OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
June 24, 2004
STADIUM PARK OFFICES - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW- 6203 STADIUM DRIVE (Parcel No. 3905-26-480-020)
LONG JOHN SILVERS - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN AMENDMENT- 5481 WEST MAIN STREET (Parcel No. 3905-13-401-030)
DSL INVESTMENT, LLC. - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW- 5133 KL AVENUE/1300 SOUTH DRAKE (Parcel No. 3905-24-480-016)
A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, June 24, 2004, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Neil G. Sikora, Chairperson
Deborah L. Everett
MEMBER ABSENT: Kathleen Garland-Rike
Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director; Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner; James W. Porter, Township Attorney; and approximately 9 other interested persons.
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.
The Chairperson called for approval of the Agenda. Mr. Turcott made a motion to approve the Agenda as submitted. Mr. Schley seconded the motion. The Chairperson called for any further discussion and hearing none called for a vote on the motion and the motion passed unanimously.
The Chairperson indicated the next item on the Agenda was the approval of the minutes of the meeting of June 10, 2004. Mr. Schley made a motion to approve the minutes as submitted. The motion was seconded by Mr. Turcott. The Chairperson called for a vote on the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.
STADIUM PARK OFFICES - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW- 6203 STADIUM DRIVE (Parcel No. 3905-26-480-020)
The Chairperson indicated that the next item on the Agenda was the consideration of the special exception use permit request and site plan review for a proposed development containing a bank and office building at 6203 Stadium Drive. The Chairperson called for a report from the Planning Department. Ms. Stefforia presented her report dated June 24, 2004 to the Planning Commission and the same is incorporated herein by reference.
Ms. Stefforia explained to the Commission the applicant had been before them at its last meeting to seek rezoning of the property to the VC - Village Commercial District. She said that the rezoning request is currently pending before the Township Board and would be considered at the Township Board's July 13th meeting. She explained that the applicant was seeking special exception use and site plan approval for the development of a bank with drive-up lanes and an office building toward the rear of the former Sherwood Place property. The former nursing home would be demolished.
Ms. Stefforia said that the drive-up lanes triggered the special exception use criteria for the project. Ms. Stefforia than took the Commission through the provisions of Section 60.100 regarding special exception uses and how it would apply to the drive-up lanes at the proposed bank. In doing so Ms. Stefforia noted that while the bank drive-up lanes are not exactly pedestrian oriented for the village area, the use was compatible with the mix of residential and non-residential uses which were allowed. She also noted that she did not believe that the drive-up windows would have a detrimental effect on adjacent properties due to the proposed location of the drive-up lanes. She did express a desire that the Planning Commission provide for a sidewalk along Stadium Drive to achieve a more pedestrian friendly environment. She said that the proposed 20 foot greenspace separating the drive-up lanes and the vehicle routing from the sidewalk along Stadium Drive was a positive element promoting health, safety and general welfare. She then concluded by saying that the drive-up services were identified as a special use in the district and that the property was one of the larger Village Commercial properties which could reasonably accommodate the proposed use.
Ms. Stefforia then went on to review the site development standards under Section 33.400 with the Commission taking into account the applicant's request to exceed the maximum 20 foot setback allowed for under Section 33.403. She brought the Commission's attention to the recent amendment which allowed a deviation from the maximum setback when full compliance is not achievable due to physical limitations and building placement on neighboring properties would support a different front setback. She then compared the proposed 53 foot setback to the setback of the car ports at the adjacent apartment complex which is 70 feet and the closest building on that property being 80 feet from the right of way. Ms. Stefforia noted that the existing building on that Happy Tails parcel is set back 200 feet and that property would likely redevelop in a manner consistent with the Village Commercial provisions.
In reviewing the remaining provisions of the site development standards, Ms. Stefforia brought attention to the applicant's request to have two parking spaces fall between the bank and the front property line; the same representing 8% of the parking spaces serving the bank. She noted as with the front setback provision that there was a deviation allowance under the ordinance for up to 30% of the parking to be between the building and the front property line. She said in making such a consideration the Planning Commission should consider the layout of the parking placement on neighboring properties and their conformance with current standards.
Ms. Stefforia then raised for the Commission's consideration the issue of parking when there are two principal structures on a parcel within the Village Commercial area. She noted that Section 33.406 required no parking or loading areas between the building and the front property line. However, she said in this case all the parking for the rear office building was between the building and the front property line but behind the front building. She said such a scenario was probably not anticipated when the design standards were originally developed because the vast majority of parcels in the Village Commercial area are small and not likely to be developed in such a manner. However, she noted that this parcel and several other large parcels might very well have a similar developmental pattern and asked the Planning Commission to discuss whether the parking placement criteria should only be applied to the front building, given its proximity to the street, or to all buildings on the property.
Ms. Stefforia then suggested that the Planning Commission consider cross access agreements particularly with regard to the Happy Tails property. Ms. Stefforia went through the building and the architectural design features set forth in Section 33.409 and asked that the Commission determine if the appearance of the proposed structures met the Village Focus Area Development Plan.
Lastly, Ms. Stefforia went through the site plan review criteria under Section 82.800 of the Township Ordinance.
The Chairperson asked if the Commission had any questions of Ms. Stefforia. Hearing none he asked to hear from the applicant.
Mr. Michael Mair, on behalf of the Kalleward Group, introduced himself to the Planning Commission. Mr. Mair complimented the Staff on its report. He said that he and his group had been working with Staff to discuss the possible changes to the proposed site.
Ms. Everett asked what was indicated in the middle of the proposed site plan. Mr. Mair said that there was a grassy knoll to allow for collection of water run off from the parking area.
Mr. Schley asked why only one dumpster was proposed for this site and whether or not two users could be expected to use the same dumpster. Mr. Mair said that the bank had very sensitive documents and would be disposing of most of its documents off-site and not using the on site dumpster and therefore he thought that the two buildings could use a single dumpster area. Mr. Schley asked if that would also include recycling. Mr. Mair said that it would and that they would appropriately screen both the rubbish and recycling dumpsters from view in accordance with the Township Ordinance. Mr. Schley asked that Mr. Mair confirm that that was his intent and Mr. Mair agreed that it was.
The Chairman asked about the two parking spaces that fall between the bank and the front property line and inquired as to whether or not they were necessary. Mr. Mair said that the proposed user of the property actually wanted to have 30 parking spaces on site. He said they were only able to develop 23 or 24 and they truly did not want to lose the two spaces of which only a small portion fell between the bank and the front property line. He noted that they could request up to a 30% deviation and in this case they were only asking for an 8% deviation from that parking restriction. He also asked the Commission to consider that the buildings were only taking up 9% of the lot area when in fact they could use up to 25% and therefore thought that that proposed deviation was warranted. Ms. Everett asked if the parking provided was to serve both buildings. Mr. Mair said that it was and there would be reciprocal easements so that the parking could serve both of the structures. Ms. Everett asked if that was part of the reason that the parking would be in front of the office building. Mr. Mair said that that was one of the reasons.
Mr. Mair also noted that the proposed office building located toward the rear of the property was proposed to be used by certified public accountants and they felt that it must have a parking lot which was located in front of the office building and clearly visible in order to provide a secure and user friendly environment. He said during the tax season, given the late hours during which the accountants would be serving their clients, a visible parking area was necessary.
Mr. Turcott asked if the applicant would be willing to consider cross access agreement with Happy Tails property. Mr. Mair said that they would certainly be willing to consider it so long as it was not incompatible or had a seriously negative impact on their property. Ms. Everett asked how the Commission might secure such cross access agreement. Ms. Stefforia said that the Planning Commission could encourage it but could not make it a requirement of the site plan approval.
Ms. Bugge pointed out to the Planning Commission that the area referenced by Mr. Mair as a knoll was actually a depression. Mr. Turcott asked if that area would be used for snow removal as well as water retention. Mr. Mair indicated that it would.
Mr. Turcott asked about lighting for the subject property. Mr. Mair said that it would be dual down lit lighting and that the lighting plan would meet all provisions for the Township Ordinance.
Mr. Turcott asked if the office building would be open late. Mr. Mair said that it certainly would especially during tax season.
The Chairperson asked if there were any plans to develop the property behind the second office building. Mr. Mair indicated that there was not and that there were no plans for any type of facility to the rear of the south office building.
The Chairperson said that he approved of the proposed drive location because it was directly across from Orchard Place and thought it would facilitate traffic flow. Mr. Mair said that he would actually support a traffic light at the location. The Commissioners commented that that would be up to the Road Commission. The Chairperson asked if there were any other questions. Mr. Turcott inquired as to the set backs in the area in relationship to the other buildings. Ms. Stefforia provided an aerial overhead of the subject property and the surrounding parcels for the Commission's consideration. A brief discussion ensued regarding the proposed setback of 53 feet in relation to that of the adjacent parcels and properties across the street from the subject property.
The Chairperson asked if there was any public comment. Mr. Greg Taylor, representing Orchard Place and the adjacent apartments, complimented Mr. Mair on his proposed site plan. He said he was very supportive of the proposal but had a couple of questions. He first asked if the existing line of trees abutting the Danford Creek Apartments would remain. Mr. Mair said that they would.
Mr. Taylor then raised a concern about the proposed driveway and the fact that it did not have a deceleration lane. He said given the topography of the road he thought perhaps the deceleration lane would be appropriate. He also suggested that the driveway be free of any obstructions such as signs or vegetation. He asked whether or not a deceleration lane could be installed on Happy Tails property. Ms. Stefforia pointed out to Mr. Taylor that that would be entirely up to the Road Commission. Mr. Schley concurred.
The Chairperson called for further public comment and hearing none called for further discussion from the Planning Commission.
The Chairperson called for consideration of the special exception use provisions as set forth on page two of Ms. Stefforia's report. He asked for further comments and various members asked that it be noted that they wanted to see a sidewalk along Stadium Drive for pedestrian purposes.
The Chairperson then asked for review of Section 33.400 as set forth on page three of Ms. Stefforia's report and asked if there were further comments. Ms. Everett said she did not object to the proposed deviation for the setback given the set backs for the surrounding properties. The Chairperson said he believed that the proposed setback lined up well with the other properties in the area and would meet the spirit and intent of the Ordinance.
With regard to the two parking spaces the Chairperson said that ideally they would not have two parking spaces in front of the first building but it seemed like a minor deviation and a reasonable compromise. Ms. Stefforia noted that it was not even two full parking spaces.
The Chairperson then asked if the Commission should consider the issue of whether or not parking behind the building should be applied to all buildings on the property or just the front building on properties within the VC Village Commercial District. Ms. Stefforia noted that there were other deep parcels and that the decision which the Planning Commission made on this issue would likely carry over to those other parcels. Ms. Stefforia noted that she thought the main concern was maintaining the appropriate streetscape in order to avoid large parking lots along the road thereby diminishing the character of the Village Commercial District. The Chairperson said the intent of the ordinance was to avoid large parking lots abutting the highway with a large building to the rear of the property. He said in this case the proposal met the intent of the ordinance by providing a building up front with parking between it and the rear building to accommodate both buildings. Mr. Schley said, initially, he was more concerned about the drive-up being closer to the street than the parking being located in front of the second building. However, he said that the intent of the ordinance was to provide a street scape to the district and that he did not see a problem if there was parking internally between the first building and second building, provided all landscape standards were met. Ms. Everett noted that it also served cross use purposes between the two buildings.
The Commission went on to discuss the cross access to Happy Tails property and it was the consensus of the Commission members that it was a necessary component of the proposed development.
The Commission then considered the building structures under Section 33.409. Ms. Everett asked for the Commission's comments on the elevations of the structures and whether their design was compatible with the goals of the Village Focus Area Development Plan. The Chairperson said that he thought the proposed elevations and building development were reasonable both in size and in design. He also noted that the two buildings seem to compliment each other. Mr. Schley said he thought the scale was appropriate and that there were similarly designed structures in the area, including the funeral home. He said that he thought the proposal would look very nice and that the brick colonial style was very "developer-esque".
The Chairperson next asked the Commission to consider the site plan provisions of the ordinance under Section 82.800 as set forth in page seven of Ms. Stefforia's report. Mr. Schley asked if the Commission had to consider the sign provisions. Ms. Stefforia said that it was not necessary, in that, the applicant would either have to meet the criteria of the ordinance or file a request for a deviation to the Zoning Board of Appeals.
After further discussion the Chairperson asked the Commission to first consider the grant or denial of the proposed special exception use. Ms. Everett made a motion to approve the special exception use as requested subject to the rezoning of the property by the Township Board. Mr. Turcott seconded the motion and the Chairperson called for public comment. Hearing none, the Chairperson called for a vote on the motion and the motion passed unanimously .
The Chairperson indicated that he would consider a motion on the proposed site plan. Mr. Turcott made a motion to approve the site plan, subject to the Township Board's approval of the proposed rezoning of the subject property and further subject to the following conditions:
I. A permit from the Kalamazoo County Road Commission must be obtained for the proposed improvements to the existing driveway.
2. Cross access with the parcel to the west is encouraged when development of the abutting property occurs.
3. The design of the sidewalk is subject to township engineer approval consistent with pending design standards.
4. The deviation to allow the bank building to have a front setback of 53 feet is granted.
5. Deviation is allowed up to two parking spaces between the bank building and the front property line is granted.
6. A revised landscape plan demonstrating compliance with ordinance requirements and Planning Commission approval is required before a Building Permit may be issued.
7. Landscape shall be installed consistent with the approved landscaping plan prior to issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy or a performance guarantee in an amount to be determined based upon the value of the required landscaping must be provided to the Township.
8. Site lighting shall comply with Section 78.700 of the Zoning Ordinance. Details of all lighting fixtures shall be provided before a Building Permit may be issued.
9. The Sign Permit consistent with Section 76.000 must be secured before any signs may be placed on the property.
10. Site plan approval is subject to review and approval of the Fire Department pursuant to adopted codes.
11. Site plan approval is subject to the review and acceptance of the Township's Engineer as being adequate.
12. An Earth Change Permit from the Kalamazoo County Drain Commission must be secured before Building Permit may be released.
13. Environmental Permits Checklist must be completed and submitted to the Township.
Ms. Everett asked if Mr. Turcott would amend his motion to simply require the revised landscape plan demonstrating compliance with the Ordinance requirements be submitted and approved by Staff. Mr. Turcott agreed. Mr. Schley asked if Mr. Turcott would also add as a stipulation that the dumpster area provide for recycling as well as rubbish disposal. Mr. Turcott concurred. Mr. Chairperson called for a second on the motion. Mr. Schley seconded the motion. The Chairperson called for further discussion and hearing none called for public comment. Mr. Taylor asked if the Commission was going to consider the requirement for a deceleration lane. Mr. Turcott said that the Staff had indicated that it did not have authority over that matter and that it would be left up to the road commission. Hearing no further public comment the Chairperson called for a vote on the motion and the motion passed unanimously.
LONG JOHN SILVERS - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN AMENDMENT- 5481 WEST MAIN STREET (Parcel No. 3905-13-401-030).
The Chairperson indicated that the next item on the agenda was the consideration of the special exception use and site plan amendment review of the proposed addition of a drive-through window at the existing Long John Silvers Restaurant. He said that the subject property was located at 5481 West Main Street, Parcel No. 3905-13-401-030. The Chairperson began by asking for a report from Staff. Mary Lynn Bugge presented her report to the Planning Commission dated June 24, 2004 and the same is incorporated herein by reference.
Ms. Bugge explained to the Commission that the special exception use was to consider a proposed drive-through window at the existing Long John Silver Restaurant. She said that the property was approximately .7 acres in size and located on the south side of West Main adjacent to Maple Hill Drive. She noted that all drive-through services were a special exception use in the "C" Local Business District classification. She stated that the initial site plan was approved September 15, 1975. Ms. Bugge brought to the attention of the Commissioners the legal nonconforming status of the setback from Maple Hill Drive. She noted that the proposed drive-through would reduce the current setback of 50 feet to 45 feet thereby requiring a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals if the special exception use were granted.
Ms. Bugge raised concerns regarding site circulation which required vehicles to circle the building twice thereby causing several points of pedestrian/vehicle conflict. She said Section 68.300G provides that stacking space for vehicles awaiting service be onsite and designed and located so as not to block or impede pedestrian and/or vehicular circulation on the site or on any adjacent sidewalk or street. Ms. Bugge then provided an overhead of a McDonald's drive-through to illustrate how the proposed drive-through was different from all others within the Township. She also noted that the new McDonald's changed the direction which it faced in order to avoid the same problem being encountered in the present site plan. Ms. Bugge said moving the proposed window to the east side of the building would provide better circulation, but that BR Associates representative, Carmen Argenziano, said that was impossible due to the interior kitchen location. Ms. Bugge then noted that the driveway aisles being proposed were 15 feet in width which she said was permissible if it was in conjunction with angle parking but that she would prefer a 16 foot width.
Ms. Bugge then went through the special exception use provisions of Section 60 with the Township Planning Commission. Ms. Bugge noted that there were other drive-through windows in the area and that the zoning district permits restaurants and therefore the use was compatible with other uses in the zoning district. She also noted that the adjacent properties were mostly restaurants with drive-through windows and therefore the proposed use would not be detrimental or injurious to the adjacent properties. However, she noted the potential conflict with Section 68.300G. With regard to public health, safety and morals, Ms. Bugge again raised concerns over the pedestrian/vehicular conflicts that would likely develop. She also asked the Commission, in looking at the proposed use of the land, to consider whether the proposed layout was appropriate.
Ms. Bugge proceeded then to take the Commission through Section 82.000 of the Zoning Ordinance. Again Ms. Bugge emphasized the possible conflict between pedestrians and vehicles, particularly in the stacking lane in front of the premises. Ms. Bugge then reviewed the traffic lanes, parking, and site layout of the Plan. Ms. Bugge noted again that the applicant would need a variance for the drive-through window if the special use was approved.
The Chairperson asked if there were any questions of Staff. Ms. Everett asked if the changes proposed by the applicant would require a landscape change. Ms. Bugge indicated that it would, in that each one percent change in the floor area of the structure would require a five percent change in the landscape plan. Ms. Bugge noted that she was not sure whether the window was actually considered floor space or whether it simply jutted out from the building.
The Chairperson asked if the handicap parking had to be immediately adjacent to the property or could be located elsewhere. Ms. Bugge said that handicap parking simply had to be located and placed in a convenient location in relationship to the closest walkway leading to the entrance to the building, which it was.
Hearing no further questions from the Commission the Chairperson asked to hear from the applicant. Mr. Carmen Argenziano introduced himself to the Planning Commission. He explained to the Commission that his company had just recently purchased the property and they were renovating a number of Long John Silver sites in the area. He said that they needed to renovate the existing site to provide a drive-through in order to remain competitive in the fast-food market. He said he understood the pedestrian concerns but they could not put in a traditional drive-through due to the location of the kitchen in the building.
Mr. Argenziano said BR Associates had 95 other units of which 21 had similar drive-through designs at which it had no problems in the past. Mr. Argenziano presented photographs to the Planning Commission showing another of the applicant's buildings upon which a drive-through had been constructed similar to the one proposed. Mr. Argenziano pointed out that even at McDonald's people had to cross in and out of traffic and on occasion would have to walk through the stacking area or across the drive-through lane depending on which side of the building they entered or exited. He said this was just like any other fast-food restaurant and there would be similar conflicts even if the drive-up window were placed on the other side of the building.
Mr. Argenziano acknowledged that the 50 square foot addition was floor space and that they would comply with the required landscaping changes. Mr. Argenziano also noted that the dumpster door orientation would be changed pursuant to the request of the Planning Department. He noted that their setback variance request would be quite small, 5 foot total, and thought that it would likely be granted.
Ms. Everett asked about the sign located on the south side of the property. Mr. Paul Ahrens said that the parking space would be 10 x 20 feet and that the sign would simply be a small one indicating parking for those individuals awaiting their orders. It was suggested that these parking spaces be pull-through spaces to avoid backing into the traffic aisle.
The Chairperson asked whether given the proposed design people would tend to drive up immediately to the window rather than travel around the building to the order area. Mr. Argenziano said people normally locate the speaker first and then drive up to the window and that with time any possible confusion by the clientele would resolve itself. Mr. Argenziano noted that the parking lot would be striped and well marked to facilitate the flow-through of the traffic.
The Chairperson asked if there were any more questions of the applicant. Mr. Schley asked if the applicant was willing to work on the landscaping as part of the approval. Mr. Argenziano said that he was willing to consider landscaping but was concerned about installing foliage along West Main. The owner of the subject property said that he was also concerned about placing plantings near West Main because of the salt and the damage the snow plowing does to plantings along a main thorough fare.
Mr. Schley raised a concern over the proposed drive-through menu sign because of the sign on top of the menu board being so large. Ms. Bugge said she thought if the sign saying "Drive-through" on top of the menu board was taken off that it would likely be in compliance with the Township's ordinance as an incidental sign. Mr. Argenziano agreed the "topper" sign was not needed.
The Chairperson said he was concerned about potential conflicts with pedestrian as well as vehicular traffic. He asked what the traffic flow would be for the pickup window in relationship to new cars entering the site. Mr. Argenziano said it would be no different than at a McDonald's site when a person pulled away from the drive-up window they would have to negotiate their way into the traffic lane in order to exit the property. He said that their proposed site was no different.
Ms. Everrett asked if the applicant would be willing to put in additional landscaping due to the loss of landscaping resulting from the installation of the new drive-through area. Mr. Argenziano indicated that they would.
A question arose with regard to the front railing in the photographs and whether or not a similar hand rail would be provided at the subject site. Mr. Argenziano said that the rail in the photograph was there because that was an elevated site. He said the proposed site would not be elevated but that there would be some handrails leading into the entrance way and across the north side of the building.
Ms. Everett said she thought that perhaps the Planning Commission should consider the removal of the parking spaces north of the building in order to avoid the potential conflicts between the vehicles and pedestrians especially within the stacking area near the menu sign. Mr. Schley said that the area was not developed in an optimum fashion at least from a safety standpoint. He said perhaps the surface of the walkways could be changed in order to further indicate that they were for pedestrian traffic and highlight this to drivers. Mr. Schley said he also thought the drive-through sign on the menu board should be removed.
Ms. Everett asked if the front parking spaces were removed if they could use a portion of that area to replace and enhance the landscaping on site. Ms. Bugge said she thought that would be the most appropriate use of the area. Mr. Schley asked if the applicant would be willing to consider the elimination of the parking spaces to the north as well as the landscaping proposals as set forth by the Planning Commission members. Mr. Argenzanio said that in order to obtain the special use permit they would be willing to comply. Mr. Schley said he thought removal of the north parking spaces was a very fair proposal and that it would enhance the safety of the proposed drive-through as well as allow for additional landscaping. The Chairperson indicated that he would support such a proposal. Mr. Turcott said he would also support a similar proposal. Ms. Bugge said that the Commission could also consider some landscaping along West Main. The owner of the property again expressed concerns about salt and the ability to maintain plantings along the West Main area. Ms. Stefforia noted that if it were not immediately adjacent to the roadway she thought that it would not be a problem in maintaining the plantings. It was pointed out that the trees along Maple Hill Mall had been there for many years.
Ms. Everett said she could even live without landscaping along West Main if they removed the parking spaces along the north side of the building and did some landscaping on the south portion of the property, particularly in the proposed island area. Again Ms. Bugge pointed out that the applicant would still need to receive a variance. The Chairperson said that while he was concerned about the proposed site plan he thought that with the proposals made by the Commission that a reasonable compromise could be reached with the developer. Mr. Argenzanio said that he was a bit concerned about curbing the island area toward the south of the property given the difficulty it might cause trucks entering and exiting the site. He said that it certainly would be much easier if the Commission would allow them some flexibility in planning the greenspace so that it could be done in a manner as to not interfere with the traffic flows on site. Ms. Bugge suggested some canopy trees along West Main in lieu of landscaping the proposed island area on the south of the property. Members of the Commission concurred.
The Chairperson asked if there was public comment. Mr. Greg Taylor said that his company owned West Main Place immediately to the south of the subject property. He raised a question regarding access from the subject property to the driveway serving the West Main Place. A brief discussion ensued between the applicant and Mr. Taylor. The owner Mr. Rucker and Mr. Taylor agreed they had a mutual desire to discuss access to the sites. Ms. Bugge suggested that the discussion take place outside the current meeting.
The Chairperson asked if there were further public comments and hearing none called for Commission deliberations. The Chairperson first asked if the Commission had additional comments regarding issuance of the special exception use permit. It was a consensus of the Commission that they had covered the review of the special exception use permit request.
The Chairperson called for additional comments with regard to the site plan review. Again the Commission noted that they had addressed the issues during their initial deliberations.
The Chairperson said he would entertain a motion with regard to the granting or denial of the special exception use permit. Mr. Schley made a motion to approve the special exception use permit based upon the discussions and comments of the Planning Commission provided that the applicant remove the parking from the area immediately north of the building and that the parking on the south side of the property be landscaped to the satisfaction of the Staff based upon the final plan submitted. Ms. Everett seconded the motion. The Chairperson called for further discussion and hearing none called for voting on the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
The Chairperson said he would entertain a motion regarding site plan review. Mr. Schley made a motion to approve the site plan as submitted provided that the applicant:
1. Modify the south radius and parking area to the satisfaction of the Planning Department.
2. Remove the north parking spaces along the north side of the building and install additional greenspace in compliance with Township Ordinance.
3. Remove the drive-through sign from the menu board and screen the menu board from traffic on West Main.
4. The Planning Commission's finding that the traffic aisle of 15 feet to the east and west of the building is satisfactory.
5. All parking spaces to be in conformance with Section 68.
6. Approval shall be subject to the applicant obtaining a variance from building setback requirements from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
7. All lighting shall comply with the Section 78.700 and be submitted for Staff review including a photometric report.
8. Approval shall be subject to the submission of sign details for review and approval through the permit process. All signs shall comply with Section 76.000.
9. Approval shall be subject to the submission of a revised dumpster enclosure with access from the north. Details to be reviewed by Staff.
10. Site development must be in compliance with all provisions of the Township Zoning Ordinance.
11. Site plan approval shall be subject to the applicant's satisfying the requirements of the Fire Department pursuant to the adopted codes.
12. Applicant shall submit the Environmental Permits Checklist and Hazardous Substance Reporting form.
Mr. Schley also added a recommendation that the applicant considered alternative paving surfaces to identify the pedestrian access areas in lieu of pavement striping. The Chairperson asked if there was a second to the motion. Mr. Turcott seconded the motion. The Chairperson called for discussion and hearing none called for a vote on the motion and the vote passed unanimously.
Ms. Bugge reminded the applicant that they still needed to apply for a variance from setback requirements from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
DSL INVESTMENT, LLC. - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW- 5133 KL AVENUE/1300 SOUTH DRAKE (Parcel No. 3905-24-480-016).
The Chairperson indicated that the next item on the agenda was the consideration of a special exception use permit and site plan review for Phase 1 of a proposed redevelopment of the property located at 5133 KL Avenue/1300 South Drake (Parcel No. 3905-24-480-016). The Chairperson began by asking for a report from the Planning Department. Ms. Stefforia presented her report to the Planning Commission dated June 24, 2004 and the same is incorporated herein and by reference.
Ms. Stefforia told the Commission that the applicant wanted to redevelop the property at the southwest corner of KL Avenue and Drake Road. She said the property is adjacent to a Speedway Gas Station and currently contains a car wash and a laundromat. The applicant was proposing to redevelop the property in two phases. Phase 1 involves the removing and rebuilding of the car wash and Phase 2 will involve the balance of the site. She said the car wash's drive-through nature triggered this special exception use criteria.
Ms. Stefforia then went through the provisions of Section 60.100 of the ordinance. In doing so, she found that the car wash was compatible with other commercial uses in the zoning district. She also said that she did not believe the use would be detrimental given the use is existing and the applicant is proposing to rebuild and reorient the building in the same general location.
Ms. Stefforia said that the use is existing and the Staff is not aware of any safety concerns and therefore she thought the proposal would promote the public health, safety and welfare. She did suggest that the Planning Commission review the proposed placement of vacuums and how they may impact internal circulation on the site. Lastly, Ms. Stefforia indicated that she thought the neighboring uses supported the use of the land in accordance with its character and adaptability.
Ms. Stefforia next reviewed site plan review criteria in Section 82.800 with the Commission. In her comments she noted that the applicant should address the proposed placement of vacuums on the property. In addition, she said that the Planning Commission should determine if a sidewalk along both KL Avenue and Drake Road was appropriate at the time of Phase 1 or whether a portion should be developed as part of Phase 2. She also reviewed the landscaping requirements that would be necessary along KL Avenue and the east property line within Phase 1. She concluded by reviewing the lighting, sign and, dumpster requirements and the need for fire and township engineer review and approval. Lastly, she noted that an environmental permit checklist and a hazardous substance reporting form would have to be submitted to the Township before any work began on site.
The Chairperson asked if there were any questions of the Planning Department. Hearing none he asked to hear from the applicant. Mr. Tim Stewart, with Hurley and Stewart, introduced himself to the Planning Commission. He said that he was the engineer working on behalf of Dean Lathrop and DSL Investments. Mr. Stewart reviewed Phase 1 of the proposed development consisting of six self-service car wash bays and one automatic car wash bay. He explained to the Commission that the proposed development would be a vast improvement. He explained that the car washes would be see-through thereby enhancing the overall safety for their patrons. He said that Phase 2 was still in the conceptual stages but would consist of the demolition and removal of the existing structure and the construction of the new building. The new building would consist of a laundromat, cyber café and a Pak Mail site.
Mr. Stewart said they were reducing the impervious surface currently on site and would be increasing the landscaping in compliance with the Township Ordinance, which he said would enhance the overall site. Mr. Stewart said that they would be putting a sidewalk in along Drake Road and KL Avenue, but hoped to put the sidewalk in on Drake Road during Phase 2 of the development. He said part of the reason for wanting to hold off on the sidewalk along Drake Road was the need to finalize the plans, including driveway locations for access along Drake Road.
Ms. Everett asked if the car wash would operate 24 hours per day. Mr. Stewart indicated that it would. He noted that the current car wash operated on a 24 hour basis.
Mr. Turcott asked about the dumpster and trash receptacle. He said in the past trash on the site has been a serious problem. Mr. Stewart said that the new owner operated a janitorial company and expected that the site would be extremely well maintained.
Mr. Turcott asked what kind of volume the car wash would receive at night. Mr. Lathrop said that at their site on Gull Road they receive approximately 30 cars at night. Many of these people work second shift and having the ability to wash their car at night is a necessity.
Mr. Schley told the Planning Commission members that the traditional car wash did contain many blind spots and often were considered dangerous areas. Therefore, he thought that the applicant's proposed car wash was an improvement from a safety standpoint. He said he was concerned about the number of vacuums on site and he was also concerned about the trash receptacles showing on site. Mr. Lathrop explained that the proposed trash receptacles are part of a unit containing a carpet cleaner, vacuum and fragrance facility that were made of stainless steel. Mr. Schley asked if the waste receptacles, other than the dumpster, would be restricted to the islands with the vacuum cleaners and shampoo equipment. Mr. Lathrop indicated that they would and that they would be covered at all times.
Ms. Everett asked if the laundromat in Phase 2 of the development would operate 24 hours. Mr. Lathrop said that he was not certain at this time, it depended upon demand.
A brief discussion ensued regarding the bays and access point for entry to the bays. Mr. Stewart said that the vacuum stations south of the bays were placed sufficiently back from the car wash bays in order to allow access in and around them to the wash bays. He said there were sufficient number of vacuums for each bay in order to avoid any type of wait by their customers. He noted that the existing vacuums would be removed.
Mr. Schley asked if there was adequate stacking for the automatic portion of the car wash. Mr. Stewart said he thought they had adequate stacking but that they had not done an engineered study regarding that issue. Mr. Schley said that he was concerned that there was not enough room to stack cars coming into the automatic bay of the car wash. Mr. Lathrop said that this car wash could not be used like Bob & Kays high volume car wash. He said that they would only average approximately 15 cars an hour. He said he developed at least 800 of these car washes over the last 24 years and that usually most places required stacking of no more than four or five vehicles. Mr. Stewart also noted that there was room for three cars in the automatic bay at one time, in addition to any cars that might be waiting in line. He said they thought they had enough area coming off KL to adequately handle the likely volume.
Ms. Everett asked when they would start Phase 2. Mr. Stewart said that they would like to begin construction of Phase 2 sometime in 2005.
Ms. Stefforia asked if the applicant ever considered flipping the automatic car wash to the east rather than the west side of the facility. Mr. Stewart said they had but that it would eliminate some of the parking they felt was necessary to support Phase 2 of the development.
The Chairperson asked if there were any other comments. Hearing none he asked if there were any public comments, and hearing none he called for deliberations of the Commission. The Commission reviewed the SEU provisions of Section 60.100 of the ordinance. The Chairperson asked if there were any additional comments. Hearing none the Chairperson asked that the Commission review Section 82.800, the site plan review criteria and asked for additional comments. The Chairperson specifically asked if the Commissioners were concerned about waiting on constructing the sidewalk along Drake Road until Phase 2 of the development. Ms. Everett said she was not overly concerned and Mr. Turcott said he was not concerned about waiting for that portion to be developed.
Mr. Schley said that he felt the Planning Commission had a reasonable expectation that the applicant would provide a plan to illustrate to Staff that at least a three car stacking capability existed outside of the automatic car wash. He said he could live with the proposal but he felt there had to be some further review of stacking for the automatic car wash. Ms. Everett asked how long the curb was that provided for stacking to the automatic car wash. Mr. Stewart said approximately 50 feet.
Ms. Everett made a motion to approve the special exception use based upon the findings and determinations of the Commission subject to the applicant providing a study showing that there was room for at least three cars to be stacked outside of the automatic car wash bay. Mr. Schley seconded the motion. The Chairperson called for further discussion and hearing none the Chairperson called for a vote and the motion passed unanimously.
The Chairperson said he would entertain a motion with regard to the site plan approval. Ms. Everett made a motion to approve the site plan as submitted subject to:
1. Sidewalk details in Phase 1 for sidewalks along KL Avenue shall be submitted but with the sidewalk along Drake Road to wait until such time as Phase 2 is developed.
2. Landscaping Plan pursuant to Planning Commission approval shall be provided for Staff review and approval before a Building Permit may be issued.
3. Landscaping shall be installed consistent with the approved landscaping plan prior to issuance of Certificate of Occupancy or performance guarantee in an amount to be determined based upon the value of required landscaping must be provided to the Township.
4. Details of building and pole-mounting lighting shall be provided for Staff review and approval before a Building Permit may be issued.
5. Site lighting shall comply with Section 78.700 of the Zoning Ordinance.
6. A Sign Permit, consistent with Section 76.000, must be secured before any new signs or sign faces may be placed upon the property.
7. Dumpster enclosure details must be provided for Staff review.
8. Site plan approval is subject to the approval of the Fire Department, pursuant to adopted codes.
9. Site plan approval is subject to the review and acceptance of the Township Engineer as adequate.
10. The Environmental Permits Checklist and Hazardous Substance Reporting Form must be completed and submitted to the Township before work on the site begins.
Mr. Schley asked that Ms. Everett add to her motion that the old vacuums be removed from the site and that the only waste receptacles other than the dumpsters allowed on site be the integral waste containers located at the vacuums. Ms. Everett agreed to amend her motion accordingly. Mr. Turcott seconded the motion. The Chairperson called for further discussion and hearing none called for a vote on the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Planning Commissioner Comments
There being no further business to come before the Planning Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 9:50 p.m.
OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
Kathleen Garland-Rike, Secretary
June 24, 2004