OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

 

November 17, 2005

Agenda

HANSEN - SITE PLAN REVIEW - STADIUM PARK CONDOMINIUM - 7100 BLOCK OF STADIUM DRIVE, ON NORTH SIDE OF THE ROAD - (PARCEL NO. 3905-34-230-060)

ROCHE - VILLAGE PLACE ESTATES - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - 24 ACRES ON THE EAST SIDE OF 8TH STREET, NORTH OF STADIUM DRIVE - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-26-355-040 AND 3905-35-105-010)

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, November 17, 2005, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

MEMBERS PRESENT: James Turcott
Terry Schley
Deborah L. Everett
Mike Smith
Lee Larson
Kathleen Garland-Rike

MEMBER ABSENT: Fred Gould

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director; Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner; James W. Porter, Township Attorney; and approximately five other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

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

AGENDA

The Chairman asked if there were any revisions to the Agenda. Hearing none,

Mr. Smith made a motion to approve the Agenda, as submitted. The motion was seconded by Mr. Schley. The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.

MINUTES

The Chairman asked the Planning Commission members if there were any changes to the minutes of October 27, 2005. Hearing none, Mr. Schley made a motion to approve the minutes as submitted, and Ms. Everett seconded the motion. The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.

HANSEN - SITE PLAN REVIEW - STADIUM PARK CONDOMINIUM- 7100 BLOCK OF STADIUM DRIVE, ON NORTH SIDE OF THE ROAD - (PARCEL NO. 3905-34-230-060)

The Chairman said that Item #4 was the next item up for consideration. He stated that the Planning Commission was being asked to conduct site plan review for a two-unit nonresidential site condominium in the 7100 block of Stadium Drive, Parcel No. 3905-34-230-060. The Chairman asked to hear from the Planning Department. Ms. Bugge submitted her report to the Planning Commission dated November 17, 2005, and the same is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge began with background information for the Planning Commission's consideration. She explained that a two-unit nonresidential Stadium Park Condominium is proposed for development on approximately two acres of land located on the north side of Stadium Drive, west of 8th Street and adjacent to the City of Kalamazoo water tower property. She said the City of Kalamazoo had been granted a variance to allow the land division and the construction of the City's water tower with only 66 feet of road frontage. However, she noted that the variance included certain conditions regarding access to the subject parcel via an easement on the tower property and an easement across the subject parcel to connect to the parcel to the east, to-wit: Welling Ripley & Labs' property. She said the applicant wanted to request an entrance drive at midpoint between the proposed two-unit condominium and did not think a service drive was feasible due to the location of the existing drive on the eastern parcel, as well as topography conditions. Ms. Bugge noted either access location would have to meet the Access Management Guidelines and receive approval from the Kalamazoo County Road Commission.

Ms. Bugge then took the Planning Commission through the site plan review criteria under Section 82.800 of the Ordinance, noting the conditions which would have to be met in order to meet the site plan review requirements.

The Chairman began the discussion by asking Ms. Bugge, if the two-unit site condominium shared the proposed mid-point drive, whether the safety provisions of the Access Management Guidelines would be met. Ms. Bugge indicated that neither access point would fully satisfy all of the requirements and that the applicant might have to request a deviation.

Ms. Everett asked if the water tower access would change. Ms. Bugge indicated that it would not change.

The Chairman asked if there were any further questions, and hearing none, asked to hear from the applicant. Mr. Walter Hansen introduced himself to the Planning Commission. He explained that he wanted to develop a two-unit office site condominium, one unit with a dental office and the other unit with some type of professional office which had not yet been determined.

Mr. Hansen said access over the City's drive to the water tower was really not feasible for the two-unit condominium. He said that they would provide cross-access to the water tower for City vehicles in order to limit access directly to Stadium Drive. He said he thought the City needed to maintain its direct access drive for their larger trucks, but otherwise would most likely access the tower site via the two-unit condominium in the future.

Mr. Hansen said, connecting to the property at Welling Ripley & Labs would be extremely difficult. He said, given the topography and the fact that the subject property rises east to west, and that the Welling Ripley & Labs' property was located much lower than the subject property, he did not think it was possible to make an access point, given the grade change between the two properties. He also said that the location of their buildings and parking in relationship to the subject parcel was problematic, given the fact that the subject property moves to the south as one travels further to the west.

Mr. Schley raised a question regarding the proposed elevations of the buildings. Mr. Hansen explained that both office buildings would have walk-outs to the rear.

Mr. Larson asked if there would be parking in the rear. Mr. Hansen indicated that there would be. Mr. Larson asked how much parking would be available. Mr. Hansen said he was not sure since no specific site plan had yet been developed, but he had every intention in maintaining adequate screening and greenspace around the property. He said they would attempt to save many of the trees and create as natural a setting as possible for the development.

Mr. Larson asked if they proposed to bisect the two units to reach the rear of the property. Mr. Hansen said that they hoped to access the parking in the rear using the drive currently developed for the water tower. He said he thought that would be the most feasible access point, given the existing topography on the subject property. Mr. Larson asked how they would access the rear parking from the utility drive. Ms. Bugge questioned whether this was germane, since this was not plan review for site development. Mr. Larson said they would be seeking a variance, and therefore, he thought it was germane. Ms. Bugge pointed out that it would be up to the Zoning Board of Appeals to grant or deny the change in the condition of the previous variance or to grant a variance for the subject property.

Mr. Schley again asked for clarification as to how they would limit access to Stadium Drive for the water tower site. Mr. Hansen said they would install a gate at Stadium Drive and that any access to the water tower drive would have to be through or across the subject property.

The Chairman asked for clarification and said it was his understanding that there would be no direct ingress or egress to Stadium Drive from the City's property. Mr. Hansen said that was generally correct.

The Chairman asked if there were any further questions, and hearing none, called for public comment. There being no public comment, the Chairman called for Planning Commission deliberations.

The Chairman said he was somewhat confused in that he thought the applicant was asking for a central drive. Ms. Bugge pointed out that would be an issue to be considered by the Planning Commission, given the previous limitations placed on the property.

Ms. Everett said, even though the Commission was not doing site plan, she was concerned about the future public street on the south of Stadium Drive and the fact that a central driveway would not line up with it. Ms. Bugge explained that, with an intersecting street, there only needs to be 100 feet of distance between it and a driveway, and the driveway would meet the Township's Access Management Guidelines.

Mr. Schley asked why they had discussed the issue of access. Ms. Bugge said she had only raised that issue in order to inform the Planning Commission of the applicant's proposal and to give the Planning Commission an opportunity to comment as to whether the previous conditions placed on the property should be changed. Mr. Schley said, in essence, it was simply for informational purposes. Ms. Bugge concurred.

Mr. Schley said the access point would actually be addressed by the Planning Commission if the Zoning Board of Appeals lifted its prior limitations with regard to the subject property. Again, Ms. Bugge concurred.

Mr. Larson said he thought that the prior conditions placed on the property by the Zoning Board of Appeals were appropriate and that it would be better to align the access point with the public street along Stadium Drive. He said that he did not think there was adequate distance between the drives, and that the conditions imposed previously were fair and reasonable, and he would like to recommend that it be approved with the Zoning Board of Appeals' conditions in tact. Ms. Garland-Rike said she agreed with that position, and unless there had been some reason for a change in the Zoning Board of Appeals' decision, she thought that the conditions should remain as previously imposed.

Ms. Everett asked if the Planning Commission had the ability to make such a limitation. Attorney Porter noted that the Planning Commission could state its opinion on this issue, but that its opinion was not binding, since it was up to the Zoning Board of Appeals to make the final determination on that issue.

Ms. Bugge pointed out, since the access point would not be a street but a drive, it would satisfy all of the requirements of the Access Management Guidelines.

Hearing no further discussion, the Chairman asked for a motion. Ms. Garland-Rike made a motion to recommend approval of the site plan to the Township Board with the following conditions:

(1) Individual driveways to Stadium Drive for Stadium Park Units 1 and 2 are prohibited.

(2) A driveway permit must be obtained from the Kalamazoo County Road Commission.

(3) Access easements and maintenance agreements for any shared drives, as needed, shall be submitted for Township review and approval prior to being recorded.

(4) Landscaping in accordance with Section 75 will be required as each site is developed.

(5) Approval shall be subject to the Township Attorney reviewing the Master Deed and Bylaws and any necessary easements and agreements and finding them acceptable prior to them being recorded.

(6) Site plan approval shall be subject to the applicant complying with the requirements of the Fire Department, pursuant to the adopted codes.

(7) Site plan approval shall be subject to the Township Engineer finding the plan satisfactory.

(8) An Earth Change Permit from the Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner's office is necessary before earth-moving activities commence on this site.

(9) All utilities shall be placed underground.

(10) Development of each site is subject to review and approval by the Township.

Mr. Schley seconded the motion. The Chairman called for further discussion, and hearing none, called for a vote on the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

ROCHE - VILLAGE PLACE ESTATES - SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - 24 ACRES ON THE EAST SIDE OF 8TH STREET, NORTH OF STADIUM DRIVE - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-26-355-040 AND 3905-35-105-010)

The Chairman indicated that the next item on the Agenda was review of a special exception use and site plan review for Village Place Estates. He said that the applicant was proposing a 25-building site, residential, open space community on approximately 24 acres on the east side of 8th Street, north of Stadium Drive, being Parcel Nos. 3905-26-355-040 and 3905-35-105-010. The Chairman called for a report from the Planning Department. Ms. Stefforia submitted her report to the Planning Commission dated November 17, 2005, and the same is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Stefforia reminded the Planning Commission that it had conducted a conceptual plan review on the subject property in September, 2005. She said the proposed project consists of 25 home sites on approximately 13 acres, which is within the limitations of the "R-2" District, when properties are served by public water and public sewer. She said the project would be constructed in one phase, and water and sewer would be provided. Ms. Stefforia asked the Commission to take note of the fact that this was an open space community, and therefore, the site plan had to delineate the designated open space and contain a note that indicates that improvements to the open space are limited to those approved by the Planning Commission.

