Minutes of Helena Township Planning Commission
October 6, 2022
Meeting called to order by Gurr at 6.05 P.M. (Gurr will chair meeting for this Public Hearing)
Opened with Pledge of Allegiance.
Present: Jim Gurr Gordy Schafer
Joe Bassil Bonnie Robbins
Gary Lockwood Mike Robinson
Absent: Sue Moglovkin
Township officials present: Butch Peeples , Bob Logee (6:15)
Approval of Agenda: Motion: Robbins, 2nd Schafer. Carried
Statement of Conflict of Interest: None
Public Comment: 6 in attendance.
Meeting closed for public hearing. 6:07 PM
Discussion of project and what the proposed use will be. Project will create a venue of community activities hosted by Alden Volunteers and other organizations to draw visitors to downtown. Storage shed will be used to store equipment and items used in beautification of downtown such as the watering cart and misc. tools used for decorating lampposts. A stage will allow small music venues to be held without closing side streets. No lighting is planned. All events will be closed down by 11:00 PM.
Bob Widmer, 6620 Stoney Pointe Avenue, asked what the purpose of the special use process is since the use of the property doesn’t change. The property was improved with removal of the old hoist and contaminated surface. They’ve added a well so they no longer rely on pulling water from the creek. Discussion of why the permitting process is in place and how it allows conditions to be considered and is required for all new use in Village and Commercial Districts.
Laura Wilcox, 7197 Crystal Springs Road, shared her support of the project.
Paul Delange, 7361 Cottage Drive (member of Alden Volunteers), shared his comments on the improvement of lot and value it adds for Alden Volunteers to be able to store their equipment and items used to beautify the village of Alden.
Bob Mack, 6767 Crystal Springs Road, shared his support of the project.
30 mailings, 0 returned.
– Closed public comment period at 6:40 PM.
Based on a finding of fact from sections 5.03.01.B and 6.03.01 motion to approve sending this application to the township board of trustees with support for approval was made by Robbins with the conditions that all music venues will end by 11:00 PM and any future lighting be discussed with the zoning administrator prior to installation. Motion was supported by Schafer. Vote 6 yes, 0 no. Motion carried. Robbins will present to township board on October 13th at 7PM at their regular meeting.
Closed 6:50 PM
Regular meeting was reopened at 6:51 PM
Approval of Minutes: August 4, 2022 As submitted. Motion: Lockwood, 2nd Schafer. Carried
No quorum at September 1, 2022 meeting.
New Business: September 2022: LU 6, FC 5, AC 0, PC 5, ZV 0
Discussion on setbacks on small lots. Explanation that zoning administrator can adjust setbacks by percentage based on the lot size of sub-standard plotted and unplotted lots.
Discussion with public about campers and people using them all summer without septic. Several members of the public feel this is not acceptable. The question was raised about who is responsible for enforcement of campers without a permanent residence on the property. Bob Mack, new resident with experience in zoning of a township very similar to Helena Township, suggests a strong, clear definition of single-family dwelling be added to the ordinance. Campers should be secondary use. Lockwood agreed to discuss this with Mack and Logee and work on new language for ordinance.
Members of the audience also asked about the short-term rental language and enforcement. There is a noticeable increase and language may need to be reviewed to regulate these better.
Old Business: Tabled.
Robbins discussed the printing problem with the new ordinance and will have copies for the commission at the November meeting.
Discussion of Master Plan Surveys that have been returned. Bassil, Gurr, and Robbins have been tallying these and the final results will be shared when that is completed.
Public Comment: Peeples has received complaints of campers using porta potties along the lake.
Adjourn: 7:35 P.M. Motion Bassil, 2nd Robbins. Carried
Helena Township Planning Commission Recording Secretary