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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

September 13, 2001

Agenda

TEXT AMENDMENT - SECTION 82.900 - PUBLIC HEARING

FENCE REGULATIONS -TEXT AMENDMENT - DRAFT 2

DIMENSIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR THE AGRICULTURAL AND RURAL RESIDENTIAL DISTRICTS - TEXT AMENDMENT

CHILD CARE WITHIN THE "R-3" DISTRICT - DISCUSSION ITEM

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, September 13, 2001, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Neil G. Sikora, Chairperson
Ted Corakis
Kathleen Garland-Rike
Stanley Rakowski
Deborah Everett
Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell
James Turcott

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director; Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner; Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney; and no other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

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

AGENDA

Ms. Everett moved to approve the Agenda as submitted, and Ms. Garland-Rike seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

MINUTES

The Planning Commission considered the minutes of the meeting of August 23, 2001. Ms. Garland-Rike suggested changes to page 8 in the second paragraph to clarify her comments concerning the trees in the drainage area. The Chairperson suggested a change to page 7 in the second paragraph to correct a spelling error. Mr. Rakowski moved to approve the minutes, as amended, and Ms. Everett seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

TEXT AMENDMENT - SECTION 82.900 - PUBLIC HEARING

The Planning Commission conducted a public hearing on the proposed text amendment to Section 82.900 of the Zoning Ordinance to renumber existing provisions and add a requirement that applicants provide "as-built" drawings prior to issue of a certificate of occupancy. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge commented that the proposal was intended to ensure conformity with the site plan, particularly in those items for which inspection by Township was not feasible; for example, with regard to storm water retention systems where an inspector would virtually be required to be on site at all times in order to ensure construction pursuant to design criteria.

Reference was made to the correspondence received from Terry Schley, who is an architect. The letter is dated September 13, 2001, and is incorporated herein by reference. Mr. Schley objected to the proposed language, indicating that architect liability would be impacted by reference to such plans as "as-built". He was concerned that architects and engineers could not be responsible for construction to design standards. Architects and engineers seal their design but usually do not supervise actual building. He suggested the text refer to "record of construction" drawings.

The Township Attorney confirmed that she had spoken with the Township Engineer who agreed that architects and engineers would not be able to seal "as-built" plans. The Township Engineer felt that the Township should require "as-built" plans to be certified by the builder, i.e., the person personally responsible for supervising construction.

It was agreed by the Planning Commission that the proposed language could be "wordsmithed" to accomplish the goal but reflect the "standard" of the industry. Ms. Bugge suggested that the item be tabled so that she could pursue obtaining additional information from the Township Engineer and from area architects and engineers.

Mr. Rakowski moved to table the item to the meeting of October 4, 2001, and the motion was seconded by Mr. Corakis. The motion carried unanimously.

FENCE REGULATIONS -TEXT AMENDMENT - DRAFT 2

The Planning Commission reviewed Draft 2 of proposed regulations regarding placement and height of fences. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference. It was the consensus of the Planning Commission that reference to the word "wall" could be removed. As drafted, wall and fence were identical terms. Therefore, it was felt that reference to the word "wall" was unnecessary. Except with regard to that revision, the consensus of the Planning Commission was that the remaining language was ready for public hearing.

Mr. Corakis moved to schedule a public hearing for October 18, 2001. Mr. Rakowski seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

DIMENSIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR THE AGRICULTURAL AND RURAL RESIDENTIAL DISTRICTS - TEXT AMENDMENT

The Planning Commission discussed the dimensional requirements for the new zoning districts to be referred to as Agricultural District and Rural Residential District. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Stefforia stated that she had met with the Township Engineers, Bob Snell and Marc Elliott. The Engineers did not feel that the dimensional requirements, in their limitations on density, would present a problem for extending public water within the Township.

There was discussion of the location of agricultural districts, and it was noted that the areas in question could not meet generally-accepted agricultural management practices, i.e., GAAMPS. All, because of their locations, would be Category 3, meaning that no new animal operations could exist. Existing animal-raising operations could only be expanded with Township approval. With the exception of some land within Section 29, Ms. Stefforia did not see any property within the Township which could meet the GAAMPS for an intensive livestock operation. Ms. Stefforia intended to investigate whether the area in Section 29 was under common ownership. It might be able to meet GAAMPS. If so, she would suggest that this area also be considered for the Agricultural District.

There was discussion of "Scenario 4" with regard to dimensional requirements. Ms. Garland-Rike suggested that, in her opinion, it might be appropriate to allow more density within an open space community but require more open space as a percentage.

After further discussion, it was agreed that all text, zoning districts, and Master Land Use Plan changes, which would be considered at the first public hearing, would be discussed at a work session in November, and possibly set for public hearing.

CHILD CARE WITHIN THE "R-3" DISTRICT - DISCUSSION ITEM

The Planning Commission discussed the possibility of adding provisions allowing for day care centers within the "R-3" Residence District. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Registered "family day care centers" are allowed by state law (the Township Rural Zoning Act) with six or fewer children in a private residence. Further, licensed "group day care homes" where seven to twelve children are cared for by a resident of the household are allowed by state law. However, "child care centers" not located in a residence are not allowed under state law or the Zoning Ordinance, except in the "R-4", "VC" and "C" Districts.

The question had arisen whether "child care centers" should be allowed in the "R-3" District, perhaps as a special exception use. Ms. Garland-Rike commented that she believes that the Township should allow such uses a "special exception use" since offices are allowed in the "R-3" District. The Township Attorney suggested that perhaps design criteria could be drafted similar to those required of offices in the "R-3" District in order to ensure compatibility with residential use.

Ms. Bugge indicated that she would draft a text allowing for licensed "child care centers" as a special exception use in the "R-3" District.

PLANNING COMMISSIONER COMMENTS

Mr. Turcott reminded those present of the Open House at Kalamazoo Valley Community College concerning the student commons on September 24, 2001.

Ms. Garland-Rike noted that she had been reading a book concerning building urban communities or "traditional neighborhood developments". It was noted that the Township's Ordinance allows, as a PUD, mixed land uses (i.e., residential and commercial together). In response to comments by Ms. Heiny-Cogswell, it was agreed that perhaps the Township should explore attempting to provide incentives to developers to utilize the PUD provisions and provide amenities that were deemed desirable in neighborhoods.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
PLANNING COMMISSION


By:

Minutes prepared:
September 17, 2001

Minutes approved:
, 2001