Helena Township Planning Commission
May 04, 2017
Gurr called meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
Opened with Pledge of Allegiance.
Roll Call: Present: Jim Gurr Bonnie Robbins
Laura Westerman Joe Bassil
Absent: Mike Robinson Chris Dewald
Township officials present: Bob Logee, David Peterson
Approval of Agenda: Add Peterson under New Business as Speaker. Motion: Robbins, 2nd: Bassil. Carried
Statement of Conflict of Interest: None
Approval of Minutes: As presented. Motion: Westerman (Bassil name still needs corrected), 2nd Robbins. Carried
Public Comment: None
Communications: ZBA regular meeting held in April. Discussion of additional information needed when ZBA is asked to review applications for variance.
Robbins distributed work sheets for zoning ordinance language topics. Addtions: Solar panels/alternative energy, easement width, yard definition, clarification of permitted activities in Commercial district.
Gurr will continue to try and get info on geothermal systems.
Discussion of possible corrections within the greenbelt/shoreline protection language that would continue to allow township to regulate use in manner that supports the intent to protect water quality and shoreline but also allow homeowners use of shoreline property for patios, seating areas, etc within the 25’ set back. Discussion of role of Soil and Erosion and DNR in regulating properties. Extensive discussion of the boathouse public hearing being held during the planning commission meeting and if the decisions these agencies make meet the intention of the zoning ordinance. Additional discussion when members start addressing individual topics for revision if needed.
Discussion to request approval from township board for legal input on language for the greenbelt/shoreline protection areas.
ZA Report: April: 3 LU, 4 FC, O AC, 7 PC, 1 ZV
Discussion of language concerning number of docks, hoists, motorized craft and why it was removed.
Discussion of plumbing in ‘guest houses’. This was amended and is currently allowed. Rental is not permitted.
Discussion of new business moving into Village District. Review of application and agreement that it is permitted and sign meets ordinance requirements.
Peterson shared additional information he found concerning the DNR and Soil and Erosion permitting process. Questioned who is first in the permitting process. Proposed boathouse being discussed in public hearing meets Soil and Erosion standards but would not be permitted by our ordinance. Current language does not prohibit use of waterfront property. Shorelines of grass and new growth are still natural as opposed to man-made structures and help protect lake quality. Patios, decks, gazebos do not protect water quality. Discussion between commission members and Peterson and agreement that language would need to set limits on size of any permanent building or structure, and we need to respect intention of ordinance in regard to water quality protection. Language needs to be clear and enforceable.
Public Comment: None
Adjourn: Motion Robbins, 2nd Bassil. Carried
Bonnie Robbins, Helena Township Planning Commission Recording Secretary