Planning Commission Minutes – May 2, 2012

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Minutes of Helena Township Planning Commission

May 2, 2012


Meeting called to order by Johnson at 7:00 p.m.

Opened with Pledge of Allegiance.

Roll Call:                      Present:                                          Jim Gurr

Bob Johnson          Bonnie Robbins

Chris Dewald           Mike Robinson

Absent:             Roger Dewey          Jim Swan

Township officials present:                    Guy Molby


Approval of Agenda: Add chickens in R1 under old business. Motion: Dewald, 2nd Gurr. Carried (5,0)

Statement of Conflict of Interest:          None

Approval of Minutes:   Approved as submitted. Motion:   Gurr, 2nd Robbins.   Carried (5,0)

Public Comment:         1 present

                                    Request follow up by zoning administrator concerning motor home on Clam Lake. Would like 30 day limit enforced. Ongoing use last year and sometimes more than one being used on this site.


Encroachment on public access. Survey stake was moved or rip-rock placed over the stake, fence is encroaching on township property. Homeowner was aware of boundary at time of sale and has not addressed this matter.


Molby:   Cleanup on trailer is progressing.


Discussion of barn along East Torch Lake Drive and cleanup plans. Homeowner is working to close entry to trespassers and access feasibility of replacing the roof structure.


Communication:          None

New Business:             ZA report 2 land use, 9 field checks, 0 attorney contact, 0 other public contacts, 1 violations (tickets written)


                                    Fowler Lane homeowner has installed two wind generators without contacting ZA.

Discussion of DBA filing and in-home businesses in the township. Consensus to address with finding of fact on issue of impact on the neighbors. DBA filing may not reflect actual use of the premises for the business. Member gave example of only holding a checkbook registered to DBA at residence with no business or service activity being conducted other than phone calls and bill paying. Zero impact on neighboring properties.


Old Business:              Ordinance changes from the township board concern minimum square footage. Changes are:

Page 30   R2 800 sq. ft. floor area.

Page 40   Section 4.07.02.A.2.a change to 800 sq. ft.

Page 41   4.a change to 800 sq. ft.


Discussion of poultry in R1. More information needed to define allowed use. Currently not allowed in ordinance.


Public Comment:         None

Adjourn: Motion Johnson, 2nd Robbins. Carried (5,0)


Respectfully Submitted,

Bonnie Robbins

Helena Township Planning Commission Recording Secretary