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August 12, 1999




A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, August 12, 1999, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall, pursuant to notice.

Wilfred Dennie, Chairperson
Marvin Block
Millard Loy
Ted Corakis
Stanley Rakowski
Ken Heisig
Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director, Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner and Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney, and one (1) other interested person.


The meeting was called to order at 7:01 p.m.


The Chairperson suggested adding under other business a discussion of the Township Board meeting conducted the preceding Tuesday, August 10, 1999.

Mr. Corakis moved to approve the agenda as amended, and Mr. Rakowski seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


The Planning Commission considered the minutes of the meeting of July 22, 1999. Mr. Loy moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Mr. Block seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


The Planning Commission again resumed the July 8, 1999, public hearing on the proposed text amendment to the Zoning Ordinance regarding adult regulated uses. The Chairperson reminded the Commission that the Township staff had been asked to analyze the availability of commercial property, i.e. property which could comply with the buffer or setback requirements of the proposed text.

The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference. Ms. Bugge noted that applying the buffer zones required by the proposed text to the commercial property in Section 13, would result in a small available area adjacent to U.S. 131 on the north side of West Main Street. Ms. Bugge presented a map depicting the available area in question.

As to Section 14, no uses requiring buffering had been identified and therefore, the area available for compliance with the text requirements would remain the same as that presented at the July 8, 1999 meeting. Within Section 25, a buffer was applied to West Hills Athletic Club, a dance studio, and senior citizens housing; the result was an available area in Venture Park and a narrow strip north of Stadium Drive between 11th Street and U.S. 131. Ms. Bugge indicated that there were approximately two uses which would be possible for development in Section 13, sixteen potential sites within Section 14, and three to six in Section 25.

The Chairperson suggested that the placement of Bronson Place, a senior housing development, might eliminate the area available in Section 13.

Mr. Rakowski observed that this type of use would mainly be located within existing buildings and that he doubted that such uses would located within these commercial areas because the land would be too expensive.

Planning Commission members believed that the area available within the commercial zone was sufficient; however, members were concerned about how the placement of such uses would impact on the potential growth and development of commercial property.

Ms.Stefforia stated that she was strongly against locating such businesses within the commercial district because of the negative impact on the development of those areas and because of their location in "tourist" or gateway areas of the Township. She preferred the location of such uses within the Industrial District . Ms. Stefforia stated that she felt that these types of businesses were very distinguishable from typical commercial uses due to their " impacts." Ms. Stefforia reminded the Planning Commission that three (3%) percent of the total Township vacant area was available for development consistent with the proposed text in the Industrial zone. Therefore, she felt that there was sufficient area available for adult regulated uses.

Mr. Rakowski and Mr. Loy both indicated that they were concerned about locating adult uses within the "C" District, and would rather see these uses located in the Industrial zones.

Ms. Bugge was concerned that locating adult uses within the "C" District would always be problematic due to the likelihood that development in currently undeveloped areas would be competing with uses catering to families. It was likely that future development would breed conflict with locating the adult uses due to the buffer required in the text.

After further discussion, it was the consensus of the Planning Commission members that locating adult regulated uses in the Industrial Districts would have the least negative impact and would provide for available areas should such development occur.

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

Mr. Loy moved to recommend the Adult Regulated Uses text as drafted which would place such uses within the I-1, I-2, and I-3 zoning districts as a special exception use. The motion was seconded by Mr. Corakis. The motion carried unanimously.


The Planning Commission then discussed the Memorandum received from the Township Attorney concerning the definition of dwelling found in Section 11.250. The Memorandum dated June 28, 1999, is incorporated herein by reference. The Township Attorney suggested that the Planning Commission recommend an amendment to the Section to remove the word "bearing" from subsection (3). The Township Attorney recommended that the Planning Commission also consider whether additional changes to the definition were appropriate.

The Planning Commission requested staff review and provide information from the Building Department, Township Officials, and other municipal Ordinances. The Commission will return to the item with a draft of the proposed text change on September 9, 1999.


The Planning Commission next considered the revised draft # 1 of the Sign Ordinance text. The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

It was noted that since the July 8, 1999, meeting, the Township Attorney had reviewed the provisions and had made comments. The Township Attorney had express concern over making the Sign Ordinance a separate Police Power Ordinance. Therefore, the revised draft #1 incorporated the sign provisions into the Zoning Ordinance. Draft #2 of the Ordinance would reformat to make the text replace Section 76 of the existing Ordinance.

The Planning Commission reviewed the Ordinance Section by Section. Changes were suggested to Chapter 4, "Definitions" to eliminate definitions which were no longer needed and to make some definitions more coordinated with the regulations provided in later sections. The addition of some definitions was suggested. The Planning Commission suggested the elimination of the definition of administrator, building code, commercial center, and commercial establishment. The definition of commercial message would be changed to commercial sign. The definition of the electrical code would be eliminated as well as point of sale sign and set back. A definition for political sign would be added. The definition of sign owner, street frontage, temporary sign, use and zone lot were to be eliminated.

In Chapter 5, it was suggested that number 2 read "Balloon Sign" consistent with the definition. In number 14, reference would be made to special event signs rather than temporary signs. It was agreed that under Section 5.03, number 8 would be eliminated. Number 6 would refer only to real estate signs. Also, incidental sign provision would be modified to be consistent with the size allowed for other signs, i.e. 6B.

As to the lighting section, Ms. Stefforia noted that she would do some research regarding sign lighting and revise this section. In Chapter 6, reference to product dispensive and point of sale display signs was eliminated. Number 4 would be revised to discuss political rather than non-commercial signs. Section 6.02 would be revised to include all residential districts, but not refer to the overlay zone. In Chapter 7, Section 7.01(a) would be revised to allow only one billboard per mile. In Chapter 8, the paragraph after the first sentence would be eliminated in Section 8.02.

Draft #2 would be considered at the meeting of September 9, 1999.


The Chairperson thanked the Township staff for the Ordinance update and the Planning Commission members reviewed their books to determine that they had the most up-to-date pages. The Chairperson had questions regarding the status of pending items, such as Menards. It was noted that this item was tentatively placed on the Planning Commission’s schedule for September 30, 1999. The West Main Mall demolition would begin shortly according to the developer. As to the Historic Resources Survey, it had been completed and would be presented at the next joint meeting with the Township Board.


The Chairperson discussed the meeting of the Township Board on the preceding Tuesday. It was noted that the Township Board had agreed with the recommendation of the Planning Commission concerning the Seelbinder recommendation. The Township, by a narrow margin, disagreed with the recommendation of the Planning Commission concerning the Schram re-zoning. The Chairperson indicated that he would be making a presentation regarding that proposed re-zoning again at the next Township Board meeting. He indicated that he had several items of information that he wished to bring to the Township Board’s attention.


There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 10:00 p.m.


Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell, Secretary

Minutes prepared:
August 16, 1999

Minutes approved: