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Planning Commission Minutes - June 23, 2009

THE CHARTER TOWNSHIP OF CHESTERFIELD

PLANNING COMMISSION

JUNE 23, 2009

A Regular meeting of the Charter Township of Chesterfield Planning Commission was held on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at the Township Hall Located at 47275 Sugarbush, Chesterfield, MI 48047.

1. CALL TO ORDER:

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

2. ROLL CALL:

Present: Jim Priest Excused: Robert Kohler

Paula Frame Jim Moran

Joe Stabile

George Deeby

Ray Saelens

Paul Miller

Cheryl Printz

Others: Patrick Meagher, Township Planner

3. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA:

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

All Ayes Motion Carried

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

5. PUBLIC HEARING:

A. PROPOSED BAYSIDE PLAZA PAWNSHOP – SLU #2009-03: Michael J. Gordon, RA., 218 West Eleven Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI 48067. Proposed pawn broker/retail store located at 33165 23 Mile Road in the Bayside Plaza on the Northwest corner of 23 Mile Road and D.W. Seaton. Public Hearing set 5-26-09.

Motion by Mr. Priest, supported by Ms. Printz to open the Public Hearing on SLU #2009-03 at 7:03 p.m.

All Ayes Motion Carried

Michael Gordon stated that they are proposing this 28,000 square foot pawnshop. They purchased the property, except for the bowling alley. They have been working on improving the property. There has been active leasing of this property. They are trying to lease it all out. The owner’s principle business is a pawnshop, jewelry store, limousine and White House Wedding Chapel. This would be an owner occupied space unless they lease it out first. This is a fall back position. He wants a fully occupied active center. This is a 110 deep space; it is very narrow. It is an awkward thing to lease out. They have had several people through it. This is one of the challenging parts of the site. This is a condominium parcel with cross easements, and the bowling alley is still owned by the original owner.

Ms. Printz asked if any of the previous tenants are still in there.

Mr. Gordon responded that he does not think so. The church is gone. Power House Gym is currently an occupant. There is a lot of table talk and good traffic.

Ms. Printz asked if they are planning on putting the limousine company there.

Mr. Gordon responded no, but the pawn shop at 8 Mile and Van Dyke includes a jewelry store within the pawnshop; it also includes check cashing. It is sort of like a one stop shop, you buy the ring, you get the limo, you get the wedding chapel; and then you get divorced and pawn the ring. He tries to integrate everything.

Mr. Saelens asked if when this is leased they will still have empty spaces.

Mr. Gordon responded yes.

Mr. Saelens asked if they have any prospects for those spaces.

Mr. Gordon responded yes. They have met with a pizza chain, Sears Hardware; there is a fruit market that they have been talking to. There are large spaces, especially the last space on the right. They have actually looked at subdividing. There has been a lot of traffic.

Mr. Saelens asked if this is primarily a jewelry store or primarily a pawnshop.

Mr. Gordon responded primarily it is a pawnshop.

The following individuals addressed the Commission to express concerns, provide information or to oppose the Special Land Use: Ken Johnson, Antonios Hatzigeorgiou and Dee Perrino.

Mr. Saelens asked the applicant what methods are in place to stop stolen goods from coming into a pawnshop.

Mr. Gordon responded that it is an ongoing challenge. He can’t deny that it goes on. He wishes they could take everyone down to the 8 Mile facility to show the levels of security and the amount of investigation that goes into things. The owner really tries; as challenging as it is. There is a certain amount of unfortunate elements in every business; there is retail fraud, check cashing, there are people stealing from every type of business. The owner does everything that is practical that can be done in this industry.

Mr. Saelens asked what is required by the state licensing for him to help prevent the fraud.

Mr. Gordon responded that there are certain classes that all of the employees have to take, learning to look for the people that look suspicious. There are inspections with the licensing. He has been working with the owner for a number of years on these.

Mr. Saelens asked if there is no screen wall behind this building with the adjacent residential properties.

Mr. Gordon responded that there is vacant land. There is several hundred feet of space.

Mr. Priest mentioned that there is a berm there.

Mr. Gordon stated that property is zoned for multi-family and was platted at one point for a number of condo units, which were not developed. Technically the adjacent residential does not border on this property. This owner actually owns that multi-family property also.

Mr. Saelens asked Ms. Perrino how far it is from the edge of this parking lot to her property.

Ms. Perrino responded approximately 200 feet.

Mr. Stabile asked Mr. Gordon what his comment of "all the necessary security" means.

Mr. Gordon responded that they have cameras; it is a locked area, there is bullet proof glass; the merchandise is actually in a secured area where they have to let people in and out. They bury the salespeople into the store so anyone coming in has to walk by the manager. There are a lot of psychological things that are built in to the design. People look in and say "I can’t get out of here quickly"; they have to go all of the way into the store and all of the way back out. That deters some of that element. They also use bright lighting.

Mr. Stabile asked Mr. Gordon if he agrees that needing all of those precautions means that they are bringing in an element that could be a problem.

Mr. Gordon responded that when you do high end jewelry stores you have a lot of the same security there.

Mr. Stabile commented that he personally agrees with some of the residents here at this point. He has been against a lot of projects in this community in the past, which he thought downgraded the community. He never thought we would be looking at a pawnshop. He is a property and business owner himself, so he fully sympathizes with the owner of the plaza completely; however, a pawnshop in this area is not something that he wants to see.

Ms. Frame agreed with all of the previous comments.

Mr. Deeby clarified that the owner would like something else to go into this space instead of a pawnshop.

Mr. Gordon stated that he would be thrilled. In this process it could happen tomorrow or six months from now. Security breeds security; the more people and traffic you have, the more life and occupied space you have. If this space is the last space, he would rather have it fully occupied, even if he has to occupy it himself. He came in to get this on contingency, and they are actively pursuing other avenues.

Ms. Printz concurred with Mr. Stabile. If we were to approve this special land use for a pawnshop, she feels that they are then boxing themselves in for marketing this complex. They would be aiming for a certain type of client. They would not be getting a nice fruit market to come in next to a pawnshop.

Ken Johnson and Dee Perrino again spoke from the public.

Motion by Ms. Frame, supported by Mr. Saelens to close the Public Hearing on SLU #2009-03 at 7:20 p.m.

All Ayes Motion Carried

Motion by Mr. Priest, supported by Ms. Frame to table SLU #2009-03 to our next meeting on July 14, 2009.

All Ayes Motion Carried

B. PROPOSED COFFEE/FAST FOOD STORE WITH DRIVE THRU – SLU #2009-04: Michael J. Gordon, RA., 218 West Eleven Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI 48067. Proposed coffee/fast food Store with a drive thru window located in the front southeast corner of Bayside Plaza property

On the Northwest corner of 23 Mile Road and D.W. Seaton. Public Hearing set 5-26-09.

Motion by Mr. Priest, supported by Mr. Deeby to open the Public Hearing on SLU #2009-04 at 7:22 p.m.

All Ayes Motion Carried

Michael Gordon stated that they have been getting a lot of market inquiries here. This is a cart and horse issue. They have had several people request an out lot; since they could not promise them an out lot, they don’t have anyone signed up. If they get the approval for this out lot then they can go back to them and let them know that they can have the out lot either for purchase or lease. They feel this is an appropriate use for the corner. They are asking for this permission so that they can market this; there already is the bank in the parking lot. They feel this would be compatible with that. They have talked to several people with regard to this; the most viable seems to be Dunkin Donuts, but there is nothing for sure. They have taken all of the comments to heart. They have changed the materials. They would design a building specifically to the tenant or client. The only thing they have not done is the engineering, which would come in time.

Mr. Saelens asked if this would require any new curb cuts.

Mr. Gordon responded no.

Mr. Stabile asked what type of places they have had requests from; are they big chains?

Mr. Gordon responded yes. The smallest one is probably (Big B’s?), but they have stopped expanding.

Richard Perrino and Gary Gendernalik spoke from the public.

Motion by Mr. Priest to close the Public Hearing on SLU #2009-04.

Mr. Deeby commented on the traffic situation. He agreed with Mr. Gendernalik that the existing drives would be in our favor.

Mr. Priest commented that the driveway on 23 Mile Road is down farther, which is a plus.

Mr. Stabile commented that he is in complete agreement with this project. This probably has the least traffic flow problem from anything we have ever seen. Everything is contained within the property. The biggest problem with drive-thrus is the stacking. They have the room to stack them up inside without having any problem with the outside.

Mr. Priest reiterated his motion to close the Public Hearing on SLU #2009-04 at 7:32 p.m. Ms. Frame supported the motion.

All Ayes Motion Carried

Motion by Mr. Priest, supported by Ms. Printz to table SLU #2009-04 to our next meeting on July 14, 2009.

All Ayes Motion Carried

6. REVIEWS:

A. HOME FIELD L.L.C. PROPOSED NEW ADDITIONAL GROUND SIGN – SGN #2009-12:

Michael Hamame, Agent. P.O. Box 201, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303. Proposed new additional ground sign for Home Field Development in the Home Depot Site. Retailers include Sprint, Dolly’s Pizza, H&R Block, Secretary of State.

Ms. Frame stated that this is an additional ground sign for the plaza where Pier One, Michael’s, Ruby Tuesday’s and Home Depot are located. This additional ground sign is for the building that is located behind Auto Zone. Businesses located here are the Secretary of State Office, a hair cutting place and pizza place. Those businesses are obstructed from the view of vehicles on 23 Mile Road and on Gratiot because of the location. The applicant is asking for a variance for an additional ground sign.

Motion by Ms. Frame, supported by Mr. Deeby to approve SGN #2009-12.

Ms. Printz asked if they will be using the same names on both signs.

Ms. Frame responded no. They will be using it as two different separate signs.

Mr. Saelens asked where the second sign will be placed.

Ms. Frame responded that it will be placed at the end where Pier One is.

Mr. Priest commented does the Ruby Tuesday’s sign come into play as being two signs already, or is that a separate sign just for that business.

Ms. Frame commented that Ruby Tuesday’s has an existing monument sign directly in front of their business.

Ms. Printz commented that she would rather see this sign where they want to locate it rather than down by the existing sign.

Mr. Meagher stated that by ordinance they really did not have a choice for the location.

Mr. Stabile commented that he definitely sees a use for this sign as it will be visible from across Gratiot.

Mr. Deeby commented that he sees they have spaces for the addresses. He also sees the use for this sign.

Ms. Printz commented that it would be nice if it matched the other sign.

Mr. Meagher indicated that it pretty much matches what they have there right now. They do meet the ordinance.

Vote On The Motion:

Ayes: Ms. Frame, Mr. Deeby, Mr. Priest, Mr. Stabile, Mr. Miller, Ms. Printz

Nays: Mr. Saelens

7. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PRIOR MEETINGS:

Motion by Mr. Priest, supported by Ms. Printz to approve the minutes from the May 26, 2009 meeting as sent.

All Ayes Motion Carried

8. COMMUNICATIONS: Election of Officers.

Ms. Frame nominated Mr. Priest as Chairperson, supported by Mr. Saelens.

Ms. Frame nominated Mr. Stabile as Vice-Chairperson, supported by Mr. Deeby.

Mr. Deeby nominated Ms. Frame as Secretary, supported by Mr. Miller.

Ms. Frame nominated Mr. Saelens as Alternate Secretary, supported by Mr. Stabile.

Vote On The Nominations:

All Ayes Motion Carried

Ms. Frame volunteered as liaison to the ZBA.

9. NEW BUSINESS:

10. OLD BUSINESS:

A. GIUSEPPE D’ANNA PROPOSED REZONING – PETITION #333: Michael Furnari, 2685

Lapeer Road, Suite #100 Auburn Hills, MI 49326. Requesting to rezone property located at 28050 Cotton Road, on the south side of Cotton, between I-94 and Donner Road, from R-1-B (Single Family Residential) to RM-3 (Multiple Family). Public Hearing closed on 5-26-09.

Motion by Ms. Frame, supported by Ms. Printz to deny Rezoning Petition #333 for the following reasons: 1.) the requested zoning designation is not consistent with the Master Plan. The Master Plan designation for this property is for it to be developed as single-family residential with a density that is consistent with the current designation of R-1-B; 2.) The applicant has not provided evidence that this property cannot be reasonably developed as currently zoned; 3.) The applicant has not provided evidence that the current zoning designation denies the property owner of all economically viable use of the land; 4.) The current zoning designation is compatible with the adjacent land use characteristics and zoning designations; 5.) A suitable transitional use exists as a buffer between this property and I-94, that being the consent judgment property for senior housing.

All Ayes Motion Carried

11. PLANNERS REPORT:

Mr. Meagher asked for a general motion to set a Public Hearing for discussions with regard to the three or four ordinance amendments.

Motion by Ms. Printz, supported by Ms. Frame to set a Public Hearing for discussion of ordinances for July 28, 2009.

All Ayes Motion Carried

12. COMMENTS FROM THE FLOOR:

Gary Gendernalik commented on site plan issues with regard to driveway approaches at businesses.

Mr. Meagher commented that with our next round of ordinance improvements he will look at some type of technical committee approval that can do small things like that.

Ms. Frame asked for volunteers for the next pre-planning meeting.

Mr. Saelens and Mr. Miller agreed to attend.

Ms. Printz informed everyone that she will not be in attendance at the July 28, 2009 meeting when the ordinance Public Hearing will be held. She asked that the Public Hearing be kept open at that time.

13. PROPOSALS FOR NEXT AGENDA:

14. ADJOURMENT:

Motion by Mr. Priest, supported by Mr. Saelens to adjourn the meeting at 7:52 p.m.

All Ayes Motion Carried

Paula Frame, Secretary

Christine A. Hunyady, Recording Secretary

 

 

 

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