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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

TOWNSHIP BOARD

May 13, 2003

Public Comment session was held at the Township Hall. Supervisor VanDyke called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.

PRESENT:
Supervisor John VanDyke
Clerk Deb Everett
Treasurer Nancy Culp
Trustee Lois Brown
Trustee Dave Bushouse
Trustee Ted Corakis
Trustee Stan Rakowski

Also present was Patricia Mason, Township Attorney, and Marc Elliott, Township Engineer, and 3 interested people.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Deputy Chief Paul Karnemaat provided an update on the ambulance provider agreement; the request for proposal is expected to be to the Board in August.

County Commissioner Bob Brink provided updates on the airport expansion, Care-a-Van funding, the new committee studying justice needs, and advised he had a complaint from a resident regarding the retention area at Westpointe Development, which he referred to the Drain Commissioner.

Supervisor VanDyke called the regular meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

PRESENT:
Supervisor John VanDyke
Clerk Deb Everett
Treasurer Nancy Culp
Trustee Lois Brown
Trustee Dave Bushouse
Trustee Ted Corakis
Trustee Stan Rakowski

Also present was Patricia Mason, Township Attorney, Bob Snell and Marc Elliott, Township Engineers, Planning Director Jodi Stefforia, Planner Mary Lynn Bugge, and approximately 45 interested people.

Motion by Brown, second by Corakis to approve the minutes of the April 22nd Regular and May 6th Special Meetings. Carried.

Income to the General and Fire Funds of $318,805.24 and disbursements of $121,177.25 were reported. Motion by Rakowski, second by Culp to accept the report as presented. Carried.

CITIZENS COMMENTS

Alistair Smith, 2285 Signal Hill, advised he had purchased a lot in the Turtle Cove Development, his documents indicate water fees have been paid, however he has since learned there is a fee due to the Township before a building permit can be issued. He acknowledged this is an issue between himself and the developer, but asked the fee be waived and the building permit issued. Attorney Mason advised he could ask the monies be held until the dispute with the developer is settled.

Jim Ross, 3200 South 8th Street, commented sidewalks are needed along Stadium Drive between 9th Street and the Pinehurst Apartments; there is a lot of pedestrian traffic creating a dangerous situation.

Mike Baranski, 3065 South 11th Street inquired as to the cost of the road project done on South 11th Street a couple of years ago since the road is being redone again. He was advised that information is available from the Kalamazoo County Road Commission.

PUBLIC HEARING - POLICE DISTRICT EXPANSION

The proposed expansion of the police protection special assessment district was before the Board for public hearing on the setting the district boundaries.

The following public comment was offered:

Mike Zaeske, 1796 North 9th Street commented he felt more police protection was needed but the burden should be on all and he would be willing to share the cost.

Lowell Seyburn, representing business owners in the proposed district commented they are opposed to the assessment.

Jim Worline, 3692 East Wembley, commented he was glad to see this matter before the Board from a previous proposal, however, he feels there should be a question on the 2004 ballot for a township wide assessment and noted that the General Fund does support police protection.

Grace Borgjford, 9802 Sunnywood, commented she is a resident and business owner, crime is everyone's problem, there are things that can be done, i.e., neighborhood watch and posting of criminal activity on the Township web page.

Latrice Swander, 3133 South 6th Street, commented the neighborhood watch is a good idea, people need to be more aware of activity and citizens should work together.

Wayne Crippen, 5177 Beech, commented he is not opposed to the district, businesses and apartments are generating most of the calls and feels it is appropriate for them to pay.

Neil Sikora, 2378 Fairgrove, urged the Board to support the proposed expansion of the district, this is a good first step.

Shashin Kothawala, 6914 Northstar, commented he is a resident and business owner and felt businesses are being isolated. He agreed more police protection is needed but felt the cost should be borne by all.

Bob Janssen, 8670 Almena, commented the satellite office is a step in the right direction but more police protection is needed due to increased activity.

In response to questions, Attorney Mason advised the assessment can be appealed to the Michigan Tax Tribunal, the General Fund supports the Police Fund, and the area proposed for inclusion in the district can be considered to enjoy an extra benefit from the current police protection.

Capt. William Timmerman of the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Department advised there are currently 18 contracted deputies in the county, six in Oshtemo as well as 19 general patrol officers who are spread over three shifts.

