OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

 

March 24, 2005

Agenda

AUDREY HOMES (CONCORD PLACE) - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - 1548 CONCORD PLACE DRIVE - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-24-410-010, 3905-24-410-011, 3905-24-410-020 AND 3905-24-410-030)

MEIJER - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - DRIVE-UP PHARMACY WINDOW - 6660 WEST MAIN STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-14-185-021)

MEIJER - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - SEASONAL OUTDOOR STORAGE & DISPLAY - 6660 WEST MAIN STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-14-185-021)

HUNTINGTON RUN - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - EXPANSION - 6255 CRANBROOK LANE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-35-255-010)

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, March 24, 2005, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

MEMBERS PRESENT: James Turcott, Chairman
Deborah L. Everett
Kathleen Garland-Rike
Mike Smith
Fred Gould
Terry Schley

MEMBER ABSENT: Lee Larson

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director; James W. Porter, Township Attorney; and approximately eight other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

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

AGENDA

The Chairman asked if there were any changes or corrections to the Agenda. Ms. Stefforia said that she would be introducing two items under "Other Business" for purposes of setting public hearings. Mr. Schley made a motion to approve the Agenda as amended. The motion was seconded by Ms. Everett. The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.

MINUTES

The Chairman said that the next item on the Agenda was approval of the minutes of March 10, 2005. Ms. Everett made a motion to approve the minutes as submitted. The motion was seconded by Mr. Schley. The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.

AUDREY HOMES (CONCORD PLACE) - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - 1548 CONCORD PLACE DRIVE - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-24-410-010, 3905-24-410-011, 3905-24-410-020 AND 3905-24-410-030)

The Chairman explained to the Commission that the next item for consideration was the special exception use and site plan review for the replacement of an existing 96-foot communication tower with a 120-foot tower at the Concord Place Apartments, located at 1548 Concord Place Drive. The Chairman called for a report from the Planning Department.

Ms. Stefforia submitted her report to the Planning Commission dated March 24, 2005, which is incorporated herein by reference. Ms. Stefforia told the Planning Commission that the applicant, Audrey Homes, LLC, currently owns the three apartment complexes west of Drake Road, north of KL Avenue, known as Concord Place, Mt. Royal and Seville. She said that the property consists of nine parcels containing approximately 65 acres of land. She stated that the applicant was requesting authorization to remove an existing 96-foot tower and replace it with a 120-foot self-supporting tower, and in so doing, relocate the tower approximately 100 feet to the north. She said that the applicant was requesting such a tower to accommodate new equipment necessary to provide local digital broadcast channels and high definition television to its residents.

Ms. Stefforia then took the Commissioners through a review of Section 60.100 and the pertinent sections of Section 60.600 involving communication towers. Lastly, Ms. Stefforia suggested that the Commission review the initial special exception use before proceeding with site plan review.

The Chairman asked if there were questions of Ms. Stefforia. Mr. Schley asked if a new owner purchased part of the development, whether there would be a problem with the proposed setback from the adjoining properties. Ms. Stefforia said that was a possibility since the parcels are separate presently.

The Chairman asked if there were any further questions, and hearing none, asked to hear from the applicant.

Mr. Tim Kelly introduced himself to the Planning Commission. He said he had worked for Audrey Homes for 25 years, and in that in the last 20 years he was not aware of Audrey Homes selling any of their properties, and he did not believe division of the current apartment complexes was probable. He said that Audrey Homes currently develops, owns, maintains and manages all of its own facilities. He said that, as part of managing the facilities, they provide cable television services to their residents.

Mr. Kelly said that, in his 25 years with the company, he has never had a tower collapse. He said they currently have 48 towers, which they own and operate.

The Chairman asked what the tower would be constructed of. Mr. Kelly said it would be constructed of aircraft aluminum. He said it would be a self-supporting tower with an eight-foot triangular base at the bottom.

