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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

April 27, 2000


                                                                                                                                        
Agenda

DAVIS CREEK WATERSHED - PRESENTATION RE NATURAL RESOURCES INVENTORY

MEIJER, INC. - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE / SITE PLAN REVIEW - 10-DAY OUTDOOR 
SALES EVENT - 6660 WEST MAIN STREET (PARCEL NO. 3905-14-185-020)

PINE ACRES OPEN SPACE COMMUNITY (RUSSELL) - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE/SITE PLAN 
APPROVAL - EAST SIDE OF 4TH STREET (PARCEL NOS. 3905-21-380-021, 21-355-024)

AUTUMN VIEW OPEN SPACE COMMUNITY (CORNING) - CONCEPTUAL PLAN REVIEW  
(PARCEL NO. 3905-22-155-010)
                                                                                                                                            
A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission 
on Thursday, April 27, 2000, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the 
Oshtemo Charter Township.

MEMBERS PRESENT:	
Wilfred Dennie, Chairman
Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell
Ted Corakis
Neil Sikora
Stanley Rakowski
Marvin Block

MEMBER ABSENT:	
Ken Heisig

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

CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order at 7:03 p.m.

AGENDA	
The Chairperson suggested adding a discussion, under Other Business, of the 
upcoming joint meeting of May 16, 2000.  Mr. Rakowski moved to approve the 
Agenda as amended, and Mr. Sikora seconded the motion. The motion carried 
unanimously.

MINUTES
The Planning Commission considered the minutes of the meeting of April 13, 2000.  Mr. Corakis moved to approve the 
minutes as submitted, and Mr. Block seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously. 

DAVIS CREEK WATERSHED - PRESENTATION RE NATURAL RESOURCES INVENTORY
There was a presentation by Theresa Mau Crimmins and Michael Crimmins regarding the findings of a natural resources 
inventory completed for the Davis Creek Watershed as part of a Forum for Kalamazoo County Community Projects.  Ms. Crimmins 
stated that she was present on behalf of Kieser & Associates.  She gave a brief summary of the natural features inventory, 
noting that the Davis Creek Watershed was located "mid county", was approximately 10,000 acres and 10,000 square miles.  
She noted that the Davis Creek commences at East Lake and then connects to the Kalamazoo River.  The written report 
regarding the natural resources inventory is incorporated herein by reference.  It was noted that the findings are contained 
in a published report, set forth on the "Web Guide" and contained in digital land use/land cover data. In response to 
questions by the Chairperson, it was noted that the study had taken approximately six months. Mr. Rakowski asked why 
Davis Creek had been the focus of this study, and Mark Keiser, who was also present, stated that some years ago, student 
samplings of the area had found high levels of pollutants.  A grant proposal was written for further study of the 
Watershed, and the grant was received.

MEIJER, INC. - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE / SITE PLAN REVIEW - 10-DAY OUTDOOR SALES EVENT - 6660 WEST MAIN STREET 
(PARCEL NO. 3905-14-185-020)
The Planning Commission considered the application of Ron Dunlap, Store Director for Meijer, Inc. for a special 
exception use/site plan approval to allow a 30' x 60' tent to be placed in the parking lot as a part of a 10-day 
promotional event at 6660 West Main Street, which is located in the "C" Local Business District zoning classification.  
The property is parcel number 3905-14-185-020.  The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein 
by reference. Ms. Stefforia noted that the applicant sought to have the 10-day event take place between May 5th and May 15th.  
Approximately 28 parking spaces would be occupied by the event.  Ms. Stefforia recounted the past approvals received by Meijer, 
which included outdoor sales components.  Past approvals included permission for three sidewalk sales events per year in front 
of the store, which were limited to one week.  Ms. Stefforia suggested that the Board inquire as to whether this 10-day event 
would replace one of the three sidewalk sales events. The applicant, Mr. Dunlap, was present.  In response to questions, Mr. Dunlap 
stated that the 10-day event would be "an expansion" of one of the approved sidewalk sales.  As to security, Mr. Dunlap stated that 
a security/loss prevention person would be outside by the tent overnight.  There would be no electricity for the tent area, and 
therefore, hours of operation would be from approximately 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., as was the sidewalk sale.  No food ould be offered, 
and there would be no outdoor announcements.  The flaps of the tent would be "down" when the tent sale was not in operation.
Mr. Corakis inquired about the amount of area being utilized by the proposed tent event.  The applicant stated that they wanted 
some space around the tent for safety purposes.  The tent itself would occupy only about 16 spaces.  However, the additional 
area would be for "safety".

No public comment was offered, and the public hearing was closed.

The Chairperson summarized the application and made reference to Section 60.100.  The Planning Commission first considered 
whether the proposed use was compatible with other uses expressly permitted within the "C" Local Business District zoning 
classification.  The Chairperson noted that the "C" District primarily allows for retail sales.  It was noted that in the past 
the Planning Commission had determined that outdoor display and sales were appropriate for the site; approvals had been granted 
for similar outdoor events in the past.  The Planning Commission members concluded that the proposed use was compatible with 
those expressly permitted in the "C" District. The Planning Commission next discussed whether the proposed use would be detrimental 
or injurious to the use or development of adjacent properties or to the general public.  The temporary 
nature of the request and the placement of the tent in the middle of the site was noted.  Mr. Corakis commented that he felt 
the tent would not be visible and would not disturb other properties.  The Chairperson agreed, stating that there would be no 
lighting of the tent, and the event would not obstruct the parking lot circulation.  The Planning Commission considered whether 
the proposed use would promote public health, safety and welfare.  After consideration, the Planning Commissioners felt that 
the proposed use was consistent with other approvals granted in the past and that public health, safety and welfare would not 
be adversely affected so long as the use obtained building and fire department approvals 
and met their requirements.  

The Planning Commission considered whether the proposed use would encourage use of the land in accord with the character and 
adaptability.  Mr. Rakowski stated that in his opinion the use would be in keeping with the character of the area, which was 
commercial/retail.

Mr. Corakis moved to approve the special exception use permit and site plan, citing that the proposed use meets the requirements 
of Section 60.100 pursuant to the earlier discussion, and imposed the following conditions, limitations and notations:
(1)	That the 10-day event be allowed in conjunction with the previously-approved sidewalk sale.  (For this year, the 
sidewalk sale, operated in conjunction with the tent event, would also be allowed to be 10 days in duration.)
(2)	Approval was subject to the review and approval, and requirements imposed by the Township Building and Fire Department.
Mr. Block seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

