Almena Twp. Board approves special land use requests and site plans for two businesses

    ALMENA TWP. - At the Oct. 16, Almena Township Board meeting, board members approved a special land use and site plan application for a marihuana growing operation (not to exceed 500 plants) and a marihuana processor at 33760 County Road 653, Gobles.
    Township Planner David Jirousek presented his memo of Oct. 9, that reviewed  the Floraison special land use and site plan (Phase 2) for a marihuana growing and processing facility to be located in a 9,950 square foot building with 22 parking spaces and a loading area.
    The Almena Township Planning Commission recommended approval with conditions,  including the required zoning text amendments which will not be effective until today (Friday, Nov. 1).
    The board also approved a special land use and site plan application for Scott and Janene Rawlinson, of Shades of Lavender, LLC, for 47400 and 47222 24th St., Mattawan.
    The  special land use and site plan call for farm related business operations on the Shades of Lavender Farm, LLC. The owners requested to host farm-related events and classes, other than activities permitted by the Right to Farm Act (RTFA) and Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices (GAAMPS) at the farm site, located in the Ag Medium Density AGMD district.
    The Almena Township Planning Commission recommended approval, with several conditions listed in the draft township board resolution prepared by Horizon Planning.
    A six-foot privacy fence or vegetative buffer will need to be installed before the business can begin operation.
    The board was also informed from Rose Lane residents that according to a letter dated Sept. 4, from the Van Buren County Road Commission, the road commission cannot engage in maintenance on Rose Lane due to it is neither an established public right-of way, nor common easements for  ingress and egress.
    Almena Township Board member Kelly Redmond presented a draft inter-local agreement and draft fire protection agreements for the three fire departments, Paw Paw, Gobles- Pine Grove and Mattawan Fire District, who  service Almena Township.
    Almena Township Sup-ervisor Bill VanTassel suggested a one-year contract until the 2020 millage, with future contracts to follow the four-year millage renewal cycle.
     It was a board consensus to explore using the simplified version of the fire protection agreement presented by Redmond.
    Almena Township Board member Greg Babik presented the township’s Road Committee minutes.  The Road Committee received the updated road counts and quotes for the two tubes on 30th Street.  The 27th Street tube also needs to be replaced.
    The board also approved two Van Buren County Road Commission projects that will see  the replacement of a tube on 27th Street, between 44th Street and 48th Avenue, not to exceed $144,514, and the replacement  of a tube on 30th Street, south of County Road 653.
    The township board also approved the demolition of house at 38973 23rd Street, from Ace Demolition, not to exceed  $4,800.
    The board also  approved a resolution to approve a Board of Review Appeals start date of March 11, the  day  after the presidential primary election.
    Also, the township assessor submitted new applications for land division, boundary adjustment, and property combination for review. The forms separate each re-quest into separate applications.  The board recommended some changes and will review at the November meeting.
    In another area, the board approved Zoning Code Text Amendment, Sections 11.01 (C-1 building size maximum, C-3 building size minimum, and front setback requirements), Section 11.02 (elimination of 200-foot setback from centerlines of M-40 and M-43, clarification of setback measurements), and 18.02 (parking lot setbacks).
    The Almena Township   Planning Commission recommend for approval six text amendments.  The key elements in the amendments are to increase building size in the C-1 district to 12,000 square feet, eliminate the minimum building size in C-3 of 10,000 square feet, clarify front setback requirements to 50 feet from right-of-way from 83 feet from centerline, eliminate the 200 foot setback from the M-40 and M-43 centerline, clarify the measurement location for front setbacks, and replace front yard parking restrictions with a table of parking lot setbacks that vary depending on the zoning of adjacent land.
    The board said the text amendments would support future township developments.

The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes

The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes
32280 E. Red Arrow Hwy. • P.O. Box 129
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-5080

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