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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

December 19, 2002

Agenda

Agenda

AMENITIES AND INCENTIVES - WORK ITEM

HOME OCCUPATIONS - WORK ITEM

NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCIAL - WORK ITEM

EXPANSION OF COMMERCIAL ZONING - DISCUSSION ITEM

STADIUM DRIVE / 8TH STREET REZONING REQUEST - SET PUBLIC HEARING

AGRICULTURAL - RURAL RESIDENTIAL DISTRICTS - DISCUSSION ITEM

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, December 19, 2002, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

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

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

CALL TO ORDER

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

AGENDA

The Planning Commission considered the Agenda. Ms. Stefforia suggested adding a discussion of possible rezoning in the Century-Highfield area, as well as in the Quail Meadows project.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell 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 December 5, 2002. The Chairperson suggested a change to page 5 to correct a name and a typographical error. Mr. Turcott moved to approve the minutes as amended, and Mr. Larson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

2003 MEETING SCHEDULE

The Planning Commission considered the proposed meeting schedule for calendar year 2003. It was suggested that the Planning Commission meet in general on the second and fourth Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m.

Mr. Ahrens moved to adopt the meeting schedule as proposed, and Ms. Everett seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

AMENITIES AND INCENTIVES - WORK ITEM

The Planning Commission discussed the issue of amenities and incentives. Ms. Bugge provided a report, which report is incorporated herein by reference. She noted that Planning Commissioners had been asked to rank the list of amenities previously determined on a scale of one to five, with one being the most important and five the least. Her report indicated the results of this ranking. She had ranked the amenities on a "unbalanced scale" and on a "balanced scale". Sidewalks and preservation of natural features had been Items 1 and 2 on both scales. It was noted that the Township Board is reviewing the issue of sidewalks.

Trailways as an amenity were in the top five of both scales. Ms. Everett stated that the Township Board Parks Committee had been looking at this issue. A consultant had been hired and was drawing up a plan for purposes of grant applications. Further, it was anticipated that the Township would be consulting with the Road Commission regarding coordination with road projects to establish bike paths or lanes.

It was noted that the Township may wish to discuss preservation of natural features with the Road Commission since many natural features were lost during road projects.

Earnie Best was present, stating that he had attempted to save a nine foot and five foot sassafras trees from removal by the Road Commission, but there had been no give on their part.

It was the consensus of the Planning Commission that the Planning Director compose a letter to the Road Commission inviting them to meet with the Planning Commission at its first meeting in February.

Norm French was present and stated that the Township should provide more flexibility in establishing private roads so that natural features could be preserved.

Also concerning preservation of natural features, Ms. Heiny-Cogswell suggested that the criteria for site plan review and approval be modified to require that existing features be more specifically identified by an applicant on its site plan.

It was the consensus of the Planning Commission that Township Staff be directed to consider the top five or six amenities indicated on the scales and consider text language which could achieve these amenities. Mr. Ahrens stated that he would like to see ordinance provisions from other jurisdictions regarding these issues. He would also like to see public and private road standards from other communities.

It was noted that the Township is seeking a written policy from the Road Commission on allowing sidewalks within their right-of-way.

HOME OCCUPATIONS - WORK ITEM

The Planning Commission reviewed the research performed by the Planning Department concerning home occupation ordinance provisions from other jurisdictions.

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

Ms. Bugge had provided a summary in her report of home occupation provisions within the local area and in other Michigan areas.

The issue of stratification was discussed. This involved having different criteria, review and/or permitting various types of home occupations in different zoning districts, for example, requiring special exception use approval when permitted standards were exceeded.

There was Planning Commission discussion of the issue of whether accessory buildings could be used as part of the home occupation. It was noted that Almira Township allowed home occupations within the dwelling for an attached garage. However, the Township also allows for cottage industry in a building up to 2,400 square feet. There was also discussion of whether nonresident employees would be allowed.

As to use of accessory buildings, it was the consensus of the Planning Commissioners that the size of the parcel or lot, as well as the size of the residence would have a bearing on whether an accessory building could be used and how large that building could be. It was also the consensus of the Planning Commissioners that the current home occupation standards continue as a "permitted use" and that, for draft purposes, consideration be given to allowing home occupations exceeding these permitted standards as a special use. Further, Planning Commissioners agreed the prohibited uses should be identified.

Planning staff indicated a draft outline would be prepared and presented at a future meeting.

NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCIAL - WORK ITEM

The Planning Commission was presented with research and outline of proposed Neighborhood Commercial for the Master Land Use Plan and Zoning Ordinance text. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

The Planning Commission reviewed the proposed changes to the Master Land Use Plan. The proposed text changes were satisfactory to Planning Commissioners with minor changes.

As to the issue of whether additional land areas should be identified in the Master Plan, it was the consensus of Planning Commissioners that there was no need to determine additional sites now. Future applicants would seek to establish additional Neighborhood Commercial locations based on the standards set forth in the Master Land Use Plan.

The proposed text of the Zoning Ordinance was reviewed. Ms. Stefforia indicated that she had combined the text as previously drafted into one overlay district. There was discussion on the size or scale of buildings allowed within the overlay zone. After some discussion, it was the consensus of the Planning Commission that such buildings not exceed 5,000 square feet. However, it was requested that Ms. Stefforia prepare a sketch depicting a 5,000 square foot building on a two-acre parcel and other scenarios.

Ms. Stefforia stated that she would redraft and present it to the Planning Commission at a future meeting.

EXPANSION OF COMMERCIAL ZONING - DISCUSSION ITEM

Ms. Stefforia presented a report concerning statistics regarding commercial acreage available for development within the Township. The Report is incorporated herein by reference.

After discussion, Ms. Everett indicated that she believed there was enough commercial zoning available for development at least until the redevelopment of the Maple Hill Mall was completed. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell and Mr. Turcott agreed. Ms. Stefforia stated that she felt the Planning Commission might consider a text change to allow for commercial planned unit development.

It was the consensus of the Planning Commission that there is sufficient commercial zoning for large-scale development at this time, but that the issue should continue to be reviewed in the future.

STADIUM DRIVE / 8TH STREET REZONING REQUEST - SET PUBLIC HEARING

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

Ms. Stefforia indicated that the applicant had filed a rezoning application concerning two parcels on the east side of 8th Street at Stadium Drive. The north of the corner parcel is requested to be rezoned from "VC" Village Commercial to "R-4" Residence District. The applicant desires that the southern 310 feet be left as currently zoned. The abutting 8th Street parcel is requested to be rezoned from "R-2" Residence District to "R-4" Residence District. It was noted that the Planning Commission had previously interpreted the Village Focus Area to allow high density residential.

Planning Commissioners reviewed the Future Land Use Map, noting that it did not depict particular parcel lines. However, it appeared that the Stadium Drive property was within the "Village Focus Area", and the northern parcel was within the "Residential" Future Land Use classification. It was agreed that a Master Land Use Plan change was required at least for the northern 8th Street property.

Under the new provisions of the Planning Act, the Township Board was required to give permission to provide notice and distribution of the proposed Master Land Use Plan amendment to the County and neighboring communities, as well as utility companies for their comment. The public hearing could not be held on the Master Land Use Plan amendment, and therefore, on the rezoning, until the 55 to 75-day comment period had expired.

The public hearing on this item, therefore, would most probably be April 10, 2003. It was the consensus of the Planning Commissioners that the area under consideration not be expanded.

Mr. Larson moved to request the Township Board grant its permission to commence the Master Land Use Plan revision process. Mr. Turcott seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously. Ms. Everett stated that this item was likely to be on the Township Board Agenda of January 14, 2003.

AGRICULTURAL - RURAL RESIDENTIAL DISTRICTS - DISCUSSION ITEM

The Chairperson reminded the Planning Commission that the Township Board had received a recommendation concerning the Agricultural and Rural Residential Districts and had returned it for Planning Commission consideration. The Township Board comments had primarily expressed reservations concerning the dimensional standards expressed in the proposed text. There had been a lot of disagreement by Township Board members with the incentives offered to open space communities with regard to density limitations.

Ms. Stefforia distributed a revised dimensional requirement table. She stated that this table represented the dimensional standards developed in February, 2002, as a result of the Task Force meetings and reflected a compromise between the original recommendation and the comments of the Task Force members. However, she had removed reference to open space communities and the "incentives".

Mr. Ahrens stated that he felt that recommending the text change with the "February 2002" table was a "good compromise".

Mr. Ahrens moved to re-recommend approval of the Agricultural and Rural Residential text changes and attendant rezonings as previously recommended with the exception of the dimensional standards. He further moved that the dimensional standards table be replaced with the "February 2002" table provided by Ms. Stefforia. Mr. Turcott seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

OTHER BUSINESS

Ms. Bugge stated that Township Staff would like the Planning Commission to consider rezonings in two areas of the Township. The first area was the Century-Highfield neighborhood which is currently zoned "R-2" and "R-3". Township Staff suggested rezoning to the "R-4" Residence District. No change to the Master Land Use Plan which classified the area as Commercial Restricted was suggested. It was the consensus of the Planning Commissioners that consideration be made of rezoning to the "R-4" or the "CR" District. It was suggested that the major landowner in the area be consulted about his opinions.

The second area was with regard to the Quail Run development. It was suggested that this area be rezoned to the "R-3" Residence District from the "R-4" Residence District. A Master Land Use Plan change from "Multi-Family" to "Residential" was needed.

Ms. Everett moved to request the Township Board grant its permission to the Planning Commission to commence the Master Land Use Plan amendment noticing process. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

There was a reshuffle of the dias.

PLANNING COMMISSIONER COMMENTS ON 2002 PROJECTS AND ACTIVITIES

The Chairperson expressed his disappointment that the Agricultural and Rural Residential project had not been completed in 2002.

The Chairperson also expressed that he felt it was a success that two people with Planning Commissioner experience had been elected to the Township Board.

Ms. Bugge reported that a Beech Street resident had called and was very complimentary of the Planning Commission's handling of the student housing rezoning application.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Planning Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 9:40 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
PLANNING COMMISSION

By:
Minutes prepared:
December 23, 2002
Minutes approved:
, 2003