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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

July 10, 2003

Agenda

CENTURY-HIGHFIELD REZONING - PUBLIC HEARING - 36 PARCELS

LANDSCAPING PROVISIONS - TEXT AMENDMENT - PUBLIC HEARING

SIDEWALKS - TEXT AMENDMENT - DRAFT #3

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, July 10, 2003, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

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

MEMBER ABSENT: Kathleen Garland-Rike

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

CALL TO ORDER

The Chairperson called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.

AGENDA

Ms. Bugge suggested a discussion under "Other Business" of previously-granted "fireworks" display and sales. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell moved to approve the Agenda as amended, and Mr. Ahrens seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

MINUTES

The Planning Commission considered the minutes of the meeting of June 26, 2003. Mr. Turcott moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Mr. Larson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

CENTURY-HIGHFIELD REZONING - PUBLIC HEARING - 36 PARCELS

The Planning Commission resumed public hearing on an item tabled at the meeting of March 13, 2003, regarding the rezoning of 36 properties in the Century-Highfield area from the "R-2" and "R-3" Residence Districts to the "R-4" Residence District zoning classification.

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

Ms. Bugge reminded the Planning Commission that Township Staff had initiated the proposed rezoning and was now suggesting its withdrawal. A text amendment/ordinance for which the rezoning had been suggested had not been adopted by the Township Board. Therefore, the proposed rezoning should be withdrawn. Ms. Bugge noted that she had received a letter from an area resident, which letter is incorporated herein by reference, indicating opposition to the rezoning.

The Chairperson asked for public comment, and Maxine Robb, a Century-Highfield resident, indicated that she was in favor of the Township adopting a rental housing registration ordinance. However, she was concerned that it was too late to save her neighborhood. She hoped that something would be put into place by the Township to "save" other neighborhoods.

Ted Corakis commented that he was the owner of two properties in the area. He stated that he was opposed to the rezoning.

Ms. Everett moved to accept the withdrawal of the item. Mr. Larson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

LANDSCAPING PROVISIONS - TEXT AMENDMENT - PUBLIC HEARING

The Planning Commission conducted a public hearing on proposed amendments to the Township Zoning Ordinance concerning landscaping. The Report of the Planning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge noted that she was suggesting two changes since the prior draft of the ordinance provisions. On page 4, Township Staff was suggesting a revision to require 20% of native plantings be provided. This suggestion was based on her review of approved landscaping plans. Further, there was discussion of a proposed change to page 5 concerning the measurement of canopy trees. It was the consensus of the Planning Commission that there was a desire that these be measured pursuant to a nursery standard. Consequently, it was suggested that this language be amended to read: "2" caliper as measured in conformance with American Standard for Nursery Stock".

There was also a slight change to proposed Section 86.600 concerning the measurement of existing trees to provide that they be measured at four feet above the ground.

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

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell moved to recommend approval of the proposed text amendments as revised pursuant to the Township Staff's suggestions. Mr. Larson seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

SIDEWALKS - TEXT AMENDMENT - DRAFT #3

The Planning Commission considered Draft #3 of the proposed Zoning Ordinance amendments related to the forthcoming Sidewalk Ordinance, and a previously-prepared map indicating where non-motorized facilities are desired in the Township.

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

Ms. Bugge suggested that the Planning Commission review the street classification map in conjunction with the previously-prepared non-motorized facilities map. The Planning Commission considered whether sidewalks should be required on the interior and along the exterior road of every new development requiring site plan review. Ms. Everett noted that in some areas bike paths might be preferred because of the rural nature of such areas such as "H" Avenue. However, Ms. Everett was in favor of requiring all new projects to have interior sidewalks. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell agreed, noting that she, too, would favor giving an option for a bike path along the exterior right-of-way of some areas. Ms. Everett noted that the Park Committee was working on a plan regarding "connectors".

There was a discussion of the fact that MDOT has its own plans for non-motorized paths within the highway right-of-way. It was suggested that Township Staff inquire as to whether MDOT had a plan for West Main Street. It was suggested that if there was such a plan, it should be incorporated into the non-motorized map proposed by the Township. Planning Commissioners agreed that the non-motorized map should be included within the Master Land Use Plan of the Township. Further, Planning Commissioners recommended that the Road Commission be contacted concerning its policies for establishing bike lanes. There was also a suggestion that the non-motorized map coordinate with the Park Committee plan. There was a discussion of the non-motorized map and proposed amendments to same.

Planning Commissioners agreed that a bike path should extend the full length of "H" Avenue west to the County line. There was also agreement that a bike path should be extended the length of 8th Street. Planning Commissioners also felt that a bike path should be established along Almena Drive, south on 2nd Street to "KL" Avenue, and 4th Street. Planning Commissioners also agreed that a bike path should be established along "KL" Avenue to Almena. After discussion, Planning Commissioners also felt that a bike path should be established the full length of "ML" Avenue and south on 6th Street. With regard to West Main, Planning Commissioners agreed that the MDOT plan should be considered, but in the alternative, a bike path should be established along West Main to 2nd Street. Further, a bike path should be established along 6th Street north to "G" Avenue and north on 9th/8th Street to "G" Avenue, and north on 2nd Street to "G" Avenue.

Planning Commissioners agreed that, with the next draft, sidewalks should be required in the interior of new developments and that a sidewalk or bike path, as suggested in the Master Land Use Plan, should be established along the exterior right-of-way. Further, with the next draft, the Park Committee map would be reviewed.

OTHER BUSINESS

Ms. Bugge reminded the Planning Commission of the fireworks display and sales operation which had been approved for the Meijer parking lot. She noted that the Township Staff had administratively approved a relocation of the tent to a less-obtrusive location at the request of the applicant. The relocation would accommodate the problem of driving tent stakes into the newly-resurfaced parking lot of the Meijer site. The revised location had not yet been resurfaced.

After a discussion, Planning Commissioners agreed that there was no objection to Township Staff granting this minor change to the site plan approval.

PLANNING COMMISSIONER COMMENTS

There were no Planning Commissioner comments.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Planning Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 8:17 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION

By:
Acting Secretary
Minutes prepared:
July 11, 2003

Minutes approved:
, 2003