OSTLOGOL.GIF (2116 bytes)



Meeting Minutes

AUGUST 27, 1998







A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, August 27, 1998, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall, pursuant to notice.

Members present:

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

Members Absent: None

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning and Zoning Department, Rebecca Harvey, Township Consultant, Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney, and one (1) other interested person.


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

The Chairperson introduced and welcomed Jodi Stefforia, the new Director of the Planning and Zoning Department.


Mr. Block moved to approve the agenda as submitted. Mr. Corakis seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.



The Planning Commission considered the minutes of the meeting of August 13, 1998. The changes suggested by the Planning and Zoning Department were noted. There was also discussion, by Mr. Corakis, of item #3 on page 7. It was decided that the sentence should be changed to read "That approval was subject to the 20’ strip of greenspace with landscaping on the east side of the property as proposed on the site plan."

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


The next item was Commission review of draft #2 of stormwater management provisions. It was noted that the proposed revisions had been previously reviewed with Township Engineer input. Specifically, the retention pond and fencing issues were discussed. The Engineer stated that he used the standard utilized by the County Drain Commissioner with regard to fencing of retention basins. There were three main considerations: the volume of water, soil conditions, and dimensions of pond. The Engineer recommended fencing where the slope was greater than 4:1 and/or if the pond was likely to retain at least 18" of water. It was noted that this requirement is somewhat troubling in that many developers wish to establish decorative ponds and use these ponds, at least in part, for stormwater retention.

Ms. Harvey reviewed the changes made in draft #2, which she stated reflected Commission comments and further research.

Section 78.500 had been revised to add the last bullet with regard to consistency with aesthetic character.

Section 78.510 had been revised to remove reference to site plan review so that the provisions would apply to residential as well as commercial and industrial development. Subpart C had been specifically revised to refer to "overland flow" to convey stormwater rather than use of catch basins or drywells. This change had been based upon Engineer input, from which the Planning Commission determined that it would prefer overland flow. Overland flow would have less impact on the land. Additionally, overland flow would allow percolation to reduce the amount of stormwater flowing into catch basins. Therefore, stormwater retention systems should function more effectively.

The Commission returned to the discussion of subpart D, which offered two alternate provisions regarding the fencing issue. The Chairperson indicated that he was concerned in that decorative ponds did not require fencing and, therefore, if stormwater did not feed into a pond, fencing was not required even if the pond would hold water in excess of 18". He therefore did not see any reason to require fencing for stormwater retention basins which would hold more than 18" where an applicant wished to use such stormwater basins as decorative elements. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell commented that she would like to see how other municipalities handled the issues. The Township Attorney responded that there was some concern with regard to liability and she would examine the issue and report back to the Commission. Planning Commission members agreed that the goal in many cases was to allow the developer to retain as much of the natural topography and features at the site as possible. At times this goal was undermined by the fencing provision.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell stated she felt that it would be important to include diagrams for use by developers which would show suggested designs where new catch basins were being created. She felt it was important to encourage the creation of "new wetlands."

No changes had been suggested to Section 78.520. As to Section 78.530, Commission members agreed that the Ordinance should indicate who would provide the information in question. It was noted that the Ordinance would be amended to include a new definition in Section 11.575 of wetlands which would not be the same as that used by the MDEQ.

As to Section 78.550, it was noted that the review of stormwater management and/or soil erosion control plans would take place at the time of site plan review where site plan review was required by the Ordinance. Where no site plan review was required, Planning Commission members agreed that such plans should be submitted to the Township for administrative review and approval.

Draft #3 would be discussed and reviewed at the meeting of September 10, 1998.


The Chairperson reminded the Commission that Ms. O’Connor had previously reported regarding the historic resources survey. She had suggested three approaches that the Township might take with regard to historic resources: (1) Seek national registry of a particular site, (2) create a local Historic District, and/or (3) reference historic structures in the Master Plan. She further suggested that the next step was to obtain a "better survey." She suggested a reconnaissance survey which would be Township-wide. This survey would report on all historic properties within the Township and make a recommendation on all sites. Once this reconnaissance survey information was received, the Planning Commission could consider what further steps were appropriate.

Ms. Harvey stated she had prepared an RFP for the reconnaissance survey. It was anticipated the cost may be between $5,000 and $10,000. The Township Board was likely to consider the item at its second meeting in September, i.e., September 22, 1998. The Planning Commission might be able to discuss the status of the reconnaissance survey and whether it had been authorized at its meeting of September 24, 1998. The Planning Commission would also consider the Schramm application for Historic District text, which had been tabled, for the purpose of scheduling a public hearing.


Ms. Harvey noted that a meeting of the committee had been scheduled for September 17, 1998. She provided a letter which had been drafted for mailing to committee members outlining information as to meeting dates, etc. She reminded the Planning Commission that representatives of the four Industrial areas had been appointed, along with a citizen-at-large, Planning Commission member. Ms. Harvey would assist as a consultant to the committee. She anticipated a one-meeting process and a second meeting only if the committee would like a second meeting. A recommendation as to possible changes to the Master Land Use Plan would be made by the committee.

Mr. Corakis stated that he would like to see a representative from the Oshtemo Business Association on the committee. The Chairperson stated that he was in favor of notifying the Business Association so that members could attend if they so desired. Ms. Meeuwse suggested that, in that event, a call should also be made to the Citizens’ Association.

After further discussion, it was noted that it was sufficient that the meeting be "noticed" as a public meeting, that a notice be printed in the paper and be placed on the Township web page. The Planning Commission would count on Mr. Corakis to let the Business Association know about the meeting date.


Mr. Heisig provided an update of the joint meeting of the Planning Commission with the Township Board. He stated there was a discussion of the rezoning at 7th Street/Stadium, but there was not specific direction to the Planning Commission as to what the Township Board wished the Planning Commission to do on that particular rezoning application. There was discussion of the Industrial zoning in the Stadium Drive corridor in general. The Township Board had requested information regarding parcels in the area and whether they were "buildable," including the Schramm parcel. There was a change in sentiment with regard to rezoning to the AT&T right-of-way. Most Township Board members no longer felt that such rezoning was necessary. Property owners of the property in the corridor had appeared at the meeting and indicated that they were not in favor of rezoning to the AT&T right-of-way.

It was the consensus of the Planning Commission that the issue of recommendation to the Township Board on this rezoning be tabled until after the report of the Industrial Classification committee.

There was discussion of the sign standards review - workshop, and it was stated that this would likely be scheduled in the first part of October.


There being no further business to come before the Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

 Minutes approved: