Reference Desk


Planning Commission Minutes - January 13, 2009



JANUARY 13, 2009

A Regular meeting of the Charter Township of Chesterfield Planning Commission was held on Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at the Township Hall Located at 47275 Sugarbush, Chesterfield, MI 48047.


Chairman Priest called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.


Present: Jim Priest Excused: Paula Frame

Robert Kohler Jim Moran

Joe Stabile Ray Saelens George Deeby

Paul Miller

Cheryl Printz

Others: Patrick Meagher, Township Planner


Motion by Mr. Priest, supported by Ms. Printz to approve the agenda as presented.

All Ayes Motion Carried

4. SUBCOMMITTEE REPORT: (Committee will report items under Reviews)


A. BROWN BEAR PROPOSED INDOOR SHOOTING RANGE – SLU #2008-15: Allen & Mary Polkowski, P.O. Box 380356, Clinton Twp., MI., 48038 – Proposed indoor shooting range located at 46853 Gratiot. Public Hearing Set on 12-9-08 for 1-13-09.

Motion by Mr. Priest, supported by Ms. Printz to open the Public Hearing on SLU #2008-15 at 7:10 p.m.

All Ayes Motion Carried

Bill Thompson stated that Brown Bear sells rifles and handguns among other items. The proposal is to take part of their existing building and modify it to incorporate five shooting lanes. The northerly approximately 1/3 of the building or 25% of the building will be modified. There is currently a block wall in that area separating two parts of the building. The shooting range will be NRA certified. The most important aspect of this is going to be the noise abatement. The range itself, just with the fact that it is going to be inside of a building, will be soundproofed as much as possible. The sound emitting from the building will be minimal. They will have bullet proof lining put in the ceiling and walls. There will be a bullet proof back that will catch all of the slugs at the ends of the targets. It will meet all of the safety requirements of the NRA.

During the Public Hearing the following individuals addressed the commission to express their support of this special land use: Kristopher Wood, Scott Johnson, James Jackson, Basil Lewis, Gary Gendernalik, Kevin O’Leary and Peggy Woodruff.

Mr. Kohler suggested that we act this evening on this petition.

Ms. Printz commented that she welcomes this business and has no problem with this special land use, however, she wondered if the owner would be willing to make any aesthetic improvements to the exterior of the building.

Mr. Thompson responded that the owner is able and willing to improve the frontage on the building with regard to painting and dressing it up. They are proposing landscaping. There is a vehicle that is usually on the site; that will be gone. There will be an enclosed dumpster pad.

Mr. Deeby commented that he has no objection to this project. He asked who would set the standards and insure the applications with regard to the sound and safety concerns.

Mr. Thompson responded that the National Rifle Association will inspect the facility. They will put their seal of approval on it that the safety issues were all met. The bullet proofing materials that are used on the sides, ceiling and end of the building are all high quality; they are inspected on a weekly basis by the owner. If there is damage to it, it would be repaired by sawing out a portion and replacing it. With regard to the sound, there is a retail facility right in the same building; the sound deadening will be good enough that these people are not going to be bothered by the fact that there is a shooting range on the other side of the wall. The sound proofing and bullet proofing facilities are quite extensive and effective.

Mr. Deeby asked who in the township will guarantee that the decibel levels will not be exceeded and that they fall within our ordinance.

Mr. Meagher explained that typically if the township received a complaint the Building Department would go out and measure the sound level at the property line. If in fact it exceeds the requirements of the township, the owner would have the requirement of somehow buffering that.

Motion by Mr. Priest, supported by Mr. Kohler to close the Public Hearing on SLU #2008-15 at 7:25 p.m.

All Ayes Motion Carried

Mr. Priest asked for a poll of the board with regard to taking action this evening.

Act Tonight: Mr. Priest, Mr. Kohler, Mr. Stabile, Mr. Deeby, Mr. Miller, Ms. Printz

Table: None

Motion by Mr. Priest to approve SLU #2008-15 with the understanding of the comments that Mr. Thompson made to Ms. Printz with regard to the outside of the building with improvements and as long as it meets the other ordinances.

Ms. Printz asked that the motion include the petitioner working out the engineering issues.

Mr. Priest agreed to amend his motion.

Ms. Printz supported the motion.

All Ayes Motion Carried


A. PROPOSED RIVERBEND DRIVING RANGE DRIVEWAY RELOCATION SITE PLAN #2008-14: Ed Mancini, 33190 23 Mile Road, Chesterfield, MI., 48047 – Proposed driveway relocation located at 33193 23 Mile Road. Tabled 10-14-08.

Mr. Stabile stated that they have met all of the requirements. The planner has no objections for approval at this time.

Motion by Mr. Stabile, supported by Mr. Kohler to approve Site Plan #2008-14.

Mr. Priest commented for the record that this approval is with the understanding that there will be no parking lot at this point east of the building.

Rick (Poofer?) indicated that the petitioner agrees with that stipulation.

Vote On The Motion:

All Ayes Motion Carried

B. DAVID MILLER/PRESBYTERIAN VILLAGE EAST PROPOSED NEW GROUND SIGN-SGN #2008-95: The Village of East Harbor, 33875 Kiely Dr., Chesterfield, MI 48047. Proposed new ground sign located at the above address. Tabled 11-25-08. Letter from petitioner to keep existing sign as it stands, and then re-apply for the permanent signage once the development of the expansion has commenced. Also included is the response to the Planners Comments of 11-25-08.

Mr. Stabile stated that we feel we are okay with this sign at this time. This sign faces 23 Mile Road. Normally we do not have signs that are not on the premises, however, that is their premises there, and it will be replaced by a new sign once the project is built. The petitioner has agreed to this and understands this.

Motion by Mr. Stabile, supported by Mr. Deeby to approve SGN #2008-95.

All Ayes Motion Carried

C. CHASE BANK PROPOSED NEW DIRECTIONALSIGNS – SGN #2009-01: Allied Signs, Inc. 33650 Giftos Drive, Clinton twp., MI 48036. Proposed (7) new directional signs located at 27100 23 Mile Road.

Motion by Mr. Stabile, supported by Ms. Printz to approve SGN #2009-01.

All Ayes Motion Carried

D. MEIJER GAS STATION PROPOSED NEW WALL SIGN – SGN #2009-02: Valley City Sign, 5009 West River Drive N.E., Comstock Park, MI 49321. Proposed new wall sign with changeable copy located at the above address.

Mr. Stabile stated that the applicant was told that they didn’t have to come to the meeting this evening. This sign does not meet our ordinance. Rather than have the applicants come from Grand Rapids, they were informed as to what changes had to be made and that this would be tabled until they made those changes.

Motion by Mr. Stabile, supported by Ms. Printz to table SGN #2009-02 for up to 6 meetings with the deadline being April 14, 2009.

All Ayes Motion Carried

E. SNAP FITNESS 24-7 PROPOSED NEW WALL SIGN – SGN #2009-03: MLS Sign Co., Inc., 25776 D’Hondt Court, Chesterfield, MI 48051. Proposed new wall sign located at 52396 Gratiot.

Motion by Mr. Stabile, supported by Mr. Deeby to approve SGN #2009-03.

All Ayes Motion Carried

F. SNAP FITNESS 24-7 PROPOSED NEW PYLON SIGN INSERT – SGN #2009-04: MLS Sign Co., Inc., 25776 D’Hondt Court, Chesterfield, MI 48051. Proposed new pylon sign tenant panel located at 52396 Gratiot.

Motion by Mr. Stabile, supported by Mr. Deeby to approve SGN #2009-04.

All Ayes Motion Carried

G. SUGARBUSH TAVERN PROPOSED PYLON RESURFACE WITH PROPOSED ADD OF AN ELECTRONIC MESSAGE CENTER – SIGN SGN #2009-05: Phillips Sign & Lighting inc., 40920 Executive Drive, Harrison Twp., MI 48045. Proposed resurface of existing pylon, with the addition of a new electronic message center located at 27900 21 Mile Road.

Mr. Stabile stated that this is a resurface of an existing sign and the addition of a new electronic reader board. Since this sign was erected we have had a new ordinance which pertains to electronic reader boards. He asked the applicant if they agree to abide by the new ordinance as it pertains to the electronic reader board.

Debbie Phillips responded yes they will agree to the new ordinance pertaining to the electronic message center.

Motion by Mr. Stabile, supported by Mr. Deeby to approve SGN #2009-05.

All Ayes Motion Carried


Motion by Mr. Priest, supported by Mr. Kohler to approve the minutes from the December 9, 2008 meeting as sent.

All Ayes Motion Carried


Mr. Stabile noted a letter received from Edward Mancini, Riverbend Driving Range, authorizing Rick (Poofer?) to speak on his behalf.




Mr. Meagher briefly commented on the Master Plan and setting up a visioning session for the end of February. Also, there are some ordinance changes to be introduced either at the next meeting or the first meeting in February.

Mr. Priest asked about the outside wood burners.

Mr. Meagher responded that we did not address them. At that time the Fire Department indicated not to worry about them because they have been banned.


Gary Gendernalik asked a procedural question with regard to the Lohman boat house on Harbor Drive. He indicated that there was no opposition at the ZBA and they did receive variances.

There was brief discussion between Mr. Gendernalik and Mr. Meagher with regard to an updated drawing and getting the petition back on the agenda.

Mr. Meagher indicated to Mr. Gendernalik that they should submit an updated 8 ½ by 11 drawing.

Mr. Gendernalik commented on the Master Plan and the future for the north end of the township. He feels that the big lots are an unrealistic vision for the future based on the fact of the market not being there because of the economy.

Hub Hemmen inquired about snow removal throughout the township.

Ms. Printz asked for opinions from the commission members with regard to cutting costs by not meeting twice a month.

Mr. Kohler indicated that he would attend the next pre-planning meeting.

There was discussion with regard to meeting once or twice a month, and holding special meetings.

Mr. Deeby questioned how to get the public involved in the Master Plan.

There was discussion regarding public involvement.

Mr. Kohler left the room at 7:57 p.m. He returned at 8:00 p.m.

Ms. Printz asked for an update on Sebille Manor.

Mr. Meagher responded that one developer showed up at the meeting. The government and army have asked that we reconsider some of our stipulations in the Development Agreement. If those measures are taken the property could go back out for bid in April.



Motion by Mr. Priest, supported by Mr. Kohler to adjourn the meeting at 8:12 p.m.

All Ayes Motion Carried

Paula Frame, Secretary Christine A. Hunyady, Recording Secretary



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