Township Board Minutes

June 23, 1998


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 Elaine Branch
Treasurer Lois Brown
Trustee Norman Anderson
Trustee Marvin Block
Trustee David Bushouse
Trustee Fred Johnson

 Also present was Richard Reed, Township Attorney, and Larry Stehouwer, Township Engineer along with 5 interested people.

Motion made by Block, seconded by Johnson to approve the minutes of our last meeting, June 9, as prepared. Carried.

Income to the General Fund of $14,034.07 and disbursements of $70,564.48 were reported. Fire Fund income was $298.50 with disbursements of $14,967.30. Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Block, to acknowledge the receipts and pay the bills. Carried.



There were no citizens comments. Supervisor Fleckenstein had received a letter signed by Jack Hamilton, Ken Bertolissi and Jeff Bertolissi, requesting that it be read and become part of the record. The letter, relating to the 9th Street Focus Area Overlay Zone and the sanitary sewer requirement, was read by the Supervisor. A copy of the letter and the Supervisor’s reply is filed in the "Supplements to the Minutes".



Richard Schramm had requested the rezoning of three parcels located near the corner of 7th Street and Stadium Drive in Section 34. see Map They currently are zoned "I-1" Industrial and he requested "C" Local Business. The Planning Commission, in order to avoid a "spot zoning" expanded the request to include the "I-1" zoning to the east, starting with the Rollerworld parcel, continuing to the where the "C" zone begins. This included 4 parcels totaling approximately 1,356 feet of frontage.

Wilfred Dennie, Chair of the Planning Commission, reviewed the request and the reasons for their recommendation to deny. The reasons included; not supported by Land Use Plan, would lead to strip development, extensive amount of commercial zoning was available, and there was little prime industrial zoning left. He further explained the negative impact this rezoning could have on the goals of the Village Focus Area Plan.

Mr. Dennie further explained that the Planning Commission was sensitive to the ideas of the applicant. They will begin a study of the industrial uses and see if the applicants ideas could be incorporated into our industrial zones.

Trustee Bushouse commented that the new Soccer Zone building would not be in keeping with the Village Focus Area goals. He also questioned if Heslinga would be allowed in a "C" zone, it appeared, to him, to be a commercial use. In response, Mr. Dennie stated that Heslinga’s use was not allowed in "C".

 Mr. Bushouse stated many of the businesses in the area have the appearance of being commercial and not industrial. It was suggested that he look at the use and not the design of a business, as our ordinance goes by use.

Trustee Anderson asked when Rollerworld became non-conforming and was advised about 1989, probably when there was a text change.

Trustee Bushouse asked if the parcels in the request were all buildable as an "I-1", after considering the setbacks, etc. He was concerned that they were too small and could not get a building permit.

Treasurer Brown questioned a statement, in the Planning Commission’s minutes on page 5, regarding expansion of commercial nodes in other areas.

She also asked if the Planning Commission explored the idea of extending the area they looked at down to the A.T.&T. Right of Way and have a type of commercial block that could be complementary to the Village Focus Area. Mr. Dennie responded that they did look at extending to the A.T.&T. Right of Way and they were concerned about the impact it could have on the Village Focus Area. Mrs. Brown felt there could be a use in a large block, that could be complementary. She did not think we would lose enough "I" zone to matter.

Mr. Dennie explained that with a large area of commercial it would encourage the big stores, i.e. Meijer and the Planning Commission did not feel that a store of that size would be complementary to the Village Focus Area.

Mrs. Brown suggested "R-3", offices, would be complementary. She was reminded that the applicant requested commercial and that is what they looked at. She went on to say she thinks there must be an in between (between small commercial and large) that could go there. With the size of the applicants parcels, she did not think there was an industrial use that could go there. She felt the size of the parcel should be a consideration.

In response to a question by Trustee Johnson, Mr. Dennie stated the applicant’s original request, if approved, would be a spot zoning, so it was expanded.

Mr. Johnson felt that there were reasons to support the request and moved to rezone it. The Board was advised that they could concur with the Planning Commission and deny or they could return it to them to look at it again.

A motion was then made by Johnson, support by Anderson to return the item to the Planning Commission, asking them to look at expanding the area down to the A.T.&.T Right of Way for commercial as well as other zones. Trustee Bushouse asked that they also look at the size issue on the small parcels, can they be built on?

Clerk Branch stated she would vote "no" on the motion for the following reasons: 1) the placement of a "R-3" between the commercial and industrial zones is contrary to our normal placement of zones. 2) concern about the spread of commercial and the real threat of strip development 3) there are uses available in "I-1", i.e. offices, that could go on the applicants small parcels. 4) with the Planning Commission’s plan to review the uses in the "I-1", why be in a hurry to change it to commercial?

The motion carried 4 to 3.



Larry Stehouwer, reviewed Robert Snell’s recommendation to grant Step 1 approval to Breckenridge Estates - Phase II. The other agencies either approved the plat or would withhold their comments until Step 2.

There was discussion about the Drain Commissioner’s comment and the Planning Commission’s comments. The developer, Kirk Van Order was present and aware of the changes that needed to be done before Step 2.

Motion made by Branch, seconded by Anderson to grant Step 1 approval to Breckenridge Estates - Phase II. Carried.


Supervisor Fleckenstein reviewed the need for a standby generator at the Greystone sanitary pump station and Texas Township’s interest in extending the sewer main into their area. The City of Kalamazoo would not accept additional wastewater flow unless a standby generator was installed. Texas Township, in a letter dated March 30, 1998, agreed to be responsible for all cost related to the installation.

Because Cummins/Onan was the preferred choice of the City of Kalamazoo, only their bid was sought. Their proposal was in the amount of $27,600.00. Motion made by Block, seconded by Johnson to approve the purchase as requested. Carried.



Trustee Bushouse thanked the Fire Department for their participation in the Rotary sponsored Oshtemo Fun Day at Flesher Field on Saturday, June 20. The event went well.

He also questioned the policy that prohibits non-personnel riding in the Snorkel. It was suggested that in his investigation, he might want to check with our insurance agent.

 There was no further business and the meeting adjourned at 8:17 p.m.


Township Clerk Supervisor

Date approved - July 14, 1998