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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

June 14, 2001

Agenda

AGRICULTURAL DISTRICT AND RURAL RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT - WORK ITEM

MASTER LAND USE PLAN REVIEW - WORK ITEM

MAPPING OF NEW DISTRICT - WORK ITEM

COMMUNITY OPINION SURVEY - WORK ITEM

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, June 14, 2001, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Neil G. Sikora, Chairperson
Ted Corakis
Kathleen Garland-Rike
Stanley Rakowski
Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell
Deborah Everett
James Turcott
MEMBERS ABSENT: None

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director; Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner; Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney; and no other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

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

AGENDA

Ms. Stefforia suggested adding a discussion under "Other Business" of freestanding signs within the Village. Mr. Corakis moved to approve the Agenda as amended, and Mr. Rakowski seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

MINUTES

The Planning Commission considered the minutes of the meetings of May 24, 2001, and June 5, 2001. The Chairperson identified typographical errors on pages 4, 6 and 8 of the Minutes of May 24, 2001. Ms. Garland-Rike identified a typographical error on page 2 of the June 5, 2001 Minutes.

Mr. Corakis moved to approve the minutes of the meetings of May 24, 2001, and June 5, 2001, as amended. Ms. Everett seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

AGRICULTURAL DISTRICT AND RURAL RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT - WORK ITEM

The Planning Commission considered Draft #3 of the Agricultural Zoning District and Draft #5 of the District to be called Rural Residential. The Reports of the Planning and Zoning Department are incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Stefforia explained the changes that had been made since the last drafts of each text. As to the Rural Residential District, Section 20.100 Statement of Purpose, there were suggestions for slight changes to clarify the Section to read: "not suitable for traditional residential subdivisions as a result of utility system limitations, street capacity, or topography or other natural features."

The Planning Commission consensus was that the drafts of the Agricultural and Rural Residential Districts were satisfactory and would be set for public hearing at a later time after development of the mapping of the boundaries of each District.

MASTER LAND USE PLAN REVIEW - WORK ITEM

The Planning Commission reviewed Draft #2 of the amendment to the Master Land Use Plan relating to Rural Residential and Agricultural land use. The changes made from the earlier draft were reviewed. The Planning Commission was satisfied with the Plan amendment contained in Draft 2.

MAPPING OF NEW DISTRICT - WORK ITEM

The Planning Commission reviewed the existing zoning map and the proposed boundaries of the Agricultural District. The "study map" of zoning changes presented by Ms. Stefforia also included areas which would be considered for "R-2" zoning. The remaining property currently zoned "AG-Rural", it was contemplated, would be rezoned to the Rural Residential District. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Stefforia noted that a correction to the map was that the LaSalle Plat would be considered for "R-2" zoning.

There was discussion of existing farming operations, including the "French's" farm on Stadium Drive. The owner had previously indicated that he did not want Agricultural zoning. There was discussion of the Orchard property on ML Avenue. There was some speculation that this farm was being sold to developers.

It was recognized that there were only three areas designated on the proposed map for Agricultural zoning. Other areas currently being farmed were not designated for Agricultural zoning because of their proximity to plats or other residential development. However, it was recognized that currently farming operations would be permitted to continue.

There was discussion of the fact that an agricultural classification for assessment purposes was different than that for zoning purposes.

There was some discussion of how many Act 116 properties were located in the Township. Ms. Stefforia indicated those properties of which she was aware.

There was discussion of the proposed "R-2" zoning. Ms. Stefforia indicated that she had proposed "R-2" zoning where sewer and water are or soon will be available.

Ms. Stefforia expressed her opinion that there should be no reduction in minimum parcel or lot sizes based upon availability of municipal water. In her opinion, there should be no reduction in size required because of the availability of utilities in the Rural Residential District. She felt that there should be size reductions allowed in the Rural Residential District only if developed as open space.

Ms. Stefforia suggested that she would come back to the Planning Commission with parcel-specific information with regard to the parcels that would be included in the "AG" District. This item would next be considered as a work item in July.

COMMUNITY OPINION SURVEY - WORK ITEM

The Planning Commission reviewed a draft of the Community Opinion Survey which would be distributed to randomly-selected registered Township voters in July. Five percent of each precinct would be surveyed.

There was discussion of whether issues concerning development of parks should be included in the survey. Ms. Stefforia indicated that the Parks Committee should conduct a separate survey at a later time as part of developing a new Recreation Plan.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell suggested adding a question concerning support for a tree planting program.

Ms. Garland-Rike suggested adding a question concerning preservation or replacement and supplementation of landscaping in existing neighborhoods. She also suggested a change to the cover letter to emphasize the importance of the survey and how it would be used.

There was a suggestion that the survey be added to the Web and Internet users allowed to print out and return survey responses.

PLANNING COMMISSION WORK PLAN

The Planning Commission reviewed a proposed work plan for the months of June through December, 2001. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell suggested adding a discussion of fence height.

NON-MOTORIZED FACILITIES - DISCUSSION ITEM

The Planning Commission reviewed criteria for evaluating various proposed non-motorized facilities. Ms. Stefforia indicated that she had obtained the criteria from a MDOT Workshop.

Ms. Garland-Rike suggested prioritizing pedestrian areas. She also suggested adding as a criterion the proximity to shopping centers and shopping areas.

There was discussion of creating a subcommittee to discuss the criteria and to evaluate locations for non-motorized facilities and pedestrian walk areas. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell, the Chairperson and Mr. Corakis indicated that they would serve on the subcommittee.

OTHER BUSINESS

There was discussion of freestanding signs within the Village Area. Ms. Stefforia indicated that a number of people had approached her concerning a variance or possible amendment to the Ordinance to allow for freestanding signs. There was interest in freestanding signs in those cases where existing buildings were set back at a greater distance than was allowed in the Village from adjacent streets.

The Township Attorney suggested that deviation criteria could be created or that a variance would be more appropriate than allowing for freestanding signage given the reduced setback for buildings allowed in the Village.

Mr. Corakis suggested permitting two-sided signs attached to the wall so as to be perpendicular to the building. It was recognized that currently wall signage could not extend more than 15 inches from the wall.

It was the consensus of the Planning Commission that there be some future discussion on this, with the Chairperson suggesting that the Planning and Zoning Department provide visual examples of the signage being proposed by Mr. Corakis.

PLANNING COMMISSIONER COMMENTS

The Chairperson asked whether there was any activity concerning the Maple Hill South Focus Area Plan Update. Ms. Stefforia indicated that there was no progress at the present time.

Mr. Rakowski complimented the flags placed along West Main. He expressed concern about the Post Office connection to Lowe's which had yet to be established. Ms. Bugge indicated that she believes that the Post Office may have received funding for the project. She also stated that she felt that the traffic situation in the area would be assisted if the Road Commission would establish a sign indicating "no right turn on red" at the Lowe's exit onto Drake Road.

Mr. Turcott expressed concern about the traffic safety situation at the Credit Union on 9th Street and the fact that there had been a number of accidents at that location. Ms. Everett suggested that the Township's Road Committee would write a letter to the Kalamazoo County Road Commission since Trustee Bushouse had also expressed concern about this situation and had made reference to it each year when the Road Commission made their presentation to the Township Board.

The Chairperson expressed concern that the furniture store in the Village continues to have an uncompleted wall. Mr. Corakis indicated that he believed that material for the completion of the store had arrived and that the contractor would be completing it shortly.

Ms. Garland-Rike suggested that there might be interest in the America Walks Internet site.

ADJOURNMENT

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

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
PLANNING COMMISSION

By:

Minutes prepared:
June 18, 2001

Minutes approved:
, 2001