Planning Commission Minutes – September 8, 2016

      Comments Off on Planning Commission Minutes – September 8, 2016

Helena Township Planning Commission

September 8, 2016

Gurr called meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.

Opened with Pledge of Allegiance.

Roll Call:                               Present:                 Jim Gurr                        Bonnie Robbins

Mike Robinson (6:14) Chris Dewald

Ken Renaud                 Bob Johnson

Absent:                  Rodger Dewey

Township officials present:                               Molby

Approval of Agenda:  Motion: Johnson, 2nd: Renaud. Carried

Statement of Conflict of Interest: None     

Approval of Minutes:       Approved as submitted. Motion: Johnson, 2nd Renaud. Carried (1 not voting)

Public Comment:               7 present.

Communications:             Convention in Kalamazoo – two day event—notify David Peterson and Rick Teague if interested.

New Business:

Aug 2016:
Land Use 3, Field Checks 7, Attorney Contacts 0, Public Contacts 12, Zoning Violations 0

Molby: County is changing house numbering process. They assign a house number after the residence it built. Our permit forms refer to parcel number and reports can show streets but won’t have number unless it is for an existing structure.

Regular Meeting closed at 6:09 pm for PUBLIC HEARING

Robbins distributed work sheets for zoning ordinance language changes discussed in previous review. Commission worked through the material and offer the following as record of the public comment portion of the hearing:

Use of Recreational Vehicles for camping

Dorothy Walter, 10856 Coy Avenue, questioned why there had been a 30 day limit on the use of recreational vehicles.

Michelle Zeeman, 9257 Franklin Street, asked if this had been a problem.

Gary Hutchins, 6986 Crystal Springs Road, discussed issues the commission faced when he was a member and stated he didn’t agree with changing ordinance language so code doesn’t have to be enforced makes no sense. He offered that there were things people didn’t like before but the ordinance still needs to have substance and regulation that meets township needs. He also discussed a group of recreational vehicles in the agriculture district that have been used for years without problems.

Dorothy questioned if the RV could be rented.

Consensus of commissioners was to include language stating RV’s could not be offered as rentals.

Boat Storage in Commercial District

Discussion of regulation requiring screening.

Gary Hutchins shared his knowledge of why the language had be included and if it accomplished the desired result.

Consensus to accept language as submitted.

General discussion with Dorothy Walter, Michelle Zeeman, Gary Hutchins, Margaret Jelsma, (10856 Coy Street) and Laura Westerman, (11690 SE Torch Lake Drive) about proposed changes to require Special Use permit for Village District, striking language prohibiting bathrooms in accessory building and requiring they be for storage only, adding bullet to list of occupations allowed as home occupations, and new digital sign language.

Digital Signs

Laura Westerman suggests changing Section 5.09.05.E.3 to state ‘…stationary display after business operating hours….

Private Roads

Gary Hutchins expressed concerns for removing all language that addresses private roads. He is concerned that a private road serving more than one home needs to be stable enough to serve those resident’s if emergency vehicles need to access that road.

Consensus of commissioners to review language and continue the discussion at the October meeting.

Public Hearing closed at 6:55 pm.

Old Business:


Public Comment: None  

Adjourn: 6:58 p.m. Motion Johnson, 2nd Renaud. Carried


Respectfully Submitted,

Bonnie Robbins, Helena Township Planning Commission Recording Secretary