OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
October 24, 2000
The Oshtemo Township Board held its regular meeting at the Township Hall. The meeting was called to order by Supervisor Fleckenstein at 7:00 p.m.
Supervisor Ron Fleckenstein
Clerk Deb Everett
Trustee Norm Anderson
Trustee Marvin Block
Trustee Dave Bushouse
Trustee Fred Johnson
Also present was Richard Reed, Township Attorney, Bob Snell, Township Engineer, Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner, Wilfred Dennie, Planning Commission Chairman, and 27 interested people.
Clerk Everett advised the Planning Department had requested the minutes of the October 10th minutes be corrected as follows: regarding the Village Commercial District, 2nd paragraph - change "belonging to" to "beyond ", add the words "retention pond" after Commission and delete the remainder of the sentence. 4th paragraph - 1st sentence - delete the word "one", in the 2nd sentence make the word "building" plural and delete the words "per parcel". In the last sentence, add "in the right of way" after "sidewalks". In the 8th paragraph - add the word "freestanding" after "regarding". Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Johnson, to approve the minutes of the October 10th meeting as corrected. Carried.
Income to the General Fund of $9,117.84 and disbursements of $63,372.39 were reported. Fire Fund income was $11,733.24 with disbursements of $26,615.01. Motion made by Johnson, seconded by Block to acknowledge the receipts and pay the bills. Carried.
Michael Van Dam, 193 South 2nd Street, expressed concerns regarding groundwater contamination in the area, and that what the residents had assumed would be twice yearly testing had been changed to yearly until a call was made to Pharmacia-Upjohn. He further inquired if homes on South 4th Street between KL Avenue and Stadium Drive have contaminated water and are being connected to the new water line being installed. He also stated the landfill must be cleaned up and he wants safe well water.
Michael Peat, 9134 Highland View Drive, requested that Supervisor Fleckenstein meet with a group of concerned citizens regarding issues addressed in a letter distributed at local businesses. Mr. Fleckenstein agreed he would contact Mr. Peat the following day to set up a meeting time. Mr. Peat also presented letters from Ahrens Construction and Maverick Construction regarding the bid process for Fire Station #2.
Kadir Mohmand, 6147 Old Log Trail, questioned why Supervisor Fleckenstein would not meet with the group after the meeting and why documents he had requested were not available when he was advised they would be. Mr. Fleckenstein responded that he had assumed Mr. Mohmand's comment that he would "take care of it with the Assessor", meant his request had been answered.
GUS MACKER TOURNAMENT REPORT
Terrie Benton Ollie, of Action Matters, and Janet Jones from the Kalamazoo Coalition for Youth Violence Prevention, presented an update on the Gus Macker Tournament held at Maple Hill Mall the last weekend in September. They reported that 900 athletes participated along with 200 volunteers. The event was a positive experience for all involved and had a positive economic impact on area businesses. Ms. Benton-Ollie thanked the Township for their support and in particular Planner Mary Lynn Bugge for her assistance with the site plan approval process. They indicated they hope to hold the event in 2001.
LANDSCAPING ORDINANCE PROPOSAL
Planning Commission Chairman Wilfred Dennie presented a proposed amendment to the Zoning Ordinance regarding Landscaping Objectives advising that currently there are screening requirements in place for uses between different zoning classifications and the Master Land Use Plan encourages use of landscaping for enhancing the community. He further advised that developers have requested guidelines in aiding their site plan preparations. Landscaping texts from several other municipalities were reviewed and the conclusion is that use of vegetation contributes to the overall sense of a community, improves air quality, reduces glare and noise levels, and aids in stopping soil erosion. Landscaping will be required on all development that requires site plan review. Individual single and two family homes do not require site plan review and would not require a landscape plan, however the proposed text regarding soil erosion control would address residential construction. Mr. Dennie also explained that the proposed text would address required landscaping between different zonings, parking lots, loading and rubbish areas, stormwater retention areas and would encourage preservation of existing vegetation and incentive for developers to do so.
In response to questions from Clerk Everett and Trustee Bushouse, Mr. Dennie advised that the Planning Commission is currently reviewing the Parking Ordinance and the number of spaces required for some uses may be lowered and some increased, but the current ordinance coupled with the proposed landscape ordinance would accommodate those requirements. In addressing the issue of added cost to a development, he commented that developers usually have an allowance in a project budget for landscaping and parking requirements
Clerk Everett commented beside ascetics, environmental reasons that support the proposed ordinance are very important and as more development occurs the environmental qualities will be even more so.
Engineer Snell felt the one-year time frame for residential seeding or sod was too long and felt a more appropriate time frame would be six months from the time of occupancy. Mr. Dennie felt that this would be a minor change to the proposed text and could be made by the Township Board. Attorney Reed concurred.
