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Meeting Minutes

March 11, 1999








A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, March 11, 1999, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall, pursuant to notice.

Members present:

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

Members Absent: None

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director, Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner, Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney, and no other interested persons.


The Chairperson called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m.


The Chairperson suggested adding a discussion of the proposed text concerning reapplication for special exception use permit. Under "Other Business," the Chairperson suggested a discussion of feedback from the Township Board meeting. Further, the work plan should be discussed.

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


The Planning Commission discussed the minutes of the meeting of February 25, 1999. Ms. Bugge suggested a change to page 5 in the second-to-last paragraph, last sentence, to read "Following up on this discussion, the Planning Commission noted that lots within the proposed subdivision exceed the Township’s area and frontage requirements for single-family homes; and all lots except 5, 6 and 7 exceed the requirements for two-family homes." The Township Attorney suggested a change to page 6, in the first full paragraph, to read "Mr. Loy moved that the Commission recommend that the Township Board grant step 1 approval of the proposed plat of Wendalyn Woods, including a recommendation that a variance be granted by the Township Board pursuant to the Land Division Ordinance to allow the construction of proposed Wendalyn Way with the length of 1,450’ and with a 100’-diameter cul-de-sac turnaround as noted on the proposed plans." There would also be a typographical change on page 9.

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

The Township Attorney noted that the Planning Commission had previously suggested elimination of the highlight and striking on corrected minutes. The Township Attorney indicated that highlighting and striking were required by the Open Meetings Acts in order to indicate corrections made to the minutes by the Planning Commission.


The Planning Commission next considered draft #3 of the proposed adult regulated uses text amendment to the Zoning Ordinance.

Ms. Stefforia noted that changes had been made to Section 60.740 primarily to reduce the separation required to 500 rather than 1,000 feet. Further, separation from nonconforming residential and family commercial uses could not be considered. These changes would allow for available property within the "I-1," "I-2 and "I-3" zones. Ms. Stefforia had also added, for purposes of discussion, a restriction of no more than one adult use per premises. She felt that the studies presented support inclusion of this restriction. Additionally, a 1,000-foot separation from one adult use to another would be added. It was felt that limiting one adult use per premises and requiring a 1,000-foot separation between adult uses would avoid "concentration" of adult uses in one area, i.e., creation of a "redlight district." It was felt that the studies provided seemed to indicate that concentration of adult uses increase the negative secondary effects. Reference was made to the Planning and Zoning Department’s memorandum of March 3, 1999.

Based upon these suggested revisions, Ms. Bugge had created maps and charts graphically representing the "available" industrial property, i.e., that property which could qualify for development within an adult regulated use. Based on her documentation, a total of 122.024 acres would qualify for adult regulated use, which was roughly 2.64% of the developed land within the Township. In that some of the properties did not enjoy frontage, it was suggested by the Township Attorney that, in order to make them truly available for development, the separation distance should be measured, not from the property line, but from the "developed area." It was felt that "developed area" would include parking lot and any buildings at the site but would not include the access drive or signage.

After further discussion, it was suggested that Section 60.740(b) be modified to read: "The distance limitations above shall be measured in a straight line without regard to intervening structures or objects from the developed area of the lot, parcel or building site occupied by the adult regulated use to the nearest point of the lot, parcel or building site occupied by any of the uses so listed in Section 60.740(a)."

Mr. Heisig questioned how many adult uses could qualitfy for development given the 1,000-foot separation requirement. Ms. Bugge stated that, based upon her calculations, theoretically area A could accommodate one use, area B could accommodate four uses, area C could accommodate one use, area D could accommodate five uses, and area E could accommodate one use. There was discussion as to whether or not the proposed subpart (k) should be included to provide that no building, premises, structure or other facility that contains any adult regulated use shall contain any other adult regulated use. The Township Attorney stated that there were essentially two philosophies, one to congregate all adult uses in one area and create a "redlight district" or to provide for separation so that no one area contained very many adult uses. After discussion, the Planning Commission favored the 1,000-foot separation and limitation on number of adult uses on one premises.

There was discussion as to whether or not data had been obtained from other area municipalities concerning crime statistics, etc. Ms. Stefforia stated that Portage, in adopting a similar ordinance, had relied upon studies presented to it by the Coalition. Similarly, the City of Kalamazoo had relied on these same studies but had not examined them too closely. The Planning Commission members agreed that further investigation should be made into area data and statistics and possibly the availability of data or statistics on a state level. The Planning Commission was concerned about providing additional support for the concept that deleterious secondary effects result from adult regulated uses. Ms. Stefforia noted that approximately one month would be needed to compile additional data. The Planning Commission members agreed that the next draft would be considered at the meeting of April 22, 1999.


The Planning Commission next considered the proposed Master Land Use Plan amendments regarding Industrial land use policies. The Chairperson noted that some suggested changes had been made to reflect inclusion of adult regulated uses in the Industrial classification. A review of draft #3 dated February 18, 1999, occurred. It was the consensus of the Planning Commission that the Industrial Land Use policies should be considered contemporaneously with the adult regulated uses text. Therefore, Mr. Block moved to table the item to the meeting of April 22, 1999. Mr. Loy seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.


The Planning Commission next discussed proposed language concerning special exception uses suggested by Ms. Stefforia and the Township Attorney. It was noted that discussion of these changes had been prompted by the work of the Planning Commission on the adult regulated uses.

There was first discussion of the suggested new Section 60.208 concerning appeals to "a court of competent jurisdiction." After comment by the Township Attorney, it was the consensus of the Planning Commission that this text provision was not needed since appeal from Planning Commission decisions on special exception use to the Circuit Court was allowed as an operation of Michigan law. As to proposed Section 60.206, the Planning Commission felt that a one-year limitation was reasonable and not burdensome on members of the public. It was noted that the Planning Commission normally allows a developer to request that his item be tabled if the developer seeks to make revisions to a particular plan after hearing comments by the Planning Commission. The new proposed Section 60.207 concerning modifications is a codification of the current interpretation of Ordinance provisions which require that any expansion, alteration or change to a special exception use would not be permitted unless specifically approved by the Planning Commission.

There was discussion as to whether or not provision should be made setting a time deadline for consideration by the Planning Commission of applications for special exception use. The Township Attorney stated that she would favor including a time deadline insofar that this would possibly satisfy concerns expressed by courts when reviewing adult regulated use provisions. However, it was recognized that the Planning Commission had previously had no problem with handling all applications within a reasonable time.

After further discussion, it was agreed that draft #2 of the proposed text would be considered at the meeting of April 22, 1999.


The Planning Commission next considered, for scheduling purposes, a request for rezoning of the property at 8159 Stadium Drive from the "AG" to the "C" or "R-3" zoning District classification. There was discussion of area zoning, and it was noted that there was

"I-R" property located to the northwest. To the northeast, there was "I-1" property. West of the parcel, but not contiguous, was "C" zoning. The remainder of property in the area was within the "AG" District. There was discussion of the possibility of expanding the area under consideration. Mr. Block felt that the area should be expanded given the Commercial zoning, which was not contiguous, to the west. Mr. Loy disagreed, stating that he felt it would not be appropriate to consider rezoning someone’s property when they had not requested a rezoning. It was agreed by the Planning Commission that the zones for consideration would not be expanded.

After some discussion, Ms. Heiny-Cogswell stated that she was in favor of considering an expanded area for rezoning to the "R-3" District but not the Commercial District given that the "R-3" zone is transitional in nature.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell moved to schedule a public hearing for May 27, 1999, on the following:

(1) Rezoning of approximately eight acres at 8159 Stadium Drive from the "AG" to the "C" and/or "R-3" zoning District classification.

(2) Rezoning of property between 6th Street west to the property at 8159 Stadium Drive to the "R-3" District.

(3) Rezoning of the property from 8159 Stadium Drive west to the commercially zoned property from the "AG" to the "R-3" District.

(4) Consideration of the reclassification of the property described above to the Transitional and/or Commercial classification under the Township’s Master Land Use Plan.

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

The Planning Commission next discussed the application for rezoning of a parcel on the west side of 9th Street, south of West Main and extending to 8th Street, from the "R-2" to the "C" Local Business District zoning classification. After discussion, the Planning Commission consensus was not to expand the area or zone for consideration. In addition, a Master Land Use Plan reclassification to the Commercial class would be necessary.

Mr. Corakis moved to schedule public hearing on the item for May 27, 1999. Mr. Loy seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.



Ms. Heiny-Cogswell noted the work being done by the Kalamazoo County Road Commission along 10th Street. She stated that this work would include "wider shoulders," which would allow a potential connection from the Kal-Haven Trail up to H Avenue. Mr. Loy noted that the Zoning Board of Appeals would be considering an application for site plan review by the National Heritage Academy which would include an interior public road.

Mr. Corakis asked about the status of the sign ordinance, and there was discussion of the possibility of obtaining a video on signage from MSPO or some other source.

Mr. Block noted that there was an issue with regard to the noise ordinance for the Walnut Woods Office Park. A Country Club Village resident was complaining about snow plows and snow blowers. The consensus of the Planning Commission was that, given the residential zoning in the area and given the permitted office use, snow plowing was a necessary service and it was recommended that the Township Board revise its police power noise ordinance to except snow removal activities.

There was also discussion of the proposed expansion of the sewer lines from the Country Club Plat to West Main.

Ms. Stefforia noted that the Township may be interested in creating a DDA for the Village District so as to fund sidewalks, etc.

The Chairperson provided an update for the Commission concerning the previous Township Board meeting. He noted that the public/private school text had been set for first reading. The stormwater management text had been tabled to allow for revisions concerning how to handle private leaching basins which "go bad." It was believed that this text would be returned to the Planning Commission for consideration.

There was discussion of the work plan, and it was agreed that, at the first meeting in April, the work plan and the status of items such as signage, Village Focus Area and Access Management would be discussed.

There was discussion of the agenda for the next meeting.


There being no further business to come before the Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

 Minutes prepared:
March 12, 1999

Minutes approved: