Village of Elberta

January 20, 2022 — Elberta Village Council Meeting  

• Approved the Beckett & Raeder Proposal to Rewrite the Village Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance
• Accepted the Resignation of Trustee Molly Biddle
• Accepted the Resignation of DPW Superintendent Rick Biddle
• Approved the Employment Agreement for Snow Removal between the Village and Ken Bonney
• Appointed Emily Votruba to the Open Council Trustee Seat, ending in 2022
• Appointed Ryan Fiebing to the Open Council Trustee Seat, ending in 2024

The Village of Elberta Planning Commission scheduled a Public Hearing regarding a proposed Zoning Ordinance to impose a moratorium on Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) in the Village. The public hearing — originally scheduled for Thursday February 24, 2022 — has been rescheduled to Wednesday, March 23, 2022, at 4pm.

Here is a copy of the Zoning Ordinance to impose a moratorium:

VILLAGE OF ELBERTA Ordinance No. of 2022 AN ORDINANCE TO IMPOSE A MORATORIUM ON PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENTS WITHIN THE DD WATERFRONT AND LAKEBLUFFS DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT AND THE PD DEEP WATER PORT DISTRICT THE VILLAGE OF ELBERTA, BENZIE COUNTY, MICHIGAN ORDAINS:

Section 1. Legislative Findings.
The Village of Elberta is a unique community blessed with an abundance of natural resources, such as towering dunes, water frontage on both Lake Michigan and Betsie Lake, and a large natural area within the village limits. Concerning its shoreline, the Village is essentially a small peninsula with water at its northern, eastern, and western boundaries.

The Village Master Plan, adopted in April, 2018, provides guidance for development along this approximately three mile shoreline.
The 2018 Village Master Plan includes a number of future land use development considerations for this waterfront area, including the following:
• A mix of residential, commercial, and civic uses should be permitted through a site planning or PUD process.
• Development should provide for public views of and interaction with the waterfront, with smaller-scale development along the shoreline.
• Residential densities may vary and may be higher than existing residential neighborhoods.
• Residential uses may include a mix of multi-family and single-family dwellings. (Master Plan, pp. 48-49.)

Most of the property in this waterfront area is zoned within the DD Waterfront and Lakebluffs Development District and the PD Deep Water Port District. These zoning districts were established when the Village’s current zoning ordinance was enacted in 2009 and consist of one (1) page of regulations for each district.

Each of these districts permit planned unit developments pursuant to a special use permit. Planned unit developments are regulated under Section 21.26 of the zoning ordinance. This section was part of the original zoning ordinance enacted in 2009. It has not been amended since. As a result, the zoning regulations within the DD Waterfront and Lakebluffs Development District, the PD Deep Water Port District, and the planned unit 1 40 development regulations within Section 21.26 have not been updated to implement the new guidance provided within the 2018 Master Plan.

Therefore, it is in the best interests of promoting the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of the Village of Elberta to impose a moratorium on planned unit developments within the DD Waterfront and Lakebluffs Development District and the PD Deep Water Port District to afford the Village Planning Commission and Village Council time to study and update zoning regulations for planned unit developments within these districts consistent with the 2018 Master Plan.

Section 2. Moratorium.
The Elberta Village Council hereby imposes a moratorium on all planned unit developments within the DD Waterfront and Lakebluffs Development District and the PD Deep Water Port District for a period of six (6) months from the effective date of this Ordinance.

During this moratorium period the Village Zoning Administrator shall not accept and the Village Planning Commission shall not process any application for a planned unit development within these zoning districts. In addition, during this moratorium period the Village Planning Commission is hereby directed to study and recommend to the Village Council updated zoning regulations for planned unit developments within these districts consistent with the 2018 Master Plan.

Section 3. Extension.
This moratorium may be extended by the Elberta Village Council for any reasonable time necessary to complete the tasks specified in Section 2 of this Ordinance, but only after following all procedural requirements of the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act for the amendment of the zoning ordinance.

Section 4. Effective Date.
This Ordinance shall become effective eight days after being published in a newspaper of general circulation within the Village.

Notes respectfully submitted by Robin Rommell, Gilmore Township Treasurer. You can reach her at robinrommell@gmail.com.

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January 4, 2022 — Special Meeting of the Elberta Village Council 

The Village of Elberta will be submitting an application for financial assistance to U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA – Rural Development for improvements to the Village water system. Funds will be used to finance water system improvements including: water main improvements, installation of a new municipal well, and water service installation. Construction is anticipated to begin in Fall 2022, with completion in Fall 2023.

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