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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

TOWNSHIP BOARD/PLANNING COMMISSION/ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

February 20, 2001

The quarterly meeting of the Township Board, Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals was held at the Township Hall. Planning Commission Chairman Neil Sikora called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

TOWNSHIP BOARD:
Clerk Deb Everett
Treasurer Nancy Culp
Trustee Lois Brown
Trustee Dave Bushouse

PLANNING COMMISSION:
Neil Sikora, Chairman
Ted Corakis
Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell
Jim Turcott

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS:
Millard Loy

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director, Mary Lynn Bugge, Planner and 3 interested persons.

SIDEWALKS/NON-MOTORIZED PLAN/RECREATION PLAN UPDATE

Discussion centered on the desire to have sidewalks as part of any new developments and the desire to place sidewalks in areas already developed, the liability involved, enforcing any ordinance which might be adopted and how non-motorized paths can serve the function as well. It was noted non-motorized paths can be part of a recreation plan, and at this time the recreation plan is in need of update which if done may qualify for grant monies for particular projects.

Consensus was to ask the Township Board for direction regarding any interest in a sidewalk ordinance and the Park Committee will take up the task of initial study of updating the recreation plan.

AG-RURAL ZONING DISTRICT

Planning Director Stefforia advised the Planning Commission had held initial discussion regarding the creation of a Rural-Residential Zoning which would encompass some properties now zoned AG-Rural, the concern being that agricultural concerns be kept in the correct zoning while protecting residential development from intensive farming operations.

ZBA member Loy had concerns about farmers being excluded from the use of their property and felt they have a right to farm; anyone building next to such an operation should recognize the possibilities. Ms. Stefforia advised any existing farming operations would be allowed to continue in a Rural-Residential zone as a non-conforming use.

The Planning Commission will conduct further, in-depth study of the matter.

SEPARATION BETWEEN BUILDINGS

A text amendment to reduce the separation between buildings on a parcel to 20 feet rather than the current 40 is being considered by the Planning Commission and public hearing will be held on March 8th. It was noted current standards allow 20 feet between buildings on separate adjoining parcels. This text amendment would apply to residential buildings of four dwelling units or less.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENTS

Ms. Stefforia advised she had been notified by the City of Kalamazoo they have sold the property on North Drake Road adjacent to the cemetery and have received a request for rezoning to multi-family use. She plans to send a letter of objection to the rezoning since the parcel is surrounded by low-density use.

Ms. Bugge presented information regarding the tree replacement program offered by the Kalamazoo County Road Commission when trees are removed for road improvement. There will also be information in the March issue of the township newsletter.

There was discussion regarding lot sizes, how measured, the need to preserve farm land and means to create smaller lots, a Downtown Development Authority for the village area and a need to review adding particular areas to the police millage district.

There was no further business. The meeting adjourned at approximately 8:30 p.m.

DEBORAH L. EVERETT
Township Clerk

Attested: JOHN VANDYKE
Supervisor