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October 6, 2003

Special Meeting

The Oshtemo Township Board held a special meeting at the Township Hall. Supervisor VanDyke called the meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.

Supervisor John VanDyke
Clerk Deb Everett
Treasurer Nancy Culp
Trustee Lois Brown
Trustee Dave Bushouse
Trustee Ted Corakis

Also present was Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director, Mary Lynn Bugge, Planner, and 22 interested people.


The purpose of the meeting was to provide the property and business owners in the proposed Downtown Development Authority (DDA) District with information and answer questions and hear public comment.

Planning Director Stefforia provided a description of the proposed district as generally the area zoned Village Commercial and extending south on 9th Street to N Avenue. She advised the DDA is being considered to take a leadership role in realizing the vision of the Village Focus Area Development Plan. She also provided information on the structure and function of a DDA.

In response to questions from those in attendance information was provided that the area was expanded south to N Avenue recognizing it as a "gateway" to Oshtemo, the district could be expanded in the future if requested, the DDA Board would consist of the Township Supervisor and a majority of property owners from the district, the Citizens Advisory Council would consist of property owners from the district, funds captured for the DDA may only be used for improvements and projects in the district, there would be no additional restrictions of property use other than current zoning, and the DDA Board would develop a plan subject to public hearing and Township Board adoption for how funds would be utilized.

Concerns were expressed regarding the traffic on Parkview, Stadium and South 9th Street. It was noted the Kalamazoo County Road Commission has indicated the intersection of Stadium and Parkview will be reconstructed in 2005. It was noted there had been discussion of building a road through to Atlantic using the property behind the former fire station. There was also discussion that some Board members wished to pursue the idea of boulevards and lower speed limits for Stadium Drive and South 9th Street to enhance a village atmosphere. Clerk Everett advised she and Treasurer Culp have taken on the project of addressing the traffic island that has become an eyesore.

Terry Schley, owner of 4200 South 9th Street, commented he supports the effort to improve the community and Village Commercial District as a whole realizing there cannot be an increase in services without paying. He further commented he is leery of the DDA concept, there needs to be a checks and balances, and is saddened that the proposed district extends to N Avenue which suggests the Township wants to paint the Village Commercial image to N Avenue yet a Village Commercial use could not be developed in the I-R zoning.

Trustee Bushouse commented the proposed DDA would assist in pursuing the village concept and it seemed reasonable to extend it to the south, the industrial zoning is not large manufacturing, and if a district was created, perhaps different uses would be attracted to the area.

Trustee Brown commented there currently exists light industrial uses that might encourage others that would blend well into the village concept and result in attractive development. Mrs. Brown also noted the Township has committed park funds to renovate the former fire station as a positive step toward revitalization of the village area.

There was no further business and the meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:05 p.m.