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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

January 23, 2003

Agenda

REDSTONE FARMS (APARTMENTS) - SITE PLAN AMENDMENT - WEST END OF GREEN MEADOW DRIVE AND WEST OF DRAKE ROAD - (PARCEL NO. 3905-24-255-030)

QUAIL MEADOWS (PHASE V) - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AMENDMENT AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - NORTH SIDE OF QUAIL RUN AND EAST OF 9TH STREET - (PHASE V IS PARCEL NO. 3905-23-485-012)

WEST MAIN MALL - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - DRAKE ROAD - (PARCEL NO. 3905-13-430-036)

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, January 23, 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
Mike Ahrens
James Turcott

MEMBERS ABSENT: Lee Larson
Deborah L. Everett

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director; Robert C. Engels, Township Attorney; and approximately 28 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 Mr. Ahrens seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

MINUTES

The Planning Commission considered the minutes of January 9, 2003. Mr. Turcott moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Ms. Garland-Rike seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

REDSTONE FARMS (APARTMENTS) - SITE PLAN AMENDMENT - WEST END OF GREEN MEADOW DRIVE AND WEST OF DRAKE ROAD - (PARCEL NO. 3905-24-255-030)

The Planning Commission considered modifications to a previously-approved site plan for Redstone Farms development involving a mix of one, two and three-bedroom units. Prior review and approval was based upon use of only one and two-bedroom apartment units. The subject property is located in the "R-4" Residence District zoning classification and is located at the west end of Green Meadow Drive and west of Drake Road. The property is Parcel No. 3905-24-255-030.

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

Ms. Stefforia stated that in January, 2002, the Planning Commission granted site plan approval for a proposed residential development containing 192 one and two-bedroom apartments and 101 condominiums. That approval was amended the following May to include a connection of Driftwood Avenue to the new Green Meadow Drive extension. This was required by the Kalamazoo County Road Commission and approved by the Planning Commission. In accommodating the extension of Green Meadow Drive and the connection to Driftwood Avenue, there was a loss of four condominium units. The revised development consists of 192 apartments and 97 condominium units.

The applicant has an option to purchase the apartment portion of the development, but wants to change the bedroom capacity of the apartments. Previously, it had been indicated that only one and two-bedroom units would be constructed. The applicant now is proposing to have 54 one-bedroom, 82 two-bedroom and 56 three-bedroom apartments. The overall number of apartments, 92 units in eight buildings, is not changing.

Ms. Stefforia pointed out that the Zoning Ordinance does not limit the number of bedrooms in a dwelling unit. The only reason this matter is back before the Planning Commission is because previously it had been represented that there would be a mix of only one and two-bedroom units with no mention of three-bedroom units. She stated that the inclusion of three-bedroom units is permitted by the Ordinance and does not change any of the previous site plan approval elements. She stated that the traffic study conducted by KATS last year did not base any of the findings on the number of bedrooms, as it is the number of dwelling units that is considered.

Ms. Stefforia stated that final details such as landscaping, parking and carports will be finalized by the applicant subsequent to Planning Commission action on this request, and will be reviewed by Township Staff.

Jeff Ryan was present on behalf of the applicant. He emphasized that there would be no change in the number of units, but only in the number of bedrooms in some of the units. The prior representations were made by a previous developer who has decided not to build and is selling the apartment property to the new developer. He stated that the footprints are very similar to what is on the previous site plan.

The Chairperson inquired as to why there is now a change to three-bedroom units. Mr. Ryan stated that a market study showed a greater demand for three-bedroom units. He also stated that this would give a larger variety of units for the developer to lease.

The Chairperson inquired about a marketing plan and was told that the marketing is aimed towards families and does not target students. The leases are for a full year and not a school year.

Ms. Garland-Rike asked if the developer had built apartments like this before, and Mr. Ryan responded that they had built approximately 50, and there is one in Bloomington, Indiana, that is very similar and which is marketed to families. He said that there are very few students who live in that apartment complex.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell asked if the apartments were rented by the unit, rather than the bedroom, and Mr. Ryan responded that they were rented by the unit.

Mr. Turcott asked if the footprint would remain the same, and he was told that it would as much as possible.

Ms. Garland-Rike asked if the entrance would remain the same, and Mr. Ryan responded by saying that the same site plan was being used, although there would be some change to the site plan due to a swale located on the site, but that the developer would return to the Planning Department with any proposed changes.

