OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

 

October 28, 2004

Agenda

SEELBINDER -SITE PLAN REVIEW - RESIDENTIAL SITE CONDOMINIUM - 2215 NORTH DRAKE ROAD - (PARCEL NO. 3905-12-280-030)

FLAG POLE HEIGHT - TEXT AMENDMENT - PUBLIC HEARING

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, October 28, 2004, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Neil G. Sikora, Chairperson
Deborah L. Everett
Lee Larson
Terry Schley
James Turcott
Kathleen Garland-Rike (7:05 p.m.)
Mike Ahrens

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director; Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner; James W. Porter, Township Attorney; and approximately 25 other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

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

AGENDA

The Chairperson indicated that the first item of business was approval of the Agenda. Mr. Ahrens made a motion to approve the Agenda as submitted. Mr. Schley seconded the motion, and the Chairperson called for a vote on the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

MINUTES

The Chairperson said that the next item for consideration was approval of the minutes of October 14, 2004. Mr. Schley raised a question regarding the maximum number of animals that were proposed at the Wicks' property. Ms. Bugge indicated that she would check with the applicant, but she thought that Mr. Wicks had indicated during the meeting that there would be 21 dogs, not counting puppies. Ms. Everett noted an error on page 14 of the minutes, and requested that reference to Mount Everett be referred to as Mount Everest. Ms. Everett then made a motion to approve the minutes as amended. The motion was seconded by Mr. Larson. The Chairperson called for further discussion, and hearing none, called for a vote on the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

SEELBINDER -SITE PLAN REVIEW - RESIDENTIAL SITE CONDOMINIUM - 2215 NORTH DRAKE ROAD - (PARCEL NO. 3905-12-280-030)

The Chairperson indicated that the next item on the Agenda was site plan review for a residential site condominium from Mr. and Mrs. Seelbinder, located at 2215 North Drake Road, Parcel No. 3905-12-280-030. The Chairperson called for a report from the Planning Department. Ms. Stefforia presented her report to the Commission dated October 28, 2004, and the same is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Stefforia explained to the Commission that the property in question consisted of a 5-acre parcel on North Drake Road, with approximately 165 feet of frontage. She said the applicant was proposing to subdivide the property pursuant to the Condominium Act to create a two-unit site condominium. She said, while water and sewer were available on Drake Road, due to the distance of the future dwelling from the road, a well and septic would be used. She explained, when homes are located more than 200 feet from the street, that it was typically found to be unreasonable to require water and sewer due to the cost of extending the utilities.

Ms. Stefforia noted that the applicant had received a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals last month, allowing a variance from Section 66.201 to allow the creation of the two-unit site condominium. She said that the one unit would have a depth greater than four times the width, with a minimum width at the building setback of 85 feet, but in all other respects would satisfy the Ordinance requirements. Ms. Stefforia then took the Planning Commission through the criteria set forth in Section 82.800 of the Zoning Ordinance.

The Chairperson asked if the Commission had any questions of Ms. Stefforia. Hearing none, the Chairperson asked to hear from the applicant. The applicant said that he had no comment. The Chairperson asked if there was any public comment, and hearing none, closed the public portion of the meeting and asked for Commission deliberation.

After reviewing the criteria of Section 82.800, Ms. Garland-Rike made a motion to recommend approval of the site condominium to the Township Board, provided that the following conditions were met:

(1) A driveway permit must be obtained for Unit B before a Building Permit will be issued.

(2) Approval shall be subject to Township review of the Master Deed and Bylaws and finding them acceptable prior to their recording.

Mr. Schley seconded the motion. The Chairperson asked if there was any further discussion, and hearing none, called for comments on the motion from the public. Hearing none, he called for a vote on the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

FLAG POLE HEIGHT - TEXT AMENDMENT - PUBLIC HEARING

The Chairperson indicated the next item up for consideration was the public hearing on the requested amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to increase the height limit of flag poles from 30 feet to 60 feet. The Chairperson called for a report from the Planning Department. Ms. Stefforia submitted her report to the Planning Commission dated October 20, 2004, and the same is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Stefforia reported to the Commission that the Zoning Board of Appeals had denied Belle Tire's request for a variance to allow a 60-foot flag pole. She said the Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Department and Township Attorney agreed that the question of flag pole height limits is a policy issue best addressed by the Planning Commission. Therefore, Belle Tire applied for the amendment to increase the height limitation for flag poles on commercial and office properties to 60 feet.

Ms. Stefforia said she had reviewed ordinances in the region and throughout the country. She found that most ordinances were individualized to each community and that there was not any standard to which she could direct the Commission. Ms. Stefforia did note that the U.S. Code required lighting flags during hours of darkness and that the Staff found that lighting less than 400 watts is not recommended for flag poles 45 feet or taller. She said, in that case, a 60-foot flag pole could cause light pollution in contravention of the Township Ordinance promoting the preservation of dark skies.

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

Mr. Pete Weatherhead, District Manager for Belle Tire said that he wanted to correct some misinformation given to the Commission. He said there were no lighting requirements on flags at night under U.S. law. He also noted that the lighting on the flag was now in compliance with Township Ordinances.

The Chairperson asked if there were any questions of Mr. Weatherhead. Hearing none, he called for public comment.

Mr. Del Foster told the Commission that he had fought in the Korean War and would have died for the flag, and he wanted to see the flag and its flag pole remain as it currently exists.

Mr. Chad Hughson said he was disappointed the matter had not been resolved. He said he thought the issue should have been resolved in an expedited fashion and that the applicant should have been required to replace the pole immediately. He said he had five issues he thought the Commission should consider when addressing this issue. (1) the flag pole is a marking tool; (2) if the flag pole was allowed to go to 60 feet high, it would have to be any national flag allowed on that pole, which might prompt national flags for companies selling foreign goods; (3) the taller the flags, the noisier the flags become; (4) the taller the flag, the need for extra lighting; and (5) the possibility that Belle Tire intentionally violated the Ordinance to benefit from the publicity and increase its sales. He further stated that he supported the 30-foot flag pole height limitations in order to minimize the impact of the large poles and flags on the Oshtemo community.

Thea Lathem said that she thought this was a matter of it being easier to ask forgiveness than permission. She said she thought what Belle Tire did, they did intentionally, and when asked to lower the pole, they simply played the patriotic card in their defense. She said she thought that Belle Tire should play by the rules. She said the flag was so large that it could not be flown at half mast without dragging on the ground. She said, in addition, lighting of the pole under U.S. code does require it be lighted at all times, contrary to what the Belle Tire representative indicated. She concluded by saying she thought it was incredible arrogance on Belle Tire's part to get a permit for a pole of 30 feet in height and then place a pole 60 feet in height on the property.

Ms. Sue Deschot said that she had lived in the Township for 20 years and asked to submit for Commission review a petition signed by 456 individuals supporting Belle Tire's request. The petition was submitted to the Planning Commission Chairperson, who noted that the caption on the top of the petition stated "we wish to keep the pole and flag on M-43 and 9th Street and do not find it distracting and are proud of what is stands for." The Commission thanked Ms. Deschot for her presentation of the petition.

Mr. Ron Jacobs told the Planning Commission he was a retired police sergeant and was in the Honor Guard and knew something regarding flag etiquette. He said he did not believe that the flag pole at issue was truly 60 feet tall. He found it beautiful and not distracting. He also noted three other flag poles with similar height in the area. He said he was not aware of any height regulations for government flags. Lastly he noted that, if we did not currently see national flags promoting various products, he did not expect it would happen simply because of an increase in the pole height limitation.

Ms. Stefforia noted that they had received an email from Gary Schultz indicating that he thought the Planning Commission should do what they needed to do to keep the flag flying.

The Chairperson asked if there was any further public comment, and hearing none, he closed the public portion of the meeting and called for Commission deliberations.

Mr. Ahrens said he had driven by the flag, and he thought the flag should stay. He said that a 60-foot flag pole was not a problem, nor was it a distraction to him. He said as long as it was an American flag, he thought it should be allowed.

Ms. Garland-Rike said she thought beauty was in the eye of the beholder. She said she thought the present flag was quite distracting, and when she first noticed it, it drew her eye away from traffic. However, she said the issue was not the flag; the issue was the height of the pole. She said, when the Commission had previously gone through an extensive procedure to approve the current text language. She said Belle Tire knew that the 30-foot limit existed and should have abided by it. She said, like others, she gets very emotional about the U. S. flag, and noted that all of the men in her family have served in the military. She said the issue was more about complying with the laws of the country, and that if the laws were established, they should be followed. She said Belle Tire knew what the law was, and disregarded the law, which she thought was nothing more than flaunting the basic structure upon which society is built. She said she had passed by some Belle Tires in Traverse City and found that the flag poles there were no where near as tall as the flag pole which currently exists at the Belle Tire Oshtemo location.

Mr. Schley said he was not sure it was possible to separate the flag from the pole. He said his father had served in World War II and that he held the flag dear and regarded it with a great deal of respect. He said he acknowledged that his ability to live peacefully was due to the benefit of those who had gone before and fought to preserve his freedom. He said, while mistakes can be made, he noted that the plan review did call for a 30-foot flag pole. He thought it was somewhat suspicious that a company would approve shipping a 60-foot pole and at a cost likely to exceed $3,000, when a 30-foot pole would likely run only $1,300. He said that these types of shipments normally needed confirmation, and that this matter should have been caught prior to construction. He said he was a bit suspicious and angry that Belle Tire had not caught the 'mistake.' He said he thought Belle Tire had created unnecessary criticism of the Township and its voluntary boards, by generating emotional opinions, which was not productive. He said that he did not believe that Belle Tire's actions were that of a good corporate citizen wishing to cooperate with the community, but instead as a business wishing to enhance its business under the mask of patriotism. He said that he felt that the approach Belle Tire used to get where they currently are at is certainly not how a new business should handle its affairs in a new community.

Mr. Turcott said he was at the Zoning Board of Appeals, and he thought the Zoning Board of Appeals was quite concerned about the height of the pole and that lighting the pole was a legitimate consideration. He said he thought the violation was flagrant, and in addition, he thought the applicants could conform to the existing height ordinance and should be required to comply with the Ordinance as it currently exists.

Ms. Everett said she thought it was a tough question. She said that her father had fought in World War II and that she was very proud of his service, but that the present issue was not about patriotism. She said she flies the American flag, but did not feel she was less patriotic simply because it was not as large as the flag flown by Belle Tire. She said, in 1999 when the Commission was considering the current text amendments, there had been 14 meetings, all open to the public, at which time no one raised concerns over the proposed height of the flag. She questioned if the flag contained the Belle Tire Man, how many people would have contacted the Township to complain, but because it was the American flag, people were in support of it. She noted that the issue is not whether or not it is the American flag that flies on the pole, but the height of the pole, itself, that is at issue. She said she thought there needed to be uniformity within the Township, and that given the constitutional prohibition against limiting it to the American flag, the issue should be restricted to the height of the flag pole, not what is necessarily allowed on the flag.

Mr. Larson said he thought the question was solely the height of the flagpole, reviewed the stated purpose of the Ordinance set forth in Section 76.175A, and that the regulations as they currently exist supported the purpose for which the Ordinance was adopted. Therefore, he said he would not recommend increasing the flag pole height as it currently exists under the Ordinance.

The Chairperson said he could not add much more to the Commission deliberations. He said he was involved in the writing of the Ordinance, and that while there were plenty of meetings, the Township Attorneys had indicated that there was not a way to grant some type of preference to the American flag. He said he wished they could have an ordinance to make sure that the American flag was properly displayed and that it was addressed individually, but that simply was not allowed without running afoul of the Constitution. He said he thought support of the Constitution was as patriotic as the support of the flag. The Chairperson did note that, at the time the Ordinance had been approved, the height of the flag had been raised from 25 feet to 30 feet. He said he thought a 30-foot height restriction of flag poles was reasonable and still patriotic. He said he was not inclined to recommend bigger flags which would result in obscuring the aesthetic view of the Township.

Mr. Ahrens said he agreed that the issue was the height of the flag pole, but he did not believe the Commission should concern itself with how the flag pole provision was put in place. He said there were 456 reasons to consider a change in the Ordinance, and that they should consider the will of the Township people in addressing this issue.

Ms. Everett said she thought that the 456 people who signed the petition felt that way about the American flag, not necessarily about the height of the pole.

Mr. Larson said it could be argued that there were 456 people who would oppose an increase in the height of the flag pole, and he felt the Commission needed to respect the time and investment that the previous Planning Commission had made in developing the Ordinance. He said he saw no adequate reason advanced by the applicant or anyone else for actually increasing the size of the proposed flag pole.

Mr. Ahrens said he thought the Commission still had a duty to consider the request and discuss it on its merit without regard to how the flag pole at issue had been established.

Ms. Garland-Rike said she thought Mr. Ahrens was right, but that the Commission also address his comment as to whether or not anything had changed in the area that would indicate a need to change the Ordinance. In that respect, she said she had not seen anything changed since the time the Ordinance was adopted. She said there had been 14 meetings, and that they had input from Township residents at that time, and did not see any reason for a change in the Ordinance.

The Chairperson said he thought the Commission was considering the application on its merits, but he did not see any reason to amend the Ordinance. He said he thought it was also important to remember that the Planning Commission had changed the Ordinance during their last deliberations to raise the height 5 feet, but that they also had limited the height to 30 feet to address the aesthetic and safety concerns, and he saw no reason to make a change in the Ordinance.

Mr. Schley said that he had not been involved with the previous decision, while it was somewhat hard to say, he thought that the aesthetic issues should be based upon a scale of the buildings involved, and not necessarily limited to 30 feet. He said he really was not bothered by the current flag pole or flag, given its location in front of a commercial structure. While he did not appreciate how Belle Tire had constructed the pole, he really felt that was immaterial. He said he was willing to consider 60-foot poles, regardless of the fact that he was upset over the process by which the current flag pole was constructed.

Ms. Garland-Rike said that the Commission could go a couple of ways. The Chairperson said he actually thought there were three different ways that the Commission could proceed. The Commission could either (1) recommend adoption of the text change, (2) recommend denial of the text change, or (3) table the matter. Attorney Porter pointed out that, since it was a height limitation, he thought the Commission also had the ability to look at a recommendation less than the 60-foot height proposed.

Mr. Schley raised a question regarding the proposed text. He mentioned that the text refers to flags rather than flag poles. Ms. Stefforia said we are assuming that the applicant would be allowed one flag per pole. Mr. Schley said he would consider allowing one 60-foot pole, but that more than one such pole would be inappropriate.

Mr. Larson said he thought it was fair to request that the applicant proposing the text change advance rationale or reason for the text change before receiving a recommendation from the Planning Commission. Mr. Ahrens said he thought the 456 signatures were an appropriate reason to consider the change. Mr. Larson said he thought they were addressing "that flag" not really the issue of the height of the flag pole.

Mr. Schley suggested, just as the applicant had no support or rationale for why they wanted a larger flag, he thought that the Commission should still consider the request. He said he was not aware of the rationale behind limiting the flag pole height under the previous Ordinance. Mr. Turcott said that he thought at the time, the Commission was very concerned about the lighting issue and thought that the dark sky limitations placed on the area west of U.S. 131 was a significant factor in why the Commission limited the flag pole height at 30 feet. He said he also thought the aesthetic benefit from a 30-foot height limitation was appropriate. Mr. Schley said he appreciated Mr. Turcott's comments.

Mr. Larson said he thought there had to be a basis of justification to allow a deviation from the existing pole height. Ms. Stefforia said the reason that the Planning Commission had previously gone from 25 feet to 30 feet was to allow the flag pole to be higher than the tallest sign allowed under the current Ordinance. Mr. Larson said he thought the Commission should keep that fact in mind as it related to the aesthetics and sign limitations provided for under the Ordinance. He said he thought the height limitation was there to create consistency and to allow the residents to appreciate the beauty of the Township without intrusions.

Mr. Ahrens said he could support modification to the Ordinance to allow 60-foot flag poles. Mr. Ahrens asked if the Zoning Board of Appeals could have justifiably granted the applicant's request so that it would not require a text change. Attorney Porter said that he did not believe that there was a valid basis to grant the variance or deviation to the flag pole height limitations.

Mr. Larson read the deviation standards and felt that the applicant could not satisfy any of the requisite criteria.

The Chairperson asked if there was any further discussion, and hearing none, said he would entertain a motion. Mr. Schley made a motion to amend the current language regarding flags to read as follows: "A lot, building site or parcel shall be limited to three (3) flags. For lots, building sites and parcels with public street frontage in excess of 200 feet, three (3) additional flags are permitted for every additional 200 feet of continuous public street frontage. Flag pole height may not exceed 30 feet, except that not more than one of the allowed poles may be 60 feet in height."

Attorney Porter cautioned the Commission against making too great a change to the proposed text because to do so would require further public notice for the proposed amendment. However, he said he was comfortable with the proposed revision as being within the spirit and intent of the public hearing notice for the text amendment. The Chairperson asked if there was support, and Mr. Ahrens supported the motion. The Chairperson called for a discussion.

There was a brief discussion regarding the number of flags or flag poles. Ms. Bugge noted that the intent surely was to limit the number of flags since it is the flags that have the greater aesthetic impact on the community.

Mr. Larson said he could not support the motion because he did not believe there was any reason to change what has been satisfactory. He thought the motion was inconsistent with the aesthetic limitations placed on construction along the rights-of-way within the Township.

Ms. Garland-Rike said she supported the comments of Mr. Larson.

The Chairperson asked if there were any further Commissioner comments, and hearing none, called for comments on the motion from the public.

Ms. Thea Lathem said she thought the Commission was missing the point. She said Belle Tire would be getting what it had originally told was not permissible under the Ordinance. She said she thought this would make the Township look foolish and send the wrong message to developers and undermine the authority of the Township.

Mr. Chad Hughson said that, while he agreed there might be appropriate places for large flag poles, he thought those areas would be large corporate campuses where there are large buildings and large acreage available, but certainly not in suburban areas on a main thoroughfare.

Ms. Sue Deschot said she had talked to all the business owners in the area who liked the flag as it currently exists, and that they were aware of the pole height and Belle Tire's height request.

Mr. Ron Jacobs said that he thought the Commission should look at some other issues such as the flags at Menards and the number of flags at Seelye-Wright before placing limitations on Belle Tire. He said he thought the Ordinance was somewhat vague, and they needed to be more specific in drafting the proposed Ordinance.

Belle Tire District Manager, Pete Weatherhead, said he had a couple of facts that he wanted to present. He said, first of all, it is standard for Belle Tire to put in a 60-foot flag pole. He also thanked Mr. Ahrens for his comments regarding carrying out the will of the people.

Ms. Marilyn Foster said she was sorry that her grandson could not stay to hear the debate since he was studying how laws were enacted. She said she supported the flag as it currently exists.

The Chairperson was asked to re-read the motion, which he did as follows: "A lot, building site or parcel shall be limited to three (3) flags. For lots, building sites and parcels with public street frontage in excess of 200 feet, three (3) additional flags are permitted for every additional 200 feet of continuous public street frontage. Flag pole height may not exceed 30 feet, except that not more than one of the allowed poles may be 60 feet in height." The Chairperson called for a vote on the motion, and the motion failed 5-to-2, with Mr. Ahrens and Mr. Schley in support.

Mr. Larson made a motion to recommend denial of the requested text amendment. The motion was seconded by Ms. Garland-Rike. The Chairperson asked if there was any public comment, and hearing none, asked if there were any Commission deliberations. Mr. Schley said that he was quite upset with the process and how it had taken place. He thought it was unfortunate that Belle Tire appeared to be "getting what it deserved." He said he was not sure how they had reached this point, but he still did not believe it was appropriate to penalize Belle Tire. Mr. Ahrens agreed with Mr. Schley, and said he did not think it was important how they reached this point in the discussion process, and thought that the Commission should take the public comment into account as sufficient reason to change the Township's Ordinance.

The Chairperson reminded the Commissioners that 456 signatures certainly were not all residents of the Township. He also asked that the Commission keep in mind that many of them had focused on the fact that it was the American flag, rather than the height of the flag pole that was at issue.

The Chairperson called for further comment, and hearing none, called for a vote on the motion. The motion passed 5-to-2, with Mr. Ahrens and Mr. Schley dissenting.

Ms. Deschot asked how many Township residents there were. Ms. Stefforia said that there were 17,000-18,000 residents. Ms. Deschot asked how many signature the Township needed in order to change its Ordinance. The Chairperson said it was not a matter of how many people wanted to see the Ordinance changed, but whether or not there was a valid reason based upon zoning principles to justify the change in the Ordinance.

Mr. Ahrens asked when this matter would go to the Township Board. Ms. Everett said it would likely be the second meeting in November or the first part of December. Ms. Everett advised those in attendance to watch for the published Agenda or the Township's postings, as well as its website to check for when the Township Board would be considering the issue.

Discussion Item - Member Schley's Memo on Home Occupations in Auxiliary Buildings.

The Chairperson said the next item for consideration was the discussion of Mr. Schley's Memo on home occupations in auxiliary buildings. The Chairperson asked to hear from Mr. Schley.

Mr. Schley referred the Commission to his Memo of October 20, 2004, and the same is incorporated herein by reference. He highlighted several items in his Memo. He specifically pointed to the last paragraph on page 2 to highlight the fact that his Memo indicated that "Yet realize if a building isn't accessory (incidental and subordinate to traditional living functions) the building under MBC is something else (not accessory)." On page 3, he pointed out a statement, "Therein, a stand alone building (accessory) devoted strictly to an occupation (business) isn't serving the use of traditional living functions but it serves the business use and does so exclusively." On page 5, he pointed out, "The potential for such use new, remodeled or considered for a 500-2,400 square foot dedicated business use building does constitute the equivalency of a commercial use in our Single Family Residential Zones (via home occupation) that wouldn't be allowed in the above other zones. Mr. Schley concluded by pointing out his statement in the Memo on page 7 which stated, "I stand that the potential, not greatly being addressed today by applicants, but the potential exists, that larger use of this current ordinance will result in random zoning use areas amongst otherwise previously fairly clear residential character worlds."

Ms. Everett thanked Mr. Schley for his Memo, and said perhaps the Commission should consider, when it is appropriate, to use the building code as part of the criteria for determining whether or not it is suitable as an accessory use. She asked the Township Attorney whether it was appropriate to consider such items as part of their overall zoning. Attorney Porter indicated that it is typically the use not the type of building that is considered in the planning and zoning statutes. Therefore, it is typically not an issue that the Planning Commission would address. He said the primary focus is compatibility, not building type.

Ms. Stefforia said that she thought the Commission did need to know the Code implications to see if the use is appropriate. Attorney Porter stated that the Commissioners could certainly look at it as part of the special use, but again, it is not something that is looked at in the overall planning context.

Mr. Turcott asked if there is any case law regarding accessory use that would assist the Planning Commission in their review of this matter. Attorney Porter said he could take a closer look at that issue.

Ms. Bugge pointed out that, as long as the accessory use is accessory to the primary use, she did not see a problem with the existing Ordinance.

Mr. Larson said that is true, but you have to keep in mind whether or not it is incidental to the primary use that he felt was important.

Ms. Garland-Rike asked how they would figure the percentage of the use that was incidental to the primary use. Mr. Schley said that currently accessory buildings can be used 100% for commercial purposes and not serve any residential use on the property, and it meets the requirements of the Township Zoning Ordinance. He said he would like to see some type of limitation on the use of accessory buildings for business purposes.

Ms. Garland-Rike said that she thought she could see some use in an accessory building. Ms. Everett said perhaps it should only be for storage. Ms. Garland-Rike agreed that use, such as an office use, should not be allowed in the accessory building. She said, when the language was originally considered, she thought that it was clear, but since the Commission has dealt with it at greater length, she believes that the proposed use of the accessory buildings have gone beyond what she originally thought it would, and she thought it should be reviewed.

Mr. Schley said perhaps there are better or more criteria that could be looked at in considering this type of use. Mr. Larson said that perhaps there should be more unique standards that are required before these types of uses are allowed; however, he said, only if it primarily serves a residential use. If it is primarily business, he felt it was not appropriate. Mr. Larson again commented that perhaps a review of the Code requirements could provide some assistance to the Commission in determining what is appropriate in a given location. Ms. Everett said that is why she had raised the issue. Attorney Porter again noted that is typically not the main focus of the Ordinance under which the Planning Commission operates, but that it could be a factor.

Ms. Everett said perhaps a joint meeting would be necessary to work through this issue. Mr. Larson said that he did not know that a joint meeting was necessary, but that while he recognized that they needed to have various viable options for changing work conditions, he thought it had to be something that would minimize the impact on surrounding properties.

Mr. Larson said perhaps in allowing a 24-hour freestanding building to be used solely for business, that the Commission had gone too far.

Mr. Ahrens said that what Mr. Schley pointed out certainly had changed his opinion from where he was at originally. He said he thought this matter should be looked at and perhaps size and type of use for these accessory buildings should be reviewed.

Mr. Larson suggested that they look at and narrow the criteria, or provide greater specificity regarding size, location and setbacks to allow this type of use.

Mr. Ahrens suggested perhaps that it become a work item in the future. It was the general consensus of the Commission that they would like to review the accessory use conditions in the Township Zoning Ordinance as a future work item.

Other Business

Mr. Schley informed the Commission that he would not be available for the November 4th meeting. Ms. Garland-Rike indicated the same. It was the consensus of the Commission that they would have a quorum on November 4, 2004, and would proceed to meet accordingly.

Adjournment

The Chairperson asked if there were further comments, and hearing none, he adjourned the meeting at approximately 9:55 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
PLANNING COMMISSION
By:
Kathleen Garland-Rike, Secretary

Minutes prepared:
November 4, 2004

Minutes approved:
, 2004