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Meeting Minutes







Ray Township Planning Commission

Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

Page 1 of 3


Location:                     Ray Township Hall

                                    64255 Wolcott, Ray, MI  48096


Present:                                    Alvin Strauchman, Chairman

                                    Dave Ebert, Vice Chairman

                                    Dennis Tipsword, Secrretary

                                    Cynthia Banach

                                    Tom Hancock

                                    Tom Penzien

                                    John Zoccola


Also present:                Chris McLeod, Planner; Cathy Cichecki, Planning and Zoning Administrator,

3 residents



Strauchman called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. Planning Commission members Strauchman, Ebert, Tipsword, Banach, Hancock, Penzien and Zoccola present.


  1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – May 14, 2013

MOTION by Tipsword to approve the minutes from May 14, 2013 as presented, supported by Hancock. All ayes. Motion carried.


Hancock shared a resident’s statement from the Ray Township Board meeting minutes and discussion was held about the voting process after public hearings.



MOTION by Hancock to approve the agenda as presented, supported by Ebert. All ayes. Motion carried.


  1. Scheduled Public Hearings – None


  1. New Business
    1. Review of Sign Ordinance – Zoccola said the township board wanted the planning commission to review the special event sign ordinance as some civic organizations such as 4H, Abate and the Armada Fair have been posting signs that are larger than allowed by the ordinance. McLeod presented the approximate size of the signs for these organizations and said the commission would also have to adjust the amount of time that the signs can be posted, because most of them exceed ten consecutive days. Tipsword said if the commission starts making exceptions to the ordinance it could result in other organizations asking for a variance, and he feels that if they are asking for approval, then they should comply with the ordinances. Discussion was held regarding the definition of civic organizations, enforcement of the sign ordinance and suggestions for the commission to consider.


Bill Kehrer, 20015 30 Mile Road, asked about signs on telephone poles and oversized real estate signs. Mcleod answered that the signs on the poles are illegal but larger real estate signs are allowed for the sale of property. Kehrer asked if the planning commission should be enforcing the ordinance about the signs on the poles and McLeod replied that the township board is the enforcement body, not the planning commission.


Hancock said he would be interested in having the township planner draft a new ordinance and McLeod said he will work on melding number 10 Special Event Signs and number 12 Temporary Signs and bring it back to the commission.



Ray Township Planning Commission

Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

Page 2 of 3


  1. Old Business – None


  1. Presentations – None


  1. Report of the Township Board Representative

a.       May 21, 2013 - Strauchman asked about the compromise made in regards to James Ropes, Great Lakes Welding since the planning commission voted that the business was outside of the township ordinances and must cease and desist. Strauchman asked if the township board can override when the planning commission deems that a person is outside of an ordinance, and Hancock said that he didn’t think they did, according to a letter from Supervisor Bohm. Hancock shared a part of the letter giving Ropes 90 days to cease all operations of the fabricating business that he has been operating at his home.


b.      June 4, 2013 – Zoccola said the township is working with the drain commission about what it would take to avoid the treatment plant and hook up to the Washington Township sewers for the development on 26 Mile Road. Hancock asked for an update on the HCMA plan and Zoccola said that a resident believes the HCMA is in an aggressive mode and the township needs to put their issues in writing. Zoccola said he thinks it will be better to not act negatively but meet with them and let them know of their concerns. Zoccola said he thinks that they will not go after property that the owner doesn’t want to sell and he believes that both the HCMA and the road commission want to work with the township regarding the plan.


  1. Report of the Zoning Board of Appeals Representative – None


  1. Correspondence
    1. Ray Township Supervisor – Enforcement of Ropes (Great Lakes Welding) –


    1. Seibert & Dloski – Ray Community Airport – Tipsword asked if there was any response from the airport regarding the letter and Strauchman said no. Strauchman asked if the pad was installed and Ebert said that it had not yet been done. Strauchman asked what the planning commission options are if they do install the pad without approval and McLeod replied that it would go to the township board as an ordinance violation issue.


    1. Huron Clinton Metroparks – Correspondence to Ray Resident –


  1. Public Comments


Kehrer commented that he agrees with Ebert and Zoccola that the HCMA should have to come to both boards if they want to make changes since their original plan had the entrance on 26 Mile Road. Strauchman commented that the township is limited on their ability to force the HCMA to do anything. McLeod shared that up until at least seven years ago the HCMA did apply for SLUs and receive township approval but the township told them they no longer needed approval, so they stopped coming before the board. Hancock asked if there was official documentation saying that they no longer needed township approval and McLeod responded that he didn’t think so and that they could try to have them resume that process. Further discussion was held about the time frame for their plan and what the township’s actual concerns were and Strauchman shared that Zoccola has asked for a joint meeting with the planning commission, township board and the HCMA. Kehrer asked if the joint meeting will be posted on the website for the public to attend and Tipsword answered yes.


Strauchman asked if commission members would be available for the scheduled July meeting and four members said they may not be.

MOTION by Tipsword to cancel the July meeting,  supported by Banach. All ayes. Motion carried.





Ray Township Planning Commission

Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

Page 3 of 3




  1. Adjournment

MOTION by Ebert to adjourn the meeting at 8:25 p.m., supported by Hancock. All ayes. Motion carried.









__________________________________                       _______________________________                 __________

Alvin A. Strauchman, Jr., Chairman                                   Dennis Tipsword, Secretary                            Date







      Respectfully submitted,

      Toni McDonald

      Recording Secretary

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