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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

June 13, 2002

Agenda

"R-2" RESIDENCE DISTRICT EXPANSION - PUBLIC HEARING

YOUNGS' ACRE - STEP 1 PLAT REVIEW - 5659 WEST MICHIGAN AVENUE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-25-190-031)

DEFINITION OF FAMILY - DISCUSSION ITEM

REZONING REQUESTS - SCHEDULING PUBLIC HEARING

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, June 13, 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
Mike Ahrens

MEMBERS ABSENT: Kathleen Garland-Rike
Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell

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

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m.

AGENDA

Ms. Bugge indicated that she had an item to discuss under "Other Business".

Mr. Rakowski moved to approve the Agenda, and Mr. Ahrens seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

MINUTES

The Planning Commission considered the minutes of the meeting of May 23, 2002. Ms. Everett moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Mr. Turcott seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

"R-2" RESIDENCE DISTRICT EXPANSION - PUBLIC HEARING

The Planning Commission conducted a public hearing on the proposed amendment to the Township Ordinance to rezone and expand the boundaries of the "R-2" Residence District. The "R-2" District as expanded would incorporate 562 properties in Land Sections 2, 3, 10, 11, 15, 22, 27, and 36.

The Planning and Zoning Department's Report is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Stefforia stated that this item was a wrap-up of the Planning Commission's work on the Agricultural and Rural Residential Districts as well as expansion of the "R-2" District. She reminded the Board that on December 6 and December 20, 2001, the Planning Commission conducted public hearings on several proposed amendments to the Township Ordinance in mass. The present hearing regarding the "R-2" expansion was necessary due to two new residential developments that had occurred last fall to give new effected property owners adequate notice of the zoning change. Additionally, one parcel had been previously overlooked. Ms. Stefforia indicated that she planned to go to the Township Board in two weeks with the recommendations from the public hearings.

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

The Township Attorney stated that the Planning Commission could consider its analysis of the "R-2" expansion discussed at previous meetings, at which a recommendation for expansion of the "R-2" District had been made.

Mr. Ahrens moved to recommend approval of the expansion of the "R-2" District for the 562 properties based upon the zoning criteria analysis conducted at the meetings of December 6, 2001, and December 20, 2001. Mr. Rakowski seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

YOUNGS' ACRE - STEP 1 PLAT REVIEW - 5659 WEST MICHIGAN AVENUE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-25-190-031)

The Planning Commission reviewed the proposed one-lot plat to be called Youngs' Acre. The subject property is located at 5659 West Michigan Avenue and is Parcel No. 3905-25-190-031 and is within the "C" Local Business District zoning classification.

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

Ms. Bugge noted that, as part of the plat review process, the Planning Commission acts as one reviewing agency during Step 1 tentative approval of preliminary plat. She noted that the proposed one-lot plat consisted of an existing nonconforming parcel containing a residential building and garage. The proposed lot is 26,994 square feet exceeding the 18,000 square feet required for lots with water in the "C" District. The 170-foot width of the lot exceeded the 120 feet required. The property had become nonconforming because the previous owner sold some property to a neighboring owner. The current owner would like to change the use of the property and modify the building. Therefore, the one-lot plat was proposed to make the lot conforming to Zoning Ordinance requirements.

Ms. Bugge stated that the proposed plat was in compliance with the requirements of Sections 290.200 and 290.202 of the Land Division Ordinance, at least those that were applicable. She noted that a legal opinion as to ownership would be required in Step 3.

Gary Hahn along with Dan Youngs was present to answer questions on behalf of the applicant.

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

Mr. Rakowski moved to recommend tentative approval of the preliminary plat of Youngs' Acre with the following conditions:

(1) That storm water retention be addressed at the time of site plan review;

(2) That a legal opinion as to ownership and use conditions/easements regarding the subject property be required as part of Step 3 approval; and

(3) That an easement on the site be established for public utilities.

Ms. Everett seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

DEFINITION OF FAMILY - DISCUSSION ITEM

The Planning Commission next continued discussion on defining the term "family". The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge had provided to the Planning Commission members a recent article from Zoning News entitled, "Coping with Colleges: How Communities Address the Problems of Students Living Off-Campus". Ms. Bugge indicated that from her research there was no set solution suitable for all communities. Rather, each community must determine what it wishes to accomplish. Once this has been determined, tools to reach those goals could be established. Some communities control student or rental housing through prohibitions, and others regulated but permitted such housing. There were several tools, such as defining the concept of family, enforcement of existing ordinance, and requiring residential parking permits. She did not feel that a parking permit was an appropriate tool for Oshtemo Charter Township. Other tools included rental inspections, landlord registration, and a rooming house designation within certain zoning districts of the township.

