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November 15, 2001



REDSTONE FARMS - SITE PLAN REVIEW - CONDOMINIUM AND APARTMENT DEVELOPMENT - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-24-205-021, 3905-24-205-012, 3905-24-205-005, 3905-24-255-022 AND 3905-24-255-030)

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, November 15, 2001, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Neil G. Sikora, Chairperson
Ted Corakis
Kathleen Garland-Rike
Stanley Rakowski
Deborah Everett
Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell
James Turcott


Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director; Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner; Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney; and 40 other interested persons.


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


Ms. Everett moved to approve the Agenda as submitted. Mr. Rakowski seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


The Planning Commission considered the minutes of the meeting of November 1, 2001. Ms. Garland-Rike suggested adding, under Planning Commissioner Comments, a reference to her comment concerning the gift by K College of 31 acres to the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy. Ms. Garland-Rike moved to approve the minutes as amended. Mr. Turcott seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.


The Planning Commission reviewed the request for special exception use and site plan review for a proposed 3,350 square foot restaurant with drive-through window at 6660 West Main Street. The subject property is located in the "C" Local Business District zoning classification and is Parcel No. 3905-14-185-020. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

It was noted that Section 30.407 establishes drive-through services as a special exception use in the "C" Local Business District.

The Township had received an application from the property owner to create the proposed outlot from the Meijer parcel. The proposed dimensions of the Wendy's outlot as depicted on the site plan comply with Township requirements. Access to the site would be from the existing drive serving the gas station and Meijer store, as well as from an internal "service drive" within the store's parking area. An access easement would be required.

Ms. Stefforia reviewed the criteria for special exception use approval stating, that as to whether the proposed use was compatible with other uses expressly permitted within the zoning district, the use would be permitted but for the addition of the drive-through window. Further, it was noted that the area surrounding the proposed site includes the McDonald's across 9th Street.

As to whether the proposed use would be detrimental or injurious to the use or development of adjacent properties or to the general neighborhood, it was Ms. Stefforia's opinion that the use would not be detrimental given the other commercial uses in the immediate area.

Next, as to whether the proposed use promotes the public health, safety and welfare, it was stressed that there was no direct access from the site to West Main Street. Therefore, traffic safety was served by the design. Further, the building would be served by public sewer and water. Storm water would be handled off-site within the Meijer system. A storm water easement would be required.

It was felt that the drive-through design on the plan was good with no major conflicts.

As to whether the proposed use encouraged use of the land in accordance with its character and adaptability, it was noted that the property had been zoned in the Commercial District for more than 30 years. Again, it was stressed that no direct access to West Main Street was proposed, and that the surrounding property is zoned in the Commercial District.

Ms. Stefforia reviewed the site plan criteria of Section 82.800. There was discussion of the access point and the fact that the west driveway is opposite the drive into the gas station. Neither drive satisfies the 200-foot separation from West Main Street as required by the Access Management Guidelines. However, the gas station drive was established prior to the adoption of the Guidelines, and it was felt that the Wendy's drive should align with the gas station rather than satisfy the 200-foot separation requirement.

As to parking, it was noted that the spaces were angled and could be shortened by three feet as measured at a 60 degree angle. The width of aisles was adequate. It was noted that the lighting fixtures and mountings satisfied Ordinance standards. However, the Staff is awaiting additional photometric information to determine that the perimeter light levels did not exceed Ordinance limits.

There was discussion of the landscaping proposed by the applicant with the only deficiency being the plantings within the site.

Bob Petko was present on behalf of the applicant.

He stated that the Township Engineer, along with the Engineer for the applicant and the Planning Director, had met to discuss storm water and sanitary sewer issues. These would be resolved prior to issuance of a building permit. He stated that the applicant's Engineer would study and implement any changes necessary for the storm water management system to serve the existing use and the outlot.

There would be a water main extension from 9th Street and a 8-inch line was proposed. Sanitary sewer would serve the site.

He stated that the applicant recognizes that currently the lighting proposal exceeds the .1 footcandles at the perimeter limitation, but indicated that shields would be placed on the fixtures, which was expected to reduce the perimeter foot candles to a conforming level.

Mr. Corakis questioned the applicant with regard to the use of the storage shed, and it was noted that the shed would be attached to the dumpster and would enclose the CO2 tanks used for soft drink dispensing. He stated that Meijer had requested the relocation of the shed and dumpster to the northeast corner, and that as a result, parking would be relocated from the east to the west side. Ms. Stefforia indicated that this would need to be reviewed by the Fire Department and the Planning Department.

There was discussion with questions by Mr. Rakowski concerning the existing storm water easement across the property. The applicant indicated that during its negotiations with Meijer, this had not been a problem, and it was expected that this would be taken care of in the conveyance of the property.

Bob Schermer was also present on behalf of the applicant. He stated that the hours of operation were seven days per week, and that the dining room would be open until 10 p.m. The drive-through would be open until 1 a.m. He displayed an elevation of the proposed building.

Mr. Rakowski inquired as to whether the applicant would be willing to connect its front parking area to the property to the east. The applicant indicated that it was not opposed to a cross connection. They would be willing to execute a cross-access easement with the property to the east.

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

The Chairperson summarized the application. It was the consensus of the Planning Commission that the applicant's proposal met the criteria for special exception use.

Mr. Corakis moved to approve the special exception use permit, finding that the criteria of Section 60.100 had been satisfied. Mr. Rakowski seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

Ms. Garland-Rike moved to approve the site plan with the following conditions, limitations and notations:

(1) That all parking spaces be dimensioned at 10 feet x 20 feet.

(2) That the applicant submit a full lighting plan, including photometric information and that all lighting meet the Ordinance requirements of Section 78.700.

(3) That all signage must comply with and be subject to the permitting requirements of Section 76.000.

(4) That approval is subject to the submission of a revised landscaping plan in compliance with Section 75.000.

(5) That approval is subject to the review and approval and conditions imposed by the Township Fire Department.

(6) That approval is subject to site engineering approval by the Township Engineer.

(7) That a storm water easement must be executed allowing storm water from the outlot to flow into the storm water management system on the Meijer property before land division approval may be granted.

(8) That an earth change permit from the Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner's office must be obtained prior to earth-moving activities at the site.

(9) That a cross-access easement, pursuant to the agreement of the applicant, must be executed and on file for the site and the property to the east.

(10) That an access easement, allowing for use by the subject site of the existing drive serving the gas station and Meijer, must be executed, recorded and on file with the Township.

(11) That the dumpster and storage shed location are subject to the review and approval of the Township Staff.

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

REDSTONE FARMS - SITE PLAN REVIEW - CONDOMINIUM AND APARTMENT DEVELOPMENT - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-24-205-021, 3905-24-205-012, 3905-24-205-005, 3905-24-255-022 AND 3905-24-255-030)

The Planning Commission conducted site plan review of a proposed residential development consisting of 101 condominium units and 192 apartments on 49 acres at the end of Green Meadow Drive. The subject site is located in the "R-4" Residence District zoning classification and consists of Parcels Nos. 3905-24-205-021, 3905-24-205-012, 3905-24-205-005, 3905-24-255-022 and 3905-24-255-030. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Stefforia emphasized that the property had been zoned in the "R-4" District for more than 30 years. The "R-4" District allows for a density of up to eight dwelling units per acre. Overall, the proposed development is six units per acre. It was stressed that the multi-family use is a permitted use in this zoning district, and the Planning Commission's review was premised only on the fact that a condominium project was proposed. There was a review of Section 24. 207.

Mark Buddy was present on behalf of the applicant. He stressed that the proposed development was below maximum density and included over 50% open space. He stated that the condominiums would be ranch style with walk-out basements. Each would be approximately 2,000 square feet. The condominiums would be one to three bedrooms and would be stick-built. They would be individually owned. As to the apartments, they would be three-story buildings with 24 units per building. The apartments would be one and two bedrooms. The apartments would utilize a compactor for trash disposal. This would be mainly below ground. There would be carports and open parking at the apartments. The architecture of the apartments would be wood frame and similar to the condominiums.

The primary access would be from Green Meadow with a secondary access on Skyridge.

The applicant recognized that there were some deficiencies in his landscaping plan and indicated that these would be revised to meet the Ordinance requirements.

Municipal sewer and water would be brought from the south to the site. The applicant was seeking separate signs on Green Meadow, one to identify the condominiums and one to identify the apartments.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell had questions with regard to the compactor location, as it was indicated on the plan. The compactor would be used by the apartments only, and the condominiums would use "herby curbies".

Mr. Corakis questioned the applicant about the U.S. 131 signage, and the applicant stated that this signage was desired for visibility of the site.

Ms. Stefforia reported that the Road Commission, along with the City and Township, is pursuing a light to be located at Drake Road and Green Meadow. She felt a traffic light in this location was forthcoming.

As to traffic, Ms. Stefforia stated that, in her opinion, if the 48 acres were platted, more vehicle trips per day would be generated, based on national studies of trip generation.

The Chairperson had questions with regard to the landscaping between adjoining properties. The applicant was not proposing much landscaping adjacent to the golf course, stating that they would be keeping some existing trees and wished to have golf course views. As to the eastern boundary, between the Burgundy Manor Plat, the applicant proposed a tree inventory and the addition of trees to those areas where existing trees could not be retained. The applicant admitted, in response to comments by Mr. Turcott, that landscaping was out of compliance where the property adjoins other apartments, and the applicant indicated that this would be revised to meet Ordinance standards.

There was a discussion of the variances that the applicant would be seeking from the Zoning Board of Appeals.

The Chairperson sought public comment, and Paul Bartz stated he was a resident of the area since 1975. He was opposed to the development, particularly the opening of Skyridge to through traffic. Further, he was concerned that the apartments would be rented primarily to students and was concerned about the problems they would cause. Further, he felt that the access to Drake Road was a problem. He noted that, in his opinion, the trees on the property in question were "juvenile" and would not be of much consequence or help in screening. He felt that the condominiums should be moved further to the west away from the property line.

