Planning Commission Minutes April 4, 2024 draft

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                                                                                   DRAFT   04-08-2024                                     

Minutes of Helena Township Planning Commission

                                                                                April 04, 2024

Meeting called to order by Moglovkin at 5:02 p.m.

Before commencing proceedings member Robbins presented commission members with four documents.

  1. A list of members and phone numbers and email addresses to facilitate communication between members.
  2. A list of planning commission members with notation of terms of service including expiration of service dates.

             3-4. Copies of By-law amendments from June 14, 2022 and February 14, 2022.

Pledge of Allegiance


 Present:    Mike Robinson, Gary Lockwood,, Jim Gurr, Sue Moglovkin, Joe Bassil, Bonnie Robbins

 Absent:     Gordie Schafer

Approval of Agenda:  Robbins asked to amend agenda to move item ADMINISTRATIVE ITEMS  from New Business to precede Approval of Agenda. No objections, item was moved.


Gurr noted the Planning Commission had not held its Administrative meeting in March and that the April meeting should go forward with the election of a Temporary Chair and the election of 2024 officers proceed followed by a usual April meeting. Some discussion of the necessity of a temporary chairmanship. Members agreed.

Gurr nominated Sue Moglovkin (Guy) as temporary chair. No other nominations were presented. Moglovkin (Guy) was elected temporary chair by unanimous vote. Administrative meeting commenced.

Member Lockwood voiced concern over perceived deficiencies with regard to Planning Commission by-laws and the missed requirement the March Administrative meeting.  Concern was expressed remarking he had never seen a listing of PC membership roster and wondered if other members were aware of the schedule’s existence. Concern was expressed about the need to rework the commission’s by-laws.

Robbins explained nature of previous alterations of by-laws were strictly along lines of accommodating member work schedules and were exclusively concerned with meeting times and had not been disruptive of proceedings.

Discussion ensued. Member Lockwood expressed concern that according to recently provided schedule of appointments two members were currently no longer on PC. Lockwood asked Supervisor Peeples (attending as member of the public) if he was aware of the schedule. Supervisor replied he knew of alternating terms of service but had not seen the document.

Member Lockwood moved, supported by Member Robbins that The Administrative Meeting be tabled and a review of by-laws be initiated. Discussion ensued:

Members discussed and sought clarification about whether tabling the Administrative meeting would preclude further business of the April meeting. Lockwood felt April meeting would end, to be picked up at May meeting.  Gurr expressed concern that ending April meeting would unnecessarily delay the business of the PC. Gurr pointed out that Supervisor Peeples was in attendance at meeting and could solve re-appointment dilemma by affirmation of member requests to be re-appointed.  One member did so, another did not.

Further discussion of scope of motion followed.

Question was called. Vote of members Yes, 2—No, 2. One abstention—motion failed.

April meeting proceeded with Administrative Session.

Gurr nominated Sue Moglovkin (Guy) as Chairperson of 2024 Helena Township Planning Commission. Members nominated Mike Robinson as Vice-chair, Jim Gurr as Secretary. No other nominations were made. Appointments approved unanimously

April meeting returned to amended agenda.


APPROVAL of MINUTES of MARCH meeting. Gurr made motion, Bassil seconded. Minutes approved.


Citizen wondered if Master Plan survey was available to public. Answer affirmative.

Member of public expressed concern that PC members tacitly expressed biases during March meeting with facial gestures and comments. Member of public wondered if it was appropriate for a member of the PC to read constituent concern letters during meeting.

Member of public expressed concern over lack of decorum at March meeting


Gurr brought to attention of PC two opportunities to gain insight on issues facing Township.

  1. MTA Zoning Essentials Workshop.
  2. MSU Extension Summit in Traverse City– SAVE the FARM Summit. Gurr urged members to apply through Township to

NEW BUSINESS:  Zoning Administrator’s report.


Recently drafted RENEWABLE ENERGY ORDINANCE is now in attorney’s hands. Public Hearing will be held at May 2024 PC Meeting. Public notifications will be made.


Member of public expressed concern over lack of decorum exhibited between members during meeting, felt members behaved beneath the dignity of public office.

PC member Gurr asked chair to be recognized as member of the public. Gurr apologized if public perceived a lack of civility in his actions and statements. He asked that they consider his felt need to address public concerns before the commission. He understands positive activity not needless debate best serve that goal.  Gurr expressed regret if he disappointed anyone in the public in his efforts.

ADJOURN :  6:14 p.m.