Ms. Bugge submitted census information summaries to Planning Commissioners, indicating that east of U.S. 131 only 13.3% of housing was owner-occupied. This area was dominated by multi-family dwellings.

The Chairperson observed that regulation would not be useful if there was no enforcement. He noted that neighboring communities had had serious problems with rental housing, and that the Township should learn from their experiences. Further, he felt that the Township should respond to the concerns expressed by property owners within single-family areas. The Chairperson would like to see what current ordinances could be enforced to assist with these issues. The Township Attorney noted that the Township does have parking and noise ordinances. Mr. Turcott stated that he found the Zoning News article interesting in its discussion of the "disorderly house" concept used by some communities.

Mr. Rakowski noted that there was anticipated to be a great increase in student population and enrollment, and the Township should "plan ahead". Ms. Stefforia agreed. Mr. Ahrens felt that we should not prevent student housing, but direct it to appropriate areas.

Mr. Turcott noted that protection of existing single-family residential areas is a goal expressed in the Master Land Use Plan. Mr. Ahrens agreed, but noted that Western Michigan University is expanding, and that he felt that student housing should be expanded in areas where such housing was needed. The Township Attorney pointed out that the current Ordinance provisions utilize the word "family" but the term is not defined. Providing a definition of this term and others would allow existing Ordinance provisions to function as intended. Ms. Bugge agreed, noting that, in her opinion, the term "dwelling unit" should be defined, and a restriction of allowing one family per dwelling unit imposed. Further, a definition of "rooming house" could be provided.

Ted Corakis commented that he is the owner of rental housing and felt that the only way to solve the "rental housing problem" was to define "family", i.e., the number of unrelated persons living together.

Mr. Ahrens agreed, stating that definitions are the first step to make sure that existing Ordinances work. He suggested use of the East Lansing model.

After further discussion, it was noted that Planning Staff would come back at the next work session with a draft of pertinent terms and proposed Ordinance amendments.

REZONING REQUESTS - SCHEDULING PUBLIC HEARING

Ms. Stefforia noted that she had received a rezoning request from Mary Kinney who owned two properties on Stadium Drive in the Village Commercial District. The applicant was seeking rezoning to either the "C" or "C-1" Local Business District zoning classification. The properties were located within the Village Focus Area. Ms. Stefforia pointed out that a change to the Master Land Use Plan and Future Land Use Plan would be necessary for the rezoning. She suggested that the Planning Commission consider whether the area under consideration should be expanded beyond the applicant's parcels.

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

Planning Commissioners agreed that there should be no expansion beyond the subject parcels.

After further discussion, Mr. Ahrens moved to schedule a public hearing on rezoning of the two parcels and amendment of the Master Land Use Plan for the meeting of July 25, 2002. Mr. Turcott seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

Ms. Stefforia next pointed out that she had received an application from Huntington Run, LLC for the rezoning of a parcel abutting an existing manufactured-housing community known as Huntington Run. The applicant was requesting rezoning from the "I-R" Industrial District to the "R-5 Residence District. The applicant was seeking expansion to the west. Ms. Stefforia stated that the 8.9 acre parcel is within the Village Focus Area and has 34 feet of frontage on South 9th Street. She suggested consideration of expansion beyond the applicant's parcel.

Planning Commissioners agreed that there was no logical area for which to expand the application. The Buell property to the east was zoned "R-5" at the present, and the owner had expressed that he did not wish his property changed from the "R-5" District.

Mr. Ahrens moved to schedule a public hearing on the rezoning from "I-R" to "R-5" and the necessary Master Plan change for the meeting of July 25, 2002. Mr. Rakowski seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

OTHER BUSINESS

Ms. Bugge noted that an incorrect parcel number had been included regarding the Spurr Dental Office in the Report and Minutes of the meeting of April 25, 2002.

Mr. Ahrens made a motion to correct the minutes of April 25, 2002, to identify the correct parcel number which was 3905-25-230-072. Ms. Everett seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Turcott provided a handout to Planning Commissioners regarding the Walkable Communities Coalition Workshop on July 11, 2002, at KVCC.

Ms. Stefforia noted that she had had a conversation with a Road Commission engineer who indicated that the Road Commission was conducting a review of its plat street policies. She felt this was a good opportunity for Township input and would like to write a letter to Ron Reid. Planning Commissioners agreed that this was a good idea.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
PLANNING COMMISSION

By:
Stanley Rakowski, Secretary

Minutes prepared:
June 17, 2002

Minutes approved:
, 2002