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August 24, 2000






A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, August 24, 2000, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township.

     MEMBERS PRESENT: Wilfred Dennie, Chairperson
                                                Ken Heisig
                                                Ted Corakis
                                                Stanley Rakowski
                                                Neil Sikora
                                                Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell
                                                Marvin Block


Also present were Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner, and Robert C. Engels, Township Attorney, and 6 other interested persons.


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


Mr. Sikora moved to approve the Agenda as submitted, and Mr. Block seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


The Planning Commission considered the minutes of August 10, 2000. The Chairperson indicated that the minutes should be corrected to reflect the beginning of the meeting at 6 p.m. rather than 7 p.m. and deleting "at the Oshtemo Charter Township". Mr. Block moved to approve the minutes as amended, and Mr. Corakis seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


The Planning Commission considered the application of Maple Hill Mall for a special exception use for the Gus Macker Tournament to be held from Friday, September 29 through Sunday, October 1, 2000, at 5050 West Main Mall Street. One of the main presenters was not present, so the matter was tabled pending her arrival.


Next, the Planning Commission considered a text amendment regarding parking provisions. The Chairperson remarked that when the use is known in advance, parking spaces can be determined. A problem arises when uses are not known in advance, with an example of that being the West Century Plaza development.

Mr. Dennie stated that he would like to maintain the 10' X 20' space size requirement. Mr. Block commented that the reason for having fewer spaces at repair shops was because people would leave their cars for weeks waiting for parts to come in. He felt that consideration should be given to putting a limit on how long a vehicle can be parked at a repair shop. Mr. Dennie commented that the intent of changing the parking provisions was to adjust where there might be a problem and bring the provisions in line with those of other municipalities.

Mr. Corakis stated that restaurants do not always have enough spaces at all times. He also stated that, if repair shops have storage space, they would not need many parking spaces.

Ms. Bugge stated that the Ordinance will be updated to be consistent with the form of the new Ordinance. There will be a first draft at the next meeting.

Mr. Sikora said that 10-minute parking spaces in front of stores are convenient for quick pick-ups and drop-offs and should be encouraged.

The Chairperson suggested that other municipalities ordinances be researched.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell commented that shared parking should be encouraged. Ms. Bugge said that there is a provision in the Ordinance that allows for a 10% reduction in parking requirements when there is shared parking.


The Planning Commission considered the application of Maple Hill Mall and Action Matters for a three-day Gus Macker Basketball Tournament at Maple Hill Mall. The property is located at 5050 West Main Street and is Parcel Nos. 3905-13-280-022 and -050. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge stated that the Gus Macker event is proposed to take place from Friday, September 29, through Sunday, October 1, 2000. Set-up will be on Thursday, September 28. The 3-on-3 basketball event is promoted as a family and charity fund-raising event. The event functions through volunteers, and approximately 1,000 volunteers will be needed for the event. There will be 500, 4-person teams, and an estimated total attendance of up to 50,000 people. The Hoopsters Classic Association and Kalamazoo Coalition for Youth Violence Prevention are the designated beneficiaries of the event. The last Gus Macker event held in the Kalamazoo area took place in downtown Kalamazoo in 1991 and involved 1,200 teams.

The event activities are to be located within the south parking lot of the Mall, both east and west of the main entrance drive. Of the 1,446 parking spaces available, the event activities and designated volunteer parking will utilize 392 spaces. Most of the basketball courts will be on the east side of the main Mall drive. The portable toilets will be located in that same area. There may be some venders to the north and south of the court area. The main court and spectator bleachers will be located on the west side of the drive, along with a stage, bracket board and concession stand and other activities. Approximately 332 parking spaces will be utilized by event activities. Registration and first aid will occur inside the former Gantos store.

On August 15, 2000, Township Staff held a meeting with the applicants, the Fire Department, Electrical Inspector, and the Sheriff's Department to review the event and discuss security and traffic control. Event security is the responsibility of the Gus Macker event organizers. Maple Hill Mall will have its usual security in place, but their responsibility is for the interior of the Mall and to see that the driveways are kept open for site circulation. The event is seeking volunteers from the City of Kalamazoo Community Policing Unit. Sergeant Ray from that unit hopes that some of his officers will be there, but they will be off duty and in the capacity of participants or volunteers working with the contestants. The Sheriff's Department will have its patrol on regular duty and will respond in the event of any accidents. Lieutenant Sampsell from the Sheriff's Department stated that officers could be hired by the event organizers for traffic control on West Main and Drake. She felt, however, that the capacity of the roads is sufficient to handle the traffic, though there may be some traffic back-ups.

It is anticipated that Life EMS will be at the site to handle any medical problems. Life EMS will man the first aid area and provide vehicles, including golf carts, to transport people should injuries occur.

The event will use the Mall's dumpsters for trash, and it is anticipated that there will be a donation of trash boxes which will be placed around the event area. Volunteers will be responsible for trash pick-up.

Registration and clinics will take place in the afternoon and evening on Thursday, September 28, and Friday, September 29. Basketball competition will take place Saturday, September 30, from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m., and there will be special events on Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. It is anticipated that the largest crowds will be on Saturday, in the late afternoon and evening, following the Western Michigan University football game. Basketball competition will continue on Sunday, October 1, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and clean-up will be completed that evening. Mall parking lot lighting would be sufficient for the event.

Ms. Bugge stated that businesses involving substantial outdoor sales or activities may be allowed as a special exception use in the "C-1" Local Business District. The Planning Commission has considered and approved other applications for outdoor events at this site, although they were considerably smaller in size.

Ms. Bugge talked with officials in Ludington regarding the Gus Macker Tournaments that have been staged there. She was told that the Tournament has been there for the last nine years, and this year, the teams were cut from 1,500 to 1,000. The Tournament was held in downtown Ludington, and there was 24-hour police patrol. There were 63 courts plus a main court on the beach. Ms. Bugge was told that there was a very positive response to the Tournament over the years. Ludington had 1,300 volunteers, and there are Gus Busters on each court who are empowered to ask people to leave if they are being disruptive. There are two Gus Busters assigned to each court. A local school field was used for parking. There were eight to ten county sheriff's deputies in uniform during the daylight hours. A local hospital was used for first aid. Ms. Bugge pointed out that the sheriff's deputies here cannot volunteer and be in uniform due to worker's compensation requirements.

Ms. Bugge was told that the volunteers were extremely important, and the Commission should be assured that enough volunteers were recruited. The Gus Busters must also be empowered to ask people to leave. In Ludington, snow fencing was used to keep people off lawns. Ms. Bugge said that snow fencing was being considered on Mall property to keep people from crossing West Main, but if the Sheriff's Department directs traffic, they will not stop traffic to permit jaywalking.

The Chairperson called on the event organizers to speak, and Terri Benton-Ollie from Action Matters introduced the staff that has been coordinating the event. She indicated that vendors will be limited to 12, and they will not conflict with the existing food businesses located in the Maple Hill Mall area. The referee coordinator indicated that referees set the tone for the event, and are very important. Most of the referees who will be at the event have been trained and travel the Gus Macker circuit.

Don Brady from Maple Hill Mall said that on Thursday night, the site area will be roped off, and on Friday morning, the courts will be set up. There will be a referee clinic where the referees will be certified; they would referee in the Gus Macker games and also be certified to do high school games. Sunday night will be the tear down time, and the parking lot will be put in the same condition as it was on Thursday night when it was roped off.

Mr. Dennie was concerned about the end time on Saturday and Sunday, and was told that the last tip-off on Saturday could be at 8 p.m., and with the games lasting an hour, the games would not be finished until 9 p.m. on Saturday. On Sunday, it is anticipated that the last tip-off will be at 6 p.m., with the finish time of 7 p.m.

Shuttle buses will be going between the Mall and the Western Michigan University football game parking lots, which will alleviate parking problems at the Mall.

Mr. Brady responded to a question regarding fencing and said that it had not yet been decided whether the property along West Main would be fenced to keep people from crossing the street. He said that they will talk to the Fire Department and police regarding the West Main situation. There will be four police officers on site, and it is believed that fencing will not be necessary because of the presence of the police officers and Mall security which will be there to keep the drives open.

There will be a sports car show in the Mall while the Gus Macker Tournament is in progress. There will be 30 to 40 vendors, and they are coming because of the Tournament. Mr. Brady welcomes those vendors because he believes that they will draw more people to the Mall.

Mr. Brady has determined that there will be enough lighting in the parking lot so that no additional lighting will be necessary. He will be sure that all of the lighting is working, and any burned out bulbs will be replaced. There will be an electrician on call if there is any need to fix any of the lights during the event.

In addition to all of the usual refuse containers on the Mall site, Best Way Disposal will provide three additional dumpsters with pick-up on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings, and at the conclusion of the event.

Portable toilets will be located on the east side of the courts and will be emptied daily.

There will be four paid Kalamazoo Public Safety Department Officers on duty each day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. They have been contracted for the event. They will be in uniform and armed. From 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. Magic Security will have two security guards on duty. There will be no alcohol at the event. Gus Busters will have special shirts, which are either referee shirts or Gus Buster T-Shirts. The majority will have referee shirts.

The vendors are self-contained with generators and thus need no electrical service. The only electrical service will be for the sound system, and there are electrical hook-ups now in the ground which will be used for the public address system. Most concessionaires will be on the northwest side of the courts.

The former Gantos space will be the hospital area, and the ambulances that are at the site will be able to pull off the main road in front of Gantos so they will not be in the road right-of-way.

The existing food sellers around the Mall area are pleased with the possibility of new business, and do not have parking concerns.

Local community organizations will come in for four hours on Saturday afternoon with informational booths. The booths will be set up on the southeast side of the court area.

Ms. Bugge stated that the Electrical Inspector must do an electrical safety inspection.

Any vendors who need awnings are to go to United Rental for flame-retardant awnings. The vendors will also be inspected by the Health Department.

Paris Audio will have a talent show of local musicians. There will also be cheerleaders and a dance team from Western along with McGruff, the crime dog, and Buster Bronco. All of these activities will take place inside the event area.

A driveway goes through the middle of the court area. It is contemplated that it will be closed off by cones. The event coordinators will check with the Fire Department to be sure that the placement of cones is acceptable. It is possible that barricades could be put up if necessary. They could be removed at night and put back up during the day. This would be for Saturday and Sunday only.

There are enough driveways to get any kind of emergency equipment into the Mall. Signs will be put in Gantos' window for first aid. Any other signs will be inside the event area. Registration is inside the Mall.

Discussion again returned to fencing. Mr. Rakowski questioned Mr. Brady regarding safety of participants when balls might go off the court and into the Drive area. Mr. Dennie also questioned safety and how people could be kept from wandering around the area and into Mall traffic. Ms. Bugge commented that the concern had been with West Main, not internally, and with all the venders now being located within the event area, it was unlikely that people would be crossing West Main for food. It was also pointed out by the event coordinators that people will be surrounding the courts.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell inquired about parking for participants, and was told that they would be parking on the north side of the Mall, while the volunteers will be parking on the southeast side.

Mr. Corakis asked if there would be parking at the West Main Mall, and he was told that it was likely that people might park there of their own accord. He asked if they might be given directions to the light and crossing area.

Mr. Rakowski asked about the location of the dumpsters, and Mr. Brady showed where they are going to be located. He again stated that there will be three additional dumpsters provided by Best Way. Ms. Bugge stated that the location of the dumpsters must be approved by the Fire Department.

The Chairperson summarized the proposal. He made reference to Section 60.100 regarding special exception uses. In the past, this type of special exception use has been allowed to exist at this location and other locations in the district. The event is designed to attract people to the Mall, which the Township encourages.

The proposal will not negatively impact adjacent properties as most of the neighbors are cooperating with the event. There will be no change to the site from its natural setting.

There was concern about closing the driveway to the court area, and Mr. Corakis suggested that it be done with cones. Mr. Sikora was not sure that cones would be satisfactory as they might not be obvious enough, and he thought that perhaps barricades would be better. Mr. Dennie suggested the possibility of using sawhorses, and Mr. Corakis thought that there should be one at each end of the drive by the event site. Ms. Bugge said that the Fire Department review what is being proposed, and she will discuss it with the Fire Department.

The hours of operation will be up to 9 p.m. on Saturday and 7 p.m. on Sunday. No additional lighting is proposed. The public address system will generate noise, but that noise is to be contained on site. It was thought that the volume on West Main Street would be no higher than a car radio.

The Planning Department and Fire Department must review the placement of the refuse containers.

Traffic circulation is not a concern.

The proposed event will comply with Ordinance standards for setbacks. The event is subject to compliance with building, electrical and fire codes and is subject to Health Department requirements. Ms. Bugge stated that the Health Department review is the responsibility of the event organizers.

Mr. Corakis stated that licenses will be given for the event by the Health Department.

No fencing is proposed. Mr. Rakowski has some concern about there being no fencing. Mr. Dennie said that it was hard to gauge circulation around the site and the flow of traffic. It would probably be difficult to use fencing effectively. He would have more concern if the event were located closer to West Main. Mr. Corakis would like to see signs about crossing at the light, and Mr. Dennie concurred. It should be brought to the attention of the participants in some way.

Portable toilets will be set up in the southeast corner of the event site. No discharge of wastewater will be permitted. Life EMS will be on site to care for people should injury occur. The former Gantos will be used as a first aid station. The event organizers must submit a certificate of liability insurance for the dates of the event.

An electrical safety inspection by the Township, Electrical Inspector and inspection by the Township Fire Department will be required.

The proposal will encourage the use of land in accordance with its character and adaptability as temporary events of a much smaller nature have been approved for Maple Hill Mall in 1998, 1999 and 2000.

The Chairperson next reviewed Section 31.403 requirements for businesses involving substantial outdoors sales or activities.

The existing outdoor parking lot lighting is adequate, and it is not anticipated that any additional lighting is needed.

The proposed parking arrangements are adequate for the event. Attendance will be on a rotating basis with the heaviest attendance expected to be Saturday in the late afternoon and evening, following the Western Michigan University football game. The event will utilize 392 spaces for activities, and designated volunteer parking. Based on the current occupancy rate of the Mall, there are approximately 697 excess parking spaces.

Event activities will comply with the required setback standards, and all Mall driveways will remain open with the exception of the driveway that goes through the event location as previously discussed.

The Chairperson next considered Section 82.800 which deals with the site plan review and the criteria for review.

Proposed access and site circulation in the area of the event are adequate. The existing entrance/exit drives off West Main Street and Drake Road, along with the primary access aisles/drives located around the parking lot perimeter will remain open. The event will occupy 392 parking spaces.

Setback requirements will be met. Trash cans will be placed around the event area with Mall dumpsters being used and volunteers will pick up the trash. Mall parking lot lighting is adequate, but if additional lighting is used, it should conform to Section 78.700.

On-site portable toilets are going to be stationed in the southeast corner of the event site. They must be serviced on an as-needed basis and must comply with setbacks as required per Section 64.500. They will be emptied at least daily.

Security arrangements are adequate with the hired Kalamazoo Public Safety Department Officers, Mall security, Magic Security, and event volunteers.

There will be a public address system, and the noise from that system must be contained on the site.

Approval shall be subject to the Fire Department review and approval, and to the Township Electrical Inspector conducting a safety inspection.

Approval is also subject to submission of Declaration of Liability Insurance from the Gus Macker organization. The nature of the event activities and the number of food venders have been discussed with the applicant, and were satisfactory.

Fencing was considered and was deemed to be unnecessary.

The dates and hours of operation were discussed, and it was determined that the event will conclude at 9 p.m. on Saturday and 7 p.m. on Sunday.

The approval is for a one time event, and is limited to 500, 4-person teams.

Mr. Heisig moved to approve of the special exception use permit based upon the analysis of the Planning Commission and the discussion pursuant to Section 60.100. Mr. Heisig wanted to emphasize that the event was limited to no more than 500, 4-person teams, and that the hours of operation on Saturday would conclude at 9 p.m. and on Sunday at 7 p.m. It is a one time event only, and a certificate of liability must be submitted by the event organizer. There must be an electrical safety inspection, and there must be Township Fire Department approval. Security will consist of four uniformed Kalamazoo Public Safety Department Officers who will be on the premises from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. and two Magic Security guards who will be on the premises from 10 p.m. until 8 a.m. The motion was seconded by Mr. Corakis.

There was no public comment, and the public hearing was closed. Upon a vote on the motion, the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Heisig moved to recommend approval of the site plan based on the analysis of the Planning Commission, the representations of the organizers, and the discussion regarding Section 82.800. Mr. Heisig also emphasized that noise should be confined to the site, and the hours of the event should be limited to no later than 9 p.m. on Saturday and 7 p.m. on Sunday. This is to be a one-time event which is limited to 500 teams, with four people per team. The main drive within the event area is to be closed during the hours of the event to vehicular traffic subject to the approval of the Township Fire Department. Mr. Block seconded the motion.

There was no public comment, and the public hearing was closed. Upon a vote on the motion, the motion carried unanimously.


The Planning Commission next considered the text amendment to the open space community provisions update. The Chairperson stated that the full text of the Ordinance was not contained in the text amendments but merely the sub-paragraphs where changes were to be made.

The language in the first paragraph on page 3 and the second paragraph on page 3 of the second draft is not clear. The private roads are to be constructed to Kalamazoo County Road Commission standards, but there are exceptions regarding the width of the easement and the width of the paving. Those exceptions are not particularly stated which made the stated exceptions that followed the paragraph unclear. It was determined that Ms. Bugge would consult with the Township Engineer and legal counsel to redraft those paragraphs so they will be clear. It may be that the text in the final paragraph on page 2 will be combined with the text at the top of page 3.

Mr. Rakowski moved that the text amendment be set for public hearing on September 28, 2000. Mr. Sikora seconded, and upon a vote on the motion, the motion carried unanimously.


There was discussion concerning the scheduled meeting on August 29, 2000, regarding signs with the discussion centering on the size of political signs. That matter will be discussed.


There being no further business to come before the Planning Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 9:45 p.m.

                                                OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
                                                PLANNING COMMISSION


Minutes prepared:
August 28, 2000

Minutes approved: