OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
May 8, 2001
Public Comment session was held at the Township Hall. Supervisor VanDyke called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.
Supervisor John VanDyke
Clerk Deb Everett
Treasurer Nancy Culp
Trustee Norm Anderson
Trustee Lois Brown
Trustee Dave Bushouse
Also present was Patricia Mason, Township Attorney, Bob Snell, Township Engineer, Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director and approximately 13 interested people.
Supervisor VanDyke advised that Stan Rakowski and Linda Dunn had withdrawn their names from consideration for the vacant Trustee position.
Megan Lynch, 6622 Morningstar Way, commented she thinks there should be trees in the Township because animals, plants, insects and people need and like them. She expressed dismay that trees were cut down on North 9th and 10th Streets feeling that some of the big trees should have been left since it takes a long time for them to grow. She also commented she felt the developer of the condominiums on North 10th Street did a clear cut, not saving any big trees in the middle of the construction site and doesn't think they will sell very many condos because people like to live near trees. She also stated she feels there should be laws about cutting down trees; if people want to build something near trees they should go to the government and ask; the government should find out how many trees they want to cut down, and they should build around the big trees; if trees have to be cut down the developer should plant one, if it is a big tree they should have plant even more. She urged the Board to remember how many trees are going down and to try harder to save them.
Jan Lynch, 6622 Morningstar Way, explained she is Megan's mother and her comments reflect how their family feels, as well as many people in their neighborhood. She commented from research she has learned the Township has a landscape ordinance and hopes it will be tightened up to include green space in all developments, including parking lots. She commented that she works in Portage and referenced the Moorsbridge and Woodbridge areas where office spaces take into great consideration the environment. She felt Oshtemo is recognized as semi rural and hoped a landscape ordinance would require green area as much as possible.
Brian Molony, 7491 Stadium Drive, commented he would concur with the previous speakers and also feels the greenery in the Township is very important, unfortunately, the Kalamazoo County Road Commission has right of ways according to the State and the Township does not have a lot of control over what the State and Road Commission do. He further commented that as a small business owner he likes to see green space but unfortunately his customers have a hard time being able to pay for it because it puts an extra burden on a lot of smaller businesses. He also stated he likes to be able to have his property as nice as he can afford to but costs go up and more ordinances put a strain and burden on a lot of small businesses being able to conform to these green space ordinances, but he wants to keep the green in his business as much as he and his customers can possibly afford.
Clerk Everett advised the Road Commission has a tree-replanting program to assist homeowners where trees are taken down.
Supervisor VanDyke commented North 9th Street had 10-foot lanes, which were required to be increased to 11 feet with a 3-foot paved shoulder and ditch.
Trustee Bushouse commented when he built his home 32 years ago the lot had no trees and he planted many on the property away from the right of way. He further commented he does not want Oshtemo to have a bad name because there are projects, i.e., the Fetzer Center set in the woods, Kalleward on South 8th Street where they kept a berm, greenery and trees and there are other projects that have saved trees. He also commented he feels it is an individual's responsibility to promote trees on their own property.
Supervisor VanDyke advised a recent conference he attended regarding personnel and human resources was very informative and the knowledge he gained will be useful for the Township.
Planning Director Jodi Stefforia advised she had been in Lansing for an update on the Coordinated Planning Act, which is in subcommittee in the House. She advised the legislation is different than originally proposed and does nothing to take away local control, an example of what the legislation would accomplish is the recent rezoning attempt by the City of Kalamazoo of the cemetery property located in the Township; they would have had to seek comment form the Township.
In response to Board member questions, Ms. Stefforia advised the Township Master Land Use Plan would be adopted by the Township Board and could only be amended once a year and the Township Board would review more Planning Commission decisions than currently.
The following applicants were interviewed for the vacant Trustee position:
Supervisor VanDyke called the regular meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
>PRESENT:Supervisor John VanDyke Clerk Deb Everett
Also present was Patricia Mason, Township Attorney, Bob Snell, Township Engineer, Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director, and approximately 30 interested people.
Motion by Anderson, second by Brown to approve the minutes of the April 24th Regular meeting and May 1st Special meeting. Carried.
Income to the General Fund of $21,659.22 and disbursements of $106,141.76 and income to the Fire Fund of $20.50 and disbursements of $39,186.54 were reported. Motion by Culp, second by Bushouse to acknowledge the receipts and pay the bills. Carried.
Dan Wilkinson, developer of Skyview Estates inquired on the status of the contaminated water issue regarding his property. Engineer Snell advised there has been a great deal of discussion and a strong effort to get water installed this year, cost estimates have been put together along with efforts to finance a project. Attorney Mason advised negotiations are being held with all parties involved to achieve a temporary and permanent solution; discussions involve both County and State and she feels we are close to a resolution.
Millard Loy, 5590 Parkview, advised a problem with vehicles parking on Parkview near South 11th Street has developed; he has contacted the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Department twice but had no response. Supervisor VanDyke advised he would contact the Sheriff's Department.
Bob Janssen, 8670 Almena Drive, inquired if the Township or County is stopping the development of Skyview Estates. Attorney Mason advised Kalamazoo County is not approving well permits for any property within a half-mile radius of any contaminated site; this encompasses Skyview and attempts are being made to solve the problem.
