Almena Township tackles zoning, marijuana, fire protection contract

By: 
Paul Garrod - news4garrod@vineyardpress.biz

    ALMENA TWP. - The Almena Township Board will hold a public hearing, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. at the township hall to  receive input on a proposed commercial marijuana facilities ordinance.
    At the board’s Oct. 17 meeting, the commercial marijuana facilities ordinance and zoning ordinance text amendments were presented by David Jirousek.
    The recommendations of the Almena Township Planning  Commission for allowable zoning districts and special conditions were included in the text amendments.
    The Planning Commission held a public hearing Nov. 12,  on commercial marijuana facilities.
    Also,  the Almena Township Board approved a one-year contract with the Paw Paw Fire Department.
    The contract, December  2018 to December 2019, will be at the same cost and the $10,000 capital equipment with the same district lines, in order to allow Almena Township additional time to work on a fire protection review for contracting their services.
    Also, Emily Hickmont, Van Buren County Conservation District’s first fulltime recycling coordinator, informed the board of recycling services available in the county.
    Hickmont presented the new Van Buren County Recycling Resource Guide to the board. Almena Township will have its first tire collection in May 2019.
    The township board also tabled  discussion on a  municipal penalty, civil infraction and appearance ticket ordinance, in order to further review.
    The civil infraction ordinance, presented by David Jirousek, would give the township a legal basis to issue tickets for unsafe structures and blighted properties. The ordinance outlines the process and authority for issuing tickets.
    The board also approved a  resolution request for road construction policy for Silver Oaks II.
    The resolution allows  the Silver Oaks Condominium road to proceed with road construction as outlined in the Van Buren County Road Commission specifications, with the final cap due when 50 percent  of the lots have occupancy permits, or three years.
    The board also approved a recommendation from the Almena Township Planning Commission on the Silver Oaks II final site plan.
    The Planning Commission approved its recommendation  at its Oct. 1, meeting, with the condition that the master deed will need to be reviewed by the zoning administrator and the township attorney.
    Silver Oaks representatives provided construction plans and documentation of outside approvals and permits.
    Township board member Geoff Moffat said that he was  concerned with the open space in the residential development.
    Township board member Mark Roman made a motion to approve the Silver Oaks II final site plan, with the condition the zoning administrator and township attorney review the master deed. The board approved the motion.
 

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