Ms. Stefforia then proceeded to take the Commission through the special exception use criteria of Section 60.100, site plan review criteria of Section 82.800 and open space community criteria set forth in Section 60.570.

The Chairman asked if there were any questions of Ms. Stefforia. Hearing none, he asked to hear from the applicant.

Mr. Todd Batts, engineer for Brad Roche, introduced himself to the Planning Commission. He asked that the Planning Commission take note of the fact that they had added sidewalks on both sides of the private drive, which would be serving the site. He also said they had put in the bike lane as requested during conceptual plan review. He said in addition, per the Fire Department's request, they had increased the paved diameter of the cul-de-sac. Also, he noted that the Township Engineer and City Water Department were asking for an increase in the size of the water line, as well as connection to the apartments to the east, and he thought they would be able to accommodate those requests. Lastly, he noted that they were working with the Township Engineer, as well as the Drain Commissioner's office, to provide for additional stormwater discharge from the LaSalle Plat. Mr. Batts asked if there were any questions.

Mr. Larson asked if the water retention area would have any type of standing water. Mr. Batts indicated that it would not, and that there would be no excavation to that area; it would be left in its natural condition. Mr. Larson asked if he had done the calculations for water discharge. Mr. Batts indicated that he had, and there was a strong proclivity for this area to allow for extensive stormwater discharge. Attorney Porter noted that he had received a call from the Drain Commissioner's office, and he said he could confirm Mr. Batts' statements regarding the proposed discharge area. He said he had been told by the Drain Commissioner's Office that the area could discharge a tremendous amount of water, and he would prefer to see it left in its natural condition, not disturbed or compacted through any type of excavation equipment.

The Chairman asked if there were any further questions of Mr. Batts. Hearing none, he called for public comment. There being no public comments, the Chairman called for Planning Commission deliberations.

Mr. Schley said, while there were a few issues to work out, he thought the developer had done a good job in addressing the issues raised by the Planning Commission. Mr. Schley then made a motion to approve the special exception use permit, based on the representations of the developer and the Planning Department's report. Mr. Smith seconded the motion. The Chairman called for further discussion, and hearing none, called for a vote on the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Ms. Everett asked if there needed to be a specific comment addressing the use in the open space. Attorney Porter pointed out that the Township's Ordinance prohibited any use in the open space not otherwise permitted by the Planning Commission. He also pointed out that matter was specifically included in Ms. Stefforia's report, and he did not think any further comment on that matter was necessary.

Mr. Larson raised a concern as to encroachment into the open space. Mr. Batts said that the open space would remain totally undeveloped and that they committed to that position at their last meeting. He said the neighbors to the north had specifically requested that it be left as natural as possible and not used, since it was going to be used as a buffer. Mr. Batts reiterated Mr. Roche's commitment to maintaining that area in as natural a state as possible.

Mr. Larson asked what would happen when lot owners bought the property. Mr. Batts said their intent was clear; the property would remain in it's the natural condition, but they would look at the possibility of providing limitations within the site condominium documents to not only instruct people not to develop the open space, but to limit their development of the unit sites themselves. Mr. Larson asked if that limitation would be in the Master Deed. Mr. Batts indicated that it would.

Ms. Garland-Rike asked if they could put a condition on it that would limit such development. Attorney Porter indicated that they could, since it was being approved, pursuant to a special exception use permit.

Mr. Larson said he thought it was very important to maintain the separation to the north and to the east for those existing residences.

The Chairman asked for further discussion, and hearing none, called for a motion. Ms. Garland-Rike made a motion to approve the site plan as submitted, with the following conditions:

(1) Street lights within the development must comply with the provisions of Section 78.800.

(2) An Earth Change Permit from the Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner's Office is necessary before earth change activities commence.

(3) Site plan approval is subject to approval of the Fire Department, pursuant to adopted codes.

(4) Site plan approval is subject to the Township Engineer finding the proposed site engineering to be adequate.

(5) A formal easement establishing the cross-access between this development and the nonresidential development to the south must be established and submitted to the Township for review and approval before recording.

(6) The approved site plan must delineate the designated open space and contain a note that it must be left as natural as possible and that a restriction on the use of the open space and its maintenance in its natural condition must be contained in the Bylaws of the site condominium.

(7) The Master Deed and Bylaws must be submitted for Township review and approval before recording.

The Chairman asked if there was a second to the motion. Mr. Larson seconded the motion. The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.

Other Business

Ms. Stefforia asked if a public hearing could be scheduled regarding a requested text amendment concerning wall signs. There was a motion by Mr. Schley for the Commission to hear that text amendment on January 12, 2006. The motion was seconded by Mr. Larson. The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.

Planning Commissioner Comments

Mr. Larson raised a concern over the lighting allowed for Wal-Mart, and whether the Commission had properly interpreted the lighting provisions as they applied to the subject property. He specifically asked that the Planning Department review the lighting provisions and whether they should be applied to the property lines of a property or to the limits of the zone in which the development is built.

Adjournment

There being no further business, the meeting at approximately 8:00 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
PLANNING COMMISSION

By:
Kathleen Garland-Rike

Minutes prepared:
November 28, 2005

Minutes approved:
, 2005