OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

 

December 1, 2005

Agenda

KIDS SPORTS U.S.A. - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AMENDMENT - 7700 STADIUM DRIVE - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-34-130-024 AND 3905-34-155-021)

PIZZA HUT - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - 6840 WEST MAIN STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-14-155-040)

WAL-MART - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AMENDMENT - 501 NORTH 9TH STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-14-305-022)

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, December 1, 2005, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

MEMBERS PRESENT: James Turcott
Terry Schley
Deborah L. Everett
Mike Smith
Lee Larson
Kathleen Garland-Rike

MEMBER ABSENT: Fred Gould

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director; Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner; James W. Porter, Township Attorney; and approximately 12 other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

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

AGENDA

The Chairman asked if there were any changes to the Agenda. Hearing none,

Mr. Schley made a motion to approve the Agenda, as submitted. The motion was seconded by Ms. Garland-Rike. The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.

KIDS SPORTS U.S.A. - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AMENDMENT - 7700 STADIUM DRIVE - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-34-130-024 AND 3905-34-155-021)

The Chairman said the next item on the Agenda was consideration of a special exception use amendment for Kids Sports U.S.A. He explained that the request was for a building expansion for the previously-approved indoor recreation facility at 7700 Stadium Drive, Parcel Nos. 3905-34-130-024 and 3905-34-155-021. The Chairman asked to hear from the Planning Department. Ms. Stefforia submitted her report to the Planning Commission dated December 1, 2005, and the same is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Stefforia reminded the Commission it had approved a 42,825 square foot children's gymnastics training facility for Kids Sports in June of 2005. She said, at the time Kids Sports originally applied, it showed future building expansion both to the east and the west, with the proposed expansion to the east being for a daycare facility. She said that the applicant was requesting to construct the daycare facility as part of the initial construction, and therefore, was seeking approval to increase the size of the building. Ms. Stefforia also said that a condition of the previous approval was that the Township could require construction of additional parking, if needed

Ms. Stefforia said the applicant had discussed the parking needs with the Commission during the last review, and she noted that the applicant had indicated that the daycare center hours were different than the peak hours for the gymnastics facility. Ms. Stefforia said the applicant should address the issue of parking with the Planning Commission. Ms. Stefforia also asked that the applicant speak to the issue of the required bike path along Stadium Drive. She concluded by indicating that there were limitations placed upon the use of Stadium Park Way, and therefore, the applicant would not be able to connect directly to Stadium Park Way until permitted under the grant.

Ms. Stefforia then took the Commission through the special exception use provisions of Section 60.100.

The Chairman asked if there were any questions of Ms. Stefforia. Hearing none, he asked to hear from the applicant.

Mr. Tim Woodhams introduced himself to the Commission. He said he was the engineer for the proposed project and was representing the developer. He said that the developer had determined that daycare was needed at this time, and therefore, modified its plans to add the facility. He said they were proposing to accommodate 100-110 kids in the daycare facility. He said the business would operate between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Mr. Woodhams told the Planning Commission that the gymnastic facility was most heavily used during the evenings and on the weekends, and therefore, it would not conflict with the parking needs for the daycare facility. He said, in Battle Creek, the applicant had a daycare and a gymnastics facility, which shared 75 parking spaces, and he thought, with the additional parking spaces proposed at the Oshtemo site, there should not be any problem in accommodating all the parking needs. He also noted that they could expand the parking by an additional 60 spaces, if necessary.

Mr. Woodhams did point out to the Commission that an emergency access point for the Fire Department had been added from Stadium Park Way, but that it would not be a regularly-used entrance for ingress or egress, and it would be gated.

The Chairman began asking Mr. Woodhams if he was saying that the parking would not be a problem because most people would simply be dropping off their children at the daycare facility. Mr. Woodhams said that was not exactly what he was saying. Mr. Woodhams said that the parking needs for the gymnastics facility would only require 40-50 parking spaces, which would leave approximately one-half of the remaining spaces for the daycare facility. He said he thought that this would have more to do with the different hours of use of the two facilities than any other factor. Mr. Woodhams said he also wanted to note that the daycare facility was not a drop-off facility, and that people had to be registered users of the facility in order to take advantage of the daycare facility.

