Planning Commission Public Hearing on Recreation Plan September 7, 2023

Arvon Township Planning Commission Public Hearing for Recreation Plan

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Call to Order:  6:00 PM

Roll Call:  Nancy Strohschein, Chair; Linnea Barron, Secretary, Bob Janda, Township Board Representative Robert Lindert, Vice Chair; Jay Loman, Board of Review Chair.  Absent:  Joe Bollech with notice.

Pledge of Allegiance:  Recited.

Introductions/Guests:  Jason McCarthy, consultant; John and Kathy Salisbury; Jay Fish, Township Supervisor.

Approval of Agenda:  Jay made a motion to approve the agenda, seconded by Donna.  Motion carried.

Agenda:

I.  Recreation Plan introduction by Jason.

            Jason highlighted from the recreation plan that the Arvon Township Recreation Plan (2024-2028) serves as a road map to the future regarding recreation planning and development within the community.  The plan’s primary focus is to ensure that quality recreational opportunities are available for users of all ages and abilities. Recreation provision in Arvon Township is a key component of community planning, as it serves as a benchmark for how residents and visitors view their quality of life.  The plan includes an introduction to what this plan is and why we need it, how to use the plan, and funding.  Contents include a community description, administrative structure, recreation inventory, description of the planning process, description of the public input process, goals and objectives and action plan.  Each area has its importance in developing a recreation plan as the information obtained assists in exploring what Arvon Township already possesses, what the community would like in recreation and how to accomplish it.  The recreation plan is necessary and includes all the components required to obtain grants for future projects. 

            Jason stated how the process began with reviewing the old recreation plan (2012-2016), updating information, improving maps, reviewing all the recreational opportunities already in place, setting up a community survey, a community input session, followed by goals and objectives and an action plan.  Paper surveys were sent to around 500 residents/landowners, plus an on-line monkey survey was available.  There were about 107 responses, about a quarter of the population, which Jason stated was very good.  The survey results were compiled and presented at a public input session on May 3, 2023.  From the input session, the goals and objectives were developed, and an action plan set up for the next five years.  The first two years in the action plan focus on the Arvon Township Park, but Jason added that any of the projects can be moved around to a different date depending on need.  Jason stressed how this recreation plan is resident generated. 

            Funding for projects can be through grants, local in-kind participation, community funding, or the possibility of millage funding.  The timeline for most grants is the application needs to be submitted by February 1 and the deadline is April 1.  If a grant is obtained it would be for the following year.  Most grants do a matching fund of 75% to 25%.  Important components in a recreation plan are to prioritize improvements and to use it as a road map for recreation opportunities.

            The survey also included a question if anyone was interested in volunteering to be on a recreation committee for Arvon Township.  There was a surprising response of fifteen people interested.  This will be followed up on in the future.

            In closing, Jason mentioned that he has applied to be the Zoning Administrator for our township and could help with grant applications.

II.  Process of Updating the Recreation Plan

            Nancy felt Jason covered the process well and had a few questions.  If donations are obtained from some source, does that count as 25% of the township’s part?  Jason said yes it does. 

            Another question Nancy had was reference to reviewing the plan annually.  Jason clarified that it is helpful each year to see what has been done, grant application, what project is being worked on, etc.  This could be done at budget planning time or at the first quarterly meeting of the year.

III.  Public Comment on the plan.

            Jay Fish commented he liked the simplicity of the plan, it does not change the footprint of Arvon Township.  Projects are scaled to the rural community.  Jay made an additional comment that Lyme pulled their signs indicating permission on their properties.  This has to do with the paperwork is incomplete and affects surrounding property owners, so the signs are down for now.

            Cathy Salisbury asked if the approved plan will be accessible to all residents.  Jason stated the cost of printing is high, but there are a few copies available.  The best way to access the recreation plan is on the Arvon Township’s website, which is www.arvontownship.org

            Bob asked Jason how much he would charge for working on grant applications.  Jason may become our zoning administrator and the administrative cost in grant application comes out of the grant program, usually 15%.

            Donna asked if the Township Board needs to approve a recreation committee at this upcoming meeting.  Jason felt it was not necessary at this time, perhaps at budget time.

IV.  Consideration of any changes. 

            None.

V.  Approval by Planning Commission – Roll Call Vote.

            Nancy Strohschein – yes

            Bob Janda – yes

            Robert Lindert – yes

            Jay Loman – yes

            Donna Preston – yes

            Linnea Barron – yes

VI.  Next steps:  Presentation to Arvon Township Board on September 11

VII.  Next meetings

            A.  Monday, September 11, 2023, 6 PM:  Township Board meeting where the board will        consider adoption of the Recreation Plan.

            B.  September 21, 2023:  Planning Commission Work session, Zoning Ordinance update

            C.  Wednesday, October 11, 2023, 6 PM:  Quarterly Planning Commission Meeting

Adjourn:  Robert made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Donna.  Motion carried.  Adjournment at 6:45 PM

Submitted by Linnea Barron, Secretary

Planning Commission Community Input Session May 3, 2023

Arvon Township Planning Commission Public Input Session

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Call to Order:  6:00 p.m.

Roll Call:  Nancy Strohschein, Chairperson; Linnea Barron, Secretary; Joe Bollech, Board of Review Representative; Bob Janda, Township Board Representative; Robert Lindert, Vice Chairperson; Jay Loman, Board of Review Chair; Donna Preston, Trustee.

Pledge of Allegiance:  Recited.

Introductions/Guests:  There were thirty-three guests present including Jason McCarthy, Consultant from Northwood Planning & Zoning and the Planning Commission members.  The Planning Commission members introduced themselves, followed by introductions of all those present for this meeting. 

Approval of Agenda:  Bob made a motion to approve the agenda, seconded by Jay.  Motion carried.

Approval of minutes of April 13, 2023, work session:  Joe made a motion to accept the minutes, seconded by Robert.  Motion carried.

Agenda:

I.  Recreation Plan.

    A.  Linnea presented a brief history of the recreation plan for Arvon Township.  Recreation plans are to be updated every five years, and the timeframe of our current recreation plan was from 2011 to 2016.  Our recreation plan is long overdue.

    B.  Jason McCarthy, consultant, addressed the Recreation Plan process and the importance of the survey and this community input session in identifying recreation wants/needs and ideas the public would benefit from.  This meeting is mandatory in the process of creating a recreation plan and the recreation plan is mandated by the state of Michigan for each township and necessary for grant applications.  Most grants are a state match (25% from township, 75% from state).   Applications for grants open on February 1, 2024.  The survey will assist in achieving the goals/objectives and the number of projects to pursue in the next five years.  The next step in this process is a meeting to utilize the comments from this community input session, scheduled for Thursday, May 18, 2023, at 6 p.m. at the town hall, to select projects to consider for the Action Plan.  A 30-day review period follows with copies of the draft plan placed for review at the Arvon Township Hall and on the township’s website.  A Public Hearing will be set up in June and Resolution of Adoption by the Township Board tentatively by August/September. 

     C.  Nancy presented the results of the Recreation Survey which ran from mid-March through April 2023.  The survey utilized paper surveys mailed to all homestead residents and about 200 other property owners and an on-line Survey Monkey with a total of 104 surveys completed (82 paper and 22 on-line surveys), a 16% return rate.  The mailed surveys went to every resident/property owner in Arvon Township.  The paper survey consisted of ten questions and Nancy presented each question and the results revealed and discussed. 

There were some surprises in the results as in question 3 requesting the age of whoever was filling out the survey, the result for age 50 and over, was 82.  Question 5 showed interest in improving the township park (beach, playground equipment, tennis/pickle ball courts, dock improvement and pavilion).  Questions 6/7 concerned maintenance and/or improvement of recreational facilities include the boat launch at the park, township hall, and the undeveloped waterfront parcels were of importance.  Question 8 identified activities the public participates in and beach/swimming, hiking trails, ATV/snowmobile trails, fishing/boating, kayak/paddle board topped the list.  Question 9 requested recreational opportunities to be developed included marked ORV, trails including hiking/cross-country skiing, beach/swimming, boat launch at park, undeveloped waterfronts, and many more.

Comments from guests:

            Clarification made of recreational facilities are those that the township owns that we can consider in this plan. 

            Jay Fish, Township Supervisor, stated that the township hall is a historical building and maintenance includes bids for new siding and windows.  The Township has Covid monies that will be used for a new fence at the ballfield with the work by ball team members.

            Another guest asked who are we doing this for, residents or visitors?  The discussion that followed was really for both.

            Joe Bollech commented about improving the swimming area at the park and possible lighting be added.