Eugenia Hayward, 3418 Chime Street, advised she had constructed a new home and is having a problem with runoff from the road since it has been raised and slanted in the direction of her property. Supervisor Fleckenstein advised he is aware of the problem and the Township Ordinance Enforcement Officer has been in contact with the Kalamazoo County Road Commission to address to problem.
Marjorie Esman, 3464 Chime Street, advised her property is the lowest spot on the street; she also experiences problems with water draining from the street, and both neighboring properties.
Motion made by Block, seconded by Anderson set the ordinance for First Reading on November 14th, with the change in Section 78.530 to read six months instead of one year. Carried.
OPEN SPACE COMMUNITY - AMENDMENT
Planning Commission Chairman Dennie presented a proposed amendment to the Open Space Community Ordinance which would clarify what areas can not be included in open space, provide for connecting streets while allowing private roads and cul-de-sacs, establish criteria for private roads, establish a single setback standard for public and private roads and require Kalamazoo County Environmental Health Department approval prior to final site plan approval.
In response to questions from Trustee Bushouse, Mr. Dennie advised that the site plan review process includes Fire Department approval and the right of way requirements for utilities for private roads is the same as public roads.
In response to questions from Clerk Everett, Mr. Dennie advised that interior streets that may at some point connect an adjoining property can be constructed as private but must have a 66 foot easement which would accommodate a public road which would be required should the adjoining property be developed.
In response to questions from Trustee Bushouse, Attorney Reed advised the Township could require such to occur.
Motion made by Everett, seconded by Block to set the amendment for First Reading on November 14th. Carried.
VILLAGE COMMERCIAL DISTRICT PROPOSAL
The Village Commercial Zoning District was before the Board for First Reading.
Kadir Mohmand advised that Mrs. Hayward and Mrs. Esman had contacted him for help and the majority of the people do not want the focus area.
Lorraine McIntosh, 6803 Dollar Court, urged the Board to vote against the Village Commercial District. She commented the Planning Commission members must not live in Oshtemo Township or they would not want it either; her concerns included the intersection at Stadium Drive and 9th Street, snow removal, and cars ending up in buildings close to the street. Supervisor Fleckenstein advised her that Planning Commission members are required to be residents of the Township.
Mr. Dennie commented that he would be happy to discuss the Village Commercial District in detail with those residents who had expressed their concerns.
Mrs. Hayward inquired why commercial zoning is being considered at this time when she has been told in the past her property is already commercial.
Ms. Bugge advised Mrs. Hayward that her property is zoned commercial, her house was a legal non-conforming use, and the variance when she rebuilt after a fire was for the setback to keep in line with the other homes in the area. She further advised under the proposed Village Commercial District, it could be a residence or a commercial use.
Clerk Everett commented that notices were sent to all property owners in the Village Focus Area but according to Planning Commission minutes, very few attended and voiced any comment.
Mrs. Esman commented that she has trouble receiving her mail.
Trustee Block commented that most meetings are not well attended, most people don't react until it's too late. He further commented residents of the area, not the Planning Commission, put this plan together and meetings were noticed and posted. He also commented that the residents present from Chime Street do need to have their problems addressed but the proposal would not affect their problems regarding water runoff from the street and mail delivery. He further stated he has not seen or heard a lot of opposition to the proposal.
Mr. Dennie commented that when deliberations on this item began, residents of the area were noticed and before the final draft was done the Planning Commission held a special meeting at the Birches with a very good turn out of neighborhood individuals who lived in the focus area. The plan was discussed and the Planning Commission felt they had a concurrence of the community and continued the process and had a public hearing, which was noticed. He stated there have been major attempts by the Planning Commission to solicit neighborhood input and they have not had a lot of people opposed to the plan.
In response to a question from Trustee Bushouse, Ms. Bugge advised the Planning Department would review the stipulation that 30% of the exterior front of a building be windows with the Building Department to see if it conformed with energy code requirements.
Clerk Everett commented that she hoped those who had expressed concerns would accept Mr. Dennie's offer to discuss this issue.
Supervisor Fleckenstein agreed, advising he had looked at the drainage problems on Chime Street and he would follow up with the Kalamazoo County Road Commission.
Motion made by Block, seconded by Johnson to set the ordinance for Second Reading on November 14th. Carried.
FIRE DEPARTMENT PURCHASE - PAGERS
Fire Chief Ken Howe presented a request to purchase 8 Motorola pagers at a cost of $4,224.00. They would be purchased from Roe-Comm, the authorized Motorola distributor.
Motion made by Johnson, seconded by Everett to approve the purchase of 8 pagers in the amount of $4,224.00. Carried.
