Couple denied special use permit returns to township board with questions

By: 
Paul Garrod - news4garrod@vineayrdpress.biz

    PAW PAW - A Paw Paw Township couple who earlier this year had been denied a special  use permit (SUP) for a wedding venue by the Paw Paw Township Board, was again before the board at its May 14 meeting, asking for a clarification on the denial.
    Mike Ely asked the board if the residence in objection was the basis of the board’s decision.
    Board members said it was not the only deciding factor. Noise, the county Road Commission, Health Department, tents and port-a-johns, also played a role in the board’s decision to deny the proposed wedding venue.
    Ely then asked the board for the number of signatures on petitions for and against the SUP.
    Paw Paw Township Board Clerk Linda Jordan said that she could not immediately present that information, as it was kept in an office file.
    Ely’s wife,     Kristen Ely, asked the board why they had not received a copy of the text amendment. Township Trustee Fran Sanders said that it had not been finalized yet, as the township Planning Commission was still working on it.
    Kristen Ely asked that the Township Board “do the right thing and refund the money  we have spent for the site plan review and the text amendment.”
    Attorney Jim Straub introduced himself as the litigator for the Paw Paw Township Board on the appeal from Elys’ Attorney Brian Knotek.
    Paw Paw area resident Kim Jones asked board members if the Elys could reapply for a SUP. Township Supervisor Donald Stull said the couple could do so one year following the board’s denial.
    The board then went into closed session at 7:35 p.m. and  returned back to the regular meeting at 8:42  p.m.
    Stull presented board with a bid from Native Landscapes, LLC, to treat Japanese Knotweed, an invasive species, at 209 West Michigan Ave., property the township is purchasing.
Following a discussion, the board approved a quote of $476 from the company to treat the invasive species.
    In anther area, the board approved a motion presented by Jordan to increase the application fee for a special use permit with site plan review from $690 to $750 for regular meetings and increase from $890 to $950 for special meetings.
    The Elys attended the last township Planning Commission meeting, as well as the regular township Board meeting, and at both meetings, were videotaping.
    Board Trustee Matthew Miller asked fellow board members how recording devices are handled during meetings.
    Stull said the township board currently does not have a policy in place, and should probably have one. Township Treasurer Angela Hazzard said she will make inquiries about the issue.
 

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