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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

March 22, 2001

Agenda

KLERK - SITE CONDOMINIUM - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 873-875 NORTH 2nd STREET (PARCEL NO. 3905-18-280-029)

ROSE ARBOR NO. 3 - STEP I PLAT REVIEW - EAST SIDE OF 11TH STREET (PARCEL NO. 3905-36-455-013)

ROBERTS - STORAGE FACILITY - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - 6749 WEST KL AVENUE (PARCEL NO. 3905-23-305-029)

LEROY AND LEAH BIRD - SKYVIEW ESTATES - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AMENDMENT - 357 SKYVIEW DRIVE (PARCEL NO. 3905-18-460-013)

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, March 22, 2001, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township.

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

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director; Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner; Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney; and 11 other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 7:02 p.m.

AGENDA

Mr. Corakis moved to approve the Agenda as submitted, and Mr. Rakowski seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

MINUTES

The Planning Commission considered the minutes of the meeting of March 8, 2001. Mr. Turcott moved to approve the minutes as submitted. Mr. Corakis seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

KLERK - SITE CONDOMINIUM - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 873-875 NORTH 2nd STREET (PARCEL NO. 3905-18-280-029)

The Planning Commission considered the application of William Klerk for site plan approval of a proposed two-unit site condominium development at the northwest corner of West Main and Second Street. The subject property is located at 873-875 North 2nd Street in the "AG" Agricultural-Rural Zoning District classification and is Parcel No. 3905-18-280-029.

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

Ms. Stefforia explained that the applicant is requesting site plan approval for the creation of a two-unit residential site condominium on 1.7 acres. There is currently a duplex on the property in the area shown as Unit 1. The applicant had previously requested frontage and area variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals to allow the division of the property into two parcels. However, the Zoning Board of Appeals had denied the variances since the property could be developed in compliance with the dimensional requirements of the Land Division Act (platting) or the Condominium Act (site condominiums). She pointed out that the proposed site condominium project complies with the dimensional requirements for building sites.

It was noted that the driveway placement for Unit 2 would be subject to the review and approval of the Kalamazoo County Road Commission. Ms. Stefforia stated that the applicant should be aware that the subject property is within a mile of known ground water contamination. Therefore, the property was placed within a restricted water well permitting area by the County. Consequently, even if the Planning Commission approves the site condominium project for this property, this approval should not be construed as an indication that other agencies would also grant approval.

George Granger was present on behalf of the applicant as its engineer. He stated that the applicant was aware that approval from the Kalamazoo County Road Commission for the proposed driveway placement, an approval from the MDEQ for placement of a well, and an approval from the County for the septic system would be necessary. The applicant was aware that site plan approval by the Township was but one of the steps the applicant needed to take prior to commencement of building.

The Chairperson asked for public comments, and Bob Culp, a resident of the area, expressed concern about the existing duplex on the site. He stated that it was not well landscaped or maintained. He was concerned that construction of Unit 2 would require elimination of many trees. He did not feel that the site condominium project would be "good for the neighborhood".

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

The Chairperson summarized the application, noting again that there is an existing duplex on the proposed Unit 1.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell had questions with regard to the width of the proposed Unit 2. Ms. Stefforia stated that in the past the Township had considered, particularly where a site or lot fronted on a cul-de-sac, a unit in compliance with width requirements so long as the width was adequate at the point where the home would be placed. From the proposed site plan, the building would be placed on Unit 2 at a point at which the Unit complied with the width requirement.

There was discussion of the area uses, and it was noted that to the immediate west is a storm water retention area used for the adjacent plat. There are platted lots to the north and west of Unit 2. Mr. Corakis stated that he saw no problem with the proposed width of Unit 2, noting that other lots in the plat seemed comparable.

There was discussion of the trees on the subject site. The Township Attorney noted that the applicant would need to comply with the landscaping provisions of the Zoning Ordinance. However, the Zoning Ordinance in general does not require screening to be established or maintained between residential uses. There was currently no other mechanism in place in the Ordinance to require the retention of on-site trees.

Ms. Everett had a question for the applicant with regard to retention of the trees. Mr. Granger stated that the applicant would not remove any more trees than was necessary to install the proposed driveway and septic systems. Ms. Stefforia observed that the survey indicated that the home was being placed in a "clear area".

Ms. Garland-Rike questioned whether the septic could be moved to the south so as to allow for the retention of more of the on-site trees. In response to a question by Mr. Rakowski, the applicant indicated that the trees within the setback area on the north line would remain to the extent possible. Mr. Granger indicated that the trees are four to six inches in caliper and are not large. The applicant said that there is a need for some distance between the septic area and the driveway in order to protect the septic system. The septic area may not be as large as indicated on the site plan, depending upon the requirements of the County Health Department.

The applicant, in response to Mr. Rakowski's question, stated that there would be no dumpster on site.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell moved to approve the site plan with the following conditions, limitations and notations:

(1) That the driveway placement for Unit 2 be subject to the review and permitting by the Kalamazoo County Road Commission.

(2) That the applicant obtain any well and septic system permits required through the appropriate MDEQ and County Health Department processes.

(3) That approval is subject to compliance with the provisions of the Condominium Act.

(4) That approval is subject to the Township's review and approval of the Master Deed and Bylaws.

(5) That the Master Deed and Bylaws must be accepted by the Township and recorded prior to the issuance of a building permit for the building on Unit 2 of the development.

(6) That the applicant was encouraged to preserve as many trees as was practicable at the site.

(7) That the building on Unit 2 be developed on the site on that portion which meets the width requirements of the Ordinance.

The motion was seconded by Mr. Corakis and carried unanimously.

ROSE ARBOR NO. 3 - STEP I PLAT REVIEW - EAST SIDE OF 11TH STREET (PARCEL NO. 3905-36-455-013)

The Planning Commission considered the proposed plat of Rose Arbor No. 3, to be located on approximately 16.6 acres located on the east side of South 11th Street, immediately north of Rose Arbor Nos. 1 and 2. It is located in the "AG" Agricultural-Rural Zoning District classification, and is Parcel No. 3905-36-455-013. The Planning Commission would be making a recommendation regarding preliminary plat approval to the Township Board.

It was noted that the Planning Commission's recommendation along with the Road Commission's comments would be submitted to the Township Board for their consideration. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge stated that the proposed Phase 3 would consists of 24 single-family lots served by public sewer and water. All lots comply with the Township's dimensional requirements for single-family residences. It was proposed that the existing storm water basin would be enlarged to accommodate the additional development and that this would be subject to the approval and dedication to the Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner. All streets in the proposed Phase 3 would be public and subject to approval by and dedication to the Kalamazoo County Road Commission. Street lights would be required and would be subject to Section 78.700. It was suggested that Lots 54, 55, 61 and 62 not gain direct access to 11th Street, but be provided access via the internal streets of the plat.

Pat Flanagan was present on behalf of the developer as its engineer.

In response to questions from Mr. Corakis, the applicant indicated that the turnaround on Drive A would be a temporary one. The existing gravel turnaround near Lot 48 would be taken out.

Ms. Bugge noted that a neighboring landowner, the "OK Group" had expressed some unhappiness about the entrance of Drive B located across from their property. The applicant indicated that they had attempted to make this drive a cul-de-sac but this had been rejected by the Road Commission.

Mr. Rakowski asked about sidewalks in the project, and the applicant indicated that sidewalks cost approximately $10 per lineal foot, and therefore, the cost was significant. The applicant estimated that it could add as much as $1,300 per lot. Constructing black top pedestrian walkways would be cheaper, but the concrete would last longer. The applicant indicated that Phases 1 and 2 do not have sidewalks, and none were planned for Phase 3.

The Chairperson asked for public comment, and Janet Squires stated that Lots 54, 53 and 52 would be in "her back yard". She asked whether permanent fencing could be established between her property and the plat.

