March 11, 2004





A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, March 11, 2004, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Neil G. Sikora, Chairperson
Deborah L. Everett
Terry Schley
Lee Larson
James Turcott

Kathleen Garland-Rike

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director; Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner; James W. Porter, Township Attorney; and there were no other interested persons.


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


The Chairperson called for approval of the Agenda. Ms. Everett made a motion to approve the Agenda as submitted. Mr. Larson seconded the motion. The Chairperson called for a vote on the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.


The Chairperson called for consideration of the minutes of the meeting of February 26, 2004. Mr. Larson made a motion to approve the minutes as submitted. Mr. Turcott seconded the motion. The Chairperson called for discussion on the motion, and hearing none, called for a vote on the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


The Chairperson announced that the next item on the Agenda was the consideration of the text amendments and housekeeping items. The Chairperson called for a report from Ms. Bugge. Ms. Bugge presented her report to the Commission dated March 11, 2004, and the same is incorporated herein.

Reviewing her report, Ms. Bugge addressed the various text amendments, including additional study of Section 11 and the definition for "short-term rentals". She also proposed a modification to Section 11.580 dealing with the rear yard and the necessary open space associated therewith. She also suggested that additional study was needed under Section 11 to add a definition of "front yard." Section 20.209 address "home occupations" and should be modified to state they are subject to Section 78.900. In addition, she suggested adding "Licensed Family Day-care" as a permitted use in all residential districts to reflect State law.

Ms. Bugge said that additional study was needed with regard to "Licensed Group Day-Care Homes" as a special use. She also suggested a modification to Section 23, the "R-3" District, to apply the criteria of Section 23.404 to Sections 23.405 and 23.406. Furthermore, Section 23.404 needed additional study to specify minimum side and rear building setbacks and specifically reference supplemental setback provisions. Ms. Bugge said that Section 64.200 should reference Section 64.300 regarding setbacks when the building was greater than two stories. She suggested proposed language for the Commission to consider in that respect. In addition, she said the requirements for parking spaces and parking lots be looked at to consider reference to pervious surfaces, and said she would provide additional follow-up information on that subject.

Ms. Bugge concluded by recommending additional study in the area of "dark sky" lighting, and said perhaps the best thing to do at this time would be to provide language dealing with wall packs. She also noted a text correction was necessary in Section 82.600(c)(4)(b).

The Chairperson asked if the Planning Commission members had any questions. Hearing none, the Chairperson suggested that they go to the next item on the Agenda.


The Chairperson noted the next work item was the consideration of the "C-R", Local Business District, Restricted and the Century-Highfield Focus Area Plan. Ms. Stefforia presented her report to the Commission dated March 4, 2004, and the same is incorporated herein.

In Ms. Stefforia's presentation to the Commission, she noted that the Commission had discussed the "C-R" zoning district and agreed it would be appropriate to review the text to allow limited retail uses not previously contemplated. She said the Commission had expressed interest in reviewing the Century-Highfield Focus Area Plan, but the Township Staff had reviewed it and believed that it was adequate for the foreseeable future. She noted that the proposed text changes would fit within the existing plan language as it was currently written.

Ms. Stefforia then proceeded to review with the Commission the proposed changes to the permitted uses within the "C-R", Local Business District. Ms. Stefforia proposed moving the entire section of permitted uses to special exception uses because many of the proposed uses were "design heavy" and thought it was more suitable for them to be reviewed by the Planning Commission. She also discussed with the Commission (1) a reduction of the minimum acres required for a PUD; (2) the possible amendment of #2 to state restaurants without drive-through windows and buildings of not less than 5,000 square feet; (3) the possible amendment of #3 to state offices and buildings of not less than 5,000 square feet; (4) the addition of retail with requirement to be developed concurrently with one or more of the other listed PUD uses; (5) the addition of scientific or medical laboratories or tech uses; (6) review PUD provisions to identify potential areas in need of updating, as well as other potential changes.

The Chairperson asked if the text prohibited freestanding restaurants of less than 5,000 square feet. Ms. Stefforia said yes, but the Commission could chose to eliminate the minimum square footage if it chose to do so. The Chairperson said he thought that some minimum square footage should be required in order to avoid small fast-food restaurants. Ms. Stefforia noted for the Commission that the addition of "scientific or medical laboratories" would also include other tech-type businesses.

Ms. Stefforia went on to review the design standards under Section 32.500. She made several suggestions, including referencing the landscape provisions of Section 76.000, and the storm water management provisions of Section 78.500. In addition, she said she was proposing a sign provision reference to Section 76. In addition, she reviewed possible changes to the setback provisions, architectural standards, and any other suggested changes the Commission wished to consider.

The Chairperson asked what the Planning Department was considering in the way of architectural standards. Ms. Stefforia said they were reviewing design guidelines produced by the American Planning Association, and after review, would report back to the Commission.

The Chairperson asked for further comments, and hearing none, asked if Ms. Stefforia would present a revised draft to the Commission at its next meeting. Ms. Stefforia indicated that she would present a subsequent draft at the next work session.


The Chairperson indicated that the next item for consideration was the North Drake Planning Study. The Chairperson asked to hear from the Planning Department. Ms. Stefforia presented her report to the Commission dated March 1, 2004, and the same is incorporated herein.

Ms. Stefforia noted that the Focus Area had been narrowed to primarily the City cemetery property and what surrounded it in Oshtemo Charter Township. She explained how the representatives of the City of Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Charter Township, Kalamazoo County and Oshtemo Charter Township had met to discuss Future Land Use Plans in the North Drake Road area. She told the Commission that once the Focus Area had been completed, each representative was to pursue implementation within the various Master Land Use Plans of the respective governmental units. There was a brief discussion regarding the direction toward single-family residential and the overall density characteristics of the various residential classifications. The Commission discussed the current zoning which would allow single-family homes at the highest density allowed by the Township Zoning Ordinance. In addition, they discussed the ability of an owner to request a zoning change based on the Land Use Plans to construct apartments.

The Chairperson expressed some concern that, if Oshtemo and Kalamazoo Townships adopted the Focus Plan, and the City of Kalamazoo wanted to go with a higher density, the various uses might not be compatible. Ms. Stefforia indicated that the City Staff would be presenting this to the City Planning Commission this month. Mr. Turcott asked what they would do if there was not an agreement among the respective municipalities. Ms. Stefforia said that the sub-group would then reconvene to discuss their differences. The Chairperson noted that he believed this was a big leap forward for all of the governmental units to work together on coordinated planning of this kind. He thought the Township should take the "leap of faith" and move forward. However, he noted that there were several members absent from the meeting. Ms. Everett stated that someone needs to be first, but agreed with the Chairperson's comments.

There was a discussion regarding density, and whether or not it should be modified. The Chairperson noted that the density statement was a suggestion, and therefore, not binding. If all parties encouraged it, it would be a positive step, even if it wasn't mandatory.

Mr. Larson asked if the Commission had decided whether they had enough protection factors in place for a single-family residential. Ms. Bugge indicated that they had reviewed that issue at their last meeting and found that the Township Zoning Ordinance did provide a number of options to facilitate protection for single-family neighborhoods.

Mr. Larson asked how the City properties would have to relate to the Focus Area Plan of the Township. Ms. Bugge indicated the City did not have to address it at all if they chose not to do so.

Mr. Larson asked who currently owns the back of the Cemetery property. Ms. Stefforia said Joe Gesmundo owned the property, and that it could be a number of years before it was developed.

The Chairperson again noted that the best opportunity for all of the units of government to develop this property in a proper fashion was to do so in cooperation with each other. However, as he noted before, several members of the Commission were absent, and if there was no objection, he would like to wait until a full Commission was in session before taking formal action on the proposal. The Commissioners agreed.


Ms. Bugge passed out a report regarding the Downtown Development Authority, and its draft of a proposed development plan for the Planning Commission's information.


The Chairperson asked if there were any Commissioner comments. Hearing no comments, the Chairperson said that the meeting would be adjourned.


There being no further business to come before the Planning Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 8:10 p.m.


Acting Secretary
Minutes prepared:
March 18, 2004

Minutes approved:
, 2004