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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

PLANNING COMMISSION

September 25, 2003

Agenda

WEST MAIN MALL - REZONING - PUBLIC HEARING - 5161 WEST MAIN STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-13-430-036)

SAVANNAH OPEN SPACE COMMUNITY - SITE PLAN AMENDMENT

MASTER LAND USE PLAN AMENDMENT - TRANSPORTATION POLICIES

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, September 25, 2003, 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
Mike Ahrens
James Turcott

MEMBER ABSENT: Kathleen Garland-Rike

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 7:02 p.m.

AGENDA

Ms. Stefforia suggested adding a discussion of adding a use to the "I-1" District. Ms. Bugge suggested as "Other Business", a discussion of the proposed change to the Savannah site plan. Further, she wished to discuss a proposed Master Land Use Plan Amendment regarding transportation.

Mr. Turcott moved to approve the Agenda as amended, and Mr. Ahrens seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

MINUTES

The Planning Commission considered the minutes of the meeting of September 11, 2003. Ms. Everett moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Mr. Larson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

PRESENTATION OF CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION

The Chairperson announced that the next item was the presentation of a Certificate of Appreciation to former Planning Commissioner Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell. Planning Commission members expressed their appreciation for Ms. Heiny-Cogswell's service.

WEST MAIN MALL - REZONING - PUBLIC HEARING - 5161 WEST MAIN STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-13-430-036)

The Planning Commission considered the rezoning of a 3.5-acre strip of land in the southwest corner of the West Main Mall development from the "R-2" Residence District to the "C-1" Local Business District zoning classification. The property is located at 5161 West Main Street, and is Parcel No. 3905-13-430-036.

The Report of the Planning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Stefforia noted that the West Main Mall had been under redevelopment since early 2000. The applicant was seeking to have the western 3.5-acre strip that abuts the golf course rezoned from the "R-2" Residence District to the "C-1" Local Business District. The balance of the Mall property is already zoned in the "C-1" Local Business District. Ms. Stefforia reminded the Planning Commission that it had not expanded the area for consideration beyond the applicant's request. Further, the Planning Commission had determined that the proposed rezoning was consistent with the Master Land Use Plan.

Ms. Stefforia reviewed the area zoning. The criteria for rezoning was also reviewed. As to whether the proposed rezoning was supported by the adopted Master Land Use Plan, again, it was noted that the Planning Commission had determined that the proposed rezoning was consistent with the Master Land Use Plan when scheduling public hearing. The Maple Hill Drive Focus Area envisions an area where quality residential living and attractive commercial uses co-exist with appropriate separation and sensitive site design. Ms. Stefforia stated that she felt that the proposed rezoning would not severely impact traffic, public facilities and the natural characteristics of the surrounding area or significantly change population density. It was pointed out that this was only 3.5 acres of an approximately 33-acre development. Further, any use established in the area would be subject to supplemental setbacks from the west and southwest property lines as well as additional landscaping. The rezoning would not constitute a spot zone since it was an expansion of an adjacent zoning district. Further, it was felt that the rezoning was consistent with the established land use pattern in the area. Ms. Stefforia felt that the proposed rezoning would not have the effect of stimulating similar rezoning requests in the area, given that the balance of the Mall property is already zoned "C-1". It was felt that, given the recent redevelopment efforts, they could be considered a change in conditions supporting the proposed rezoning. No use had been proposed for the subject 3.5-acre strip of land.

Josh Weiner was present on behalf of the application. He stated that it had been originally believed that the entire parcel was consistently zoned. The inconsistent zoning was recently discovered during financing efforts. The applicant would like the entire site to be consistently within the "C-1" District. The applicant had no specific plans to develop the 3.5-acre strip.

In response to questions from Mr. Ahrens, Ms. Stefforia stated that there was a storage building located on the "R-2" portion of the property. It was pointed out that the concrete wall in place at the site was on the property zoned "C-1".

No public comment was offered, and the public hearing was closed.

Ms. Everett moved to recommend approval of the rezoning. Mr. Turcott seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

OTHER BUSINESS

SAVANNAH OPEN SPACE COMMUNITY - SITE PLAN AMENDMENT

Ms. Bugge pointed out that the applicant/developer of the Savannah project was seeking an amendment to the approved site plan with regard to the "duplexes". The applicant was asking that they be considered "zero lot line" buildings so that the building and land envelope could be sold as a condominium unit. It was pointed out that there was no proposed change to the physical layout of the site, but merely to the "ownership" method for the land area. Ms. Everett moved to approve the amendment to the site plan, and Mr. Ahrens seconded the motion. The motion was subject to approval by the Township Engineer, as well as subject to the approval by the Township Attorney and Staff of the proposed Master Deed language. There was no public comment on the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

"I-1" Industrial District Uses.

Ms. Stefforia submitted a report, which is incorporated herein by reference. She was seeking Planning Commission comment on the possibility of amending the Ordinance to allow auto repair, not to include gasolene or convenience item sales, as a permitted use in the "I-1" District. She noted that there was an interested applicant in a text amendment. There was discussion about some aspects of the car repair use which fit appropriately in the "I-1" District. However, Mr. Schley expressed concern that "I-1" property be preserved for industrial use and not utilized for quasi retail functions. He was concerned that this would dilute the purpose of the industrial classification under the Master Land Use Plan. Mr. Ahrens suggested adding the car repair as a special use so that it could be determined on a case-by-case basis. Ms. Stefforia agreed that the special use process would allow for inquiry into the level of "retail activities" at the site. Some Planning Commission members commented that they would also be in favor of revising the text to provide for auto body and paint shops to be moved to special use rather than allowed as permitted uses in the district.

MASTER LAND USE PLAN AMENDMENT - TRANSPORTATION POLICIES

The Planning Department Report is incorporated herein. Staff was suggesting adding text to the Master Plan regarding non-motorized facilities and an update of the transportation section consistent with the changes to the Access Management Plan. A proposed text amendment was reviewed by the Planning Commissioners. Mr. Ahrens moved to request the Township Board permission to distribute the proposed Master Land Use Plan change. Mr. Schley seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

The dias was reshuffled.

PLANNING COMMISSIONER COMMENTS

Mr. Larson had questions concerning the landscaping approved for the west side of the wall at the Wal-Mart site. He noted that landscape fabric had been put down and wondered whether the approval required that this area be kept natural.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Planning Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 7:53 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
PLANNING COMMISSION

By:
Acting Secretary
Minutes prepared:
September 30, 2003

Minutes approved:
, 2003