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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

July 13, 2000

Untitled Untitled

Agenda

CANNAAN PROPERTIES - REZONING REQUEST - PUBLIC HEARING - 2490 S. 11 ST. (PARCEL 3905-25-385-024).

VILLAGE COMMERCIAL (DRAFT FOUR) - TEXT AMENDMENT

SIGN PROVISIONS-TEXT AMENDMENT

OPEN SPACE COMMUNITY (DRAFT ONE)- TEXT AMENDMENT

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, July 13, 2000 commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township.

Members Present: Wilferd Wilfred Dennie
Neal Neil Sikora
Stanley Rakowski
Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell
Marvin Block
Ken Heisig
Ted Corakis (after 7:05 p.m.)

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director, Mary Lunn Lynn Bugge, Township Planner, and Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney and 6 other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

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

AGENDA

The chairperson suggested adding under other business the reshuffling of the dais. Ms. Stefforia suggested adding a discussion of the upcoming work program/plan. Mr. Rakowski moved to approve the agenda as amended and Mr. Block seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

MINUTES

The Planning Commission considered the minutes of the meeting of June 15, 2000. Mr. Heisig suggested a change to page two in the last paragraph to eliminate the word however. Mr. Heisig moved to approve the minutes as amended and Mr. Rakowski seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

The Planning Commission considered the minutes of the meeting of June 22, 2000. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell suggested the addition of a colon on page 11. Mr. Rakowski moved to approve the minutes as amended and Mr. Sikora seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

CANNAAN PROPERTIES - REZONING REQUEST - PUBLIC HEARING - 2490 S. 11 ST. (PARCEL 3905-25-385-024).

The Planning Commission considered the application of Cannaan Properties for re-zoning of a portion of property formerly owned by AT&T, now owned by the Kalamazoo Christian Retirement Association. The area to be rezoned would accommodate a parking lot expansion for the abutting medical building at 2490 South 11th Street. The property to be rezoned is approximately the northeastern 1.6 acres of a 13.13 acre parcel which is parcel 3905-25-385-024. It was requested that the area be rezoned to the "C" Local Business District zoning classification.

The report of the planning and zoning department is incorporated here in by reference. Ms. Stefforia corrected that the acreage at issue is approximately 1.2 acres. She stated that the former AT&T right-of-way was, by default, zoned "R-2" in this land section.

Ms. Stefforia pointed out that various segments in this area of the former AT&T right- of-way had been purchased by adjoining property owners. The western end of the right-of -way, near the south township line, is not for sale due to buried cables. The area under consideration is an area in the northeast end of a larger parcel owned by Kalamazoo Area Christian Retirement Association which is part of an assisted living facility known as Crystal Woods. The area under consideration for rezoning could not be utilized as a separate parcel for commercial development because it would not be considered buildable under township standards. It was requested that the land be rezoned in order to accommodate a parking lot expansion for the property adjoining the area to the north.

Ms. Stefforia stated that the Master Land Use Plan classifies this area as commercial.

In response to questioning by the chairperson, Ms. Stefforia stated that the area in question would serve the medical building to the north which is under separate ownership.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell asked whether the possibility of a pedestrian walkway in this area had been considered, and Ms. Stefforia stated that it was considered west of 9th St. in the AT&T right-of-way but that the area in question was private property.

Donald Noffsinger of Cannaan Properties was present along with trustees of the Christian Retirement Association. He stated that Cannaan Properties owns the property to the north in which the medical building has been established. They would be leasing the property which is subject to the rezoning request from the Christian Retirement Association. There would be no additional access to11th Street proposed over the subject area.

Mr. Noffsinger stated that the medical building parcel shares access with the Bronson property to the west and with the Nulty office building. Further, the Vlachos office parcel is also connected. There is shared access and connection of the parking lot areas.

Gary Sportel of the Christian Retirement Association had questions with regard to the zoning and use of the right-of-way.

The public hearing was closed and the Chairperson summarized the application.

The Planning Commission considered whether the proposed rezoning was supported by the adopted Master Land Use Plan. The Planning Commission concluded that the rezoning was supported in that the Master Land Use Plan classifies this area as commercial.

The Chairperson indicated that the master land use plan also calls for the protection of single family areas. He said that the land to the south of this area is R-2. He felt that the Master Land Use Plan would support the protection of this single-family area. It was noted that there is a 50-foot buffer on the former AT&T right of way which was not involved in the subject rezoning. Therefore, there would be a 50-foot buffer between this commercial property, if rezoned, and the neighboring property in single-family use.

The Planning Commission discussed whether the proposed rezoning would severely impact traffic, public facilities and the natural characteristics of the surrounding area or significantly change population density. Mr. Corakis commented that rezoning the 1.2 acres would lead to no greater impact on the adjacent area than could be felt from the existing "C" zoned property. This was particularly true since the area would not be able to function as a "stand alone" parcel because it would not be considered buildable. Further, impact was lessened by the opportunity to share access with other parcels on the corner of Stadium Drive and 11th Street. Additionally, any impact was lessened due to the 50-foot buffer.

The Planning Commission considered whether the proposed rezoning would constitute a spot-zone. The Planning Commission members concluded no spot-zone would be created since this was an expansion of existing zoning.

The Planning Commission considered whether the proposed rezoning would be contrary to the established land use pattern. Planning Commission members felt that given the new commercial development occurring to the east and northwest of the property, the rezoning would not be contrary to the established land use pattern.

The Planning Commission considered whether the rezoning would have the probable effect of stimulating similar rezoning request in the vicinity. The Planning Commission members concluded that the rezoning would not have the effect of stimulating similar rezonings in that the property along the AT&T right-of-way to the west was not immediately adjacent to commercially zoned lands. It was felt that there would be no stimulation of rezoning to the south particularly given the natural barrier of the 50-foot buffer.

The Planning Commission considered whether there had been a change in conditions in the surrounding area which would support the proposed rezoning. The development of commercial buildings in the immediate area was considered a change in conditions.

The Planning Commission concluded that although there was other vacant commercial property in the Township, that the proposed use as a parking lot expansion would not be accommodated elsewhere. It was felt that it was significant that this area was not a separate parcel and could not be made a separate parcel for development in that it could not be considered buildable on its own.

Mr Heisig commented that he in general was not in favor of adding additional commercial zoning given the amount of vacant commercial property in the Township. However, he felt that there were unique circumstances around this property, since it would not be buildable on its own, and since it would serve as a parking lot expansion, which would justify rezoning.

Mr. Heisig moved to recommend rezoning based on the analysis of the Planning Commission in particular the support of the rezoning by the Master Land Use Plan. Additionally, emphasis was made on the fact that no added access onto 11th Street would result in that the land area could not serve a separate buildable parcel. The motion was seconded by Mr. Corakis.

In response to comments by Gary Sportel, it was noted that other property owned by Kalamazoo Area Christian Retirement Association was not at issue.

Bill Jameson was present and stated that he felt there was no better "use" for this property than as a parking lot expansion for commercial use. Therefore, he supported the rezoning. However, he hoped that this would not be an indication of a precedent for rezoning of any other property on 11th Street.

Ken Klok, builder for the project, indicated that only part would be used for parking and the rest would remain natural.

Herb Dykstrahouse commented that the agreement between Kalamazoo Area Christian Retirement Association and Cannaan Properties would allow only for the parking lot use.

Public comment was closed and upon a vote on the motion, the motion carried unanimously.

VILLAGE COMMERCIAL (DRAFT FOUR) - TEXT AMENDMENT

The Planning Commission reviewed draft four of the proposed text amendment to the zoning ordinance to create a zoning district specific to the village focus area to be called"VC-Village Commercial".