            Karen Groesbeck suggested the beauty of flowers in a formal garden, and how a past garden tour in Arvon Township was a success.  The discussion went on to a possible community garden (vegetable/flower).

            A big item on the survey was more marked ATV trails.  This requires validation process for motor and nonmotor recreation.   Lyle Olsen from Aura, a member of the Baraga County Trail Authority (BCTA), provided information that the easements for trail 14 from Lyme and the Conservancy are done with permanent easement by the DNR.  This trail requires licensing, and stickers to access certain trails.  Arvon Township is not yet connected to trail 14 with the concern that this would require Skanee Road to be part of that system, which was felt to be too dangerous.  The trail systems need enforcement and maintenance. 

            There were many suggestions for the township park.  A swimming beach, horseshoe pits (which are there, just need repair), fish cleaning station, railing down to the pavilion, cornhole game, kayak launch, longer boat launch/dock, handicapped fishing access, improved pavilion, basketball court, playground equipment.

            There is interest in the property by Witz Marina for swimming and a kayak launch.

Also on the survey was the question requesting community members to be on a recreation committee.  Jason explained that this committee would be appointed by the Township Board and should have a Planning Commission member on the committee.  This committee would review annual projects for grants and serve in advisory status.  On the survey we had fifteen individuals interested in serving in this capacity.

There were various discussions resuming with good input from the community when adjourned.

II.  Next meeting time is 6 p.m. at the town hall on Thursday, May 18, 2023, to review the input from this meeting and form an Action Plan for the Recreation Plan.

The meeting was adjourned by Nancy Strohschein at 7:40 p.m.  Coffee provided and Ivy Huttema baked cookies enjoyed by all.

Submitted by Linnea Barron, Secretary

Planning Commission work Session March 23, 2023

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Call to Order:  6:00 p.m.

Roll Call:  Nancy Strohschein, Chairperson; Linnea Barron, Secretary; Joe Bollech, Board ofReview; Robert Lindert, Vice Chairperson; Jay Loman, Board of Review Chair.  Absent:  Bob Janda, Board Representative; and Donna Preston, Trustee; both absent with notice.

Pledge of Allegiance:  Recited

Guests:  Jason McCarthy

Approval of Agenda:  Joe made a motion to approve the agenda, seconded by Robert.  Motion carried.

Approval of minutes of March 16, 2023 work session:  Robert made a motion to approve the minutes, seconded by Joe.  Motion carried.

Agenda: 

1.  Recreation Plan Survey update:

Joe made a collection box for surveys to be dropped off and is located at the town hall.  We sent a total of 500 surveys.  The Survey Monkey is on Facebook and township’s website.  There is a problem with the website and Nancy will work on that.  Nancy reported she has already received some surveys back. 

2.  Recreation Plan update from Jason:

We reviewed the updated sections of our recreation plan.  We like the new map and suggest using a map legend that is color coded to show what we own and what we don’t own, plus identify our main attractions. 

Tonight, we concentrated on the goals & objectives and 5-year work plan. 

Goal #6:  We eliminated goal #6 but kept the objectives and transferred them to goal #4.  The goals were similar, and we felt the objectives fit better under goal #4. 

Goal #7 will now become goal #6.

Under Goal #2 we will add the possibility to mitigate dust control for certain trails.

5-Year Work Plan:  Jason discussed the action plan for projects.  Our goals/objectives will guide us on these.  We could choose a project for every year.  Examples:  2024 – redo the baseball field and get cost estimate.  2025 – kayak launch by Witz Marina on property we own.  The information we obtain from the survey and public hearing will assist us in this.  The deadline to apply for grants is April 1 of every year.  This plan can be amended but must repeat the whole process again, i.e., 30-day review, public hearing.

Timeline for Recreation Plan:  The in-person input session is set for Thursday, May 4, 2023.  If conflict with date, will change it.  We are trying for completion of the rec plan draft by June 1, 2023 and 30-day review begins.  We are trying for a public hearing in July with board approval in August.

3.  Zoning Ordinance

The Zoning Administrator (ZA) and building inspector positions need to be filled.  Chris Wahmhoff, a trustee with the Township Board, stated he would be interested becoming the ZA.  There may be a conflict with his position on the board, but in rural areas that may be overlooked when it is hard to find someone to fill certain positions.  Jay expressed interest in the building inspector position and even considers the ZA.  Both positions require certification via training.

We discussed the article from the MTA on using a municipal civil infraction to enforce nuisance, zoning and building code violations.  Jason explained this very well and we need to implement this in our ordinance.

Before adjourning, Nancy polled each of us as to how many surveys (paper and on-line) we think will be returned by April 30th.   We had some optimistic numbers!!

Next meeting:  Thursday, April 13, 2023 at 6 p.m. at the firehall.

Adjourn:  Robert made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Jay.  Motion carried.  Adjournment was at 7:30 p.m.

Submitted by Linnea Barron, Secretary

Planning Commission Work Session March 16, 2023

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Call to Order:  6 p.m.

Roll Call:  Nancy Strohschein, Chairperson; Linnea Barron, Secretary; Joe Bollech, Trustee; Bob Janda, Township Board Representative; Robert Lindert, Vice Chairperson.  Absent with notice:  Jay Loman, Donna Preston.

Pledge of Allegiance:  Recited

Approval of Agenda:  Bob made a motion to approve the agenda, seconded by Robert.  Motion carried.

Approval of minutes from March 9, 2023 work session:  Joe made a motion to accept the minutes, seconded by Bob.  Motion carried.

Agenda:  This work session was dedicated to printing out the recreation plan survey (500 copies), cross-referencing the addresses on the resident list with the homestead list as there were duplicates, applying the addresses to the envelopes and stamping them.   This process took three hours, and we were happy to have Sue Bollech to assist us.  Nancy will take these to the post office.  Joe is making a collection box for participants to drop off their survey at the township hall.

Next meeting:  Thursday, March 23, 2023 at 6 p.m. at the firehall.

Adjourn:  Joe made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Bob.  Motion carried.  Adjournment at 9 p.m.

Planning Commission Work Session March 9, 2023

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Call to Order:  6:30 p.m.

Roll Call:  Nancy Strohschein, Chairperson; Linnea Barron, Secretary; Joe Bollech, Trustee; Bob Janda, Township Board Representative; Robert Lindert, Vice Chairperson.  Absent:  Jay Loman with notice; Donna Preston, with notice.

Pledge of Allegiance:  Recited

Guests:  Jason McCarthy, by phone.

Approval of Agenda:  Robert made a motion to approve the agenda, seconded by Bob.  Motion carried.

Approval of minutes from February 16, 2023 meeting:  The topic of noise ordinance was added to the agenda and discussed.  Therefore, Joe made a motion to approve the minutes with the addition of noise ordinance in the agenda, seconded by Bob.  Motion carried.

Agenda: 

1.  Recreation Plan.

A.  Jason McCarthy joined us via phone for this meeting to go over the recreation plan.  Changes were made to the sections Introduction, Community Description and Administrative Structure as requested.

 In section, Arvon Township Recreation Inventory, it was felt a map indicating the township waterfront parcels and other points of our recreation inventory would be helpful.  Jason agreed and has already planned for this.  We also requested that the Huron River information should go under the title Additional Area Recreational Facilities.  Also, under this title we changed the description of the first sentence of Silver River Boat Launch Site to read; Silver River Boat Launch is near the corner of Skanee and Townline Roads.  Jason will work on the description for Aura Town Hall & Ball Field.  The Town Hall is the site of the Aura Jamboree, a well-attended event in the summer.  Under Big Erik’s Bridge & Campground the addition of noting outhouses and a popular place for steelhead fishing was suggested.  A sentence was removed from the Old Ravine River Cemetery and correction of typos. 

The section, Description of the Planning Process, was explained by Jason.  He went into detail on how the “system” planning method works. 

Section, Description of the Public Input Process: The Community Survey, paper and on-line, will start mid-March and end on April 30.  We have a tentative date for the Early Public Input of Thursday, May 4, 2023.

B.  Goals and Objectives:  Jason proposed seven goals and objectives.  Jason stated that they are general but detailed.  The Michigan State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) was utilized in these goals and objectives and adapted for Arvon Township’s needs.  He pointed out that each goal had a word emphasizing the purpose of the goal.   Nancy questioned the repetition of trail networks on goal 2 as this subject has been covered by the township with decision against trail networks due to a good portion would travel on Skanee Road and be too dangerous, or on side roads causing extreme dust conditions for residents.  The township is not against trail networks if alternative routes could be established.  Jason commented that purchase of easements from landowners for trails is a possibility.  On goals 6 and 7, Nancy stated that the objectives did not seem to project the goal.  Jason will reword these two.

C.  Survey.

Jason suggested some changes to the survey, remove the question on gender and how often one recreates.  We agreed to remove #4 on gender, but decided to keep question on how often one recreates.  We would like a header for the survey.  Jason will add a statement at the end of the survey stating people can photocopy the paper survey if multiple people want to participate.

We have a budget of $700 for the survey.  Jim Fedie has supplied the addresses for the paper survey.  There are duplicates and businesses that we need to eliminate to get the number down to 500.  Nancy had a question if too many addresses, can we pick and choose who to send to.  Jason will investigate that with MTA attorney.

Jason explained how the Survey Monkey works.  We plan to print, label and stuff envelopes at the next meeting.

D.  Review schedule. 

Survey dates of mid-March to April 30.  In-person input session set for Thursday, May 4, 2023.  Results of survey and input session will be used in the Goals and Objectives and Action Plan.  Tentative date for public hearing is June or July with final adoption in August or September.

E.  Next work session set for Thursday, March 16, 2023, at 6 p.m. with Jason in attendance.

2.  Zoning Ordinance

A.  Chris Wahmhoff, Trustee on Township Board, has agreed to be the Zoning Administrator (ZA) after receiving the education necessary for the job.  We need to check with MTA if he can serve as ZA and on the Board.

B.  Nancy read an article from MTA on enforcing ordinances.   The article changed violating an ordinance from a misdemeanor to a municipal civil infraction with procedures to follow including sending a letter to violator, possible appearance in court with a judge to determine outcome.  Jason was aware of this recommendation and strongly suggests that we adopt this approach in the updated ordinance.  We will have to make sure the duties of the ZA are clearly defined in the updated ordinance.

Next meeting date will be Thursday, March 16, 2023, at 6 p.m. at the firehall.  We will be printing surveys, addressing and stuffing envelopes.  Jason will be at this meeting and go through the next steps in the survey results, Goals and Objectives, and Action plan.

Adjourn:  Robert made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Joe.  All approved and motion carried.  Adjournment at 7:55 p.m.

Submitted by Linnea Barron, Secretary

Planning Commission Work Session February 16, 2023

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Call to Order:  6 p.m.

Roll Call:  Nancy Strohschein, Chairperson; Linnea Barron, Secretary; Joe Bollech, Trustee; Bob Janda, Township Board Representative; Robert Lindert, Vice Chairman; Jay Loman, absent with notice; Donna Preston, absent with notice.

Pledge of Allegiance:  Recited

Guests:  None.

Approval of Agenda:  Bob made a motion to approve the agenda, seconded by Robert.  Motion carried.

Approval of minutes of January 24, 2023 meeting:  Robert made a motion to approve the minutes, seconded by Joe.  Motion carried.

Agenda: 

1.  Recreation Plan:  We reviewed the first three sections, Introduction, Community Description, and Administrative Structure, in the proposed plan with the changes that Jason made.  We still feel the map on page 2, Figure 2, could be larger or just different from map, Figure 1. 

The new sections we reviewed were:  Recreation Inventory; Description of the Planning Process; and Description of the Public Input Process.  In the Recreation Inventory, we removed Roland Lake from the inventory as we do not own it and placed this site under possible new category, Other Natural Resources.  Also in this section under the Arvon Township Waterfront Parcels we would list only the 34 acres of undeveloped Lake Superior frontage property, the 38-acre parcel near Vicks Point and the 100-foot strip of property at Witz Marina as properties that we own.  The Witz Marina, trails and rustic camping at Pointe Abbaye and the area managed by the Keweenaw Land Trust at Lightfoot Bay would be listed under Other Natural Resources.  In the Description of the Public Input Process, we changed the order so that the Community Survey would be the first step for us followed by the Early Public Input, next would be the 30-day Review Period and closing with the Public Hearing & Resolution of Adoption.

We also noted some minor typos that need to be corrected.

Other Recreation Resources include:  Roland Lake, Point Abbaye, Witz Marina, Silver River access, Big Erick’s campground, Lightfoot Bay Nature Reserve, Aura Town Hall and Ballfield, Skanee cemetery and Ravine River cemetery, Arvon Township historical museum.  Natural features include:  Waterfalls (Silver River Falls, Quartzite Falls, Letherby Falls), the slate quarry, mouth of the Huron River and Mount Arvon.