FIRE DEPARTMENT PURCHASE - GRASS TRUCK/UTILITY VEHICLE
A request from the Chief for a replacement vehicle purchase was also presented. The proposal would replace a 1952 Jeep grass fire vehicle with a 2001 S-10 pickup truck. Chief Howe explained that the number of grass fire calls is a low percentage of the total alarm volume, therefore a pickup truck would serve other uses such as hydrant maintenance, transporting equipment, storm clean up, etc. The existing pump and tank assembly, radio, light, siren and other equipment would be transferred from the Jeep.
Three bids were received:
DeNooyer Chevrolet $23,188.00
Hemel's Chevrolet $22,000.00
The total request, which includes the vehicle, winch, roll bars, additional lighting and bed cover, is $26,159.00 with Hemel's Chevrolet being the low bidder for the vehicle.
Trustee Bushouse had questions regarding other current vehicles available for grass fires and utility uses, commented that Alamo and Texas Townships could provide assistance on large grass fires if needed, felt the vehicle would not accommodate snow removal adequately, inquired if the State of Michigan purchase program had been considered, and commented he felt this was not a good expenditure of Township funds.
Chief Howe advised there are currently two other grass fire vehicles, a1991 pickup truck and another Jeep, the proposed vehicle would be housed at Station 2 and could respond to calls, i.e., burning complaints, leaving Station 1 staffed, the current pickup truck has limited space due to the size of the tank and pump, the State purchase plan was investigated and due to the cost of a membership fee and other restrictions he felt buying locally was a better choice. He also commented that the DNR surplus supply had inferior vehicles available.
Clerk Everett commented she had suggested to Chief Howe the proposed vehicle could also serve as a replacement for the older department car when it needs replacement and would eliminate the necessity of purchasing another car.
There was discussion concerning supporting the local dealer; Chief Howe advised he had contacted DeNooyer's and they would not meet the low bid.
Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Block to approve the purchase from Hemel's in the amount of $22,000. Carried with Bushouse voting no.
SANITARY SEWER EXTENSION - NORTH 9TH STREET
Supervisor Fleckenstein presented a proposal for extension of sanitary sewer on North 9th Street from West Main to West H Avenue. He commented that the project could be done in conjunction with the road reconstruction project by the Kalamazoo County Road Commission scheduled to begin in February, and at a cost of approximately $643,000, which includes a significant savings since replacing the road surface would not be an expense.
He also commented the sewer extension would be capable of providing service to properties along North 9th Street as well as some portions of the West Port Plat and a portion of Country Trails Plat. It would also have the capability of serving a portion of West H Avenue and would eventually tie in with future extension of sanitary sewer from the intersection of H Avenue and Drake Road west to the North 9th Street/West Port area.
Mr. Fleckenstein further commented he felt now was the time to build this extension since the cost of replacing the road will not be incurred, it would extend into an area of current and future residential development and funding is available in the Sewer Fund. The funds would be replaced over time as connections are made.
In response to Board Members questions, Engineer Snell advised installing sewer along with the road project would save approximately 30% of the cost of the project, approximately 1400 feet of the northern section of the sewer would remain "dry" at the present time but it should be put in, a future lift station would need to be installed on H Avenue, North 9th Street will be lowered approximately 8 feet near Oak Highlands which will also require moving the present water main, the City of Kalamazoo has not objected to this project, there will be no charge to property owners until time of connection, and the road grading cost to keep the road travelable is our responsibility.
In response to a question from Trustee Bushouse, Supervisor Fleckenstein advised there is sufficient funding in the Sewer Fund for the project.
Trustee Block commented he felt this is a good opportunity to extend infrastructure at a reduced cost.
Kadir Mohmand had several questions regarding the design and capacity of the extension. Engineer Snell advised Mr. Mohmand he would be glad to meet with him and discuss the technical details.
In response to questions regarding the 10th Street sewer project, Supervisor Fleckenstein advised the original intent was to run sewer from KL Avenue to West Main. The developer of the business park at West Main and North 10th Street requested that the line be extended on North 10th Street and paid for it. He further commented that the line was never sized for nor intended to extend any further than it is currently; it was extended as far north as possible due to topography.
Motion made by Johnson, seconded by Anderson to approve the extension of sanitary sewer on North 9th Street. Carried.
TRANSFER PROPERTY TO CITY OF KALAMAZOO
Supervisor Fleckenstein presented a request from Western Michigan University concerning 8 acres of land located in the Township that will be part of their research and development park and concerns over difficulties they may incur in working with two communities regarding zoning and code issues. Act 425 of 1984 provides that two or more local units may contract to conditionally transfer property for a period of not more than 50 years for the purpose of economic development projects. Under the agreement, which is being proposed for a 20 year renewable term, the City of Kalamazoo would be responsible to collect real and personal property taxes and would retain all but the township millage. The property is currently tax-exempt. The City would also be responsible for all services to the property.
In response to Board Member questions, Supervisor Fleckenstein and Attorney Reed advised personal and real property in the development would be taxed, special assessments would not apply since the Township would not be providing any services, the Township would incur no cost from the agreement, the Township would not be responsible for any liability resulting from personal injury or contamination, if the agreement is not approved the portion of the project constructed in Oshtemo Township would have to meet our zoning and building standards, and WMU has indicated there are no plans at this time to develop property in the Township north of Parkview and west of Drake Road.
Motion made by Block, seconded by Everett to approve the resolution and authorize the Supervisor to sign the agreement. Roll call vote showed Bushouse-yes, Johnson-yes, Block-yes, Anderson-yes, Everett-yes, Fleckenstein-yes.
WEST N AVENUE - ROAD UPGRADE
Supervisor Fleckenstein presented a proposal for the upgrade of West N Avenue east from South 9th Street approximately 1,550 feet that is receiving heavy traffic from development on both sides of N Avenue at South 9th Street. A tentative agreement has been reached with the Kalamazoo County Road Commission, Texas Township and the developer, Larry Hollenbeck, to share the cost to reconstruct the road to all weather standards. The Township share of the project would be $10,700.46. The Road Committee has endorsed the recommendation and the Road Commission has indicated they can complete the project this year.
There was discussion regarding requesting signage that truck traffic not use West N Avenue east to South 11th Street to protect the residential portion of the road.
Motion made by Block, seconded by Everett to approve the project subject to Texas Township securing the developers share of the project funds prior to start of the project and a request be made of the Road Commission for signage discouraging truck traffic from going east on West N Avenue. Carried.
KL AVENUE LANDFILL ESCROW ACCOUNT
Supervisor Fleckenstein advised that as a part of the resolution of the KL Avenue Landfill Superfund Site, the Township, Kalamazoo County and the City of Kalamazoo received monies from other municipalities listed as potential responsible parties. The Township has held those funds in an escrow account with a current balance of approximately $392,000. A request has been received from the City and the County seeking disbursement of the funds at the same percentage basis, as costs have been - County-75%, City-25%, Township-25%.
Mr. Fleckenstein noted that the funds have been invested in a fund that would not mature until March, 2001, therefore there will be penalties applied if funds are withdrawn and each units share would be considerably less. He indicated he would ask the other units to consider leaving the monies in the fund until March, pointing out the funds do indeed belong to the other units if they choose to remove them and we do not have any authority or agreement to withhold their share.
Trustee Bushouse commented he would like to hear from the Treasurer what the options are regarding removing the funds at this time.
In response to a question from Clerk Everett, Mr. Fleckenstein indicated he would obtain the figures from the Treasurer on what would be lost if the funds were removed now and relay that information to the other units before disbursing the funds.
Discussion included the next agenda item addressing the balloon payment, our share being $147,812.76 that will be due on the landfill clean up agreement with the EPA. Kalamazoo County has been making the annual payments with the Township and City reimbursing them. The County has offered to make the balloon payment and let us reimburse them on an annual basis at 7% interest. Supervisor Fleckenstein recommended that if we are going to disburse the funds from the escrow account, our share be put toward the balloon payment. If the other units are willing to wait until March for the fund to mature, the escrow funds could be applied at that time to the balloon payment.
Motion made by Everett, seconded by Block to approve the disbursement of the County and City portion of the escrow fund, recommending that they wait for the March, 2001 maturity date, and seek a recommendation from the Treasurer on the best use of the Township share. Roll call vote showed Block-yes, Anderson-yes, Bushouse-no, Johnson-yes, Everett-yes, Fleckenstein-yes.
KL AVENUE LANDFILL PAYMENTS TO KALAMAZOO COUNTY
Referring to discussion in the previous item, motion made by Block, seconded by Everett to postpone action on the balloon payment issue until the November 14th meeting. Carried.
BOARD MEMBER COMMENTS
Trustee Johnson inquired if the driveway between Lowe's and the Post Office was still planned. Supervisor Fleckenstein advised it is, the curb cut is in; the delay is from the Post Office.
Trustee Bushouse commented the Parkview/South 11th Street construction project will be a problem for the Halloween event scheduled at the National Guard Armory and he inquired if Fire Station 2 would be available; Chief Howe advised it would be.
Trustee Anderson advised the leaf drop off program will take place this year on November 4th and 25th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. It is requested that leaves be brought in paper bags, no plastic please.
There was no further business and the meeting was adjourned at 10:00 p.m.
DEBORAH L. EVERETT
Attested: RON FLECKENSTEIN