OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

 

May 26, 2005

Agenda

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

DACOBA PLAT - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 10387 WEST L AVENUE (PARCEL 3905-30-205-21)

WESTPORT VILLAGE PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AMENDMENT AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - 5401 WEST H AVENUE (PARCELS 3905-12-205-011 AND 3905-12-205-030)

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, May 26, 2005, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Terry Schley, Acting Chairman
Lee Larson
Mike Smith
Fred Gould

MEMBERS ABSENT: Jim Turcott
Deborah L. Everett
Kathleen Garland-Rike

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director; Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner; and approximately 9 other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

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

AGENDA

The Acting Chairman indicated that the first item of business was approval of the Agenda. Mr. Smith made a motion to approve the Agenda as submitted. Mr Larson seconded the motion, and the Acting Chairman called for a vote on the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Ms. Bugge announced to the audience that the Westport Village Planned Unit Development agenda item will be postponed until the June 9, 2005 meeting.

MINUTES

The Chairman said that the next item for consideration was approval of the minutes of May 12, 2005. Mr. Larson made a motion to approve the minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Mr. Smith. The Acting Chairman called for discussion, and hearing none, called for a vote on the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

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

Ms. Bugge told the Planning Commission that Concord Place had asked that their matter be tabled until the Planning Commission meeting of June 24, 2005. Therefore, Mr. Gould made a motion to table Audrey Home's (Concord Place) request for special exception use and site plan review to the Planning Commission meeting of June 24, 2005. Mr. Larson seconded the motion, and upon vote, the motion passed unanimously.

DACOBA PLAT - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 10387 WEST L AVENUE (PARCEL 3905-30-205-21)

The Acting Chairman said the next item was site plan review of the preliminary plat called Tuscany Plat for tentative approval. The proposed plat contains 24-lots on 28.15 acres located at 10387 West L Avenue (parcel 3905-30-205-021).

The Chairman asked to hear from the Planning Department. Ms. Bugge presented her report dated May 26, 2005, and the same is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge explained to the Planning Commission that Planning Commission review of the preliminary plat is part of Step One, Tentative Approval of the platting process. The Planning Commission's comments on the preliminary plat, along with those of the Kalamazoo County Road Commission, will be presented to the Township Board for their consideration. Ms. Bugge further explained that if the Township Board finds that the plan complies with applicable ordinances, it will grant tentative approval for the lot size, orientation and street layout for a period of one year. The developer will then proceed with the necessary engineering and obtain approval from other agencies.

Ms. Bugge presented the preliminary plat. The subject property consists of approximately 28 acres located on the south side of L Avenue. The proposed plat will consist of 24 lots utilizing well and septic. Ms. Bugge explained that lot 12 contains nearly 5 acres and the other lots range from 0.68 to 0.80 acres keeping the plat within the one dwelling unit per acre density limitation for developments without public water in the Rural Residential zoning district.

Ms. Bugge explained that all lots are subject to the Kalamazoo County Human Services Division finding them adequate for individual septic systems and wells. All streets will be public and subject to approval of the Kalamazoo County Road Commission. Proposed street names have been approved by Kalamazoo County. Finally, the stormwater basin is subject to approval by and dedication to the Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner.

Ms. Bugge drew the Planning Commission's attention to a 33-foot easement that burdens the east 33 feet of the property. The easement is to the Township for ingress and egress and imposed in the past as part of a land division and variance approval. The applicant intends to ask the Township Board to release the previously required easement as the new north-south public street will address the previous concern about access to interior properties.

Ms. Bugge indicated that the applicant would be seeking a deviation from the requirement to provide sidewalks due to the rural nature of the area. She noted that the Nonmotorized Facilities Map does not call for any type of nonmotorized facility along L Avenue. The Zoning Ordinance requires sidewalks unless constraints such as topography warrant a deviation or the street is a cul-de-sac.

Ms. Bugge concluded with a review of her report's findings on Section 290.201 and 290.202 of the Land Division Ordinance. She indicated the proposed street length exceeded the 1,000 foot length permitted and therefore, would be subject to the Township Board granting a variance to permit the excess length.

The Acting Chairman asked if there were any questions of Ms. Bugge. As there were none, the Acting Chairman then called upon the applicant.

Justin Biegler, representing the applicant, explained that Ms. Bugge had made a thorough presentation and that he would answer any questions.

Hearing none, the Acting Chairman called for public comment.

Jim Nielson, spoke and stated that he was an adjacent property owner. He stated he has several questions: regarding the 33-foot easement, why wasn't the new street required to be extended to the plat's southern property line; what recourse did he have if his well was negatively affected by the wells serving the lots in the plat; will he be able to develop his land with a public street given the proximity of this plat's street; does the proposed plat satisfy the master land use plan for this area; and finally, will the plat affect his ability to hunt on his property.

In response to his questions, the Acting Chairman called upon Ms. Bugge to respond. Regarding street layout, Ms. Bugge advised that the Kalamazoo County Road Commission will allow his property to have a public street and work with him to achieve the best possible layout for it given limitations. Regarding hunting, Ms. Bugge advised that the General Ordinances, not Zoning Ordinance, addressed this matter. Further, regarding the Master Plan, Ms. Bugge indicated that this area was planned for rural residential and the proposed plat satisfied the plan.

Mike Winkler next approached the Planning Commission. He questioned the future use of the five acre lot. Ms. Bugge responded that it was planned for single family use. However, it could be split in the future into four lots. She further noted where the proposed stormwater retention pond would be located.