Brian Molony inquired if the Township has a charter that brings it into conformance with being a charter township. He was advised the Township operates under the Charter Township Act. Trustee Bushouse noted the original reason for becoming charter was the Township being threatened with annexation; becoming a charter township provided protection from annexation.
FIREWORKS PERMIT -10711 WEST KL AVENUE
An application from Donald Bierens for a fireworks permit for July 4th was received. Mr. Bierens has been granted a permit for the past several years; his application indicated the necessary insurance coverage.
Motion by Everett, second by Bushouse to approve the fireworks permit. Carried.
PLANNING COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION - TEXT AMENDMENTS
MINIMUM SEPARATION BETWEEN BUILDINGS
CORRECTION-SECTION 60.500 OPEN SPACE COMMUNITY
RENUMBER SECTION 78.800 TO 24.207(F)
The following recommendations from the Planning Commission were before the Board for Second and Final Reading.
Section 66.201 - Reduction in the minimum separation between residential buildings of up to four units on the same parcel, lot or building site from 40 feet to 20 feet. It would permit greater flexibility in the placement of buildings but not affect density.
Section 60.550B - Correction of the word "off-street" to "off-site" and the addition of the words "and dedicated" that were inadvertently omitted.
Section 60.550C - Removal of the second sentence of the third paragraph; it is already stated in Section 60.550B where it is appropriate.
Section 78-800 - Renumber to Section 24.207.f, the section lists the conditions and limitations multi-family dwellings are subject to.
Motion by Culp, second by Everett to adopt the text amendments. Roll call vote showed Anderson-yes, Brown-yes, Bushouse-yes, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, VanDyke-yes.
PARKING ORDINANANCE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER APPOINTMENTS
A request for two parking enforcement officers was presented to fill two positions now open.
Clerk Everett advised she would not participate or vote on this item since one of the proposed officers is her son.
Motion by Brown, second by Anderson to appoint Chip Everett and Mike Sikkema as Parking Ordinance Enforcement Officers. Carried with Everett abstaining.
TOWNHIP SIGNS-OSHTEMO BUSINESS ASSOC/OSHTEMO ROTARY
This item was tabled at the April 24th meeting for research by the Attorney. Attorney Mason advised she would recommend the Township purchase the signs, place them in the road right of way, obtaining written permission from the Kalamazoo County Road Commission and MDOT. In regard to other groups advertising on the signs, Ms. Mason advised she would be uncomfortable with churches advertising due the requirement of separation of church and State.
Millard Loy, President of the Oshtemo Business Association advised he would pursue the written permission needed by the Road Commission and MDOT
Motion by Bushouse, second by Brown to purchase 5 Township signs at a cost of $1,200 each, subject to reimbursement from the Oshtemo Business Association and Oshtemo Rotary for 2 of them, and contingent upon written permission from the Kalamazoo County Road Commission and MDOT for placement in the road right of way. Carried.
Trustee Bushouse referencing Mr. Loy's earlier comment also noted the increased parking on Fairgrove Street and felt the issue should be addressed by the Planning Department and discussed at the next joint Boards meeting.
Mr. Bushouse commented that as a member of the Sewer/Water Committee, they have been working hard on not only the Skyview problem but also other projects. He also commented he is promoting the need to put in main transmission lines throughout the Township and be proactive and feels the committee is close to bringing the Board a recommendation.
He also commented he had the opportunity to meet with some township residents along with the Supervisor and Clerk and he will be making some inquiries, will provide the information to Board members, trying to diffuse some situations.
Clerk Everett advised as Township representative to the Planning Commission she had been asked to inform the Board the Planning Commission voted unanimously that the Commission would be opposed to any policy change which would prevent the Township Attorney from attending Planning Commission meetings. They feel the Attorney is needed at their meetings.
Treasurer Culp advised the Sewer/Water Committee had held several meetings regarding the Savanah project on West H Avenue concerning the development's connection to sewer.
Several means of accomplishing connection to sewer had been discussed with the developer, Township Engineer, Attorney and Auditor. Attorney Mason advised the developer has installed gravity mains in their roads but not the force main and pump station that are required to hook those sites up. The developer has presented a petition for the project for a special assessment district to fund the project.
There was lengthy discussion regarding ways to accommodate the petition, with the Attorney advising the Board must consider if the project benefits the Township as a whole and ways to fund it. The Township Auditor has recommended the Township pay for the project from the revolving sewer fund with an agreement from the developer to reimburse the total cost of the project in no more than five years at 8% interest. There was concern from Trustee Bushouse that precedent not be set financing projects for developers. Engineer Snell felt this would not since the pump station and force main would benefit more properties, not just Savanah.
Motion by Everett, second by Anderson to authorize the Attorney to draft an agreement to be reviewed by the Sewer/Water Committee and letter of confirmation be requested from the Township Auditor that funds are available. Carried with Bushouse voting no.
Stan Rakowski, 7151 West G Avenue, commented on the east side of the state, townships have sewer and water provided by developers and inquired why it is not done that way here. Engineer Snell responded the Boards of Public Works are utilized; townships in this area are more reactive to petitions. Trustee Bushouse reiterated his feeling we should be proactive installing main lines; developers could then be required to connect to them.
There was no further business and the meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:35 p.m.
DEBORAH L. EVERETT
Attested: John VanDyke