Minutes of the
regular meeting of the Georgetown Township Planning Commission, held Wednesday,
May 16, 2007
Meeting called to order by
Chairman Honderd at 7:30 p.m.
Present: Honderd, Poskey, South, Pearson,
#070516-01 - Agenda for May 16, 2007
DeGood, seconded by South, to approve the agenda for May 16, 2007 as presented.
#070516-02 - Minutes of
the May 2, 2007 regular
by South, seconded by DeGood, to approve the minutes of the May 2, 2007 regular meeting,
#070516-03 - Special Use Permit-(SUP0702) Gerald and Kimberly VanderTill, 5188 12th Ave.
and Kim VanderTill, 5188 12th Ave., presented the request.
zoning administrator presented a review as follows.
applicant is requesting to have the agricultural use of the keeping of
livestock on 8.21 acres in an RR district.
Sec. 7.3(C) of the Zoning Ordinance requires special use approval for a
customary agricultural uses in the RR district.
Agricultural uses may either be the principle use or an accessory use. The applicant is proposing that the AG use of
the keeping of up to 20 animals (alpacas, which are similar to sheep but have
longer necks) on 8.21 acres be an accessory use on the parcel because the
applicants live in the house which is also located on the parcel. Other structures also exist on the site in
addition to the house, including a 20 by 30 foot garage and a 36 by 50 foot
barn. An additional 15 by 45 foot
agricultural shelter is proposed. The
plan shows two fenced areas to pasture the alpacas. The ordinance does not limit height, size,
number or architectural character for AG buildings and uses. In addition, the Building Code does not
require that a building permit be obtained for an AG building and the Property
Maintenance Code is not applicable. The
only requirement is that setbacks are met, as well as the standards of Sec.
7.3(C), which lists the requirements for the use and restricts the number of
animals on parcels of five acres or less.
Sec. 7.3(C)(3)(a) allows 6 animals for 8 acres. However, Sec. 7.3(C)(3)(b) of the ordinance
allows the number of animals to be waived on parcels in excess of five
acres. The applicants have requested to
have up to 20 animals on 8 acres.
(FYI-According to the table of Animal Unit Equivalents in the Michigan
Right to Farm Act, 50 sheep equal 1 animal unit.)
the Planning Commission is only reviewing setbacks and conformance with the
standards in Sec. 7.3(C), it did not appear necessary to require that the
applicant furnish a professionally drawn site plan with all the listed
elements. The hand-drawn site plan shows
fencing within the parcel, along with an additional proposed 15 by 45 foot
proposed shelter. The plan also shows an
existing garage and barn.
Planning Commission should determine if the hand-drawn site plan is acceptable
or if more information is wanted than is shown on the plan. The Planning Commission should also determine
if the limitation on the number of animals should be waived as per the
ordinance. Sec. 10-216 of the Code of
Ordinances exempts construction in the AG or RR districts from the requirement
neither the Building Code nor Property Maintenance Codes could be enforced on
AG buildings, the Township has no jurisdiction over the condition of AG
buildings. However, the PC might
consider a condition of approval that all buildings must be maintained in a
following is a review of the standards listed in Sec. 7.3(C):
(C) Customary Agricultural Operations
including general farming, truck farming, fruit orchards, nurseries,
greenhouses and usual buildings subject to the following restrictions:
storage of manure or odor or dust producing materials or use shall be permitted
within fifty (50) feet of any adjoining lot line. Met,
as per the applicant.
farm buildings shall be located closer than fifty (50) feet to any lot line,
with the exception of roadside stands. Met.
(3) Farm animals are
permitted as follows:
a. raising and keeping of livestock and
poultry including horses, cattle, sheep, chickens, and similar animals (but
excluding hogs), provided that the minimum area upon which one (1) animal may
be kept shall be three (3) acres, and one (1) additional animal may be kept for
each additional acre over three (3) acres.
b. on parcels of land in excess of five
(5) acres, the Township Board may waive the
limitation on the number of animals, provided it is determined that due to the
size of the parcel, natural features, or other similar conditions there will be
no negative impact upon the neighboring property owners. The
Planning Commission must determine if 20 animals are acceptable on the 8.21
acre site that has an existing house, garage and barn. It
appears as though the size of the parcel, natural features of the expressway
bordering the property to the rear and existing woods on the site, and the fact
that animals are kept on other parcels in the area warrant the keeping of 20
animals on the site and that the use will not negatively impact the neighboring
zoning administrator asked about the barn in disrepair and the applicants
indicated that they intended to repair the barn. It was noted that AG structures were exempt
from the Property Maintenance Code and the Building Code.
asked about the neighbors.
applicants indicated that there would be sheep across the street and the
subject property was bordered by the expressway and the old interurban train
asked why the pasture for the male animals was bigger than the one for the
females and was told that they would have more males than females.
asked if they would have 20 animals to start and the applicants indicated that
they would have about 15.
stated that the alpacas were raised for their fiber and someone would be
brought in to shear them.
chairman opened the public hearing. No
one was present to speak on this topic.
The chairman closed the public hearing.
by Poskey, seconded by Huizinga, to accept the site plan and to recommend to
the Township Board to approve Special
Use Permit-(SUP0702) Gerald and
Kimberly VanderTill, 5188 12th Ave., to have a customary agricultural operation
including the keeping and raising of livestock (up to 20 animals –alpacas)
under Sec. 7.3(C), on a parcel of land described as P.P. # 70-14-35-400-050,
located at 5188 12th Ave., in a (RR) Rural Residential district,
Georgetown Charter Township, Ottawa County, Michigan (submittal
material), based on the findings that the requests meets the applicable
standards of the ordinance including Sec. 7.3(C), and to waive the limitation
on the number of animals and permit up to 20 animals under Sec. 7.3(C)(3)(b)
because the determination has been made that 20 animals on 8.21 acres will not
negatively impact the neighboring property owners due to the size of the
parcel, the proximity to the expressway, the natural features including woods
on the site, and the fact that animals are kept on the neighboring properties.
#070516-04 - Unfinished Business-Ordinance amendments Sec.
consensus of the Planning Commission was to leave the item tabled to wait for
more information and to find if the members of the Township Board had
considered the possibilities of very large garages.
#070516-05 – Adjournment
chairman adjourned the meeting at 7:58 p.m.