OSTLOGOL.GIF (2116 bytes)

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

February 13, 2003

Agenda

DISCUSSION WITH KALAMAZOO COUNTY ROAD COMMISSION

HOME OCCUPATIONS - WORK ITEM

NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCIAL - WORK ITEM

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, February 13, 2003, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

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

MEMBER ABSENT: Mike Ahrens

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

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 7:02 p.m.

AGENDA

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell moved to approve the Agenda as submitted, and Mr. Turcott seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

MINUTES

The Planning Commission considered the minutes of January 23, 2003. Ms. Garland-Rike had questions concerning page 12 of the minutes, specifically with regard to condition 15 to the motion. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell agreed that her motion had included a requirement that an alternative to signs be presented to the Township Staff. Ms. Garland-Rike moved to approve the minutes as amended, and Ms. Everett seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

DISCUSSION WITH KALAMAZOO COUNTY ROAD COMMISSION

The Planning Commission conducted a discussion with Lara Meusee and Ron Reid from the Kalamazoo County Road Commission concerning land use, design and transportation issues. Reference was made to the "discussion points" memorandum provided by Township Staff. There was a discussion of the issue of grading and trimming the entire 66-foot right-of-way and the ten-foot clearing requirement beyond the curb. Mr. Reid stated that state law required that county roads be on a right-of-way of at least 66 feet in width. Mr. Reid stated that, when roads were reconstructed, the Road Commission tries to employ state and national standards.

There was a discussion of the Road Commission policy of paving a portion of the shoulder. He said that there is some flexibility in the type of shoulder, i.e., the width of paving. Mr. Reid stated that there is a minimum requirement of two lanes, of ten feet each. In general, the Road Commission would pave three feet of shoulder and leave three feet of gravel, for a six-foot total shoulder. However, in response to questioning from Ms. Everett, Mr. Reid stated that the Road Commission could pave six to eight feet of shoulder area if the Township paid the extra cost.

It was noted that the ten-foot clearing requirement beyond the curb often results in significant tree loss. Mr. Reid stated that this a procedure by which a developer can seek to vary from this requirement. It was recognized that the Road Commission has more discretion when it comes to residential streets as opposed to primary roads. When questioned about the function of the "ten-foot clearing", Mr. Reid stated that this area is available for future use for such a thing as sidewalks. In general, this requirement could not be departed from, even if the Township did not wish to establish sidewalks, since the ten-foot clearing was required by adopted Road Commission rule. However, it was noted that the Road Commission is in the process of reviewing its rules and considering changes thereto. It was stated that this review and rule-making process would be open to the public, and the Township would be notified.

Mr. Turcott had questions with regard to where there would be "flexibility". Mr. Reid offered a provide a list of what is a state law mandate and what are KCRC discretionary rules.

There was a discussion of curb and gutter requirements, and Mr. Reid stated they are considering that all new platted streets were required to have concrete curb and gutter by Kalamazoo County rule for drainage purposes.

There was a discussion of the value of rebuilding an historically off-center road in the middle of the right-of-way, which has the tendency to result in the loss of many mature trees. Mr. Reid stated that the position of the Kalamazoo County Road Commission is that, if it repaves a road, it is left in its location. If the road is reconstructed, it is put in the center of the right-of-way based on Road Commission policy.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell asked how the Township could become involved in the "design" process of a reconstruction. Ms. Meusee stated that the Township could give input after preliminary engineering. Mr. Reid offered to involve the Planning Commission in future road projects design phase.

There was a discussion of boulevards, and Mr. Reid stated that boulevards cause a safety concern due to the number of people who "turn the wrong way" into the boulevard. Additionally, they are more expensive to construct and maintain.

At the close of the discussion, both parties commented that the opportunity for the meeting had been valuable.

HOME OCCUPATIONS - WORK ITEM

The Planning Commission considered Draft 2 of revisions to the Zoning Ordinance concerning home occupations. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge reviewed the changes made to the text based upon the previous discussion of the Planning Commission. She suggested a further change to Section 78.910 H. It was her opinion that the words "noxious gases" should be replaced with "fumes". The Planning Commissioners agreed. In Section 78.920, it was suggested that the introductory language be revised to state that the Planning Commission may authorize, as a special exception use, home occupations which depart from the criteria. Ms. Stefforia suggested a change in subpart D.2. to read: "Use of an accessory building is limited to property containing a single or two-family dwelling". Mr. Larson made reference to subpart D.3., suggesting that the preliminary language reference drawing to scale. Further, Ms. Bugge indicated that she would be adding a requirement of building setbacks on the drawing of the site. Mr. Larson suggested alteration to make it clear that location of property boundaries should be indicated.

Planning Commissioners agreed that the revised language could be discussed with the Township Board at the next joint meeting, and thereafter, scheduled for public hearing.

NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCIAL - WORK ITEM

The Planning Commission considered Draft 1 of the proposed Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment and Master Land Use Plan Amendment concerning the Neighborhood Commercial District. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Stefforia reviewed the changes made to the previous draft of the Master Land Use Plan Amendments, and she reviewed the proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendment, creating a new Section 52.000. Regarding the design standards in Section 52.500, it was the consensus of the Planning Commission that subpart (c) be revised to refer to building architecture having a residential appearance compatible with the residential character of the Township. The subpart would also reference roof type. As to signage, it was agreed that Ms. Stefforia should insert the same language located in the Village Commercial District concerning signage, but also allow for a 30-square-foot freestanding sign.

It was the consensus of the Planning Commission that the proposed Neighborhood Commercial provisions be discussed at the joint Township Board/Planning Commission meeting. The Planning Commission would request that the Township Board authorize the provision of notice concerning the proposed Master Land Use Plan changes.

OTHER BUSINESS

Ms. Bugge requested that the Planning Commission consider rezonings in the Century-Highfield neighborhood. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Township Staff was proposing the rezoning of approximately 23 acres, 36 parcels, to the "R-4" Residence District zoning classification. Mr. Turcott moved to schedule a public hearing for March 13, 2003, and Ms. Garland-Rike seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

There was discussion of the upcoming Citizen Planner Program.

There was a discussion of the agenda of the next meeting.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Planning Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 9:05 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION

By:
Kathleen Garland-Rike, Secretary

Minutes prepared:
February 17, 2003

Minutes approved:
, 2003