Planning Commission Minutes – April 20, 2011 (Special Meeting)

Minutes of Helena Township Planning Commission

April 20, 2011

Special meeting/work session


Meeting called to order by Swan

Opened with Pledge of Allegiance.

Roll Call:                      Present:            Jim Swan                                              Jim Gurr

Chris Dewald                                         Bob Johnson

Mike Robinson(7:20)                             Bonnie Robbins (7:15)

Absent:             Rodger Dewey

Township officials present:                    Guy Molby

Statement of Conflict of Interest:          None

Public Comment:         None

Communications:         None

Approval of Agenda: Motion with date correction to 2011and change to reflect New Business handled before approval of minutes. Motion Johnson, 2nd Gurr. Carried (6,0)

New Business:             Dewald questioned need for request to come to commission for approval.

Discussion and consensus that zoning administrator had authority to approve permit without need for planning commission review. Consensus to approve application, recognizing zoning administrator had discretion to approve without planning commission review. Fact finding steps waived. Will review fee charged. Motion Gurr, 2nd Johnson. Carried (6,0)

Dewald left meeting at 8:05 p.m.


Approval of Minutes:   March 2, 2011   Approved with one spelling correction. Motion: Gurr, 2nd Swan. Carried (5,0)

                                    March 9, 2011 Approved with one correction. Motion Gurr, 2nd Swan. Carried (5,0)

April 6, 2011 Approved with 7 corrections. Motion Gurr, 2nd Johnson. Carried (5,0)


Old Business:              Discussion of progress in removal of dilapidated trailer on East Torch Lake Drive. Robinson reported property owner wants to improve the property or possibly sell the site.   Zoning administrator will discuss options of property improvement ideas with owner and continue to work to get the structure removed or replaced.

Robinson reported the fire department has agreed to move their meeting so he will not have a scheduling conflict in the future.

Review of suggested Zoning Ordinance changes

Topic 1                   Discussion on uses to permit in setbacks. Consensus to change zoning ordinance to state the following concerning setback uses:

Permanent structures are prohibited in the setback areas.

Request Bzdok review if this is sufficient to address use of setback.


Topic 2                   Outdoor lighting: Recommend using language submitted by Bzdok.


Public Comment:        None


Adjourn: Motion Dewald, 2nd Gurr. Carried (5,0)


Respectfully Submitted,

Bonnie Robbins

Helena Township Planning Commission Recording Secretary