OSTLOGOL.GIF (2116 bytes)

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

June 12, 2003

Agenda

NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCIAL TEXT AMENDMENT AND MASTER LAND USE PLAN AMENDMENT - PUBLIC HEARING

LANDSCAPING PROVISIONS - DRAFT #3 - WORK ITEM

VARIOUS AMENDMENTS TO ZONING ORDINANCE - DRAFT #2 - WORK ITEM

ZONING ORDINANCE AMENDMENT RELATING TO SIDEWALKS - DRAFT #2 - WORK ITEM

NUMBER OF BEDROOMS IN THE "R-4" RESIDENCE DISTRICT - DISCUSSION ITEM

FUTURE LAND USE MAP DESIGNATION - AREA BETWEEN "H" AVENUE, WEST MAIN STREET AND DRAKE ROAD - DISCUSSION ITEM

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, June 12, 2003, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

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

MEMBERS ABSENT: Lee Larson
Mike Ahrens

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director; 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

The Planning Commission considered the meeting agenda. Mr. Turcott moved to approve the Agenda as submitted. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

MINUTES

The Planning Commission considered the minutes of the meeting of May 22, 2003. Mr. Turcott pointed out a typographical error on page 3. Ms. Garland-Rike suggested a minor word change to page 5. Ms. Everett moved to approve the minutes as amended, and Mr. Turcott seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCIAL TEXT AMENDMENT AND MASTER LAND USE PLAN AMENDMENT - PUBLIC HEARING

The Planning Commission conducted a public hearing on proposed amendments to the Township Zoning Ordinance with regard to the creation of a Neighborhood Commercial Overlay Zone and the related amendments to the Master Land Use Plan of the Township.

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

Ms. Stefforia noted that the proposed Neighborhood Commercial Overlay Zone was intended to implement the Neighborhood Commercial Land Use Classification contained in the Master Land Use Plan. Some tweaking of the existing language within the Master Land Use Plan had been suggested. Ms. Stefforia stressed that the proposed amendments were drafted in keeping with the concept that the Neighborhood Commercial designation was for "neighborhood" type businesses rather than merely small commercial businesses. It was also agreed that the Neighborhood Commercial District should not be designed to serve large businesses that would be inappropriate near residential areas.

The criteria for application of the Overlay Zone were contained within the Master Land Use Plan amendments. Each overlay area designation would be initiated by a private individual. It was anticipated that the Township would not identify any additional Neighborhood Commercial areas on the Future Land Use Map. There would be a requirement of a one-mile distance between existing and planned neighborhood convenience or neighborhood commercial centers.

Ms. Stefforia noted that existing businesses in the Township had been studied, and as a result, it was felt that it would be appropriate to provide a size for the Overlay District as well as a parcel coverage limitation, rather than a building size limitation.

Ms. Stefforia noted that the 75-day comment period had been provided as required by the Planning Act. The Kalamazoo Metropolitan County Planning Commission had recommended approval of the amendments, finding them consistent with the plans of neighboring jurisdictions. Other jurisdictions had no comments. Ms. Stefforia reviewed the uses suggested for the Neighborhood Commercial District.

The Chairperson asked for public comment, and Doug Knibbe stated that he is the owner of property in the northeast corner of the Township. He reminded the Planning Commission that he had, a few years before, proposed a bakery for the Ravine Road area. He felt that the proposed amendments would give the Board and the Township flexibility.

Dennis Stacey had questions and requests for clarification concerning the one-mile radius.

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

There was discussion as to whether additional wall signage should be allowed within the Neighborhood Commercial zone. Ms. Garland-Rike commented that she would not support more than one wall sign given the proximity to residential uses. Ms. Stefforia noted that the Overlay District would allow for one ground sign per parcel. Ms. Everett also felt that limited signage was appropriate to keep neighborhood commercial uses compatible with residential use.

Ms. Everett moved to recommend approval of the proposed text amendment to the Zoning Ordinance and to the Master Land Use Plan. Mr. Turcott seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

LANDSCAPING PROVISIONS - DRAFT #3 - WORK ITEM

The Planning Commission reviewed Draft #3 of proposed amendments to the Landscaping provisions of the Zoning Ordinance.

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

Ms. Bugge indicated that revisions to Draft #2 were based on Planning Commissioner comments and additional research. The major change from Draft #2 was her inclusion of the definitions of landscaping terms in Section 75, rather than in the definition section of the Ordinance.

With regard to Section 75.180 B, Ms. Bugge stated that she had found no definitive list of plant materials prone to disease or pests. Therefore, she suggested removal of a previously-proposed sentence.

With regard to native vegetation, Ms. Bugge reported that the Committee meeting on this issue had settled on a conservative number of 10%. Therefore, it was the Board's consensus that 10% of each type or category of materials be native to Michigan. It was noted that this percentage might be increased after review in the future. It was felt that, if a conservative number were used and introduced to the community, it could be increased later when materials become more available.

There was discussion of a required diameter, and Mr. Stacey, an audience member, suggested specifying where the measurement would be taken. Ms. Stefforia agreed, and Ms. Bugge indicated that she would look into the industry standard. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell suggested consistency with the City of Kalamazoo standards. The Chairperson pointed out that the landscaping provisions in another section refer to taking a measurement at four feet in height. It was felt that this would be appropriate for consistency.

After further discussion, Ms. Heiny-Cogswell moved to schedule a public hearing on the item on July 10, 2003. Mr. Turcott seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

VARIOUS AMENDMENTS TO ZONING ORDINANCE - DRAFT #2 - WORK ITEM

The Planning Commission reviewed Draft #2 of various proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance.

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

Ms. Stefforia reviewed the revisions made in the draft since Draft #1. The Chairperson had comments concerning Section 82.310. Ms. Stefforia stated that it was proposed that the Township Board have final review and approval of PUD and condominium projects because of the intent to propose language which would require installation of "dry sewer" where sewer would be reasonably available in the future.

After some discussion, Ms. Stefforia indicated that she would review whether additional text amendments concerning installation of dry sewer should be inserted in the draft for inclusion in public hearing.

It was noted that Draft #3 would be provided at a future meeting.

ZONING ORDINANCE AMENDMENT RELATING TO SIDEWALKS - DRAFT #2 - WORK ITEM

The Planning Commission reviewed Draft #2 of the proposed Zoning Ordinance amendments related to sidewalks.

The Report of the Planning Department is incorporated herein by reference. Further, a handout provided at the meeting by Ms. Bugge is incorporated.

The proposed language would require sidewalks for new development but allow for deviation. Ms. Everett expressed concern about allowing for deviation in that sidewalks, in her opinion, were needed for all developments. She was concerned that every developer would seek a deviation. The Chairperson agreed.

There was a discussion of whether there should be provision made for allowing bike paths or multi-purpose paths in certain areas. The Planning Commission was reminded that it had previously indicated certain corridors as areas which were conducive to sidewalks, bike paths, or multi-purpose paths, and that the proposed plan was being discussed, in conjunction with other items, at the Parks Committee.

There was discussion of whether internal sidewalks would be required for every development. Ms. Bugge suggested that in certain developments such as open space communities, walking paths might be unnecessary along the road right-of-way if the developer was proposing to provide other internal walking paths.

It was suggested that the Planning Commission's plan concerning sidewalks, bike paths and multi-purpose paths be returned to the Planning Commission for review and updating. At that time, this plan could be used to prepare Draft #3 of the proposed sidewalk provisions for the zoning ordinance.

NUMBER OF BEDROOMS IN THE "R-4" RESIDENCE DISTRICT - DISCUSSION ITEM

The Planning Commission discussed whether text amendments concerning the number of bedrooms allowed per acre in the "R-4" Residence District should be prepared. The Planning Department's Report is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Stefforia noted that she had researched and analyzed existing and proposed projects for purposes of this discussion item. She asked the Planning Commission to determine whether it was worthwhile to pursue a proposed text amendment based on this analysis. The analysis indicated that it did not appear necessary at this time. Further, it was noted that the definition of family places a certain limitation on the number of unrelated persons which may reside within one dwelling unit.

It was the consensus of Planning Commission members that no text amendment should be prepared.

FUTURE LAND USE MAP DESIGNATION- AREA BETWEEN "H" AVENUE, WEST MAIN STREET AND DRAKE ROAD - DISCUSSION ITEM

The Planning Commission discussed the possible Future Land Use Map Designation of the area between "H" Avenue, West Main Street and Drake Road.

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

Ms. Stefforia reminded the Planning Commission that an area in this vicinity had been annexed to the City of Kalamazoo with a deed restriction limiting it to cemetery purposes. The City had recently lifted this deed restriction. Further, this land area had been sold to a local developer who owns property or has options on property to the north and south of the "cemetery" area.

It was the consensus of the Planning Commission that the Township and City Planners, with the assistance of the County Planner, should work together and that this project should proceed as soon as possible to get a concerted plan underway for the area. Further, there was a suggestion of contacting the new owner of the property annexed to the City for his participation in planning for this area.

There was no other business or Planning Commissioner comments.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Planning Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
PLANNING COMMISSION


By:
Kathleen Garland-Rike, Secretary

Minutes prepared:
June 16, 2003
Minutes approved:
, 2003