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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

March 23, 2000

MAPLE HILL MALL - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE (CARNIVAL) - PUBLIC HEARING - 5050 WEST MAIN STREET (PARCEL NOS. 3905-13-280-022, 13-280-021, AND 13-280-050).

LANDSCAPING PROVISIONS - TEXT AMENDMENT - DRAFT #3

INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT PROVISIONS (DRAFT #4) AND MASTER LAND USE PLAN POLICIES - TEXT AMENDMENT

SIGN TEXT - TEXT AMENDMENT

RESOLUTION REGARDING PUBLIC COMMENT

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, March 23, 2000, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township.

MEMBERS PRESENT:
Wilfred Dennie, Chairman
Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell
Ted Corakis
Ken Heisig
Neil Sikora
Stanley Rakowski
Marvin Block

MEMBERS ABSENT:
None

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

CALL TO ORDER

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

AGENDA

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

MINUTES

The Commission considered the minutes of the meeting of March 9, 2000. Mr. Block moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Mr. Rakowski seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

MAPLE HILL MALL - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE (CARNIVAL) - PUBLIC HEARING - 5050 WEST MAIN STREET (PARCEL NOS. 3905-13-280-022, 13-280-021, AND 13-280-050).

The Planning Commission considered the application of Maple Hill Mall and W. G. Wade Shows, Inc. for a special exception use permit/site plan approval to allow a ten-day carnival event involving outdoor sales and activities. The subject property is at 5050 West Main Street within the "C-1" Local Business District zoning classification. The property consists of Parcels 3905-13-280-022, 021 and 050. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge reminded the Planning Commission that the approval for the previous year had been for one carnival only due to the changing tenant occupancy at the Mall and the resulting parking needs. Ms. Stefforia recommended that the present approval be for one year only since the Mall is still in transition.

The applicant presented current State Carnival/Amusement Permits for Rides, a Certificate of Fire Resistance for all fabric tents/awnings, and a Certificate of Liability Insurance for the dates of the carnival.

Ms. Bugge stated that the Fire Department was currently reviewing the site plan and suggested that all Fire Department comments and concerns be addressed.

It was noted that, with the exception of one or two house trailers which would be on site, living quarters for the carnival would be located at the County Fairgrounds.

Ms. Bugge stated that the dumpster had not been in place during the set-up last year and suggested that the dumpster be available during that time period this year. The applicant indicated where the dumpster would be placed on site and stated that it would be out of view in an alcove area at the front of the Mall.

In response to questioning by the Chairperson, Ms. Bugge stated that the Township had received no complaints with regard to the previous year's activities.

Mr. Block noted that there had been a problem with on site living arrangements and the need to clean septics daily. Ms. Bugge indicated that waste water had not been a problem last year, but had been the year before.

Mr. Block had questions with regard to hours of operation, and the applicant responded that the event would operate from Friday, April 7 through Sunday, April 16, 2000, with its hours Monday through Thursday, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 2 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 10 p.m.

Don Brady, general manager for the Mall, was present, along with Carol Mills on behalf of Wade Shows, and Paula Eller, who was in charge of marketing for the Mall. Ms. Mills stated that Wade Shows would be contracting with the same company the Mall uses for security. In addition to the security that the carnival would employ, Mall security would be patrolling during its regularly scheduled hours. It was noted that the event's set-up would occur on Monday, April 3, through Thursday, April 6, and that the event would be dismantled on or before Thursday, April 20.

Mr. Brady stated that he had spoken with representatives of Target who had no issue with the proposed use this year. Mr. Brady reported that the Mall had completed its main entrance renovation, and some demolition was taking place inside to make way for a 31,000 square foot department store. He believes that this department store would be open by September 1, 2000. There were proposals out to two other national tenants. He stated, in answer to questions from Mr. Corakis, that only a one-year permit was being requested, in that as occupancy of the Mall increases, there may not be the availability to accommodate the carnival and the Mall's parking needs.

Mr. Rakowski had questions with regard to the security, and Mr. Brady stated that the same amount of security as provided last year would be available, or more if necessary.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell pointed out that she felt pedestrian entrances should be satisfactorily located and identified to make sure that there were no conflicts with traffic flow.

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

The Chairperson pointed out that the application was substantially the same as that which was approved for the Mall in 1998 and 1999. It was again recognized that there had been no complaints as a result of last year's activities. It was found that the number of designated parking spaces at the Mall was sufficient to accommodate the event, given that the current occupancy rate at the Mall was approximately 45 percent.

Mr. Corakis moved to grant the special exception use permit, finding that the proposed use met the criteria of Sections 60.100 and 31.403 based upon the preceding discussion and based upon prior year's findings, with the following conditions, limitations and notations:

(1) That the use comply with Building, Electrical and Fire Code Ordinances, as well as the Township Noise Ordinance;

(2) That adequate security arrangements be finalized and documentation provided to the Township;

(3) That the use comply with all County Health Department requirements.

Mr. Block seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

As to the site plan approval, it was recognized that the site was substantially similar to that which had been approved last year. Mr. Block moved to approve the site plan with the following conditions, limitations and notations:

(1) That pedestrian entry ways be located and signage provided for same to alleviate possible conflict with traffic movement;

(2) That documentation regarding adequate security arrangements be submitted and on file with the Township;

(3) That the use meet all the requirements/limitations of the Township's Noise Ordinance;

(4) That the approval was subject to the review and approval of the Township Fire Department, as well as Building and Electrical Inspectors.

Mr. Rakowski seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

LANDSCAPING PROVISIONS - TEXT AMENDMENT - DRAFT #3

The Planning Commission next reviewed Draft #3 of the proposed text amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to provide for landscaping requirements within the Township. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge provided a memorandum comparing the Kalamazoo and Portage Landscaping Ordinance provisions with those proposed for the Township. It was recognized that Kalamazoo had recently adopted its Ordinance, and it was designed to deal with an area which was primarily developed, mainly with small lots and a "downtown" area. By contrast, the Portage Ordinance had been in place for some period of time, and Portage was in the process of reviewing their Ordinance to see what might be added, deleted or changed.

There was a discussion of the sight triangle and clear vision area requirements of the Kalamazoo County Road Commission. Ms. Bugge stated that she felt the Township Ordinance should not conflict with the Road Commission provisions. There was discussion of the need to clarify the tables and the need to add definitions. Further, Ms. Bugge commented that she was doing research on a number of issues, including the preservation of existing trees.

Commission Members agreed that providing more definitive provisions as to landscaping would be an improvement over the current, undefined, landscaping requirements of the Ordinance. The Chairperson stated that he felt that the landscaping text should be discussed with the Township Board at the next joint meeting. Ms. Bugge stated that she felt she could have a final draft ready for Planning Commission review at one of the meetings in April. It was felt that the public hearing could be scheduled after the joint meeting with the Township Board.

INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT PROVISIONS (DRAFT #4) AND MASTER LAND USE PLAN POLICIES - TEXT AMENDMENT

The Planning Commission next discussed Draft #4 of the proposed text amendment to the Zoning Ordinance regarding office development within the "I-R" Industrial Restricted and the "I-1" Industrial Zoning Districts. The Planning Commission would also consider previously drafted amendments to the Master Land Use Plan regarding the industrial land use policies. The Reports of the Planning and Zoning Department are incorporated herein by reference.

The Chairperson felt that the Planning Commission should be prepared to discuss why large-scale office developments were proposed for the "I-R" District but not the "I-1" District. The Chairperson opined that, since the "I-R" District was designed for large-scale development in that it required ten-acre parcels in a 30-acre district, large-scale office development was more in character with the "I-R" District than the "I-1" District.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell concurred, stating that it was the goal to provide an area which would accommodate large-scale office developments but avoid using up existing industrial land for non-industrial use.

Draft #4 of the text would leave the "I-1" District as currently configured. Therefore, the present limitations on office use in the "I-1" zone remained.

There was suggestion that mini-storage buildings be located within the Industrial rather than Commercial District, and this suggestion was reflected in the proposal to eliminate the existing Sections 30.407/31.207 and add a provision to be set forth in Section 41.405. It was felt that such storage buildings were more in keeping with Industrial than Commercial Districts due to their size, appearance and type of use. Further, they were not "high traffic" uses. Moreover, commercial zoning was located in highly visible gateway areas of the Township in which large storage and warehouse-type facilities were out of character. Mr. Block agreed, stating that these uses often include outdoor storage of boats, cars, trucks, etc.

There was discussion of the ten-acre minimum requirement. It was noted that the "I-R" District requires the ten-acre parcel, but "grandfathers" pre-existing parcels, rendering them buildable in the "I-R" District. However, since the Section 40.301 provisions regarding office development also contain a ten-acre requirement, the Township Attorney felt that sub-standard parcels could not be developed with an office use under the current text.

There was a review of the existing parcels within the "I-R" District, and the size of sub-standard parcels was noted. Planning Commission Members agreed to eliminate the requirement of a ten-acre parcel in the office development provisions, recognizing that the requirement for the district as a whole would remain. Further the requirements for office development, such as the size of the building and site coverage limitations would dictate the size of parcels being utilized.

The proposed revisions to the Master Land Use Plan policies regarding industrial land use were noted. Changes had been made to recognize office, mini-warehouse, recreational and adult uses within the Industrial zone.

After further discussion, Mr. Block moved to schedule a public hearing on the office text and the Master Land Use Plan Industrial land use policies amendment for May 11, 2000. Mr. Rakowski seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

SIGN TEXT - TEXT AMENDMENT

The Planning Commission next discussed the proposed text amendment regarding sign provisions. It was noted that the Planning Commission had previously recommended the sign text as a result of the hearing of February 10, 2000. On February 29, 2000, the Township Board, at a joint meeting with the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals, discussed the proposed text amendment and had some comments. As a result of the joint meeting, the sign text had been referred back to the Planning Commission for minor changes.

With regard to day care and foster care, it was agreed that these should be treated consistently with home occupations which, under the new text, would not have signage.

Mr. Rakowski suggested a change to allow flagpole height equivalent to that of the Township's flagpole. Ms. Stefforia stated that she would determine that height.

There was discussion of the manner in which public awareness of the sign text could be increased. It was noted that notices had appeared in the Kalamazoo Gazette and within the Township newsletter. Further, the Oshtemo Business Association was aware of the proposed text change.

There was discussion of political signs, and it was noted that there would be no size limitation.

With regard to wall signage, at the suggestion of Ms. Heiny-Cogswell, Planning Commissioners agreed that the amount of wall signage should be uniform throughout at one square foot for each foot in length or height of wall.

Since the changes were minor in nature and did not depart from those areas for which public notice had been provided prior to the public hearing, the Township Attorney felt that the Planning Commission could recommend the text with the minor changes to the Township Board.

Mr. Corakis moved to recommend the sign text amendment with the amendments noted within the Planning and Zoning Report of March 17, 2000, with those exceptions noted at the hearing. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

RESOLUTION REGARDING PUBLIC COMMENT

The Planning Commission noted that there had been discussion at the joint meeting regarding the possibility of adopting Planning Commission policies with regard to procedures for public comment. It was agreed that a resolution be created specifically for the Planning Commission.

It was determined that no public comment portion should be added to the Agenda of the meeting.

Planning Commissioners agreed that public comments should be limited to three minutes per person with one three-minute rebuttal per person. It was agreed that a revised Resolution pertaining to the Planning Commission would be presented at the next meeting for discussion.

DIAS SHUFFLE

There was a quarterly dias shuffle.

PLANNING COMMISSIONER COMMENTS

Mr. Corakis had questions with regard to the changes that were proposed for the pool project in the Westport area. Mr. Block commented that cement was being poured at the development of the office buildings at 10th Street and West Main.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Planning Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 9:25 p.m.

 Minutes prepared:
March 27, 2000
Minutes approved:
April 13, 2000