Township Board Minutes

January 11, 2000

The Oshtemo Township Board held its regular meeting at the Township Hall. The meeting was called to order by Supervisor Fleckenstein, at 7:00 p.m.

Supervisor Ron Fleckenstein
Clerk Deb Everett
Treasurer Lois Brown
Trustee Norm Anderson
Trustee Marvin Block
Trustee David Bushouse
Trustee Fred Johnson

Also present was Richard Reed, Township Attorney, Bob Snell, Township Engineer, Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director, Wilfred Dennie, Planning Commission Chairman, and 18 interested people.

Motion made by Block, seconded by Johnson to approve the minutes of the December 14, 1999 meeting as prepared. Carried.

Income to the General Fund of $23,539.61 and disbursements of $112,040.99 were reported. Income to the Fire Fund of $42.16 and disbursements of $266,050.04 were reported. Motion made by Johnson, seconded by Block to acknowledge the receipts and pay the bills. Carried.


Gladys Ahrens, 1960 Highfield Street inquired if there is an ordinance prohibiting parking on grass and if not what steps would be necessary to implement one. Attorney Reed and Supervisor Fleckenstein advised Mrs. Ahrens to make the request to the Planning Department in writing.

Bill Jameson, 1715 Old Deer Run inquired if there is not already an ordinance which prohibits parking in the setback. Attorney Reed advised the ordinance prohibits the parking of recreational vehicles or boats forward of the building setback line. Mr. Jameson felt it addresses all vehicles. Mr. Reed will review the ordinance.


Attorney Reed advised he had reviewed documents regarding the request from Ken and Jeff Bertolissi presented to the Board at the December 14th meeting regarding use of Outlot E in Country Club Village. He advised that currently the Township does not have authority to grant permission for use of the outlot. It must be conveyed to the Township or the Kalamazoo County Road Commission by the heirs of the developers of the plat, before either can authorize its use.

Jeff Bertolissi inquired about the circumstances of a variance granted by the Township in 1980 for Outlot G. Attorney Reed advised that a width to depth ratio variance was granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals which did not address use of the outlot.


Chairman Dennie presented the Planning Commission recommendation for denial regarding a request to rezone approximately 36 acres located north of Venture Park from R-1 Residential to C Local Business District. The Planning Commission had also considered R-3 Residential.

He stated reasons for the recommendation included, a significant amount of existing commercial zoning, R-3 would not function as a transitional or buffer area since the subject area is already between two residential zones, rezoning would be contrary to the Master Land Use Plan which requires protection of the Whitegate Farms neighborhood from non-residential encroachment, rezoning would be contrary to established land uses in the area and divide the existing residential neighborhoods and rezoning was likely to stimulate further requests leading to further encroachments into the residential areas by non-residential use.

Motion made by Block, seconded by Johnson to accept the Planning Commission recommendation and deny the rezoning request. Carried.


Mr. Dennie presented the Planning Commission recommendation of an ordinance regarding adult regulated uses. He advised the Board that the Commission had studied this issue for over a year, reviewing how these types of uses effect a community, how other communities regulate the uses and the legal standing of such regulation. He presented a recommendation that adult oriented businesses be allowed as a special exception use in the I-1, I-2 and I-3 Industrial zones. Further, a 500 foot separation from residential zoning districts, family-oriented establishments, churches, etc. and a 1,000 foot separation between adult uses would be required.

In response to questions from the Board, Mr. Dennie and Planning Director Jodi Stefforia advised that other communities have regulated the uses to Industrial zoning and a challenge had been upheld in court, and by allowing the uses as special exception in Industrial zoning, it allows the Township to work with a proposal to satisfy the special exception use criteria and should be legally defendable.

Board members commended the Planning Department and Commission for their work on this issue.

Jacob VanGiessen, President of the Kalamazoo Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families, commended the Planning Commission, Planning Director Jodi Stefforia, and Attorney Pat Mason for their work on this issue. He further stated he feels it is a constitutionally sound ordinance, will benefit the community and urged the Board to adopt the ordinance.

Motion made by Block, seconded by Anderson to accept the Planning Commission recommendation and set first reading of the ordinance for January 25th. Carried.

Attorney Reed commented that Oshtemo is rightfully proud of its Planning Department and Planning Commission, commending them for taking time to learn about the issue and address it with knowledge. He further stated this is another example of the leadership Oshtemo Township has always shown in zoning and planning.


Scott Schrum, Executive Director of Residential Opportunities, Inc (ROI), was present along with Board President Jud Knapper and Board Member John Jackson to present a request for approval of Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) for the Aaron Glen Apartments located on South 11th Street. ROI proposes to develop the 20 unit apartment complex as low-income housing using 8 of the units for clients of Kalamazoo Community Mental Health Services (KCMHS).

ROI feels this complex is a good investment, the property is in good shape, and the complex would be convenient for residents to the bus line, grocery stores, etc.

In response to questions from Board Members, Mr. Schrum advised the complex at this time is not barrier free and renovations would be very expensive; MSHDA who ROI is seeking a loan from, is aware of the non barrier free status, residents placed in the complex would have skill levels that do not require every day care, however, KCMHS will provide support. Property management will be supervised by Action Investment Management (AIM) who provides services for other complexes ROI owns.

Supervisor Fleckenstein advised Mr. Schrum that the PILOT designation does not effect the collection of special assessments against the property. Attorney Reed advised that if approved, the PILOT designation would be effective with the 2001 tax roll; the property is already on the 2000 tax roll.

Motion made by Brown, seconded by Block to authorize the Supervisor to send a letter of intent to approve the PILOT request, contingent upon the approval of ROI receiving the necessary financing for the project. Carried.


Supervisor Fleckenstein commented that the fire station construction is a couple of weeks behind.

There was no further business and the meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

DEBORAH L. EVERETT                                                  Attested: RON FLECKENSTEIN
Township Clerk                                                                                     Supervisor