Regular Meeting Minutes

September 12, 2017

6:00 P.M.

1. Call to Order: Meeting called to order at 6:05 p.m. by Chmn Miles

2. Roll Call/Recognition of visitors:

Members present: Austin, Parafin, Miles, Wieland. Also present Planning Consultant Karner, and rec/sec Shooks

Absent: Cooper, Veenstra

Visitors signed in: E. Kasmer, Nancy Hersha, Judy Brown, Rick Brown, Bill Hott, Marv Rubingh, Shawn & Fred Hunt, Movita and Don Michael, Barbara Elkin, Steve Elkin

3. Approval of minutes: MMS by Austin, Parafin to approve August minutes with 2 changes: Agenda changed to Meeting, and in section 5, Travis Chellis county Gaylord police officer. MC

4. Public Hearing (when scheduled): None

5. Public Comment on non-agenda items: none

6. Response and comments from commissioners

7. Reports:

Zoning Board of Appeals: none

Zoning Administrator: Not available

Township Board Representative: not available

Planning Consultant: Claire Karner

A. Village of Ellsworth: Village manager gave her a copy of the blight ordinance. May be hiring a code enforcement officer. Claire will send copies

b. Community meeting on Nov 8, Wednesday. Banks Township/Village together. Joint planning efforts. Update to Ellsworth/Atwood strategic planning. Don is willing to be liaison between Village and Township. Irene will give Claire village tour

8. Old Business:

a. Update on Short Term Rentals: no report

b. Finding of Facts on Sand and Gravel Extraction Special Use Permit. Update on progress.

Marv, Steve and Joni met again. They listed some information to be included in the finding of facts (attached). Marv will amend the application so we have the buffering as part of the application process, and some include other suggestions

Public comments recorded: (speakers not identified)

We’ve had 5 years of dealing with dust at the Elmer’s pit. There is not an effective berm. Beauty is being destroyed. We have to live with this mess. Elmer’s won’t talk to us. The dust is leaching into the Land Conservancy.

There’s no record of what is being pulled out of there. Trucks could be overweight, and there’s no accountability.

Is Marv going to sell to Elmer’s?

Marv: From a visual standpoint, Elmer’s is following 2 veins which are approaching my property. I am looking at the least disruptive continuation of the operation.


There is no reparation. Hardwood is laying in a pile. Their hours are too long.

Can they sell to anyone?

I’ve lived there 20 years. There are 40 – 50 trucks a day. Elmer’s trucks do not adhere to the guidelines.

Traffic is crazy. Fast, full trucks

Is there any limit to the portable units that can be brought in?

Will this SUP approval increase traffic?

I invite you to travel that curve. There have been 3 tragic accidents in 7 years. Drive it slowly. When it is skim coated with dust, the rain and dew make it dangerous. Is this the best use of that parcel?

How can this pass when so many people are against it. Our facts are stronger. This is not good for our community.

It isn’t about what we want. This is annoying and dangerous

4 years ago, Elmer’s said they would pave the entrance. It flows across 6 Mile Lake Road every day.

It only makes sense if its profitable

We have in our hands an incomplete document from Marv.

Don Miles: The Findings of Fact document is being updated and the public comments will be taken into consideration.


Who is going to enforce? What is the time frame?

There is a drastic difference between letting it go natural and planting trees

Marv: 3-4 years I purchased the property near the house. The first year I planted, nothing came up. I added organic matter, not much difference. Then I found out that Drenth Bros. had harvested the top soil. By tilling deeper, I was able to change it to good soil.


You have a Land Use plan, with the goal of quiet country side, maintain rural character. Are you not following the plan?

Don Miles: Marv will re-submit his application to fix deficiencies. We will look at the Ordinance. We will address the Master Plan

Claire: The Master Plan is a broader, policy-guiding document as compared with the zoning ordinance. There is a 5 year implementation of the Master Plan.


If you are trying to sell Ellsworth as a tourist destination, we can’t say we have the Rowe Inn and a gravel pit. You have no control, the small groups that are opposed. A 45 degree slope is very steep. It’s going to look like a gravel pit.

Everything echoes down that valley…Music from Tapawingo is a mile and a half away. That’s okay. Not the noise of a gravel pit

If all of Marv’s permits were in order, I feel it would have been passed. How can this pass? Our facts are stronger. This is not good for the community.

Don Miles: the Planning Commission has to weigh and balance the facts.

Audience: The only reason you’ve dug deeper is because of our comments. If we are bringing valid facts, they need to be considered.

Don Miles: Public hearings are held to get comments—not just brought up by the public, but also by the consultant.

Audience: Is Robert’s Rules of Order in effect? If there is a conflict of interest, the applicant has to step down.

Audience: No minutes are available. Where can we read them? More Regulations on Elmer’s? We want them to go away.

This is MY home

Your decision doesn’t affect you. We are a group of people who are caught between 2 counties. South Arm’s decision doesn’t affect this.

Elmer’s has no history of taking care of things. If it was status quo, with Elmer’s working, there won’t be cleanup.

They would not put a portable unit in there unless it was profitable.

The trucks are barreling, windows are rattling. We need to get the speed limit down from the gravel pit into the village.

Robert’s Rules of order state that if there is a conflict, the applicant has to step aside.

Don Miles: the agenda was posted on the web site, and will continue to be posted. Minutes are only posted after they are approved. The Township Board just approved that at their last meeting. There is no conflict of interest as the applicant is not on the commission.

c. Update on Greenbelt Ordinance and Telecommunication Ordinance. Letter from Antrim County approving the language for both ordinances (attached

d. Container modifications

minor changes as listed on Claire’s letter, copy provided.

MMS by Parafin, Austin. To approved Cargo Containers MC

9. New Business, announcements, correspondence

a. Economy Efficiency Units. Seemed minor enough change, to draft new ordinance for each district. Allowing in all residential units. She provided a list for considerations.

Allowing them would mean we have to amend schedule of regulations, footnote o.

Steve wondered about portability. Don wondered if we would be limiting. Written in such a way that PUD is not the primary mechanism of implementation. Comfortable with language? What would be the negative issue if they were able to move them…expense, etc? 5th wheelers are made larger than these regulations.

MMs by Parafin, Wieland, to go forward with public hearing to be scheduled MC

b. 2018 review of Master plan. How do we want to prepare for it? State law requires looking at it every 5 years. Decide what your scope is. Maybe incorporate with the November joint meeting, including possibly a survey. Claire recommends keeping survey short. Do we want Claire to have a prototype for October’s meeting. Comments about having drop boxes, take more months to have it ready. All commission members look at the current master plan

c. greenbelt brochures:

Spencer’s company copyrighted the brochure and some of the pictures are IP. Steve will rework the brochure, and then move forward.

d. Ag district: Andy has had applications for ag property that is marginal for farming. The residents would like to split off a smaller portion, so his suggestion is that the PC look at those parcels, should we be able to split them? Is there a need for any additional footnotes? Re-visit the districts and look at what the real use for the property could be. Consideration for Master Plan. The Commission does not see any reason to change the split issue, but look at the actual districts if we need any changes. The property owner could submit a rezoning request at any time. There are a lot of hoops to jump through to re-zone property.

David Michael: minutes on website?

10. Adjournment at 8:08 Parafin/Austin MC

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