Trustee Brown noted that businesses pay the same tax rate as residential property and the current Township General Fund millage rate is less than $1.00 per thousand of taxable value.

Clerk Everett noted for the record written objections received from Menard, Inc. and Jack VanDenBerg, owner of Stone Mountain Carpet. She commented she is not opposed to a township wide millage and support it but is uncomfortable imposing it on taxpayers without a vote.

Trustee Bushouse commented the Fire Department went to the Township Board in the 1970's and asked for a 10 mill special assessment and promised never to collect beyond 2.5 mills for equipment, facilities, and operations and at the present time he strongly feels the Board needs to consider current facts, bite the bullet and set a township wide assessment. He further commented expanding the current district is a piecemeal approach to the problem but does not have long-range implications. He also commented he is glad steps have been taken to increase the police presence with the satellite station.

Trustee Rakowski commented he concurs with Mr. Bushouse, the entire Township benefits from the assessment district. He further commented he hopes the Board has the political courage to adopt a township wide mileage for police protection.

Trustee Corakis commented he will support the proposed expansion, this is a beginning, but also feels it should be Township wide.

Trustee Brown commented her concerns were still that there are people who live on the western side of the Township and if they are going to pay for 24/7 police protection she wants to see service in that area, currently the service is concentrated on the east side of the Township. She commented she would not mind paying as long as the service is there.

Motion by Bushouse, second by Corakis to adopt the resolution setting the police special assessment district boundaries and schedule the public hearing on the assessment roll for June 10th. Roll call showed Brown-yes, Bushouse-yes, Corakis-yes, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, Rakowski-yes, VanDyke-yes.

REZONING - SECTION 25 & 26 - R-2 TO R-4 - FIRST READING

A recommendation from the Planning Commission to rezone six parcels located on the north side of Parkview Avenue, west of 11th Street from R-2 Residential to R-4 Residential was before the Board for First Reading.

Motion by Everett, second by Brown to set Second Reading for May 27th. Roll call showed Bushouse-yes, Corakis-yes, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, Rakowski-yes, VanDyke-yes, Brown-yes.

REZONING - SECTION 26 - R-4 TO R-3

Planner Bugge presented a recommendation from the Planning Commission to rezone 212 properties in the Quail Meadows and Quail Cove Drive area from R-4 Residential to R-3 Residential. She advised staff had initiated the rezoning to recognize the actual development of the area at less than four units per acre rather than the six to eight units per acre permitted under the R-4 district, the rezoning also includes Heritage Christian Academy, and all existing and approved development will remain conforming. She further advised the Planning Commission recommends the Master Land Use Plan be amended to reclassify the above area from multiple family to transitional.

Motion by Culp, second by Rakowski to accept the recommendation and set First Reading for May 27th. Carried.

REZONING - SECTION 26 - R-2 & VC TO R-4

Planning Director Stefforia presented a recommendation from the Planning Commission to deny a rezoning request for property located at the northeast corner of Stadium Drive and South 8th Street from R-2 Residential and VC Village Commercial to R-4 Residential. She advised the request involves two properties under common ownership that fall within two different zoning districts; the majority of the land requested for rezoning, located on South 8th Street, is within the R-2 district, the corner property is zoned VC, and the request is that the entire northern parcel and north half of the corner property be rezoned to R-4.

She further advised the Master Land Use Plan classifies the corner as Village Focus Area which supports the uses allowed in the R-4 district, however, the 8th Street parcel falls within an area classified as residential, therefore, an amendment to the Master Land Use Plan would be necessary to rezone the 8th Street parcel.

Ms. Stefforia commented the Planning Commission determined the requested rezoning was inconsistent with the Master Land Use Plan, had the possibility of severely impacting the area regarding traffic and density, may stimulate additional requests in the area, is contrary to the established land use pattern to the north and west, adequate sites were available elsewhere for the proposed use.