PINE ACRES OPEN SPACE COMMUNITY (RUSSELL) - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE/SITE PLAN APPROVAL - EAST SIDE OF 4TH STREET 
(PARCEL NOS. 3905-21-380-021, 21-355-024)
The Planning Commission considered the request for a special exception use and site plan approval regarding a 46-unit site 
condominium open space community to be located on the east side of South 4th Street, south of KL Avenue, which is located within 
the "AG" Agricultural-Rural Zoning District classification.  The property consists of Parcel Nos. 3905-21-380-021, 21-355-024.  
The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.  Ms. Bugge reminded the Planning Commission 
that a conceptual plan review was conducted for the proposed project on February 24, 2000.  The developer was proposing to create 
22 sites for residential development in Phase I, and the balance of the parcel would remain vacant for now.  No anticipated date 
for the Phase II development has been provided, and the applicant was aware that a separate special exception use permit and site 
plan review would be required for future development, i.e., Phase II. The applicant was suggesting a public road with temporary 
cul-de-sac and off-shooting private roads with permanent cul-de-sacs; there would be one such private cul-de-sac in Phase I. 
It was clarified that Phase I would include 22 sites on 25.97 acres.  It was proposed that there be 10.77 acres of open space 
which amounted to approximately 41.5%.  Municipal water would serve the site, and each site would be provided an individual septic 
system. Ms. Bugge stated that sites 10-13 could accommodate duplex homes. The County Health Department was in the process of 
reviewing the proposal, and therefore, there may some adjustments to the individual sites.  In response to questioning by the 
Chairperson, it was noted that municipal sewer is not available in this area.  There was discussion of an easement across the 
property to a landlocked parcel which is not being considered as part of the open space calculation. There was discussion of 
sites 14 and 21 which have a very small building envelope due to the configuration of the sites.  The developer was aware of 
this issue. There was a discussion of site 6, and Rick Eshlaman, an engineer with Wightman Ward, stated that the boundaries of 
site 6 would be adjusted by adding five feet from lot/site 7.  Mr. Eshlaman stated that the developer would like to eliminate 
the open space area between lots 5 and 6 and shift them to the west. The Chairperson asked whether site 1 could be located on 
the opposite side of the street.  Mr. Eshlaman stated that the developer was seeking to keep the area behind the existing homes 
as open as possible as a buffer.  There was discussion of the meaning of the terminology "low impact recreational", which was the 
developer’s terminology for use of the open space.  Mr. Eshlaman stated that the developer had not yet determined what types of 
recreation will be included in this area, but no basketball or tennis courts or other large paved areas were planned.  In response 
to questioning by the Chairperson, Mr. Eshlaman stated that the public portion of the road, with the temporary cul-de-sac, was 
extended to the boundary line of Phase I, and would ultimately be extended to the boundary of the property for extension to 
interior lands in the future.  Ms. Bugge noted that the Township’s records indicate that there may be another easement, further 
south of the private easement, which had been granted to the Township.  The existence of this easement would have to be resolved 
in that it interferes with the location of the public road and some of the sites within the project.  If it was determined that 
the easement still exists, the Township would have to release and replace it in order to allow the project to go forward as designed.  
As to the easement to the landlocked parcel, staff stated the owner of that parcel, Mr. Siegwart, had requested a curb-cut on 
the planned public road, and the applicant agreed.  Mr. Sikora expressed that he was concerned about the private cul-de-sac.  
Mr. Eshlaman stated that there were minimal differences between the road specifications, which would be applied to the private 
cul-de-sacs and those required for public roads.  However, it was noted that the Kalamazoo County Road Commission will not 
accept permanent cul-de-sacs as a general rule.  Mr. Eshlaman stated that the developer had considered a traditional subdivision 
in this area with a looped public road system.  This kind of development would result in 70 lots, but many mature trees and 
much of the open space would be lost.  He felt that there were, therefore, trade-offs to be made which allow for this more 
aesthetically-pleasing development.  The Chairperson expressed that, in this situation, private cul-de-sacs were appropriate 
due to the lineal shape of the parcel, the topography, and the need to preserve vegetation.

