November 1, 2014

Planning commission holding seminar

By John Fischer|Staff writer
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ARENAC COUNTY — The Arenac County Planning Commission is hosting a planning and zoning seminar this Wednesday, Feb. 11 from 6 – 8:30 p.m. in the Circuit Court Room in the Arenac County Building.

According to Chairman Joseph Sancimino the seminar will feature a presentation by Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) Regional Land Use Educator Mary Ann Heidemann, former Arenac County Extension Director. Heidemann currently serves 18 counties in Northeast Michigan and has a vast background of over 25 years in community planning experience in Michigan.

Heidemann says the seminar will revolve around the new Michigan Zoning Enabling Act, which was signed as Public Act 12 of 2008 in February, as well as focusing on a few other items.

“(Planning commissions) can be regarded as the central part of good government,” Heidemann said of the importance of a having a well-organized planning commission. “It helps keep the (public) eye to the future.”

She also says the two main goals of the seminar are to bring are planning commissions together and to create a shared-atmosphere environment.

Dale Raymond of MSUE, and Arenac Township clerk, says planning commissions deal with creating zoning ordinances as well as Master Plans for a community.

“It’s basically a situation of planning for future use of property,” Raymond said, adding plans are made on a 5 or 10-year basis.

She also says she’d like to see Arenac County list all townships’ and cities’ zoning ordinances on the county Web site.

Sancimino says the seminar’s agenda includes how to create an ordinance — under the new law — to reestablish your planning commission, creating mandated by-laws and discussion on hot topic issues concerning land splits, right-of-ways and variances.

“We (Arenac County Planning Commission) would like to see as many people attend as possible,” Sancimino said. “We want to get everyone on the same page and really educate everyone associated with planning, zoning and development.

“On the county level, we have three goals for our planning commission: one, agricultural preservation; two, economic development and industry; and three, promote a support area to be developed for family living.”

He also says the Arenac County Planning Commission is in the process of creating a county-wide survey to be distributed, around June, to gauge response and input and formulate ideas from a citizen standpoint for future planning and zoning ordeals in the county.

For more information or to attend the seminar, contact Raymond at 989-846-4111 or Sancimino at 989-718-2030.

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