Attorney Porter expressed some concern over the report that the applicant had received from their engineer. He said, in the past, he had spent years working with R. F. Engineers and thought that all towers constructed in the last 15 years were pre-engineered with built-in stress points so that the towers would collapse upon themselves. He said he was concerned about the statement in the engineer's letter of February 2, 2005, which said "A collapse due to such a failure would most likely fall within a distance from the base equal to the height of the structure." Attorney Porter said, in his experience, that was not highly probable, and he did not think that the engineer was doing his client a service by making such a statement. Attorney Porter expressed concern that, without a rational basis to deviate from the 150-foot setback requirement from a resident, and given the statement of the engineer, he did not see how the Township Planning Commission could approve the proposed tower because of potential liability. He explained that more and more attorneys are filing actions against not only municipal entities, but their staff and public officials, claiming gross negligence as a method to pierce through the governmental immunity statute.

Ms. Garland-Rike asked if the proposed tower was designed as the Township Attorney had indicated. Mr. Kelly said he could not state that because he was not an engineer. Mr. Schley said he thought the engineer was attempting to avoid potential liability for Radian/Rohn, and therefore, if he was allowed to make such a statement, it would alleviate them from any potential liability. Attorney Porter again pointed out the fact that if the engineer was correct, this proposed tower could hit three of the structures within the apartment complex.

Mr. Schley asked if they were dealing with a setback from the building. Ms. Stefforia indicated that they were, and that the minimum building setback without a basis to grant a deviation therefrom would be 150 feet. Mr. Schley suggested that we yield to the engineer on this matter. Attorney Porter said he would be very troubled with that, given the tower company's engineer's statements that the tower could hit the buildings, thereby, opening the Township up to potential liability. Mr. Schley said that he understood and asked if he could address a couple of other issues.

Mr. Schley asked whether there would be any interference with other communication facilities in the area. Mr. Kelly said there would be none; he said they were just a receiving station and did not transmit anything over the air; everything was done via a closed wire.

Mr. Schley asked the applicant if any lighting on the tower was required. Mr. Kelly said lighting was not required because it was under 200 feet and was a sufficient distance from any airport so as to not require lighting under F.C.C. regulations.

Ms. Stefforia expressed a concern as to whether the Commission could even find in favor of the special exception use, given the engineer's letter and the issues raised regarding health and safety. The Chairman agreed with her concern.

The Chairman opened the meeting to public comment, and hearing none, closed the public portion of the meeting and called for Commission deliberations. Ms. Stefforia suggested that the Commission table this matter to a date certain and allow the applicant to discuss the matter with their engineer and provide a more thorough analysis which would let the Commission address the public health and safety issues. Mr. Schley made a motion to table the present request until April 28, 2005, in order to receive a follow-up report from the applicant's engineer. The motion was seconded by Ms. Garland-Rike. The Chairman asked for discussion, and hearing none, called for a vote on the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

MEIJER - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - DRIVE-UP PHARMACY WINDOW - 6660 WEST MAIN STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-14-185-021)

The Chairman indicated that the next item up for consideration was the special exception use and site plan review for a proposed drive-up Pharmacy window at the Meijer store located at 6660 West Main Street, Parcel No. 3905-14-185-021. The Chairman called for a report from the Planning Department. Ms. Stefforia submitted a report dated March 24, 2005, and the same is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Stefforia explained to the Planning Commission that the applicant was requesting a drive-up window under Section 30.407 and that it was a special exception use permitted under Section 60.100. In providing her analysis to the Commission, Ms. Stefforia expressed concern over both vehicular access into and out of the Pharmacy lane, as well as pedestrian movement in the area, especially as it related to the Garden Center.

Ms. Stefforia then proceeded to take the Commission through Section 60.100 of the Township Zoning Ordinance, drawing particular attention to the concerns regarding vehicular access into and pedestrian circulation around the proposed drive-up service lane.

The Chairman asked if there were any questions of Ms. Stefforia. Mr. Schley asked if the area they were considering for a drive-up lane was the lane where the shopping carts were currently parked. Ms. Stefforia said she did not believe so and thought they were located east of the entrance. Mr. Schley asked where the proposed bus stop was located. Ms. Stefforia said it was presently just west of the proposed drive-up window.

