November 23, 2004

The Oshtemo Township Board public comment session was cancelled. Supervisor VanDyke called the regular meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

Supervisor John VanDyke
Clerk Deb Everett
Treasurer Nancy Culp
Trustee Dave Bushouse
Trustee Ted Corakis
Trustee Stan Rakowski
Trustee Neil Sikora

Supervisor VanDyke welcomed Trustee Sikora to the Board.

Also present were James Porter, Township Attorney, Bob Snell and Marc Elliott, Township Engineers, Planning Director Jodi Stefforia, and approximately 80 interested people.

Motion by Corakis, second by Rakowski to approve the minutes of the November 9th Regular and November 16th Joint Meetings. Carried.

Income to the General and Fire Funds of $237,142.61 and disbursements of $292,049.85 were reported. Motion by Rakowski, second by Sikora to accept the receipts and disbursements report. Carried.


Ron Walters, 5163 West H Avenue, commented regarding the planned unit development project being developed by Visser Construction, recently approved by the Planning Commission. He felt the office being proposed as the commercial element does not meet the criteria of the ordinance, documents as required by the ordinance regarding the condominium aspect and open space were not provided, and the use is not compatible with neighboring properties. Attorney Porter advised the project was approved subject to the required documents being submitted and found in order, and the property could have been developed as a platted subdivision. Mr. Walters commented he would like the residents to be able to review the documents and felt the Township Board should review the planned unit development ordinance.

Lara Meeuwse, 5442 West H Avenue, commented the approval for the Visser project required the sign be placed internally, but noted a sign had been placed at the entrance on H Avenue. Mr. Porter advised the approval required any sign for the future Visser office be placed internally, they are allowed a construction sign on the road.


Attorney Porter advised the current Public Water and Sewer Service Ordinance No. 38 was enacted in 1966 and he is recommending it be repealed and replaced with an ordinance to be called the Public Water Service Ordinance. He further recommended text changes to the Wastewater Service Ordinance No. 208 that address connection charges and delinquent accounts. He noted requirements for mandatory connection would be removed from both ordinances.

Motion by Corakis, second by Culp to accept the recommendation of the attorney and set First Reading for December 14th. Carried.

Supervisor VanDyke invited Tim Mallett to select another resident of the area and work with the Sewer/Water Committee in studying establishing fees for sewer/water projects. Mr. Mallett advised he and Peter Sullivan would be glad to work with the committee. The group agreed to meet December 2nd at 2:00 p.m.

Clerk Everett commented the proposed project sewer and road projects on West H Avenue between 9th and 6th Streets began as a result of the water tower being constructed on 6th Street, which had been in the City of Kalamazoo's plans since 1988. She also commented the Sewer/Water Committee, as with other board committees, meet, research issues and bring a recommendation to the whole board, they do not deliberate or make decisions. She advised she could support removing the sewer and road projects from the West H Avenue water project, and in fact could find reasoning in the Master Land Use Plan to do so.

Motion by Rakowski, second by Culp to drop the sewer and road portions of the project on West H Avenue between 9th and 6th Streets. Carried.

Prior to the vote on the motion, the following citizens commented on the proposed sewer/water/road project

Steve Zientek, 2751 North 6th Street
Robert Gallup, 3989 North 3rd Street
Doug Wood, 8031 West H Avenue
Rick Patterson, 5270 West H Avenue
Barbara Johnson, 7863 West H Avenue
Michelle Hayes, 7001 West H Avenue
Brian Ferris, 7074 West H Avenue
Theresa Wright, 5492 West H Avenue
Manny Thompson, 5253 West H Avenue
Bob Janssen, 8670 Almena Drive

Their comments included:

There should be a cap on interest and any connection fee should be a one time fee,

Residents should not have to pay for the road.

What happens to area wells if the city puts water wells at the tower.

Residents should be notified before a project is started or decided upon.

Anxiety has been alleviated, appreciates board's willingness to look at the issue.

Board decision is a relief, board should remember the mission statement adopted, residents are involved if affected, board should not have to be monitored.

Fees should be based on usage.

Who gains from growth.

How will change in fees and policy affect other areas of the Township.

The process shows everyone can have an impact.

The board listened and worked with residents; people should attend meetings.

In response to the questions asked it was noted the city does not plan to drill any wells on the tower property, and any change in fees or policy would affect future connections or projects in the entire township.


