Palace Chrysler-Jeep


Planning commission agenda: Agri-tourism, rural character photos

July 11, 2012 - Atlas Twp.-Some area businesses may soon have a new look.

The planning commission will conduct two public hearings beginning at 7 p.m., Sept. 19 at the township hall to allow residents to speak on a proposal to allow agri-tourism in the township and the use of visualization in defining rural character.

"It's a concept that expands the conditional use of businesses in agricultural zoned districts," said Rick Misek, planning commission chairperson. "In the past farmers could sell produce if it was raised on their property—however under the new agri-tourism business owners can expand to include related products."

For example, corn mazes, farming classes or even barn dances, are examples of agri-tourism businesses added Misek.

"We're looking to help these businesses to expand the profitability and to be more viable. The idea here is prompted by the township master plan to maintain the agricultural heritage. This community has a very strong agricultural history.

The concept of agri-tourism dates back to the late 1800s when people began leaving urban areas to visit relatives in rural areas for short stays to escape the city life. Today the popularity continues with horseback riding, wine-tasting and pick-your-own produce.

The second public hearing will discuss the use of pictures in defining the rural character of the community.

"The idea here is a picture is worth a thousand words," said Misek "It's the latest trend in working with master plans. Words can be ambiguous so to better explain just what rural character is all about we are going to include about six to eight pictures."

Examples include tree-lined roads, natural buffers and property lines along with setbacks from the road for buildings. Visualization in both digital and hard copy are tools planners use to provide images of future environmental needs.

"It's a way we can better communicate with the public and convey information for future planning commissions," he said.

Email Link
Clarkston Cleaning
The Oxford Leader
SPI Subscriptions
Site Search