Tom Kostosky advised he was the applicant and was unable to attend the Planning Commission hearing. He commented he felt there were reasons to rezone the property; the request reduces the existing commercial density, allows clustering of housing units to preserve existing natural features, allows a more orderly transition between commercial to medium density residential to lower density residential, the existing streets currently provide sufficient frontage, visibility and utilities, no infrastructure improvement is needed, an amendment to the Master Land Use Plan is rational if the plan is not amendable it becomes defacto zoning, the zoning is compatible with existing zoning adjacent, the request went through review by neighboring municipalities whose responses were no comment, no opposition and some cases support. He also commented he did hear feedback from the Planning Commission hearing and takes seriously comments of community and would like to take those comments into consideration and present alternatives. He suggested the possible action of the Board could be to refer the request back to the Planning Commission giving him the opportunity to work with the commission and neighborhood and perhaps reduce area of R-4, table further action to and allow his to submit a proposal for a Planned Unit Development, or allow his to withdraw the request.

Phil Schubert, 2223 South 8th Street, inquired if the applicant has specific plans for the property, i.e., student housing. The applicant responded he is not in the student housing business, and has no intention of doing so. It was noted that any use in the R-4 district would be permitted if rezoned.

Chuck Sowles, 2935 South 8th Street, commented his property would be severely effected by the rezoning, he felt the Planning Commission found reason for denial with their required criteria and would be disappointed if the Township Board voted differently.

Jan Weller, 7084 St. Charles, President of the LaSalle Neighborhood Association, commented they are opposed to the rezoning, other property is available for the proposed use, the Master Land Use Plan exists for a reason and more apartments are not needed.

Dan Corse, 7103 Baton Rouge, commented since the advent of the subsidized housing at the Pinehurst development there has been an increase in crime in the area.

Virginia Hill, 3230 South 8th Street, commented the area is all single family homes, 8th Street does not need more traffic and the intersection at Stadium Drive is dangerous.

Chris Lim, 7058 St. Charles, commented traffic would be impacted as it is currently very difficult to access Stadium Drive, the current zoning is compatible with adjacent properties and he would be opposed to a delay in Board action.

Jean Harvey, 2997 South 8th Street, commented her property is adjacent to the proposed rezoning, problems have resulted from the Pinehurst development and she does not feel safe.

George Harvey, 2997 South 8th Street, commented he likes the country atmosphere, the present owner is not a resident, he does not oppose use under current zoning, opposes the multiple family use; there are enough apartments.

Jim Ross, 3200 South 8th Street, commented there are plenty of apartments, the second phase Clayton Estates will result in more traffic on 8th Street, residents have substantial investment in their homes, he surveyed what was in the area before purchasing his home, and the Township has done good job with development with the exception of Pinehurst.

In response to a question from Supervisor VanDyke, Ms. Stefforia advised the applicant could develop the property under the current zoning with a Planned Unit Development approved by the Planning Commission as a Special Exception Use.

John Richardson, 7121 Baton Rouge, commented he has respect for the process; the Planning Commission has a plan, someone can come and ask for plan to be changed, however the Planning Commission found this request does not meet the criteria for rezoning, and the Board has enough information to act and should not delay.

Rick Ouweleen, 2988 Belle Chase, commented there would be need for increased police patrols, traffic would increase and population density would change the focus of plan for the area, there have been flooding problems due to the topography and an increase in paving and roof area would add to the problem. He also commented the Township should follow the regulations and codes established to keep the promise of the long term plan.

Earl Hill, 3430 South 8th Street, commented the zoning should be left as is, more apartments are not needed.

Trustee Bushouse commented he wanted to make sure everyone understood that under the current zoning a Planned Unit Development can be proposed at six units per acre; there is a very real possibly for apartments to be constructed. It was noted a Planned Unit Development would require Special Exception Use approval from the Planning Commission and property owners within 300 feet would be notified.

Motion by Corakis, second by Rakowski to accept the Planning Commission recommendation and deny the rezoning request. Carried.

TEXT AMENDMENT - I-1 DISTRICT SUBSTANDARD PARCELS

Planning Director Stefforia presented a recommendation from the Planning Commission to adopt a text amendment to allow office buildings in the I-1 Industrial district as a Special Exception Use on legal, non-conforming parcels that do not meet the minimum area criteria. She noted that currently only office uses traditionally related to building trades are allowed. She further noted there are five properties that are substandard and grandfathered as to the minimum area requirement and staff and the Planning Commission felt it would not be detrimental to the spirit of the Zoning Ordinance and purpose of the industrial districts to allow general office use on these substandard properties.

Motion by Culp, second by Corakis to accept the recommendation and set the text amendment for First Reading on May 27th. Carried.

TEXT AMENDMENT - SIGN ORDINANCE

Planning Director Stefforia presented a recommendation from the Planning Commission to adopt two text amendments regarding the Sign Ordinance noting they are in response to observed deficiencies with or a need to change the existing language. She advised the first proposed amendment addresses the 20 foot greenspace required along arterial streets and M-43 that it would be appropriate to allow placement of the freestanding sign centered in the greenspace area. The current 25 foot setback requirement results in the sign placed in the parking lot, therefore, the Planning Commission recommends that the freestanding sign setback requirement be reduced from 25 feet to 10 feet.

She advised the second proposed amendment would allow occupants of multi-tenant buildings an additional wall sign; the current ordinance allows one wall sign. She noted with new development, the rear side of buildings may be exposed and tenants may wish to display signage.

Motion by Rakowski, second by Corakis to accept the recommendation and set the text amendments for First Reading on May 27th.

TEXT AMENDMENT - RENUMBER SECTION IN R-4 DISTRICT

Planner Bugge presented a recommendation from the Planning Commission to adopt a text amendment correcting the numbering in Section 24. She advised as a result of recent amendments concerning the family definition and AG and Rural Residential districts, there was some confusion in the numbering of crematories and multiple-family dwellings in R-4 Residence district, therefore a correction needs to be made numbering multiple-family dwellings be designated as Compiled Section 24.205 and crematories as Compiled Section 24.207.

Motion by Brown, second by Culp to accept the recommendation and set First Reading for May 27th.

TEXT AMENDMENTS - OPEN BURNING ORDINANCE

A text amendment to the Open Burning Ordinance was before the Board for Second Reading. The text amendment is necessary to correct references to the previous Ag-Rural district and include the recently adopted Agricultural and Rural Residential districts.

Motion by Culp, second by Brown to adopt the text amendments. Roll call showed Culp-yes, Everett-yes, Rakowski-yes, VanDyke-yes, Brown-yes, Bushouse-yes, Corakis-yes.

TOWNSHIP HALL/FIRE HOUSE #1 PARKING LOT REPAIRS/STRIPING

A memo from Chief Howe to the Building & Grounds Committee was presented with a proposal for sealing, repairing and striping the Township Hall/Fire House #1 parking lot. The total cost of the project as proposed by Heystek & Sons is $6,020.00.

Trustee Corakis commented he felt more bids should be sought. Treasurer Culp commented consistency is also important and Heystek had done the expansion of the parking lot last year. Clerk Everett noted that Heystek was low bidder for that project.

Trustee Bushouse commented he had asked for a bid on chip seal.

Motion by Corakis, second by Rakowski to seek further bids for this project. Carried with Culp voting no.

11TH STREET SEWER PROJECT - CHANGE ORDER

Engineer Elliott presented a change order in the amount of $7,656.68 concerning the 11th Street sewer project addressing the discovery of unsuitable sub grade material that required removal and replacement.

Motion by Culp, second by Rakowski to approve the change order. Carried.

PURCHASE SEWER EASEMENT - WEST H AVENUE

Engineer Elliott advised an agreement had been reached with Harjit Bhatti in the amount of $5,000.00 for a sanitary sewer easement whose property must be traversed to provide gravity flow into the Savannah pump station.

Motion by Bushouse, second by Corakis to approve the purchase of the easement. Roll call showed Everett-yes, Rakowski-yes, VanDyke-yes, Brown-yes, Bushouse-yes, Corakis-yes, Culp-yes.

OTHER BUSINESS PARKVIEW BUILDING RENOVATION

Trustee Bushouse presented a request from the Park Committee to contract with VanderWeele Design Consultants in an amount not to exceed $9,500.00 to prepare construction plans for renovation of the Parkview Building.

Motion by Bushouse, second by Brown to approve the contract. Carried with Culp voting no.

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BOARD MEMBER COMMENTS

Trustee Rakowski commented he felt a township wide police district should be considered without a vote. Trustee Brown commented the opportunity to place the question on a ballot is only a little over a year away.

There was no further business and the meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:40 p.m.

DEBORAH L. EVERETT
Township Clerk

Attested: JOHN VANDYKE
Supervisor