By David Fleet
Atlas Twp.- For nearly a quarter of a century Rick Misek has served on the township planning commission.
Effective Nov. 15, Misek will step down from the board.
Misek, began his public service in 1994 as a member of the Citizens for Planned Growth group.
“At that time the township were building homes on 20,000 square foot lots, less than a half acre with septic systems,” said Misek. “That was not environmentally sound or sustainable.”
Misek along with others spearheaded an effort to help change the township master plan to reflect the rural character approach to public policy.
“We curbed the overdevelopment of the township,” he said. “The goal was for planned growth and to maintain our agricultural heritage.”
In January 1996 Misek was assigned to the township planning commission and zoning board of appeals. Over the next 25 years he served on the board and as chairperson.
Over the years Misek and the board contended with several challenges including cell tower placement, mobile home communities and maintaining the rural character in the township.
“We feel good about the past 25 years of work here to reshape our Master Plan and follow the plan with restructuring of our ordinances in the township,” said Misek. “It’s rare that any community anywhere in the United States keeps a master plan very well. You have to draw a line in the sand and strive to maintain what everyone is here for or change it and usher in a new era. A lot of people did not want to change it.”
The township board of trustees appoints planning commission members.