The report of the planning and zoning department is incorporated here in by reference. Chairperson reviewed the changes from draft three. There was an amendment to section 33.202 regarding a grammatical change. In section 33.209 there was an elimination of reference to the restriction on the number of residential buildings per property. Number, height and size of residential buildings would be dictated by floor area ratios addressed in later sections. Development standards were added in section 33.400. These standards would apply to area setback, frontage, signs and open space requirements in the district. It was noted that site development was considered as commenced at the time of site plan review application. There was discussion of the availability of sanitary sewer services in the area. Only single-family use would be exempt from the requirement of public sewer.

The Planning Commission specifically discussed section 33.408 regarding limitation on gross floor area. It was noted that Hardings, for example, is approximately 22,000 square feet. This would exceed the 15,000 square foot limitation suggested in the text. The Planning Commission also discussed the floor area ratio and Ms. Stefforia reported that according to her research 20% and 25% floor area coverage limitations were common in downtown areas.

There was discussion of section 33.410 with regard to signage. Ms. Stefforia indicated, in response to questions from Planning Commissioners, that there would be no limit on awnings except those signs placed upon awnings. There was a discussion of the possibility of amending the text to limit the amount of signage allowed to a multi-tenant building wall.

Ms. Stefforia indicated that she had received a letter from the owner of property south of Flesher Field who had indicated their desire to have the property included within the village district. The chairperson expressed that he believed this property would be an excellent location for a PUD.

After further discussion Mr. Corakis moved to schedule public hearing on the proposed village commercial district text and on the land area to be rezoned to the Village Commercial district for September 14, 2000. Mr. Block seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

SIGN PROVISION-TEXT AMENDMENT

The Planning Commission next discussed the proposed sign text and revisions to the final draft suggested by comments made at the June 1 meeting following return of the document by the Township Board.

Mr. Corakis noted that the Zoning Board of Appeals had considered a variance concerning freestanding signage at car dealerships. The car dealership had suggested one freestanding sign per franchise/car line. After discussion, Planning Commissioners indicated they would not support such change in that it would lead to unlimited freestanding signs and that the reasoning behind such a proposal could easily extend to other commercial retail uses.

The revisions outlined in the planning and zoning department's report were reviewed. There was discussion of the definition of groundmounted signs, and it was determined that the definition should be altered to indicate signs the bottom of which was less than two feet from the ground.

There was a discussion of special events signs, in particular balloons. Mr. Sikora indicated that he did not think that these large balloons were in keeping with the character of the Township and were not in accordance with the Master Land Use Plan. However, given the limited duration of special events signs, Planning Commissioners agreed that such balloon signs, not to exceed 20 feet in height when fully inflated, would be allowed. However, it was also agreed that these balloons should be placed directly on the ground and not on top of buildings, vehicles or structures.

Planning Commissioners also agreed to amend schedule A to add as a footnote that a sign face might be used in conjunction with a wall, fence or other architectural feature.

Mr. Corakis moved to re-recommend the sign text as amended. Mr. Rakowski seconded to motion. The motion carried unanimously.

OPEN SPACE COMMUNITY (DRAFT ONE)- TEXT AMENDMENT

The Planning Commission considered the draft 1 of proposed amendments to the open space community provisions of section 60.500 of the zoning ordinance. As to interior street systems it was agreed that private road standards would be spelled out. Further, there was discussion of the requirements with regard to dedication of a private road located on a 66- foot right of way. It was thought that this provision would be worded to require that the 66-foot wide public right-of-way be for ingress and egress by the public and dedicated to the Township. As to building setbacks, for uniformity, it was agreed that the setback be measured from the center of the public or private street and be a minimum of 60 ft.

OTHER BUSINESS

There was a dais reshuffle. The Planning Commission discussed its work plan for the remainder of the year.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Board the meeting was adjourned at 9:40 p.m.

Oshtemo Charter Township
Planning Commission

By: ___________________________
Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell, Secretary

Minutes prepared: July 14, 2000

Minutes approved: July 27, 2000