OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
November 12, 2002
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 Lois Brown
Trustee Tom Brodasky
Trustee Dave Bushouse
Trustee Jim Worline
Also present was Patricia Mason, Township Attorney, Marc Elliott, Township Engineer, and approximately 10 interested people.
Ed Sharp, 379 West Ridge Circle, had questions regarding the Fire Department request for purchase of a vehicle. Supervisor VanDyke advised the item would be considered at the regular meeting and that would be the appropriate time for comment.
A reception in honor of Trustees Brodasky and Worline was held, as this was their last meeting.
Supervisor VanDyke called the regular meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
Supervisor John VanDyke
Clerk Deb Everett
Treasurer Nancy Culp
Trustee Lois Brown
Trustee Tom Brodasky
Trustee Dave Bushouse
Trustee Jim Worline
Also present was Patricia Mason, Township Attorney, Marc Elliott, Township Engineer, Fire Chief Ken Howe, Deputy Fire Chief Paul Karnemaat, Planning Director Jodi Stefforia, Planner Mary Lynn Bugge, and approximately 17 interested people.
Motion by Brown, second by Brodasky to approve the minutes of the October 22nd meeting. Carried.
Income to the General and Fire Funds of $413,765.38 and disbursements of $130,358.98 were reported. Motion by Brodasky, second by Worline to accept the report as presented. Carried.
Stan Rakowski, 7151 West G Avenue, thanked Trustees Brodasky and Worline for their service to the community.
FIRE DEPARTMENT PURCHASE - VEHICLE
Fire Chief Ken Howe presented a proposal for the purchase of a fire truck to replace current unit 513 which is 22 years old with 42, 619 miles and 3,445 hours of operation. He advised the time frame for apparatus replacement is determined by replacement schedules influenced by Insurance Services Office (ISO) standards, availability of parts and service along with reliability due to age and condition, and unit 513 meets these criteria. The proposed replacement vehicle is a pumper with Telesqurt device mounted at the rear, with the Telesqurt allowing for a first due apparatus to have an elevated master stream, lighting, power and ladder capabilities. He also advised it offers the advantage of one or two personnel can place a 75 foot ladder into operation where it would take a minimum of five to raise an extension ladder. He further advised one determining factor in choice of bidder is the proposal offers an apparatus from a single source provider as both American LaFrance and Telesqurt are subsidiaries of Freightliner LLC, therefore, the request is to award the bid to American LaFrance in an amount not to exceed $480,000. He advised he had consulted with the Township auditor and confirmed sufficient funds for the proposal.
Trustee Bushouse commented he requested information on scene response as it was his understanding there are now agreements for first response with the City of Kalamazoo, City of Portage, Kalamazoo Township, Alamo Township and Texas Township for any call classed as a fire. He further commented the fire department has been aggressive over the years in requiring sprinklers and alarm systems and based on past experience he needs to be convinced of a need for more pumping capacity at the scene. He also commented the snorkel has lighting available, it was his understanding when the City of Kalamazoo responds here they respond with a Telesqurt, which Portage also has. He inquired how the Pierce bid compared since one of the selling points for the last truck purchased was uniformity. He also inquired how many actual calls unit 513 responds to a year; number fire calls, size of building, required fire flow for the building and what units are arriving in light of the initial aid agreements. He further commented he has a concern about selling a truck we feel is not good our use to someone else, as far as ladder use is concerned they will still be necessary for access in back of three story homes and the same number of personnel would be necessary and do we have a reserve pumper. He also commented the proposed expenditure is from the 2003 budget and based on events of 2000 when items were approved prior to the new board and there was concern by incoming board members he felt respect is owed to the incoming trustees to have input on the expenditure.
Trustee Brodasky commented he was satisfied the document submitted by Chief Howe presented an adequate argument, he understood some of Mr. Bushouse's comments, but in view of the age of the truck and the distinct possibility something could happen, on the way to a call or in the bay, it would not be available. He also commented as a board member he did not want to abdicate his position, the budget has been approved for 2003, the item is on the agenda for action and thought it should go forward.
Trustee Worline concurred with Mr. Brodasky and as Fire Commissioner had been working with Chief Howe on this project for almost two years and would like to see it come to completion. He further commented it is not a "lame duck" board in that two votes from himself and Mr. Brodasky as departing trustees could not influence the outcome. He also commented a smaller municipality could utilize unit 513 since their volume would be significantly less, funds for the purchase have been set aside for past several years, .5 of the Fire Department millage is strictly for capital expenditures, and he was prepared to act on this item.
Trustee Brown commented it was her understanding unit 513 is a safe vehicle that could be put in service by a smaller community with less demand, maintaining a reserve pumper would be costly, and the proposed vehicle can be operated by one or two firefighters which would be an advantage if short on personnel. She also reiterated there is millage set aside and purchases are planned for which is prudent management of funds, the proposed vehicle would also make prudent use of personnel, this was a long studied process with the Supervisor, Fire Commissioner, and Fire Chief conducting a studious review, all of which is a plus and should be supportive of the Fire Department and personnel.
Chief Howe concurred with Ms. Brown's comments adding the proposed vehicle would be an asset to increase efficiency and safety of personnel. He also commented he prefers to have all vehicles operational rather than one in reserve and ISO credit is received for a reserve vehicle due to all vehicles being in service.
In response to questions from Supervisor VanDyke, Chief Howe advised the proposed vehicle could be set up remarkably faster than the snorkel truck and the pump capacity would be 1500 gallons per minute.
Ed Sharp, 379 West Ridge Circle, commented Chief Howe's presentation was very well done. He also commented since the current truck has obsolete parts, was a guarantee sought with the bidding that will insure serviceability for 20 years, the expected life of the truck and a critical parts list provided. He also commented although funds had been set aside for the purchase he questioned the timing in light of a new board and current economic conditions. He also expressed concern regarding selling the current truck if it is substandard.
Chief Howe advised there can be no guarantee that any company will stay in business, however, components from long time reputable companies were bid.
Supervisor VanDyke commented when he ran for office a lot of things were passed just prior to his taking office and he would like to see this item wait until the new board members come aboard and Mr. Sharp's comment regarding a critical parts list would be good inquiry to make.
Trustee Brown wished to respond to Mr. Sharp's comment regarding the safety of the current truck that Chief Howe had confirmed the vehicle is safe to on the road where there would be less miles and clock time. Chief Howe concurred once again adding that all maintenance records and current conditions would be provided to any interested buyer.
Trustee Worline felt the issue should not be postponed and the situation with the previous board was different in that there were several new members. He further commented this has been in process since May 2001 and this was not an attempt to push something through.
Trustee Bushouse asked Mr. Worline to keep in mind how many initial aid contracts have been put in place in the past two years and commented no where in the discussion has there been shown on arrival of a scene, not having adequate pump capacity; Portage and the City of Kalamazoo have Telesqurts and he would question if we need to stand alone with all the latest when we cooperating with other municipalities, and he is no way trying to endanger a firefighter but trying to put practical numbers to what is arriving on a scene and what can be actually used.
In response to a question from Trustee Brown, Chief Howe advised the agreement with Portage is mutual aid, the City of Kalamazoo does not respond with a Telesqurt, initial aid west of 9th Street and south of West Main is from Mattawan and Texas Township and north of West Main is Alamo Township all three of which would be a tanker response. He further commented the current ISO rating will be maintained but the recent addition of two full time personnel would help improve the rating.
Clerk Everett commented Trustee Bushouse raised some questions that needed to be asked and while she respects his position also has the utmost confidence in Chief Howe and can trust what he is saying.
Motion by Worline, second by Brodasky to award the bid to American LaFrance to replace unit 513, an expenditure not to exceed $480,000. Roll call vote showed Brodasky-yes, Brown-yes, Bushouse-no, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, VanDyke-yes, Worline-yes.
FINAL APPROVAL OF A FINAL PLAT - OSHTEMO WOODS
Planner Mary Lynn Bugge presented Oshtemo Woods for final approval advising all steps had been completed with the exception of sewer inspection fees paid, as built plans for sewer submitted, and a correction was necessary to the title insurance legal description. The Attorney and Engineer felt approval could be granted contingent upon these items being resolved.
Motion by Brown, second by Brodasky to grant final approval of a final plat contingent upon receipt of sewer inspection fees, as built plans for sewer, and correction of the title insurance legal description. Carried.
REZONING - SECTION 26 - VC TO C-1 AND R-4 TO C-1
Planning Director Stefforia presented recommendations from the Planning Commission regarding two rezoning requests in Section 26, properties owned by Mary Jane Kinney and Michigan Health Enterprises (Sherwood Place). She advised the requests were received as separate applications from Ms. Kinney and Phoenix Properties as potential buyer of the Sherwood Place property, both requesting a change to "C-1" Local Business from "VC" Village Commercial in Ms. Kinney's case and "R-4" for Sherwood Place.
Ms. Stefforia then advised the requests were tabled at the first public hearing to allow the applicants time to consider development options under "VC" and allow staff to gather information from past focus area committee and planning commission meetings, then upon discovering the Sherwood Place property is within the Village Focus Area, the Planning Commission tabled the request for noticing of considering "VC" for that parcel as well. She further advised the final action by the Planning Commission recommends that Ms. Kinney's request to have her two properties rezoned from "VC" to "C-1" be denied and that the Sherwood Place property be rezoned to "VC" from "R-4", consistent with the Master Land Use Plan.
Adam Parsons, attorney representing Michigan Health Enterprises, advised his client did not request "VC" zoning and requests the Board not approve the Planning Commission recommendation and leave the current "R-4" zoning in place.
Mary Kinney commented she would like her property returned to commercial zoning, appraisers she has consulted with advise the highest and best use for the size and location would be commercial, she would not have agreed to the "VC" zoning had she realized it would limit the development options.
Greg Taylor representing Phoenix Properties thanked Planning staff and the Planning Commission for their time invested in this issue. He advised Phoenix Properties had entered into a purchase agreement with Ms. Kinney, commercial use seemed the highest and best zone for these properties, an architect conducted a study that concluded 144 acres are zoned "VC", regardless of what the subject properties are zoned the intent of the Village Focus Area Plan would be considered when a site plan was submitted. He further advised that despite the fact commercial uses are permitted in the "VC" district they feel it is unwise to invest on the speculation they might receive deviations or variances for parking, floor area ratio and signage.
Board member discussion included permitted uses in the proposed districts, whether rezoning the Sherwood property would be considered spot zoning, would leaving the Sherwood property "R_4" blend with "VC" and the existence of an informal policy the Township has had to not rezone over an owners objection.
Planning Commission Chairman Neil Sikora pointed out the Planning Commission uses a specific list of criteria during a rezoning process that is set in statute, is the same each time and applied equally. He further commented one of the criteria is not "will this make lots of money for the owner or developer"; most people do invest in property to make money but that is not a criteria the commission is allowed to use by law. He also commented members of the commission have nothing to gain personally from deciding an issue, they are only interested in doing what is in the best interest of all residents of the Township and must keep this in mind since a change on one property will obviously effect neighboring properties. Mr. Sikora also reminded the Board when considering rezoning, any permitted use in the proposed district must be considered. He urged the Board to allow the "VC" district a chance to develop and support the Planning Commission's recommendations.
Motion by Worline, second by Brodasky to accept the Planning Commission recommendation to rezone the Sherwood Place property to "VC" Village Commercial and set First Reading for November 26th.
Ms. Kinney requested the rezoning of her property be considered first. Trustee Bushouse commented there would be no other choice than to leave the Kinney property in "VC". He advised his concern was unless the Township takes a very active roll in taking Stadium Drive back to a four lane road with a center boulevard it will be difficult to expect average retail to have much interest on a 5 lane highway, the "VC" district should be a smaller area unless the Township takes actively pursues slowing down the traffic.
Mr. Parsons reiterated the proposed rezoning was contrary to the owners wishes and requested the property be left "R-4".
Trustees Worline and Brodasky agreed to withdraw their motion.
