OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

Meeting Minutes

March 26, 1998

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Agenda

KALAMAZOO AREA CHRISTIAN RETIREMENT ASSOCIATION - REZONING OF APPROX. 3.5 ACRES SOUTH OF 11TH ST., EAST OF PARK VILLAGE PINES, NORTH OF CRYSTAL LANE

QUAIL MEADOWS PLANNING UNIT DEVELOPMENT - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE/SITE PLAN AMENDMENT

9th STREET FOCUS AREA OVERLAY ZONE

NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCIAL DISTRICT - TEXT AMENDMENT

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A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, March 26, 1998, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall, pursuant to notice.

Members present:

Wilfred Dennie, Chairperson
Millard Loy
Ted Corakis
Marvin Block
Ken Heisig
Lara Meeuwse

Member Absent: Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell

Also present were Rebecca Harvey (after 87:46 p.m.) and Mike West of the Planning and Zoning Department, Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney, and fourteen (14) other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

The Chairperson called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m.

AGENDA

The Chairperson suggested adding an update of the meeting with the Oshtemo Businessmen's Association. Mr. Block moved to approve the agenda as amended. Mr. Loy seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

MINUTES

The Planning Commission next considered the minutes of the meeting of March 12, 1998. The changes suggested by Ms. Harvey were noted. It was suggested that the fourth paragraph on page 5 be revised to read "The Chairperson expressed some concern that the length of the 'typical homes' proposed by the applicant would not be accommodated by some of the lots within the project."

The Chairperson also suggested a change to the bottom paragraph of page 10 to read that "the Chairperson summarized the traffic analysis, suggesting that Maple Hill Drive could not support development of the vacant 'R-3' property for an office use without the extension of Croyden."

Mr. Corakis moved to approve the minutes as amended. Mr. Block seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

KALAMAZOO AREA CHRISTIAN RETIREMENT ASSOCIATION - REZONING OF APPROX. 3.5 ACRES SOUTH OF 11TH ST., EAST OF PARK VILLAGE PINES, NORTH OF CRYSTAL LANE

The next item was consideration of the application of Kalamazoo Area Christian Retirement Association for rezoning of approximately 3.5 acres situated in the SW╝ of Land Section 25 (parcel #3905-25-385-026) from the "R-2" Residence District to the "R-4" Residence District Zoning classification. The subject property is located on the west side of South 11th Street, adjacent to the east of Park Village Pines (north of Crystal Lane).

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

Larry Harris, landscape architect and landscaper, was present on behalf of the applicant. He stated that the applicant owns Park Village Pines and the properties to the west and south of the subject site. Moreover, the applicant also owns parcel 010 to the east of the site. He stated that the applicant was seeking the rezoning so as to continue to expand the Park Village Pines development. He stated that at one time the property in question had been zoned in the "R-4" District but was rezoned to the "R-2" District in 1991.

There was a discussion of zoning within the area, and Mr. Harris pointed out that the proposed rezoning would be consistent with the adopted Master Land Use Plan and that it adjoined "R-4"-zoned property on two sides. He therefore felt that the rezoning would be consistent with area zoning.

In response to questioning by the Chairperson, Mr. Harris indicated the applicant had no current or immediate plans for the property which is located to the west.

Mr. Corakis questioned the applicant with regard to access to the property, which is landlocked. Mr. Harris stated that the property would likely gain access from parcel 022 and use the existing access to 11th Street through Crystal Lane.

Ms. Meeuwse felt it was significant that, when the property was rezoned in 1991, it was in response to changes to the text of the "R-3" and "R-4" Zoning Districts; the owner had not requested the change.

Mr. Harris stated that the applicant intended to use the 3.41 acres, which were the subject of the rezoning application, for a 20-unit dementia-care facility; he noted that this facility was needed given the statistics concerning the numbers of Americans with dementia. He stated that a 10,300-sq.-ft. facility would be proposed and that the applicant planned to retain vegetation at the site.

Mr. Harris also felt that the rezoning was consistent with the Master Land Use Plan and that there would be little impact on traffic.

The Chairperson sought public comment, and none was offered. The public hearing was closed.

The Chairperson directed the attention of the Planning Commission to the rezoning analysis. The Planning Commission first considered whether the proposed zone change was supported by the adopted Master Land Use Plan. Planning Commission members felt that, since the Master Land Use Plan identifies the subject area under consideration as lying within the Multiple-Family Residential classification, rezoning to the "R-4" District was supported. It was also noted that the Master Land Use Plan identifies, as one of its objectives for the Multiple-Family Residential classification, that Multiple-Family land uses would be directed primarily to the eastern portion of the Township, where available sewer and water, adequate transportation routes, suitable environmental conditions, compatible land uses and convenient shopping areas are present. Rezoning this property would be consistent with achieving that objective.

The Planning Commission next considered whether the rezoning would severely impact traffic, public facilities and the natural characteristics of the area. It was noted that the subject parcel is currently landlocked and does not have any road frontage on either South 11th Street or Crystal Lane. However, even assuming that the property would have access to South 11th Street through other property owned by the applicant, it was felt that the proposed rezoning would not severely impact the existing traffic conditions on Parkview Avenue, South 11th Street, or Crystal Lane or the function of the Parkview Avenue/South 11th Street and the Stadium Drive/South 11th Street intersections.

It was also recognized that public utilities were available in the area and that the subject site was not located within a designated wetlands or identified woodlands area.

Planning Commission members concluded that the rezoning would not constitute a spot zone in that it would be an expansion of an existing "R-4" zoning area. Further, Planning Commission members concluded that the change would not be contrary to the established land use pattern in that the subject parcel is located within an area of mixed residential land use. With regard to the determination of the appropriate boundaries of the "R-4" expansion, the Chairperson noted that he had been contacted by members of the public, who expressed concern regarding rezoning of the "R-2" property along 11th Street and its resulting impact on the area of single-family homes. The Chairperson felt that further expansion (beyond the subject property) would be difficult to justify.

The Planning Commission considered whether the change, if approved, would have the effect of stimulating similar rezoning requests in the vicinity. It was acknowledged that rezoning would stimulate rezoning requests, particularly since the applicant owns additional property.

The Planning Commission considered whether there had been a change in conditions in the area supporting the proposed rezoning. It was felt that the relatively recent adoption of the Master Land Use Plan, including the Village Focus Area and the Genessee Prairie Focus Area Development Plans, was a significant change which supported rezoning to the "R-4" District.

As to whether there were adequate sites properly zoned elsewhere in the Township to accommodate the proposed use, it was noted that the 1993 statistics showed that about 52% of existing "R-4"-zoned property was undeveloped. However, it was felt that, given the location of the subject property, the availability of other sites should not control the rezoning request.

Ms. Meeuwse moved to recommend approval of the rezoning, referencing the Planning Commission's discussion of the rezoning analysis and the fact that the proposed rezoning was supported by the adopted Master Land Use Plan. Mr. Loy seconded the motion.

No public comment was offered and, upon a vote on the motion, it carried unanimously.

QUAIL MEADOWS PLANNING UNIT DEVELOPMENT - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE/SITE PLAN AMENDMENT

The next item was consideration of the application of Bruce Brown, representing United Homes of Michigan, for special exception use/site plan amendment for approval of expansion of the Quail Meadows Planned Unit Development on 8.45 acres. The subject property is located on Quail Run Drive and is situated within the SE╝ of Land Section 23 and is within the "R-3" Residence District Zoning classification.

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

Michael Chojnowski was present on behalf of the applicant. He stated that, although he had worked with the applicant regarding condominium documents for the development, he had not been previously associated with the "layout" of the project. He recognized that the report of the Planning and Zoning Department indicated that certain detail and documents had not yet been submitted. He suggested that the requested detail and documents could be submitted with a revision to the site plan. He urged the Planning Commission to conduct conceptual plan review of the proposed project.

The Chairperson recognized that the proposal was an expansion of an existing PUD project. However, the Chairperson was concerned with the lack of certain detail and information. Specifically, the Chairperson was concerned about compliance with setback requirements of the Ordinance.

Ms. Harvey entered the meeting.

Ms. Harvey suggested that the Planning Commission conduct conceptual plan review and table the consideration of the site plan and special exception use permit to the meeting of April 9, 1998.

It was noted that the proposed development would consist of 53 residential dwelling units, 26 town homes on the north side of Quail Run Drive and 27 court homes to the south of Quail Run Drive. It was acknowledged that the density of the overall project would be well within Ordinance limitations.

There was uncertainty with regard to whether setbacks were in compliance on all buildings where the property abuts "R-2" zoning to the south.

Ms. Harvey noted that, with regard to the design standards, the project met the majority. She felt that the biggest issues were density and setbacks. Again it was recognized that the project complies with density limitations of the Ordinance. As to setback, the proposed project does comply with the exception of the south property line. However, Ms. Harvey suggested that the Planning Commission require further information from the applicant if a deviation from the setback along the south line was sought. The Chairperson concurred, stating that he was concerned that the proposal include any overhangs to the building impacting the actual setback from abutting property lines. The Chairperson suggested that the applicant revise its plan to show compliance with all setback requirements or, in the alternative, provide information to the Commission with regard to the basis for deviation. Further, the applicant might, if deviation were requested, add some landscaping along the property line. The Chairperson also noted he felt it would be appropriate to have further detail with regard to the location of proposed parking and carports.

Ms. Meeuwse expressed concern that the density on the 8.5-acre expansion area would exceed Ordinance requirements for that area. Ms. Harvey noted that the density was determined by that of the overall PUD, which would be far less than what was allowed under the Ordinance. Ms. Meeuwse was satisfied that, in the event the applicant would seek to split the 8.5-acre parcel into a separate PUD or under separate ownership at a future date, this would constitute a change to the special exception use permit and site plan approval which would require Planning Commission approval.

The Chairperson sought public comment, and Francis Conner, president of Quail Run III Association, stated that he was concerned that the Planning Commission enforce setback standards. After further discussion, it was clear that Mr. Conner was concerned with the setback of buildings from Quail Run Drive. He also felt it was important that the Quail Run entrance at 9th Street be used for construction traffic. He noted that, although there had been some improvement in that most heavy equipment does not use the Stadium Drive entrance, there is still some construction traffic which enters from Stadium Drive onto Quail Run Drive and disturbs the Quail Run residents.

After further discussion, it was the consensus of the Planning Commission with regard to the conceptual plan that the proposed project was acceptable in its concept. The Planning Commission agreed that the additional information and detail, as set forth in the Planning and Zoning Department report, would be required to be submitted for consideration of the special exception use permit and site plan. The applicant was cautioned to revise its plans to comply with setback limitations of the Ordinance or to detail its reasoning for deviation. Mr. Loy moved to table consideration of the special exception use permit and site plan approval to the meeting of April 9, 1998. Mr. Block seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

9th STREET FOCUS AREA OVERLAY ZONE

The next item was the 9th Street Focus Area Overlay Zone text and proposed boundaries, which had been returned by the Township Board to the Planning Commission. The Chairperson felt that the Township Board's return of the item was, somewhat, the result of confusion as to what an overlay zone is. He felt that this may have been alleviated somewhat by the recent joint meeting with the Township Board. The Township Board had also expressed concern regarding requiring public sewer and water for office development. The Township Board felt that this was too restrictive. The Township Board was also concerned regarding the design standards, feeling that the uses and standards to be applied to uses were too restrictive. Finally, the Township Board was in favor of the Planning Commission reconsidering the boundaries of the proposed overlay zone.

As to public sewer and water, Mr. Loy felt that, in some instances, providing sewer and water might be costly but that the provision of these utilities would be consistent with the Master Land Use Plan of the Township. The Chairperson recognized that the Township Engineer had indicated that public sewer and water is available in for extension to this area. He felt that the Township should be concerned with establishing adequate infrastructure for nonresidential development.

Mr. Block agreed, noting that there were only a few sites which would have any problem with establishing public sewer and water.

Mr. Heisig felt that the lack of, or failure to require, proper infrastructure in this area for previous development had created a problem. He felt that it would be prudent and correct to require public sewer and water with the development of nonresidential uses.

It was recognized that the adoption of the overlay zone would not limit all development of property within the zone if a developer decided not to establish public sewer and water. An applicant would still have all development options available under the "R-2" District, i.e., permitted and special exception uses such as a PUD. Planning Commission members felt that it was important that the text for the 9th Street Focus Area District be designed to implement the 9th Street Focus Area Plan included in the Master Land Use Plan of the Township. Planning Commission members felt that the Master Land Use Plan would not be implemented if certain significant development or use guidelines within the overlay zone were altered.

There was discussion of the boundaries of the proposed overlay zone, and it was noted that the depth of the proposed zone had been dictated by the need for an interior street system in the area. It was felt that, if the depth were limited to 660', it would severely limit the opportunity to design an interior street network. The Planning Commission was seeking to provide additional depth to allow a developer flexibility and still maintain a "buffer" between the overlay zone and the residential neighborhood. However, it was recognized that there was no need to "buffer" commercial zoning and, therefore, it would be appropriate to extend the overlay zone to the east along West Main. After further discussion, it was the consensus of the Planning Commission to include parcel 060 along West Main to a depth of 880' and also parcel 071.

Public comment was sought, and Gary Tibble, attorney for Mr. Bertolissi, stated that his client approved of the recommendation to include parcels 060 and 071 in the overlay zone. With regard to the requirement of public sewer, the Bertolissis felt that it would be "cheaper" to extend sewer through Country Club Village. Otherwise, the cost would be prohibitive. As to the depth of the proposed overlay zone, he stated that his client would prefer a depth of 1,000' but could live with the depth of 880'.

Ed Sharp, commenting for Country Club Village residents, was upset with assumptions made by the Planning Commission. He felt that the Planning Commission was assuming that property had been purchased by lot owners, behind their lots, as a "buffer." He stated that this property had been purchased because it was available, not because it should be a buffer. In his opinion, 880' of depth was too great. He felt that the Planning Commission should limit the depth to 660'. In his opinion, there was no topography in the area which would prevent development with 660' of depth. He stated that the Country Club Village residents recognized that the text met the intent of the Focus Area Development zone but felt that there was a need for an adequate buffer to Country Club Village. There was a discussion of the extension of sewer along West Main, and it was felt that, since the road is relatively level, there should be no problem with topography in this extension.

The Chairperson commented that the "R-2" zoning was not being changed by application of the overlay zone. The overlay zone would allow offices in the area as a special exception use.

After further discussion, Ms. Harvey noted the Planning Commission concluded that, since the overlay zone had been proposed as an alternative method by which to achieve the objectives and goals of the 9th Street Plan, the Planning Commission might conclude that, unless the overlay zone's provisions were consistent with achieving those goals, they should not be adopted unless the overlay zone's provisions were consistent with achieving those goals.

Roger Riley, a realtor representing the owner of property north of KL Avenue, stated that he understood the reasoning with regard to the limitation on the depth of the overlay zone along West Main but felt that there should be no such limitation to the depth along KL Avenue. He felt that the zone should be extended to the "quarter line."

Mr. Loy moved to recommend zoning of the property to application of the overlay zone to the property as had been originally recommended to the Township Board with the addition of parcel 060 to a depth of 880' and parcel 071 along West Main. Further, he moved to recommend approval of the text as originally recommended submitted. In addition, it was moved that denial of the text be recommended if the Township Board felt a change to the design or development standards of the text should be made in that such change(s) would render the text no longer consistent with the objectives and goals of the Master Land Use Plan with regard to the 9th Street Focus Area.

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

NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCIAL DISTRICT - TEXT AMENDMENT

The Planning Commission next considered the text amendment with regard to the Neighborhood Commercial District, which had been returned from the Township Board. The Township Board's concern was with regard to the distinction between the "RRC" and the "RC" Districts. It was felt that uses should be added to the "RRC" District where such uses did not require infrastructure.

There was some discussion of what additional uses could be added to the "RRC" District. Ms. Harvey commented that the Planning Commission should attempt to recall the original objectives and goals which had led to the drafting of the Districts. The Districts should be consistent with the Master Land Use Plan. It was originally felt by the Planning Commission that the Districts should be distinct in that they were achieving different goals. There was a discussion of the possible actions which could be taken by the Planning Commission, and ultimately the Planning Commission felt that additional discussion of the items in a work session was needed.

Mr. Loy moved to table the item to the next available work session to consider the proposed text. The motion was seconded by Mr. Block, and the motion carried unanimously.

OTHER BUSINESS

Discussion of the 1998 work program was tabled to the next meeting. There was also discussion of the agendas of the April 2 and April 9, 1998, meetings.

Mr. West reported on the meeting between representatives of Oshtemo Township and the Oshtemo Businessmen's Association. Mr. Corakis noted he felt that it had been a "informative meeting." The Chairperson concurred that, in his opinion, the meeting was productive.

The final item was discussion of the "new seating arrangement" with the Planning Commission members drawing lots for the seating arrangement to be utilized during the second quarter.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 10:05 p.m.

Minutes approved:
April 9, 1998