Helena Township Planning Commission
July 6, 2017
Gurr called meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
Opened with Pledge of Allegiance.
Roll Call: Present: Jim Gurr Bonnie Robbins
Laura Westerman Joe Bassil
Mike Robinson Ken Renaud
Absent: Chris Dewald
Township officials present: Guy Molby and Bob Logee,
Approval of Agenda: As presented. Motion: Bassil, 2nd: Renaud. Carried
Statement of Conflict of Interest: Westerman voiced concern as she is within 300’ of property requesting special use permit. Gurr explained there is no conflict of interest if she will not benefit financially from this request.
Approval of Minutes: As presented. Motion: Renaud, 2nd Bassil. Carried
Public Comment: 3 present. Resident voiced concern of number of docks allowed and lack of language in the ordinance addressing this. Discussion of why language was removed. Commission will request board of trustees approve sending the question of township’s authority to regulate docks to our legal counsel.
Meeting closed for Public Hearing at 7:30 p.m.
Discussion with applicant about need for public hearing to allow neighboring property owners to voice an opinion on land use that could affect their property. Township wants to allow signs but minimize impact on night skies and neighboring properties after business hours. Applicant was satisfied and understood the need for the public hearing.
Applicant will work with the company he purchased the sign from to program it to adhere to zoning ordinance.
Molby reported 16 property owners were notified. No responses received. Westerman explained she decided to offer comment at the hearing. Westerman does not oppose the sign but would like to see it minimized when the business is not open. The flashing sign left on all winter while a business was closed was more intrusive than the sign being addressed with this public hearing.
Finding of Fact: Section 6.03.01. All applicable standards for approval are met.
Motion by Bassil: Based on the finding of fact as stated in the ordinance, the planning commission recommends the township board of trustees approve the special use permit for Terry Pulford of Glassman Marine Service, located at 11891 S. East Torch Lake Drive. Support by Robinson. Motion carried.
Public Hearing closed at 7:52 p.m.
Discussion of need for public hearing for digital signs. Consensus to keep that requirement in the zoning ordinance.
Discussion of greenbelt buffer zone, what should or should not be allowed. Current language does not allow any land alteration. Discussion to allow county Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control officer to approve any development of shoreline. Heated discussion to have township included in the permitting process. Consensus to review language from the county office and discuss this at the next meeting.
ZA Report: June: 3 LU, 18 FC, 0 AC, 11 PC, 0 ZV
Public Comment: Bassil shared his view of whether township should regulate docks.
Adjourn: Motion Robbins, 2nd Bassil. Carried Meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
Bonnie Robbins, Helena Township Planning Commission Recording Secretary