The survey, paper and on-line version, was reviewed in detail.  On #4 to save some room on the survey we combined some recreations.  We eliminated question #10 as unnecessary.  We set the date, May 8, 2023, as the person input session.  Tentative date of May 16, 2023 set for work session.  Tentative date for public hearing in June with final board approval at July 10, 2023 township board meeting.  Completed recreation plan set for August.

2.  Zoning Ordinance.

The need for a noise ordinance was brought up with a recent incident that occurred.  This would involve airB&B’s, short-term rentals, etc. 

Adjourn:  Nancy made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Joe.  Motion carried.  Work session ended at 7;50 p.m.

Next meeting:  Thursday, March 2, 2023, tentative.

Submitted by Linnea Barron, Secretary

Planning Commission Work Session January 24, 2023

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Call to Order:  6:00 p.m.

Roll Call:  Nancy Strohschein, Chairperson; Linnea Barron, Secretary; Joe Bollech, Trustee; Bob Janda, Township Board Representative; Robert Lindert, Vice Chairperson; Jay Loman, Board of Appeals Representative.  Absent:  Donna Preston, absent with notice.

Pledge of Allegiance:  Recited

Guests:  None.

Approval of Agenda:  Addition made to the agenda under recreation plan; list of resources.   Joe made a motion to approve the agenda, seconded by Bob.  Motion carried.

Approval of minutes of January 12, 2023 work session:  Joe made a motion to accept the minutes, seconded by Robert.  Motion carried.

Agenda: 

A.  Recreation Plan:  We reviewed the sections of the recreation plan provided by Jason again.  In answer to Jason’s question of providing examples of community volunteerism in Arvon Township recreation planning:  Ballfield clean-up done by volunteers; Farmer’s Market; the Christmas party for children put on by the fire department auxiliary; Aura Jamboree; community garage sales; pie social/quilt show by historical society; Memorial Day luncheon provided by the historical society; craft show; 4th of July parade, ice fishing tournament.  Another question from Jason was about the township interacting with the school or other public agencies regarding recreation programs or activities:   Arvon Township school Christmas program at the town hall; Veteran’s Day program at the school.

In preparing our recreation plan survey we utilized the one from Autrain to guide us.  We ended up with twelve questions that will be on-line as well as paper copy, as follows.

1.  Do you or your family use recreational facilities offered in Arvon Township?  Yes or No

2.  Does Arvon Township have enough recreational facilities to accommodate our residents and visitors?   Yes or No and written comment section.

3.  Are Arvon Township’s recreational facilities that you have used adequately maintained?  Yes or No.

4.  What activities do you and your family members participate in Arvon Township for recreation?  (Please include all seasons.)  Written comments.

5.  Are there additional recreational opportunities you would like to see developed in Arvon Township?  Please be creative.

6.  How many hours per week do you spend in recreation?

7.  What time of year do you or your family recreate in Arvon Township?  Year-round, spring, summer, fall, winter.

8.  What is your age?  18 & under, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50+

9.  What is your gender:  Male, female.

10.  Which one of these Arvon Township recreation areas do you believe need additional improvements:  Need to supply list of our resources.

11.  Are you interested in joining a recreation committee for Arvon Township?

12.  Do you live in Arvon Township?  (on-line only)

For the return of paper copies of the survey a drop box will be provided at the post office, town hall (fire hall), Huron Bay Trading Post and the Finns.  A deadline date will be set for dropping off the surveys and the on-line survey.

Linnea will compile a list of Arvon Township’s resources for recreation purposes.

B.  Zoning Ordinance.

Nancy reported that all of Ken’s files are now with Lisa Marinich, Township Clerk.  They include all current and old files.  Ken indicated he would like to continue with land division.  Ken also suggested to Jay Fish, Township Supervisor, that the township needs to have a person in the office at least a couple hours a day or week.  Nancy will continue to be in contact with Ken via email regarding the ordinance and the fee schedule.

The following definitions were discussed for inclusion in our ordinance:  concrete dome structures, geodesic domes, yurts, root cellars, greenhouses, barndominiums.  Also multiple cabins on 5-acre parcel for rent and vaulted privy instead of mound septic system needs to be addressed.  The vaulted privy would be a health department issue. 

Adjourn:  Robert made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Bob.  Motion carried.  Adjournment was at 8 p.m.

Next meeting date for work session:  Thursday, February 16, 2023, at 6 p.m. at the fire hall.

Submitted by Linnea Barron, Secretary

Planning & Zoning Qtrly Meeting January 11, 2023

January 11, 2023

Call to order:  6 p.m.

Roll Call:  Nancy Strohschein, Chair; Linnea Barron, Secretary; Joe Bollech, Trustee; Bob Janda, Township Board Representative; Robert Lindert, Trustee; Jay Loman, Board of Appeals Representative.  Absent:  Donna Preston, absent with notice; Ken Andersen.

Recognition of visitors:  None.

Pledge of Allegiance:  Recited

Comments on agenda:  Nancy walked us through what was on the agenda and if we  had anything to add.

Approval of agenda:  Robert made a motion to accept the agenda, seconded by Bob.  Motion carried.

Approval of minutes from October 19, 2022 quarterly meeting:  In the minutes the names of Jay Fish and Linda Keohane needed to be added as receiving letters from FEMA or DEQ.  Joe made a motion to accept the minutes with the addition of the names, seconded by Jay.  Motion carried.

Public comments:  None.

Chairman Comments:  Location and Format of Planning Commission Documents.

Nancy explained her concern of where Planning Commission documents are stored, i.e., paper, electronic, etc.  She researched MTA for some answers and was able to get on the community forum site where she asked this question and received various replies with the same concerns.  Consequently, she will be meeting via Zoom with some of these people to address this issue.

Old Business:

1.  Planning commission comments/concerns:  Joe had a concern with the recent house fire in the community regarding the cleanup of the debris left over from the fire.  There are a couple cases in this community where the cleanup of fire debris took a couple of years to get cleaned up.  Insurance sometimes dictates the cleanup.  The question was if there should be something in our zoning ordinance on this.

2.  Bob Janda:  Report form Township Board Rep:  Bob thanked this board for their work.

3.  Jay Loman:  Report from Zoning Board of Appeals Rep:  None.

4.  Ken Andersen:  No report.

5.  Flood Insurance:  We have all reviewed the information provided from FEMA and the DEQ concerning the areas designated as a floodplain.  Nancy brought up a map for us to look at showing the area off of Collins Road.  We have a copy of Eagle Harbor Township and how they address this in their ordinance.  We made a decision to put this on hold until we can review this further.

6.  Recreation Plan:  We have a meeting tomorrow night with Jason McCarthy who is assisting us with our plan.  We have been approved by the board to have a mailing of a survey to all residents of Arvon Township.  We feel this is the best way to reach everyone.  This will be discussed further tomorrow night.

7.  Zoning Ordinance update:  We all have an electronic copy of Arvon Township’s ordinance.  We have discussed adding definitions to our ordinance.  Nancy will put the completed ordinance on the website.

8.  Fee Schedule update:  We reviewed the present fee schedule concerning building permits, that has not changed since 2015.  We felt this should be addressed by the building inspector as it was quite confusing.  Jay mentioned that he would investigate other townships on how they handle fee schedules. 

New Business:

1.  Review of By-Laws and select officers:  Nancy brought up a few issues with our by-laws that we are not doing.  We reviewed that appointed positions are done yearly.  We also need a vice chairperson.  Robert made a motion for Nancy to be chairperson, Linnea as secretary, seconded by Bob.  Nancy made a motion to have Robert be our vice chairperson, seconded by Linnea.  All approved.  Nancy gave us all an assignment to read the by-laws before the next quarterly meeting in April for any changes we may want to consider.

2.  Quarterly meetings:  We set up the following planning commission meeting schedule:

January 11, 2023, April 12, 2023, July 12, 2023, and October 11, 2023.

3.  Training for members:  Nancy mentioned that she and Robert received training when they joined the planning commission.  She wondered if there was any other training available for us.  This will be followed up with a possible check with MTA, and sometimes our township board receives this information.

4.  Budget for 2023:  The Township Board sets our budget from the information we give them.  Training costs, ordinance publication, master plan hard copies, recreation plan hard copies, and grant monies.

Next Quarterly Meeting:  April 12, 2023, 6 p.m. at the firehall.

Adjourn:  Bob made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Robert.  All approved.  Adjourned at 7:10 p.m.

