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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

April 24, 2003

Agenda

QUAIL MEADOWS AND QUAIL COVE - REZONING PUBLIC HEARING

8TH STREET AT STADIUM DRIVE - (OAKWOOD PROPERTIES) - REZONING PUBLIC HEARING - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-35-105-010 AND 3905-26-355-040)

TEXT AMENDMENT - PUBLIC HEARING - NUMBERING IN THE "R-4" DISTRICT

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, April 24, 2003, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Neil G. Sikora, Chairperson
Lee Larson
Kathleen Garland-Rike
Deborah L. Everett
Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell
James Turcott
Mike Ahrens

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director; Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner; Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney; and approximately 26 other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.

Ms. Stefforia suggested that, time permitting, she be allowed to update the Commission concerning the West Main Street application for rezoning and that a public hearing be scheduled.

Ms. Garland-Rike moved to approve the Agenda as amended, and Mr. Ahrens seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

MINUTES

The Planning Commission considered the minutes of the meeting of April 10, 2003. Mr. Larson moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Ms. Everett seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

QUAIL MEADOWS AND QUAIL COVE - REZONING PUBLIC HEARING

The Planning Commission conducted a public hearing on the Township-initiated rezoning of 212 parcels within the Quail Meadows and Quail Cove development from the "R-4" Residence to the "R-3" Residence District zoning classification. The Planning Commission also considered related amendments to the Township's Master Land Use Plan.

The Report of the Planning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge noted that development within the proposed area consists of single, two, three and four-family dwellings, vacant land recently approved for development of similar housing, and the Heritage Christian Academy. She indicated that all existing and approved development would remain in conformance with the Ordinance if the rezoning was approved.

As to the amendment of the Master Land Use Plan, an appropriate notice period had been provided. The County, neighboring jurisdictions and utility companies had been provided the opportunity for comment. None had offered comment other than to say they had no comment.

Ms. Bugge noted that under the recently adopted Zoning Ordinance amendments, only one family, either traditional or functional, is permitted to occupy a dwelling unit.

The proposed rezoning would recognize the type and use of dwellings in this area which is primarily single family in nature.

Ms. Bugge reviewed the zoning and land uses adjacent to the subject properties. To the south was "R-3" Residence District including single, two, three and four-family residences and small office buildings.

Ms. Bugge reviewed the rezoning criteria. It was noted that the proposed rezoning would require amendment to the Township's Master Land Use Plan for the area in question in that it was identified as multiple-family. Amendment to the Plan to classify the area as "transitional" would reflect the proposed rezoning.

With regard to whether the proposed rezoning would severely impact traffic, public facilities and the natural characteristics of the surrounding area or significantly change population density, Ms. Bugge commented that the rezoning should not impact density, traffic, etc.; as most of the area in question is developed, or plans for development have been approved, for residential uses at a density less than 4 units per acre, rather than the 6 to 8 units per acre allowed under the "R-4" Residence District zoning classification.

Since the proposed rezoning would be a "bridge" between the two existing areas of "R-3" zoning abutting the area to the south and west, the proposed rezoning would not constitute a spot zone.

As to whether the proposed rezoning would be contrary to the established land use pattern, it was noted that the rezoning reflects the existing residential uses in the area.

As to whether the proposed rezoning would have the effect of stimulating similar rezoning requests in the vicinity, property to the south is zoned "R-3" and developed in a similar matter. Ms. Bugge felt that it was possible that a request could be generated regarding the property to the west.

As to whether there was a change in conditions in the surrounding area which would support the proposed rezoning, it was noted that most of the area had developed gradually over time under the Planned Unit Development provisions of the Ordinance. The density and nature of the development was in keeping with the "R-3" Residence District.

In considering whether adequate sites properly zoned were available elsewhere, again, it was noted that the rezoning reflected existing or approved development in the area.

Ms. Bugge stressed that Township Staff felt the rezoning would help maintain the area as it is currently developed or approved.

Ms. Bugge made note of a letter received from Richard and Beverly Harvey supporting the proposed rezoning.

The Chairperson asked for public comment, and Dr. Bob DeYoung, President of Quail Meadow Association, had questions concerning the rezoning as proposed. It was clarified that some of Quail Meadow is already zoned "R-3"; if the rezoning were approved, all would be zoned in the "R-3" Residence District. Dr. DeYoung stated that he and his Association preferred the "R-3" to "R-4" zoning.

Dr. DeYoung indicated that his Association was working with the Township and the Road Commission concerning traffic issues and was making progress.

Marvin Downy, a Quail Cove resident, indicated that he agreed with the comments of Dr. DeYoung; "R-3" zoning was preferable to "R-4".

There was no further public comment, and the public hearing was closed.