The Chairman asked if there were any further questions, and hearing none, asked to hear from the applicant. Mr. Greg Heath introduced himself to the Planning Commission. He explained that he was the Real Estate Manager for Meijer, Inc. and was from the Grand Rapids office. He also introduced Karen Rayman, who is the Store Director for the West Main Meijer store.

Mr. Heath said that the purpose for the drive-up window was to allow better service to the customers and to meet the competition of similar service providers. Mr. Heath said that he wanted to try to address several of the questions raised by the Planning Department in its report. He submitted two VCR tapes, showing how these windows had been used elsewhere in the State and apologized that they had not been submitted sooner. He said, while the access might seem awkward, it actually works quite well in practice because of the low volume of cars accessing the drive-up window. He also explained that they had more than a sufficient stacking capability within the drive-up window lane. In addition, he noted that they were going to provide pavement striping and signs to deal with cross-access issues. Also, he said they would be putting a curb and decorative fencing along the north side of the drive-through lane in order to direct people from the garden center to the appropriate cross-walk area. He said in doing so, he thought they would allow the foot traffic to continue to the garden center, while at the same time, reducing any pedestrian cross-traffic conflict.

Mr. Heath explained that there were other alternatives, but that they would not work in the present store, given the current configuration of the various departments, both now and after the proposed remodeling.

Mr. Heath said that Meijer was open to working with Metro Transit to relocate the bus stop to the east end of the building in order to reduce pedestrian cross traffic problems.

The Chairman asked if the Commissioners had any questions of Mr. Heath.

Ms. Garland-Rike asked how many cars could be stacked in the drive-in lane at the proposed drive-up window. Mr. Heath said they could stack three, possibly four cars at that site. He said generally at other locations there were not more than two cars at any given time waiting at the drive-up window. Mr. Heath offered to provide store managers' names and phone numbers if the Commission or Planning Department wanted to contact them.

Ms. Garland-Rike told Mr. Heath that the Planning Commission was told in 2001 that this store was one of the highest-selling stores, if not the highest-selling store, in Michigan, and thought comparing it to other average stores would not be a fair comparison. Mr. Heath said the tapes showed the Meijer Cascade store, which he said, without revealing any confidential information, was equivalent in sales to the Oshtemo Meijer store.

The Chairman asked if the window at the Cascade store would be the same as the window proposed for the Oshtemo store. Mr. Heath said it was, but that it would be on the opposite end of the store, given the location of the Produce Department at the Cascade store.

Mr. Heath again said that the Meijer West Main store would provide signage to help control the traffic. The Chairman expressed some concern as to whether signage would be of much assistance, given the public's propensity to disregard such signage.

Ms. Everett asked how the drive-up window would work with regard to drop-off and pick-ups. Mr. Heath said that generally people either phone their prescriptions in or have their doctor's office phone them in, and they would pick them up at the window. He said, while people could drop off prescriptions at the window, the pharmacists are cognizant of the need to keep traffic moving, and therefore, they would encourage people to park while waiting for their prescription to be filled. Mr. Heath said one of the reasons that they needed a drive-up window was to allow for a face-to-face encounter, or at least video contact with the person in order to meet State law. Ms. Everett asked whether people, dropping off their prescriptions and having to wait, would be asked to move. Mr. Heath said that they would, and that Meijer shared the same concerns which the Township had regarding public safety.

Mr. Smith asked why they could not move the drive-up window to the east end of the building. Mr. Heath explained that the internal flow of the building would not allow such a move, primarily due to the fact that the produce had extensive wiring and cooling facilities already in place on that end of the building, making it cost prohibitive to make such a move.

Mr. Gould wondered whether the applicant could provide an expedited system for those prescriptions which needed to be filled on an emergency basis. Mr. Gould also asked if the applicant could designate spots in which patrons could park while their prescriptions were being filled.

Mr. Heath said he agreed with Mr. Gould's concerns, but felt it would be impossible to differentiate between the need to expedite one person's prescription over another's prescription. Mr. Heath said he was not sure that designated parking spaces were necessary for prescriptions, given that most people were likely to leave and return to the drive-up window at a later time.

Ms. Garland-Rike asked if they were going to move the entire Pharmacy to the southwest corner of the building. Mr. Heath said that they were. Ms. Garland-Rike asked why it could not be moved to the east side of the building. Mr. Heath again said that the special cooling HVAC equipment currently installed on the east side of the building for the Produce Department would make it cost prohibitive to move the Pharmacy to that portion of the building.

Ms. Everett asked whether the Pharmacy could be put along the west side of the Building. Mr. Heath said he did not believe that was a possibility because of the reduction it would cause to the Garden Center.

Ms. Everett asked if the line shown on the drawing was an island or simply marks on the pavement. Mr. Heath said it was just marks, not a raised curb. He did note, however, that to the north, there would be a raised curb and decorative fence to separate the drive-up lane from the access doors to the Garden Center.

Mr. Schley said he had concerns over the proposal which he thought could be addressed with a different technology. He proposed perhaps using a Diebolt video system located elsewhere and pneumatic tubes to fulfill the same need. Mr. Heath said that they had looked at a variety of different applications, but felt they had to have face-to-face contact. Mr. Schley pointed out that they did not have to have face-to-face, they simply had to have a signature in order to authorize release of the prescription. Mr. Heath said that was true, but there was a strong preference to maintain the personal contact with their clientele.

Ms. Stefforia pointed out to the Commission that she did not think the stacking would be much of a problem. She said she frequents the store on Shaver Road and that at no time had she seen more than a couple of cars waiting at the prescription window, and that in her mind it did not present a significant issue.

Ms. Everett noted for the Commission's consideration that the Garden Center was seasonal, and therefore, was not likely to be used during the periods of inclement weather.

The Chairman asked that hours of operations for the drive-up window. Mr. Heath said they would be identical to that of the hours of the Pharmacy.

The Chairman said what he was hearing from the Commission is that the drive-up window would be a good idea so long as Meijer could alleviate the fear of potential conflict with pedestrian traffic.

Ms. Everett said she thought they could put in a raised concrete curb to the south. Ms. Garland-Rike agreed. Mr. Schley said that doing so could make it very difficult for traffic to negotiate the traffic lane. Mr. Gould said it would be a snowplower's nightmare. Mr. Schley said, when you develop such a drive-through lane, people often hit the curb while trying to navigate the drive-through lane. Mr. Heath said he thought a raised curb on the north would be sufficient to protect the pedestrians and that a curb to the south would actually be an impediment. He then explained the design of the curb to the north to the Planning Commission.

Mr. Gould asked if the store would be putting up a closed sign in the drive-through window. Mr. Heath said he believed that they would either have a sign or a shade, indicating that the drive-up window was not open. The Chairman suggested that they have a sign, indicating that the Pharmacy is closed so that people do not park and come in, only to find out that the Pharmacy inside the store is closed. He said he thought that was superior to simply saying that the drive-up window was closed.

Ms. Everett asked if the drive-up window would be under cover. Mr. Heath said that it would.

The Chairman asked if there were any further questions, and hearing none, called for public comment. There being no public comment, the Chairman called for deliberation and motion from the Planning Commission. Ms. Stefforia recommended that, if the Commission was inclined to grant the request, that it do so subject to the following conditions:

(1) That appropriate directional signs be installed, subject to review and approval by the Planning Department.

(2) That a sign be displayed in the drive-up window at such times as the drive-up window and Pharmacy were closed.

(3) That decorative fencing be installed north of the drive-through lane in order to keep pedestrians coming to and from the Garden Center out of the drive-through lane.

(4) That Meijer work with Metro Transit to relocate the bus stop from its present location.

The Chairman asked for discussion on the proposed conditions. Ms. Everett said she thought it was an absolute must to move the bus stop. Mr. Schley agreed, saying that they would not want the additional traffic crossing this area, going to and from the bus stop. He added that he had concerns about the proposal, and thought that there were alternatives. Therefore, he said he was reluctant to go along with the request.

Ms. Everett asked the applicant if it was up to them to determine where the bus stop would ultimately be located. Mr. Heath said that it was, and they would likely look to relocate the bus stop to the east where there was less traffic.

Ms. Garland-Rike made a motion to approve the special exception use subject to Conditions (1) through (4) listed above. The motion was seconded by Mr. Smith. The Chairman asked for further comment. Mr. Schley asked if there would be limitations on lighting. Ms. Stefforia said that all lighting for the drive-up window would have to be in compliance with the Township Ordinances. Mr. Heath concurred. The Chairman called for further discussion, and hearing none, called for a vote on the motion. The motion passed 5-to-1 with Mr. Schley dissenting.

MEIJER - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - SEASONAL OUTDOOR STORAGE & DISPLAY - 6660 WEST MAIN STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-14-185-021)

The Chairman indicated that the next item on the Agenda was consideration of a special exception use and site plan approval for a proposed outdoor storage and display area within the parking lot at the Meijer store located at 6660 West Main Street, Parcel No. 3905-14-185-021. The Chairman asked for a report from the Planning Department. Ms. Stefforia submitted a report to the Planning Commission dated March 24, 2005, and the same is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Stefforia explained that the applicant was requesting special exception use and site plan approval for an outdoor seasonal area "bag corral." She said the "bag corral" would be operated between March and July in front the building, southwest of the west entrance. She said the proposed dimensions are 100 feet by 150 feet, encompassing 15,000 square feet and utilizing 50 parking spaces.

Ms. Stefforia said the current request for an outdoor corral was in addition to the outdoor sales permitted in 1992, 1994, 1997 and 2000. Ms. Stefforia pointed out that Section 30.409 allowed, among other things, other businesses involving substantial outdoor sales or activities connected with retail sales. She asked that the Planning Commission consider if the "bag corral" area fits within the provision of "other business involving substantial outdoor sales." Ms. Stefforia also asked that the Planning Commission consider if the primary purpose of the proposed area was outdoor display and sales, or storage and loading. In addition, Ms. Stefforia asked that they discuss with the applicant the need for an outdoor "bag corral" area when there was already an existing Garden Center.

Ms. Stefforia then proceeded to take the Planning Commission through Section 30.409, as well as Section 60.100 of the Zoning Ordinance. The Chairman asked if there were any questions of Ms. Stefforia. Hearing none, he asked to hear from the applicant.

Mr. Greg Heath again introduced himself to the Planning Commission. Mr. Heath explained that the proposed outdoor display area was for purposes of displaying and selling quick-moving products. He said having the outdoor display area made it much more convenient for the customers to load their goods into the trunks of their cars and other vehicles. He said, in the past, there had been concern about bus traffic in the area, but since they were moving the bus stop to the other end of the store, he did not believe that would be a problem. He also said that, if need be, they could move the proposed "bag corral" to the west of the building, if the Planning Commission felt it would better address traffic flow issues. Mr. Heath explained that people would still enter the store, pay for their product, and then go to the corral area to load the product.

Mr. Smith told Mr. Heath that he did not see it as much of a benefit if the customers still had to go inside to pay for the merchandise. Mr. Heath said many customers found it more convenient to load outside rather than loading product on a cart and taking it out to their vehicle.

Ms. Garland-Rike asked if Meijer had considered adding on to their Garden Center, since the proposal appeared to her to be simply a means of allowing outdoor storage. Mr. Heath said it would be a seasonal items which they would have there in much greater quantity than they would normally have in the Garden Center.

The Chairman asked Mr. Heath if the entire Garden Center was not seasonal and how that was different from what he was proposing in the parking lot. Mr. Heath said it was not different in the sense of product, but it was more seasonal in the sense of fenced-in area for viewing and loading.

The Chairman said it certainly appeared to be storage to him. Mr. Heath said that the difference was that the items are subject to very quick turnaround, and the location was chosen for purposes of loading.

Ms. Everett asked if Meijer could designate two or three spaces across from the fire doors for pick-up only, and allow employees to take items out to the customers, but keep everything inside. Mr. Heath said, while it might be possible, it would not be as convenient as allowing customers to pull up and load their vehicles.

Mr. Heath asked if the problem was the issue of storage itself. Ms. Stefforia said it was, and that, if it did not fit under Section 30.409, the Zoning Ordinance did not permit it.

Ms. Everett said her concern was the other businesses for which they had denied similar requests. The Chairman said that others had made similar arguments to those raised by Meijer, and they were not allowed to put in similar displays.