Planning Commission Work Session December 8, 2022

December 8, 2022

Call to Order:  6:00 PM

Roll Call:  Nancy Strohschein, Chair; Linnea Barron, Secretary; Joe Bollech, Trustee, Bob Janda, Township Board Representative; Jay Loman, Trustee; Robert Lindert, Trustee.  Absent:  Donna Preston, Trustee, absent with notice.

Pledge of Allegiance recited.

Guests:  Jay Fish

Approval of Agenda:  Bob made a motion to approve the agenda, seconded by Robert, all approved.

Approval of minutes from November 9, 2022 work session:  A mistake was noticed by Jay that his name was listed as Joe, so that correction was made.  Nancy made a motion, seconded by Bob to accept the minutes with the correction of Jay’s name.  All approved.

Agenda: 

1.  Recreation Plan:  Jason informed us that the deadline to apply for grants is February 1st.  We will not be able to complete our recreation plan before that date.  Even without grants, there were many ideas we could do without grant monies:  Replace fence at the ballfield, improve dugouts, and a hiking trail at the ballpark were suggested.  Jay felt that help from other players could accomplish this.  Also the Covid money could be used to fund these projects.

We discussed possibly having a recreation committee, separate from the planning commission, to keep up with the needs of the community.  This committee would be completely voluntary and work with the planning commission.

As work on the recreation plan progresses, ways to get input from the community include a survey (paper and on-line); newspaper article; posters at the school, post office, Trading Post, and the Finns; Facebook, Arvon township website were mentioned.

2.  Review of rec plans from other townships.  Our assignment for this meeting was to go on-line and look at other townships’ recreation plans.  Nancy prepared a chart for us to use with suggested townships with categories including:  length; recreation committee; DNR grants; other grants, past project updates, public input, comments.  We had info from Mueller, Eagle Harbor, Chassell, Baraga, Bergland.  We listed what we liked about each including priorities, assets (park/public spaces), survey (paper and electronic).  We felt this was helpful.

3.  Zoning Ordinance:  Word document from Jason sent out to all members.  Definitions from Jason that came from Autrain were sent to Kenny to review.  Our ordinance is always changing as new issues to deal with are presented.  With that in mind, it was suggested that we have a yearly public hearing to present these changes for inclusion in our ordinance.  The first part of June was suggested for this hearing.  This will be discussed further.

4.  Robert talked about the Dark Skies status and regulating the lighting used by businesses, discourage use of LED signs for example.

Adjourn:  Bob made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Jay.  All approved.  Meeting adjourned at 7:10 PM.

Next Meeting:  January 12, 2023, 6 PM at the firehall.

Submitted by Linnea Barron, Secretary

Planning Commission Work Session November 9, 2022

November 9, 2022

Call to order:  6 PM

Roll Call:  Nancy Strohschein, Chairperson; Linnea Barron, Secretary; Joe Bollech, Trustee; Bob Janda, Township Board Representative; Robert Lindert, Trustee; Joe Loman, Trustee.  Absent:  Donna Preston, out of town.

Pledge of Allegiance:  Recited.

Guests:  Bette Gabe

Purpose of Meeting:  Updating of Recreation Plan and begin work on the Zoning Ordinance.

Approval of Agenda:  Robert made a motion to approve the agenda, seconded by Bob.  Motion carried.

Agenda: 

1. Meetings:  Michigan law does not allow remote member attendance.

2.  Recreation Plan:  The previous Recreation Plan (2012-2016) was reviewed page by page.  Noted was the public participation for this plan, our existing recreation opportunities (snowmobiling, ATV access, fishing).  Goals and objectives included the improvements to the Waterfront Park with grant monies including boat launch and piers.  The need for ADA accessible projects was discussed.  Bette brought up the trail fees (sticker/trail permit), DNR stickers, etc., required for use of trails.  Future action programs include what Covid monies are available.  The assignment for members is to review other township recreation plans for our next meeting, yet to be announced in December.  We tentatively set a date for a public participation meeting on Thursday, January 12, 2023, maybe at the Finns with pizza, 6 PM.  The purpose is to move the recreation plan along to possibly be completed by April 1, 2023, for grant application deadlines. 

3.  Zoning Ordinance:  One area of importance in the Ordinance is definitions.  We received from Jason McCarthy examples of definitions we may need to adopt.  These will be reviewed by members for the next meeting.

Adjournment:  Jay made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Joe.  Motion carried.

Next Meeting:  Nancy will contact us on the best date in December.

Submitted by Linnea Barron, Secretary

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