PLANNING COMMISSION -  MINUTES

                                                     FEBRUARY 25, 2003 @ 7:30 PM

MEMBERS PRESENT:      John Lowe, David Hamann, Jean Root, Jim Anderson, and Debra Wiedman-Clawson

MEMBERS ABSENT:            None

OTHER PRESENT:               Annette McNamara, Zoning Administrator

                                                John Ambrose, Township Planner

                                                Bob Hanvey, Township Supervisor

                                                Sue Lingle, Township Treasurer



John Lowe called the Regular Meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.


Jean Root motioned to approve agenda as amended.  Jim Anderson seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.


January 28, 2003 Public Hearing—Sterling Training Center

Jean Root motioned to approve minutes as presented.  Dave Hamann seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.

January 28, 2003 Public Hearing—Public Land District

Jean Root motioned to approve minutes as presented.  Dave Hamann seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.

January 28, 2003 Public Hearing—Amateur Radio

Dave Hamann motioned to approve minutes as amended.  Debra Wiedman-Clawson seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.

January 28, 2003 Regular Meeting

Jean Root motioned to approve minutes as amended.  Dave Hamann seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.


AT&T Communication Tower

Michael Sivore from AT&T Wireless presented revisions on the grading plan and driveway, based on input received at a meeting with Annette McNamara and John Ambrose. 
Mr. Ambrose said there were issues from last November that had been discussed.  Subsequently, meetings took place and revisions were made.  Mr. Ambrose feels the
issues have been addressed, and from a planning viewpoint, he has no problem with the site plan. John Lowe read Tetra Tech’s review letter and discussed concerns they had. 

Mr. Lowe read the section on soil erosion, and indicated the drawings had already been changed.  The 962 contour was not shown on the drawing, and Debra
Wiedman-Clawson pointed out that it was shown.  Ms. McNamara said they had a velum that showed the grading plan at a large scale. The next section of the letter
stated “…the grading of the gravel area from the NW corner lot boundary to the gravel pad where the tower is located should be revised to have a minimum 1% slope to
facilitate water drainage.”  Mr. Lowe said it only shows 4/10%.  Mr. Lowe suggested that AT&T indicate what the new grades, contours, etc. are, and note the existing
contours more frequently.

The letter also stated “…the grading plan is indicating gravel in all areas enclosed by the fence.  The plan should clarify if the gravel cross-section will be the same as the
cross-section near the tower.”  Mr. Sivore said the cross-section is the same. Tetra Tech’s letter said, “…grading of the proposed drive should be provided in the site plan,
coordination with the Marion Township Hall.”  Mr. Lowe indicated that was still in progress.  They also requested  they design the driveway through the Marion Township building addition. 
They have an entrance drive that doesn’t match the location shown on the building addition plans.  Mr. Sivore showed where that was addressed on the plan.

Tetra Tech had requested dimensions on the turnaround—length and radius of the curves of the turnaround. Mr. Lowe had questions regarding the detail shown on the gravel road. 
He feels there should be two separate details shown for the driveway and the road.  There is also a detail showing a crown on the driveway.  Mr. Lowe recommends a slope instead
of crown. Ms. Root asked about the compound size.  Mr. Lowe said the compound was actually smaller than the 11,000 square feet, and feels it’s addressed adequately. 

Debra Wiedman-Clawson questioned the screening shown, and that it needs to run around the perimeter.   

Mr. Ambrose said the Planning Commission could approve the site plan subject to the special use permit being approved by the township board.  The public hearing should be
held prior to approval.  Once the public hearing is held, it should be sent to the board for approval. Ms. Root motioned to schedule the Public Hearing prior to the next regular
Planning Commission meeting, March 25, 2003 at 7:15 p.m.  Debra Wiedman-Clawson seconded.  

Roll call vote:  Jim Anderson, Jean Root, John Lowe, Dave Hamann, Debra Wiedman-Clawson—all yes. 

 Motion carried 5-0.


Tonch Private Drive—Preliminary Review

Brad Thompson, representing Erwin Tonch, was present.  Mr. Tonch is proposing 17 two-acre parcels and indicated the assessor had given preliminary approval,
a curb and gutter road, that will drain into detention basin at northeast corner of project.  Mr. Thompson indicated they might approach the Livingston County Road
Commission (LCRC) to possibly accept this as a public road to provide for future development.  Therefore, the road will meet LCRC  standards. Mr. Thompson
responded to Mr. Ambrose’s review letter.  Mr. Ambrose had concerns about the cul de sac meeting the design standards of the LCRC.  Mr. Thompson
said it wouldn’t be a problem to change if necessary.  Mr. Thompson said perc tests have not been done, and they will proceed with the Health Department
once preliminary approval is given.  Mr. Thompson addressed Tetra Tech’s review letter:

1.      USGS benchmarks should be provided on site plan.  Mr. Thompson indicated that was no problem, it should have been included already.

2.      Thirty-six trips per day during peak hour, which is below the number allowed (50) for Pingree Road.

3.      LCRC should review preliminary drawings to ensure acceptability of the location for the entrance to Pingree Road. 

 Mr. Thompson said he has approval from the LCRC sight distance review.  The LCRC would like the approach 

moved 30 feet north to maximize potential sight distance available.  Mr. Thompson doesn’t feel that would be a 

problem, but would require removal of a tree. 

4.      Length of road if extended would need to loop over to Pingree.  Mr. Thompson said they meet the requirement.

5.      Mr. Thompson said they had failed to make adjustment on the site plan.  It would be done during the 

construction plan phase.

6.      Same as 5

7.      Preliminary grading of storm water detention basin calculations should be provided.  Mr. Thompson didn’t 

have time to make revision, but will if necessary.

8.      Yes, it appears it may be necessary to increase the amount of catch basins along roadway to prevent ponding.

9.      May have to put in additional drainage

10. They want grading to be revised in front to force structures into low points in road, not into the 

easement.  Mr. Thompson said they could do that, but would require more cutting.  

Mr. Ambrose said that he had nothing further, and would recommend approval subject to revised plans showing septic and drain field locations. Jim Anderson
had a question on the fire department’s review letter with regard to the “No Parking—Fire Lane” on one side of the street.  Will that be handled?  Mr. Thompson 
indicated he hadn’t seen the letter.  Mr. Lowe explained that due to the fact the road width is less than 32 feet wide, there shall be no parking on one side of the
road and it should be posted.  This is something the fire department has been requesting for the past six months or so.  Mr. Thompson didn’t feel it would be a 
problem to post a sign on one side.
Mr. Lowe gave a synopsis of the township attorney’s review letter, the LCRC review letter, and the Livingston County Drain
Commission (LCDC) response. Jim Anderson had a question concerning whether the intention is to develop this as a private road.  Mr. Thompson said the intent
 is to have a private road, and ask the LCRC if they will take it over as a public road.  Mr. Tonch would retain ownership of the 60 foot road right-of-way and all of parcel 16. 
Will the residents be required to maintain the road?  Mr. Thompson said yes.  Mr. Lowe asked Mr. Ambrose if there was a problem with Mr. Tonch retaining ownership of the road. 
Mr. Ambrose said they would need a maintenance agreement.  Mr. Thompson said all owners would have easement rights.  Ms. Root asked whether this type of development
requires a 25-foot greenbelt buffer on the perimeter. Mr. Lowe said no, they are parcel splits.  Ms. Root pointed out that the LCRC needs to be contacted with the road names, and 
the road signs need to be marked as “private.”
Mr. Lowe asked if there was a way to get the vegetation buffer and the detention basin in without one being on top of the other? 
Mr. Thompson said he would investigate. Ms. Wiedman-Clawson stated a concern about the limit of 25 homes on a private road and potential future problems.
Jean Root motioned to approve preliminary site plan for Tonch Development, Tax ID #4710-31-200-005, and based on the review findings for the submittal, it is
recommended that the site plan, from a planning and zoning point of view, be approved, subject to well and septic drain field locations being depicted on a review site plan,
and compliance with issues in letters already submitted from different agencies.  Jim Anderson seconded.  Roll call vote:  Jim Anderson, Jean Root, John Lowe, Dave Hamann,
Debra Wiedman-Clawson—all yes.  Motion carried 5-0.

Knolls of Grass Lake—Preliminary Review

Tom Dummond, landscape architect with Boss Engineering, was present on behalf of this project. The development is located in Section 27 on approximately 77 acres. 
The terrain is fairly rolling, somewhat open with a few tree areas with very steep topography.  They would like to develop this project under the new Open Space Preservation option.
This project covers the entire parcel, except the lake itself.  From this plan, they have recommended 38 lots.  In the Open Space plan, at least 50% of the area must remain open. The 
development would be buffered from the north, west and south.  Some of the advantages of the open space option is it’s going to allow them to maintain the open space and
owned by the development, strictly for use of the people in the development.  An asphalt trail system will be added and sidewalk system. They did receive review letters from
Tetra Tech and the fire department.  The two issues in the fire department review will be addressed. There is no problem posting one side of the street as a fire lane. The roads will be
public and connect with Derbyshire.  Preliminary meetings have been held with the LCRC to determine what needs to be done to meet the requirements. The road name on the
cul de sac has been changed to Clivedon Court. 

The Tetra Tech letter covered the following items:

1. Recommendation to send to Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to review limits of

 wetland determination to make sure the open space plan as designed now isn’t encroaching on wetlands.

2. The developer feels it’s not necessary to send to DEQ at this time.  

3. USGS benchmarks should be provided on final site plan:  no problem.

4. Yes, they will go to the LCRC for review and approval for public roads. There are a couple of issues regarding the

66 foot ingress/egress easement, one being that it’s a private easement and that easement currently cuts through 

regulated wetlands. 

5.  The easement that Tetra Tech mentions runs along the back of the property and back behind

three home sites. There is no road there now.  Putting the road through someone’s back yard wouldn’t be 

received too well.  They would rather not fill or disturb neighbors.

6. Yes, they are aware.  It will be a public drainage system, so it will have to go to the Livingston County Drain 

Commission for review. Yes, they were just looking at rough size now. 

7. Two lots on upland with access via wetland crossing to the north may not be permitted by DEQ. Developer isn’t

 building it, so why burden DEQ.

8. Building footings—issues with the wetlands mentioned on lots 22 and 23.  Once again, if they were going to build 

those areas, they would have to mitigate. 

  9. They will meet with the LCRC on the parallel plan and open space plan. 

10. They did receive a letter from the LCDC and are well aware of issues to take care of prior to site plan approval.

Board member asked if developer includes wetlands as acreage on parallel plan?  Developer answered yes. Mr. Ambrose didn’t have the parallel plan when he reviewed the project. 
His first two items in his letter dealt with that, and he is now satisfied they have addressed these items.  Also, Clivedon Road, which is a public road, will be extended into this site. 
There are four parcels, lots 23-25, plus parcels A and B, that back up to Rubbins Road. Sites A and B are to have engineered fields and are not part of site condo/open space
calculations. Based on a meeting with Boss Engineering and township officials, it was suggested that some care be given to that issue. The site plan does note that during the
construction phase, there will be a temporary fence installed to prevent construction traffic from entering onto Rubbins Road.  A landscape berm will also be developed along that area, 
to not only screen this development from Rubbins Road, but also prevent any future access to Rubbins Road.The other requirement of the ordinance is that 50% of the lands stay in an
undeveloped state. They are accomplishing that, but they need to state by what means they’re going to do that. The ordinance requires that either a conservation easement or restrictive
covenant or some other legal means that runs with the land be developed and submitted with this project.  That could be included in the bylaws and master deed, which will also 
need to be provided for final review.  Originally, Mr. Ambrose recommended that this could not be recommended for approval because of the parallel plan not being included,
but since it is now included, Mr. Ambrose would  recommend approval subject to the other issues mentioned.  Mr. Lowe asked if perk tests had been done. Mr. Dummond said yes. 
Mr. Lowe has concerns regarding mitigation to determine number of buildable lots. Unfortunately, the township attorney didn’t have the opportunity to respond to Mr. Lowe’s questions
prior to this meeting.  Mr. Anderson had a question concerning Clivedon Road.  Is that road going to be able to handle traffic generated from this development?  Mr. Dummond said yes,
since it is a public road, it’s been designed to LCRC standards.  Mr. Anderson asked what type of transition they would have from the curb and gutter in this development into Clivedon Road.  Mr. Dummond explained. Mr. Hamann referred to Section 6.19 B of the zoning ordinance stating no more than 25 residential dwellings shall be served by a public road with a single point of access.
This access is off of Triangle Lake Road and there will be more than 25 dwellings.  Mr. Dummond said that is measured from the closest public road intersection.  Mr. Lowe referred to
the township attorney’s letter. He feels that there are issues to be discussed between the township and the developer in regard to the practicality of the preliminary parallel plan and that
fact that it can contain 38 units.  The attorney recommends withholding preliminary approval until certain issues raised have been satisfactorily answered.  Jean Root motioned to table
Knolls of Grass Lake, Tax ID # 4710-27-100-300, until next regular Planning Commission meeting, when more information can be provided.  Jim Anderson seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.

Marion Township Hall Addition—Preliminary Review

Mr. Ambrose read his review letter. One issue with the ordinance is that it doesn’t have a parking standard for this type of facility (municipal or public building).  Most communities have
ordinances that do have parking standards that would deal with off-street parking.  Based on the proposed addition, which is approximately 3600 square feet, only 12 off-street parking
spaces would be required.  Mr. Ambrose didn’t feel this standard was adequate. He presented a document from the American Planning Association from November 2002 dealing with
parking standards. Typically, the requirement for municipal-type building would be one space per employee, plus one space for each 250 square feet of gross floor area.  Based on this
standard, 40 spaces plus 12 spaces for employees would be required.  Even with this tougher standard, the site plan does call for 52 spaces. The other issue lacking on this site plan is the
absence of a landscape plan.  Mr. Ambrose would recommend approval of the site plan subject to a landscape plan being submitted.  Mr. Lowe addressed Tetra Tech’s review letter.
They recommend minor adjustments be made prior to approval.  Mr. Lowe reviewed letter from the fire department, and they find the site plan acceptable. Bob Hanvey indicated the
landscape plan had not been addressed. Sue Lingle mentioned she might get the Garden Club involved. Annette McNamara indicated she had given permission to the architect to
turn drawings for township hall addition over to AT&T to coordinate shared driveway. Parking issues in lower level need to be addressed.  AT&T should be informed so it can blend
into their road  properly.  Line up the driveway if possible; otherwise, two trees would have to be moved.  Eventually, this road may be used as the access road to the park. Access to the
lower level will be gated.  Mr. Lowe suggested leaving it as presented on the drawing.  The lower level will be used for storage now, but may possibly be used for voting in the future. 
Ms. Root asked if additional lighting would be required for the parking lot. Mr. Ambrose said no. Mr. Lowe asked if a security light on the end of the building would be installed?  
Ms. Root asked about the plan for the trash receptacle.  Mr. Lowe suggested incorporating a pad with screening into the landscape plan.
Jean Root motioned to accept the preliminary
site plan for Marion Township Hall addition, Tax ID #4710-22-300-019, conditional upon all review letters received.  To include landscape plans with screened dumpster and additional
parking spaces that  may be required to access lower level.  Debra Wiedman-Clawson seconded.  Roll call vote: Jim Anderson, Jean Root, John Lowe, Dave Hamann,
Debra Wiedman-Clawson—all yes.  Motion carried 5-0.

OLD BUSINESS (continued)

Proposed Ordinance Amendments

Mr. Ambrose suggested holding a workshop session to focus only on the ordinance amendments, specifically Wireless Communication Facilities and Single Family Cluster Housing. 
Jean Root motioned to table

Section 17.10—Communication Towers and Section 6.29—Single Family Cluster Housing to a special ordinance workshop to be held on March 4, 2003 at 7:00 p.m. 
Debra Wiedman-Clawson seconded. 
Motion carried 5-0.

Section 5.05 C--Variances

Jean Root motioned to send Section 5.05 C—Variances to the township board for its approval. Dave Hamann seconded.  Roll call vote:  Debra Wiedman-Clawson,
Dave Hamann, John Lowe, Jean Root, Jim Anderson— all yes.  Motion carried 5-0.

Section 11.01—Public Lands District

For Section 11.01—Public Lands District, Jean Root motioned to delete item D 2 and replace with language provided in township attorney’s recommendation,
dated December 4, 2002, and send to township board for approval.  Debra Wiedman-Clawson seconded.   Roll call vote:  Debra Wiedman-Clawson, Dave Hamann, 
John Lowe, Jean Root, Jim Anderson—all yes. 
Motion carried 5-0.


Bob Hanvey provided information on the Citizen Planner Class.  There are still openings and he indicated the township would cover the cost for attending.  
Mr. Hanvey also asked about the township board’s limits when asked to approve an ordinance amendment.  Is it the board’s role to say yes or no only, or can the board make changes? 

 Mr. Ambrose said the board could make changes. The board cannot make it more restrictive, it can only make it less restrictive. Dave Hamann indicated there are rules and
procedures for the Planning Commission and copies are available.  Mr. Hamann was given the task by the board to look at fees for pre-planning meetings.  He provided a handout and
asked the Planning Commission members to review for discussion at the next meeting. Jean Root motioned to add the issue of rules and procedures for the Planning Commission
to the agenda for the March 4, 2003 ordinance workshop.  Debra Wiedman-Clawson seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.


Jean Root motioned to adjourn the meeting at 9:53 p.m.  Dave Hamann seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.