Ms. Garland-Rike asked if the children in the daycare center would be related to the children using the gymnastics facility. Mr. Woodhams said that they would not, and that the two facilities were totally separate entities.

Mr. Schley asked how the Battle Creek facility compared to the facility in Oshtemo. He specifically asked what the number of daycare children was at the Battle Creek facility. Mr. Woodhams said approximately 50-55 children. Mr. Schley said there would be twice that many daycare children at the Oshtemo facility. Mr. Woodhams agreed, but said they were also adding 25 additional parking spaces as compared to the Battle Creek facility. Mr. Schley asked how the proposed facility compared to the Battle Creek facility with regard to size and use. Mr. Woodhams said they were very similar.

Mr. Larson asked if Mr. Woodhams would speak to the request for the installation of the bike path. Mr. Woodhams said the developer wanted to delay the installation of the bike path due to the extensive construction and the fact that the initial site construction would not cover the complete parcel. Mr. Woodhams said much of the property to the west would remain undeveloped, and he did not want to do all of the grading which would be necessary until the developer determined what it was going to build on the western portion of the property. Mr. Larson said, from the plans, it looked as if they were going to do storm water grading to the west. Mr. Woodhams said that was true, but they would not be doing the final grade along the front, until they made the second addition to the building.

Hearing no other questions for Mr. Woodhams, the Chairman called for public comment. Hearing no public comment, he closed the public portion of the meeting and called for Planning Commission deliberations.

The Chairman began by saying that there appeared to be two primary concerns, parking and timing for the construction of the bike path. Ms. Everett said she did not have a problem with the parking as proposed, given the fact that the two operations did not have the same peak parking hours, and that they could require additional parking in the future, if necessary.

Ms. Everett asked if they could place a condition on the developer, because of the request for expansion, to put the bike path in to the west. Attorney Porter said he thought that was a condition which the Commission could impose at this time, if they so chose. Ms. Everett asked what the previous condition was with regard to the deferment of landscaping. Ms. Stefforia reported that the Planning Commission had allow them to defer developing the west 390 feet in the area abutting the west property line until an additional building permit was issued or there was a parking lot expansion.

Mr. Larson said he considered the streetscaping along the front of the property necessary because of the addition, and he would like to see the bike path installed to the property line. Mr. Woodhams said he was concerned about extending the landscaping to the west property line because the grading was not done, and he thought, when they went back in to re-grade that portion of the property, they would lose a lot of landscaping. He respectfully requested that the final streetscape be delayed until the building expanded to the west. He said the proposed expansion was to the east where they already had adequate landscaping provided.

The Chairman asked Mr. Larson again to restate his concern. Mr. Larson said Oshtemo Charter Township is trying to create bike paths throughout the Township, as well as appropriate landscaping in the area. He thought, because of the extensive expansion to the proposed building, that it would be appropriate to have the landscaping done at this time. The Chairman asked the applicant's engineer if he had adequate space in which to create the pitch and grade that he needed for landscaping. Mr. Woodhams said they had the area and the pitch, but he had not planned on landscaping that area at this time.

Mr. Schley asked if the ditch had been part of the previously proposed plan. Mr. Woodhams said that it was. He asked if the ditch was graded or natural? Mr. Woodhams said it was graded. Mr. Schley asked if the purpose was to divert water to the retention basin. Mr. Woodhams indicated that it was. Mr. Schley asked if they would have to modify the drainage as part of the current request. Mr. Woodhams said they would not; he would only have to modify the drainage when the development further to the west was constructed.

Mr. Larson said that, given the more intense use, he thought that the additional landscaping and bike path should be installed at the present time. Ms. Stefforia indicated that the applicant could divide the property if they so chose. Mr. Larson said that was true, but they would need a new site plan. Ms. Stefforia said it would likely be handled administratively. Mr. Larson pointed out that, if they did split the property, they would have to landscape their western boundary line. Ms. Stefforia concurred, but again said it could be handled administratively.