Jim Nielson again approached the Planning Commission to question future division of the five acre lot. Ms. Bugge clarified that it could only be split into four lots and that any new lot would have to satisfy the ordinance requirements and requirements of other agencies.

Hearing no additional public comment, the Acting Chairman called for Commission deliberations.

Ms. Mr. Smith spoke regarding sidewalks. He stated he does not feel it is a rural plat and that sidewalks should be required.

Acting Chairman Schley read the deviation language of Section 78.650. He stated his concern over potential precedence if a deviation were granted given the criteria in the Ordinance.

Mr. Larson indicated his agreement with Mr. Smith that it's a neighborhood and he doesn't support a deviation.

Mr. Gould stated that the Planning Commission is on record of favoring sidewalks and its difficult to step back and grant a deviation in the present case. Personally, however, he does not feel sidewalks are warranted in the proposed plat but will support the Planning Commission's current position of requiring them.

Acting Chairman Schley stated we're a commission that requires sidewalks and he wants consistency but opportunities for relief from the requirement. However, in the present case he didn't hear the applicant speak to any reasons why the deviation should be granted.

The applicant then asked for an opportunity to speak about sidewalks. Mr. Emilio Dacoba addressed the commission. He described that 16 of the 24 lots were wooded and he was planning to line the street with poplars and that sidewalks would detract from the Italian character he was hoping to create in the plat.

Mr. Larson questioned the pond. Ms. Bugge indicated that it was under the jurisdiction of the Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner.

Mr. Dacoba explained that the entry sign was proposed in the general area of the retention pond. The entry sign would be Italian in character and the pond area would be lined with trees to hide it from view. He said he is taking pride in the project and he plans to live there on the five acre lot and wants the plat to reflect his heritage.

Hearing no additional questions, the Acting Chairman indicated that he would entertain a motion. Mr. Larson made a motion to recommend approval of the preliminary plat to the Township Board subject to the following conditions:

1. All streets will be public and shall be approved by and dedicated to the Kalamazoo County Road Commission.

2. No deviation for sidewalks is granted.

3. A deviation to allow Toscana Street/Mirabelle to exceed the 1,000 foot length limitation should be granted.

4. Street lighting shall comply with Section 78.700 of the Zoning Ordinance.

5. The proposed lots comply with the Ordinance requirements and that density limitations of the rural residential district are satisfied.

6. No variance for setback relief should be granted for any lot within the plat.

7. All lots are subject to the Kalamazoo County Human Services Department finding them adequate for placement of individual well and septic systems.

Mr. Smith seconded the motion, and the Acting Chairman called for discussion on the motion. Hearing none, he called for a vote and the motion passed unanimously.

Ms. Bugge requested that the applicant contact her prior to finalizing any plans for the sign to ensure that it will comply with the ordinance limitations.

WESTPORT VILLAGE PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AMENDMENT AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - 5401 WEST H AVENUE (PARCELS 3905-12-205-011 AND 3905-12-205-030)

Ms. Bugge told the Planning Commission that Visser Construction asked that their matter be tabled until the Planning Commission meeting of June 9, 2005. Therefore, Mr. Larson made a motion to table Westport Village Planned Unit Development's (Visser Construction) request for special exception use and site plan review to the Planning Commission meeting of June 9, 2005. Mr. Smith seconded the motion, and upon vote, the motion passed unanimously.

OTHER BUSINESS

Trustee Rakowski approached the Planning Commission to address the previous Township Board decision regarding flag pole height. He thanked the Planning Commission for the time and effort regarding the matter. He expressed his disappointment that the applicant and media allowed the issue to become about the flag and not flag pole height. He stated he did not feel the recent criticism of the Township Board and Planning Commission was warranted and that they do a great job and Oshtemo is a great place to be.

He further stated that the Township Board's compromise on the issue of flag pole height did still provide for a limitation on flag size.

Mr. Gould expressed that at the Joint Meeting it appeared that minds were set and the March vote of the Township Board would carry forward to the May meeting. He expressed his disappointment that the Township Board did not follow through on the direction they gave the Planning Commission in March. The Planning Commission did thorough research as requested and felt confident in their recommendation. He finally expressed his disappointment in the process and how opinions changed.

Mr. Rakowski stated that there is a fine line between patriotism and commercialism and he doesn't know where it is.

Acting Chairman Schley thanked Trustee Rakowski for addressing the commission. He stated that the Planning Commission did its due diligence and he too was disappointed in the long process necessary to reach the Board's decision and that the media added to the hype.

Mr. Larson also thanked Trustee Rakowski for his comments. He indicated he was very disappointed in the unanimous vote of the Board and felt that it was disrespectful to property owners who follow the rules and enforcement process of the Township.

Ms. Bugge indicated Clerk Everett was sorry to have let the Planning Commission down in her vote on the matter.

Mr. Gould stated, regarding Trustee Sikora's comment regarding Joint Meeting attendance, that he previously indicated he has a conflict until the end of the year and would attend future meeting when his previous commitment is satisfied.

Acting Chairman Schley expressed that he did not feel that the last Joint Meeting agenda had merit and that the discussion would stay on-track.

PLANNING COMMISSIONER COMMENTS

There were no Planning Commissioner comments.

Adjournment

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 7:55 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
PLANNING COMMISSION

By:
Kathleen Garland-Rike, Secretary

Minutes prepared:
May 30, 2005

Minutes approved:
, 2005