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Meeting Minutes

December 10, 1998






A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, December 10, 1998, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall, pursuant to notice.

Members present:

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

Member Absent: Lara Meeuwse

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning and Zoning Department, Rebecca Harvey, Township Consultant, Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney, and no other interested persons.


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



The Planning Commission considered the agenda of the meeting, and the Chairperson suggested adding a discussion, under "Other Business," of the memorandum from the Township Attorney regarding a possible text amendment concerning public and private schools. Additionally, the Chairperson suggested a discussion of the agenda for the next meeting.

Mr. Block moved to approve the agenda as amended, and Ms. Heiny-Cogswell seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


The Planning Commission considered the minutes of the meeting of November 19, 1998. The changes suggested by Ms. Stefforia were noted. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell suggested changes to page 10. First, she suggested a clarification to Mr. Corakis’ comments to indicate that the possible shared drive be in line with 8th Street. Further, she noted that the Chairperson had recommended review of the stormwater management system proposed so as to be in keeping with the proposed stormwater management text amendment.

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


The next item was the receipt, review and consideration of the recommendations of the Industrial Classification Review Committee. The recommendations were received as part of proposed amendments to the Master Land Use Plan regarding the Industrial land use classification. Ms. Harvey reminded the Planning Commissionttee of the "make-up" of the committee. She also described the procedures utilized by the committee in reaching their recommendations.

Ms. Harvey then summarized the positions of the committee. She noted that the committee was comfortable with the existing four major locations of Industrial zoning within the Township. She stated that the committee did not want to see expansion of industrial areas. The committee was in favor of development restricted to those areas currently zoned for industrial uses and areas in those areas where utilities were present. The committee had not indicated any need for reduction in the amount of area with industrial zoning. This was contrary to the current plan provisions, which suggested a reduction in certain areas was in order. The committee was in favor of encouraging the type of industrial development which exists along South 9th Street, i.e., light manufacturing on a small scale and service industries. The committee felt the Township should do more to encourage and/or mandate site design and aesthetics, such as building design and landscaping.

The Planning Commission read through the proposed changes to the Master Land Use Plan. There was particular comment regarding the fact that, for the County as a whole, only about 20-25% of all industrially zoned property was in use. In the Township, only about 30% is in use. The Planning Commission members concluded therefore that there was ample industrial acreage countywide to accommodate industrial development.

With reference to the third bullet on the first page of the proposed amendments, Ms. Harvey noted that the committee had seemed intrigued with the use of site design regulations rather than restrictions on use.

There was discussion of the fourth bullet on the first page and the use of the word "consolidation." Some committee members were concerned about the use of this word in that they felt that there should not be a reduction an increase in industrial zoning. Planning Commission members disagreed, suggesting that the word "consolidation" should be changed to "reduction."

There was a discussion of the Texas Township zoning south of 9th Street and whether the Township should pursue rezoning of any of the property in the area to the Commercial zone as a "support" or service to the industrial uses in the area.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell noted that she would like to see a reference in the land use policies to consider Oshtemo Township as more of a "regional player" concerning industrial zoning and use.

After further discussion, Mr. Loy moved to schedule the proposed Master Land Use Plan changes for public hearing on February 11, 1999. Mr. Heisig seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.


The Planning Commission next conducted a public hearing on the proposed text amendments to the Zoning Ordinance for the following sections: Section 82.900 - conformity to approved site plan, Section 82.925 - modification of approved site plan, and Section 82.950 - performance guarantees.

The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference. Ms. Stefforia suggested a change to the proposed language to eliminate reference to bonds in that it was her information, from other townships, that use of bonds was costly and troublesome. There was also discussion of the provisions with regard to the amount of guarantees, and it was determined that provision should be made to require one-and-one-half times the estimated cost of the improvement or project as submitted by the applicant. Requiring one-and-one-half times the projected cost would cover any possible increase in costs which might occur. Mr. Heisig also suggested a change to the proposed provisions of Section 82.950 so as to allow the Township to provide a rebate in both cash escrow and a reduction in letter of credit in proportion to work as it is completed.

There was no public comment, and the public hearing was closed.

Mr. Loy moved to recommend approval of the proposed text as amended at the meeting, and Mr. Corakis seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


The Planning Commission next discussed the memorandum from the Township Attorney concerning possible text amendments for public and private schools. The memorandum of the Township Attorney is incorporated herein by reference. In view of an unpublished opinion of the Michigan Court of Appeals, and to best protect the health, safety and welfare of Township residents, the Township Attorney was recommending revision to the Township’s Zoning Ordinance to provide that public and private schools are special exception uses in the "AG," "R-2," "R-3" and "R-4" Zoning District classifications.

The Chairperson pointed out that the memorandum had prompted his consideration of other uses permitted in these zones, such as churches, libraries, etc., and he felt that the Planning Commission should also give consideration to whether these uses should be permitted or special uses. Other Planning Commission members agreed, but it was the consensus that this consideration should take place separate from the consideration of the issue of public and private schools.

After some discussion, Mr. Loy moved to schedule public hearing on the proposed text amendment for February 11, 1999. Mr. Block seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

There was a discussion of the agenda for the meeting of December 17, 1998, and it was pointed out that the Planning Commission would have to appoint a new Zoning Board of Appeals representative. Members were reminded that the January 28, 1999, meeting would take place at The Birches.


There being no further business to come before the Commission, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:25 p.m.

 Minutes prepared:
December 11, 1998

Minutes approved: