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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

February 14, 2002

Agenda

THERESA PLAT - STEP I - PRELIMINARY PLAT REVIEW - 1624 SOUTH DRAKE ROAD - (PARCEL NO. 3905-25-230-072)

CONSUMERS ENERGY - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE/SITE PLAN APPROVAL - PARCEL AT NORTHWEST CORNER OF DRAKE ROAD AND PARKVIEW AVENUE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-25-430-010)

TEXT AMENDMENT - SITE PLAN REVIEW PROCESS - SECTION 82.900 - RESUMED PUBLIC HEARING

TEXT AMENDMENT - CHILD CARE CENTERS IN "R-3" RESIDENCE DISTRICT - PUBLIC HEARING

DISCUSSION ITEM: HOME OCCUPATIONS

DISCUSSION ITEM: DEFINITION OF FAMILY

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, February 14, 2002, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

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

MEMBER ABSENT: Stanley Rakowski

Also present were Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner; Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney; and seven other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m.

AGENDA

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

MINUTES

The Planning Commission considered the minutes of the meeting of January 24, 2002. A typographical error on Page 12 was identified. Mr. Turcott moved to approve the minutes as amended. Mr. Ahrens seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

THERESA PLAT - STEP I - PRELIMINARY PLAT REVIEW - 1624 SOUTH DRAKE ROAD - (PARCEL NO. 3905-25-230-072)

The Planning Commission conducted a Step I plat review regarding tentative approval of a preliminary plat for a proposed one-lot plat on the west side of Drake Road, north of Stadium Drive, to be called the Theresa Plat. The property is at 1624 South Drake Road and is Parcel No. 3905-25-230-027; the property is located in the "CR" Local Business District zoning classification. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference. It was noted that the Planning Commission would make a recommendation to the Township Board based upon its review.

The applicant is proposing a one-lot plat on an existing single nonconforming parcel. The lot would have 31,826 square feet and a width at the building setback of 159 feet. Therefore, the proposed lot would exceed dimensional requirements for platted lots contained in the Zoning Ordinance. The plat would have one driveway cut onto Drake Road subject to the approval of the City of Kalamazoo. No internal roads would be constructed. The development of the site would be subject to site plan review at a future date.

The applicants, Ross Stancati and Nancy Troff were present. Mr. Stancati stated that the purchaser, John Spurr, was also present. The purchaser plans to place a dental office on the property. The property was being platted in order to create a buildable site.

The Chairperson reviewed the criteria of Sections 290.201 and 290.202. It was indicated that Item K, a legal opinion, would be required for final approval of the plat.

Mr. Ahrens moved to recommend approval of the preliminary plat based upon the review and determination that the criteria of Section 290.200 had been met. Ms. Garland-Rike seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

CONSUMERS ENERGY - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE/SITE PLAN APPROVAL - PARCEL AT NORTHWEST CORNER OF DRAKE ROAD AND PARKVIEW AVENUE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-25-430-010).

The Planning Commission considered the application of Consumers Energy for special exception use and site plan approval of a proposed electric substation on the Western Michigan University parcel located at the northwest corner of Drake Road and Parkview Avenue. The property is located in the "R-2" Residence District zoning classification and is Parcel No. 3905-25-430-010. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge noted that the proposed site is within an easement granted to Consumers Energy on the southern most 2.5 acre portion of a 54-acre parcel. Western Michigan University had installed an electric substation in the area, and the Planning Commission had previously approved the location of a gas regulator station on the site. The previous approval had been subject to the applicant working with Township Staff regarding landscaping.

It was noted that the easement of Consumers Energy currently calls for access from Parkview Avenue. In fact, access would be provided from Drake Road, and the easement was being amended to reflect this fact.

The Township Attorney stated that she had received a call from legal counsel for Western Michigan University. As a result of that conversation, the Township Attorney was under the impression that the property in question was either owned by, or transferred to, Western Michigan University from Michigan State University. Pursuant to legal agreements between Western Michigan University and Michigan State University, Michigan State was conducting an orchard research project on the balance of the subject 54-acre site.

Western Michigan University was taking the position that, since the property was University owned, it was not subject to compliance with the Township Zoning Ordinance standards. The Township Attorney had expressed the opinion that, to the extent that the site was used for private enterprise unrelated to University activities, the site was subject to compliance with Ordinance standards. Therefore, since the gas regulator station and the electric substation being proposed by Consumers Energy were intended to serve the industrial/research park, the Township Attorney felt that the site should comply with Zoning Ordinance standards, except to the extent that compliance would interfere with a University activity.

It was noted that, based on information received from Western Michigan University, Michigan State University had legal limitations on Western's use of the subject property in order to protect the integrity of its orchard research project. These limitations would impact on the possibility of landscaping at the subject site due to the need to avoid non-indigenous or non-native plantings in the area.

Matt Bomberry was present on behalf of the applicant. He stated that he monitors substations for Consumers Energy in the western Michigan area. The new substation was needed to serve the industrial/research park. He stated that Consumers Energy has a lease with Western Michigan University limiting what they could do at the site. He stated that Western Michigan University owns the property and that Michigan State University has a perpetual easement to use the adjacent area as a "control" in its research project.

Joe Herdus was also present for the applicant. He stated that the minimum amount of property needed for the substation had been acquired. There was very little excess property at the site to put landscaping in. Mr. Herdus and Mr. Bomberry also indicated that landscaping would be limited by Western Michigan University in order to protect the integrity of the MSU research project. Mr. Herdus presented photographs of typical equipment located on site.

Ms. Bugge questioned the applicant as to areas at the site which would not be occupied by equipment. The area north of the gas regulator station and along the north side of the drive would be available for landscaping if permitted by the research project. Moreover, the area would not necessarily interfere with overhead lines and pipes if kept to a 20-foot maximum. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell indicated that there were a number of native species which would be below 20 feet in height.

Mr. Bomberry stated that he would agree, on behalf of the applicant, to attempt to get approval from the University for landscaping with native species along the northern line and the drive. He would work with Township Staff to achieve landscaping at the site.

He also indicated that Consumers Energy would not be placing spotlights on its stations to be illuminated at night.

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

The Planning Commission reviewed the criteria for a special exception use permit contained in Section 60.000. Planning Commissioners concluded that the proposed use was compatible with other uses expressly permitted in the Zoning District. The District is residential in nature, and essential services are necessary for residential use. Further, the area was isolated from residential uses and bounded by Drake, Parkview and U.S. 131.

The Planning Commissioners concluded that the proposed use would not be detrimental or injurious to use or development of adjacent properties or the general public. The property is already utilized for a substation and regulator station. The site would serve the research park being developed to the south.

Planning Commissioners also concluded that the proposed use would promote public health, safety and welfare in that the distribution of electricity is essential for meeting the energy needs of the general public.

Planning Commissioners also felt that the use would be in accord with the character of the land and its adaptability since the property is already being used by Western Michigan University for essential services. Further, the area is isolated from other residential uses.

As to the site plan review, it was emphasized that Drake Road would provide the access and not Parkview Avenue. There would be no outdoor storage.

In response to questions from Ms. Everett, the applicant indicated that the subject station would initially serve only the research park, but eventually a larger area.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell moved to approve a special exception use permit and site plan with the following conditions, limitations and notations:

(1) That driveway access would be provided only from Drake Road.

(2) That any site lighting comply with Section 78.700 of the Zoning Ordinance.

(3) That a sign permit would be required before any on-site signage could be established pursuant to Section 76.000.

(4) That no outdoor storage was proposed or permitted.

(5) That the applicant work with Township Staff to achieve the landscaping at the site possible given existing constraints.

(6) That approval is subject to the applicant satisfying the requirements of the Township Fire Department.

(7) That stormwater management would be located on site.

(8) That an Environmental Permits Checklist and Hazardous Substance Reporting Form had been submitted.

Mr. Ahrens seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

TEXT AMENDMENT - SITE PLAN REVIEW PROCESS - SECTION 82.900 - RESUMED PUBLIC HEARING

The Planning Commissioners resumed public hearing, tabled from January 10, 2002, on a proposed text amendment regarding conformity to approve site plan pursuant to Section 82.900. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge stated that the text had been revised to simplify the requirement that a licensed architect, engineer, landscape architect, or contractor sign updated site plan drawings, certifying that they represent what was actually constructed at a site. Further, Subpart (b) had been amended to reference the site plan amendment process of Section 82.925.

Ms. Garland-Rike had a question with regard to the use of the word "etc.", and Ms. Bugge indicated that this would reference the requirements that depend upon the type of utility being established.

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

Ms. Garland-Rike moved to recommend adoption of the proposed text as set forth in Draft 4. Mr. Ahrens seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

TEXT AMENDMENT - CHILD CARE CENTERS IN "R-3" RESIDENCE DISTRICT - PUBLIC HEARING

The Planning Commission conducted a public hearing on the proposed amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to allow for child care centers in the "R-3" Residence District and revise other Ordinance provisions to utilize consistent terminology. The Ordinance would also be amended to add a definition of child care center. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge provided a copy of a letter received from Lisa Burge supporting amendment to the Ordinance.

The Chairperson asked for public comment, and Tom Lueer stated that his fiancee owns a day care business in her home, and believes that there is a need for services in Oshtemo. He felt that including the possibility of day care centers in the "R-3" District would better serve the needs of Township residents and was a good idea. He felt that it would provide residents with more options and promote small business.

Kathleen Garland-Rike moved to recommend approval of the amendment to the Zoning Ordinance text concerning the addition of a definition to Section 11.241, the addition of Section 23.408 allowing child care centers in the "R-3" District, and the miscellaneous changes to terminology in the Ordinance. Ms. Everett seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

DISCUSSION ITEM: HOME OCCUPATIONS

Ms. Bugge indicated that this item would be handled at a future meeting.

DISCUSSION ITEM: DEFINITION OF FAMILY

Ms. Bugge submitted a Report which included definitions of "family" from several municipalities. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

It was felt that the "stresses" on neighborhoods and on adjacent properties, which are attendant to the use of single-family homes for multiple unrelated residence, could be addressed by adopting a definition of the word "family". Mr. Ahrens expressed concern about the use of a "family" definition in that it would potentially eliminate affordable housing options for area students. He wondered whether the problems of student use of single-family housing could be addressed by a rental housing code or otherwise. Ms. Everett noted that the rental housing code would probably address concerns that tenants have with failure by landlords to appropriately upkeep the property. Further, rental housing inspections would be utilized.

It was agreed that more information from other communities on their experiences with use of a definition of "family", including other college communities such as Ann Arbor and East Lansing, should be obtained and discussed. Further, the concept of adoption of a "family" definition could be discussed at the next meeting with the Township Board.

PLANNING COMMISSIONER COMMENTS

Ms. Bugge submitted a revised work plan to Planning Commissioners.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION By: Stanley Rakowski, Secretary Minutes prepared: February 18, 2002 Minutes approved: , 2002