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May 22, 2003





A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, May 22, 2003, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Neil G. Sikora, Chairperson
Lee Larson
Kathleen Garland-Rike
Deborah L. Everett
Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell
James Turcott
Mike Ahrens


Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director; Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner; Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney; and six other interested persons.


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


Ms. Heiny-Cogswell moved to approve the Agenda as submitted. Mr. Ahrens seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


The Planning Commission considered the minutes of the meeting of May 8, 2003. Ms. Garland-Rike moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Mr. Larson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


The Planning Commission considered the application of Jim Russell Homes L.L.C. for an extension of the approval granted for the Pine Acres Open Space Community Residential Development. The subject development consists of 22 site condominium units on 24.5 acres located on the east side of South 4th Street between KL Avenue and L Avenue. The subject property is located in the "RR" Rural Residential District zoning classification and is Parcel Nos. 3905-21-390-001 thru -023.

The Report of the Planning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Phase One of the Open Space Community had been approved by the Planning Commission on April 27, 2000. The Master Deed and Bylaws were recorded August 15, 2001. However, the Planning Commission's approval expired after one year since development had not commenced.

Ms. Bugge noted that the plan consisted of approximately 10.5 acres of open space. The property was steeply sloped and contained areas of dense trees. Much of this topography and vegetation would be preserved under the open space concept. A single access point from 4th Street and a public east/west road terminating in a temporary cul-de-sac would serve the development. There would be a private street with a cul-de-sac to the south.

Ms. Bugge noted that the prior approval was issued prior to the adoption of the Rural Residential District. However, under that District, up to 36 dwelling units would be allowed for the property. As approved, the Pine Acres' development would have a maximum density of 26 dwelling units, and was in conformance with the current width requirements. Therefore, the project remained consistent with the new provisions of the Ordinance. The applicant had revised Building Lot 6 pursuant to the previous approval of the Planning Commission. Ms. Bugge suggested that, otherwise, all conditions previously placed upon the development be continued. Ms. Bugge stated that the Health Department of the County had approved single-family development at the site. Whether Lots 10-13 could be used for duplexes would be subject to approval by the Health Department.

Ms. Bugge discussed the private easement running along the north line. There was also an easement to the south which the Township had agreed to release once the public road was established.

The Chairperson questioned Ms. Bugge, and it was clarified that the current proposal meets the requisites of the Rural Residential District. Ms. Mr. Ahrens had questions concerning the north easement. Ms Bugge stated that it was not considered as part of the open space being preserved under the project terms.

The applicant was present, indicating that he was available to answer questions.

There was no public comment, and the public hearing was closed.

Ms. Garland-Rike questioned the applicant concerning use of the open space areas. The applicant responded that nothing except walking trails was planned in the open space area at this time.

The criteria of Sections 60.100, 60.570 and 82.800 were reviewed. It was recognized that the criteria of the Ordinance had been thoroughly reviewed regarding the project in 2000.

Ms. Garland-Rike moved to renew the special exception use and site plan approval of the project incorporating the conditions placed on the approval on April 27, 2000. It was recognized that the building site layout of Site 6 had been modified to add frontage/width as required by the Planning Commission. Mr. Ahrens seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.


The Planning Commission considered a conceptual plan for the proposed relocation of the existing golf driving range and pro shop, as well as the relocation of the hockey retail/pro shop. The conceptual plan also included the addition of a hockey training center on the property. The proposed concept involves the existing site and the purchase and lease of land to the north. The subject property is located 6958 West Main Street within the "C" Local Business District and "R-2" Residence District zoning classifications. The property consists of Parcel Nos. 3905-14-155-013, 14-105-051 and 14-105-012.

The Report of the Planning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

It was noted that the application was made pursuant to Section 82.500. It was clarified that the proposal would involve moving the golf pro shop and driving range further north on the property and building a new facility for hockey services use. The driving range would be relocated to land that is currently zoned "R-2" Residential, and therefore, such a use requires special exception use approval. The retail/pro shop would remain on the commercial portion of the site. The hockey building would be located on the "C" Local Business District portion of the site as well. Indoor recreational use is a special exception use in the "C" District. The proposed facility would include three parcels. The current site of the golf driving range and hockey services building, the back three acres of 1907 North 9th Street, which would be purchased by the applicant, and the abutting northern 15.4 acres which would be leased by the applicant for the driving range. The application also reflected the provision of ten additional parking spaces at the On-Target site.

Ms. Stefforia noted that the site plan reflects continued cross-access with On-Target as well as a new cross-access with the Menard's development. It was recognized that the site plan for Menard's required a southern cross-access easement. The northern connection and the curved drive coming into the site from Menard's would require additional easements. Ms. Stefforia suggested that these easement documents be provided when the applicant returns for formal approval.

Paul DeHaan was present as a co-owner. He explained the history of the use of the parcel in question. Mr. DeHaan stated that they had looked for other property but were unsuccessful in finding something that would meet their needs. Further, the current lack of marketability for the land in question had led to the development of a plan for use of the current site for expansion.

Paul Warnick, of Larry L. Harris, described the concept for the site in question. He indicated that some of the development was uncertain as to timing. With regard to the existing golf shop, Mr. Warnick indicated that it might be demolished, but might be leased. He believed that the existing hockey building would be leased. Discussion of selling the golf building led to recognition that it could not be sold unless the site was condominiumized.

In response to questions from the Chairperson, the applicant indicated that the "future retail" area was not definite, and if developed, would be far into the future. It was noted that the existing buildings at the site would remain if they could be leased.

With regard to landscaping, the applicant indicated that there would be landscaping added to the parking lot. Otherwise, the site would have a similar appearance to what was existing.

There was discussion of the possibility of relocating the western drive so that it was opposite of 8th Street. However, it was noted that there would be a need for additional property from the owner to the west so as to make this relocation possible. Ms. Stefforia expressed concern that this could lead to the spread of commercial zoning along West Main Street.

Ms. Everett questioned the applicant concerning whether the proposed easements for cross access had been discussed with Menard's and On-Target. The applicant indicated that they believed they could work something out with Menard's and On-Target and would provide easement documents when formal approval was requested.

There was a discussion of the various designs for the connection which were being discussed with Menard's. The applicant indicated that their preferred option would be a 'straight' cross access.

Returning to a discussion of landscaping and green space, it was noted that the area identified as "future retail" would largely remain green space through Phase One. Further, the applicant stated that there was an 80-foot green area in the setback required due to the "R-2" zoning abutting the commercial zoning to the west.

As to the existing golf shop, it was clarified that this building may be leased or used as warehousing.

Mr. Turcott asked about the amount of parking proposed, and the applicant stated that it would provide needed additional parking space based upon the driving range use.

As to the use of the hockey rink, it was noted that "Puck Masters" would be located in the back half.

It was the consensus of the Planning Commission that, when formal approval was sought, the plan would should reflect existing site features and note which features would be altered in Phase One. The impression of the Planning Commission, with regard to the concept, was favorable overall.


The Planning Commission considered the application of Fred Schrader, of American Promotional Event, for a special exception use and site plan review of a proposed 16-day outdoor sales event concerning sales of fireworks in the Meijer's parking lot. The subject property is located in the "C" Local Business District zoning classification at 6660 West Main Street and is Parcel No. 3905-14-185-021.

The Report of the Planning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

It was noted that the applicant was proposing the outdoor display and sale of legal Michigan fireworks from a tent in the Meijer's parking lot. The dates of operation, including set-up and tear-down were June 21 through July 6, 2003, i.e., 16 days. Daily hours of operation would be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

With a tent of 1,500 square feet and a 20-foot perimeter around the tent, the total parking lot area involved in the outdoor sale would be approximately 8,364 square feet. The proposed event would utilize one drive aisle and 32 parking spaces. Existing parking lot lighting would be utilized, and there would be lighting within the tent powered by a generator.

In response to Planning Commissioner questions, Ms. Bugge stated that the 20-foot perimeter around the tent was required by the Township's Fire Code.

Ms. Bugge stated that it was intended that there be someone on site 24 hours a day for security purposes.

Ms. Bugge had included a depiction provided by the applicant of the proposed tent. It was recognized that the tent could have four signs, one on each side. Further, no festoons as depicted on the drawing would be allowed. Additionally, one flag would be permitted.

The Township Fire Department had been consulted and was comfortable with the proposed use. However, Ms. Bugge stated that the approval, if granted should be conditioned upon compliance with Fire Department requirements.

It was noted that the Township had approved seasonal outdoor sales events in the past, which had included fireworks sales and display. Further, Meijer's had been granted approval for three, 10-day outdoor sales events, including the use of up to 6,000 square feet of parking lot. This request would be a separate event from the three approved for Meijer's as this event was not being conducted by Meijer's.

Ms. Bugge suggested that the Planning Commission consider the size of the proposed use and the number of days the event would encompass in determining or in analyzing the site plan and special exception use criteria. Ms. Bugge also suggested discussion with the applicant of whether speakers would be used.

In response to questions from the Planning Commissioners, Ms. Bugge stated that the perimeter would be delineated with rope.

Fred Schrader was present on behalf of the applicant. He stated that the proposed use was a fund raiser for a non-profit church. He indicated that there would be no music or speaker outside the tent. Inside the tent, there would be a television with VCR or DVD showing the types of fireworks being sold.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell asked about the Meijer's sales events, and the applicant indicated that this event would not overlap with any event in the Meijer parking lot conducted by Meijer itself. He stated that actual sales would commence June 23 and end at the end of business on July 4. The other days of the event would include tear-down and set-up.

The applicant stated that there would be three halogen lights on poles inside the tent. Lights would go out after 9 p.m. each night.

The generator at the site would power the lights, as well as the T.V.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell questioned whether children could purchase the fireworks at the site. The applicant stated that there would be an age limit of 16 years, the same as that imposed on the sale of fireworks within a store.

The Chairperson asked about trash removal, and the applicant stated that the site would not be using the Meijer trash receptacles. The applicant's staff would be keeping the site neat and clean and remove trash on a daily basis.

No public comment was offered, and the public hearing was closed.

There was discussion of past approvals with regard to outdoor sales events, particularly those temporary in nature. The past events conducted at Maple Hill Mall's site were discussed. Ms. Garland-Rike expressed concern about the square footage being greater than that allowed for the D & R Sports event. Ms. Bugge commented that the size should be reviewed in relationship to the relative size of the sites on which the events were conducted. Ms. Bugge stated that she believed that the Meijer's site would have sufficient parking under the Ordinance for operation of the Meijer use, even with removal of the area proposed for the temporary sales event.

The Chairperson reviewed the criteria of Section 60.100 concerning special exception use approval. It was the consensus that the use would be compatible with other uses expressly permitted within the district in that retail uses are permitted by right. Further, the proposed use was temporary in nature, and it was recognized that Meijer itself conducted temporary outdoor sales and display events.

As to whether the proposed use would be detrimental or injurious to the use or development of adjacent properties, it was recognized that given the size of the Meijer site, the proposed use would not be detrimental. Further, the perimeter would be roped off to prevent vehicle access. It was felt that, if the applicant complied with Fire Department approvals, there would be no detrimental effect, particularly since security would be provided 24 hours per day.

As to whether public health, safety and welfare would be observed, it was again recognized that the applicant would comply with all Fire Department regulations.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell stated that she was satisfied that her concern about children accessing the fireworks would be satisfied by the age limit placed on the sale.

Planning Commissioners also felt that, given the proposed use, the use would be in accord with the character and adaptability of the site. Planning Commissioners were satisfied that Sections 31.403 and 82.800 were satisfied. However, there was discussion of the possible noise produced by the generator. The applicant stated that the generator would run mainly in the afternoon. Further, it could be covered by a box. Moreover, the Noise Ordinance of the Township would apply.

Mr. Ahrens moved to approve the special exception use and site plan proposed for this use, noting that the proposal met the criteria of Section 60.100. The approval was subject to the following conditions:

(1) That any proposed signs be reviewed and approved through the sign permit process, and festoons are prohibited.

(2) That the approval is subject to compliance with all Township Fire Department requirements.

(3) That the generator be covered with a box as proposed by the applicant.

(4) That the approval was for one occasion. It was noted that the applicant might obtain administrative approval of the same request in subsequent years in the event that there were no problems with the conduct of this proposed use in 2003 and on the condition that there was no 'change' in the outlots of the Meijer's site.

(5) That 24-hour per day security be provided.

Ms. Everett seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.


There being no further business to come before the Planning Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.


Kathleen Garland-Rike, Secretary
Minutes prepared:
May 25, 2003
Minutes approved:
, 2003