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March 9, 2000




A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, March 9, 2000, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township.

Wilfred Dennie, Chairman
Neil Sikora
Stanley Rakowski
Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell
Ken Heisig
Marvin Block

Ted Corakis

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director and Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner and one other interested person.


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


The Chairperson suggested adding, under "Other Business" a discussion of a Historic District Committee and nominees/volunteers. Mr. Rakowski moved to approve the Agenda as amended, and Ms. Heiny-Cogswell seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


The Planning Commission discussed the minutes of the meeting of February 24, 2000. Mr. Dennie corrected on page 4 the spelling of Laura Raher=s last name. Mr. Sikora moved to approve the minutes of February 24, 2000, as amended. Mr. Block seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


The Planning Commission next discussed Draft #2 of the proposed text amendment to the Zoning Ordinance concerning landscaping requirements within the Township. Draft #2 had previously been provided with the February 10, 2000 meeting materials. The report of the Planning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge distributed and presented two handouts that graphically depict the proposed landscaping requirements by the greenspace type as well as the current screening requirements. The charts outlining the draft requirements for quantity and size of plantings were also presented and discussed.

The Chairperson questioned the minimum size requirements and commented on the cost of plantings that meet the criteria. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell stated that from her experience, landscaping is typically considered in the overall cost of development. It is budgeted to be 5-10% of overall project costs.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell discussed the requirements for parking lot islands. She expressed concern over the minimum shrub sizes and the potential to interfere with visibility. She suggested that specific shrub requirements for islands, such as horizontal-growing shrubs be incorporated into the text. Instead of minimum height, a minimum gallon size requirement should be used.

In response to questioning, Ms. Bugge stated that most of the text as drafted had come from reviewing the provisions of other communities.

The Chairperson commented on the amount of landscaping required in type F & G greenspaces and questioned the intent. Ms. Bugge stated that the F & G greenspaces are designed for both landscaping and screening purposes. One or the other greenspace would likely be required where very different uses abut each other, such as industrial adjacent to a residential area.

Mr. Rakowski stated he was glad to see that credit would be given for existing vegetation and hoped that it would encourage developers to retain as much of the natural features of the site as possible.

The Chairperson suggested that like zoning, such as R-4 to R-4 or R-4 to R-5, should have a type D greenspace requirement.

Bugge made comments with regard to the text of Draft #2 that had previously been distributed. The next draft will incorporate the tables. However, she would like the Planning Commission to review them further at home and ask questions at the next meeting.

Mr. Heisig requested that Ms. Bugge draft a memo comparing the proposed provisions with the requirements of the City of Kalamazoo and the City of Portage.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell questioned if we should include a list of invasive species in the text. Ms. Bugge commented that a reference indicating that a list was available at the Township would be included.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell stated that we may want to be more specific regarding plantings in sight triangles. Ms. Bugge stated she felt we should not be too specific as our requirements might contradict the requirements of MDOT which are different than those of KCRC.

Regarding preservation, Ms. Heiny-Cogswell questioned if the Township should require a tree survey. Ms. Stefforia commented that perhaps the best place to address concerns such as this is with a Tree Preservation Ordinance. It would be separate from the Zoning Ordinance, but a consideration in all site development proposals. The Ordinance could establish standards under which trees of a certain size must be preserved.

Ms. Bugge stated that in Draft #3,will include language requiring identification of existing trees by type and size on the site plan.


The Planning Commission considered Draft #3 of the proposed text amendment regarding office development within the "I-R" Industrial District, Restricted and the "I-1" Industrial Zoning District classification. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Stefforia discussed the changes which had been made from Draft #2. Conforming AI-1" parcels would still be allowed offices related to the building trades, with additional site design criteria imposed. Grandfathered AI-1" parcels would be permitted general office uses, by special exception. Conforming AI-R@ parcels be allowed AIndustria-Office Developments@ or one 10,000 (min.) square foot office building by special exception. Grandfathered AI-R@ parcels would not be permitted an office use.

The Chairperson made reference to comments made the recent Joint Meeting. There was consensus that limited office should be permitted in the AI-1" as that is now allowed by special exception. Therefore, the only change to the current provisions of Section 41.403 should be the imposition of design criteria as to be applied to the AIndustrial-Office Developments@ in Section 40.301.

Regarding grandfathered and conforming AI-1" properties, Mr. Heisig stated he prefers not to distinguish between the two.

The Chairperson requested that Ms. Stefforia look at the Master Land Use Plan and the recently drafted amendments to the industrial policies. He asked her to study whether or not the amendments or other provisions need to be modified to address future requests for rezoning from AI-1" to AI-R@ when it is the developer=s intention to construct an office park. We want to be able to address each request on a case-by-case basis and the Master Plan should reflect how each rezoning may or may not be consistent with it.

With Draft #4, the recent changes to the Master Land Use Plan, which have not yet been adopted by the Township Board, will be reviewed.

There was discussion of the number of sub-standard parcels within the "I-1" and "I-R" Districts. The Planning Commission reviewed the location of these sub-standard parcels.

Ms. Stefforia will ask Attorney Mason whether the proposed minimum acreage requirements to allow general office in the AI-R@ would apply to grandfathered properties in that district.


Ms. Stefforia reviewed the outline of the proposed Village Commercial District. It would be a new zoning district applied to several properties in the village area. The committee formed following last January=s Village Focus Area presentation had completed a full draft and has drawn a suggested boundary for the district.

The Planning Commission accepted the outline and agreed that draft #1 should be presented at the next work session on April 13, 2000.


Mr. Sikora stated he was please to hear at the Joint Meeting that the Township was open to pursuing a Sidewalk Ordinance.

Mr. Block commented that the sporting use in the Oshtemo Business Park was a nice facility.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell stated that the Forum for Kalamazoo County was making a presentation to the Portage Planning Commission regarding using satellite photos and GIS to present a natural features inventory of the Davis Creek Watershed. She would like to invite the speaker(s) to make this presentation to the Planning Commission for educational purposes.


There was a discussion of Joint Meeting and the discussion regarding taking the next step on the Historic Resources Inventory. Mr. Rakowksi agreed to serve on the subcommittee of Township Board and Planning Commission Members to study the issue further.


There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 9:05 p.m.