The developer, Richard Modderman, was present, stating that he intended to put pine trees down the north line, at least for the first five lots.

Again, it was noted that there is no requirement of screening between residential uses in the Zoning Ordinance.

The public hearing was closed, and the Chairperson summarized the application.

Mr. Corakis moved to recommend approval of the proposed Rose Arbor No. 3 with the following conditions, limitations and notations:

(1) That a legal opinion as to ownership and use conditions/easements regarding the subject property be submitted and on file with the Township as required by Section 290.201, subpart K.

(2) That a letter of recommendation from the Kalamazoo County Road Commission be received and on file with the Township as to the interior public streets.

(3) That Lots 54, 55, 61 and 62 shall not be permitted direct access to South 11th Street.

(4) That all street names be submitted to and approved by the Kalamazoo County Planning Department.

(5) That all street lighting comply with Section 78.700.

(6) That all lots comply with the area and width requirements for single-family lots with public sewer and water, 80 feet and 10,560 square feet, respectively.

Mr. Rakowski seconded the motion. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell noted that she was pleased that the plat was located in an area serviced by public sewer and water. Upon a vote on the motion, the motion carried unanimously.

ROBERTS - STORAGE FACILITY - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - 6749 WEST KL AVENUE (PARCEL NO. 3905-23-305-029)

The Planning Commission considered the application of Jim Roberts for a special exception use and site plan review of a proposed 4,200 square foot enclosed storage building to lease to residential and office customers. The subject property is located at 6749 West KL Avenue in the "I-1" Industrial District zoning classification and is Parcel No. 3905-23-305-029. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge made reference to the area zoning and uses. She noted that property to the east is zoned "I-1" but used for residential purposes. Roberts Corvette Center, owned by the applicant, is located to the west and zoned "I-1", and to the south is a railroad right-of-way. Across KL Avenue to the north is primarily "R-2" zoning.

Access to the property would be via an existing paved driveway on the Roberts Corvette Center property. An existing gravel driveway on the subject parcel would be removed. The applicant would provide an executed access easement agreement. No dumpster or other refuse container had been proposed by the applicant.

Todd Batts, Engineer, was present on behalf of the applicant. He stated that the owner and builder were also present. The proposed storage building would be a single structure with 32 units within it. There would be lighting on the building, wall-mounted packs, for security. There would be four building lights, two each on the east and west faces. Mr. Batts stated that the site is currently gated with a lock, and it was proposed that this gate be re-located and maintained. The gate would be locked after hours. Hours of access would be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

It was suggested that no dumpster was needed for the site since the owner would be present at the property and would handle any refuse.

Mr. Corakis questioned whether there would be a management office. Mr. Batts stated that there would be no separate buildings. Management would take place in the Corvette facility.

The Chairperson asked about the type of storage proposed for the site. It was noted that many customers of the Roberts Corvette Center property wish to store their Corvettes. There would also be household storage allowed. There would be no large recreational vehicles or boats.

Ms. Garland-Rike asked about the size of the building, and it was indicated that it would be 30 feet by 140 feet and 16 feet high at the peak of the building. There would be no work on vehicles within the storage building. No outdoor storage was proposed.

Ms. Bugge pointed out that only one building was under review. The second, future building indicated on the site plan would be required to come back for approval if the owner wished to go forward with establishing the building at some future time.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell expressed concern that the storm water retention area was located in the only area on the property that had mature trees. She wondered whether there was any way to move that area to the north so as to maintain the trees.

The Engineer stated that the location had been chosen in order to retain storm water on site and due to the extreme topography at the property. He felt that the bulk of the existing vegetation, which was outside the right-of-way, was not aesthetically pleasing. The large trees (maples) within the right-of-way would be maintained. Further, the applicant would provide additional landscaping with nursery stock. Ms. Stefforia pointed out that the applicant, under the Ordinance, could send storm water off site so long as there was an easement agreement.

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

The Chairperson made reference to Sections 41.405 and 60.100. The Planning Commission considered whether the proposed use would be compatible with other uses expressly permitted within the zoning district. Ms. Garland-Rike noted that there is already storage located in the general area. The Chairperson referenced the Statement of Purpose in Section 41.100, stating that he felt that the proposed use was in keeping with that purpose, since there would be no outdoor storage proposed. Other Commission members agreed that the use would be compatible, particularly given the adjacent properties.

The Planning Commission considered whether the proposed use would be detrimental or injurious to the use or development of adjacent properties or the general public. It was recognized that most property adjacent to the subject site was zoned "I-1" and that there were few residences in the area. Moreover, any detrimental impact would be minimized in that landscaping in accordance with Section 75.000 was proposed. Moreover, the proposed building would be located 80 feet from the street right-of-way line. It was recognized that detrimental impact was also minimized in that no outdoor storage was requested. Further, there would be shared access to the site.

The Planning Commission considered whether the public health, safety and welfare would be promoted by the proposed use. Planning Commissioners agreed that the elimination of the existing gravel drive and the use of a shared access would promote traffic safety in the area. Further, the limited hours of operation would be in keeping with public health, safety and welfare. However, it was recognized that approval would be subject to the Fire Department's and Township Engineer's review and approval of the site plan.

The Planning Commission considered whether the proposed use would encourage use of the land in accord with its character and adaptability. It was recognized that the Planning Commission and the Township had recently revised the Ordinance to remove this type of storage facility from the Commercial District and to allow it in the Industrial District. However, some concern had been expressed at the Township Board that these uses not be located at too great of distance from apartments who, by in large, were the major customers of this type of storage facility. It was recognized that this site is in the vicinity of apartment complexes.

The Planning Commission considered the site plan review criteria of Section 82.800.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell urged that the storm water area be reconfigured so that existing trees in the area could be maintained. Mr. Roberts stated that the area could be reconfigured in front of the existing Corvette site. However, he felt that the existing trees which were not in the right-of-way were "not good trees". Ms. Bugge agreed, stating that, in her opinion, some of the trees were not good quality. The majority of the trees were elms.

Mr. Rakowski observed that the Roberts Corvette site was "very clean". He was in favor of one access point to both sites. Mr. Corakis suggested that he would like to see the storm water retention area designed so that it would drain easily and would be mowable grass during most times of the year.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell suggested that the Planning Department review any proposed landscaping so that along KL Avenue the area was broken up with trees and shrubs. She also felt landscaping "down the drive" across from the front of the building was important.

Ms. Bugge expressed concern about the lack of a refuse container at the site. The applicant stated that there were other similar units in the area in Alamo, Vicksburg, etc. maintained by the applicant, and that these sites were immaculate. They felt that customers did not tend to throw things away at the site. Ms. Everett and Ms. Garland-Rike suggested that there be a requirement that, if there were any problems, the applicant would need to add a dumpster or other refuse container.

Mr. Rakowski moved to approve the special exception use permit, finding that the plan met the criteria of Section 60.100 according to the discussion of the Planning Commission. The motion was seconded by Ms. Heiny-Cogswell. There was no public comment on the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Corakis moved to approve the site plan with the following conditions, limitations and notations:

(1) That access to the site be through the parcel to the west utilizing the existing paved driveway from KL Avenue. An existing gravel driveway on the subject site would be removed. It was required that a shared access easement be executed, recorded and on file with the Township.

(2) That three parking spaces are proposed, and all must be dimensioned at 10 feet by 20 feet.

(3) That no outside storage was requested or approved.

(4) That four wall-pack lights were proposed. All lighting must comply with Section 78.700. Specific fixture detail must be submitted to Township Staff for review and approval.

(5) That any signage must comply with Section 76.000 and is subject to review and approval through the permitting process.

(6) That no dumpster was proposed. It was required that the applicant provide for adequate disposal of any refuse at the site and that no litter accumulate on the site. A dumpster or other refuse container may be required by the Township in the future if a problem with on-site litter arises.

(7) That approval is subject to the review and approval of a detailed landscaping plan submitted in compliance with Section 75.000. It was suggested that the Township Staff may require more landscaping on the north side of the pavement given the proposed use.

(8) That site plan approval is subject to the review and approval and conditions imposed by the Township Fire Department.

(9) That site engineering is subject to the review and approval of the Township Engineer and a finding that it is adequate. The applicant would be allowed to utilize off-site storm water retention with submission of an appropriate easement document subject to Staff review, and use of off-site storm water retention was encouraged if such use would allow for retention of some of the on-site mature trees.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell seconded the motion. There was no public comment, and the motion carried unanimously.

LEROY AND LEAH BIRD - SKYVIEW ESTATES - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AMENDMENT - 357 SKYVIEW DRIVE (PARCEL NO. 3905-18-460-013)

The Planning Commission considered the request for an amendment to the special exception use permit for Skyview Estates Open Space Community to allow a hangar to precede the house on site condominium Unit 13. The subject property is located at 357 Skyview Drive in the "AG" Agricultural-Rural Zoning District classification, and is part of Parcel No. 3905-18-460-013. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

It was noted that Skyview Estates Open Space Community had received Planning Commission approval on March 25, 1999. The development was proposed to consist of 15 residential building sites as a site condominium project. The open space portion of the development would be the grass airport runway. One condition of approval included a prohibition against placing an accessory building, such as a hanger, on the individual site prior to the principal building until the principal building was at least 50% completed. However, the plan included the use of wells. Subsequent to the Township approval, it was found that there was ground water contamination in the area, and well permits would not be issued for the project. There are ongoing discussions between the Township, County and State concerning a solution to this problem. Ms. Bugge stated that there were three sales within the site condominium project prior to the discovery of the well permit problem. The sale of the subject site, Unit 13, was one such sale. It was recognized that the Planning Commission had granted a special exception use amendment on June 15, 2000, to Beth and Leonard Burnette, owners of Units 8 and 9. The amendment permitted only them to construct a hangar prior to completion of 50% of the house subject to the condition that the hangar may not be used to store household items and that the hangar could not receive a certificate of occupancy until the applicants obtained a building permit for the house. However, a building permit for the residence on the Burnette property was not issued due to the fact that the well permit had not yet been resolved.

The applicant was present, addressing the hardship caused by the ground water contamination in the area. Ms. Everett observed that the hardship of the applicant was not created by the applicant or by the Township.

John VanDyke, stating that he lives next door to the entrance of the site, noted that his well water is clean. In his opinion, the situation needs help.

Don Wilkinson, developer of the Skyview Estates property, stated that only three were sold and deeded prior to the general knowledge of the well water problem, those being Lots 8 and 9 (sold together), Lot 13 and Lot 5. Lot 4 had been purchased but not deeded.

The public hearing was closed.

Planning Commissioners agreed that, in general, an amendment might not be in keeping with the criteria of Section 60.100. However, due to hardship, an amendment to the approval for this Unit would be appropriate. It was recognized that amendment may be a precedent for other units sold and deeded prior to general knowledge of the well permit problem.

Ms. Everett moved to approve the amendment based on the hardship suffered by the owner of Unit 13 due to the well permit problem and due to the fact that the property was purchased prior to general knowledge that a well permit would be denied. Mr. Corakis seconded the motion, and there was no public comment. The motion carried unanimously.

PLANNING COMMISSIONER COMMENTS

Mr. Turcott thanked Township Staff for the thoroughness of its Reports and preparation.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell had questions about the Parkview Avenue bridge and whether it would be widened. Ms. Stefforia responded that there are no plans in the immediate future to address the widening of the bridge.

Ms. Garland-Rike made reference to an article which appeared in the Detroit News concerning light pollution at night. It was proposed that lights be dimmed at night due to their detrimental effect on landscaping and wildlife.

Mr. Rakowski made reference to a number pot holes near Wards and Target.

Ms. Everett noted that the Post Office should be encouraged to connect its site to the Lowe's drive.

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:
March 27, 2001
Minutes approved:
, 2001