September 21, 1998





A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday, September 21, 1998, commencing at approximately 3:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall, pursuant to notice.


Brian Dylhoff, Chairperson
Thomas Brodasky
David Bushouse
William Saunders
Lara Meeuwse (after 3:06 p.m.)


Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Township Planning and Zoning Department, Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney, and four (4) other interested persons.


The Chairperson called the meeting to order at 3:03 p.m.


The next item was the application of Heritage Christian Academy for site plan approval to allow a 21,080 sq. ft. private school to be built on 42 acres. The subject site is at the northeast corner of 9th Street and KL Avenue and is within the "R-4" Residence District zoning classification.

The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Stefforia emphasized that the school would be built on 42 acres and that only approximately one-third of the site would be utilized. There was a discussion of adjacent land uses. Ms. Stefforia stated that the subject site/use would be served by a driveway off Quail Run Drive. This access point meets the Access Management Guidelines of the Township. However, Ms. Stefforia suggested the Board inquire into whether, based on the expected traffic, the drive should be widened for exiting vehicles in order to avoid congestion.

Fifty-four (54) parking spaces were proposed. She suggested that the Board inquire of the applicant as to the number of employees and as to the number of students who would be attending the school. As to Fire Department review, the Fire Department was seeking a turnaround at the site. The applicant had agreed to provide a turnaround, and there were discussions between the applicant and the Fire Department with regard to the method for the "gating" of the turnaround area.

Ms. Meeuwse entered the meeting.

Rod Henderson was present on behalf of the applicant. He stated that the architect and the contractor for the project were also present. The Chairperson questioned Mr. Henderson with regard to the number of "high school" students who would be attending the school. Mr. Henderson stated that there would be eight students in the senior class, approximately twelve in the 11th grade class, and between 15-16 in the 10th grade class. Mr. Brodasky inquired as to the number of employees who would be present at the school. Mr. Henderson responded that there would be between 18-20 employees. It was noted that the school did expect "future growth" and an increase in the number of students served. However, Paul Dawson, contractor, stated that the applicant planned additional parking in the future to meet parking needs which would arise from growth.

Ms. Meeuwse inquired as to the building's footprint and the location of the main entrance. Further, she asked about the proposed "basketball court," and the applicant responded that it would not be enclosed but would function as a Fire Department turnaround.

Mr. Bushouse questioned the applicant with regard to the "occupancy load" of the multi-purpose room. Mr. Henderson stated that it would be approximately 320. Mr. Bushouse was concerned that, in that there were 13 classrooms averaging between 20-30 students, there would be sufficient parking at the school for "special events." Mr. Henderson stated that most large special events would be scheduled to take place at area churches which could accommodate parking needs.

The Chairperson inquired about the expected trip generation. Mr. Henderson stated no buses would be accessing the site but that parents would be dropping off and picking up the students. Nevertheless, the site had been designed to accommodate buses if utilized in the future.

Larry Stehouwer, engineer for the project, discussed the suggested access point widening. He stated that the Kalamazoo County Road Commission was satisfied with the driveway design given that there would be no bus traffic. It was noted that there would be approximately 253 students at the site but that most students carpooled. It was expected that between 75-100 cars would access the site each day. The school is in operation between 8:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. on weekdays.

The Chairperson was concerned about morning traffic attempting to exit from the site. Mr. Bushouse felt that Quail Run Drive, with little traffic, would not pose a problem for "exiting." He felt that the traffic problem would exist for those cars attempting to exit from Quail Run Drive on either 9th Street or Stadium Drive.

The applicant responded that they are working with the Kalamazoo County Road Commission about moving the proposed access point to the east onto the Road Commission parcel adjacent to the subject parcel. This location would allow for more "stacking space." Mr. Henderson stated that the applicant does not necessarily oppose three lanes for the driveway (one "in" and two "out"). The Chairperson suggested expressing a concern for Kalamazoo County Road Commission consideration.

The Chairperson asked for public comment, and Annabelle Wilm, of Clayton Estates, stated that her only concern was with the potential for traffic on 9th Street. She recognized that Clayton Estates would probably need to approach the Kalamazoo County Road Commission for relief, possibly the establishment of a light.

There was no other public comment offered, and the public hearing was closed.

There was discussion of on-site landscaping, and the Chairperson suggested that he felt it was appropriate for the applicant to present a landscape plan, for establishing plantings in the greenspace area, to be presented to Township staff for review and approval. The landscaping should be in character with the surrounding area.

In response to a question by Mr. Bushouse, the applicant indicated the building would be single story.

Mr. Brodasky moved to approve the site plan with the following conditions, limitations and notations:

(1) That the access point serving the site would be located off Quail Run Drive, an existing public street. There would be no direct access to 9th Street or KL Avenue. The approval was subject to the review and approval of the Kalamazoo County Road Commission for the proposed drive, and it was requested that the Kalamazoo County Road Commission strongly consider requiring a widening of the drive to include two lanes for exiting traffic.

(2) That, given the number of students and employees, the parking as proposed was adequate.

(3) That all barrier-free parking be subject to ADA and Michigan Barrier-Free Guidelines and be designated by signage and pavement logo.

(4) That approval was subject to the review and approval of the Township Fire Department.

(5) That the posting of fire lane signs and barrier-free parking signs is required prior to occupancy of the building.

(6) That outdoor storage had not been proposed or approved.

(7) That the dumpster location was approved and that a plan for the enclosure of same be submitted to Township staff for review and approval.

(8) That outdoor lighting be in compliance with the standards of the Zoning Ordinance.

(9) That any future signage be required to be approved through the permit process.

(10) That no screening was required; however, a landscaping plan for on-site landscaping in character with the area must be submitted to Township staff for review and approval.

(11) That the approval was subject to the review and approval of the Township Engineer.

(12) That issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy be contingent on final inspections and approval from the Building, Mechanical, Electrical, Fire, Planning and Zoning Departments to insure compliance with all applicable standards and conditions.

The motion was seconded by Ms. Meeuwse and carried unanimously.


There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 3:50 p.m.

Minutes Approved: October 5, 1998