Planning Director Jodi Stefforia advised the Planning Commission had approved a Planned Unit Development on the east side of 9th Street south of Seeco Drive, with the home sites proposed to be created through the Condominium Act. She noted all condominium projects are subject to final approval of the Township Board.

Motion by Corakis, second by Sikora to approve the condominium project. Carried.


Ms. Stefforia advised the Planning Commission reviewed the proposed division of the parcel located at 2215 North Drake Road into a two unit residential site condominium and found the proposal satisfies the ordinance requirements as a variance regarding depth to width and minimum site width requirements had been granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals. She noted all condominium projects are subject to final approval of the Township Board.

Motion by Rakowski, second by Sikora to approve the condominium project. Carried.


Ms. Stefforia advised Planning Department fees had been reviewed and recommended an increase for sign deviation requests from $200.00 to $400.00.

Motion by Everett, second by Rakowski to adopt a resolution approving an increase in the sign deviation fee to $400.00. Roll call showed Bushouse-yes, Corakis-yes, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, Rakowski-yes, Sikora-yes, VanDyke-yes.


Clerk Everett advised poverty guidelines established by the State Tax Commission used by the Board of Review in reviewing poverty exemption applications must be adopted by the local unit.

Motion by Corakis, second by Culp to adopt the resolution establishing poverty exemption guidelines for 2005. Roll call showed Corakis-yes, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, Rakowski-yes, Sikora-yes, VanDyke-yes, Bushouse-yes.


Proposed amendments to the traffic code ordinance clarifying the definitions of liquor and work zones was before the Board for Second Reading.

Motion by Rakowski, second by Culp to adopt the ordinance amendments. Roll call showed Culp-yes, Everett-yes, Rakowski-yes, Sikora-yes, VanDyke-yes, Bushouse-yes, Corakis-yes.


A recommendation from Assistant Fire Chief Jim Wiley to appoint Firefighter Kevin Sells a Parking Enforcement Officer was before the Board. Trustee Rakowski advised he had discussed this with Fire Chief Ken Howe, noting the parking enforcement program is self supporting.

Motion by Culp, second by Sikora to appoint Kevin Sells a Parking Enforcement Officer. Carried.


Clerk Everett presented an addendum to the Household Hazardous Waste Agreement for 2005 with Kalamazoo County, noting the Board had budgeted $10,000 for the program for 2005. There was discussion of the value of the program and the increase for 2005 due to the increased use by residents.

Motion by Corakis, second by Rakowski to approve the addendum for 2005. Carried.


Clerk Everett advised the Kalamazoo Public Library Board had requested local units adopt a resolution honoring retiring Library Director Saul Amdursky.

Motion by Rakowski, second by Sikora to adopt the resolution. Roll call showed Everett-yes, Rakowski-yes, Sikora-yes, VanDyke-yes, Bushouse-yes, Corakis-yes, Culp-yes.


Attorney Porter reviewed with the Board information regarding withdrawing membership from the Community Access Center. Discussion centered on quality of programming, service to residents including the fact that not all residents receive access channels and use of the access fee charged to Charter Communication customers.

Motion by Rakowski, second by Culp to withdraw membership from the Community Access Center effective January 1, 2005. Carried.


Motion by Corakis, second by Everett to reschedule the December 28th Township Board meeting to December 21st. Carried.


Trustee Corakis advised Metro Transit and Kalamazoo County Care-a-Van have reached an agreement to operate for a year under MetroVan.

Trustee Rakowski commented he was glad to see so many residents in attendance.

Trustee Sikora thanked retired Trustee Lois Brown for her many years of service to the Township and her words of wisdom to him including that he is elected to represent all residents.

Trustee Bushouse commented the water and sewer agreements with the City of Kalamazoo need to be renegotiated and would encourage residents to attend City Commission meetings. He noted a comment had been made as to why he would throw away a political career for a mile of H Avenue; he stated he stands on the principle of what is best for all residents.

Engineer Snell commented he has attended many meetings regarding sewer/water issues and there may be a downside to the Board's decision. He commented there are areas of the Township where sewer is needed.

Clerk Everett reminded all of the Red Cross Blood Drive to be held at the Township Hall on December 10th.

There was no further business and the meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:05 p.m.

Township Clerk

Attested: John VanDyke