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

There was further discussion of the specifications for private roads, and Ms. Bugge noted that a private road would be paved 
to 24 feet in width verses 30 feet for a public road, however, there would be no parking permitted.  The Chairperson summarized 
the application and made reference to Section 60.100.  The Planning Commission first discussed whether the project would be 
compatible with other uses expressly permitted within the "AG" Agricultural-Rural Zoning District classification. It was noted 
that single and two-family homes are permitted uses with the Agricultural District.  Therefore, this proposed project, which 
would include single-family and two-family residential dwellings would be compatible.  The Planning Commission considered 
whether the proposed project would be detrimental or injurious to the use or development of adjacent properties or to the 
occupants thereof and the general neighborhood.  It was felt that, since the proposed project was low-density residential, 
it was consistent with the intent of the Agricultural District.  In the opinion of Planning Commission members, the proposed 
project would be less detrimental than a traditional, dense subdivision.  However, it was noted that, with regard to the 
configuration of sites 14 and 21, and their narrow building envelopes, that the Planning Commission would recommend that no 
variances be granted with regard to building on those properties.  The Planning Commission considered whether the project 
would promote public health, safety and welfare.  The Planning Commission members concluded that the project would promote 
health, safety and welfare, and that it was planned for single-family and two-family residential, which was consistent with 
the purpose of the Agricultural District.  Further the property would be served by municipal water.  Individual septic systems 
would be subject to Kalamazoo County Human Services Department approval.  The public road system would be subject to the approval 
of the Kalamazoo County Road Commission.  The Township Engineer would review and approve the private cul-de-sacs and storm water 
management system.  The Township Fire Department would also be required to approve the project.  Therefore, it was felt that 
public health, safety and welfare would be served.  It was noted that there would be no direct access from any site onto 4th Street.  
With regard to Health Department approval, it was recognized that there may be some Planning Department discretion utilized 
in approving minor changes to building site boundaries, which may be necessary due to County approval of on-site septic systems.  
The Planning Commission considered whether the project would encourage use of the land in accord with its character and 
adaptability. The Planning Commissioners concluded that the character of the property would be preserved, and that much of the 
topography and natural features would remain.  The Planning Commission considered whether the project would satisfy the 
standards of the Planning Commission.  The Planning Commission felt it was significant that the open space requirements were 
satisfied in Phase I, therefore, if Phase II were not established, the project would continue to comply with Ordinance standards.  
With regard to the "low impact recreational", Planning Commission members stated that they would approve of walking trails and 
trails for non-motorized vehicles which were substantially natural.  Some pavement on the trails to allow for ease of biking or 
skating would not be a problem.  It was felt that the Master Deed and Bylaws should specify the particular uses which would be 
made of these areas.  It was the consensus of the Planning Commission that the proposed use would meet the standards of 
Sections 60.100, 60.570 and 60.580.  Reference was made to Section 82.800, and it was noted that a revised drawing should be 
submitted for review and approval to the Planning Department.  Ms. Heiny-Cogswell stated that she would like to see the open 
space between lots/sites 5 and 6 maintained.  Other Planning Commission members agreed.

Mr. Block moved for special exception use approval and approval of the site plan, providing that the proposed use met the criteria 
of Section 60.100, with the following conditions, limitations and notations:
(1)	That the project would be served by one access point from 4th Street, comprised of a public street terminating in a 
temporary cul-de-sac at the boundary of Phase I; 
there would be no building sites which would directly access 4th Street.  One private cul-de-sac in Phase I was approved as 
an off-shoot from the public street.  All roads were subject to the review and approval of the Kalamazoo County Road Commission and 
the Township Engineer as appropriate.
(2)	That building site layout is satisfactory, except that site 6 would be modified  to add frontage/width as proposed by the developer.  
Additionally, the small building envelope on lots 14 and 21 were recognized.  It was recommended by the Planning Commission that no variances 
be granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals regarding building on these sites.  Moreover, size and placement of the project sites could be 
modified with administrative approval as the result of Kalamazoo County Human Services Department findings with regard to individual septic 
systems.  Approval was subject to the review and approval  of the Kalamazoo County Human Services Department regarding individual septic systems. 
(3)	That open space be designated in the Master Deed and/or Bylaws and protected from all forms of development, with the exception of 
"low impact recreational" including walking and non-motorized vehicle paths.  The review of the Master Deed and Bylaws by the Township Attorney 
is required.
(4)	That all lighting as proposed by the developer be in compliance with Ordinance standards.
(5)	That if an easement in favor of the Township for a right-of-way exists on the subject property, approval is subject to satisfactory 
resolution of the release and/or replacement 
of that easement, subject to the approval of the Township Attorney and Planning and Zoning Department.
(6)	That with regard to the private easement reflected on the site plan which serves the landlocked parcel, a curb-cut approved by the 
Planning and Zoning Department as to location 
shall be included from the public road.
(7)	That approval is subject to the review and approval of the Oshtemo Charter Township Fire Department and the requirements 
imposed thereby.
(8)	That approval is subject to the finding of the Township Engineer that the storm water management system is adequate.
Mr. Rakowski seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

