Jim Sheets- Chairman Bruce Wildie -Secretary Tim Flynn-Vice Chair

Robin Talsma- member Matt Wieber- member Alison Michalak- recording secretary

Zoning Administrator-Jason Barnard

WEST BENZIE JOINT PLANNING COMMISSION

BENZONIA TOWNSHIP HALL

Regular Meeting

MINUTES

November 5, 2020

DRAFT

CALL TO ORDER- Call to order at 7:00 pm, by Chairman Sheets.

ROLL CALL- In attendance: Wildie, Talsma, Flynn, and Wieber. Also, in attendance: ZA Jason Barnard.

PUBLIC PRESENT-

9 Public present. Sign in sheet recorded attendees.


AGENDA-

MOTION by Flynn, with SUPPORT by Wildie to accept the agenda as presented; motion carried all ayes.

MINUTES

MOTION by Wieber with SUPPORT by Flynn to accept the minutes from August 6, 2020 as written; motion carried, all ayes.

PUBLIC INPUT-

Steve Stevens- representing Crystal Lake Watershed- stated that they are reviewing the overlay district and the ordinances currently in effect. Stevens also stated concerns that land parcels on the north side of Warren Road are being clear cut of the forested lands. The ZA acknowledged Mr. Stevens concerns and will look into it.

OLD BUSINESS

  1. Master Plan Review- The ZA announced that the update for the Master Plan is on schedule to start review and input by the end of the year. Flynn suggested Sara? To help create updated language.

NEW BUSINESS

  1. Site Plan review- Benzie Area Christian Neighbors proposed new building-

Scott Jozwiak, representing BACN, presented the site plan for the proposed new building. The Plans presented included drawings for the new facility (11,000 sq. ft), parking and drainage to capture run-off. All members reviewed the site plans as presented; The ZA states he has reviewed all submitted plans and recommends approval. Motion by Flynn with support by Wildie to approve the site plans: Roll call vote: Sheets-aye, Flynn-aye, Wildie-aye, Talsma-aye, and Wieber-aye; Motion carried, all ayes.


  1. Gary Gielczyk/ Tim Young- Use status at 10704 and 10610 Oviatt Rd.

-Tim Young stated he was unaware that the neighbors are questioning the usage of his property. He stated that these same residents have always questioned his right of use at the properties he owns. He apologized to the Commission for having to deal with this issue.

- Platte Resident Gary Gielczyk stated he requested to be on the agenda to state that the ZA has not responded to requests for clarification of the current land use at 10610 and 10704 Oviatt RD. Gileczyk states the current usage of 2 apartment rentals is in violation of the RP-20 ordinance language. He asked The ZA to clarify that the property is in compliance and asked if the ZA saw the permits issued allowing the multi family usage.

The ZA stated that the rentals have been in effect for over 25 years, prior to Platte and West Benzie Joint Planning Commissions’ administering the Zoning ordinance. The ZA stated that he has responded to Gielczyk’s requests for clarification and has reviewed the land use permits issued to Mr. Young. The records are at the County Building in storage and if those records are requested, a FOIA to the County is suggested. Gielczyk states he wants an answer on the record that the ZA has seen these documents. The ZA stated he has seen documents from the building department and has reviewed all files that West Benzie joint planning commission are in possession of. The ZA stated that the usage of the rentals has not changed and is determined to be a legal non- conforming use. Gielczyk disagrees and wants the ZA to request all paperwork that Mr. Young has in his possession. Chairman Sheets explained that the Commission cannot make an Ex post facto law as this is the same continuous usage the county zoning permitted over 25 years ago. Gielczyk states he disagrees. Chairman Sheets stated any document requests should be made with a FOIA request.

Platte resident Tom Mountz stated that the residents of Platte have always been involved with many zoning issues in the past. He states the residents believe that the RP 20 district keeps the rural character as intended and that the multi family use is not part of the RP 20 language.


PUBLIC INPUT

Mr. Stevens comments that Master Planning is time and financially consuming and contacting other governmental entities to review their master plan language may help in the process.

A MOTION by Flynn, SUPPORT by Wildie to Adjourn at 8:21; motion carried all ayes.

****next meeting is December 3, 2020 at 7pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Alison Michalak, recording secretary

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CONTACT: JASON BARNARD, ZONING ADM.

OFFICE: 231-882-4411

EMAIL: supervisor@benzoniatownship.org