Eunice Coster questioned the need for more condominiums similar to those on 10th Street. Further, she was concerned about extending Skyridge to through traffic, and she stated that she was opposed to the project.

Jim Bauhof stated that there was a long history of the Township protecting the Skyridge neighborhood against the extension of Skyridge into this property. He stated that the Township had previously decided on numerous occasions to "top off" the street. He referenced a Consent Judgment between Coash and the Township regarding placing a cul-de-sac at the end of Skyridge. The Township Attorney explained that this Consent Judgment did not prevent extension of Skyridge into the subject property. Mr. Bauhof emphasized that the Master Land Use Plan Focus Group had emphasized as a goal the preservation of Burgundy Manor and Skyridge Plat.

Bob Vanderpole stated that he was upset about the traffic that would be added to Green Meadow with this project.

Guy Gizzi was concerned that the traffic that would be generated would be approximately 2,000 cars. He felt that, if Skyridge were extended, it would not be a "secondary access".

Gary Schripsema was concerned about traffic also. He felt that the project should be connected from another point other than Skyridge. He suggested connecting to Maple Hill Drive.

Don Dirkse stated that, if the water and sewer lines were coming from the Concord property, the access should be coming from Concord as well.

Rick Knapp was concerned about the wildlife and deer which would be forced out of this property if the project were approved.

Richard Haw felt that the Township should bring Maple Hill Drive from the north rather than connecting this project to Skyridge.

Dawn Knapp was also concerned about the effect on wildlife. In addition, she noted that the nature trails used by area residents would be eliminated with the proposed development.

Rosie Howe was concerned about further traffic on Green Meadow and felt that the project should be connected to Concord and then KL Avenue.

Darren Webb was concerned that a traffic study should be performed before the project was approved. Additionally, he was concerned about having students in his back yard. He felt that the students would be "intoxicated drivers" on his street.

Jared Stuart stated that he did not see how Green Meadow could handle another 2,000 cars per day.

Bob Moseley was concerned about "cut throughs" on his street if Skyridge were opened. He felt that the additional traffic would change the character of the neighborhood. He was concerned about "illegal" use of the road.

Jim Rowland felt that "hell on earth" would be allowed in the plat if traffic on Skyridge were increased.

Herb Taborn was concerned about people who walk in the neighborhood and kids who ride bikes. He felt that the second access to the project should be on KL Avenue.

Isabelle Martin was also concerned about traffic on Green Meadow and Skyridge.

Melanie James stated that the traffic figures that she had heard were frightening, and she was concerned about lack of proper snow plowing and maintenance of the road system in the area. She felt that currently the area is quiet and tranquil and was concerned about this changing.

Yvonne Fulton was also concerned about the quiet of the neighborhood and the traffic that would be generated.

Tom Stanek had expressed the same concerns as the other members of the public, and in addition, he was concerned about his property values.

Steve Dejong was concerned about traffic on Skyridge, stating that he felt there should be a traffic study.

Ed Mayo cited certain traffic counts he had been provided by the Kalamazoo County Road Commission.

Marsha Berderies stated she was not in favor of the application and was concerned that people within the plat and in Leisure Time Condominium Project had not received notice. Ms. Stefforia indicated that the Township had attempted to provide notice to everyone within 300 feet and beyond that point.

Marshall James wondered whether the applicant could increase the number of condos proposed so that the number of students could be decreased.

The public hearing was closed, and the Township Attorney suggested tabling the item so that a traffic analysis could be performed by KATS. The Attorney stressed that the Board had no discretion with regard to the use of the property since the proposed uses were permitted. However, the configuration of the road system was subject to the approval, and it might be important to obtain input as to what the safest system would be. Mr. Corakis agreed. Ms. Garland-Rike also felt that the Township should explore options as to the road system. Ms. Everett commented that she understood the concerns of the residents. She also understood the developer's right to develop its property and felt that there would be a need to find a way so that these two conflicting interests could be recognized. Mr. Turcott agreed.

Mr. Corakis moved to table the item to the meeting of January 24, 2002, at 7 p.m. in order to obtain a traffic study from KATS as to trip generation, access points (and the number thereof) and location of access points. It was suggested that the applicant see whether a connection to Concord Place would be allowed by the owner of the Concord property. Ms. Everett seconded the motion. Ms. Everett suggested that, in addition, every owner in the plat and Leisure Time Project be provided notice with regard to the January 24, 2002 date. Upon a vote on the motion, the motion carried unanimously.


It was noted that there would be a joint meeting with the Township Board on Tuesday, November 21, 2001. The Agenda was discussed.


Mr. Rakowski noted that the tower on 4th Street had provided for better cell phone reception. He also suggested that the Township obtain a new flag.

Mr. Corakis indicated that all of the Township signs had been installed.

The Chairperson commented on his trip to New York and the impact of seeing the former site of the World Trade Center.


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



Minutes prepared:
November 19, 2001

Minutes approved:
, 2001