Planning Commission Minutes – March 04, 2015

Minutes of Helena Township Planning Commission

March 04, 2015

Meeting called to order by Gurr (7:11 pm)

Opened with Pledge of Allegiance.

Roll Call:                      Present:            Jim Gurr                  Mike Robinson

Bonnie Robbins      Chris Dewald

Ken Renaud

Absent:             Bob Johnson          Rodger Dewey

Township officials present:                    Guy Molby,  David Peterson


Approval of Agenda:  Motion: Dewald, 2nd Renaud.  Carried

Statement of Conflict of Interest:          None

Approval of Minutes:  Feb. 4, 2015 Notes from meeting (no quorum) were accepted as submitted.

Feb. 6, 2015 Minutes:  Motion:  Dewald. 2nd Renaud.  Approved as submitted.

Public Comment:         (15 in attendance)

Communications:         Announcement of two sessions of interest.  Soil & Erosion, March 11 @ 1:00pm, Torch Lake Township Hall.  Shoreline Zoning, March 19, 5:30 – 8:30 @ MI Works Office in Traverse City.

Old Business: 

Discussion of Walker Shore Development

            Review of the Motion and Conditions of Approval memo submitted by township legal counsel.  Complete document attached to minutes.

Discussion of contour of drainfields and clarification that there is ample room for runoff from slopes to disburse before reaching the drainfield site.

Road easement on Lot 8 can be diminished without negative effect so lot will meet the 20,000 sq. ft. requirement.

Septic tanks will all be water tight.  There will be an alarm on the community storage tanks.  Grinder pumps will filter solids before reaching drainfield.

Discussion of language addressing buildable lots.  Developer concerned the words suggested imply lots may not be buildable.  Master Deed states there are township regulations that will have to be met.  Language stating township is not guaranteeing the lots are buildable was removed or reworded.

DEQ has addressed the drive over the stormwater basin issue.  Basins are not designed to hold water, only 2 ft. deep and can be easily drained if needed.  Permit is in place for this part of the development.

Discussion of entrance drive at drainfield.  Clarification there is ample room for drive and parking without impact on drainfield system.

Discussion of township liability on septic system.  Planning commission does not see need for indemnification.  Developer understands Township Board of Trustees will have final say on the recommendations.

Discussion of escrow account.  Bozzer stated the account will be in place.  Redman suggested the DEQ could verify if the escrow account is reasonable for the scope of the project.

Road names have been corrected on the plan.

Section 7.07 reviewed for approval requirements.  All requirements that are applicable were met or will be met with final approval of permits.

Based on the finding of facts and site plan review this project is recommended to the township board for approval.

Motion:  Renauld, 2nd Dewald.  Dewald, Renaud, Gurr, Robinson all voting Aye.  Robbins will vote at the township board.



Master Plan Review:      Tabled for April meeting

Fine Language:             Tabled for April meeting.


New Business:

ZA report

February 2015:  Land Use 1, Field Checks 5 , Attorney Contacts 0 , Public Contacts 16 ,  Zoning Violations 0


Public Comment:  Good job on the site plan review.  Believes this development will be something the township can be proud of.


Adjourn: 9:25 pm Motion Dewald, 2nd Robinson. Carried


Respectfully Submitted,

Bonnie Robbins

Helena Township Planning Commission Recording Secretary