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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

July 25, 2002

Agenda

STADIUM DRIVE - REZONING - PUBLIC HEARING - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-33-403-010, 33-403-020, 33-403-030, 33-403-040, 33-402-320, 33-402-321, 33-402-031 AND 33-402-039)

HUNTINGTON RUN - SOUTH 9TH STREET - REZONING - "R-5" RESIDENCE DISTRICT-PUBLIC HEARING - (PARCEL NO. 3905-35-255-010)

STADIUM DRIVE - REZONING - PUBLIC HEARING - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-26-480-020, 26-480-010 AND 26-480-030)

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, July 25, 2002, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

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

MEMBER ABSENT: Mike Ahrens

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director; Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner; Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney; and 11 other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

The Chairperson called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m.

AGENDA

Mr. Rakowski moved to approve the Agenda as submitted, and Mr. Turcott seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

MINUTES

The Planning Commission considered the minutes of the meeting of July 11, 2002. After some discussion, Ms. Everett moved to approve the minutes as submitted. Ms. Garland-Rike seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

STADIUM DRIVE - REZONING - PUBLIC HEARING - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-33-403-010, 33-403-020, 33-403-030, 33-403-040, 33-402-320, 33-402-321, 33-402-031 AND 33-402-039)

The Planning Commission considered the proposed rezoning of eight properties from the "AG" Agricultural-Rural District zoning classification to the "R-2" Residence District and related Master Land Use Plan Amendments. The subject properties are located on the south side of Stadium Drive, between 5th Street and 6th Street, within the Frie & Gibbs Plat, and are Parcel Nos. 3905-33-403-010, 33-403-020, 33-403-030, 33-403-040, 33-402-320, 33-402-321, 33-402-031 and 33-402-039

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

Ms. Bugge reported that the applicant, Richard Schramm, had applied regarding Lot 3 of Block 4 of the Frie & Gibbs Plat. He was requesting rezoning to the "R-2" Residence District to allow for two-family dwelling on the property. The Planning Commission had expanded the area under consideration to include the agricultural portion of four properties to the east of the subject property that had frontage on Stadium Drive and have access to public sewer and water. Mr. Schramm's property has access to public water but not public sewer. The portion of Parcels 33-403-010 and 33-402-320 currently zoned "C" Local Business District are not included in the request.

Ms. Bugge made reference to the Master Land Use Plan Future Land Use Classification section concerning the Rural Residential District. She also made reference to the "Residential" section, which is to be characterized by medium-high density, single-family residential use, including platted subdivisions. The use is to be located primarily in the eastern portion of the Township adjacent to existing residential areas and in close proximity to necessary service and support functions such as school, work, shopping, sewer and water. The property is currently zoned Agricultural-Rural, and under proposed text changes, the district would be renamed "Rural Residential" and would not allow for two-family homes, except in open space communities.

Ms. Bugge reviewed the rezoning criteria. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell questioned whether the lots were "large enough" for a septic field and a two-family dwelling. Ms. Bugge stated that the Health Department would need to determine whether septic could be placed on the lots. The size of the lots, however, did meet Ordinance standards for two-family dwellings.

Ms. Bugge stressed that the Frie & Gibbs Plat is the oldest in the Township. It included many large lots.

Richard Schramm was present, noting that he had made the application to "prevent the Township from taking away his right to put two-family homes on the property". He had previously amended the plat to create the four proposed lots and had had the area surveyed. "Yucca Point", the private street, had been engineered. He stated that he was on the verge of commencing to build duplexes at the subject property when the proposed text changes were proposed by the Township. He urged that the property be rezoned to the "R-2" District.

Duane Buell, owner of Lot 12 in the plat, stated that he purchased his property, believing that the area would be for "single-family homes". He was concerned that "R-2" zoning would change the character of the area.

Cheryl Harms, who resides on Lot 2 of Block 4, saw no problem with the Schramm's plans. She recognized that her property was also being considered for rezoning. She had no problem with the rezoning to the "R-2" District, but did not feel it made a difference to her property whether it was Rural Residential or "R-2".

Larry Scatfield, owner of Lot 3 which backs up to the proposed "Yucci Point", had questions with regard to the development of the road right-of-way. Mr. Schramm stated that the pavement would not be the entire width of the right-of-way, and that there would be green space around the road.

There was no other public comment, and the public hearing was closed.

There were question about, at what point the duplex use would be grandfathered on the subject property. The Township Attorney opined that Mr. Schramm would need to complete infrastructure for the plat, and also to apply for, obtain and commence building based upon a building permit.

The Chairperson reviewed the criteria for rezoning. As to whether the proposed rezoning was supported by the adopted Master Land Use Plan, it was recognized that the existing map did not support the rezoning. However, Planning Commissioners agreed that some of the goals of the Master Land Use Plan would be supportive of the rezoning. Public water was available to all the properties, and public sewer was available to most. Further, the location on Stadium Drive was important.

As to whether the proposed rezoning would severely impact traffic, natural characteristics of the surrounding area, or significantly change population density, Planning Commissioners recognized that one and two-family homes are now permitted in the "AG" District, and a rezoning to the "R-2" District would permit the same uses. Further, two-family homes would continue to be allowed in the Rural Residential District as part of an open space community. It was felt that there would be no severe impact on traffic, given the location with access to Stadium Drive.

Planning Commissioners agreed that the rezoning would not constitute a spot zone. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell commented that this was a logical area for transition from "R-3" to single-family zoning along Stadium Drive.

The Planning Commission considered whether the proposed rezoning was contrary to the established land use pattern. It was recognized that the area is predominantly single-family, however, two-family dwellings are allowed.

Planning Commissioners did not believe that the rezoning would stimulate similar rezoning requests in the area since the area to the west and south was already developed with single-family homes.

In considering whether there had been a change in conditions which would support the rezoning, it was noted that Township Staff was aware of only the proposed text change.

Planning Commissioners agreed that there were adequate sites available elsewhere to accommodate the proposed use.

There was discussion of whether sewer service would be available to the Schramm property in the future. Ms. Stefforia stated that in her conversations with the Engineer, she had concluded that it was not feasible, given the size of the proposed development.

Planning Commissioners agreed that the location on Stadium Drive was not "rural" in nature. Further, the properties were in close proximity to the Transitional zoning along Stadium Drive. Ms. Everett commented that she felt that the rezoning would be in character with the area, and Ms. Heiny-Cogswell agreed, stating that she would support the rezoning because of the location on Stadium Drive and the "R-3" and commercial zoning in the area.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell moved to recommend rezoning of all of the "AG" portion of the proposed properties to the "R-2" Residence District and the change of land use classification to the Residential class based upon the discussion of the Planning Commission, particularly that the rezoning was supported by the goals of the Master Land Use Plan and in character with the area, given the Commercial and "R-3" zoning along Stadium Drive to the east. Further, utilities are available, with sewer and water available to three-fourths of the property, and only water available to the remaining. Mr. Rakowski seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

HUNTINGTON RUN - SOUTH 9TH STREET - REZONING - "R-5" RESIDENCE DISTRICT- PUBLIC HEARING - (PARCEL NO. 3905-35-255-010)

The Planning Commission considered the proposed rezoning of a parcel on the east side of South 9th Street, south of Atlantic Avenue, from "I-R" Industrial District Restricted to "R-5" Residence District and related Master Land Use Plan Amendment. The property is Parcel No. 3905-35-255-010.

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

Ms. Stefforia stated that the property is an 8.9 -acre parcel owned by the applicant west of the 38-acre, 175-unit mobile home community, which has access onto Atlantic Avenue. The 8.9-acre parcel has less than 34 feet of frontage on South 9th Street, but would be physically connected to the existing community. She noted that there is a parcel to the east of approximately 40 acres which was master planned to accommodate an expansion of the community. The applicant, however, would like to proceed with rezoning to expand the community to the west, rather than to the east. The property is within the Village Focus Area pursuant to the Future Land Use Plan Map.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell noted that she would be abstaining from the item in that she was involved with the application through her work. She stepped down from the dias.

Ms. Stefforia reported that the 2000 census indicated that Oshtemo Charter Township contains approximately 791 mobile home units, representing approximately 10% of all housing in the Township.

Ms. Stefforia reported that to the north is Village Commercial, including office, residential and church use. To the east is "R-5" and agricultural use. To the south is "I-R" zoned property with a USPS Distribution Facility. To the west is zoned Village Commercial with residential use.

Ms. Stefforia reviewed the considerations for the rezoning request. She noted that, although the proposed rezoning was not supported by the Master Land Use Plan Map, which designated this area as Village Focus Area, it might be interpreted that the rezoning was in keeping with the goal of the Village Focus Area to promote mixed use, including residential.

As to whether the proposed rezoning would severely impact traffic, public facilities and the natural characteristics of the surrounding area, it was recognized that "R-5" zoning might increase traffic; however, 9th Street is five lanes in this area and has adequate capacity. Further, municipal water and public sewer served the property. Since this was an expansion of existing "R-5" District, the rezoning would not constitute a spot zone. The rezoning would be in keeping with the established land use pattern, which included a mixture of land use. It was concluded that it was not likely that additional requests for rezoning to "R-5" would be received, given the narrow list of uses permitted in the district. However, there were adequate sites properly zoned elsewhere, i.e., the acreage immediately to the east.

In response to questions from Mr. Rakowski, it was noted that the four parcels along 9th Street to the west are used for residences.

Ms. Garland-Rike commented that she was not concerned about the rezoning, feeling that such a rezoning would promote affordable housing in the Township.

The applicant, Marv VanderVeen, was present, stating that he was the owner of Huntington Run and had owned the subject 8.9 acres since the mobile home community was developed. The applicant planned to establish 28 more mobile home sites on the acreage if rezoned. The expansion would allow for access to 9th Street.

In commenting on the proposed expansion to the west, rather than on property to the east, Mr. VanderVeen commented that the property to the east would require a large scale development, which was too expensive. The Manager of Huntington Run commented that the number of sites had been reduced by approximately 20 over than which had originally been approved by the Township in the existing park. The expansion to the 8.9 acres would essentially replace the income lost by the reduction in number of units.

Jay Brown commented that he had no objection to the rezoning. He did not believe that his residence on 9th Street would be affected. However, he was concerned that other properties in the area would go down in value.

Jim Worline spoke, stating that the community was an upscale park, and he felt the Commission should look to what the applicant had done in the past. In his opinion, the property was unlikely to develop as Village Commercial because commercial development would not be adequately served by the 34 feet of frontage on 9th Street. He strongly supported the rezoning.

Shirley Reynolds indicated that her home was located next to the 34 feet of frontage. She was concerned about heavy traffic in and out of the site. Further, she had experienced storm water run-off problems from the park to her property. She was concerned that a driveway on the 34 feet of frontage would be "on top of her garage".

Mr. Rakowski commented that the "I-R" zoning of the property would allow for uses which might be more heavy-duty than those allowed under the proposed rezoning.

The public hearing was closed, and the Chairperson began a review of the rezoning criteria. With regard to whether the rezoning was supported by the Master Land Use Plan, Ms. Garland-Rike observed that some of the goals of the Village Focus Area do support the rezoning. Planning Commissioners reached the consensus that the rezoning would not be contrary to the Village Focus Area Plan. Mr. Rakowski commented that he would rather see the property developed under the "R-5" District than in the Industrial Restricted District. He felt this would be more consistent with the Village Focus Area. Ms. Garland-Rike stated that she felt that Village Commercial zoning would not be complimentary to the area due to the lack of frontage of the parcel.

Planning Commissioners did not believe that the rezoning would have a negative impact, stating that, with regard to traffic, there was already a lot of traffic on 9th Street since it was a major route to I-94. The Chairperson felt that the parcel was somewhat unique, and its location and shape somewhat precluded many other uses apart from those allowed in the "R-5" zone.

Planning Commissioners agreed that the rezoning would not constitute a spot zone since it would be an expansion of existing "R-5" zoning. Further the rezoning would be consistent with the land use pattern. Planning Commissioners did not feel that the rezoning would stimulate further rezoning requests. Although there had been no change in conditions in the surrounding area, Planning Commissioners agreed that use of the property for industrial restricted was not appropriate.

Mr. Rakowski moved to recommend rezoning of the subject property to the "R-5" Residence District with no change to the Master Land Use Plan. It was reasoned that the "R-5" zoning was consistent with the Village Focus Area Plan. Ms. Garland-Rike seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

STADIUM DRIVE - REZONING - PUBLIC HEARING - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-26-480-020, 26-480-010 AND 26-480-030)

The Planning Commission considered the rezoning of parcels located at 6203 Stadium Drive and 6227 Stadium Drive and a vacant .8 acre landlocked parcel adjacent thereto. The Planning Commission would consider rezoning to the "C" and "C-1" Local Business District. The property was Parcel Nos. 3905-26-480-020, 010 and 030.

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

Ms. Stefforia noted that there were two applicants. The property at 6203 Stadium Drive is represented by Phoenix Properties and is currently "R-4" Residence District. The property at 6227 Stadium Drive and the landlocked parcel owned by Mary Kinney are currently zoned "VC" Village Commercial District. Ms. Stefforia noted that the applicants had requested "C-1", and this district caters primarily to industrial and business customers. The "C" District is limited to retail sales.

Ms. Stefforia stated that the Kinney property had been included in the Village Focus Area when it was adopted in 1996. It was rezoned to the Village Commercial District along with more than 130 other parcels when the district was implemented in 2000. The Phoenix Properties' parcel is the former Sherwood Place Nursing Home.

It was noted that the property to the north is zoned "VC" and "C-1". Across Stadium Drive were located retail and gas stations, as well as the KCRC pond. To the east is zoned "R-4" and includes apartment use. To the south is zoned "R-4" and "VC" and includes an apartment building and vacant land. To the west is "VC" zoning which includes converted houses for office and daycare uses.

Ms. Stefforia analyzed the rezoning requests concerning whether the proposed rezoning was supported by the adopted Master Land Use Plan. Ms. Stefforia stated that the Master Land Use Plan Map did not support either rezoning, since the Kinney parcel is located in the Village Focus Area, and the Phoenix Properties' parcel is master planned for multi-family residential.

With regard to whether the proposed rezoning would severely impact traffic, public facilities, the natural characteristics of the surrounding area or significantly change population density, Ms. Stefforia believed that the rezoning would not have a significant impact since there were already commercial and multi-family land uses in the vicinity. Further, Stadium Drive is five lanes in this area. Municipal water and public sewer are available to serve the properties.

It was felt that rezoning to the Commercial or the "C-l" Districts would constitute a spot zone since there is no "C" commercial zoning in the immediate area.

As to whether the proposed rezoning would be contrary to the established land use pattern, it was noted that there is a mix of land use along this stretch of Stadium Drive.

Ms. Stefforia, however, was concerned that the proposed rezoning would have the probable effect of stimulating similar rezoning requests in the vicinity. She was unaware of any change in circumstances which would support or be contrary to the proposed rezoning. No specific land use had been proposed, and therefore, she had no comment on whether there were adequate sites properly zoned and available elsewhere to accommodate the proposed use.

Ms. Stefforia noted that the "C-1" zoned property across Stadium Drive had been left in the Village Focus Area, but had not been rezoned, based upon the owner's request to leave the property zoned "C-1".

Greg Taylor, on behalf of Phoenix Properties, was present. He submitted handouts to the Planning Commission members. Mr. Taylor stated that the company is working to acquire all three properties for redevelopment. The applicant owns and manages several properties in the area including Orchard Place. He stated that Phoenix Properties was heavily invested in Oshtemo Charter Township, and it had been in the area for the last 20 years. He felt that rezoning the property would stabilize the area, given that the Sherwood Place property is "struggling" to have a viable use and is in the process of deterioration. He stated that his company had determined that it was not financially viable to develop the Sherwood Place property for multi-family use or as a nursing home. In his opinion, the rezoning was appropriate in that it would allow "C-1" property on both sides of the street.

As to the Kinney property, he felt that the Township should respect the owner's wish to return her property to commercial zoning. In his opinion, the fact that the Township respected the owner's desire to retain "C-1" zoning on the north side was a precedent. He believed that most of the interest in the three parcels had been expressed by developers who would liked large-scale development. In his opinion, the Kinney parcel was particularly amenable to office use because it was heavily-wooded. He believed that the rezoning, therefore, would allow for the retention of trees. In his opinion, the Village Commercial District was inappropriate because it would not allow for more than approximately one-third of the property to be used, and would force development to the front of the site.

Mary Kinney spoke, stating that she wanted her property returned to the Commercial District as it was zoned prior to rezoning to the Village Commercial District in 2000. She stated that she had been on the Village Focus Committee and had believed that the Village Focus zoning would be an overlay zone, which would add to her options for development rather than delete options. She had to leave the Committee due to her travel, and therefore, she was unaware of the impact rezoning to Village Commercial would have on her property. She stated that she had been approached by developers about using the property, but all had needed a larger square foot option than would be allowed under the "VC" District.

She consulted appraiser, Bill Hurley, who advised her that, if left in the Village Commercial zone, it was likely the parcel would be divided into small areas more suited to "VC" development. She felt that rezoning to the Commercial District would allow the parcel to remain undivided and thereby preserve trees.

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

There was discussion about the possibility of amending the PUD provisions to allow for Village Commercial development. However, after some discussion, it was felt that the PUD option would not necessarily be viable for the property.

There was discussion of the possibility that this property could be distinguished from properties elsewhere in the Village Commercial District due to its location and being across from "C-1" property, and at the east boundary of the Village Commercial area, which involved more intense commercial use than at the west end of the Village Commercial District.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell expressed concern about the character of the uses allowed in the "C" and "C-1" Districts versus that allowed in the "VC" District. Ms. Garland-Rike agreed, noting that the Commercial District was similar to the Village Commercial District, which included smaller-scale development.

Ms. Everett expressed concern that, had the owner wished to remain Commercial in 2000, it was likely that expressed wish would have been honored. However, she was concerned about the scale of commercial development which would be allowed under the "straight" Commercial District. The Chairperson agreed, expressing concern that there was no guarantee of what would be placed on the property if rezoned. Ms. Garland-Rike commented that she felt there would be more control over development with the Village Commercial District.

Mr. Rakowski expressed concern that the rezoning of the property would cause a "domino effect" of rezonings in the "VC" District.

There was discussion of the possibility of rezoning the property to the Commercial District, but retaining the classification in the Master Plan as Village Focus Area. The Attorney and Ms. Stefforia noted that, if retained in the Village Focus Area, the goals of that area could be considered in site plan and special exception use review if rezoned to the Commercial District.

After further discussion, Ms. Heiny-Cogswell moved to recommend denial of rezoning to the "C" or "C-1" District, reasoning:

(1) That the rezoning was not in keeping with the Master Land Use Plan, particularly the Village Focus Area, in that it would allow for development too large in scale and not in character with the Village Focus Area as a whole.

(2) That there were sufficient sites zoned adequately elsewhere for additional commercial development in the Township.

(3) That there were prior analyses of rezoning considerations by the Board.

Mr. Rakowski seconded the motion.

Ms. Kinney commented on the motion, asking that her item be tabled so that the history of how her property was rezoned to the Village Commercial District could be researched.

Ms. Everett and Mr. Turcott stated that they felt it was important to explore this history before making a decision on the rezoning.

Upon a vote on the motion, Ms. Heiny-Cogswell, Mr. Rakowski and Ms. Garland-Rike voted in favor. However, the motion failed for lack of a majority.

Ms. Garland-Rike moved to table the item to the meeting of August 8, 2002. Mr. Turcott seconded the motion, and the motion carried 5-to-1, with Mr. Rakowski voting in opposition.

PLANNING COMMISSIONER COMMENTS

The Chairperson expressed that he was more comfortable tabling the item than making a decision so that all relevant information could be considered, and everyone would know what they were voting on.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Planning Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 11:05 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
PLANNING COMMISSION

By:
Stanley Rakowski, Secretary
Minutes prepared:
July 29, 2002

Minutes approved:
, 2002