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Meeting Minutes

November 12, 1998







A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, November 12, 1998, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall, pursuant to notice.

Members present:

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

Member Absent: Lara Meeuwse

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning and Zoning Department, and Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney, and one (1) other interested person.


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


The Chairperson suggested adding a discussion under "Other Business" of upcoming meeting agendas.

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


The Planning Commission considered the minutes of the meeting of October 22, 1998. The changes suggested by Ms. Stefforia were noted.

After further discussion, Mr. Heisig moved to approve the minutes as amended. Mr. Block seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.



The next item was the proposed Zoning Ordinance text amendments with regard to sediment and stormwater management. Revisions to the Definitions section of the Ordinance were suggested to add a definition of "sediment" as Section 11.545 and a definition of "wetlands" as Section 11.575; a text amendment for Section 78.500; and the repeal of Section 78.600 was proposed. In addition, the Planning Commission would consider amendments to the Master Land Use Plan of the Township to include graphics for suggested designs of stormwater management systems.

The report of the Planning and Zoning Department Consultant, Ms. Harvey, was referenced. That report is incorporated herein. The report included draft #4 of the stormwater management text amendments. Specific mention was made of Section 78.530, and it was noted that the revisions had eliminated reference to review by a wetlands expert. There was some question as to whether such person could be located to conduct such review. Ms. Harvey’s report suggested that the item be tabled to a meeting in February of 1999 to complete the hearing. Additional input would be received during the interim. The proposed calendar was set forth in the report.

The Chairperson called for public comment, and Jim Herweg requested a copy of the final draft of Ordinance language. He was curious about whether the Ordinance text amendments would address fencing of stormwater retention areas. The Township Attorney reminded the Planning Commission that the issue of fencing had been extensively discussed during the drafting of the proposed language. The Planning Commission had ultimately decided to replace the current strict requirements for fencing with a provision, in Section 78.510e, which would require that stormwater management and drainage facilities be designed to protect the public health and safety and be visually attractive. Therefore, fencing would not be subject to strict standards but would be a matter of discretion, taking into account the retention area’s design, whether it was intended to be a decorative element, etc.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell reported that she had attended a conference on stormwater management and felt that the proposed text addressed the recommendations which were made there. She noted that the experts at the conference had also recommended that the municipality look to the "big picture," i.e., how the Township would fit in with the stormwater runoff for the larger geographical area. The Chairperson pointed out that the drainage map included in the Master Land Use Plan did show the floodplain for a larger area than the Township.

After further discussion, Mr. Block moved to table the item to the meeting of February 11, 1999. Further, he moved to hear comments from the Planning Consultant as to the "calendar" on November 19, 1998. Mr. Loy seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.



The next item was consideration of a proposed resolution adopting the Michigan Society of Planning Officials (MSPO) Community Planning Principles. Ms. Stefforia noted that the MSPO, after a year of study, debate and member input, had adopted a set of Community Planning Principles. The MSPO Board of Directors was encouraging its member communities to adopt these principles.

There was discussion of whether or not these principles would properly be adopted as part of the Master Land Use Plan. The Township Attorney expressed that the principles were more a recognition of the standards and guidelines applied by the Planning Commission in reaching the vision/goals for the Township rather than the goals/visions themselves. It was the larger vision for the Township which is set forth in the Master Land Use Plan. It was decided that, if adopted, these principles should be disseminated to Township Board members for informational purposes. There was some discussion of the meaning of the individual principles set forth in the handout.

Mr. Loy moved to approve the Resolution adopting the MSPO Community Planning Principles, and Mr. Corakis seconded the motion. Upon a roll-call vote, Mr. Loy, Mr. Heisig, Mr. Block, Ms. Heiny-Cogswell, Mr. Corakis and Mr. Dennie all voted "yes." Ms. Meeuwse was absent. The Chairperson declared the Resolution carried.



There was a discussion of the Village Commercial District. The Planning and Zoning report on the item is incorporated herein by reference. It was noted that the Planning Commission had previously discussed some ideas with regard to the Village Commercial District and its relationship to Stadium Drive, 9th Street, Parkview and Atlantic. Ms. Stefforia reported that MDOT does not have jurisdiction over Stadium Drive west of the interchange. She had discussed the project with Kalamazoo County Road Commission. John Burns, Traffic Engineer for KCRC, had indicated a willingness to meet with the Planning Commission at a future meeting to discuss possibilities. He suggested that the Planning Commission generate a list of questions and identify areas of consideration before the meeting. Ms. Stefforia noted that she had suggested, for example, that the Planning Commission had mentioned the possibility of converting Parkview into a one-way street. Mr. Burns had indicated some willingness to consider this idea. He had stated that sidewalks could be placed in the right-of-way if they were "paid for." However, the Road Commission was not in support of a boulevard design.

There was some discussion as to whether the local business owners should be consulted prior to the meeting with the Kalamazoo County Road Commission to develop areas for consideration. The Chairperson felt that the committee which developed the Focus Area Plan and had recommended its adoption to the Planning Commission had included area business owners. He wondered whether the Planning Commission would need further input on this issue. The Chairperson was concerned about giving the appearance that special attention was being paid to the views of one segment of the community. Mr. Corakis and Mr. Loy felt that the Township should seek additional input from area business owners in that financial strain may be placed upon them through implementation of the Village Focus Area Plan. It was suggested that notification of the general meeting be put in the Township’s newsletter so as to notify business owners and other area residents. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell wondered whether the Township should retain a consultant or seek other input with regard to specific designs for the Village Focus Area.

After further discussion, it was the consensus of the Planning Commission that there be a brainstorming meeting to discuss implementation of the Village Focus Area Plan through the Village Commercial District and that a notice of this meeting be published in the Township newsletter. Further, Mr. Burns of KCRC would be requested to attend the meeting; and it was suggested that the Transportation section of the Village Focus Area Plan be sent to Mr. Burns, which section would explain the ideas on which the Planning Commission would like consideration in the Village Focus Area, such as sidewalks. Further, it was suggested that the meeting be scheduled for January 28, 1999.



The Chairperson noted that the Planning Commission would have a joint meeting with the Township Board the following Tuesday and that the items to be discussed would be the historic district and resource inventory, performance bond text amendment and the stormwater management text. There was also discussion of the agenda for the next Planning Commission meeting. It was noted that the discussion of the Industrial classification, committee update and recommendations, was likely to be adjourned.

Ms. Stefforia noted that both she and the Township Attorney had some concerns that the Township should consider intensive livestock ordinance provisions. It was pointed out that much of the land area within the Township is located in the Agricultural District. However, currently, the Agricultural District is drafted primarily as a rural residential district and does not sufficiently take into account or regulate livestock operations. The Planning Commission agreed that suggested texts should be developed for consideration.



There being no further business to come before the Commission, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:00 p.m.



 Minutes prepared:
November 13, 1998

Minutes approved:
November 19, 1998