OSTLOGOL.GIF (2116 bytes)



September 9, 1999


A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Planning Commission on Thursday, September 9, 1999, commencing at approximately 7:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township.

Wilfred Dennie, Chairman
Ted Corakis (until 8:22 p.m.)
Marvin Block
Stanley Rakowski
Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell
Millard Loy (after 7:10 p.m.)

Ken Heisig

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


The meeting was called to order at 7:02 p.m.


The Chairperson suggested adding a discussion under "Other Business" of the open space community, specifically, the concept of clustering. Mr. Block moved to approve the Agenda as amended, and Mr. Corakis seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


The Planning Commission discussed the minutes of the meeting of August 26, 1999. Mr. Rakowski suggested change to page 1 to indicate that he was present at the meeting. As to page 9, Mr. Block suggested a rewording of the second paragraph under "Planning Commissioner Comments" to indicate that the Roller World facility in Gun Plains Township was "unpaved, overgrown, and generally in need of upkeep." Mr. Corakis moved to approve the minutes as amended, and Mr. Rakowski seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


The next item was consideration of a proposed text amendment to amend sub-part (3) of Section 11.250 of the Zoning Ordinance. The section was a part of the definition of dwelling and required that a dwelling be permanently attached to a solid foundation, which foundation would consist of a fully enclosed attached bearing wall around the perimeter of the dwelling extending from the footing to the ground floor. The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

It was suggested that, based upon the Memorandum dated June 28, 1999, from the Township Attorney, that the sub-part be modified to remove the word "bearing". The amendment would allow mobile homes to meet the definition of dwelling and still maintain a common appearance with site-built homes.

Mr. Corakis moved to schedule a public hearing on the text amendment for October 28, 1999. Mr. Block seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.


The Planning Commission next reviewed a draft of a proposed text amendment regarding Section 60.600 communication towers and co-location of antennas thereon. The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference. Ms. Bugge reported that the proposed amendments shifted certain sections around and made slight changes so as separate review of proposed new towers and co-location on existing towers. It was the suggestion of the Planning and Zoning Department that the review of co-locations be done administratively. The proposed revisions would also deal with co-location on non-conforming, existing towers.

Mr. Corakis was concerned that a change to the tower, so as to alter its height, be reviewed by the Planning Commission or Zoning Board of Appeals as appropriate. He was not in favor of administrative review of such a modification. Ms. Bugge responded that this type of change would require review by the appropriate reviewing body.

The Chairperson reviewed the proposed text changes. It was suggested that the proposed language for Section 60.630.F be changed to add the words, "and maintained". There was discussion of Section 60.630.D regarding tower setbacks.

There was a suggestion that, where the proposed draft indicated that the reviewing body might deviate from the requirements, the wording should indicate that deviation would be allowed only if the deviation was consistent with the spirit and intent of the Ordinance.

The Planning Commission members agreed that the provisions of Sections 60.630.J and 60.650.A would be redrafted to be consistent in referring to an engineer's seal.

Regarding proposed changes to 64.800 setbacks, the Township Attorney suggested that she would do some research on whether federal law limited the Township's ability to control placement of certain residential communication equipment as it would relate to the setback provisions. It was noted that, at the time the original communication tower text was adopted, there had been much discussion on the issue of "ham radio antennas". At that time, the Township had affirmatively decided to except out ham antennas from control by the tower provisions. Reference was made to the definition of towers in Section 11.575. The proposed draft would require ham equipment to meet the setback and height limitations imposed on accessory buildings. The Planning Commission noted that this proposed provision would require more discussion.

After further minor modifications were discussed, it was the consensus of the Planning Commission that Draft #2 of the proposed text would be reviewed at the work session of October 14, 1999.


The next item was the Planning Commission discussion of Draft #2 of the sign ordinance text amendment. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

The Chairperson reviewed Draft #2 of the sign text. It was agreed that where the word "ordinance" was used, the provisions should refer instead to "section". It was agreed that certain conflicting definitions of billboard, sign, etc., should be eliminated from the definition section of the Ordinance.

There was a discussion of banner signs and snipe signs in comparison to the definition of flag.

Mr. Corakis exited the meeting.

It was agreed that the definition of zone lot should be eliminated and reference made to lot, parcel or building site within the body of the provisions.

There was discussion of Section 76.160 regarding signs not requiring permits, and it was agreed that flags should be listed under this section. There was discussion of whether reference to construction signs should be altered in this or another section so as to limit the number of construction signs which could be placed on a particular site. There was also discussion of whether national or state flags could be limited in their size or number. The Township Attorney indicated that she would do research on this issue.

There was discussion of the sign setbacks, and with regard to identification signs for subdivisions in agricultural and residential areas, it was agreed that such signs should be located no closer than 18 feet from the pavement so long as the sign was placed out of the right-of-way.

It was agreed that Draft #3 of the text would be discussed at the next available meeting.


Mr. Rakowski commented that he would like to see more enforcement of the Parking Ordinance at the Meijer store. He stated that he had observed a number of people, without appropriate permits, parking in handicapped parking spaces. Mr. Loy reported that the Oshtemo Business Association meeting on the following Wednesday would include a discussion of the placement of entrance signs for the Township.


There was a discussion of the open space/clustering article from the Rural by Design: Maintaining Small Town Character publication. Mr. Loy stated that he felt that "clustering" was not as important as the amount of open space that would be maintained and its location. It was agreed that the intent of the clustering provision was to provide more flexibility in determining project design. It was also agreed that obtaining a project with less density was important. There was a discussion of the possibility of encouraging county and state to allow the use of common systems for well and septic, i.e., community systems. The Chairperson commented that he felt that open space provisions should be used to permit flexibility and foster creativity. He felt that the development should be reviewed to determine how well the design meets the goals of the open space community provisions.

Ms. Heiny-Cogswell stated that she would like to see the applicant required to provide information as to the preservation of natural features, and Ms. Stefforia indicated that the Ordinance does require this.


There being no further business to come before the Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 9:40 p.m.


By: Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell, Secretary

Minutes prepared: September 14, 1999

Minutes approved: