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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

March 14, 2002

Agenda

WORK ITEM - DEFINITION OF FAMILY

WORK ITEM - AMENITIES AND INCENTIVES

WORK ITEM - NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCIAL

SCHRAMM - REZONING REQUEST - YUCCA POINT - LOTS 7, 8 AND 9 AND PART OF LOT 3 - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-33-403-010, 3905-33-403-020, 3905-33-403-030 AND 3905-33-403-040

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, March 14, 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
Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell
Kathleen Garland-Rike
James Turcott
Mike Ahrens

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director; Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner; Robert C. Engels, Township Attorney; and no other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

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

AGENDA

Ms. Stefforia indicated that she had a rezoning request from Richard Schramm for property within Yucca Point to be added to the Agenda. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell moved to approve the Agenda as amended, and Ms. Garland-Rike seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

MINUTES

The Planning Commission considered the minutes of the meeting of February 28, 2002. Mr. Turcott moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Ms. Everett seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

WORK ITEM - DEFINITION OF FAMILY

The Planning Commissioners began to discuss the definition of family. Mrs. Bugge advised the Commission of the International Property Maintenance Code, and she stated that many locations are adopting that Code. She indicated that East Lansing defines the term "domestic unit" rather than "family". Mrs. Bugge further stated that East Lansing students have spread out into Meridian Township, and that Township is now considering changes that will be more in keeping with the East Lansing Codes when dealing with rental housing. She also stated that East Lansing also has a separate Rental Housing Ordinance which is administered through its Enforcement Division. She explained that leases contain addendums which delineate whether the landlord or tenant is responsible for day-to-day maintenance items and other conditions. If there is a violation, both the tenant and landlord are subject to a citation and fined. If the landlord reports tenant violations, they will not be fined. The rental registration is about $1,500 initially, with a smaller renewal fee thereafter. If a property is not registered, the landlord is subject to fines.

Ms. Stefforia suggested that the Oshtemo Charter Township Ordinance be patterned after the City of Kalamazoo and Kalamazoo Charter Township Ordinances so there will be consistency for the landlords in this area.

Mrs. Everett stated that the Township can enforce property maintenance code complaints now, and would do so if complaints are received. She believed that the Township should be pro-active in the future rather than reactive, and a procedure should be established.

It has been estimated by Bob Horton that there are at least 100 homes that are being rented in the Township now. Mr. Ahrens stated that the new campus will result in more rental housing in the Township. He believes that rental housing must be addressed with specific guidelines and the ability to enforce those guidelines.

Mrs. Bugge stated that it was not the intention to cut off rental housing, but to decide where rentals to unrelated individuals should go to best preserve the existing neighborhoods. Vulnerable neighborhoods at this time are those off Drake Road and Parkview.

Mr. Ahrens stated that rental housing could not be prevented, so there was a need to control and guide rental housing. Rental housing will go into areas in the Township that in the past would never have been imagined.

There was discussion of whether it is necessary to regulate the number of unrelated people that can be in a house, and it is necessary to decide what is reasonable. Mrs. Bugge indicated that they understood the language in the East Lansing ordinance has been challenged and sustained in court actions.

The Commission agreed that regulating the number of unrelated people in rental property is necessary. The Commissioners asked that the Planning Department deliver the outline of an ordinance to the Planning Commission for review in the near future.

WORK ITEM - AMENITIES AND INCENTIVES

Ms. Stefforia stated that the Planning Commission was revisiting the amenities and incentives ideas which had been discussed and developed at a previous meeting. She requested that the Planning Commission think of additional amenities to be added to those that were developed at the previous meeting.

Mr. Ahrens stated that, if contiguous open space is provided as an amenity, the Township should take responsibility for it as a public space.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell suggested the addition of language addressing topography and possibly something to preserve and protect the watershed.

Ms. Garland-Rike suggested that streams and rolling land also be added.

Mrs. Bugge stated that a network of open space encourages wildlife which would result in wildlife corridors.

Ms. Stefforia discussed the possibility of the exaction of a fee from developers to pay for amenities. In other locations, exactions have been based on the number of lots that were allowed to be developed. It is recognized that there may legal problems in exacting fees from developers with no consideration being given to the developers for the fee.

Spirited discussion took place on the issue of incentives. Ms. Stefforia stated that there was some limitation in reducing requirements as there is a point beyond which requirements can no longer be reduced.

Mr. Ahrens suggested that the "Rural Residential " task force that had been formed should be solicited for new ideas. Ms. Stefforia wanted the Planning Commission to suggest incentives, stating that the Planning Commission had a broad background and is qualified to develop ideas for incentives.

Mrs. Everett stated that survey results have been received from approximately 93 citizens out of 6,000 surveys that were mailed to Oshtemo Charter Township properties with the newsletter. The amenities most often suggested in the returned surveys were walking trails, bike paths and sidewalks. The survey comments reflect those from others, essentially that the citizens were concerned about urban sprawl and the quality of life.

Mr. Ahrens suggested that incentive ideas be solicited from the general community.

The Chairperson suggested that other townships be contacted about incentives that have been used successfully.

It was decided that the Planning Commission members will talk with people in the community to obtain input for possible incentives. This matter possibly could be raised again at the next Planning Commission work session.

WORK ITEM - NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCIAL

The next item for discussion was the Neighborhood Commercial Future Land Use classification. Ms. Stefforia pointed out that there are three areas in the future Master Land Use Plan that have been designated for Neighborhood Commercial. Those areas are in the vicinities of Almena/West Main Street, 5th Street/Stadium Drive, and KL Avenue/Drake Road. Ms. Stefforia read the existing Master Plan language for the Neighborhood Commercial classification.

Mr. Ahrens stated that the language was very adequate, but the locations were very inadequate. Ms. Stefforia indicated that the map could be amended without amending the text. Mr. Ahrens believed that there should be more locations.

Mr. Rakowski pointed out that open space developments could include commercial and that PUD's could have commercial uses.

Ms. Stefforia pointed out that the Township already has commercial areas but that the Neighborhood Commercial is different in that the size and type of commercial use is limited.

Mrs. Everett suggested that florists be added as a Neighborhood Commercial use.

It was stated that Oshtemo Charter Township citizens have indicated that they do not want more commercial business along West Main Street.

Ms. Garland-Rike stated that the service radius for the three areas in the Future Land Use Plan fit the population centers and is adequate. She suggested that, rather than having two Neighborhood Commercial classifications, there be only one classification.

The Chairperson agreed with Ms. Garland-Rike. He felt that it was important to preserve the rural character of the Township and that it might not be necessary to have a Neighborhood Commercial zone. There are areas that are already designated commercial in the Township, and there might not be a need for more, and thus, there is no reason to go forward with a Neighborhood Commercial Zoning District at this time.

Mr. Rakowski agreed with Mr. Sikora, and he stated that, if the Township does go forward, it would be necessary to address the specific uses permitted.

Mr. Ahrens stated that he believed that it was necessary to consider Neighborhood Commercial areas on Red Arrow Highway and all along M-43.

The consensus of the Planning Commission was that this matter be reviewed in a year to see if changes in the Township might result in a need to revive the Neighborhood Commercial discussion.

SCHRAMM - REZONING REQUEST - YUCCA POINT - LOTS 7, 8 AND 9 AND PART OF LOT 3 - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-33-403-010, 3905-33-403-020, 3905-33-403-030 AND 3905-33-403-040

Mrs. Bugge presented the rezoning request from Richard Schramm for Lots 7, 8 and 9 and part of Lot 3 in the undeveloped plat of Yucca Point. The subject property is currently in "AG" Agricultural Rural District zoning classification, and he would like it to be rezoned to "R-2" Residence District zoning classification. He is specifically requesting that the portion of Lot 3 currently in the "C" Local Business District zoning classification be excluded from consideration.

Mrs. Bugge suggested that the Planning Commission might want to consider expanding the area under consideration.

The consensus of the Planning Commission was that the Planning Department should study the matter and report back to another work session of the Planning Commission for consideration.

Mrs. Bugge was concerned about publication and timing requirements and stated that the matter would be dealt with in a timely manner.

PLANNING COMMISSIONER COMMENTS

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell presented Mrs. Bugge with pre-settlement vegetation maps of the Township.

Mr. Rakowski questioned if the developer north of Meijer who had offered to put in sidewalks could be asked to put in the sidewalks. It was stated that the developer had said that he would put in sidewalks if others in the area did the same. Mr. Rakowski wanted the request to be made.

Mr. Rakowski also stated that he was very disappointed with the conduct of the legislators during a visit to a session of the Legislature.

Mrs. Everett stated that there was no apparent security in the Capitol Building.

Mr. Ahrens wanted it to be clear that he is pro controlled growth.

Mrs. Bugge stated that Matt Bombery from Consumers Energy is going to approach Western Michigan University regarding landscaping. She also said that MDOT is considering if landscaping could be placed on their property which would be on the other side of the fence from the Western Michigan University property.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
PLANNING COMMISSION

By:
Stanley Rakowski, Secretary

Minutes prepared:
March 15, 2002
Minutes approved:
, 2002