The Fillmore County Planning Commission met via WebEx for their June 19 meeting. A public hearing was held on a MiEnergy application for a conditional use permit (CUP) for a telecommunications tower.
At the May 21 meeting of the Board of Adjustment, variances for setbacks from the property line and the road were approved for the construction of this tower. The variances were necessary for the construction of a 195-foot self supporting (no guide wires) telecommunication tower at the MiEnergy Cherry Grove Substation located in section 12, Beaver Township. The tower is to be used to provide communication interconnection between the co-op’s electrical substations.
During the public hearing for the CUP there were no comments from township officers or the public. Zoning Administrator Cristal Adkins noted the tower is to be constructed in the northwest corner of the parcel providing a better setback to the road and intersection.
Gary Ruskell expressed concern about the possibility of someone climbing the tower. MiEnergy representative Chad Chaffee explained it will be difficult for anyone to climb the tower without the proper equipment.
Andy Bisek suggested a condition be added to the CUP requiring a fence around the tower. The commission unanimously approved the CUP with a condition requiring the fence. The county board will consider the CUP at their July 7 meeting.
Adkins announced at the next meeting, tentatively to be held on July 23, a possible amendment to 604.03 conditional uses in the Ag District will be discussed. Thirteen under this heading now states “Non-agricultural commercial or industrial uses can be located in existing buildings, not previously permitted as a dwelling, cited adjacent to Highway 16, 52, and 63 corridors.”
The Artesian Fresh bottling plant near LeRoy is no longer in operation. What use will be allowed for this existing building? Adkins said State Highway 56 could possibly be added to 13 under 604.03 conditional uses in the Ag District.
It was noted that there are other state highways in the county. Highways initially chosen to be included were highways that have higher traffic counts. Duane Bakke said the idea of 13 was to make use of these kinds of buildings. Originally, it was required that use of buildings like these had to be related to agriculture.
Adkins added that if someone comes forward with something in another location, we can revisit it. If the commission decides to go ahead with this amendment, there will be a public hearing on the amendment at the August meeting.