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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

November 16, 2000

Agenda

KALAMAZOO CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE/SITE PLAN REVIEW - 3800 SOUTH 12TH STREET - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-36-280-010 AND 3905-36-405-020)

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, November 16, 2000, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Wilfred Dennie, Chairperson
Ted Corakis
Stanley Rakowski
Neil Sikora
Ken Heisig
Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell
Marvin Block

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

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

CALL TO ORDER

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

AGENDA

The Chairperson suggested adding as an Agenda item a discussion of the items to be considered at the remaining meetings in the year 2000. Ms. Stefforia suggested adding a consideration of the minutes of the meeting of November 9, 2000. She also suggested consideration of the Work Program for January, 2001, through June of 2001. Mr. Corakis moved to approve the Agenda as amended, and Mr. Sikora seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

KALAMAZOO CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE/SITE PLAN REVIEW - 3800 SOUTH 12TH STREET - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-36-280-010 AND 3905-36-405-020)

The Planning Commission considered the application of Kalamazoo Christian Schools, as submitted by Pinnacle Communications, for special exception use approval/site plan amendment to allow erection of a 90-foot tall communication tower and antenna for use by the school at 3800 South 12th Street. The subject site is located in the "AG" Agricultural-Rural District zoning classification, and is Parcel Nos. 3905-36-280-010 and 3905-36-405-020. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference. Ms. Stefforia stated that the tower would be used for the needs of the school alone. There would be no commercial co-locations.

Dennis Boersema was present on behalf of the applicant. It was noted that the school system has a computer network among its Christian schools in the area which provides data transmission and allows for Internet access. The establishment of a tower would provide for wireless communication among the schools for this network.

The Chairperson had questions with regard to why the tower was proposed at a 90-foot height. The applicant indicated that there was a need for a direct line of sight from the tower to the school. Since the tower would be placed behind the school for aesthetic purposes, it would need to be of such a height as to be above the gym building. The applicant had not considered an alternative style, i.e., other than the lattice tower with guy wires. The tower would not be self-supporting.

In response to questions from Mr. Block, the applicant indicated that the size of the tower would allow for the tower to serve the site long term. Mr. Corakis expressed concern about the guy wires. The applicant stated that the guy wires would not go to the ground, but to poles which were seven to eight feet in height.

The Chairperson asked for public comment, and Gordon Miller, who stated that he lives adjacent to the property, stated that he had concern about the establishment of the tower. However, he was satisfied that the applicant had proposed no commercial co-locations and that the tower would be used for the school alone. He felt that this should be a condition of any approval. There was no other public comment. The Chairperson closed the public hearing.

The Chairperson summarized the application and referred to Section 60.600 with regard to communication towers.

Ms. Bugge submitted pictures of similar towers and provided a copy of the site plan.

It was noted as to Section 60.630 that the tower would support school equipment. There was no proposed accessory building or equipment building at the base of the tower. The tower, a 90-foot lattice type, would meet all setback requirements, the tower was 800 feet from the road and 133 from the school building.

In response to a question by Ms. Heiny-Cogswell, the applicant indicated that the poles to which the guy wires would lead would be inside the "bus loop". The tower would be placed in the center of the bus loop. There would be conduit/wire buried under the area coming from the building under the road, under the bus loop, and up through the base of the tower. It was noted that the landscaping in the bus loop area is "lawn" with a small tree. In discussing landscaping, Mr. Rakowski stated that he would not see any point to providing additional landscaping since the base of the tower would not be observable from the street.

Ms. Bugge noted that the school is in the northeast corner of the acreage owned by the applicant.

There was discussion of whether security fencing would be established around the tower site. The Chairperson felt that, since this is an elementary school, the Planning Commission should be more "protective". The applicant responded that there would be security/anti-climbing panels around the tower. Ms. Bugge stated that she was more concerned about the wires supporting the poles, and that these wires be clearly marked. Mr. Rakowski noted that in similar cases, wires were placed in a plastic sleeve which was yellow for observability.

The applicant stated that the extra wires supporting the poles could be eliminated by changing the design/height of the pole. Therefore, all wires would be at least seven to eight feet off the ground. The poles would be established at a distance of approximately 72 feet from the tower.

The Chairperson suggested low-growing shrubs be established around the base of the tower and the base of the poles so as to discourage children from approaching the poles and tower. The Planning Commission members observed the proposed anti-climbing panels illustrated in Photograph G. They would be established approximately two feet from the ground and were eight feet in height.

Mr. Heisig stated, and the Planning Commissioners concurred, that the combination of the anti-climbing panels and the elimination of the wires supporting the poles would be satisfactory substitute for security fencing.

No lighting was proposed as F.A.A. requirements would not call for lighting here. No signage other than that required by the F.C.C. would be established.

It was agreed that the establishment of the tower should be conditioned upon it being for school use only, with no commercial co-location.

Mr. Corakis moved to approve the special exception use, stating that pursuant to the discussion of the Planning Commission, the proposed application meets the criteria of Sections 60.600 and 60.100. The motion was conditioned upon no co-location or commercial use of the tower. The tower is to be used for school use only. The motion was seconded by Mr. Block, and it carried unanimously.

Mr. Sikora moved to amend the site plan approval to allow for the tower as proposed based upon the discussion of the Planning Commission, with the following conditions, limitations and notations:

(1) That the tower be a lattice-style tower 90 feet in height.

(2) That all setbacks would be met with the tower established 800 feet from the road and 133 feet from the building.

(3) That no security fencing would be required, but that anti-climbing panels as proposed by the applicant would be established and the poles for guy wires would be re-designed and increased in height so that no supporting wires for the poles to the ground were needed or established.

(4) That no lighting on the tower would be established.

(5) That signs only as required by the F.C.C. would be established.

(6) That there would be no commercial use of the tower, the tower would be for school use only.

(7) That there would be low-growing shrubs around the base of the tower and the poles.

The motion was seconded by Mr. Block.

The Chairperson called for public comment, and Barb Miller stated that she worried about the tower in this area adjacent to where children would be getting on and off the bus. She was concerned about lightning strikes. Mr. Corakis stated that he felt that this was not a valid concern due to fact the tower would be grounded. The public hearing was re-closed, and upon a vote on the motion, the motion carried unanimously.

WORK PLAN, 2001

The Planning Commission considered the proposed Work Plan for the months of January, 2001 to June, 2001. There was discussion of the possible historic district, and it was believed that this issue was probably "dead". The Chairperson suggested that perhaps the Planning Commission should revisit the West Main Focus Area. After further discussion, Mr. Block moved to receive the proposed Work Plan, and Mr. Sikora seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

OTHER BUSINESS

There was discussion of the December meetings, and it was noted that as to the December 7, 2000 meeting, the Planning Commission would discuss 2001 meeting dates. There would also possibly be the Oak Park-Buford Site Condominium Project. There may be a conceptual plan review of a PUD proposed for South 9th Street. At the meeting of December 14, 2000, three text changes would be considered, i.e., the Overlay District floor area, height definition, and the "R-4" District. There would also be a year-end review.

MINUTES

The Planning Commission considered the minutes of November 9, 2000. Mr. Corakis moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Mr. Sikora seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

PLANNING COMMISSIONER COMMENTS

Mr. Corakis noted that the Business Association had suggested welcome signs, and he distributed an illustration.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Planning Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 8:10 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
PLANNING COMMISSION

By:

Minutes prepared:

November 20, 2000

Minutes approved: