OSTLOGOL.GIF (2116 bytes)

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

May 24, 2001

Agenda

SKY KING INDUSTRIAL PARK - STORAGE FACILITY - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - 3776 SKY KING BOULEVARD - (PARCEL NO. 3905-34-260-005)

TAPLIN - REZONING REQUEST - 5787 STADIUM DRIVE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-25-324-010)

KNIBBE - REZONING REQUEST - 4628 RAVINE ROAD - (PARCEL NO. 3905-01-285-056)

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, May 24, 2001, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

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

MEMBER ABSENT: James Turcott

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

CALL TO ORDER

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

AGENDA

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell moved to approve the Agenda as submitted. Mr. Corakis seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

MINUTES

The Planning Commission considered the minutes of the meeting of May 10, 2001. Mr. Corakis moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Ms. Garland-Rike seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

SKY KING INDUSTRIAL PARK - STORAGE FACILITY - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - 3776 SKY KING BOULEVARD - (PARCEL NO. 3905-34-260-005)

The Planning Commission resumed special exception use and site plan review of a proposed three-building, enclosed storage facility for lease to residential and office customers. The subject property is located at 3776 Sky King Boulevard within the "I-1" Industrial District zoning classification, and is Parcel No. 3905-34-260-005. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

It was noted that the item had first been considered at the meeting of April 26, 2001. At that time, the Planning Commission felt that they did not have adequate information to review the request pursuant to the special exception use criteria. Specifically, Planning Commissioners were concerned about the appearance of the facility and its impact on neighboring properties. Moreover, there were elements of the site plan that had yet to be finalized.

Ms. Stefforia reviewed the area zoning and adjacent land uses. She reminded the Planning Commission that the applicant had indicated there would be no on-site management office. This facility would provide a sign with a phone number to the off-site office. Arrangements would be made via telephone for the manager and a potential tenant to meet at the site. The proposed hours of operation were 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. The driveway would be gated, and access controlled through a code system.

The applicant had proposed fencing to follow the pavement. The fencing down both sides and across the front of, i.e., Stadium Drive, would be decorative. The balance of the fencing would be chain-link.

Ms. Stefforia expressed concern over the building-mounted lighting. She felt that this should be shielded to direct light downward and not upward. She noted that the lights on the east side of the smaller storage building should be considered for elimination since they did not serve to illuminate an area where clients would be expected to have access.

Ms. Stefforia described the landscaping proposed by the applicant. She noted that along the west property line, landscaping had been modified and it was proposed that there be 36-inch arborvitae shrubs and some pampas grass (in two-gallon containers) to supplement the plantings in the area. Further, a berm had been added along the site's frontage on Sky King Boulevard. Five-foot-tall blue spruce trees were proposed for plantings on top of the berm. Some evergreens had been added to the southeast corner of the site.

Ms. Stefforia noted that the applicant was proposing changes to the storm water retention system on Unit #6 as part of the site improvements to Unit #5.

Ms. Stefforia presented photographs to the Planning Commissioners of a storage facility in the Warren area which had a pitched-roof design and tan block exterior. She felt that this facility was fairly attractive for the type of use.

The applicant, Jamie Dyer, was present. He stated that the owners, Mike Seelye and Tim Van Lier, were also present. Mr. Dyer stressed the changes made to the landscaping plan, noting that the density of the plantings had been increased along Stadium Drive. They would be eight foot on center. He stated that the plan now identified the placement of decorative and chain-link fencing. The southern portion would be chain-linked.

Mr. Seelye presented photographs of the type of fencing to be utilized at the site. It would be aluminum, and it was planned that the fencing would be white.

In response to questions from Mr. Corakis, the applicant indicated that the changes to the storm water retention system would eliminate the ponding on Unit #6. A pipe to direct the water from that area to the pond to the south, which was shared by the site condominium units would be installed.

Mr. Corakis inquired whether the applicant had considered utilizing another unit within the Industrial Park. It was indicated that the owner feels that the visibility of this site from Stadium Drive was a selling point and would allow the use to attract tenants.

The Chairperson had questions with regard to the appearance of the facility. The applicant indicated that the buildings would be steel with a pitched roof. It was planned that they be off-white in color with blue doors. Mr. Seelye presented an artist's rendering of the storage facility. He stated that there would be no outdoor storage, and in his opinion, it would be a beautiful project.

Ms. Garland-Rike questioned the 3 x 5 doors which would face Stadium Drive. The owner indicated that this would allow for use of shallow storage spaces at the end of the buildings.

The applicant indicated that the pitch of the roof would be 2/12.

The Chairperson questioned why the applicant was proposing chain-link for the southern portion of the fencing. The applicant indicated that they were hoping to expand at some future date to the unit of the Park to the south. If this expansion was accomplished, it would be cheaper to take down the chain-link fencing.

As to lighting, the applicant indicated that there would be no opposition to removing the building lighting on the east side of the small storage building. It had been placed at the site to provide for security, not building illumination.

Ms. Garland-Rike expressed concern about the lack of a waste receptacle. She felt that this application was distinguishable from a prior application considered by the Planning Commission in that there would be no on-site management office. She felt that a residential-style receptacle should be placed on-site, at a minimum.

The Chairperson questioned the applicant with regard to whether there would be someone on site every day. Mr. Seelye indicated that he believed that either he or his partner would be on site or that maintenance personnel would be on site daily. The applicant expressed agreement to providing a residential type of waste receptacle on site.

No public comment was offered and the Public Hearing was closed.

The Chairperson summarized the application and a review of Section 60.100 was commenced.

The Planning Commission first considered whether the proposed use was compatible with uses expressly permitted within the zoning district. The consensus of the Planning Commissioners was that the use would be in keeping with those permitted in the district. It was noted that the ordinance had recently been amended to allow for this type of use in the "I-1" district rather than the Commercial District, due to the appearance of these facilities and their similarities to general warehousing.

The Planning Commission considered whether the proposed use would be detrimental or injurious to the use or development of adjacent properties or to the general public. Ms. Garland-Rike expressed that based upon the detail provided by the applicant with regard to design and landscaping, she felt these would not be a problem. Mr. Corakis agreed but was still concerned about the drainage issue. Ms. Stefforia stated that storm water retention would be reviewed by the Township Engineer.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell stated the that even with the rendering, she was concerned about allowing this use given the location. She felt that because of the location, the design of the building and landscaping was critical. In her opinion, the white fencing would stand out. She felt that a darker fence would have less negative impact on adjacent properties. She was also concerned that the white building facade would stand out. She noted the photos of the Warren facility which showed a darker brown building.

Mr. Rakowski stated that he did not feel that the color of the fence or the building was significant.

Ms. Everett questioned whether the applicant had considered using gray or beige in that the other buildings within the industrial park were gray and beige. Ms. Bugge felt if the applicant chose to make the building gray or beige, it would give the park a look of cohesiveness.

Mr. Seeyle indicated that he would be willing to change the color scheme to provide for beige buildings with hunter green doors and green roof. The fencing would be beige.

Planning Commissioners expressed a preference for that color scheme.

The Planning Commission discussed whether the proposed use would promote the public health, safety, and welfare. It was recognized that since access would be from Sky King Boulevard, rather than directly from Stadium, the use would not have a negative traffic impact. Further, the site would be controlled by a gate.

The Planning Commission considered whether the proposed use would encourage use of the land in accordance with its character and adaptability. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell expressed satisfaction that the landscaping plan had addressed replanting of trees that would be removed from the site.

Although the landscaping proposal would require a deviation, Ms. Stefforia and Ms. Heiny-Cogswell felt that the proposal of the applicant would provide more screening than the "type A" required by the ordinance. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell, however, commented that the arborvitae which would be planted should be a "broad species". She felt that the plantings along the berm should be diversified especially in the south east corner. In her opinion the Amur Maple should be changed to a non-invasive species of Evergreen.

There was discussion of section 82.800 and site plan review.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell moved to approve the special exception use permit, finding that based upon the discussion of the Planning Commission, the application met the criteria of section 60.100 with the following conditions, limitations and notations:

(1) That the design color and pitch of the roof proposed by the applicant, as revised, i.e. beige building and fencing, with green doors and roof was satisfactory. A pitched roof was proposed and approved.

(2) That landscaping as proposed by the applicant was approved except that the applicant should provide a broad species of Arborvitae, diversify the species of Evergreen in the southeast corner, and change the Amur Maple to non-invasive type of Evergreen.

(3) That a residential style waste receptacle be provided on site.

(4) That regular visits to the site would be made by maintenance personnel and/or the owner.

Ms. Everett seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

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

(1) That site access would be from Sky King Boulevard and not directly from Stadium Drive.

(2) That parking as proposed was approved and all parking spaces must be 10' x 20'.

(3) That no outside storage is proposed or approved.

(4) That decorative fencing be placed along the frontage and partially down the side of the site as shown on the site plan. The balance of the fencing would be chain-link. Fencing would enclose the paved areas. The fencing would be 5 feet or greater in height.

(5) All lighting would comply with Section 78.700 and be adequately shielded to direct light downward at an angle no greater than 75 degrees above the pavement. The fixture details would be submitted to Township staff for review and approval.

(6) Any signage must comply with Section 76.000 and is subject to review and approval through the permit process. No signage may be hung from the fencing.

(7) That an a residential style waste receptacle be provided on site.

(8) That landscaping as proposed by applicant was approved as modified in the special exception use permit approval.

(9) That maintenance personnel visit the site daily or as often as necessary to remove garbage and unclaimed items left out of the storage units.

(10) That landscaping be installed consistent with the approval prior to Certificate of Occupancy being granted or a Performance Guarantee consistent with the provisions of 82.950 must be provided.

(11) That approval subject to review and approval and conditions imposed by the Township Fire Department.

(12) That storm water would be managed by the parks storm water system. Site engineering and changes to the system on unit #6 are subject to review and approval by the Township Engineer.

(13) An earth change permit from the Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner's office is required before any earth change activities could commence.

Ms. Everett seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

TAPLIN - REZONING REQUEST - 5787 STADIUM DRIVE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-25-324-010)

The Planning Commission considered the application of Steve Taplin for rezoning of a .90 acre parcel at the southeast corner of Stadium Drive and Plainview Street, at 5787 Stadium Drive. The subject property is located in the "R-2" Residence District zoning classification and is parcel no. 3905-25-324-010. The applicant was requesting rezoning from the "R-2" to the "R-3" Residence District classification.

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

It was indicated that the applicant desires "R-3" zoning to allow for the establishment of an office building on the property. The Plainview Plat is recognized in the Master Land Use Plan as a protected residential area.

The applicant was present indicating that he was available to answer questions. He felt his plans would not be detrimental to the neighborhood.

It was stressed that a very small area would be left for building and parking on the site due to the applicable set backs. The applicant felt this would not be a problem.

It was noted that in the "R-3" District offices would be a maximum of 10,000 square feet.

The Chairperson asked for public comment and it was noted that a letter had been received from Ron Wiser in opposition to the proposed rezoning. No other public comment was offered and the public hearing was closed.

The Chairperson made reference to the rezoning request criteria. The Planning Commission considered whether the proposed rezoning was supported by the adopted master land use plan. Again it was noted that the plan calls for this area to be "protected residential" and notes that the Township will resist rezoning actions which would allow the encroachment of incompatible uses or discourage the preservation of existing residential neighborhoods.

Mr. Corakis stated that he did not feel that it was likely that the corner lot, being on Stadium Drive and across from commercial zoning on which the DeNooyer Automobile Dealership was located, was likely to be developed with a single family residence. He felt that an office established on the site would be a buffer for the neighborhood as a whole.

Mr. Rakowski expressed concern about a domino effect on the rest of the neighborhood and Ms. Everett agreed. The Chairperson recognized that the Master Land Use Plan had identified certain neighborhoods including this one as protected residential. However, he recognized that transitional zoning might be compatible with, and provide protection for, the neighborhood.

Ms. Stefforia noted that the lot might be split and under current zoning two duplexes established. If rezoned to the "R-3" District, a less than 3,000 square foot office could be established on the site, or the alternative, a three family dwelling.

The applicant stated that in his opinion because the DeNooyer site was across the street, it was not usable for single family development. He felt because an office would be a special exception use the Township would have a better buffer for the rest of the neighborhood.

There was discussion of the fact that the "R-3" District was designed as a transitional zoning classification to permit residential development together with other facilities that did not generate large traffic volumes, traffic congestion or traffic problems. The "R-3" uses were designed to be compatible with surrounding residential uses.

The Chairperson asked for public comment and Francis Mursch stated that she had no objections to the rezoning. She felt that rezoning would be consistent with the area in that there were business along Stadium Drive. She stated that she owned the property located within the plat on the opposite side of Plainview.

The Chairperson stated that as an example the Mansfield area/neighborhood Fairgrove area (also a protected residential neighborhood) was a thriving neighborhood with commercial zoning fronting on Stadium Drive. He felt that this arrangement had not produced a problem for the residential uses.

Mr. Rakowski stated that in his opinion, if the Applicant was requesting commercial zoning, it would be incompatible. However, "R-3" zoning would be more compatible.

Ms. Everett expressed concern that the remainder of the neighborhood be protected.

The Planning Commission considered whether the proposed rezoning would severely impact traffic, public facilities, and the natural characteristics of the surrounding area or significantly change population density. It was the consensus of the Planning Commission that there would not be a severe impact. It was recognized that public sewer was not currently available to the site, but could be extended to the site.

There was a discussion of whether the proposed rezoning would constitute a spot zone. It was felt that this would not be spot zoning in that there was "R-3" zoning to the east and commercial zoning across the street. Therefore, this site would serve as a transition to the R-2 zoning to the south.

The Planning Commission considered whether the proposed rezoning was contrary to the established land use pattern. Planning Commissioners agreed that it was not contrary to the established land use pattern in that there was a mixture of land use along Stadium Drive.

There was discussion whether the proposed rezoning would have the effect of stimulating other rezoning requests in the vicinity. The Township attorney expressed the opinion that the reasoning in favor of rezoning would apply equally to the lot fronting on Stadium Drive on the west side of Plainview Avenue. However, the Township could reason that no further rezonings to the south would be in keeping with the master plan. The two northern most lots of the plat would provide for transition and a buffer for the neighborhood from the adjacent commercial development.

The Planning Commission agreed that there had been some changes in condition in the surrounding area which would support the proposed rezoning. The property to the east of the subject property was rezoned in 2000 from "R-3" to R-4 for development of the Hope Wood Senior Citizens Housing.

Mr. Rakowski expressed that he would not believe that single family development could occur at this location on Stadium Drive. In his opinion, the development of an office would offer a buffer or transition between the neighborhood and the commercial uses across the street.

Brian Maloney asked whether the area could be expanded to encompass the lot on the west side of Plainview. Since this area was not included in the public notice it, therefore, could not be considered for rezoning, but could be part of the Master Land Use Plan amendment.

After further discussion, Mr. Rakowski moved to recommend amendment of the Master Land Use Plan to designate the area encompassing the two northern most lots of the plat to the transitional classification and to rezone the .9 acre Parcel No. 3905-25-324-010 to the "R-3" Residence District reasoning that the rezoning would allow the parcel to function as a transition/buffer between the neighborhood and the adjacent commercial uses and that "R-3" would allow for development of the lot compatible with residential use to the south. The rezoning would serve the goal of protecting the neighborhood as a whole and allow for reasonable use of the property. The rezoning would decrease the likelihood that there would be pressure to rezone the lot in question to the commercial district. Mr. Corakis seconded the motion. It was agreed that the motion should clearly reflect that no further rezoning to the south would be deemed in keeping with the Master Land Use Plan in that further rezonings would not serve the transition or buffer goal. Therefore, no rezoning to the south would be supported by the Master Land Use Plan. Upon a vote on the motion, the motion carried 5 to 1 with Ms. Heiny-Cogswell voting in opposition.

KNIBBE - REZONING REQUEST - 4628 RAVINE ROAD - (PARCEL NO. 3905-01-285-056)

The Planning Commission considered the application of Doug Knibbe for rezoning of approximately 1.25 acres at 4628 Ravine Road from the "R-4" Residence District to the "C" Local Business District zoning classification. The subject property is Parcel No. 3905-01-285-056. The report of the Planning Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

There is currently a single family home and accessory building on the subject property. The applicant proposed a bakery use, which requires commercial zoning. The property is located on the east side of Ravine Road and abuts Kalamazoo Township. Ms. Stefforia reported that notice of the request had been provided to Kalamazoo Township for service on residents within 300 feet of the property.

Ms. Stefforia indicated that she was not sure that the property could be split as proposed by the applicant due to the placement of the existing buildings on the site. No survey had been provided to the Township. Moreover, staff questioned the ability of the site to be developed in compliance with the requirements of the zoning ordinance if rezoned to the commercial district given the severe topography and the placement of the existing house and accessory building, as well as the applicable setbacks.

The Master Land Use Plan designates this area as Rural Residential. The Master Land Use Plan of Kalamazoo Township designates the area as open space. In neighboring Kalamazoo Township the abutting land is zoned B-2 Residence District, which is a residential district allowing limited nonresidential land use, such as medical offices, funeral parlors, etc. However, the nonresidential land uses are typically dwellings converted to low key business which can serve as a transitional use between more intensive uses of land. The district is specifically intended to prohibit commercial establishments of a retail nature or activities which require constant short term parking and traffic from the general public.

Kalamazoo Township Supervisor had indicated that he did not support the rezoning request.

Ms. Stefforia noted that the Planning Commission might wish to revisit the issue of neighborhood commercial and whether this property would fit within such a designation under the Master Land Use Plan, or under such a zoning district if created.

The applicant was present and provided aerial photographs of the subject site. In his opinion, further rezonings to the commercial district would be unlikely given the topography of the site. In his opinion the property was zoned to the R-4 district because of the request from a previous owner. The applicant's father had purchased the property in 1977 and the applicant does not desire to have apartments developed so near to his home. He noted that there were other businesses on Ravine Road. He indicated that he would like to utilize the beauty of the area to put up a beautiful building.

There was a discussion of the problem with the applicability of supplemental setbacks should the property in question be rezoned. The application of such setbacks might prevent the area from being buildable. The applicant indicated that he would seek a variance from these setback provisions. Ms. Stefforia said that the Planning Commission should not create a hardship for the applicant by rezoning property which would require a variance. The Township attorney expressed the opinion that it was unlikely that the applicant would receive a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals from the setback provisions because the hardship would have been self-created and that the applicant had elected to pursue the rezoning.

The applicant stated that in his opinion the area would be ideal for neighborhood commercial zoning.

Ms. Everett expressed concern about rezoning the subject property to the commercial district feeling that it would be a spot zone.

The applicant stated that he has neighborhood support for his rezoning.

Duane DeHaan was present stating that he owned three parcels adjacent to the subject property. He was in favor of the bakery use, but wanted the applicant to purchase an additional 200 feet from him as a buffer. It was explained to Mr. DeHaan and to the applicant that the rezoning could not be conditioned upon the bakery use. The Township attorney indicated that this would be contract zoning and not allowed by Michigan law.

Brian Malony was present stating that he owned property on Ravine Road and felt that Ravine Road was somewhat unique. In his opinion he felt that commercial zoning would be more in keeping with the area than the R-4 zoning. He felt that a business like this would fit with the character of the area.

There was a discussion with the applicant of whether he would be in favor of tabling the item to allow for a discussion by the Planning Commission of a neighborhood commercial district. It was noted that previous work on the neighborhood commercial district had not resulted in a text amendment and the Township Board had sent the text back to the Planning Commission.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell stated that in her opinion given the proximity of the neighborhoods in the area, this site could possibly be neighborhood commercial in the future. However, she had concern about the site because of the access which would be located on a curve on Ravine Road. Ms. Everett agreed, but felt that it was feasible to consider the site for neighborhood commercial. The Chairperson clarified that even if the item was tabled for discussion of the neighborhood commercial district, there was no guarantee that the Township would adopt the neighborhood commercial district or that the Township would rezone the subject property to that district if created. It was further noted for the applicant that it was unlikely that the Planning Commission would work on the neighborhood commercial district until calendar year 2002.

After discussion, the applicant indicated that he was in favor of tabling the item even though there was no guarantee that his property would be rezoned neighborhood commercial. Mr. Corakis moved to table the item indefinitely, and Ms. Everett seconded the motion on the basis that the tabling of item would allow for the Planning Commission to consider the adoption of a neighborhood commercial district. Upon a vote on the motion, the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Rakowski moved to adjourn the meeting, which was seconded by Ms. Garland-Rike. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 10:45 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
PLANNING COMMISSION

By:
Minutes prepared:
May 25, 2001
Minutes approved:
, 2001