OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

 

January 27, 2005

Agenda

FIFTH THIRD BANK - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW OF A FULL-SERVICE BANK WITH DRIVE-THROUGH LANES AT 6040 STADIUM DRIVE -(PARCEL NO. 3905-26-440-035).

VILLAS OF STONEHENGE - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW OF A PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT - WEST SIDE OF 9TH STREET, BETWEEN STADIUM DRIVE AND QUAIL RUN DRIVE - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-26-330-014 AND 3905-26-330-015)

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, January 27, 2005, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

MEMBERS PRESENT: James Turcott, Chairman
Deborah L. Everett (after 7:20 p.m.)
Lee Larson
Kathleen Garland-Rike
Mike Smith
Fred Gould
Terry Schley

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director; Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner; James W. Porter, Township Attorney (after 7:29 p.m.); and approximately 30 other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

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

AGENDA

The Chairman indicated that the first item of business was approval of the Agenda. Mr. Schley made a motion to approve the Agenda as submitted. Mr. Gould seconded the motion, and the Chairman called for a vote on the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

MINUTES

The Chairman said that the next item for consideration was approval of the minutes of January 13, 2005. Mr. Schley noted that on page 10, in the next-to-last paragraph, the reference to flag poles was a 30-foot pole, not 30 to 35-foot pole. Mr. Larson then made a motion to approve the minutes as corrected. The motion was seconded by Mr. Gould. The Chairman called for further discussion, and hearing none, called for a vote on the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

FIFTH THIRD BANK - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW OF A FULL-SERVICE BANK WITH DRIVE-THROUGH LANES AT 6040 STADIUM DRIVE -(PARCEL NO. 3905-26-440-035)

The Chairman stated that the next item on the Agenda was the review of the special exception use and site plan for Fifth Third Bank, a full-service banking facility, with drive-through windows proposed at 6040 Stadium Drive (Parcel 3905-26-440-035).

The Chairman called upon the Planning Department for their report and presentation. Planner Mary Lynn Bugge presented her report dated January 27, 2005, and the same is incorporated herein by reference. Ms. Bugge stated that banks are a permitted use in the "C-1" Local Business District; however, drive-through services require review under the special exception use criteria of Section 60.

A brief review of existing zoning and uses in the area was presented. It was noted that the Fairlane Plat to the north is zoned "R-1" Residence District, consists primarily of single-family homes and is considered a "protected" neighborhood in the Master Land Use Plan.

Ms. Bugge indicated the proposed 4,200 square foot building is replacing an existing 9,600 square foot building. Distance between the north property line and the facility's paved surface is 90 feet; previously, parking was within 10-feet of the property line. The building and drive-through lanes are 117 feet from the north line, while the existing building is only about 65 feet from it. The existing pavement would be removed and replaced with the proposed layout. She stated the applicant is requesting a deviation from Access Management criteria to permit a second driveway accessing Mansfield Street to the north, in addition to the existing driveway to Stadium Drive. She pointed out that, without the proposed drive, customers from the north could access the site utilizing Quail Run Drive and return to the north by Fairgrove Street, thereby negating the need for left-hand turns.

Ms. Bugge reviewed the special exception use criteria of Section 60.100 and then took the Commission through an analysis of the site plan review criteria set forth in Section 82.800, together with the proposed recommendations for site plan approval. She stated the proposed landscaping conforms to the criteria of Section 75 and makes extensive use of native plants; additionally, site lighting had been revised, and the plan now met lighting requirements.

The Chairperson asked if there were questions for Ms. Bugge, and hearing none, asked to hear from the applicant. Mr. John Steele introduced himself to the Commission as the architect for the project. Mr. Steele stated he thought the Planning Department had covered the proposed project well and then indicated that Fifth Third Bank was proposing the driveway to Mansfield Street to allow customers to the north access to the site without having to travel on Stadium Drive. He indicated that the lack of this drive would not be a "deal breaker" for the project.

The Chairperson asked if there were any questions of the applicant. Mr. Schley asked about the drive and the site plan notation regarding an addition to the proposed building. Mr. Steele stated the addition was anticipated in the future along with a second ATM machine. Ms. Bugge indicated they were not being reviewed at this time and would be subject to Township review when expansion was desired.

The Chairperson asked if there were any other questions for the applicant. Hearing none, the Chairperson opened the public comment portion of the meeting.

Gary Lawson said he had a petition with more than 100 signatures from the Fairlane neighborhood in opposition to the proposed driveway to Mansfield Street due to concerns regarding traffic on the adjacent dead-end streets, concern for children waiting for school busses in the area, and the configuration of the Mansfield/Fairgrove intersection. Following his comments, the following people expressed their opposition to and similar concerns about the proposed driveway: Becky Lawson, Connie Mohney, Don Myer, Ruth N. Zakrzewski, Niki Waldron, Beth Myer, Kathryn Bond, Richard Worthy, Gwindland Worthy, Stephen Humphrey and Louise Schaner.

John Steele, the applicant, then came forward and stated that Fifth Third Bank had given him the authority to withdraw the request for the Mansfield driveway, and he was asking that consideration of the driveway be removed from this application.

The Chairman asked if there were any further public comments, and hearing none, called for Commission deliberations. The Chairman said he thought Ms. Bugge had taken them through each of the items, point by point, but asked what the pleasure of the Commission was. Ms. Garland-Rike said she did not believe the Commission had to go through each item individually and thought they had covered most of the issues during the question and answer session with the applicant. Mr. Schley said he thought they should first consider the special exception, and then consider site plan approval. Members of the Commission concurred.

Mr. Schley made a motion to approve the special exception use for the drive-in portion of the bank but without the rear drive to the north since it had been withdrawn by the applicant. Mr. Larson seconded the motion. The Chairman called for further discussion, and hearing none, he called for public comment. Hearing none, he called for further Commission deliberations, and hearing none, called for a vote on the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

The Chairman indicated that the next item was the consideration of the site plan. The Chairman called for Commission comments. Mr. Schley said he thought that the applicant had provided a very responsible site plan, with adequate setbacks sensitive to the surrounding property owners. He complimented the developer on his well-designed landscape plan. He said he thought it was very attractive and it certainly was an improvement to what currently exists on the site.

The Chairman asked if there were any other Commission comments, and hearing none, asked for a motion. Mr. Ms. Garland-Rike made a motion to accept the site plan as submitted, except for the driveway to Mansfield Street, subject to all of the following conditions:

(1) Approval is subject to obtaining a Stadium Drive driveway permit from the Kalamazoo County Road Commission.

(2) All parking must conform to Section 68.000.

(3) Setbacks shall comply with Section 64.000.

(4) All lighting shall comply with Section 78.700.

(5) Recessed light fixtures in the drive-through canopy shall have a flat lens.

(6) Approval shall be subject to the submission of sign details for review and approval through the sign permitting process. All signs shall comply with Section 76.000.

(7) Landscaping in accordance with Section 75 shall be provided.

(8) Landscaping shall be installed before a Certificate of Occupancy will be granted or a Performance Guarantee, consistent with the provisions of Section 82.950, must be provided.

(9) Site plan approval shall be subject to the applicant satisfying Fire Department requirements pursuant to the adopted codes.

(10) Site engineering and stormwater management are subject to review and a finding by the Township Engineer that they are adequate.

(11) All utilities shall be underground.

(12) An Earth Change Permit must be obtained from the Drain Commissioner's office.

(13) A demolition permit from the Township must be obtained prior to removal of the existing building.

The Chairman asked if there was any public comment on the motion, and hearing none, called for further Commission deliberations. Hearing none, the Chairman asked if there was a second to the motion. Mr. Gould seconded the motion. The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.

VILLAS OF STONEHENGE - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW OF A PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT - WEST SIDE OF 9TH STREET, BETWEEN STADIUM DRIVE AND QUAIL RUN DRIVE - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-26-330-014 AND 3905-26-330-015)

The Chairman said the next item on the Agenda was the consideration of a special exception use and site plan review for a 90-unit residential condominium project on South 9th Street proposed to be developed under the planned unit development provisions. He said the subject property was located on the west side of 9th Street, between Stadium Drive and Quail Run Drive, Parcel Nos. 3905-26-330-014 and 3905-26-330-015.

The Chairman asked for a report from the Planning Commission. Ms. Stefforia submitted her report to the Planning Commission dated January 27, 2005, and the same is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Stefforia reminded the Commission that it had reviewed this plan previously, but only on a preliminary level. She said that the proposed PUD was going to be located on the west side of 9th Street, between Quail Run and Stadium Drive. She explained that the property was zoned "R-2" and contained approximately 22 acres. She said, given the condominium development under the PUD provision, the applicant was requesting approval of 90 residential units and a clubhouse. She said the condominium development would allow buyers to own the interiors of the dwelling unit, with the exterior of all buildings and the property being owned in common and maintained by the Condominium Association.

Ms Stefforia told the Commission that, since the applicant had submitted the conceptual review, several changes had been made. She said that the driveway had been changed to a boulevard entrance, and two retention ponds near the entrance had been removed. Some of the buildings had been shifted to accommodate a larger retention area in the center of the property, and they eliminated the walking path around the northwest retention pond due to topography.

Ms. Stefforia stated that the number of dwelling units permitted under the "R-2" District, given the property was being served by public water and sewer, was 90. She said the project is not proposed to be constructed in phases. She said the open space consists primarily of perimeter greenspace, storm water retention areas, the clubhouse and the pool area. She noted that the maintenance of all these items would be the responsibility of the Condominium Association, including the private streets.

Ms. Stefforia then went through Section 60.450 of the Zoning Ordinance, the PUD review criteria. Upon completion of the review of the PUD provisions, Ms. Stefforia took the Commission through a review of Sections 60.470D and 82.800, dealing with site plan review.

The Chairman asked if there were any questions of Ms. Stefforia. Mr. Schley suggested that perhaps there needed to be more detail within the site plans for storm water retention. Ms. Stefforia noted that, on the larger set of plans, she had removed some of the detailed plan pages but that they had been included in the smaller set of plans given to the Planning Commission.

The Chairman asked if, under No. 1, the applicant was seeking a deviation. Ms. Stefforia said that there was not a deviation that required any action of the Commission; it was just the effect of using the PUD provisions in order to accommodate the four-family buildings proposed. Ms. Garland-Rike suggested having the landscaping subject to Staff approval. She said that some of the trees mentioned in the landscape plan were not particularly suitable to the Michigan weather and/or were short-lived.

The Chairman asked to hear from the applicant. Mr. Ken Watts, representing the Villas of Stonehenge, Inc., introduced himself to the Planning Commission. Mr. Watts explained that the entrance had been redesigned, and because of the improvements, the small ponds near the entrance were no longer viable. He said he thought it was more important to leave more space to beautify the entrance to 9th Street. He also said that, because of the change in the entrance, there was more area for a larger pond in the center of the facility. He further stated that they had eliminated the walking path in the northwest corner of the property because of the steepness of the topography.

Mr. Watts said he was willing to make whatever changes were necessary to satisfy the Township regarding their landscape plans. He said it was their intent to make the project beautiful, and he was open to considering further improvements.

Ms. Garland-Rike asked Mr. Watts if the site would be like those sites shown on the franchise site. Mr. Watts said it would not look exactly like that, but they would be hiring a landscape architect to enhance the overall design of the site. Mr. Watts also said that the Kalamazoo County Road Commission was going to require a center turn lane, which would be put in at the developer's expense.

Mr. Watts said, with regard to sidewalks, they had designed an interior circulation pattern that he thought would provide access to all of the facilities for complete circulation within the project. He said that their franchise dealer said that 90% of the projects did not have sidewalks at all. However, he thought with the private roads and the interior circulation of their pedestrian design, they would be able to maintain the private community atmosphere they wanted to achieve.

Mr. Larson asked about the grading of the site and its relationship to the elevations at the southeast corner of the project. Mr. Watts, in conjunction with his engineer, Mr. Schwartz, assured the Commission that the southeast corner of their project would be slightly lower than the elevations for the properties abutting 9th Street. He said that the southeast corner of the project would likely be at 950 to 951 feet, and the properties to the east along 9th Street were at approximately 957 feet at the road. Mr. Larson said that he was satisfied that there would be no water from the project onto the properties to the east. Mr. Schwartz did note that they were trying to work with the school to see whether or not the northwest portion of the property could be part of a larger joint retention facility to be shared with the Kalamazoo Schools.

Ms. Garland-Rike asked if there would be a berm to the east. Mr. Watts said that there would be a small berm with trees and plantings to help screen the project from the property to the east.

Mr. Schley said he had not seen the video at the preliminary review, but it appeared to him that there was a two-car garage for each of the two-unit condominiums . Therefore, there would be room for four cars, as well as guest parking in that driveway. Mr. Watts concurred with Mr. Schley's analysis of the allotted parking.

The Chairman asked if there were any comments from the audience.

Mr. John Caron said that he owned property to the south, and he was concerned about maintaining water on the property. Mr. Schwartz informed him that the pond in the center of the property was mainly for aesthetic purposes. He said that the retention pond in the northwest would be a controlled release at a predevelopment rate toward the existing depression located on the school property. He again made reference to the possibility that a combined retention pond could be developed for the school and Stonehenge, but that had yet to be determined. Mr. Caron explained that he had access to the pond and wondered whether or not the run-off would affect his access. It was confirmed that the pond that Mr. Caron was referring to was much further south of the retention area proposed by the developer.

Ms. Everett asked Mr. Watts what he could tell them about the agreement with the school. Mr. Watts said he was not counting on reaching an agreement with the school at all. He said that, while it might happen, it was possible that it could never happen, and therefore, he wanted the Planning Commission to consider his site plan as submitted.

The Chairman asked if there was further public comment.

Mr. Tim Wojtyniak asked if there had been any significant changes between the preliminary review and the current review. The applicant and Planning Department reviewed the preliminary plans and the final plans with Mr. Wojtyniak. Mr. Wojtyniak said he was concerned about drainage, but did not think that would be a problem, given that there were not any changes to the plans that would negatively affect his property. Mr. Wojtyniak did say that he would like to see more plantings along the east property line, along with the berm, because he thought the gap in the plantings would have a negative impact on his property. Mr. Watts said he would take that into account.

Mr. Waldron addressed the Commission and asked if the width of the setback area was going to change. Mr. Watts assured Mr. Waldron that would not change; it would remain 50 feet. He also said they would be putting a mound in along with additional plantings, but the location could be impacted by the need to accommodate the sewer and water. Mr. Waldron said, to the extent they could plant close to the middle of that setback area, he would appreciate it. Mr. Watts said they would take that into account.

The Chairman asked if there was any other public comments, and hearing none, called for Commission deliberations. The Chairman asked how the Commission wanted to proceed. Ms. Garland-Rike said they had addressed many of the issues before in the conceptual review, and thought it would be appropriate to consider a motion.

Ms. Everett raised a question regarding water run-off, and Mr. Schwartz's comment that they would have a controlled release. Attorney Porter informed the Commission members that years ago, the Township had encountered this issue, and it had been the legal opinion that, while a developer could not increase water run-off, they could certainly maintain the natural flow of water currently traversing their property. Mr. Schley pointed out that, under the Ordinance, it seemed to imply that they had to maintain water upon their property. Ms. Stefforia, in response to the opinion of their engineers and legal counsel, said they had added Section 78.600 to deal with the run-off of surface water, which states that all structures and land uses hereinafter established in the Township shall be established in such a manner as to prevent any additional run-off of surface water onto adjoining properties. She said that the storm water management standards of Section 78.520 had to be read in conjunction with Section 78.600. Mr. Schley thanked her and Township counsel for that clarification.

Ms. Everett asked Mr. Schwartz if, what Ms. Stefforia referred to, was what he was referring to as controlled run-off. Mr. Schwartz said that was exactly what he was referring to and that they would not be increasing water run-off or discharging anything above the predevelopment rate.

Ms. Bugge asked if the applicant was going to be putting in paved sidewalks. Mr. Watts indicated yes. Ms. Bugge questioned whether there was going to be landscaping on the east, as well as the north boundaries. Ms. Stefforia indicated that the applicant had agreed to that.

The Chairman said he would entertain a motion on the special exception use. Ms. Everett made a motion to grant the special exception use for the planned unit development. Mr. Smith seconded the motion. The Chairman called for discussion on the motion, and hearing none, called for a vote. The motion passed unanimously.

Next, Ms. Garland-Rike made a motion to approve the site plan with the following provisions:

(1) Easements and deed restrictions relating to the open space must be provided for review by Staff and Township Attorney prior to the recording of the documents.

(2) The Master Deed and Bylaws must be provided for review by Staff and the Township Attorney prior to the recording of the documents.

(3) No use in the PUD shall have direct access to 9th Street.

(4) All private streets are subject to Township Engineer review and a finding that they are adequately designed and constructed.

(5) All (clubhouse) parking shall be in conformance with Section 68 of the Zoning Ordinance.

(6) Nonmotorized facilities shall be provided in compliance with site plan approval.

(7) All outdoor lighting shall comply with the provisions of Section 78.720. Lighting at the clubhouse shall conform to residential lighting criteria.

(8) All areas of the PUD awaiting development shall be stabilized at all times. This shall be accomplished with grasses or other ground cover. Exception is granted for areas with an active Building Permit which shall still satisfy the County's and Township's Erosion Control and Sedimentation Control Ordinance.

(9) An Earth Change Permit must be obtained from the Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner.

(10) Landscaping along the east and north property lines shall be installed pursuant to the approved landscaping plan and the area stabilized and seeded prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy for the first residential unit or a Performance Guarantee, pursuant to Section 82.950 provided to the Township. The landscaping plan shall be subject to Staff review and approval.

(11) Existing trees proposed to be retained as open space along the west and south perimeter shall be protected during construction to ensure their future viability.

(12) A deviation is granted to allow this property, with less than 200 feet of frontage on a public road, to be considered buildable without the extension of a public street.

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

(14) Site plan approval is subject to the Township Engineer finding the site and private road engineering details adequate.

Ms. Everett seconded the motion. The Chairman called for discussion on the motion, and hearing none, called for a vote. The motion passed unanimously.

Other Business

Mr. Schley asked if there was going to be a work session on February 10, 2005. Ms. Stefforia indicated that there was, but certain items would be held over until the joint meeting with the Township Board on February 15.

Mr. Schley said he wanted to compliment Ms. Garland-Rike on her comments made at the last Planning Commission meeting regarding the flag issue.

Ms. Garland-Rike said that she also was concerned about a possible conflict of interest, with the Township Engineer also representing the developer. Ms. Stefforia said that they had raised that issue before, and as she stated previously, she said that the Engineers said, since they are individually licensed, and that the engineering firm was using two different engineers, they thought there was not a problem.

Mr. Gould asked Ms. Everett if the Board had had any discussions regarding changes to the Zoning Ordinance regarding flags. Ms. Everett said that she had not really talked to the Board members, but thought they would be able to address this issue at the joint meeting. She thought that the majority of the Board would be supportive of the Planning Commission's position.

Mr. Larson handed out information regarding the on-line citizen planner program. Ms. Stefforia said that the Township would reimburse any fees incurred by any Township officials taking advantage of the program.

Adjournment

There being no further business, the meeting at approximately 8:50 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
PLANNING COMMISSION

By:
Kathleen Garland-Rike, Secretary
Minutes prepared:
February 3, 2005
Minutes approved:
, 2005