Ms. Garland-Rike inquired if the density would remain the same, and Ms. Stefforia responded that the density was based on the number of units, and the number of units is not changing.

The Chairperson asked for public comments.

Joan Young, who lives at 5286 Green Meadow Road, stated that she was concerned about college students moving in and the resulting increase in traffic on Green Meadow Road. She asked if the developer could write lease restrictions to allow no more than three people in a unit, or no college students. Mr. Ryan stated that the applicant would abide by all laws. Ms. Stefforia stated that the present zoning is "R-4" and that four unrelated people are allowed in a dwelling in a "R-4" zone.

Jeff Kittle spoke for the applicant, and he stated that the applicant was targeting families. He referenced the situation in Bloomington, Indiana, and said that there are very few students in that complex, and the same would be expected here.

Ms. Garland-Rike asked what they did to attract families, and Mr. Kittle stated that the focus in their advertising is on amenities, and it was not targeted to students. They do not rent by the bedroom, but rather by the unit.

The Chairperson observed that there is a student area near this development and questioned if students would not naturally be attracted to this development. Mr. Kittle stated that the financial requirements will discourage students as the lender requires certain financial criteria for those who occupy the units.

Mr. Ahrens stated that there could not be discrimination against students. Mr. Kittle again stated that he did not think it was very likely that there would be many students, and if there were, they would have to live up to the rules and regulations for the apartments.

Robert Brink, who is the Oshtemo Charter Township County Board representative, stated that he has received numerous phone calls regarding the project, and he said that roads are a great concern of the residents. He also thought that the marketing study that was done showing the need for the project and three-bedroom units should have been brought before the Planning Commission. He inquired if there were any government subsidies, and he was told by the developer that there were none.

James Bauhof, who lives at 5298 Skyridge, stated that he was concerned about the change of ownership. The previous owners had stressed their experience and had represented that the project would be so expensive that it was unlikely that students would be tenants. They also had represented that the apartments would be developed first, but it turns out that it is the condominiums that are being developed first. He stated that the prior approval had been based on the people who were making the representations at the time, which is not the same now.

Loy Hoff, of 116 Mandelay, asked if the previous developer was still doing the condominiums, and Ms. Stefforia responded in the affirmative. She expressed concern about the preservation of the trees, and said that those which had been marked to save were wild cherries, while dogwoods had been totally destroyed by the bulldozers.

Melanie James, of 5107 Skyridge, stated that there would be a total change to the neighborhood. She said that condominiums would represent ownership, and she believed that was closer to the character of the neighborhood than apartments. The apartments will change the character and atmosphere of the area.

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

The Chairperson asked for Commissioner comments.

Mr. Ahrens stated that the Planning Commission could not regulate who lives where or who owns property as long as the zoning is proper. He does not believe that adding a bedroom changes the prior approval.

Ms. Garland-Rike stated that she also did not believe that there was any basis for denial based on density requirements. Ms. Stefforia confirmed that was correct.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell stated that three bedrooms are permitted under the Ordinance, and there was an attempt to maintain the footprint and the site plan which had previously been approved. She questioned change in parking, and Ms. Stefforia stated that the number of parking spaces is determined by the number of units.

The Chairperson stated that, after reviewing the minutes from the previous approval, he did not see that the new proposal is any different, and that it meets all the former criteria and requirements.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell moved to approve the site plan amendment for modification of the mix of bedrooms to include three-bedroom units. The approval is subject to obtaining Township Staff approval for final landscaping, parking and carports prior to construction. All conditions of the original site plan approval remain in effect. Mr. Ahrens seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

QUAIL MEADOWS (PHASE V) - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AMENDMENT AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - NORTH SIDE OF QUAIL RUN AND EAST OF 9TH STREET - (PHASE V IS PARCEL NO. 3905-23-485-012)

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell and Mr. Turcott both asked to be recused due to conflicts in that Mrs. Turcott sells property for the applicant, and Ms. Heiny-Cogswell has drawn plans for the applicant in this project. Ms. Garland-Rike made a motion that they be recused. Mr. Ahrens seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

The Planning Commissioners considered approval for Phase V of the Quail Meadows development and a PUD amendment to incorporate an additional 23 acres into the development boundaries. The subject property is located on the north side of Quail Run and east of 9th Street, and Phase V is Parcel No. 3905-23-485-012.

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

Ms. Stefforia stated that the applicant intended to take over the balance of the Quail Meadows development to finish the project. The project began as a mixed-use development by United Homes in 1988.

The applicant has made significant improvements to the storm water management system and has purchased a 23-acre parcel immediately north of the development to aid in the storm water management problems. He is seeking approval to add this land to the PUD boundaries. This would increase the PUD acreage to 130 acres which results in a development density of 2.78 dwelling units through Phase V of the project.

As well as seeking approval of Phase V of the Quail Meadows development, the applicant is seeking site plan approval for Phase V. When the PUD was originally approved, apartments were proposed and approved in this portion of the development. The applicant desires to establish 89 condominium units instead of apartments.

Ms. Stefforia then traced the chronology of the Quail Meadows development.

Ms. Stefforia stated that the dwelling units in Phase V will be incorporated into the existing condominium that is known as the Condominium Homes at Quail Meadows. All necessary amendments will be made pursuant to the Condominium Act. She stated that approval should be subject to the Master Deed and Bylaw amendments being approved by the Township and recorded by the applicant prior to a building permit being issued for any building within the Phase V boundaries.

In looking at Section 60.100 Special Exception Use, Ms. Stefforia stated that the only change being made to the project was the addition of the 23-acre expansion to address storm water management and a reduction of dwelling units in Phase V. She did not believe that it was necessary to again deal with the special exception use criteria, and that the Commission should review the Section 82.600 Phase V site plan review.

Daryl Rynd was present to speak for the applicant. He stated that the additional 23 acres had been purchased to solve the storm water problems in the project. He is working with Township Engineer Marc Elliott to provide sufficient storm water drainage for approval of Phase V of the project. He stated that the design of the units would be continued, and that density was well under required limits. He is seeking approval of the project for completion of his due diligence so the bank will sign a sales agreement for the property. He is concerned that, if this not approved, the bank will place the property on the market for sale.

Mr. Ahrens inquired about the property to the north being added to this Phase, and Mr. Rynd replied that the original storm water retention plan failed, and water flowed onto the 23 acres that had been purchased. That property has been purchased and is being added to the PUD to solve storm water problems.

The Chairperson asked for public comments.

Grace Stiegemeyer, of 6258 Quail Run, stated that she likes to watch the wild animals in the area and likes the site plan that is being proposed because it preserves green space.

John Boyce of 6252 Quail Run stated that the plans are better than he had expected. He said that his unit is in a low point, and he is concerned about water drainage. He does not want the drainage to be impeded or blocked as there will be additional water flow across his property. He also wanted consideration to be given to the landscaping, preserving as much of the green space as possible.

There being no further public comment, the public hearing was closed.

The Chairperson considered Section 60.100 Special Exception Use and stated that there were not significant changes from the prior four phases.

The Chairperson next considered Section 82.600 Phase V site plan review. Following review of the site plan review criteria, Mr. Ahrens moved to approve the site plan review and amend the PUD to incorporate an additional 23 acres into the development boundaries subject to the following conditions and comments:

(1) Phase V will be served with water and sewer.

(2) The streets will be private, and any street lights will be maintained by the Condominium Association.

(3) Site plan approval of Phase V shall be subject to the Township Engineer confirming that the storm water management system design can accommodate the Phase V water run-off and will not negatively impact storm water drainage.

(4) Buildings shall satisfy the separation requirements of Section 66.201.

(5) Phase V shall not be required to be screened from other phases.

(6) No perimeter landscaping along the west property line is required. Existing woods and vegetation will be retained as much as possible.

(7) An earth change permit from the Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner's Office must be obtained prior to the commencement of earth-moving activities.

(8) Approval is subject to the Master Deed and Bylaw amendments being approved by the Township and recorded by the applicant prior to a building permit being issued for any building within the Phase V boundaries.

Ms. Garland-Rike seconded the motion. There being no further comment, a vote was taken, and the motion carried unanimously.

WEST MAIN MALL - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - DRAKE ROAD - (PARCEL NO. 3905-13-430-036)

The Planning Commission considered the application of West Main 2000 LLC for a site plan review and special exception use approval concerning a proposed 8,428 square foot multi-tenant commercial building including a drive-through window at the former West Main Mall site at Drake Road and West Main Street. The subject property is located in the "C-1", Local Business District zoning classification, and is Parcel No. 3905-13-430-036.

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

Ms. Stefforia stated that this property is the former site of the West Main Mall at Drake Road and West Main Street. The special exception use and site plan review is for a multi-tenant building to be located along Drake Road. The plans previously indicated two buildings in the area between the northern and middle Drake Road driveways, and this is the southern building.

A drive-through window for a bank on the south end of the building is being proposed, which means that the site plan is subject to Planning Commission review under the special exception use criteria.

Ms. Stefforia reminded the Commissioners that this property is located in the Maple Hill Drive South Focus Area. She reiterated some of the goals and objectives of the Focus Area development plan.

Ms. Stefforia also recommended that the back of the building should be as attractive as the front. She also indicated that there is a request for a deviation to allow a reduction in width from 20 feet to 10 feet for a Type C greenspace along Drake Road. This would match what is north and south of the property. She also stated that there is a limitation of 400 watts for lighting which must be satisfied. The dumpster enclosure should be surrounded by evergreen shrubs given its prominent location.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell inquired regarding required parking, and Ms. Stefforia responded that 45 spaces are required with the proposed bank and retail mix.

Mr. Turcott asked about the lighting on the Drake Road side, and he wanted to know if it was going to be shielded. He was told that it would be shielded, with the lighting being focused down and directed toward the buildings.

Present for the applicant was Josh Weiner. He stated that he agrees that both sides of the building should be attractive, and the appearance will be as if there are two fronts. He said construction will commence as soon as weather permits. The building will be occupied virtually upon completion. He said that there was great demand for additional retail space, and he already has tenants for this building. He stated that some of the merchants might want to pursue sign variances so they can have a sign in front and in back of the building.

Mr. Weiner stated that the landscape area is 10 feet horizontally because of the slope that covers 25 to 30 feet of the area. He said that it is substantially similar to that which is in front of the Panera Bread/Nextel building, and will match what is north and south of the proposed building.

The barrier-free parking will be moved to the front of the building, and he did not anticipate any problems with what is proposed for lighting and shrubs.

The Chairperson inquired as to how many tenants are anticipated for the building, and Mr. Weiner responded that four tenants are anticipated.

Mr. Weiner addressed internal traffic concerns which had been expressed by a member of the audience.

The Chairperson then asked for public comment.

Robert Brink praised Mr. Weiner for his previous developments and hoped that this project would go forward with no difficulty. There being no further comments, the public hearing was closed.

The Chairperson considered the Section 60.100 Special Exception Use criteria. It was agreed that the proposed use is compatible with the other uses expressly permitted within the "C-1", Local Business District. It was also agreed that the proposed use would not be detrimental or injurious to the use or development of adjacent properties or to the general public.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell was concerned about the proposed use promoting the public health, safety, morals, and welfare of the community in that she had a grave safety concern regarding the southwest corner of the property. Ms. Garland-Rike agreed with her assessment and stated that a one-way road in would help, or shifting the entry to line up with another drive would also be good. Mr. Ahrens stated that it would be especially bad if there is a line at the drive-in bank windows.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell inquired as to whether there would be a possibility of using shared parking spaces, and Mr. Weiner responded that the overall property exceeds Township requirements, but that regard must be given to the requirements of the retailers who need the parking spaces. Parking is essential for successful operation of their businesses, and it is not just the number, but also the location which must be taken into consideration as the location of the parking spaces must be convenient.

Mr. Weiner stated that he could work with the traffic engineers or the Planning Commission to rectify the problems with the southwest corner of the property, but indicated that he needed to have a free flow of traffic.

Mr. Turcott asked how many cars can use the drive-through, and Mr. Weiner responded that there can be four for the ATM and four for banking business. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell stated that she could not agree to the southwest drive as it is now shown because it does not promote safety.

The Planning Commissioners believed that the proposed use would encourage the use of the land in accordance with its character and adaptability.

The Chairperson next considered the Section 82.800 site plan review criteria. He commented on access to the property and access within the property. Proposed parking satisfies Ordinance requirements. The placement of directional signs and "Do Not Enter" signs to indicate the drive-through windows one-way nature must be placed on the property and shown on a revised plan for Township Staff review and approval.

The property is in the Mall Drive South Focus Area which makes aesthetics important, and the front and back of the building should both be aesthetically pleasing.

Outdoor display or storage is not permitted on the property by right, and none is being proposed.

The dumpster that is being shown along Drake Road should be enclosed on three sides by a solid wall and screened with evergreen shrubs, with the front being gated with view-obstructing doors.

Lighting will have to comply with the Ordinance, or a variance must be sought.

Each tenant is permitted one wall sign, and pursuant to a sign package variance granted in 2002, no additional freestanding signs are permitted.

The site plan shows Type C greenspace along Drake Road in a 10-foot, rather than a 20-foot greenspace. The applicant seeks a deviation to allow the reduced width. Land set aside is required for internal landscaping, and that shown on the plan satisfies the Ordinance, although specific plants must be identified in a landscaping plan. Due to the Maple Hill Drive South Focus Area Plan, this area should be landscaped in compliance with the current Landscaping Ordinance to the fullest extent possible. The detailed landscaping plan must be provided for Township Staff review and approval prior to the issuance of a building permit.

The site plan approval should be subject to satisfying the requirements of the Fire Department and the Township Engineer.

The Environmental Checklist and Hazardous Substance Reporting form must be completed and submitted to the Township for each tenant before occupancy may occur.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell moved to approve the special exception use, indicating satisfaction that the proposed use is compatible with the other uses especially permitted within the "C-1", Local Business District; that the proposed use is not detrimental or injurious to the use or development of adjacent properties or to the general public, and that the proposed use encourages the use of the land in accordance with its character and adaptability. She was uncomfortable with the promotion of public health, safety, morals and welfare due to the possibly unsafe condition of the southwest side of the property, and she conditioned her motion on the developer submitting options to Township Staff regarding the danger presented by the southwest corner so there could be some modification to the plan which would address the safety concerns. At a minimum, there should be ingress and right turn out, not a full driveway. Ms. Garland-Rike seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell moved to approve the site plan with the following conditions and comments:

(1) The placement of directional signs should be shown on a revised plan for Township Staff review and approval.

(2) The front and back of the building shall be attractive and aesthetically pleasing.

(3) Outdoor display or storage shall not be permitted by right on the subject property, and any additional outdoor display, beyond what was approved for Lowe's, will be subject to review and approval by the Planning Commission under the special exception use criteria.

(4) The dumpster must be enclosed on three sides by a solid wall and screened with evergreen shrubs that are at least four feet in height at the time of planting. The front shall be gated with view-obstructing doors pursuant to Section 75.150. This must be added to the landscaping plan.

(5) Fixture details of parking lot and building-mounted lighting must be provided for Township Staff review to insure compliance with the provisions of Section 78.000.

(6) A sign permit will be required before any new signs can be placed upon the property.

(7) All signs shall comply with Section 76.170 unless a deviation is granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals.

(8) A landscaping plan indicating species and size of proposed plantings along Drake Road and the north and south ends and the internal parking areas shall be provided for Township Staff Review and approved pursuant to Section 75.000 prior to the issuance of a building permit.

(9) Landscaping shall be installed consistent with the approved landscaping plan prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, or a performance guarantee must be provided consistent with Section 82.950.

(10) A deviation shall be allowed from a 20-foot greenspace to a 10-foot greenspace for the Type C greenspace along Drake Road.

(11) Site plan approval shall be subject to the applicant satisfying the requirements of the Township Fire Department, pursuant to the adopted codes.

(12) Site plan approval shall be subject to the applicant satisfying the requirements of the Township Engineer.

(13) The facility will be served by public water and sewer.

(14) The Hazardous Substance Reporting form must be completed and submitted to the Township for each tenant before occupancy may occur.

(15) The southwest entrance safety issue and solutions must be discussed with, and alternative designs presented to, Township Staff.

Mr. Ahrens seconded the motion. Mr. Weiner inquired if the tenants would be prohibited from requesting a sign variance, and he was told that a request for the variance is not prohibited. Upon a vote, the motion carried unanimously.

OTHER BUSINESS

The Chairperson stated that the Road Commission has agreed to have a joint meeting with the Planning Commission on February 13, 2003, to discuss incentives that can be offered by the Township to encourage the natural features of the Township. Discussion ensued regarding the issues that should be addressed at that meeting.

PLANNING COMMISSIONER COMMENTS

The Chairperson stated that the Rural Residential Ordinance and related amendments have been set for first reading by the Township Board.

Ms. Garland-Rike requested that "R-4" areas be examined to see if there are "R-4" areas remaining in the Township that are near residential areas that could lead to possible problems as seen in the past with "R-4" development.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Planning Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 9:50 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
PLANNING COMMISSION

By:

Minutes prepared:
January 30, 2003

Minutes approved:
, 2003