6520 Center Street, PO Box 68
Ellsworth, Michigan 49729
Phone: 231-588-6126
Email: bankstownship@bankstownship.net

Planning Commission September 2019

Banks Township Planning Commission

Regular Meeting Minutes
September 10, 2019
6:00 p.m.

  1. Call to Order: by Chairman Miles at 6:00 p.m.
  2. Roll/ Recognition of visitors:
    1. Present :Miles, Cooper, Austin, Diebold, Wieland.
    2. Absent:
    3. Also present: :Karner, Muladore, Wendling, Shooks, Robert & Cathy Russell, T. Cooper, Luke & Brandie Sowash, C. Hoeksema, Luke Heeres, Jakob Simmons, Erin Heeres, Andrea Hale, Wes Fogle, Jeff Jocks, B. Bentley, Phil Edwards, Dennis Snarey, Julie Waterman, Laura Edwards, David Rasmussen, T. Chellis, R. Bolt, Shawn Worden
  3. Approval of Minutes: MMS by Wieland, Cooper to approve August 13, 2019 Meeting Minutes. MC
  4. Public Hearings: None
  5. Public comment: none
  6. Response and comment from commissioners: none
  7. Reports:
    1. Zoning Board of Appeals: None
    2. Zoning Administrator: Dave M.
      1. On 9/7 I received the text amendment application with language from Matt Heeres, along with the payment.
      2. Simmons Bluff cargo container is gone.
      3. I received a call with questions on building a home on Timberlane Terrace.
    3. Township Board representative: Tom C.: highlighted items from the Township Board minutes.
    4. Planning Consultant: Claire K. distributed copies of a Michigan Planning magazine article
  8. Announcements/correspondence: Not going to be read, but more letters received about the track.
  9. Old Business:
    1. Short Term Rentals & Zoning Ordinance – Update from July Board Meeting: still need to address some items, awaiting response from Bryan Graham, to do some clarification on some items.
    2. By Laws Review: Based upon some information from a recent meeting, the commissioners have looked at the By Laws.
      MMS by Rick, Bill that we are in agreement with the By Laws as reviewed. MC
    3. Hard copies of the updated Banks Township Master Plan were distributed.
  10. New Business:
    1. Priorities for the Planning Commission from our Master Plan: Action Items to be looked at are listed on Pg 48 in the master plan. Claire highlighted a couple of them Commissioners to bring their top 3 priorities to the Oct. 8th meeting.
    2. Discussion regarding October 8th PC meeting
      1. Moved to Mom’s & Tots meeting space. It will be posted on the website, and on Town Hall doors. Maps will also be available at the Town Hall.
    3. Initial consideration of an ordinance text amendment application – Addition of two additional land uses to Section 6.01.3 Uses Subject to Special Approval
      1. Submitted on Sept 7, 2019.
      2. Don gave a summary of process. Section 11.02
      3. Dave Muladore read the proposed text amendment.
      4. Supplemental items may be addressed as well
      5. Shawn Worden: races have been run more than once. This is to get us “in the front door.” Analogy is winter/summer comparison – snowmobile trails. We are just opening the door. (Read some supportive letters.) Noise? Traffic? Dust control? We would welcome all of those questions. Limitations, etc. What we are asking for is already allowed in Conservation/Recreation in our opinion.. This is in the middle of nowhere for city folks like me. This is a very rural area.
      6. Don: One of the things we need to consider is that this is not a single use request.
        1. Rick…homework on our own …identify questions that need to be asked.
        2. Peter: newer Master Plan…first place to start looking. It is allowed in other areas. Look at MP, go from there.
        3. Oct. 8 mtg to bring our questions
        4. Claire –??
        5. Race status is that it is not allowed under the Zoning ordinance.
        6. Worden: Township may file a nuisance lawsuit .Judge rule on the injunction. Sept 29 race could be a good time to monitor effects.
        7. Wendling…I will provide a letter by noon tomorrow, Township Board to convene to decide what to do in the interim. Planning commission is not an enforcement body.
        8. Claire/Peter: Should ask permission from the property owner to have commissioners and ZA on the property. As long as there isn’t a quorum (only one or two commissioners)at the track it is okay.
  11. Public comment:
    1. MTA retreat report from Don: good information.
    2. Jeff Jocks: representing some of the landowners, this is issue that we see. It is the impact on ag district. My clients aren’t opposed to racing, but the impacts are important to the location. It would be difficult to put on enough limitations, especially in Ag districts. Impacts, combined with what is in the ag district. There is a big distinction between snowmobile trails and motorcycle races. Allowing the race on the 29th is not a good Idea.
    3. Worden: I would like a letter describing “significant” impacts.
    4. July 30 FOIA requests have shown no complaints until after July. We would love to have a fair hearing. That’s why we’re here.
    5. Travis Chellis: I was out at the track, and measured a bike at 60+ decibels. A pickup going down the road was measured at 80+. I’ve been a police officer for 24 years. Snowmobiles cause far more problems than dirt bikes. This will bring business in. Matt was never told he couldn’t do it.
    6. Tom Mann: thanks for coming out. We want to hear from you. It is a thankless job working on the planning commission.
    7. Bill Austin has served 17 years and is now retiring. (Tom presented him with a plaque and many thanks from the township for his dedicated service.Several commissioners also expressed their thanks to Bill for his service on the PC,
  12. Next Meeting: October 8, 2019 MMS by Rick, Joni to adjourn. MC
  13. Adjournment: 7:01.

Joni Wieland, sec’y | Irene Shooks, rec/sec