Ms. Everett said she would like to see the bike path be required as such time as the property develops to the west, either on the developer's property or the property immediately adjacent to the developer's property.

Ms. Garland-Rike said she would like to see a condition imposed to require access to Stadium Park Way as soon as it is reasonably feasible. She said that initially the Commission had allowed the developer to have access from Stadium Drive, but with the expansion, she wanted to see them have access off Stadium Park Way as soon as it would be permissible under the grant received to construct the road.

Mr. Woodhams asked if the Township ever entered into sidewalk agreements, which would either defer installation or escrow funds for the future installation. He said he was concerned about building sidewalks which would later have to be resurfaced before they actually connected to any other pedestrian walkways. Attorney Porter indicated that the Township has, in limited circumstances, entered into escrow agreements to hold funds for construction of sidewalks, based on certain conditions.

Mr. Schley said he thought that the Township should continue to require the installation of sidewalks and bike paths, but perhaps a portion of the bike path could be deferred, if the monies were escrowed with the Township. He said if the Township did not continue to promote the installation of bike paths and sidewalks, the pedestrian walkways simply would not grow, and there would be no way to fill in the gaps in the future.

Mr. Larson said he agreed and added that he would also like to see the streetscape installed. Mr. Smith said he agreed with Mr. Larson. The Chairman asked if they could have the Staff work on the streetscape along the west property line. Mr. Larson said it was his desire to see both the bike path and the street landscaping installed at the present time. Mr. Schley asked what the remaining streetscape would require. Mr. Larson said it would be the remaining portion of the property west of the current development. Mr. Larson said he did not have a problem with leaving the north/west property lines as they were until there was further development. Mr. Schley asked if the proposal was to simply require the landscaping to the west line of the property, along the street, but not the north/west boundary lines. Mr. Larson said that was what he was proposing.

Mr. Schley made a motion to approve the special exception use permit as requested with the following conditions:

(1) That the bike path be completed along Stadium Drive, and that for any portion not constructed, a sufficient amount to construct the same be escrowed with the Township, subject to installation upon the development of the property to the west, or the expansion on the subject site itself.

(2) That all of the conditions imposed on the subject property on June 9, 2005, remain, except that the driveway to Stadium Park Way shall be completed as soon as possible.

(3) That the streetscape be installed to the west boundary line, and that the west 390 feet of the north property line and the west property line remain as is until the building and/or parking lot expansion as proposed by the applicant is granted.

The Chairman asked if there was a second to the motion. Mr. Larson seconded the motion. Upon vote, the motion passed unanimously.

PIZZA HUT - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - 6840 WEST MAIN STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-14-155-040)

The Chairman stated that the next item up for consideration was the request by Pizza Hut for a special exception use and site plan review of the proposed addition of a drive-up service window for the building located at 6840 West Main Street, Parcel No. 3905-14-155-040. The Chairman called for a report from the Planning Department. Ms. Bugge presented her report to the Planning Commission dated December 1, 2005, and the same is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge provided an aerial for the Commission's review. She said that the Zoning Board of Appeals had granted site plan approval on July 27, 2004, for the M-43 Retail Center. She said this involved the two commercial buildings located in front of Menards. She said the buildings had been constructed, and the applicant was now proposing a drive-through service lane and a canopy adjacent to the east building, utilizing some of the existing lawn area.

Ms. Bugge said she understood from the applicant that the drive-up window would be just for pick-up, and the applicant had addressed her concerns stated in the report regarding the configuration for the drive-through lane. She said the revised drawing would include a "bump-out" to direct traffic to the appropriate exit drive. She stated that the applicant had also added a crosswalk, and therefore, her concerns had been addressed.

Ms. Bugge presented the Planning Commission with a letter from Trigo Company Senior Vice President, Phil O'Connell, explaining that this was not a typical drive-up window in that it would only be used for pick-up, not ordering. Therefore, according to Trigo, the applicant would not have the need for any stacking of vehicles, since there would be no more than two cars waiting at any given time. Ms. Bugge stressed that, because of the site configuration, a standard "fast food" drive-through would not be appropriate and any consideration of approval should be only for the specific use proposed.

Ms. Bugge then proceeded to take the Planning Commission through the special exception use provisions of Section 60 and site plan review under Section 82 of the Zoning Ordinance.

The Chairman asked if anyone had any questions of Ms. Bugge. Ms. Garland-Rike asked what the bump-out would be made of. Ms. Bugge said it would consist of lawn and have a concrete curb.

Mr. Tim Timmons introduced himself to the Planning Commission. He said he was with Meyer C. Weiner & Company and was assisting the developer in the proposed project. He also introduced the owner of the property, the contractor and the applicant. Mr. Timmons explained that Pizza Hut, like many new theme restaurants, wanted to provide some type of curbside service. He said, in this case, they wanted a pick-up window. He stated, without the pick-up window, they would not be able to reach an agreement with the corporate Pizza Hut office or the developer.

The Chairman asked what the ratio was between pick-up orders and sit-down dining. Mr. O'Connell, representing Trigo, told the Planning Commission that their existing West Main location currently had about 350 carry-out orders a week. He said that amounted to approximately 25% of their business. He stated that if this location is approved, they would be closing their West Main location and moving to Oshtemo Charter Township.

Mr. Schley asked if Pizza Hut would be providing any ready-made pizzas, like those sold by Little Caesar's Pizza. Mr. O'Connell said they would not have that type of service and that it was going to be upscale dining, but they wanted to provide the convenience of a drive-up window. He said the drive-up window service would only be provided for call-ahead orders.

The Chairman asked whether all of Ms. Bugge's concerns had been addressed. Ms. Bugge indicated that they had.

The Chairman called for public comment. Hearing none, he called for Planning Commission discussion.

Ms. Bugge asked the developer if the trees around the parking areas would remain. Mr. Timmons indicated that they would.

The Chairman asked if there was a need for additional discussion. Mr. Schley made a motion to approve the special exception use and site plan approval for a drive-up window, subject to the following conditions:

(1) That approval shall be subject to revising the north end of the drive-through lane to direct vehicles to the one-way drive aisle and that a crosswalk shall be indicated on the south side of the lane.

(2) That the drive-up window shall be for pick-up only, as discussed by the Commission and developer above. Placement of on-site orders is prohibited.

(3) That all lighting shall comply with Section 78.700, and fixture details shall be submitted for Staff review.

(4) That approval shall be subject to the submission of sign details for review and approval through the permit process. All signs shall comply with Section 76.000.

(5) That site plan approval shall be subject to the applicant satisfying the requirements of the Fire Department, pursuant to the adopted codes.

(6) That the tenant shall submit the Hazardous Substance Reporting Form and the Environmental Permit Checklist.

Mr. Smith seconded the motion. The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.

WAL-MART - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AMENDMENT - 501 NORTH 9TH STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-14-305-022)

The Chairman said the final item on the Agenda was the special exception use review of a proposed expansion of the outdoor sales and display area for Wal-Mart located at 501 North 9th Street, Parcel No. 3905-14-305-022. The Chairman then asked for a report from the Planning Department. Ms. Stefforia presented her report to the Planning Commission dated December 1, 2005, and the same is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Stefforia reminded the Commission that it had tabled the subject matter over concern of the high racks, which were proposed at the Commission's last meeting, because they exceeded the height of the decorative fence. She said, at the applicant's request, the Planning Commission tabled the matter so that they could get additional information from the architect.

Ms. Stefforia then proceeded to take the Commission through the special exception use criteria of Section 60.100.

The Chairman asked if there were any questions of Ms. Stefforia. Hearing none, he asked to hear from the applicant.

Ms. Deborah Sullivan introduced herself to the Planning Commission. She explained that she wanted the Planning Commission to have additional input from the architect and an explanation of what they were proposing. She said, since the last meeting, they had a chance to re-evaluate what they wanted to do, and they wanted to make a new proposal to the Planning Commission. Ms. Sullivan presented a series of overhead slides showing Wal-Mart's new proposal. The new proposal consisted of much higher fencing with the pilaster rising 20 feet 8 inches into the air. She said, rather than having the screening on the storage racks rising above the decorative fencing, that they would use the same type of screening and incorporate it right into the fence. In so doing, she thought they presented a much cleaner, crisper design, which was more uniform and more architecturally compatible with the exterior of the building itself. Ms. Sullivan explained that there was a choice of two colors for the screening material, either gray or black. She also presented an example of the metal mesh material, which she said, when installed, it would look nearly solid from a distance.

Ms. Garland-Rike asked if the racks would still be 22 feet high. Ms. Sullivan said that the pilaster would only be 20 feet 8 inches and that the racks would be lower than the new fence itself.

Mr. Larson then asked if they would be limiting storage to 20 feet 8 inches. Ms. Sullivan indicated that they would.

Chris Sullivan then introduced himself to the Planning Commission. He said that they would be using the stacking system along the exterior of the fence. He said that the stacking would be approximately four or five pallets high, and therefore, the pallets would not reach more than 18 feet into the air.

Mr. Smith asked if the new fencing would wrap around the garden area. Ms. Sullivan indicated that it would.

The Chairman asked if there were further questions or comments.

Ms. Everett said she thought it was great improvement over what was proposed the last time.

Ms. Bugge asked if the storage racks would be next to the building or along the outside of the garden area by the fence. Mr. Sullivan said the storage racks would be along the outside of the garden area by the fence.

The Chairman said it was his opinion that what was being proposed was a distinct improvement over the previous request.

Ms. Stefforia asked for the Planning Commission's input on the proposed color of the metal mesh. Ms. Stefforia said she thought that gray would be a softer color. Ms. Everett asked about the color of the brick being used. Mr. Sullivan said it was a mix of brown and gray. Ms. Garland-Rike said she thought the gray color would be the most appropriate.

The Chairman asked if there was any further discussion, and hearing none, he said he would entertain a motion. Ms. Everett made a motion to approve the special exception use for the expansion of the garden center, subject to the following conditions:

(1) That the garden center expansion is subject to the conditions imposed on June 27, 2002; November 21, 2002; and October 27, 2005.

(2) That approval is subject further to the waiver of the pre-existing height conditions to allow the 20 foot 8 inch screening as proposed, including the pilaster and the mesh as shown in gray, and subject to copies of what was shown to the Planning Commission being received and approved by the Planning Department.

(3) That there be no storage above the height of the newly-proposed screening.

Mr. Smith seconded the motion. The Chairman called for discussion, and hearing none, called for a vote on the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Other Business

After a brief discussion, Mr. Schley made a motion to approve the meeting schedule for 2006 and reschedule the hearing on the sign height text amendment from January 12, 2006, to February 9, 2006. Ms. Everett seconded the motion. The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.

Planning Commissioner Comments

Mr. Schley expressed a concern regarding the Township's ability to enforce parking expansions when said expansion is made a future condition of approval of a particular site plan or special use. He said the Township has experienced difficulty in enforcing its Ordinance and thought enforcing such a condition could be troublesome.

Ms. Garland-Rike expressed a concern about the Kalamazoo Valley Bookstore which she understood was going to be open for only a limited time during the year. She said she has been by the facility a number of times, and it appears to be open continuously, and she would like to have the Planning Department to take a look at it. The Planning Department agreed to investigate.

Mr. Larson asked if the Planning Commission was going to look at the issue of lighting on the southern boundary of the Wal-Mart facility. Ms. Stefforia said they had looked at the text, and they did not believe there was anything they could do currently. Attorney Porter agreed with Ms. Stefforia and said that he thought it would take a text amendment to impose lighting limitations based on zoning classification versus property boundaries.

Adjournment

There being no further business, the meeting at approximately 9:10 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
PLANNING COMMISSION

By:
Kathleen Garland-Rike

Minutes prepared:
December 6, 2005

Minutes approved:
, 2005