Planning Commission Minutes – March 9, 2011 (Special Meeting)

Minutes of Helena Township Planning Commission

March 9, 2011

Special meeting/work session

Meeting called to order by Swan at 7:14 p.m.

Opened with Pledge of Allegiance.

Roll Call: Present: Jim Swan Jim Gurr

Rodger Dewey Bonnie Robbins Chris Dewald

Absent: Bob Johnson Mike Robinson

Township officials present: Guy Molby

Approval of Agenda: Motion: Dewald, 2nd Swan. Carried (5,0)

Approval of Minutes: March 2, 2011 Tabled until regular meeting.

Statement of Conflict of Interest: None

Public Comment: None

Old Business: Review of suggested Zoning Ordinance changes

Topic 1 Discussion of suggested Short Term Rental language. Agreement that rentals have historically been for one week or longer with very few problems. Consensus to address rentals as follows: Rentals of one week or longer are allowed.

Request Bzdok review definitions needed.

Topic 2 Ag District and Rural Residential District. Discussion of why this change is needed. Examples of uses allowed in the Ag that can de-value surrounding properties.

Discussion of how to determine boundaries.

Consensus that commission is not comfortable with blanket re-zone to RR and drawing a line is not easily achieved for these districts.

RR district should have provision to protect surrounding parcels in areas that are not going to be farmed. Concern that areas of the current ordinance give the opportunity to impact negatively on neighboring properties when there is no connection to agriculture.

For Bzdok: Need definition for active ag. Draft ordinance, driven by land use and not parcel size, addressing the uses allowed and requirements of a Rural Residential District. All parcels currently zoned Ag but not meeting the active ag definition would be re-zone RR. Language should include a means for someone to have their land re-zoned to Ag by proving they meet the definition or providing a plan that outlines how the parcel will become active again.

Topic 3 Recreational Vehicles. Consensus to address issue as follows:

Recreational vehicles are permitted for camping use as long as they are not used and not intended to be used for permanent living quarters.

For Bzdok: Definitions for this and wordsmithing. This should come out of the Ag District and be applied to the ordinance as a whole and allowed in all districts.

Topic 4 Chart blanks. RR would be minimum 2 acres and 200′ wide.

Topic 5 Manufacturing District. Review of properties along Alden Highway that would fall under the Manufacturing District overlay. Discussion to limit overlay to 200′ on north side of McPherson Road and Alden Highway opposite the McPherson Road intersection where well drilling company is currently located. District boundary on south side of Alden Highway would extend to the front forty acres to re-zone the land currently occupied by the cement company to light manufacturing.

Reminder that Bzdok and Redman will be at the combined meeting on April 6 to finish the memorandum and discuss any questions so far.

Public Comment: None

Adjourn: Motion Dewald, 2nd Gurr. Carried (5,0)

Respectfully Submitted,

Bonnie Robbins

Helena Township Planning Commission Recording Secretary