Antrim Township supervisors dealt with a number of issues at last week’s meeting, including how to proceed after the screening required on the plan for a shale pit was removed and moving forward with denying an application to join the township’s ag security area while continuing to work with the applicant.

Trees cut down 

Supervisors heard from both Sylvia House, zoning and code enforcement officer, and a neighbor about trees that were cut down at the D.H. Martin shale pit off Williamson Road.

The plan for the shale pit requires the trees as well as a soil berm as screening, House explained. She said Jeryl Martin told her the trees were cut down because he felt they were dying and needed to be removed. It appears the soil berm was never constructed, House said.

John McCune who lives next to the shale pit on Stone Bridge Road, said he was “fat, dumb and happy and being a neighbor to the shale pit until November 2017 … we had good screening until the big tree harvest happened. I can see through to the shale pit and the operation is no longer concealed.”

McCune gave a PowerPoint presentation, including a Google Earth picture from a few years ago when the trees were “greener than green,” as well as pictures taken after the trees were cut down.

House was instructed to continue to work with Martin to bring the shale pit back into compliance and to keep supervisors and McCune informed of the progress.

Asked by John Lisko, township solicitor, what would satisfy him, McCune said, “robust screening activity … to restore the screening activity I had until November.”

He said he would like to see 14- to 16-foot trees staggered to fill up the space, estimating it would take about 600 trees.

Ag preservation 

The township has received a request for the property at 1165 Buchanan Trail East near Shady Grove be added to the ag security area, which is a step before applying to the county’s ag preservation program.

There are several reasons to deny the request, including the fact that the area is zoned highway commercial and putting it in ag security could impact nearby properties, including Manitowoc.

One of the supervisors’ biggest concerns would be the inability to run utilities across the property if needed in the future.

Because of the timetable needed for denial, supervisors agreed to start the process, but to approach the owner about an agreement for the future placement of utilities.

Steps to denial involve public notice, property posting and input from the township and county planning commissions and the ag security committee.

In other business

Supervisors approved a rezoning request from Martin’s Farm Trucks at 15332 Molly Pitcher Highway. The owner purchased adjacent land, which was zoned agricultural, and asked that it be highway commercial like the rest of the property.

A request from Quincy Township for support of its opposition to the proposed Transource power line died for lack of a motion.