Elaine Branch, 7654 West Main, commented the Focus Area Plan should be reviewed as far as what the vision of the area was. She also expressed concern regarding the options of what could be developed on ten acres of "C" or "C-1" property would not fit the Master Land Use Plan and Focus Area Plan, and agreed with Mr. Sikora's comment that the Board consider the good of the community.
Motion by Culp, second by Worline to accept the Planning Commission recommendation to deny the rezoning request for the Kinney property. Roll call vote showed Brown-no, Bushouse-no, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, VanDyke-no, Worline-yes, Brodasky-yes.
Motion by Worline, second by Brodasky to accept the recommendation of the Planning Commission to rezone the Sherwood Place property from "R-4" to "VC" and set First Reading for November 26th. Roll call vote showed Bushouse-no, Culp-no, Everett-no, VanDyke-no, Worline-yes, Brodasky-yes, Brown-no.
ACCESSORY BUILDING ORDINANCE
Planning Director Stefforia presented a Planning Commission recommendation for provisions to address accessory buildings on residential properties; currently other than setbacks there are no limitations in the Zoning Ordinance. The suggested text would limit height to 20 feet on properties of 30,000 square feet or less, and 25 feet on properties larger than 30,000 square feet unless approval for a taller building is granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals. Buildings would also be limited to a maximum width of 1/3 the property's width or 24 feet, whichever is greater.
Motion by Culp, second by Everett to accept the recommendation and set First Reading for November 26th. Carried.
TEXT AMENDMENT - PUD - VILLAGE COMMERICAL DISTRICT
Ms. Stefforia presented a Planning Commission recommendation to amend the text of Section 60.420 to identify the Planned Unit Development (PUD) land use option as available in the "VC" Village Commercial district. She advised not including this was an oversight when the "VC" district was established in 2000.
Motion by Brown, second by Brodasky to accept the recommendation and set First Reading for November 26th. Carried.
TEXT AMENDMENT - SIGN ORDINANCE- TIME/TEMPERATURE ELEMENT
Ms. Stefforia presented a Planning Commission recommendation to amend the text of the Sign Ordinance to allow time and temperature features to be added to signs. The proposed language would allow time and temperature elements to occupy up to 25% of the sign face and only alternate between current time and temperature and not more than once per four seconds. The proposed text would also include language that requires the brightness of an LED display to the appropriate for the surroundings.
Motion by Culp, second by Worline to accept the recommendation and set First Reading for November 26th. Carried.
DEFINITION OF FAMILY ORDINANCE
Ms. Bugge presented a recommendation from the Planning Commission to establish a definition of family for purposes of rental housing. She advised the Planning Commission and Rental Housing Committee have each been studying how to provide safe rental housing in the Township while maintaining the character and stability of existing neighborhoods.
The proposed language would define a "traditional family" as one person, up to two unrelated persons, or where two or more persons reside in a dwelling unit would be limited to legal relatives, adopted children, foster children, wards or any combination. A "functional family" would be defined as a collective number of individuals, including religious orders, living together whose relationship is of a regular and permanent nature or recognizable bond where parties are responsible for basic needs of others.
Trustee Worline commented he appreciated the time and effort the Planning Commission and Rental Housing Committee had spent on this project.
Trustee Bushouse commented he would like to know how many single family units are not owner occupied. Ms. Bugge advised she could provide that information.
Treasurer Culp inquired how the number of 2 unrelated people was arrived at. Ms. Bugge advised the objective is to protect single family neighborhoods and Attorney Mason advised other municipalities use the same number and it has been upheld in court.
Elaine Branch, 7654 West Main, inquired how the proposed language would affect adult foster care homes. Ms. Bugge advised since they are licensed by the State, the ordinance would have no affect.
Motion by Brodasky, second by Brown to accept the recommendation and set First Reading for November 26th. Carried.
TAX/ASSESSING INFORMATION ON WEB SITE
Treasurer Culp presented a proposal for making assessing and tax information available through the Township web site. The annual cost would be $3,000 for daily updates with $300.00 up front cost for initial set up.
Motion by Worline, second by Brodasky to approve the expenditure. Carried.
EMPLOYEE HEALTH INSURANCE - CHANGE IN PLAN
Trustee Brown presented a recommendation from the Personnel Committee for changes in the employee and retiree health insurance. The plan would change coverage to Community Blue PPO and increase the co-pay on prescription drugs to $15.00 for generic and $30.00 for brand names and provide $200.00 per year, per employee/retiree for co-pay reimbursement. She further advised the committee did a thorough review recognizing the need to provide for employees while being prudent with township dollars.
Treasurer Culp commented she felt having employees pay part of the premium should have been considered. Trustee Worline advised the committee felt since salary increases for 2003 would be cost of living only, this seemed a more fair change at this time.
Motion by Brown, second by Worline to approve the changes to the health insurance. Roll call vote showed Culp-yes, Everett-yes, VanDyke-yes, Worline-yes, Brodasky-yes, Brown-yes, Bushouse-yes.
EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK REVISION
Trustee Worline presented three revisions for the employee handbook; adding Ordinance Enforcement Officer in Section 2.9, deleted (full or half sleeve) and added capris in inappropriate for business casual in Section 6.8, changed Building Department to Ordinance Enforcement Officer in Appendix G-Item 3.
Motion by Worline, second by Brodasky to approve the changes to employee handbook. Roll call vote showed Everett-yes, VanDyke-yes, Worline-yes, Brodasky-yes, Brown-yes, Bushouse-yes, Culp-yes.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS RIGHTS-OF-WAY ORDINANCE
Attorney Mason advised the State has enacted the Metropolitan Telecommunications Rights-of-Way Oversight Act, which provides for a uniform permit and fee for access to and use of public rights-of-way by telecommunications providers and distribution of fees from an oversight authority. She presented a proposed ordinance to be adopted to comply with requirements of the Act and to ensure that the Township qualifies for distributions from the authority.
In response to Board members questions Ms. Mason advised the Act only affects telecommunications, not cable franchises currently in place.
Motion by Everett, second by Culp to accept the ordinance for First Reading and set Second Reading for November 26th. Roll call vote showed VanDyke-yes, Worline-yes, Brodasky-yes, Brown-yes, Bushouse-yes, Culp-yes, Everett-yes.
SNOW PLOW BIDS
Supervisor VanDyke advised three snowplow bids had been received:
Corakis Heating & Cooling - $10,800 for the season
460.00 per time
125.00 per time for cemeteries
JP's Outdoor Services - $11,700 for the season
$11,115 for the season if prepaid
Arcadia Landscape - $ 370.00 per time
85.00 per time for cemeteries
Trustee Brown commented she would like to see businesses located in the Township asked to bid and would like to review a list of those invited to bid and their responses. Treasurer Culp commented she would also like to see more bids.
Trustee Bushouse commented the service from Corakis last season was fine and at a considerable savings. Mr. VanDyke advised extra plows done last season were not billed.
Motion by Bushouse, second by Culp to accept the bid from Corakis Heating & Cooling of $10,800 for the season. Treasurer Culp commented any lawn repair in the spring needs to be completed prior to mowing season. Carried 5-2 with Brown and Worline voting no. Trustee Brown commented she voted no because she felt she did not have enough information.
BOARD MEMBER COMMENTS
Supervisor VanDyke advised the Township contribution to the Kalamazoo County Hazardous Waste Program for Oshtemo residents has been exhausted. Consensus was to see how many more dates there are for this year since funds have been budgeted for 2003.
He also advised there has been a slight revision of the wastewater agreement and the Board is invited to tour the wastewater plant on December 13th at noon.
Trustee Worline commented it was an honor serving on the Township Board; he has learned a lot and thanked the Board for the opportunity to serve. He further commented he wished the new board the best of luck and also thanked the Fire Department for their support during his tenure as Fire Commissioner.
Trustee Brodasky also commented it was an honor to serve and hoped he had contributed to the process.
Trustee Brown led a round of applause for Trustees Brodasky and Worline.
There was no further business and the meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:15 p.m.
DEBORAH L. EVERETT
Attested: John VanDyke