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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

Meeting Minutes

June 10, 1999

Agenda

SPRINT PCS - PUBLIC HEARING - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE TO ALLOW CO-LOCATION ON EXISTING TOWER/MODIFICATION TO EXISTING FACILITY -
6018 N AVENUE

ADULT REGULATED USES - PUBLIC HEARING: TEXT AMENDMENT

SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE - PUBLIC HEARING: TEXT AMENDMENT (RE:
RE-APPLICATION, EXPANSION, APPEALS)

INDUSTRIAL CLASSIFICATION - MASTER LAND USE PLAN AMENDMENT - PUBLIC HEARING

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, June 10, 1999, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall, pursuant to notice.

MEMBERS PRESENT:
Wilfred Dennie, Chairperson
Marvin Block
Millard Loy
Ken Heisig
Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell
Ted Corakis

MEMBER ABSENT:
Stanley Rakowski

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director, Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner and Patricia R. Mason, Township attorney, and three (3) other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

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

AGENDA

The Chairperson suggested removal of item 8. The Chairperson also suggested adding, under "Other Business," a discussion of the Township Board meeting conducted on the preceding Tuesday.

Mr. Loy moved to approve the agenda as amended, and Mr. Heisig seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

MINUTES

The Planning Commission considered the minutes of the meeting of May 27, 1999. Mr. Heisig suggested changes to pages 4 and 5 to correct typographical errors. Mr. Heisig also suggested modifications to the first sentence of the first full paragraph.

The Chairperson had changes for pages 3 and 7. Planning Commission members also suggested that, in the last paragraph of page 7, reference be made to the questions of Mr. Kadir Mohmand as to whether Commission members had received gifts or had been taken to dinner by the applicant.

Mr. Corakis moved to approve the minutes as amended, and Mr. Block seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

SPRINT PCS - PUBLIC HEARING - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE TO ALLOW CO-LOCATION ON EXISTING TOWER/MODIFICATION TO EXISTING FACILITY - 6018 N AVENUE

The Planning Commission next discussed the application of Sprint PCS for approval to allow the placement of an antenna on an existing tower and modification to an existing tower facility. The proposed site changes would accommodate placement of equipment cabinets on a platform at 6018 N Avenue. The property is within the "I-R" Industrial District Restricted zoning classification. The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge pointed out that Consumers Energy has a 400’ communication tower with related guide-wire anchors and equipment building at the subject site. The tower and building are enclosed with an 8’-high chain-link fence. The guide-wire anchors are also fenced. The applicant was requesting co-location of its antenna on this tower. The antenna would be located at the 250’ level of the tower. The equipment cabinets would be on a ground-mounted metal platform and a metal ice bridge would be used to support cables leading from the antenna to the cabinets. The applicant suggested that fencing would be established, by way of an 8’-high chain-link fence enclosure attached to the existing fence. The applicant would gain access to the equipment cabinets by way of a gravel drive leading from the existing gravel road serving the subject site.

Ms. Bugge emphasized stated that the Zoning Ordinance allows communication towers within the "I-R" District by special exception and emphasized that . Additionally, co-location is encouraged by the Ordinance.

Matthew Jurson of Sprint PCS was present. He stated that this co-location project was part of the "phase III build-out in the State of Michigan." He stated that there would be two equipment cabinets located on a platform, which platform would be approximately 14’ x 9’.

Mr. Corakis questioned the applicant concerning the ice bridge. Mr. Jurson stated that this is an apparatus which allows the cable to run from the antenna to the equipment cabinet.

In response to questioning by Mr. Heisig, the applicant’s representative stated that the 4’ x 9’ platform would be approximately 2’ off the ground.

The Chairperson asked about lighting, and the applicant’s representative indicated that no lights would be added at the site.

The Chairperson sought public comment, and none was offered. The public hearing was closed.

The Chairperson summarized the proposal of the applicant and made reference to Section 60.600 concerning communication towers. Reference was also made to Section 60.100, the special exception use criteria. The Planning Commission discussed whether the proposed use would be compatible with other uses permitted in the "I-R" District. The Chairperson noted that the subject site is abutting the "I-R" District to the north and west and Consumers Energy easement to the east. Further, no additional access point would be added. It was the consensus of the Planning Commission that the proposal was compatible with other uses permitted in the "I-R" District, particularly given the fact that co-location is encouraged in the Ordinance.

The Planning Commission also concluded that the proposal would not negatively impact adjacent properties. Again it was emphasized that the communication tower is existing and the co-location would have no added impact on the area. Minimal traffic would be associated with the use, and an existing access would be utilized. There would be little visual impact because of the location on the tower at the 250’ level.

The Planning Commission considered whether the proposal would promote the public health, safety and welfare. The Planning Commission consensus was that the proposal would promote public health, safety and welfare in that there were no changes in use at the site, no additional lighting was proposed, there would be no change in the access, which is gated. The Planning Commission also determined that the proposed use was in accord with the character and adaptability of the area given the circumstances cited by the Commission under the other criteria.

The Planning Commission also discussed the criteria under Section 82.800 regarding site plan review.

Mr. Loy moved to grant special exception use permit to the proposed use with the finding that the criteria of Section 60.100 were satisfied on the condition that the applicant present documentation regarding the legal right to use the subject parcel by Sprint (lease agreement, easement or other) to the Township. Mr. Heisig seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Corakis moved to approve the site plan with the following conditions, limitations and notations:

(1) That the existing access would be utilized.

(2) That the proposed co-location would meet setback requirements and be enclosed by an 8’-high fence.

(3) That existing fencing would be extended.

(4) That no variances were being granted.

(5) That approval was subject to the review of and any conditions imposed by the Township Fire Department.

(6) That no additional runoff would be generated from the proposed use.

(7) That the proposal was consistent with Section 60.630, which encourages the use of existing towers for co-location.

(8) That approval was subject to the requirement that field engineers’ reports be submitted regarding the structural integrity of the tower to accept the proposed equipment and for the proposed method of affixing the antenna to the tower.

(9) That the Environmental Permits Checklist and Hazardous Substance Reporting Form had been completed and submitted to the Township.

Mr. Block seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

ADULT REGULATED USES - PUBLIC HEARING: TEXT AMENDMENT

The next item was public hearing on the proposed text amendments to the Zoning Ordinance concerning adult regulated uses. The Chairperson noted that the consideration of this item had commenced as a result of a request of the Township Board. The Planning Commission, as well as Planning and Zoning Department staff, had devoted a lot of time and research to development of the language. The efforts of other communities had been analyzed. Studies concerning secondary effects generated by other communities had been referenced. The Planning and Zoning Department had provided as much detail as possible on those properties which could comply with the requirements of the text as drafted to determine "availability." The adult regulated uses, because they were proposed for the "I-1" through

"I-3" Districts, had been discussed in conjunction with the amendments to the Industrial Land Use policies.

The Chairperson made reference to the issues raised by the Township Attorney. There was discussion of the fact that the Planning Commission had referenced the studies of other communities concerning the alleged deleterious secondary effects of adult uses. The Planning and Zoning Department had also attempted to obtain data from local law enforcement agencies regarding the Kalamazoo area. This data was not very definitive due to the limited amount of data available presently.

The Chairperson noted that he was aware of two uses in the general vicinity, i.e., on West Main within Kalamazoo Township and in the Edison neighborhood in the City of Kalamazoo. As to the neighborhood around the Kalamazoo Township site, he felt that the area was prosperous in commercial and residential development. The Chairperson also wondered whether the Edison neighborhood had suffered due to the location of the use in that area.

Ms. Stefforia stated that the Planning and Zoning Department could do more digging for local data, but she was doubtful that any existed.

Mr. Corakis felt that the secondary effects of these uses were not necessarily located in the geographic vicinity of the use itself.

Mr. Block stated that two adult uses on Ravine Road and in the area of Kings Highway were known to be the location of frequent fighting and other unsavory activity. It was noted that these uses were accompanied by liquor service. The Chairperson noted that, with regard to these two particular uses, they had a high amount of traffic, which indicated to the Chairperson that "someone in the community was supporting the uses."

The Chairperson stated it was his feeling that, although he understood the Attorney’s points, he was not sure the Township should spent a lot of staff time chasing local data which does not exist. Mr. Loy agreed, stating that, since the Township had gone this far and there was no way to make the Ordinance perfect, the matter should proceed. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell felt that the Township should rely on the studies of other communities.

There was discussion of the Industrial policies of the Township and the long-held policy that commercial or retail uses not be permitted within the Industrial District. The Chairperson was concerned that allowing this type of retail use within the Industrial District might open a Pandora’s box. There was a discussion of commercial zoning in the Township, and the Chairperson queried whether any commercial property would be "available" given the standards set forth in the text. Ms. Stefforia referenced notes she had in her file which indicated that if there was a 1,000’ separation from residential zoning only one commercial parcel would qualify. If there was a 500’ separation, 28 parcels would qualify. Mr. Loy pointed out that there are three massage parlors within the Township, and most members indicated that they were unaware of their existence.

The Chairperson called for public comment, and Jacob VanGiessen emphasized he felt that the courts would accept studies made in other cities; he felt it was unnecessary to "complicate things" with local studies. He felt that the Edison neighborhood had suffered and would like "to get rid of" the adult use in its midst. He recognized that the Kalamazoo studies were not very conclusive but noted that, in his opinion, this study showed that the three-block area around Deja Vu accounted for 33% of the crime within the City. The Chairperson wondered what types of crime that statistic included. He noted that there was a high degree of student population in the Edison area and that some crime might be associated with that youthful age group.

Mr. VanGiessen spoke again, citing specific studies within the statement of the purpose of the text. He was also concerned about making the use a special exception use, which he felt would be an unlawful prior restraint. The Township Attorney explained the law regarding special use in Michigan and the availability of prompt judicial review. The Attorney felt that, based on these items, the special exception use status would not be an unlawful prior restraint.

Mr. VanGiessen was also concerned about the 50% figure in the definition, feeling that the language should read "substantial or significant portion of business."

The Planning Commission returned to a discussion of the possibility of locating these uses within the "C" District. Ms. Bugge was concerned that there might not be any available land within the Commercial District once the other separation issues were factored in, such as distance from family-oriented entertainment, day care, etc. The Chairperson requested that the Planning and Zoning Department staff prepare a similar analysis on availability within the "C" District as was prepared for the Industrial District. It was stated there was a possibility that this information could be available for the joint meeting the following Tuesday for discussion.

Mr. Corakis moved to table the item to the meeting of July 8, 1999, so as to obtain information on the availability of lands within the "C" District. Mr. Loy seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE - PUBLIC HEARING: TEXT AMENDMENT (RE:
RE-APPLICATION, EXPANSION, APPEALS)

The Planning Commission next considered for recommendation to the Township Board the proposed text amendments to the Zoning Ordinance for special exception uses regarding resubmission of a denied request, as well as expansion, alteration or change to an approved special exception use. The Commission reviewed the text.

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

After a brief discussion of the text, Mr. Loy moved to recommend approval of the text amendments as proposed. Mr. Block seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

INDUSTRIAL CLASSIFICATION - MASTER LAND USE PLAN AMENDMENT - PUBLIC HEARING

The Planning Commission next considered for recommendation to the Township Board proposed amendments to the Master Land Use Plan regarding Industrial Land Use policies. In that this item was related to the adult regulated uses text, Mr. Corakis moved to table consideration to the meeting of July 8, 1999. Mr. Heisig seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

PLANNING COMMISSIONER COMMENTS

Mr. Corakis suggested that a system be implemented that would allow Planning Commission members to pick up mailings, such as minutes, at the Township Hall rather than have the Township incur the expense of sending them to Planning Commission members. Mr. Loy agreed.

Mr. Loy commented that he had been elected president of the Oshtemo Business Association. He stated that Josh Weiner would be at the July meeting of the Association to discuss his development projects.

OTHER BUSINESS

There was a discussion of the Township Board meeting which had occurred the preceding Tuesday. The Chairperson stated that Ms. Stefforia had made a presentation to the Township Board regarding the stormwater text. There had been some concern over the use of wetlands, and Mr. Bushouse was concerned about policing earth-change activities. However, the Township Board had set first reading for the text.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 9:05 p.m.


OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
PLANNING COMMISSION


By:

Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell, Secretary

Minutes prepared:

June 11, 1999

Minutes approved: