ZBA Minutes August 15, 2018

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Meeting Minutes

Zoning Board of Appeals

August 15, 2018

7:00 PM

Present:           Doris Felton, Linda Fox, Jim Gurr, Gary Hutchens, Barb Lockrey, Bonnie Robbins

Absent:            Susan Moglovkin

Call to Order

  1. Gurr called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

Pledge of Allegiance

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Call for Conflict


Approval of Agenda

  1. Robbins moved to approve the agenda. D. Felton seconded. All were in favor and the motion passed.

Approval of Minutes

The minutes of June 11, 2018 were reviewed. B. Robbins moved to approve the minutes as written. B. Robbins seconded. All were in favor and the motion passed.

Zoning Administrator Staff Report

Matter to Be Addressed

  1. Logee reported that Mehul Mehta has a 10 x 20 nonpermanent shed on his property. It is raised on bricks to keep it level and there is no permanent foundation. It has been in place for over a year. Recently a complaint was received that the shed was not within the required setbacks. He then filed for a variance. There were twelve letters sent to area homeowners with no responses.

Presentation of Variance Request by Property Owner

The homeowner stated the shed was placed in the most aesthetically pleasing position for all his neighbors. Moving it anywhere else would block their lake view. He did not file for a permit as he was told by the county that it was not needed since his shed was at or below 200’ in size.

Public Comments


Board Deliberation

Findings of Fact:

The board reviewed Section 5.01, parts D and E of the Helena Township Zoning Ordinance and determined that part D applies to this situation. It states “temporary accessory structures that are not attached to the land surface may be placed in the rear and side yard setbacks if they otherwise meet the requirements of the Ordinance”.

The previous ZA should have informed the homeowner of this rather than moving forward with a variance request.

Move To Adopt

For reasons set forth in the findings of fact, B. Robbins moved that the application of James Campbell is null and void. The shed is not on a foundation and therefore determined to be temporary. The ZA should have told the homeowner to get the proper permits and also that no variance was necessary. Any fees incurred by the homeowner will be refunded. B. Lockrey seconded. Board members voted and all were in favor. The motion passed.

It was recommended the Planning Commission review the language in sections D & E of the ordinance in regard to accessory structures. It should be clearer about temporary or permanent structures or both; and, specifically define what types of structures do and do not apply.

Old Business

  1. Gurr stated he will ensure the Record of Finding of Facts document meets the needs of recording minutes in a timely manner. It was clarified that this document is to be completed at the end of each meeting however it does not replace official meeting minutes.

New Business

Board members were in agreement that the Zoning Permit Application needs revision. One important change is to include what section of the Zoning Ordinance applies to the variance being requested. G. Hutchens volunteered to work with B. Logee on the revision.


J. Gurr adjourned the meeting at 7:50 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted By,

Linda Fox, Secretary