What is a Planning Commission, and why do we need one?

Townships have a statutory (required/controlled by law) authority to regulate and control the development and use of the property within their jurisdiction.  The purpose of this is to promote and protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public.  They ensure that the uses of land are situated in appropriate location and relationships, are not producing congestion and overcrowding, and are meeting the needs of the state's citizens. These goals can be accomplished through the Planning Commission(PC), and then the Township Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) provides guidance and administration of the regulations set forth by the PC.  The Township Board appoints the PC and ZBA members, approve a budget, and adopts an appropriate land  use plan (a Master Plan) and zoning ordinance.  WIthout such land use controls, a township may develop in a haphazard, disorganized, and economically unsound manner. 
In summary, the purpose and duty of the PC is to make and adopt a plan for the township's land use development.
(From "Authorities & Responsibilities: of Michigan Township Officials, Boards and Commissions" by John H. Bauckham)

The Hillsdale Township Planning Commission (PC) meets at the Township Hall the third Monday of the month at 6:30.  Contact Joe Sanford (398-1610) for more info.