Planning Commission Minutes – August 7, 2013

Minutes of Helena Township Planning Commission

August 7, 2013


Meeting called to order by Swan at 7:04 p.m.

Opened with Pledge of Allegiance.

Roll Call:                      Present:            Jim Swan                Jim Gurr

Bob Johnson          Mike Robinson

Chris Dewald           Bonnie Robbins

Absent:             None

Township officials present:                    Guy Molby, David Peterson


Approval of Agenda: Add Commercial Use of Township Property to New Business. Motion: Gurr, 2nd Johnson. Carried

Statement of Conflict of Interest:          None

Approval of Minutes: Minutes (June 2013) approved as submitted. Motion: Gurr, 2nd Swan. Carried No meeting in                                             July.

Public Comment:         None  11 in attendance.

Communications:        None

New Business:

ZA report

June: 1land use, 6 field checks, 0 attorney contact, 10 other public contacts,

  • violations

July: 3 land use, 15 field checks, 0 attorney contact, 24 other public contacts,

  • violations

Seeing some new home construction.


Walker Shores Presentation: No representatives present. Discussion among Molby, PC members about what has been changed since the 2008 presentation. Molby is waiting for paperwork to schedule a public hearing, possibly next month (September). The Commission members working with Molby are Johnson and Gurr. Molby stated they have moved the drain field to the east side of East Torch Lake Drive. This has DEQ (Health Department) approval. They reduced the footprint to 12 lots. Removed one access road coming out of the development. Stormwater run off control has DEQ (Soil and Erosion) approval.   Each site will have an individual septic but will share a drainfield where the community septic was planned on the previous application. This storage will be underground and will pump to the east storage when full. The new plan allows for four bedroom homes.

Discussion from audience: Peterson: Do we have a new site plan? Molby: not yet. Gurr: They understand they are starting from scratch with this development application.   Swan: Will permits be in place at the presentation to the Commission? Mobly: Yes

General public concern that they should know what is being considered and what Planning Commission is approving. Process for site plan review and public input was explained. Project will not be approved until a public hearing has been made and the commission refers it to the board of trustees for approval.

Discussion with Molby about why the developer was not present.

Dewald commented this development and approval won’t happen in 30-60 days. Process will take longer.

Planning Commission will schedule public hearing according to legal requirements and make public aware of the meeting.

Commercial Use of Township property:

Discussion of business using public access to launch watercraft rentals. This may require ordinance such as the mooring ordinance. Question how an ordinance might affect other activities in the township. No decision made on writing an ordinance at this time.

Old Business:              Fireworks ordinance: Swan reported no townships are enforcing a fireworks ordinance. Sheriff will respond to complaints on an individual basis. Townships waiting to learn what state will do with legislation to regulate this better.

Public Comment:         None

Adjourn: Motion Johnson, 2nd Dewald. Carried 7:45 pm

Respectfully Submitted,

Bonnie Robbins

Helena Township Planning Commission Recording Secretary