Charter Township of Orion
Oakland County, Michigan


Planning Commission
Minutes, Regular Meeting, Wednesday, April 21, 2010


The Charter Township of Orion Planning Commission held a regular meeting on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at the Orion Township Hall, 2525 Joslyn Road, Lake Orion, Michigan 48360.

PLANNING COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT: Doug Zande, Chairman; Carol Thurber, Vice-Chairwoman; Dick Christie, Secretary; Sandra Dyl, PC Rep. to ZBA; Justin Dunaskiss

PLANNING COMMISSION MEMBERS ABSENT: John Steimel, OTB Representative; Ron Zilka

CONSULTANTS PRESENT: R. Donald Wortman (Township Planner) of Carlisle/Wortman Associates, Inc.; Dave Schroeder, (Township Engineer) of Orchard, Hiltz, & McCliment, Inc.; Beth McGuire, Township Zoning/Planning Administrator

OTHERS PRESENT: Phoebe Schutz

1. OPEN MEETING: Chairman Zande opened the meeting at 7:00 p.m.

2. ROLL CALL: John Steimel and Ron Zilka were absent.

3. MINUTES : Moved by Commissioner Dunaskiss, supported by Secretary Christie to approve the April 7, 2010 regular meeting minutes as presented.  Motion carried 5-0 (Steimel and Zilka were absent).

4. AGENDA REVIEW AND APPROVAL: Moved by Secretary Christie, supported by Commissioner Dunaskiss to accept the agenda as presented.  Motion carried 5-0 (Steimel and Zilka were absent).

5. BRIEF PUBLIC COMMENT – NON-AGENDA ITEMS ONLY: There were no members of the public present.

6. CONSENT AGENDA: None.

7. NEW BUSINESS: None.

8. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

A. PC-2010-02, Text Amendment to Zoning Ordinance No. 78, Article III, Compliance with Federal, State, and Local Laws: Ms. Beth McGuire, Township Zoning/Planning Administrator, commented that as requested, she did forward the proposed language to the Township Attorney and included in your meeting packet is an email from the Township Attorney stating that this is very common language that is being adopted by most communities and he does believe that it is legally enforceable.  However, he did understand some of the concerns that the Planning Commissioners did have.  We also, at the Planning Commission's request, removed the provision that had previously been included that uses are not expressly permitted are prohibited, we did remove that language from the text.

Chairman Zande commented that what they have before them now is the newly-revised text.

Commissioner Dyl noted her concern that she doesn't want to see the Building Department put in the position of having to enforce a Federal law that the Federal agents aren't going to enforce.  However, she has no problem with the proposed language.

Mr. R. Donald Wortman, (Township Planner) of Carlisle/Wortman Associates, Inc., commented that from the Building Department's perspective, it's an easier call now to make.  When they receive phone calls now that ask where they can establish a compassionate care club, sell retail goods related to medical marijuana, and where they can site these land uses, the simple answer is going to be that it's not allowed in our zoning ordinance.

Moved by Vice-Chairwoman Thurber, supported by Commissioner Dunaskiss regarding case PC-2010-02, Text Amendment to Zoning Ordinance No. 78, Article III, Compliance with Federal, State, and Local Laws, to schedule the public hearing for Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 7:05 p.m.  Roll call vote was as follows: Dunaskiss, yes; Christie, yes; Thurber, yes; Dyl, yes; Zande, yes.  Motion carried 5-0 (Steimel and Zilka were absent).

B. PC-2010-04, Text Amendment to Zoning Ordinance No. 78 Article XXXIV, Brown Road Innovation Zone (BIZ): Mr. R. Donald Wortman, (Township Planner) of Carlisle/Wortman Associates, Inc., overviewed their correspondence and their Brown Road Innovation Zone Work Plan and Proposal, both dated April 12, 2010* and the proposed text amendment language*.  He noted that the Preamble now gives a more explanatory summary of this zoning district.  Also, included are the Principal Use Groups Permitted, which gives more definition to these use groups.  In addition, the Principal Uses Not Permitted are included for better clarification.  The Schedule of Mixed Use Regulations is listed in Table 34-3.  Next is Table 34-4, Summary of Landscaping Requirements for each use group.

Commissioner Dyl commented regarding the importance of adequate screening for outdoor storage from Brown Road and also for any surrounding residences, especially the pole barns or less than attractive buildings.  She is also concerned about whether there would be adequate parking.  She also asked that an appeal process be included through the Township Board of Trustees. 

Secretary Christie suggested not placing a height restriction in this zoning district.

Commissioner Dyl agreed that that area would be the right place for the tall buildings.  Also, that members need much clearer direction from the Township Board of Trustees for this zoning district.

Vice-Chairwoman Thurber noted that access management must be included as well.

Commissioner Dyl commented that the hill by Costco is very dangerous and that something needs to be done with that.

Mr. Dave Schroeder, (Township Engineer), of Orchard, Hiltz, & McCliment, Inc., commented that they will be studying that at a later date in the process.

Planner Wortman noted that he would revise as discussed and bring it back at the next regular meeting.

9. PUBLIC COMMENTS: There were no members of the public present.

11. COMMITTEE REPORTS: None.

12. PUBLIC HEARINGS: 05-19-10, PC-2010-02, Text Amendment to Zoning Ordinance No. 78, Article III, Compliance with Federal, State, and Local Laws Public Hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 7:05 p.m.

13. CHAIRMAN’S COMMENTS: None further.

14. COMMISSIONERS’ COMMENTS: None further.

15. ADJOURNMENT: Moved by Commissioner Dyl, supported by Secretary Christie to adjourn at 7:57 p.m.  Motion carried 5-0 (Steimel and Zilka were absent).

* On file in the Building Dept.