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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

May 23, 2002

Agenda

MAPLE HILL MALL - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE - CLASSIC CAR SHOW - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-13-280-022 AND 3905-13-280-050)

WALGREEN'S - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE / SITE PLAN REVIEW - 5020 WEST MAIN STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-13-280-050)

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, May 23, 2002, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Neil G. Sikora, Chairperson
Stanley Rakowski
Deborah L. Everett
Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell
Kathleen Garland-Rike
Mike Ahrens

MEMBERS ABSENT: James Turcott

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

CALL TO ORDER

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

AGENDA

Ms. Stefforia informed the Planning Commission that Item 5 regarding Home Depot had been withdrawn at this time. Ms. Stefforia indicated that she would like to add under "Other Business" a discussion of a conceptual plan for a Doggie Daycare. Mr. Rakowski moved to approve the Agenda as amended, and Mr. Ahrens seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

MINUTES

The Planning Commission considered the minutes of the meeting of May 9, 2002. Ms. Everett moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Mr. Ahrens seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

MAPLE HILL MALL - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE - CLASSIC CAR SHOW - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-13-280-022 AND 3905-13-280-050)

The Planning Commission considered the application for a special exception use for a proposed one-day Classic Car Show to be held at the parking lot at Maple Hill Mall on June 8, 2002. The subject site is in the "C-1" Local Business District zoning classification and is Parcels Nos.3905-13-280-022 and 3905-13-280-050. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

The applicants were proposing a one-day outdoor Classic Car Show staged in the West Main Street parking area of Maple Hill Mall. The event would take place on Saturday, June 8, 2002, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a rain date of June 29. The event was a fund-raiser for Kalamazoo County Child Abuse and Neglect Council. Approximately 340 parking spaces in the Mall would be used for the Show, leaving 1,100 spaces for Mall patrons. The event area would be roped or barricaded off to permit viewers to walk around. Mall security would be provided, and existing outdoor electrical service would be used. Ms. Bugge suggested that the Planning Commission discuss possible musical entertainment with the applicant. A food vendor was proposed. Trash cans would be provided.

Ms. Bugge reminded the Planning Commission that it had approved other outside events at the Mall. Ten-day carnival events had been approved for 1998, 1999 and 2000, and the Gus Macker Basketball Tournament was approved for 2000. Ms. Bugge stated that the main aisles to the Mall would be open, and that Fire Department review indicated adequate access would be maintained.

Bill Chapman was present on behalf of the applicant. He stated that he is Chairperson for the Kalamazoo County Child Abuse and Neglect Council. Joe Schmidt was also present, stating that he is the Chairperson of the Fund-Raising Committee. The applicant was hoping to attract a local radio station D.J. for entertainment purposes. In the alternative, there would be pre-recorded tapes played by a sound system which would be set up in the area. The food booth would have a license from the Kalamazoo County Health Department. The applicant would maintain $1,000,000 of liability coverage. A canopy/tent would be used for the food area. Ms. Bugge questioned whether the fabric would be fire resistant, and the applicant indicated that the tent would be rented and would meet Fire Department standards.

Mr. Rakowski noted that the proposed event would be conducted on the same weekend as "Vicksburg Days". The applicant stated that they believed there were enough vintage car owners to supply both events.

No public comment was offered, and the public hearing was closed.

The Chairperson made reference to Section 60.100 regarding special use approval. The Planning Commission discussed whether the proposed use would be compatible with other uses permitted in the "C-1" District. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell stated that she felt the use would be compatible, noting that other uses allowed in the District involved outdoor activities. As to whether the proposed use would negatively impact adjacent properties, Planning Commission members felt that there would be no negative impact from this one-day event. The Mall is currently at 50% occupancy, and only 340 parking spaces would be used. Further, Fire Department review had indicated emergency access would be maintained. Site circulation/traffic movement would not be negatively impacted.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell was concerned about the parking near Office Max.

Don Brady, manager of Maple Hill Mall, stated that the proposed area was the same as that used for past outdoor activities. There had been no problem with use of the area in the past. The eastern-most area would be utilized first. He pointed out that there is patron parking in the back which could be used if necessary. Trash receptacles would be placed around the area, and dumpsters in front of the Mall could be utilized. He stressed that no complaints had been received after previous events. The Chairperson echoed the comments, stating that he could not recall any negative feedback being received by the Township from past events.

As to whether the proposed use would promote public health, safety and welfare, it was noted that the applicant would comply with electrical code, Fire Department requirements and the Public Health Department standards. Planning Commission members felt that the proposed use would be in accord with the character and adaptability of the property, given the other similar uses made of the property in the past.

The Chairperson referenced Section 82.800 concerning site plan review. It was felt that the proposed access and site circulation in the area were adequate. Planning Commissioners also felt that there was plenty of parking. In addition, Planning Commissioners also agreed that the impact of the entertainment would be minimal, given the type proposed.

After further discussion, Mr. Rakowski moved to approve the special exception use permit, finding that the proposed use met the criteria of Section 60.100, given the similarity to other activities permitted at the site in the past. Mr. Ahrens seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Rakowski moved to approve the site plan pursuant to Section 82.800, based upon the proposal of the applicant with the requirement that:

(1) The applicant satisfy the requirements of the Township Fire Department and the electrical code, as well as the requirements of the Public Health Department.

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

WALGREEN'S - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE / SITE PLAN REVIEW - 5020 WEST MAIN STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-13-280-050)

The Planning Commission conducted special exception use/site plan review of a proposed 13,650 square foot Walgreen's store with two drive-through pick-up windows to be located at the site of the vacant Montgomery Wards Automotive Service building. The subject property is located in the "C-1" Local Business District zoning classification at 5020 West Main Street, and is Parcel No. 3905-13-280-050. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge indicated that special exception use approval was required due to Section 31.408 which established drive-through services as a special use. She stated that the existing pavement and structures at the site would be removed, including two existing drives onto West Main Street. Customers to the site would access the area from the main Maple Hill Mall driveways on West Main and Drake Road, and access the specific site by two driveways on the north side of the proposed parcel from the Mall perimeter service drive. There would be no direct access to M-43, proposed or permitted. It was noted that the Mall service drive would have to be moved slightly to the north to curve around the north property line. Other adjustments in the existing parking area to the north would be required.

The applicant was proposing a brick building with some architectural details and metal awnings. Ms. Bugge pointed out that the applicant was in the process of a land division application by which the parcel in question would become separate from a larger parcel. It was pointed out that the drive-through lanes would be used only for prescription drug pick-up. The applicant indicated that approximately 5.8 uses of the drives took place per hour on average. The applicant was proposing 71 parking spaces. Ms. Bugge indicated that two deferred spaces were indicated. An additional seven spaces could be deferred. The proposed use would be for 24 hours per day. The applicant would be seeking a front setback variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals, as well as signage deviations. The applicant exceeded the landscaping requirements of the Ordinance and might be adjusting its landscaping plan. However, any adjustments would be in keeping with Ordinance requirements. Dumpster and recycling enclosures had been indicated on the plan.

Ms. Bugge suggested that the Planning Commission discuss with the applicant the possibility of a sidewalk along West Main Street. Further, the applicant should address the off-site improvements to the service drive area which would be needed. The existing cross-access arrangements should be maintained.

Mike Bailey and Tom Zimmer were present representing the applicant. It was indicated that they would be the owners through WG-Kalamazoo, L.L.C./TRZ Investments. Mr. Bailey indicated that he believed the proposal would improve health and safety in the area due to the elimination of the drives. As to the off-site improvements to the service drive and parking area of the Mall, Mr. Bailey indicated that the cross-access and reciprocal agreements in place regarding the properties would need to be amended to accommodate the redevelopment of the site. The applicant, or Home Depot, would be installing the off-site improvements. They would be installed by whichever user first commenced redevelopment. It was stressed that the pick-up window would be used only for prescription drug pick-up.

Mr. Bailey stated that the building setback variance from the front property line would be requested from the Zoning Board of Appeals in that it was impossible, given the size of the site, to meet the setback requirements of the Ordinance. However, he felt that the variance would be in keeping with the area based on the setbacks of area buildings.

As to sidewalks, the applicant stated that they would be amenable to installing sidewalks. Ms. Bugge and Ms. Stefforia indicated that they would assist with discussions with MDOT to allow for placement of a sidewalk in the M-43 right-of-way. The applicant stated that a freestanding sign setback deviation would be sought so as to locate the sign where it could be best seen.

As to whether seven additional parking spaces could be deferred, Mr. Bailey stated that the applicant would need to get the agreement of Walgreen's, but that they were willing to request the deferral in question. It was indicated that the proposed building would be slightly different from other Walgreen's in the area in that it would be all brick.

The Chairperson asked for public comment, and Robert Lennon, representing Westwood, L.L.C., stated that Westwood is the owner of the Consumer Credit Union located to the east on the northwest corner of West Main Street and Drake Road. He stated that Westwood was pleased and in favor of the request and that of Home Depot. Mr. Lennon felt that it would be a waste of time and money to have a sidewalk installed in that he felt that no one would use the sidewalk. However, he would be interested in a pedestrian cross access between the Credit Union property and Walgreen's. He stated that Westwood would be cooperative if the Township wished to have a sidewalk installed on the Credit Union property.

Mr. Lennon stressed that he was interested in insuring that the cross access arrangements in place be clarified so that it was clear that all property at the Mall site could access one another. He wanted to insure unobstructed and free ingress and egress among all the properties. He had no objection to the setback variance, given the location of the Credit Union building from its property line.

Ms. Garland-Rike commented that she had observed people walking in this area and felt that many people walked from the complex in Kalamazoo Township. She felt that there would be more pedestrians in the area if it were "safer".

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

The Chairperson summarized the application and made reference to Section 60.100, i.e., the special exception use criteria.

As to whether the proposed use was compatible with other uses expressly permitted in the zoning district, Planning Commissioners noted that other uses allowed in the "C-1" District had drive-through aspects. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell commented that she felt the use was a good one for the area and in keeping with the "C-1" District.

Planning Commissioners agreed that the use would not be detrimental or injurious to the use or development of adjacent properties or the general public. Mr. Rakowski commented that he felt the use would compliment others in the area.

Planning Commissioners also felt that the use would promote public health, safety and welfare. Two existing driveways onto West Main Street would be removed, and there would be no direct access to West Main Street. The site would be served by public sewer and water. Storm water would be handled off site by the Mall's retention pond and storm drains.

Mr. Ahrens stated that he felt that the access arrangement might increase traffic safety in that it would discourage cut-through traffic. He felt the site plan was a good one.

As to whether the proposed use would encourage use of the land in accord with its character and adaptability, Planning Commissioners felt that it would.

Mr. Rakowski moved to approve the special exception use, finding that the proposal met the criteria of Section 60.100. Mr. Ahrens seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

The Chairperson made reference to Section 82.800, the site plan review. Again, as to access, it was stressed that there would be no direct access to West Main Street. The existing cross-access arrangements were discussed, and the Township Attorney opined that the cross-access and reciprocal agreements of the property owners would need to accommodate the development plan as proposed by the applicant. There would need to be appropriate amendment to the easements and cross-access arrangements to allow for relocation of the service drive, an altered building footprint, and revision of parking area.

There was discussion of the parking with Mr. Bailey indicating that he would request that up to seven spaces be deferred.

With regard to setback, Ms. Heiny-Cogswell stated that she had no problem with the building setback variance based on other buildings in the area.

As to the landscaping plan, Ms. Heiny-Cogswell stated that she felt the landscaping plan was a good one, except that she suggested that at least two types of trees be located on the site, rather than merely one species.

Planning Commissioners were favorable with regard to the signage arrangement proposed by the applicant.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell noted that she felt it would be logical to make a pedestrian access between the two sites in the area of the east/west sidewalk on the Credit Union property. She was also in favor a sidewalk along West Main Street.

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

(1) That the existing driveways to West Main Street shall be eliminated. There would be no direct access to West Main Street permitted. Cross-access and reciprocal agreements must be amended and provided to the Township indicating that the building footprint, service drive and parking, as well as access, on site and off, would be allowed as shown on the plan.

(2) That all parking must conform to Section 68.000. The applicant may defer up to seven additional parking spaces.

(3) That approval is subject to all building setbacks complying with Section 64.000, or obtaining a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals.

(4) That approval is subject to all lighting complying with Section 78.700.

(5) That all signage must comply with Section 76.000, or a variance obtained for the number of signs proposed. Freestanding signs must be in compliance with setback criteria, or a variance obtained. All signs must have a sign permit.

(6) That all landscaping must comply with Section 75.000, and diversity in the canopy trees was encouraged.

(7) That approval is subject to the applicant satisfying the requirements of the Township Fire Department pursuant to the adopted codes.

(8) That site engineering is subject to the review and signing by the Township Engineer that side engineering is adequate and the submission of a drainage easement.

(9) That an Earth Change Permit must be obtained from the Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner.

(10) That a Demolition Permit is required from the Township.

(11) That a pedestrian walkway between the Walgreen's and Credit Union property is encouraged. A sidewalk along M-43 is also encouraged.

Upon a vote on the motion, the motion carried unanimously.

OTHER BUSINESS

The Planning Commission considered a conceptual plan review for Kerry Mulholland for a dog daycare use on Stadium Drive east of 4th Street. Ms. Stefforia indicated that the applicant was interested in obtaining the input of the Planning Commission with regard to the proposed use at the suggested location. Ms. Stefforia stated that her initial concern was with regard to the proposed fenced area which seemed to be close to the property line. She noted that, when the Rural Residential text was adopted, the use in question, which she considered to be a kennel, would be a special use.

In response to questions from Ms. Everett, the applicant stated that there would be approximately 20 dogs at a time at the site. The business would operate from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. five days a week. There would be no overnight boarding.

Mr. Ahrens stated that he felt that there would be sufficient space at the site for the use and was satisfied with the location of the fenced area. Mr. Rakowski agreed. It was noted that the site in question is five acres. Moreover, the fenced area could be moved somewhat on the site.

Planning Commissioners agreed that the proposed use would be a "kennel" under the Ordinance. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell commented that she might be concerned about noise except that there was a lot of space at the site. The applicant stated that the dogs would be supervised at all times and not left outside to bark. There would only be small groups outside at any one time.

Planning Commissioners indicated that in concept, they had no problem with the subject use at the proposed site.

The applicant indicated that it would take a couple of months to physically improve the subject property for the intended use.

PLANNING COMMISSIONER COMMENTS

Mr. Ahrens commented that he would like to see the Planning Commission continue to require cross-access and reciprocal agreements as the Mall property was redeveloped.

Ms. Garland-Rike commented that she had seen a Lowe's in Ohio which had a more desirable screening of its storage area. She also provided a newspaper clipping of clustered "rural" homes.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 8:55 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
PLANNING COMMISSION

By:
Stanley Rakowski, Secretary

Minutes prepared:
May 30, 2002

Minutes approved:
, 2002