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Citizens still concerned over new zoning ordinance  

Others also addressed the board regarding their ongoing concerns of how to deal with zoning regarding wind turbines in the county and commercial zoning that is proposed for a section of Summit Township near Bass Lake. Fran Sinnott, who is among a group of citizens who have asked for more stringent guidelines for wind turbines, told the board she has seen little interaction between citizens and the zoning commission which is working to rewrite the ordinance. “I saw no reaction to some of their pleas” at the latest public hearing on the issue, she said. Sinnott asked that the county board study the citizens’ issues more before commissioners make decisions that can’t be reversed.

Credit:  By JENNIFER MILLER, Daily News Staff Writer | Ludington Daily News | September 10, 2013 | www.ludingtondailynews.com ~~

Members of the public packed into the commissioners’ room at the Mason County Courthouse Tuesday night for the county board’s regular meeting.

Most who attended were not there to hear the resolutions, but rather to plead with the commissioners to continue to research the new Mason County Zoning Ordinance before making a final decision on it.

Custer Township resident Brad Goff expressed his concern over the Mason County Zoning Commission’s intent to rezone his property from agricultural land to Rural Estates. The RE zoning would limit the number of animals allowed on the property, a section of land on North Custer Road where Goff previously operated a dairy farm.

In 2000 Goff sold his cattle and the farm has been up for sale since then. Goff has continued to farm the land, but he now has a potential buyer, Brad Brown, who intends to raise cattle on the property. Both the buyer and seller are concerned that if the operation isn’t in place before the new zoning takes effect, Brown won’t be able to house a herd there because of the limits placed on animals in RE districts.

Brown also addressed the board Tuesday, stating that he is a farmer and owns land in Oceana and Mason counties. He’s looking for a “home base” for his operation, he said, and the Goff property would provide the perfect place.

Brown said he also wanted to dispel any rumors that he was going to operate a hog farm on the property. That is not his intent, he said.

He pointed out that agriculture is one of the biggest industries in Mason County and most of the county is rural. Much of that farmland, however, is being sold off in smaller parcels and people are building homes that break up the open space. “We’re losing farmland,” Brown said. “I plead with you, don’t let us lose this ag land.”

Others also addressed the board regarding their ongoing concerns of how to deal with zoning regarding wind turbines in the county and commercial zoning that is proposed for a section of Summit Township near Bass Lake.

Fran Sinnott, who is among a group of citizens who have asked for more stringent guidelines for wind turbines, told the board she has seen little interaction between citizens and the zoning commission which is working to rewrite the ordinance. “I saw no reaction to some of their pleas” at the latest public hearing on the issue, she said.

Sinnott asked that the county board study the citizens’ issues more before commissioners make decisions that can’t be reversed.

District 5 Commissioner Jerome Rybicki, who is chairman of the Zoning and Planning Committee, said the group continues to work on zoning issues and will resolve as many as possible as quickly as possible.

District 6 Commissioner and Vice Chairman of the Board Tom Posma thanked the citizens for their attendance and said he appreciated their comments.

The rewrite of the zoning ordinance is still in the hands of the Mason County Zoning Commission. Once the Zoning Commission is satisfied with the rewrite, it will be forwarded to the county board for final approval.

In other business Tuesday, the board:

• approved millage levies for the Soldiers & Sailors Relief Commission, the county’s senior citizens programs, Oakview Medical Care Facility, the Mason County Jail Project and the county’s General Fund.

• approved the date of Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. for a budget work session, to be held at the courthouse.

• approved a $100 petty cash account for the Mason County Clerk’s Office.

• authorized Mason County Sheriff Larry Stewart to fill a vacancy in his office left by Corrections Officer Jude Ezdebski. The board also passed a resolution in honor of Ezdebski, who is retiring after more than 30 years of service to the sheriff’s office.

• passed a resolution proclaiming the week of Oct. 5-11 as Fire Prevention Week.

• approved the purchase of a new copy machine for the Animal Control Office, and approved the transfer of the courthouse fax machine to the Animal Control Office. A new fax machine will be purchased for the courthouse.

Source:  By JENNIFER MILLER, Daily News Staff Writer | Ludington Daily News | September 10, 2013 | www.ludingtondailynews.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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