boats at a neighbor’s dock…”.

The article starts with a definition of what it means to “funnel” or “keyhole.”

“Funnel or keyhole development occurs when a lakefront lot is used to provide lake access to a larger development located away from the lake. Funneling allows a large number of individuals to gain access to a lake through a small corridor of property. Unregulated funnel development has the potential to create a number of problems, including land use conflicts, unsafe and inadequate access, lake and shoreland congestion, multi-use conflicts, degradation of the environment, and decreased property values.”

Illustration from

John Calhoun points out that Columbia Township was “one of the few lake community townships without any regulation on keyholing developments to protect property owners.”

The ordinance passed on Monday night is a police ordinance rather than zoning ordinance.  The article also explains the difference between the two.  To read the full article, please click here.  

This website posted the CURL story Monday night after it was unanimously passed by the Township Board of Trustees.  To gain a further understanding of how this ordinance became law, and some of the discussion that took place leading up to and including the vote, please click here.

Township Board of Trustees l to r: Rick Deland, Flip Reynolds, John Calhoun, Bob Elrod, Barry Marsh, Robin Tackett, Brent Beamish

Find the Michigan Lake Info website by clicking here.