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Planning Commission - December 2016
Thursday, December 15, 2016 7:00 p.m.
The Berrien Township Planning Commission met on Thursday, December 15, 2016 at
7:00 p.m. for a regular meeting.  Chairman Karen O’Dell called the meeting to order and opened with the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
Planning Commission Members Present:  Chairman - Karen O’Dell, Vice Chairman - Ron Harner, Secretary - Doug Shelton, Julie Burke, David Riedlinger, Dale Sherwood and Chris Sill
Members Absent
Others Present:  Bryan Bixby - Supervisor, Ross Rogien - Building Inspector, Jeremiah Kinney, Howard Henderson, Mary Simko - The Journal Era, Rebecca Stephenson - Recording Secretary and six residents
Motion by Ron Harner, supported by Dale Sherwood, to approve minutes from the
November 14, 2016 meeting of the Planning Commission.  All ayes, none opposed. 
Motion carried. 
Motion by Ron Harner, supported by Dave Riedlinger, to approve minutes from the special November 28, 2016 meeting of the Planning Commission.  All ayes, none opposed.  Motion carried. 
Current Building and Electrical permits were presented.
The meeting was recessed to open the 7:05 p.m. Public Hearing.
No letters, comments, phone calls or emails were received regarding this request.
Special Use Request #16-001 - Jeremiah Kinney, 7563 Pokagon Road - canine training facility:
Mr. Kinney presented details for the request of a Special Use on 7563 Pokagon Road. (11-04-0022-0008-02-2) He would like to operate a private company to specially train canines. The company is not open to the public and specializes in government contracts. The buildings and land will be renovated to accommodate the business and he will be living in the house on the property. He will follow all ordinance requirements.
Questions from residents:
How long in this business? Business has been in operation approximately 13 years.
Will dogs be trained outside? Most training will be done within indoors facility; however any training done outside will be within fenced area.
How many classes? Approximately 3 classes that will last 6 weeks each. Dogs will leave premises with new handler at the end of each day. Four to six dogs will be in each class.
6 weeks to qualify/ evaluate dogs, 6 weeks to train with new owner.
Will dogs be leashed? Dogs will be on leashes when out of facility – which will be minimal, each animal will have a GPS unit.
Will kennels be insulated? Yes, insulation is not complete at this time, but each unit will be insulated. Metal walls will be on 3 sides of each kennel to help minimize the barking.
Age of dogs? Each dog will be 1 – 1 ½ years old. Each dog will have some training prior to arriving to facility. Dogs will be from Poland or Germany.
Concerns about explosives/narcotics. All training specimens will be minimal and stored in a DEA approved containers and kept indoors and locked. No large quantities are necessary in the training.
When do you plan to open? Hopefully in the spring. Will be in operation year around although most classes will take place in spring and summer.
Will fences be within property lines? Will be within lines and will follow all ordinance regulations.
Noise issues? There will be metal roofs, metal sides and insulation. Noise will be minimal.
Security issues? ADT will be used, motion sensors will be in place along with door alarms and cameras. There will also be an increased police presence since most trainees will be involved in law enforcement.
Type of dogs? Mainly german shepherds or labs.
Employees? 3 full time and 2 part time employees. One person will be in charge of ground maintenance.
Untrainable animals? Would be returned or put up for adoption.
How late will classes take place? Most likely done between 4:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Mr. Kinney also stated that in the future he would like to re-locate the main entrance/driveway to the west off M-140 and possibly have a coded security gate.
Public Hearing closed at 7:44 p.m.  The Planning Commission meeting reconvened.
There was discussion concerning the need for evergreens to be planted along the side and rear of the property as the ordinance calls for, but there will be an 8 foot fence installed instead as agreed at the meeting.
Mr. Kinney requested the Planning Commission to repeal/remove all existing special uses on the property.
Motion by Ron Harner, supported by Dave Riedlinger, to repeal/remove all existing special uses associated with the Pokagon Road property current 11-04-0022-0008-02-2.  All ayes, none opposed.  Motion carried. 
Motion by Ron Harner, supported by Dave Riedlinger, to recommend approval to the township board Special Use Request #16-001 under 300.1129 Kennels with the exception of #5 screen of 6 foot evergreens.  All ayes, none opposed.  Motion carried. 
Motion by Ron Harner, supported by Doug Shelton, to adjourn the meeting.  All ayes, none opposed.  Motion carried.  Meeting adjourned at 8:00  p.m.
Minutes as recorded by Rebecca Stephenson, Planning Commission Recording Secretary and approved by:
Doug Shelton, Secretary
Planning Commission

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