Chocolay residents can have a voice in planning issues

Chocolay Township residents are about to have a valuable opportunity to steer the future of their municipality.

As The Mining Journal reported Monday, planning officials are hoping to make a township-wide survey available to the public soon, likely by next week. Citizens will be alerted of the residential audit through the mail.

The township planning commission’s goal with the 18-page document is to form the creation of Chocolay’s master plan and five-year recreation plan.

We commend the township for actively seeking input from citizens, and urge residents to complete and submit the survey prior to the Sep. 30 deadline.

With the survey, officials are hoping to gauge public sentiment on a number of key issues, including the implementation of “accessory homesteading activities,” which would allow township residents on residential properties to raise various animals.

The exact number of animals allowed on a property would be dependant upon the specific zoning and on the size of a person’s property. A range of animal equivalents, based on the perceived potential for nuisance, have been proposed for animals as small as chickens and rabbits and as large as horses and cows.

The township’s impending animal husbandry discussion, informed by public opinion, could mean major changes in Chocolay Township. In early discussions, the township planning commission has seemed cautiously optimistic about the concept, but the group is looking for more public input.

The input derived from the survey will also help township officials to determine how to best regulate activity in various township zones, as well as what residents deem acceptable uses of public land and what citizens hope to see in terms of future recreational development.

Township Planning Director Kelly Drake Woodward said the municipality will likely send out postcards to every township resident in the coming days, informing them that the survey is available. Residents will have the chance to take the survey online and will be able to receive a paper copy, if desired.

We hope our readers in Chocolay Township take this opportunity to impact the future of their municipality.