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October 14, 1999





The Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, October 14, 1999 conducted a meeting, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

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

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director, and Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner.

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

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

 The Planning Commission considered the minutes of the meeting of September 30, 1999. Mr. Block moved to approve the minutes, and Mr. Rakowski seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

 The Planning Commission next considered the second draft of proposed changes to the communication tower and antenna ordinance. Ms. Bugge reviewed changes reflected in the draft from the previous meeting. Mr. Dennie then commenced a scrutiny and discussion of the changes.

It was noted that for purposes of co-location, existing towers not meeting the criteria of the new ordinance would be considered lawful non-conforming.

Mr. Loy, Mr. Corakis, Mr. Block, and Ms. Heiny-Cogswell expressed concern with the stipulation that the communication equipment must be located in the residential rear yards. Mr. Heisig and Mr. Rakowski also felt there would be problems with the ordinance in this regard, if the ordinance were too restrictive.

Mr. Dennie suggested that the satellite receiving equipment not be subject to the rear yard location restriction. Mr. Heisig felt that in many situations the rear yard is very visible, and questioned if ham radio antenna should be located there.

Mr. Dennie suggested eliminating the rear yard restriction.

Next, the proposed language for section 64.800, setback and sideline spacing was considered. After some discussion, the Commission ascertained that the current language for section 64.800 should remain.

A public hearing date of December 16, 1999 was set, with a motion by Mr. Block that was seconded by Mr. Loy. Motion passed unanimously.

The next item was the review draft #4 of the proposed text amendment regarding signs. Ms. Stefforia gave an overview of the changes from the previous draft, and Mr. Dennie then began a discussion of the specific changes.

In regard to Section 76.180, discussion followed with Mr. Loy and Mr. Block expressing concern for allowing too many wall signs, due to visual clutter effect. Further, there was discussion as to whether tenant signs needed placement directly on/in front of the particular tenant premises. Mr. Corakis felt the tenant and landlord could make such determination. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell felt tenant signs need to be placed on the tenant premises.

Ms. Stefforia will propose revised text considering the above concerns.

Section 76.190 was discussed, with more concern for visual clutter of too much wall signage. Mr. Loy felt that now is the time to restrict wall signage to improve the look of the community. Mr. Block proposed to eliminate paragraph C, which allows wall signage. Ms. Heiny-Cogswell proposed that an option of either A (freestanding sign, etc.), or C (wall signage) be permitted.

Mr. Dennie suggested that the Planning Commission revisit this section in draft 5, at the November 4th meeting. Mr. Dennie also suggested that Draft 5 be mailed out to the Township Board members so that they have ample time to review before the joint meeting of the boards.

Mr. Loy expressed a desire to clean up this proposed sign text in order to make signage in new developments uniform and to eliminate wall signs in the industrial districts.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell asked the planning department for the Planning Commission to have the opportunity to review road commission improvements to Ninth Street as they are developed over the next year and a half, due to the extraordinary value of the existing mature hardwood trees to the Township. Clarification was made to her that a subcommittee of the Township Board handles the township capital improvements, and that the Road Commission does not tend to be open about the road design process.

Mr. Block expressed concern about WestPort Swim Club radio advertising for outside area membership. Mr. Dennie clarified that the Swim Club had said if members were not gained from within the nearby neighborhood, that recruitment would be made outside the immediate area.

Mr. Corakis stated that he felt there is a potential parking violation on Century Street. It was clarified to him by planning department that for a home, 2 parking spaces are permitted, and for two-family or multi-family dwellings, 2 and 1/2 spaces are required per dwelling unit.

Mr. Dennie stated that the Indoor Recreation text amendment is set for first reading at the next board meeting.

Mr. Block recapped the Board Appointment committee recommendations, effective January 2000.

Mr. Block also discussed the EDC group, and that its intention is to be more active, under the tutelage of Dr. Miller, and to go after more capital improvement money, such as sewer, per availability.

Ms. Stefforia updated the Commission on discussion of expansion of Maple Hill Chrysler auto dealership, the status of the Village Commercial District discussions and the possibility to develop a DDA.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

Minutes prepared:

October 26, 1999