Ms. Everett moved, based upon the review of the rezoning criteria, to recommend the amendment of the Township Master Land Use Plan so as to designate the area in question in the Transitional classification and to rezone the proposed parcels to the "R-3" Residence District zoning classification. Mr. Larson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

8TH STREET AT STADIUM DRIVE - (OAKWOOD PROPERTIES) - REZONING PUBLIC HEARING - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-35-105-010 AND 3905-26-355-040)

The Planning Commission conducted a public hearing on the request to rezone the north half of the parcel at the northeast corner of 8th Street and Stadium Drive from the "VC" Village Commercial to the "R-4" Residence District and to rezone the northern abutting 8th Street parcel from "R-2" Residence District to "R-4" Residence District. The Planning Commission would also consider related amendments to the Master Land Use Plan. The subject parcels are Parcel Nos. 3905-35-105-010 and 3905-26-355-040. The Report of the Planning Department is incorporated hereby by reference.

Ms. Stefforia noted that the two properties are under common ownership, but fall within different zoning districts. The Planning Commission chose not to expand the area under consideration. The request triggered consideration of an amendment to the Master Land Use Plan. Although it was felt that "R-4" zoning would be consistent with the Village Focus Area classification for the southern parcel, the Master Land Use Plan currently was inconsistent with an "R-4" zoning for the northern parcel.

The Township had provided notice to the County and neighboring communities as well as utility companies. None had offered comment other than to say they had no comment.

Ms. Stefforia reviewed the zoning and land uses adjacent to the subject property. It was noted that there is "R-4" zoning to the east.

Ms. Stefforia stated that the "R-4" Residence District is designed to permit the greatest density of residential uses allowed in the Township together with other residential-related facilities designed to serve the inhabitants of the area.

Ms. Stefforia reviewed the list of considerations that the Planning Commission should analyze with regard to the rezoning request.

The Chairperson asked for public comment, and Don Wallace of Preferred Carlson was present on behalf of the applicant to answer questions.

George Harvey, a South 8th Street resident, stated that he was opposed to the rezoning. He felt that rezoning to the "R-4" District would "destroy his neighborhood's character". In his opinion, there were enough apartments on Stadium Drive. He was concerned about traffic safety on 8th Street and concerned about degradation of the road surface.

Virginia Hill, a South 8th Street resident, noted that there were predominantly single-family homes in the area to the west and north. She felt that this zoning would destroy her area. She felt that the traffic situation on 8th Street was already dangerous.

George Yaeger, a South 8th Street resident, indicated that his property was near Pinehurst which is subsidized multi-family housing. He noted the noise from the multi-family development and its impact on his property.

Jim Ross, a South 8th Street resident, was also opposed to the rezoning. He stated that he shared the feelings expressed by his neighbors. In his opinion, the Township had enough multiple-family housing.

Jan Weller, President of LaSalle Association, was also against the rezoning. In her opinion, the change was not needed. She felt that such a change would immensely impact the plat as did the rezoning for Emberly Acres.

Eileen Hellwege, a St. Charles Street resident, was against the rezoning. In her opinion, the Township should abide by the Master Land Use Plan classification of the area. She felt that there should be transitional zoning between single-family and multi-family zoning in the area. In her opinion, this transition or buffer would not be achieved by the rezoning.

Chris Lim indicated that he felt that the proposed rezoning would increase the drainage problem at LaSalle. He believed that the noticing had not reached enough people. He was against the rezoning. He was concerned that the rezoning would accommodate housing for students.

Jan Harvey expressed that her property had been within the family for over 100 years, and she was against the rezoning. She stated that her family had had a problem with their property since the existing apartments were established. This included a problem generated by the apartment residents in which police were involved.

Chuck Sowles, of South 8th Street, also had property which he said was within his family for over 100 years. He indicated that his family had had to call KCSD several times. They had found drug paraphernalia on their property from the apartments. Their fence had been damaged. In his opinion, multiple-family zoning would increase crime problems in the area. He was concerned about his property's value. He felt that there was enough multiple-family zoning in the Township.

Earl Hill, of South 8th Street, felt that it would be a big mistake to rezone the property. He agreed with the other residents' comments.

Kelly Sowles, of South 8th Street, stated that there were problems with kids jumping on the electric fence that her family had on their property for their horses. Additionally, she also felt there was a problem with traffic on 8th Street. In her opinion, this problem would be increased by "R-4" zoning.

Dennis Fields, a realtor for the seller, commented that the seller had owned the property since 1969. He believed that the owner intended to cooperate with the Township in solving the LaSalle Plat drainage problem.

Mrs. Hill again pointed to all the single-family homes up the west side of 8th Street.

Mr. Wallace, on behalf of the applicant, stated that he felt multiple family was an appropriate transition between single-family and commercial zoning. He indicated that the buyer, Oakwood Properties, is aiming at upscale apartments, not student housing or subsidized housing.

Lowell Seyburn, representing the owner, noted that there was a pending sales agreement. He indicated that the owner has no problem with the request of the applicant, but would object to the Planning Commission altering that request to some other zoning configuration. He stated that the drainage problem in the area was not caused by this property and felt that the development across the street had caused it. He believed that the rezoning would be a sensible buffer between the single-family and Village Commercial districts.

The public hearing was closed, and the Planning Commission began a review of the rezoning criteria.

As to whether the proposed rezoning was supported by the adopted Master Land Use Plan, it was recognized that the rezoning would not be in keeping with the Master Land Use Plan designation of the northern parcel.

It was the consensus of the Planning Commission that the rezoning was not supported.

The Planning Commission considered whether the proposed rezoning would severely impact traffic, public facilities and the natural characteristics of the surrounding area or significantly change population density. Ms. Garland-Rike had questions concerning drainage problems, and it was noted that the Township had no indication that the property zoned "R-2" was the source of the drainage problem. Ms. Stefforia stressed that the Township Engineer would analyze any proposed development for drainage issues.

The Chairperson noted that the proposed rezoning would greatly increase the allowed density in the area. Ms. Garland-Rike expressed concern that traffic would be greatly increased. Mr. Ahrens concurred.

Mr. Turcott had questions concerning density, and Ms. Stefforia stated that "R-4" zoning would allow approximately eight units per acre. The existing zoning, if developed as a PUD, would allow six units per acre. In general, four units per acre were allowed in "R-2" zoning. Ms. Garland-Rike stated that she felt that the increased density would negatively impact the area, and others concurred.

As to whether the proposed rezoning would constitute a spot zone, it was agreed that, since the area abutted "R-4" to the east, there would be no spot. However, Planning Commissioners felt that the rezoning would be contrary to the established land use pattern because the area was primarily single-family in nature. It was felt that the proposed rezoning would allow density at a much greater rate than was currently allowed on property to the north and to the west. Ms. Garland-Rike felt that "R-3" zoning would be more of a transition in this area.

As to whether the proposed rezoning would have the probable effect of stimulating similar rezonings in the area, Ms. Everett expressed concern that it could stimulate rezonings to the north.

As to whether there had been any change in conditions in the surrounding area which would support the proposed rezoning, Planning Commissioners felt that there was no change supporting the rezoning.

Planning Commissioners also felt that there were adequate sites elsewhere within the Township to accommodate multiple-family development. Ms. Garland-Rike commented that the Township already has a great variety of housing options and a lot of multiple-family housing.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell commented that the Master Land Use Plan supports other areas in the Township for "R-4" zoning.

Mr. Turcott moved to recommend denial of the proposed rezoning and change to the Master Land Use Plan on the basis of the Planning Commission's analysis. Ms. Garland-Rike seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

TEXT AMENDMENT - PUBLIC HEARING - NUMBERING IN THE "R-4" DISTRICT

The Planning Commission conducted a public hearing on an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance as to the numbering of permitted uses within the "R-4" District, i.e., multiple-family dwellings as Compiled Section 24.205 and crematories as Compiled Section 24.207.

It was noted that, as a result of the recent amendments concerning the family definition and concerning the "AG" and Rural Residential Districts, there was some confusion in the numbering of crematories and multiple-family dwellings in the "R-4" Residence District.

It was suggested that multiple-family dwellings be designated as Compiled Section 24.205 and crematories as Compiled Section 24.207.

The Chairperson opened the public hearing, but no public comment was offered, and the public hearing was closed.

Mr. Larson moved to recommend the amendment as proposed, and Ms. Everett seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

WEST MAIN STREET REZONING - SCHEDULE PUBLIC HEARING

The Report of the Planning Department is incorporated herein by reference. Ms. Stefforia noted that the Township Board had denied the Planning Commission's request for noticing to the County and neighboring communities, as well as utility companies, for a Master Land Use Plan amendment. Township Board members felt that the existing Master Land Use Plan for this area was appropriate. Therefore, the Planning Commission would proceed with the requested rezoning only.

Mr. Ahrens moved to schedule a public hearing on the rezoning of 17 parcels on West Main Street on the north and south sides between 10th Street and 9th Street for the meeting of July 24, 2003. Mr. Turcott seconded the motion which was to rezone from the "R-2" and "R-3" Districts to the "C" Local Business District zoning classification. Upon a vote on the motion, the motion carried unanimously.

PLANNING COMMISSIONER COMMENTS

Mr. Ahrens commented that the Township Staff should look at the noticing which was done for the 8th Street rezoning.

Ms. Garland-Rike suggested consideration of the area around Maple Hill, specifically to the south of the Beech Street neighborhood for a Master Land Use Plan change.

Further, it was noted that the work plan would include a review of the density limitations in the "R-4" District.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Planning Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
PLANNING COMMISSION

By:
Kathleen Garland-Rike, Secretary

Minutes prepared:
April 29, 2003
Minutes approved:
, 2003