OSTLOGOL.GIF (2116 bytes)

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

July 12, 2001

Agenda

TEXT AMENDMENTS RELATED TO "AG" AND "RR" DISTRICTS - WORK ITEM

MAPPING OF NEW "RR" AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRICTS - WORK ITEM

DIMENSIONAL REQUIREMENTS - "RR" AND "AG" DISTRICTS - WORK ITEM

FENCING REGULATIONS - DISCUSSION ITEM

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, July 12, 2001, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Neil G. Sikora, Chairperson
Ted Corakis
Kathleen Garland-Rike
Stanley Rakowski
Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell
Deborah Everett
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.

AGENDA

Mr. Corakis moved to approve the Agenda as submitted. Ms. Everett seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

MINUTES

The Planning Commission considered the minutes of the meeting of June 28, 2001. The Chairperson identified a typographical error on page 8. Mr. Corakis identified an error on page 6. Mr. Corakis moved to approve the minutes, as amended, and Mr. Turcott seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

TEXT AMENDMENTS RELATED TO "AG" AND "RR" DISTRICTS - WORK ITEM

The Planning Commission reviewed Draft #1 of necessary text amendments to the Zoning Ordinance, which would result from the proposed new zoning districts, i.e., the Rural Residential ("RR") and the Agricultural ("AG") Zoning District classifications. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Stefforia reviewed the changes, which were largely word smithing, to make reference to the new districts in appropriate sections. Section 12 would be amended to list both the "AG" and the "RR" Districts. It was also pointed out that the "VC" Village Commercial District should be added to the list. Further, the Ordinance would need to be amended to remove reference to agricultural operations or activities in non-agricultural zones. Reference to truck gardening, field crops, and agricultural operations were to be removed from the "R-1", "R-2", "C", "C-1", "I-R", "I-1", and "I-2" Districts. Crop growing and gardens in excess of one acre would be allowed as a permitted use in the "R-1" District. Further, crop growing and gardens in excess of one acre, including roadside sales of product grown on the premises, would be allowed in the "R-2" District. Revisions would be made to include the "RR" District in the open space community sections. The "RR" District would be included in the landscaping provisions.

After review of all proposed revisions, it was the consensus of the Planning Commission that the changes were satisfactory and would be noticed for hearing at the appropriate time, in conjunction with consideration at the public hearing of the Rural Residential and Agricultural Districts.

MAPPING OF NEW "RR" AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRICTS - WORK ITEM

The Planning Commission reviewed the existing zoning map and discussed proposed boundaries of new zoning districts with relation to the amendment of the Zoning Ordinance to include the "AG" and "RR" Districts. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference. The Report included a map of proposed changes to the existing zoning districts, showing that current agricultural, for the most part, would be categorized as "RR". The map also indicated areas for recommended "R-2" expansion. The proposed map of zoning changes indicated one area for the Agricultural District. However, Ms. Stefforia indicated that the current owners of this property had indicated some interest in the "RR" rather than the "AG" District classification for their property.

After discussion, it was the consensus of the Planning Commission that currently existing agricultural operations, where not adjacent to more densely-populated residential areas, be preserved at the present in the "AG" District. The Master Land Use Plan would be revised to clearly indicate that rezoning of such properties to the "RR" District in the future was supported by the Plan.

There was discussion of retaining the north half of Section 6 and the northeast corner of Section 5 in the "AG" District. The French property in Section 31 was also suggested for the Agricultural District. The north half of the southwest corner of Section 30 was suggested for "AG", as was the Borners' property in Sections 10 and 15.

Ms. Stefforia indicated that she would examine the proposed agricultural properties and return to the Planning Commission with a revised zoning change map.

DIMENSIONAL REQUIREMENTS - "RR" AND "AG" DISTRICTS - WORK ITEM

The Planning Commission discussed dimensional requirements for the "AG" and "RR" Districts. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

There was discussion of the fact that most parcels being discussed for the "AG" District are at present at least 40 acres. The Township Attorney suggested that, given the applicable case law, it might be more defendable to require a large acreage size, such as 40 acres in the "AG" zone, if the goal is to preserve farm and agricultural land. The Attorney cited the case law which indicated that a 10-acre requirement was not reasonable because it was not large enough to preserve farm land. There was discussion of amending provisions to allow for a second single-family home on the 40 acres if the parcel had at least 400 feet of frontage. Ms. Stefforia indicated that she would research the existing parcel sizes for those properties for which "AG" zoning was envisioned.

As to the "RR" District, it was the consensus of the Planning Commission that a three-acre size would be in keeping with preservation of a rural residential character. More density would be allowed in the open space community as incentive for developers to use that "planned" development rather than haphazard parcel division. After discussion, it was the consensus of the Planning Commission that 1.5 dwelling units per acre could be allowed in an open space community in the Rural Residential District.

FENCING REGULATIONS - DISCUSSION ITEM

The Planning Commission discussed possible regulation of placement and height of fences in the residential districts. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

After some discussion, Ms. Bugge indicated that she would draft an outline of possible regulations of purpose, clear vision, fencing types, height of fences, location of fences, construction, materials, location of posts and supports, and maintenance.

PLANNING COMMISSIONER COMMENTS

Ms. Garland-Rike expressed concern about the 10th Street condominium project and the fact that some of the trees were "half out of the ground". Ms. Stefforia indicated that she would look into this issue.

Mr. Rakowski reported that he had been working with a national heritage project in the Detroit area concerning early automotive production. He had been disappointed that this project would not include Kalamazoo County even though the County had a long history of participation in automobile production.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
PLANNING COMMISSION

By:

Minutes prepared:
July 13, 2001

Minutes approved:

, 2001