AUTUMN VIEW OPEN SPACE COMMUNITY (CORNING) - CONCEPTUAL PLAN REVIEW - (PARCEL NO. 3905-22-155-010)
The Planning Commission conducted conceptual plan review of a proposed 80-unit site condominium open space community on the north side of 
West KL Avenue, west of South 8th Street located in the "AG" Agricultural-Rural Zoning District classification.  The property is 
Parcel No. 3905-22-155-010.  The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.The Chairperson 
noted that the applicant was not seeking approval of the plan, but merely conceptual review to obtain feedback from Planning Commission 
members.  It was anticipated that the project would be constructed in three phases.  Phase I would contain 21 units.  Overall, there 
were 23.6 acres of open space, or 41.8%.  If the property were platted, approximately 105 units would be established.  The applicant 
was planning to serve the site with a private street system.  Ms. Stefforia noted that the Ordinance requires that, if the property 
connects to other sites, the connecting roads be public.  Ms. Stefforia stated that the project would not be brought back for a special 
exception use or site plan review without approval by the Kalamazoo County Human Services Department regarding on-site septic.  The project 
would be served by public water.  The Chairperson stated that he felt that the street system would need to be public, at least the main 
thoroughfare.  George Granger, on behalf of the applicant, stated that the private street systems and cul-de-sacs allowed for the creation 
of additional frontage.  In addition, some "eyebrows", which were landscaped islands, were created to keep the project visually interesting.  
In response to questioning by the Chairperson, Mr. Granger stated that there were no maintenance problems with these islands, and they 
usually "hold up well."  The Association would be maintaining the islands.  Mr. Granger described the topography of the site as rolling 
with moderate slopes.  He stated that there were mature fruit-bearing apple and cherry trees on the property, many of which would be 
preserved.  There would be pathways or walkways located throughout the open space.  Returning to the discussion of the fruit-bearing trees, 
Mr. Granger stated it would be up to the homeowners as to whether they wanted to keep these trees.  The Chairperson expressed concern about 
establishing this large of a development without public streets.  There was a feeling that possibility school buses would not be willing 
to access the streets, and school children would need to walk to KL Avenue to catch school buses.  As to the private street system, the 
developer indicated that it was necessary to keep the project cost effective.  The Chairperson suggested that perhaps the cul-de-sacs 
could be eliminated by looping the road.  The developer was concerned that this would isolate certain open areas.  There was discussion 
of the possibility of granting dimensional deviations, and the Chairperson stated that the applicant should present the specific 
deviation sought and the reasons therefor.  The possibility of granting a setback variance to allow for the placement of buildings 
on the lots as measured from the paved surface of the road, rather than the road right-of-way, was discussed as an alternative to 
private streets.  As to on-site septic, the developer had met with the Health Department to go over soil borings. There was some 
concern, and pregrading may be required to achieve 100-foot separation from the retention basin.  Mr. Sikora stated that he was 
definitely not in favor of private street networks and had concern about future residents and the maintenance of the roads.  
The Chairperson agreed, stating that there should be public road access to interior properties so that, in the future, 
as density increases, a second access point could be added to the area. 

No public comment was offered.

The developer expressed concern that there would be loss of open space if the road were made public.  Again, discussion of possible 
deviation from setback so as to allow measurement from the road pavement, rather that the right-of-way, was discussed.  
Ms. Heiny-Cogswell stated that she would be more in favor of such a deviation than in lieu of making the roads private.  
Overall, the Planning Commission was appreciative of the thought and effort to be creative shown in the design.  However, 
the major issue was the necessity of public roads in the project.

OTHER BUSINESS
There was a discussion of the May 16th joint meeting and the possible agenda topics would include landscaping text and sign text.

PLANNING COMMISSIONER COMMENTS

Both the Chairperson and Mr. Block indicated that they would like to have a discussion of the open space text and whether there 
should be revisions concerning private streets.  

The Chairperson recounted that, at the preceding Township Board meeting, the Township Board had shown support for the sign text.  
Auto dealers had "come in force" and expressed concern about the prohibition on use of balloons and festoons.  The Township Board 
had returned the item to the Planning Commission for consideration of these issues.  

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell noted that she had recently obtained information that there were problems with community septic systems 
in the Indiana area. 

There was a discussion of changing the work session for June from June 8, 2000, to June 1, 2000.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Planning Commission, the meeting was adjourned at10:25 p.m.

					
Minutes prepared:
May 5, 2000

Minutes approved:
May 11, 2000