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Meeting Minutes

January 14, 1999






A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, January 14, 1999, 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
Stanley Rakowski

Members Absent: None

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning and Zoning Department, Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner, Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney, and five (5) other interested persons.


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


The Chairperson suggested adding, under "Other Business," a discussion of the Township Board meeting which had occurred on January 12, 1999. Further, he suggested adding a discussion of the GIS program.

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


The Planning Commission next considered the election of officers for calendar year 1999. Mr. Loy nominated Mr. Dennie be re-elected as Chairperson. For Vice-Chairperson, Mr. Block nominated Mr. Heisig. Mr. Corakis nominated Ms. Heiny-Cogswell as Secretary. Each person nominated indicated their acceptance of the nomination.

Mr. Corakis moved to close the nominations and elect the above-referenced slate. Mr. Block seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

The Planning Commission next discussed the selection of a representative for the Zoning Board of Appeals. Mr. Corakis nominated Mr. Loy, which nomination was seconded by Mr. Block. Mr. Loy indicated his acceptance of the nomination. The nominations were closed and, upon a vote on the motion, the motion carried unanimously.


The next item was the application for site plan review and approval of the creation of a condominium project encompassing two condominium units at the site of The Kitchen Shop at 2455 S. 11th Street. The condominium proposal would facilitate the construction of an office building at the site.

The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

It was noted that the Planning Commission considered the layout of the condominium project similar to its review of platted subdivisions. The development of individual units was subject to site plan review by the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Attorney Ron Stephens was present representing TNB Associates, the applicant. Mr. Stephens stated that John Brand was also present, along with Richard Schramm, architect for the proposed office building. Mr. Stephens noted that unit #1 would include the building currently occupied by The Kitchen Shop. Unit #2 would be the proposed office building. He noted that parking to the east of unit #1 was a limited common element for use only by unit #1. Unit #2 also had limited common-element parking to the east and west. There was discussion of the proposed "future parking" indicated on the plan. The applicant indicated it would be established along with the office building.

In response to questioning by the Chairperson, Mr. Stephens stated that the establishment of the office building on unit #2 would "build out" the site and there would be no further development. There was discussion of the greenspace between units #1 and #2, and the applicant indicated that the greenspace would be common area maintained by the condominium association. The area would be landscaped.

It was acknowledged that no new access was proposed; the project would be served by the existing access point.

There was also discussion of the area indicated as concrete walks at the back of unit #2. Mr. Schramm stated that these walks would not in fact be established because the building was not going to be a walkout as originally planned. Only those sidewalks accessing the parking area would be constructed.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell suggested that the approximate half-dozen trees south of the southern drive be preserved if at all possible. She indicated that she would like to see the parking configured in order to save these trees.

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

After a review of the criteria of Section 82.600, Mr. Loy moved to approve the site plan and the condominium project with the following conditions, limitations and notations:

(1) That the master deed and bylaws of the project be submitted to the Township Attorney for review and approval.

(2) That the approval was subject to the review and approval of the Township Fire Department and Township Engineer.

Mr. Corakis seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.


The Planning Commission next considered a draft of the text concerning adult regulated uses. The Township Attorney discussed the case law concerning such uses and the authority of the local municipalities to regulate these uses in order to minimize deleterious secondary effects. The Township Attorney noted that the text in its current form was a rough draft and that there was much work to be done by the Planning Commission on several portions of the proposed text. For instance, the Township Attorney noted that, with regard to the "Purpose" section, the Planning Commission would have to compile data and/or studies concerning deleterious secondary effects supporting the statement of purpose. It was suggested that perhaps data and/or studies could be obtained from the City of Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Township and/or the City of Portage. Additionally, it might be appropriate to contact the City of Grand Rapids. In addition, the Kalamazoo Coalition had offered to provide the studies in its possession. There was review of the "Purpose" section, with some superfluous language eliminated. As to subpart (f), it was recognized that this provision would be dependent on the Zoning District in which the uses in question could be located.

In a discussion of the "Scope" section, the Township Attorney noted that the Planning Commission would have to carefully analyze whether there was any property "available" as that term is understood in its legal significance. The amount of property which could be developed with an adult regulated use given the restrictions of the Ordinance, etc., was important. There must be sufficient "available" property upon which an adult use could be established. There was discussion of whether it was philosophically appropriate to concentrate on the Industrial zone. The Chairperson referenced the uses allowed in the "C," "C-1," "C-R," as well as the "I-1" through "I-3" zones. "I-R" had not been initially suggested because it requires large-parcel development and design standards which are not necessarily compatible with adult regulated uses. Ms. Stefforia noted that, in her review of availability, there would be no parcel which qualified for development if the Zoning Districts were limited to "I-1" through "I-3" given the 1,000-foot separation regulation. Dropping the figure to 750, only one parcel became available. Dropping the regulation to 500 feet would make only two parcels available. Including the "I-R" District might make four parcels (41 acres) available for development.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell noted that she would not feel Commercial was an appropriate location, given the negative impacts which the uses might have on other commercial development. Further, Planning Commission members agreed they felt that the 1,000-foot limitation for separation provision was necessary to buffer residential properties, etc. However, further study in this area would have to be conducted.

There was discussion of the definition of "adult bookstore, adult novelty store, or adult video store." In general, it was recognized that the 50% of gross receipts provision was worrisome because of the problems it would cause for enforcement. However, it was felt that there should be some precise standard in order to avoid the proof problems in a prosecution if the generalized language "substantial or significant portion" were utilized. It was noted that perhaps 50% of the gross area of the premises could be an appropriate standard. However, it was recognized that this would be subject to manipulation by the operator.

Returning to a discussion of the zoning districts, it was agreed that the Planning Commission should obtain information concerning the amount and location of property in the Commercial and Industrial zones which might be available. This information would be analyzed at the next meeting on the text.

Moving on to the regulations, it was agreed that subpart (c), which prohibited any premises from containing more than one adult regulated use, would be eliminated. Planning Commission members agreed that it might be better to group such uses into one building. Further, subpart (h) would be eliminated in that Planning Commission members agreed that whether or not premises could obtain a liquor license was not of concern. There was some discussion of whether the text should be revised to prohibit total nudity. The Chairperson indicated that he was not as concerned about the activity or the degree of the activity at the site as its location. It was suggested that information be obtained from other communities on their handling of the issue of total nudity. As to the exempt uses, there was discussion of the massage portion and it was agreed that the Attorney would research the licensing issue.

Draft #3 of the proposed text would be discussed at the February 25, 1999, meeting.

Jacob VanGiessen, Chairperson of the Coalition, stated that he would write a letter to the Attorney and Jodi Stefforia outlining his comments. He stated that he was very happy that the Planning Commission was taking this text seriously. He cautioned the Planning Commission on the importance of being "content neutral." He felt that there should be a section in the "Purpose" provision which referenced the case law upon which the Planning Commission was relying.


The Planning Commission next discussed the meeting of January 28, 1999, at which the Village District would be discussed. The meeting would take place at The Birches on 9th Street. The Planning Commission considered the proposed outline provided by Jodi Stefforia. It was agreed that there would be no need for an overhead projector but that handouts should be utilized. Further, there would be a mailing to property owners in the Focus Area concerning the meeting.


The Chairperson provided an update of the Township Board meeting conducted January 12, 1999. He noted that three items had been related to Planning Commission recommendation and that the Township Board had agreed with the Planning Commission on each item.

There was a brief discussion of the GIS program, and the Chairperson noted that the Township would like the Planning Commission to consider what additional uses might be made of the program. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell described her experience with the GIS program. It was felt that there should be a discussion of the GIS program added to the work plan and information obtained as to what types of functions were currently in use with the GIS program and what was available for purchase.


There being no further business to come before the Commission, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:55 p.m.

Minutes approved:

January 28, 1999