Fall Colors on the Old Mission Peninsula; Chateau Chantal looking west | Jane Boursaw Photo
Fall Colors on the Old Mission Peninsula; Chateau Chantal looking west | Jane Boursaw Photo

The Peninsula Township Planning Commission has scheduled a Special Work Session for Monday, Nov. 30, at 5 p.m, to discuss the Zoning Ordinance rewrite, as well as other items. As the Township is currently not holding in-person meetings due to Covid-19 restrictions, the meeting will be held virtually via Zoom.

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UPATE, Nov. 30, 2020: This Zoom meeting was canceled because it was shown as taking place at two different times on the Peninsula Township website. (As of Dec. 24, 2020, the Zoning Ordinance rewrite is still in draft form. A subcommittee of the Planning Commission was appointed to further the process along. Stay tuned for more info.)

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Here is the link to join the meeting using the Zoom App on a computer, smartphone, or tablet: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89262394603

To join the meeting via telephone, dial (312) 626-6799, then enter the Webinar ID: 892-6239-4603, followed by the pound symbol (#).

Note that the purpose of this meeting is only to provide a work session for Planning Commission members to discuss items on the agenda. No official action of any kind will be taken. Planning Commission members will join as webinar participants, and the public may participate in “listen only” mode.

If you have comments about any items on the agenda, you’re welcome to email Township Planner Randy Mielnik, planner@peninsulatownship.com, or send a note via U.S. mail to Peninsula Township, 13235 Center Road, Traverse City, MI 49686.

Items for discussion on the agenda include:

  1. Master Plan Update/Online Community Engagement/Steps Forward. The Township has been working on a new website using a platform called “Bang the Table.” This online tool will provide a way for township residents to offer input and insight on planning and other issues. I’ve had advance access to the new site, and it seems like a great way to engage residents on what we want Peninsula Township to look like in the coming years.
  2. Annual Report
  3. Upcoming Election of Officers
  4. Zoning Ordinance Update. The Planning Commission and Ordinance Rewrite Committee have been working on a rewrite of the Zoning Ordinance for the past several years. The current ordinance was adopted in 1972, and while there have been many amendments added to it over the years, the document is long overdue for an official rewrite. The update includes ordinance reorganization, new and updated definitions, new graphics, procedural clarifications, explanations of development standards, past amendments, additional development standards, an updated zoning map, references to related provisions and other laws, and more.

A draft of the Zoning Ordinance rewrite has been on Peninsula Township’s website since January 2020. View a copy of the ordinance rewrite here, and additional information about the ordinance background and process going forward here.

As noted on the Township website, a draft of the ordinance rewrite has been reviewed by Township staff, legal counsel and engineering. Township residents were – and are – invited to send in comments and suggestions.

At their October 19 meeting, the Planning Commission held a formal public hearing, with notification posted on the Township’s website, as well as a legal ad in the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Residents who spoke at the October meeting felt that the Township didn’t promote the public hearing well enough, so the Planning Commission voted to continue the public hearing at their November 16 meeting, with options for Zoom participation and comments, as well.

However, there were some technological issues with the Zoom comments at the November meeting, so look for information about another upcoming meeting where residents can offer comments (we’ll keep you posted on the Gazette).

Also note that per Township bylaws, the Planning Commission rarely takes action on any matter sooner than the next monthly meeting after a public hearing. This gives the Planning Commission members time to reflect on the comments they’ve received before taking any action.

Once the public hearing process with the Planning Commission concludes, the ordinance rewrite will then move to the Township Board level, where discussion will take place and another public hearing will be held.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Township Planner Randy Mielnik by emailing planner@peninsulatownship.com or calling (231) 223-7314.

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