Minutes of Helena Township Planning Commission
August 12, 2021—Special meeting for special use permit
Meeting called to order by Gurr at 6:00 P.M.
Opened with Pledge of Allegiance.
Roll Call: Present: Jim Gurr Laura Westerman Joe Bassil Bonnie Robbins Gordy Schafer Sue Moglovkin Mike Robinson Absent: none Township officials present: Bob Logee, Butch Peeples
Approval of Agenda: Motion: Robbins, 2nd Moglovkin . Carried
Statement of Conflict of Interest: None
Public Comment: 7 in attendance.
Meeting closed for public hearing. 6:03 PM
Chairmain Gurr asked zoning administrator to share info about project as applicant representative was unable to attend due to death in family.
Logee mailed 24 notices, none were returned. Sign will be located in the same location.
William Pier 10744 Terrace Street said they and several other Terrace Street residents were presenting their objection in person. He discussed ordinance language regulating these signs. He doesn’t understand the need for this new sign.
Gurr discussed the planning commissions approach to help minimize the impact this new technology. The Alden Bar sign has been there 12 years and accepted by the public in general.
Brad Davidson 10804 Terrace Street discussed sign impact to neighbors when business is not open.
Nancy Keller 10720 Terrace Street asked about the recourse if the sign is considered offensive. These type of signs will become more common. She does find the bar sign offensive and the lights too bright at night. She would like to have ambient light language included in the digital sign language to help minimize the impact at night.
Michelle Zeeman 9257 Franklin Street said the changes residents want to see would be those that compliment Alden and how the town looks.
Ann Pier 10744 Terrace Street questioned if we want to attract people with a flashing sign. Will the sign regulation as written be enforced?
William Pier 10744 Terrace Street stated the sign at the boat storage is not in compliance. He doesn’t understand what this applicant is trying to accomplish or what the rational is behind the need for a new digital sign. He stated those speaking at the meeting are the residents that will be affected by this sign as their properties overlook this property.
Gurr explained we must base our decision on what the ordinance allows. He explained the process for those who want to log a complaint.
William Pier said he understood the need for generalization of language and that allows lawyers to find a way around the rules.
Public comment closed. 6:42 PM
Schafer spoke about his knowledge of the new owner and stated he is very community oriented and Schafer is confident the ordinance standards will be met.
The commission reviewed the standards determining granting of a special use permit from Section 6.03.01 of the ordinance.
Questions were raised concerning bullets D and H. These address glare from the sign. Without a representative of the applicant present these questions could not be answered.
Gurr questioned if we should apply conditions.
Schafer sked if we had applied conditions to other digital sign permits.
Robbins explained the Bistro sign was the first and the ordinance did not address the new technology. Ordinance language was approved to address future applications and conditions have been applied to the applications to minimize impact when businesses are closed.
Moglovkin and Westerman questioned making a decision without the owner present to answer our concerns.
Discussion and decision to postpone approval until applicant can attend.
Moglovkin will research lighting and report back. The public hearing will be continued on August 17th at 7:00 PM. Applicant will be notified.
Public Comment: None
Adjourn: 6:55 P.M. Motion Robbins, 2nd Moglovkin. Carried
Respectfully Submitted, Bonnie Robbins, Recording Secretary