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Planning & Zoning Mtg Quarterly Minutes, May, 2019

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Planning & Zoning Mtg Quarterly Minutes, May, 2019

PUBLIC HEARING MAY 15, 2019

CALL TO ORDER:  6:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL AND RECOGNITION OF VISITORS:  Bette Gabe, Chairperson; Keith Erickson,

Township Board Representative; Ken Anderson, Zoning Administrator; Jay Loman, Trustee; Mary Deline, Trustee, Linnea Barron, Secretary.  Absent:  Dorothy Nankervis, Trustee, prior commitment. 

Visitors:  Pete and Jean Suomela, Burt and Raelyn Mason, Bob Kissel, Nancy and Whitey Soli, Joe and Sue Bollech, Katherine Andrews.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Minutes from January 9, 2019 meeting:  Keith made a motion to accept the minutes, seconded by Jay Loman, all approved, motion carried.

Minutes from special meeting/work session, February 6, 2019:  Jay made a motion to accept the minutes, seconded by Mary, all approved, motion carried.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:  Keith made a motion to accept the agenda, seconded by Mary, all approved, motion carried.

INTRODUCE UPDATED ZONING MAP, ZONING TEXT CORRECTIONS, AND ZONING TEXT AMENDMENTS:

  1. Copies of zoning map:  Bette explained that we have had ten revisions to our zoning map.  We have been working with Steve Rouser from WUPPDR to revise the map for clarity, good colors, roads and rivers identified.  No changes to the zoning districts were made.  Copies of the map were distributed and reviewed. 

Katherine Andrews had a question about a setback of 75 feet from rivers be shown, and that is in text in our ordinance. 

Whitey Soli requested that the nature conservancies, that are not taxable, be shown as well.  We have lost revenue due to these conservancies with more land being applied for as a conservancy.  (This is unique to this area and is not a statewide issue.)  He wondered if those areas could be shown in a different color to be visible, that these properties need to be a different district or a different designation, and maybe a plan for usage.  He stated that programs like commercial forest, and qualified forest land have to have a plan for usage to qualify for programs.  Bette stated this is a tax issue and that our ordinance does not get into this. 

  • ​Text corrections: 
    • In ARTICLE V – R-1B General Residential District, under Section 502. Required

Conditions, page 45; and ARTICLE VII – RR Recreational Residential, under

Section 702. Required Conditions, page 48; and ARTICLE IX – FR Forest

Resource, under section 902. Required Conditions page 51; and ARTICLE X –

FF Farm Forest Districts, section 1002. Required Conditions, page 53; and ARTICLE XI – B-1 Business District, section 1102. Required Conditions, page 55; and ARTICLE XII – Industrial District, section 1202. Required Conditions Water Frontage, page 57: 

The sentence shall read:  Small non-habitable structures such as utility buildings may be permitted within the minimum setback upon the approval of the Zoning Administrator.  (not Planning Commission)

  • Article XVII – Administration; Section 1700. General Administration:

                        The provisions of this ordinance shall be administered by the Zoning

                        Administrator who shall be appointed by the Township Board.  (Not Planning                         Commission)

  • Under Section 901, Special Uses Permitted (Alternative Energy Sources),                          under C. Safety:  The minimum vertical blade tip clearance from grade shall                         be seventy-five (75) feet for a wind energy system employing a horizontal                         axis rotor.  (Correction made from 20 feet to 75 feet, an oversight.)
  • ​Text amendments​:
    • The amendment to the height of a utility grid wind energy system over 20 meters high and anemometer towers over 20 meters was discussed by the Planning Commission and amended to be three hundred feet (300 feet).  We felt this was necessary for aesthetic and view shed purposes.  This change can be found in Section 901, Principal Uses Permitted Subject to Special Conditions and Section

1502. Alternative Energy Sources; to read:  A Utility Grid Wind Energy System, On-site Use Wind Energy System, and Anemometer towers over 20 meters (65.6 feet) high and not to exceed 300 feet from the ground level to the tip of the wind generator blade when the tip is at its highest point, shall meet the following standards, Article XIV of this Ordinance. 

  • Add to Section 1502, Alternative Energy Sources, Section 901 Principal Uses Permitted Subject to Special Conditions, Property Setbacks, #2, add letter ‘e’, to read:  Utility Grid Wind Energy Systems shall be spaced a minimum of one (1) mile apart from one another.  This was for density and less harmful to birds of all species.  The Fish and Wildlife recommendation was anywhere from ½ mile to 2 miles apart.
    • Add to Section 1502, Alternative Energy Sources, Section 901 Principal Uses Permitted Subject to Special Conditions, Property Setbacks, #1, add letter ‘d’ and #2, add letter ‘f’ to read:  d.  Anemometer towers shall meet a minimum setback of seven (7) miles landward from the shoreline of Lake Superior and Huron Bay. f.  Utility Grid Wind energy Systems shall meet a minimum setback of seven (7) miles landward from the shorelines of Lake Superior and Huron Bay.  After reviewing our Forest Resource District on the map we felt it was necessary to have a setback from Lake Superior/Huron Bay, residential areas, wetlands, rivers, and bird migration.  The Fish and Wildlife suggested anywhere from 3 to

10 miles and the Planning Commission felt 7 miles was best.   This would account for 10-12% of total township area and we were hard pressed to find anywhere that they would fit.  Bette also stated that on the seal of Michigan in latin the meaning states, “if you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.”

  • Add to Section 1502, Alternative Energy Sources, Section 901 Principal Uses

Permitted Subject to Special Conditions, Property Setbacks, under letter “C”, Safety, add sentence:  Utility Grid Wind Energy Systems and Anemometer Towers shall have built-in fire detection systems and fire suppression systems. This was felt necessary due to the remoteness of the area and the difficulty of resources to fight a fire in that area.

  • Add to Section 1502, Alternative Energy Sources, Section 901 Principal Uses Permitted Subject to Special Conditions, Property Setbacks, letter ‘H’, #2, add small letter ‘a’, to read:  Blades shall be feathered from dusk till dawn.  This is for the protection of bats as that is when they are active.

Bette also prepared references of the Planning Commission decisions for the amendments concerning Utility Grid Energy Systems with standards in our Ordinance, Land Use Plan and Recreation Plan.

OPENING OF PUBLIC COMMENTS:  Time:  6:35 p.m. 

Pete Suomela:  We are on the right track. Burt Mason:  Lots of time devoted to this.

Brian Kissel: No comment but supportive.

Joe Bolleck:  Good job.

Katherine Andrews:  Commended us.  She never thought L’Anse Township would have had to deal with this.  They trusted an engineer and didn’t do their own homework. Sue:  We have done a good job.

Close of public comments:  Time:  6:48 p.m.

PUBLIC HEARING IS CLOSED AND REGULAR MEETING AGENDA CONTINUES:

Commission members were ready to continue with all the proposed updated zoning map, zoning text corrections and zoning text amendments as presented.  Jay made a motion to accept the map, corrections and amendments, seconded by Keith.  Record of results:  Jay Loman, yes; Mary Deline, yes; Linnea Barron, yes; Bette Gabe, yes; Keith Erickson, yes. Motion approved by all and carried. 

ADJOURNMENT:  Keith made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Jay, all approved and motion carried.

Submitted by Linnea Barron, Secretary

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