Ms. Stefforia said one of the concerns she had was once granted, they tend to grow over time, and increase in area. Ms. Everett suggested that the applicant put in a pick-up area as part of their garden area.

Mr. Heath asked if they decreased the size of their request or limited the duration by a month, if the Planning Commission would be willing to consider it. The Chairman said he did not think it was a question of size or location or duration, but it is a matter of whether it is a permitted sales display or outdoor storage.

Ms. Garland-Rike said the last time this request was made, a Meijer representative said that they did not want to expand within the Garden Center because of the unknown competition at Menards and Lowe's. Ms. Garland-Rike suggested it has been five years, and Meijer should now know what their needs are, and if they still have a need for this additional space and for pick-up and delivery, it should be done as part of the overall Garden Center. She said that otherwise she thought it would be inconsistent with how other similar retailers were treated in the Township.

Mr. Schley said he agreed with the need to remain consistent; however, he would judge this request to be sales and not storage. He said he would like to see the proposed location moved; but he said he did not see this as being any different than the tractors on Stadium Drive being parked out front. Ms. Everett said she thought the tractors were display and different from what was being proposed. Mr. Schley said that he respectfully disagreed.

Ms. Everett asked how often the corral area would be manned. Mr. Heath said it would be manned three days a week, but that they would still allow purchase from the corral area, but without staff assistance during the remainder of the time that Meijer was open.

Mr. Gould said he did not see anything different between this request and Steensma or DeNooyer Chevrolet. Mr. Heath said he did not believe this was storage because it was directly accessible to the customers at all times, and all of it was for sale. Ms. Garland-Rike said, under that theory, anything in a warehouse could be for sale.

Ms. Garland-Rike asked how high the items would be stored within the corral area. Mr. Heath said that a pallet was four foot high and the items might be double-stacked to eight feet, with reductions around the edges for safety purposes.

Mr. Schley said, given the fact customers have direct access to the product, he thought there was clear differentiation between that and normal storage. He said, because it was accessible, he thought it fell within the provisions of Section 30.409.

The Chairman asked how that was different from everything available in the building. Mr. Heath said he thought the difference was whether or not it was accessible to the public. He said certainly they have storage area in the rear that is not available to the public, unlike storage shelves. Mr. Schley said he agreed with that analysis.

Ms. Stefforia said the items in the corral area were not there for purposes of shopping, but were there for purposes of pick-up. Mr. Heath said that people could access the site to determine which items they wish to purchase, so the corral area would be there for purposes of viewing the product.

Ms. Garland-Rike said she thought the reason that Meijer wanted the area is because there wasn't sufficient storage in the back room, and so they needed to pile this stuff outside in the parking lot, which in her view, made it storage. Mr. Schley said it was one of those situations where members of the Commission had to agree to disagree.

Mr. Smith said he had to agree with Mr. Schley that it was a sales tool and not primarily storage.

Ms. Everett said that there was a consensus last time to not allow this outside the Garden Center because of the negative impact it would have and the increased requests to have similar outdoor displays elsewhere. Mr. Schley said he agreed with that concern but felt that aesthetics was not the primary factor upon which to base their decision. Ms. Stefforia said that aesthetics were a critical issue in not allowing outdoor storage.

The Chairman asked if there was any further Commissioner comment, and hearing none, he called for public comment. There being no public comment, the Chairman closed the public comment portion and said he would entertain a motion.

Ms. Garland-Rike made a motion to deny the request for the reason that the proposed bag corral area would serve the primary purpose of storage and loading and was not an outdoor sales activity, and that similar requests by other applicants had been denied. Ms. Everett seconded the motion. The Chairman called for discussion on the motion.

Mr. Smith asked if there had been similar requests. Ms. Stefforia said that Wal-Mart had made a similar request, but had been denied.

There being no other questions, the Chairman called for vote on the motion. The following voted aye: Ms. Everett, Ms. Garland-Rike and the Chairman. Those Commissioners voting nay: Mr. Smith, Mr. Schley and Mr. Gould. The motion failed.

Ms. Stefforia suggested tabling the matter until a full Planning Commission was convened. Mr. Schley made a motion to table the matter to April 14, 2005. Mr. Gould seconded the motion. The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.

HUNTINGTON RUN - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - EXPANSION - 6255 CRANBROOK LANE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-35-255-010)

The Chairman said the next item for consideration was review of the special exception use and site plan review of a proposed expansion to the Huntington Run manufactured housing community located at 6255 Cranbrook Lane, Parcel No. 3905-35-255-010, and he said the expansion would occur on a vacant 8.7 acres fronting on 9th Street. The Chairman asked for a report from the Planning Department. Ms. Stefforia presented a report dated March 24, 2005, and the same is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Stefforia took the Planning Commission through background information regarding the development of Huntington Run in the 1990's. She pointed out that the property at issue had been rezoned from "I-R" to "R-5" in 2002. She said the applicant was now requesting special exception use and conceptual plan approval for a 31-lot expansion of the manufactured home park. She said the new lots would use the existing entrance on Atlantic Avenue, but that an emergency entrance on 9th Street was also proposed. She noted that the property was in the Village Focus Area and the Downtown Development Area. She noted that both promoted a sense of community and called for a mixed use pattern, promoting residential options.

Ms. Stefforia then took the Planning Commission through Section 60.100, being the special exception use criteria, as well as the provisions of Section 25.401, being the conditions and limitations on mobile home parks. At the conclusion of Ms. Stefforia's report, the Chairman asked if there were any questions of Ms. Stefforia.

Mr. Smith asked if the emergency drive would be located where the gate currently exists on 9th Street. Ms. Stefforia said it would be, but she was not sure whether they were going to pave or gravel the emergency entrance.

The Chairman asked to hear from the applicant. Mr. Donald Westphal introduced himself as a representative for Huntington Run. He also introduced the owner of the development, Mr. Vanderveen. He explained he was a landscape-architect and had worked on some of the previous phases of the development. He said they were seeking approval for the expansion. He noted they had worked extensively with the Planning Department in developing their overall proposal, and he asked the Planning Commission members if they had any questions.

The Chairman asked if the Fire Department would approve the access drive. Mr. Westphal said whatever the Fire Department wanted, they were more than willing to comply with. He said if they wanted the emergency drive paved, they would pave it; if they wanted to have a certain type of gate to allow an emergency vehicle entrance, they would be more than willing to install the same.

The Chairman asked if there was going to be any new road addition. Mr. Westphal said they would be extending the existing road currently on site.

Ms. Everett asked if the layout was same since the time of the rezoning. Mr. Westphal said that it was not the same. He said they had actually reduced the density to allow larger lots which would accommodate the broad placement of homes and construction of garages. He said, given the market today, there was a demand for larger lots.

Mr. Smith asked how the lots compared to those in the earlier part. Mr. Westphal said that the proposed lots were about 6,000 square feet, where those lots in the older part of the park were approximately 4,400 square feet, or approximately one-third larger.

The Chairman asked if there would be sidewalks along the public streets. Mr. Westphal said there would be a sidewalk to accommodate access within the park. The Chairman then asked if there would a sidewalk to 9th Street. Mr. Westphal said that he did not believe so. Ms. Stefforia said she was disappointed with the applicant's position. She said that this was part of the Village Focus Area and they would like to see sidewalks which would accommodate the residents accessing the stores in the Village Focus Area. Mr. Westphal said they would certainly be open to considering it, and if it was attached as a condition, they would be more than willing to accommodate the Planning Commission's request.

The applicant expressed some concern about providing sidewalk access to 9th Street since there was not a crosswalk there, and they were concerned about potential liability. Mr. Schley said that he understood the applicant's concern, but that they did want to see more sidewalks to encourage the development of pedestrian walkways in the area. The Chairman said he would like to see the pedestrian walkway expanded to the north.

The Chairman asked if there were any further questions of the applicant. Hearing none, he asked for Commission discussion, and began by saying he would like to see a pedestrian connection to 9th Street. Mr. Vanderveen said he was concerned about putting in a sidewalk which led to nowhere. The Chairman said they had heard the same concerns raised by everyone, but as they had said in the past, they had to start somewhere, and he thought this was a good place to start. Mr. Westphal asked if they wanted the sidewalk to 9th Street or parallel with 9th Street. Ms. Stefforia said she would like to see both.

Ms. Everett asked if the applicant might be able to wait for the sidewalks to develop along 9th Street before constructing their own, or leave it up to the D.D.A. Ms. Stefforia said that might be possible, and that they had developed an Escrow Agreement with Arby's until there was further sidewalk development in the area. Ms. Stefforia said the Township could do that along 9th Street. Mr. Schley said he would like to see the development take place now, or if that was not possible, at least funded now for later construction. The applicant said they would be happy to put the sidewalks in, but the sidewalk along 9th Street would likely have a sign indicating that there was no crosswalk. He again expressed concern regarding liability and thought they needed to post it accordingly to avoid liability.

The Chairman asked if there was further discussion, and hearing none, said he would entertain a motion. Ms. Everett made a motion to approve the special exception use, provided that the following conditions be met:

(1) A photometric plan be submitted, demonstrating that the outdoor lighting meets the criteria of Section 78.720.

(2) Sealed construction plans shall be submitted to the Township. Site engineering and stormwater management are subject to review and a finding by the Township Engineer that they are adequate.

(3) Approval shall be subject to obtaining a driveway permit from the Kalamazoo County Road Commission for the emergency driveway.

(4) No parking shall be permitted on the emergency driveway.

(5) The site plan will be subject to all applicable codes and review and approval by the Fire Department and Township Engineer.

(6) The applicant must meet the conditions and limitations of Section 25.401, particularly:

(a) The cultivar of proposed crab apple trees shall be submitted for Township approval.

(b) Proposed pavement must meet state criteria or be found satisfactory by the Township Engineer. Parking on park drives is prohibited.

(c) Parking spaces must be paved.

(d) Site drainage shall be subject to Township Engineer review and approval.

(e) All utilities shall be underground.

(f) Site plan approval shall be subject to the applicant satisfying Fire Department requirements pursuant to the adopted codes regarding the fire hydrants.

(g) Site engineering and stormwater management are subject to review and a finding by the Township Engineer that they are adequate.

(h) Each site is limited to one single-family mobile home.

(i) Preliminary plan approval shall be subject to the applicant satisfying Fire Department requirements pursuant to the adopted codes.

(j) Approval shall be subject to the applicant submitting sealed construction plans to the Township.

(k) Plan must be developed in strict compliance with the approved preliminary plan.

(l) Any amendments are subject to Planning Commission review and approval.

(m) The Township shall be provided with both digital and hard copies of the approved and as-built plans in accordance with Section 25.400(n)(6).

(n) Interior sidewalks shall be four feet (4') wide.

(7) A sidewalk be installed to and along 9th Street, or appropriate funds be escrowed as determined by the Planning Department for the later installation of said sidewalk.

(8) A sidewalk along Atlantic Avenue and Parkview be installed as soon as is reasonably possible.

(9) An emergency vehicle access be installed to 9th Street, subject to Fire Department review and approval.

The motion was seconded by Mr. Schley. The Chairman called for further discussion, and hearing none, called for a vote on the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Other Business

Ms. Stefforia presented an application from Educational Community Credit Union requesting the rezoning from "R-2" Residential District zoning classification to "R-3" Residential District zoning classification of approximately 1/4 acre at 1551 South 9th Street, which is the site of the Educational Community Credit Union, being Parcel No. 3905-23-455-032 and also approximately the northern three acres of the adjacent vacant parcel to the south, being Parcel No. 3905-26-208-011.

In addition, Ms. Stefforia indicated that the text amendment concerning flag pole height and flag size was ready for a public hearing, which needed to be scheduled.

Mr. Schley made a motion to set the public hearing on the requested rezoning and proposed text amendment for April 28, 2005. Mr. Smith seconded the motion. The Chairman called for a vote, and the motion passed unanimously.

Adjournment

There being no other business, the meeting at approximately 10:05 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
PLANNING COMMISSION

By:
Kathleen Garland-Rike, Secretary

Minutes prepared:
March 31, 2005

Minutes approved:
, 2005