SHELBY — Monday, the Shelby Village Council unanimously approved a use variance to remodel an existing detached accessory building into an accessory dwelling.
The unit is at 186 S. State St. in Shelby and is owned by resident Barbara Setlak. Setlak addressed the council saying, “I’m requesting this variance to hopefully be able to provide a place for my grandson, who is handicapped, to live and thrive. He requires a lot of special equipment and needs more space than my home has.”
The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) reviewed all six standards of 14.08 of the zoning ordinance and determined that an unnecessary hardship exists, which prevents the reasonable use of the parcel as currently zoned. The use variance was approved with the following conditions: 1) Prior to issuance of any village permits, the applicant shall have paid all application, permit, reimbursable escrow and other fees related to the request. 2) The application and the site shall at all times comply with all other applicable ordinances, codes and requirements of the Village of Shelby. 3) The application shall receive approval and comply with any requirements from the Shelby-Benona Fire Department, Building Department or other village or county officials. 4) The ZBA may require that the applicant submit a site plan considered sufficient for review by the zoning administrator. 5) The deed restriction, or other similarly binding covenant, shall be created for the property which requires the principal dwelling to be occupied by the owner of the property. 6) The accessory building shall not be connected to separate sewer or water connections, and it shall not be assigned a separate address. 7) The accessory dwelling shall not accommodate transient occupants.
During the public hearing portion of the ZBA meeting, a letter of support was read from Larry Byl, member of Oceana Rentals, LLC. As well, Shelby Township resident Richard Raffaelli spoke in support of the variance, stating that housing continues to be a need in our area and anything the village can do to support more housing is positive for the area. Council member Damien Omness, who was fully in support of the variance, wondered if the council was setting precedent for future requests. Village President Paul Inglis and village Administrator Brady Selner assured the council that each request stands alone and is considered on a case by case basis. It was also stated that the variance stays with the property going forward. Following approval, Setlak thanked Selner and others for their help through the process.
The village also approved an ingress/egress easement for a parcel at 228 Deming St., which is in the process of being sold. While preparing for the sale, it was discovered that the driveway access to the house is on village property. Because no recorded easement could be found, an easement needs to be recorded so the sale can be completed.
“It’s historical in its use,” said Calvin Roskam, realtor for the transaction. “No one seems to know the reason behind it, but it has been like that since the mid-1970s.”
It was clarified that the easement was for ingress/egress only. The owner of said property will be responsible for any upkeep and repair of the driveway.
Shelby Township is currently in the process of developing a community park on 29.5 acres on Buchanan Road near 72nd Avenue. The township will be submitting a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Grant and asked the village for a letter of support. Numerous community stakeholders have already submitted letters and made financial contributions to the proposed project. Township Supervisor Raffaelli said, “The proposed plan includes six pickleball courts, two co-ed softball fields, two full-size soccer fields and two youth-sized soccer fields, a 1.2 mile walking trail, a picnic shelter, complete with bbq grills and a concession stand, which will be used mainly by groups holding athletic events and tournaments at the park. The main users of the park will be rec groups such as adult softball and youth soccer, but it will be available for everyone in the community as well as people coming off the rail trail. We surveyed the community, which helped us determine what facilities were most needed and wanted.”
OCEANA COUNTY – District Health Department #10 announced Friday, Jan. 8, that it is currently at capacity for COVID-19 vaccination clinics due to a shortage of the vaccine.
The registration link on the health department website is currently removed and will be replaced once the health department is able to schedule appointments.
“Unfortunately, the state was unable to supply the number of doses we ordered, which requires us to make adjustments to our vaccine clinics,” stated Kevin Hughes, health officer for DHD#10. “We understand this disruption may cause frustration, but please know we are doing everything we can to deliver the vaccine as soon as the supply is accessible.”
Some individuals who are currently scheduled to receive the vaccine may be canceled or rescheduled. The health department will notify those via the e-mail registered when they scheduled if their appointment is canceled or rescheduled.
The health department will resume scheduling as soon as it has access to more vaccine and apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause. It asks for continued patience as it relentlessly works to get the vaccine out to those who want it.
PENTWATER — The Village of Pentwater might be just a little more than a month away from moving in to its new offices at 65 S. Hancock St.
Village Manager Chris Brown reported at council’s regular meeting Jan. 11 that the move is on target for the last week of February. The existing village hall at 327 S. Hancock has been posted for bidding, and bids will be reviewed in April.
The chamber of commerce requested consideration of an ice rink on the basketball court at North End Park, and the council expressed its support of the idea. The use was approved, and it was agreed that Brown will work with the chamber to insure that the rink is safe and effective. Of course, availability of the ice rink will depend on the cooperation of the weather.
In other business, the village council approved the following:
A resolution to meet the requirements of the Open Meetings Act by establishing the dates for regular village council meetings for 2021. The resolution will be posted on the village’s website and at village hall.
Tridonn Construction Pay Application No. 2 for the village hall project at 65 S. Hancock in the amount of $96,298.
Appointment of Ron Stoneman to the planning commission to replace Ron Christians who resigned to take his seat on the county board. Stoneman has served as the superintendent of the Manistee Public Schools, but his roots are in Pentwater.
2021 street closures requested by the chamber of commerce. These are approved annually to enable the chamber to plan events for the year.
Katie Anderson, recreation director, reported that sign-ups have begun for the fourth, fifth and sixth grade boys’ basketball season. The season will begin in February depending on Covid restrictions. In addition, she thanked Kevin Eitniear who volunteered and did a lot of hard work on the sorting and bagging of the cans collected to help generate funds for the rec program.
The village is now open and operating with full office hours as the staff prepares for budget preparation and the move to the new village hall. All staff has returned safe and healthy.
PENTWATER – The Community Foundation for Oceana County has announced the availability of adult student scholarships aimed at students accepted into the Futures for Frontliners program, enrolled at Muskegon Community College or West Shore Community College.
Futures for Frontliners (F4F) is a state-run program that offers free tuition for essential workers attending community colleges at in-district tuition rates. Because there is no institution of higher education in the county, most Oceana students do not fully qualify for free tuition, leaving a portion of costs uncovered by the F4F program. The Community Foundation and a donor supporting additional scholarships through the Oceana College Access Network have scholarship funds to assist with these gap costs.
Beginning immediately, scholarships will be offered to Oceana County residents who have been out of high school for at least one year and/or have a gap in their post-secondary education. Students must be attending West Shore or Muskegon Community Colleges, accepted into the F4F program and taking at least six credits. Higher selection priority will be aligned with Oceana CAN! goals to impact degrees & certification achievement for persons of color, first generation college students, or low income. Adult students may also have other identifying criteria, such as full-time employment, parenthood, care of elderly parents or prior military service. “We encourage all F4F adult students to apply, regardless of their ability to meet these criteria. We are excited to expand our program to help meet local employment needs and increase career options for Oceana residents,” said foundation scholarship program officer Danielle Siegel.
The Foundation’s 2021 adult scholarship program is accepting applications now through January 22nd, 2021. Applications are submitted through the Community Foundation website at https://oceanafoundation.org/scholarships/adult-student-scholarships/. Adult students can complete their applications in three easy steps, and applicants should expect to hear from the Foundation within two weeks of the submission deadline.
The community foundation maintains the largest scholarship program in our area, offering nearly $220,000 last year to 140 new and 59 renewing students. The Community Foundation aims to make higher education more accessible in our community through local donors’ generosity. To learn more about the Foundation’s general scholarship process, visit https://oceanafoundation.org/scholarships/how-to-apply-for-a-scholarship/.