Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes – January 14, 2015

Meeting Minutes

Zoning Board of Appeals

January 14, 2015


Present:           Linda Fox, Jim Gurr, Barb Lockrey, Bonnie Robbins

Absent:            Gary Hutchens


Call to Order

  1. Gurr called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.


Pledge of Allegiance

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.


Call for Conflict

There is no conflict of interest by any board member for the variance request being presented.


Approval of Agenda

  1. Robbins moved to approve agenda. B. Lockrey seconded; all were in favor. Motion passed.


Approval of Minutes

The minutes of April 16, 2014 were reviewed. B. Robbins moved to approve the minutes as written. B. Lockrey seconded; all were in favor.  Motion passed.


Zoning Administrator Staff Report


Matter to Be Addressed

  1. Molby reported that Albert Kleinhuizen requested a variance for lots 4 & 5 on Park Street in Alden. He cannot meet the 35’ front set back requirements and is requesting a 5’ variance. He wishes to build a two bedroom home. However the Health Department reported it as having four bedrooms by including an office space and a bonus room.  This requires a larger drain field (1,500 square feet) and has led to the need for the variance request. The homeowners are petitioning the Health Department to approve the home as a two bedroom. If this occurs, no variance will be needed and the original footprint will be utilized.  The homeowners have received a soil erosion permit.  There were 18 letters sent to area homeowners with four replies.  Three were unopposed and one was neutral.


Presentation of Variance Request by Property Owner

The homeowners reiterated the details presented by Mr. Molby.


Public Comments

No public comment.


Board Deliberation

After discussion the board reviewed Section 16.06 of the Helena Township Zoning Ordinance and determined the following findings:


  1. That the requirement in question is unreasonably burdensome to the use of the property. If the Health Department requires a change in the footprint to a four bedroom home it is reasonable to allow the variance.  The homeowners have to also adjust their drain field with consideration of the creek bed nearby.  All ZBA members were in agreement with this finding.
  2. That granting the variance is just to both the applicant and to other property owners in the zoning district.  All members were in agreement with this finding.


  1. That granting relief is consistent with the spirit of the ordinance.  All members were in agreement with this finding.


  1. That granting relief is not harmful to the public health, safety, or welfare.  All members were in agreement with this finding.


Move To Adopt

For reasons set forth in the findings of fact, B. Robbins moved that the A. Kleinhuizen application be approved and the variance granted if the Health Department does not change their position. B. Lockrey seconded; all were in favor and the motion was passed.


Old Business

There was no old business to be discussed.


New Business

J. Gurr reported that Dave Cybulla is no longer in the area and he is working on recruiting another alternate for the ZBA.  He also stated he has not heard from G. Hutchens regarding his interest in remaining a board member.



B. Lockrey moved that the meeting be adjourned at 7:40 p.m. B. Robbins seconded; all were in favor. The motion passed.



Respectfully Submitted By,



Linda Fox, Secretary