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January 23, 2001

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

Supervisor John VanDyke
Clerk Deb Everett
Treasurer Nancy Culp
Trustee Norm Anderson
Trustee Lois Brown
Trustee Dave Bushouse
Trustee Barry Steadman

Also present was Patricia Mason, Township Attorney, Bob Snell, Township Engineer, Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director, and approximately 21 interested people.

Motion by Brown, second by Culp to approve minutes of the January 9th meeting. Carried.

Income to the General Fund of $61,306.71 and disbursements of $87,294.60 were reported. Fire Fund income was $16.50 with disbursements of $38,573.29. Motion made by Culp, seconded by Brown to acknowledge the receipts and pay the bills. Carried.


Neil Sikora, 2378 Fairgrove, inquired if a policy had been established for canceling meetings scheduled on days the Township Office closes due to inclement weather. Clerk Everett recommended this be taken up under Other Business on tonight's agenda. Mr. Sikora also commented that when board members vote "no" on an issue they should offer comments or an explanation.

Millard Loy extended an invitation from Oshtemo Business Association to attend their January 24th meeting at Pine West at 7:00 p.m. Supervisor VanDyke will be their featured guest and concept drawings of the signs they would like to place at entrances to the Township will be on display.


Attorney Mason explained a request from FiberLink to expand their fiber optic system was in keeping with the original agreement signed in 1997.

Motion by Brown, second by Anderson to approve the Addendum to the Telecommunications Permit with FiberLink. Carried.


Attorney David Doran representing Berkeley Realty Group advised an agreement with Holly's Inc had been reached transferring ownership of Holiday Inn. Part of the transfer includes the liquor license that requires local approval.

Motion by Everett, second by Culp to approve the liquor license transfer. Roll call vote showed Brown-yes, Bushouse-yes, Everett-yes, Culp-yes, Steadman-yes, Anderson-yes, VanDyke-yes.


A lot split affecting Lots 17, 18 and 19 of Twelve Oaks No. 1 was received from owners Robert & Maria Lohrmann and William & Geraldine Schma. The split would divide Lot 18 in half, and would increase the size of Lots 17 and 19. Planning Director Stefforia advised the split would meet the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance and Land Division Act.

Motion by Culp, second by Brown to approve the lot split. Carried.




Planning Commission recommendations that the current permitted uses of sororities, fraternities, lodges or private clubs be changed to special exception uses in the R-4 district, a text amendment that would allow the Planning Commission, on a case-by-case basis to consider single story buildings up to 15,000 square feet in area, in the 9th Street Focus Area Overlay Zone, and a change in the definition of building height that would be consistent with building and fire codes were before the Board for First Reading. Attorney Mason advised since all three had moved forward from the last meeting, they can be incorporated as one ordinance.

Regarding the amendment concerning the 9th Street Focus Area Overlay Zone, Ed Sharp, 379 West Ridge Circle commented the area is zoned R-2 not R-3, assurance was given when the overlay zone was established that buildings no larger than 10,000 square feet for single story and 15,000 for two-story would be allowed, there's no guarantee that a request won't be received for more square footage and urged the Board to not allow something other than what was originally permitted.

In response to Board Member questions, Planning Director Jodi Stefforia advised the change is not suggesting that every building arbitrarily be approved for 15,000 square feet but would have to meet criteria including being designed in harmony with the natural topography of the property, limited grade changes and in keeping with the spirit and intent of the Focus Area. She further noted that all office buildings in the Overlay Zone are special exception uses. It was further noted this causes particular criteria to be applied including the impact on neighboring properties, the depth of the Overlay Zone is 880 feet which provides a buffer for residential areas and the current project on KL Avenue has approximately 1,000 foot rear setback from the nearest residences.

Motion by Brown, second by Culp to set the amendments for Second Reading on February 13th. Roll call vote showed Anderson-yes, Steadman-no, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, Bushouse-yes, Brown-yes.


Attorney Mason explained that under the General Property Tax Act, there is provision for granting exemption from property taxes if a person or family meets State and Federal guidelines for poverty and local municipalities are required to adopt a resolution each year setting the standards.

Trustee Brown commented that during her tenure as Treasurer the Township had two applications for poverty exemption and the exemption is good for one year.

Motion by Brown, second by Bushouse to adopt the resolution setting the Poverty Exemption Guidelines for 2001. Roll call vote showed Bushouse-yes, Brown-yes, Steadman-yes, Anderson-yes, Everett-yes, Culp-yes, VanDyke-yes.


Supervisor VanDyke reported the Building & Grounds Committee is seeking approval of an expenditure not to exceed $5,000 to consult with Diekema-Hamann regarding expansion of the Township Office.

In response to a question from Trustee Bushouse, Clerk Everett advised the committee felt there would be some cost savings by using the same architect who had been involved with the original building of the Township Office and subsequent renovations.

Motion by Anderson, second by Culp to approve expenditure not to exceed $5,000 for consultation with an architect. Carried.


Concerning the cancellation of meetings due to inclement weather, Clerk Everett suggested that if the Township Office is closed, any meetings scheduled for that day would also be cancelled. Trustee Brown suggested this should be a set policy and reflected in the minutes. Clerk Everett will prepare the information for the February 13th meeting.

Engineer Bob Snell advised the contract for the 9th Street sewer project would be ready for signatures in the next few days. After discussion it was concluded a special meeting could be held to take action on the matter and Attorney Mason requested that she be furnished a copy of the proposed contract for review.


Trustee Bushouse commented he would like the early meeting sessions to be more productive and suggested inviting neighboring townships and neighborhood associations to attend. He also inquired of the Gazette reporter how we can assist in having more pertinent information in the Round Up section of the paper. He commented the MTA conference was very informative and suggested that each member bring one or two items they learned to the next early meeting to share.

Clerk Everett commented she agrees with Mr. Bushouse and suggested adding more structure to the early meeting sessions and adjusting the name to Public Comment/Work Session.

Trustee Brown agreed with the previous comments and also found the conference interesting this year.

Supervisor VanDyke thanked Troop 492 for leading the Pledge of Allegiance.

Treasurer Culp felt discussion should be held regarding the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program; she has been advised there is another project being considered. After discussion it was concluded this could be discussed at the next early meeting session. Clerk Everett will supply Board members with a copy of the ordinance and Mrs. Culp will prepare a tax figure comparison on the proposed project and all current projects in place with a PILOT.

There was no further business and the meeting was adjourned at 8:10 p.m.

Township Clerk

Attested: John VanDyke