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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

January 9, 2003

Agenda

Agenda

2003 WORK PROGRAM

HOME OCCUPATIONS - WORK ITEM

NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCIAL - WORK ITEM

LANDSCAPING ORDINANCE REVIEW - WORK ITEM

ACCESS MANAGEMENT PLAN UPDATES - DISCUSSION ITEM

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, January 9, 2003, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

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

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director; Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner; Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney; and no other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

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

ELECTION OF OFFICERS

Ms. Everett moved to nominate Neil Sikora be elected as Chairperson, Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell as Vice Chairperson, and Kathleen Garland-Rike as Secretary. The nominations were seconded by Mr. Turcott. Upon a vote, the nominees were elected unanimously.

AGENDA

Mr. Turcott 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 December 19, 2002. Mr. Larson moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Mr. Ahrens seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

2003 WORK PROGRAM

The Planning Commission considered the proposed work program for calendar year 2003, January through April. It was the consensus of the Planning Commission that the program was ambitious but achievable.

HOME OCCUPATIONS - WORK ITEM

The Planning Commission considered the proposed Zoning Ordinance text amendments concerning home occupations. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge reviewed the provisions included in Draft 1. There was discussion of the proposed definition of home occupations in Section 11.310. It was suggested that the definition which currently contains criteria be amended so as to move the criteria for home occupations to a new Section 78.910. After further discussion, it was the consensus of the Planning Commission that the definition in Draft 2 state, "An occupation which is clearly incidental and subordinate to the principal use of the premises for residential purposes and conforms to the provisions of Section 78.900".

There was a review of the proposed criteria. The proposed criteria would be included in Section 78.910.

In reviewing subsection B of Section 78.910, it was the consensus of the Planning Commissioners that the section state that the use "shall be operated in its entirety within the dwelling and/or attached garage and not within any detached garage or accessory building located upon the premises". It was suggested that the word "only" be removed from subsection C.

Planning Commissioners discussed the concept of unreasonable traffic referred to in subpart H. It was agreed that this language would be amended to read, "creation of vehicular traffic in excess of what is characteristic of the area".

It was noted that under the proposed text, the Planning Commission would be authorized to grant special exception use approval for home occupations which exceed the criteria of Section 78.910, B, D and/or F. However, the home occupation was required to meet other conditions for special exception use approval. There was discussion of the requirement in subsection C precluding employment of more than one non-resident engaged in the home occupation on the premises at any one time. This would allow the home occupation to have more than one non-resident employee; however, only one non-resident employee would be allowed at the site at a time.

Ms. Bugge indicated that she would provide Draft 2 to the Planning Commission at a future meeting.

NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCIAL - WORK ITEM

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

Ms. Stefforia reminded the Planning Commission that it had tentatively determined that areas in addition to those already designated for Neighborhood Commercial in the current commercial land use policies would be considered if they met locational standards for neighborhood centers. Concerning neighborhood center locational standards, Ms. Stefforia asked that the Planning Commission consider whether to allow new Neighborhood Commercial Districts to be located on a minor collector in close proximity to an arterial, and on an arterial or major collector. Further, Ms. Stefforia suggested that the Planning Commission consider whether Neighborhood Commercial areas be allowed at least one mile from Neighborhood Commercial areas and from existing commercial areas.

The Planning Commission was also asked to consider the size of the district being limited up to two acres, rather than four acres.

Ms. Stefforia presented a depiction of a possible two-acre parcel design, noting that it could accommodate a 6,500 square foot building and still provide 50% green space. A 50,000 square foot site could accommodate a 5,000 square foot building with 50% of the site remaining natural.

With regard to the location of additional Neighborhood Commercial areas and the locational standards therefor, it was the consensus of the Planning Commissioners that Neighborhood Commercial areas should be located at least one mile from other Neighborhood Commercial areas. The one-mile limitation would not refer to existing commercial areas. This would allow for the largest number of possible future locations.

As to location on a collector, it was agreed that the provisions should remain as drafted allowing future sites to be located on a minor collector in close proximity to an arterial and on an arterial or major collector.

Planning Commissioners agreed that the district should be limited to two acres.

There was discussion on the proposed scale of the building. Planning Commissioners considered whether a limitation of 5,000 square feet or 7,500 square feet would be appropriate. Planning Commissioners agreed that the appearance of the building and its scale or residential character would be more important than the size. It was also noted that the development site coverage limitation of 50% would limit the size of a proposed building. It was the consensus of the Planning Commission that there be no building size limitation in Draft 2, but that architectural and other design criteria for buildings, so as to limit their scale, be provided.

There was discussion of proposed landscaping requirements with the consensus being that the provisions be variable depending on whether an adjacent site was being used residentially.

LANDSCAPING ORDINANCE REVIEW - WORK ITEM

The Planning Commission considered Township Staff comments on the existing landscaping provisions and possible text amendments regarding use of native plantings. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge stated that the current ordinance provisions encourage use of native plants. Ms. Bugge noted that Ms. Heiny-Cogswell and Mr. Larson would be studying this language to recommend whether the text should be revised to require a certain percentage of native planting materials. Ms. Bugge suggested the creation of a list of desirable native plantings, since some native plants such as hickory may not be appropriate for parking lots or near walkways.

Ms. Bugge also noted that Township Staff had noted that the current ordinance provisions are awkward concerning the amount of landscaping required in small parking lots; it was felt that this requirement should be reduced somewhat and consideration given to the number of canopy trees required when large parking lot islands are proposed.

Ms. Garland-Rike suggested considering an amendment to the language regarding berming. Ms. Bugge stated that the current ordinance provision in Section 75.190 encouraged berming by giving credit for berms against the required number of plantings. Ms. Garland-Rike suggested that some changes be made so as to encourage berming since she felt it provided a better visual barrier in some instances. Ms. Stefforia stated that perhaps the location of the berming provision could be changed in order for it to be more readily seen by developers.

ACCESS MANAGEMENT PLAN UPDATES - DISCUSSION ITEM

Ms. Stefforia provided a report to the Planning Commission concerning the proposed Access Management Plan Update. It was noted that the Plan had been adopted in 1991, and since that time, the Township had experienced a tremendous amount of growth. The Report, which is incorporated herein by reference, listed the sections of the Access Management Plan which would be considered for revision.

OTHER BUSINESS

The Chairperson made reference to the letter submitted to the Road Commission which invited its attendance at the February 13, 2003 meeting. Ms. Stefforia stated that she and other communities were working on providing input to the Road Commission concerning design standards.

PLANNING COMMISSIONER COMMENTS

Mr. Turcott provided the Winter 2003 Schedule regarding KVCC's environmental programs.

Ms. Garland-Rike suggested that the Planning Commission consider a special zoning district for student housing. Ms. Bugge noted that some other communities create so-called student housing districts by reference to certain types of building design which are allowed therein.

The Chairperson suggested providing a limitation on the number of bedrooms per acre rather than dwelling units per acre in the "R-4" District.

Ms. Garland-Rike wondered whether a special tax on student housing should be considered. The Township Attorney indicated that a special assessment district on areas receiving special benefit from police protection could be established.

Ms. Garland-Rike suggested consideration of how to address the gateways of the Township through use of boulevards or other means.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Planning Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 8:55 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
PLANNING COMMISSION

By:
Minutes prepared:
January 13, 2003

Minutes approved:
, 2003