Planning Commission Work Session, June 29, 2023

Arvon Township Planning Commission Work Session

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Call to Order:  6 p.m.

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

Pledge of Allegiance:  Recited

Guests:  Jason McCarthy

Approval of Agenda:  Nancy included in the agenda information about a meeting with Michigamme Highlands/Lyme/DNR.  Robert made a motion to approve the agenda, seconded by Bob.  Motion carried.

Approval of minutes of June 8, 2023.  Robert made a motion to accept the minutes, seconded by Joe.  Motion carried.


1.  The informational meeting with Michigamme Highlands/Lyme/DNR will take place on July 10 and 11.  This includes Baraga, Iron and Marquette counties for preserving streams, land, and forestry.  Nancy plans to attend and welcomes anyone to join her.

2.  Recreation Plan.  Jason stated he would have the final draft completed before our quarterly meeting on July 12.  We have not contacted anyone interested in being on the recreation committee and the board would have to approve first.

3.  Ordinance Update:  Jason provided us with topics of discussion that he had prepared. 

A.  Recreational Structures Vs. Single Family Dwelling Units.  Jason stressed the importance of definitions and supplied definitions for Dwelling Unit; Dwelling, Single-Family; Duplex; and Dwelling, Multi-family.  Discussion on the function changing from camps to now living full time and vice versa.  Jason and Ken will give a final okay on changes in language in the ordinance.

B.  Shipping Containers as Accessory Structures:  They can serve as storage units; however, the aesthetic issue exists.  Problem can be solved by screening, painting complimentary color, meet setbacks.  Jason provided a definition to consider and suggested these should be listed as a permitted or conditional use within specific zoning districts.

C.  Outdoor Furnace:  We have a definition for Outdoor Furnace which Jason feels is adequate, but the use should be listed as permitted or conditional use within specific zoning districts.

D.  Dark-Sky Outdoor Lighting Requirements (Commercial/Industrial Uses Only):  Concern here is the LED lighting which can be very bright.  Jason provided a definition that covers this. 

E.  Solar Energy Systems:  Our ordinance addresses this topic under Section 1502. Alternative Energy Sources.

F.  Short-Term Rentals (Vacation, AirBnB, Vrbo):  Inspection for water/well/septic should be considered, also neighbors’ approval, noise control, etc.  Jason recommended a revision to our current definition.

G.  Fences:  Under General Provisions in Article XV, Section 1506, we currently do not address placement of fences.  Jason provided a more detailed definition which would address this.

H.  Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs):  This is covered in our ordinance under ECHO (Elder Cottage Housing Opportunity).  We will update the current language to Accessory Dwelling Units.  Jason will provide us a better definition for this.

Next Meeting:

Wednesday, July 12, 6 p.m. for quarterly planning commission meeting.

No work session set up yet.

Adjourn:  Donna made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Joe.  Motion carried.  Meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.

Submitted by Linnea Barron, Secretary