New planning commission member added, council members unhappy with state bill progress
Hancock City Council, Nov. 3, 2021
Editor’s Note: I’m currently planning on attending Houghton City Council’s meeting on Nov. 17 rather than Hancock’s second meeting on the same night. Houghton is selecting a new councilor to replace Dan Salo. I’ll review the agenda of both meetings before making the final decision.
In a 6 -0 vote, the council added Adam Griffis to the planning commission after having tabled the vote at the last meeting. There had been concerns about adding a new member to the planning commission so late in the zoning overhaul process.
Councilor Whitney Warstler abstained from the vote because she is married to Griffis.
A bill in the state legislature that would override most local ordinances concerning short-term rentals — commonly called Airbnbs — passed the House of Representatives with Rep. Greg Markkanen’s support. Among other things, the state law specifically states short-term rentals are a permitted use in all residential zones, and is not considered a commercial use of property.
Hancock recently finalized and began enacting its ordinance limiting short-term rentals, and is among several local cities recently crafting regulations on the relatively new form of vacation rental. The council unanimously passed a resolution opposing the state-level bill earlier this year.
Councilor John Haeussler said he was very disappointed in Rep. Markkanen’s vote in favor of state-level control.
Councilor Paul LaBine was re-elected by the board to be the mayor for another year. Councilor Kurt Rickard is taking over as mayor pro-tem from Councilor John Haeussler.
Fencing for the new dog park is partly installed and should be completed soon.
Whoville in Hancock is happening on Nov. 26 with the tree lighting and Christmas walk being planned. More volunteers are needed.
More than a dozen high school students were in attendance at the meeting as part of a class requirement.
The public hearing for Hancock’s proposed changes to the dangerous buildings code is set for the beginning of their Nov. 17 meeting.