Reference Desk


Planning Commission Minutes - July 28, 2009



July 28, 2009

A regular meeting of the Charter Township of Chesterfield Planning Commission was held on Tuesday, July 28, 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 7:00 p.m.


Present: Jim Priest Excused: Cheryl Printz

Paula Frame Jim Moran

Robert Kohler

Joe Stabile

Paul Miller

Ray Saelens

George Deeby

Others: Patrick Meagher, Township Planner


Motion by Chairman Priest to approve the submitted agenda.

Supported by Mr. Saelens

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Carried

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


No public hearing had been scheduled.



29113 Lesnau Ct., Chesterfield, MI 48047. Proposed restaurant on the

Southeast side of Jefferson, North of Riverpointe Tabled 4-28-09

Mr. Priest read a letter that the board received asking the SLU#2009-01 be tabled to a later date. The applicants are working on revisions of the previous submittal. The letter was signed by Mr. LeFevre.

Motion by Ms. Frame to table SLU#2009-01 for up to six meetings; which would be on October 27, 2009.

Supported by Mr. Deeby

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Carried


Michael J. Gordon, R.A., 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. Tabled 7-14-09

Michael J. Gordon, R.A., 218 West Eleven Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI 48067 addressed the board.

Applicant explained that the board received a letter sign by his client and he will sign an affidavit that will limit the space so as not to exceed 600 square feet. The owner will buy and sell only jewelry and the reduction size would eliminate a door to the rear of the property facing the residential area. The signage would also correspond with the buying and selling of jewelry only.

Mr. Saelens stated that the board had talked about getting an affidavit. He asked if the affidavit would be submitted indicating that the store would only be dealing with jewelry?

Applicant answered yes. He stated that the board would put that in the proposal and he would supply that.

Mr. Stabile explained that he was still against any type of pawn shop. He has not softened on that, but the new situation is a little bit different. He stated that everyone had concerns about another disturbing situation down the street. The board does not want to see the same thing that is happening over there. People walking up and down in front of the store with signs creating a traffic hazard. He stated that if the board was entertaining a motion to approve this, the board has to include language in there to prevent any one else from doing that. He asked if this store planned to be doing any thing like that; to have people carry signs in front of the business.

Applicant stated that has not occurred at any of his clients operations. They recently received a site plan stating that there would not be any temporary signs, no banner signs, and no people holding signs. He stated that if the board puts that stipulation in the affidavit they would agree to that.

Ms. Frame did not have any questions. However, she asked the board if everyone understood exactly what was going on with the proposal as far as reducing the size of the building? She asked if everyone understood why the pawn shop license would be needed as well as the license for precious gems and metals? She just wanted to make sure all of that information was clear to the board members.

Mr. Deeby commented that he would like to have that explained to him.

Mr. Meagher explained that the applicant would now take the unit with the address

33163 which on the site plans is labeled Retail #3. The owners would be taking one half of Retail#3. That portion would be in front of the bowling alley. The area would be roughly 562 square feet and will have no access to the rear of the building.

Mr. Stabile asked if that spot used to be the coffee shop?

Mr. Meagher answered yes at one time. He asked if everyone had their site plan with them, so they can understand where the shop would be located? He verified that the applicant at that time was willing to sign an affidavit that the store would only deal in jewelry at that location. They would not be dealing in lawn mowers and stereos.

Applicant stated absolutely.

Mr. Meagher asked if the applicant was willing to stipulate to the no portable signs, and no people signs?

Applicant replied correct.

Mr. Deeby stated that his questions had been answered.

Mr. Miller had no questions.

Chairman Priest stated that he did receive a letter from the Birchwood Condominium Association that will be retained for the Planning Commissions files. He commented that he understood their concerns.

Motion by Ms. Frame to approve Bayside Plaza Pawnshop SLU#2009-03 subject to the building not exceeding 600 square feet, subject to the applicant submitting written affidavit stating that they would only pawn jewelry and no other merchandise is to be pawned at that location. Furthermore, there will be no portable signage, people signage, car signage, or banner signage.

Supported by Mr. Saelens

Mr. Deeby asked if Ms. Frame could be more specific that instead of people signage, that there would be no people holding signage.

Ms. Frame specified that no signage would be allowed other than the wall signage which would have to be approved at a later time.

Mr. Deeby asked if all of that would be part of the affidavit.

Ms. Frame stated that all of that information would be included in the affidavit.

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Carried


Michael J. Gordon, R.A., 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 Rd. and D.W. Seaton. Tabled 7-14-09

Michael J. Gordon, R.A., 218 West Eleven Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI 48067

Applicant stated that this would be a basic site plan that would be used as a marketing tool. They would be looking for an approval so that it may be marketed as a site. They would come back with all the engineering concerns at a later date. The basic engineering proposal will be addressed with the architectural drawings. At this time, they would not be sure if this would be a purchase or lease. They would just be looking for an approval so they could begin marketing this site.

Chairman Priest asked the applicant if he had seen the Community Planning Report with the five points that are spelled out.

Applicant answered yes.

Mr. Miller had no questions

Mr. Deeby had no questions.

Ms. Frame had no questions

Mr. Saelens stated that he assumed that the five points are not all inclusive. That something else could be added at a later date.

Mr. Meagher explained that the applicants would have to submit a full site plan when they come back. At that point in time, the board would reflect the character of this but all the point in the ordinance would be hashed out just like when any other site plan is submitted for approval.

Mr. Saelens asked so these may not be the only requirements necessary?

Mr. Meagher replied that was right. In fact the one thing omitted from this would be lighting and that would also have to be addressed.

Mr. Kohler had no questions.

Chairman Priest stated that all the board would be approving this evening would be the right to put a facility there with the drive-thru.

Mr. Meagher stated that at this time it would be a restaurant with a drive-thru.

Motion by Chairman Priest to approve Bayside Coffee and Fast Food Store with Drive-thru SLU # 2009-04 with the understanding that any future site plan for that location would have to meet at a minimum the five points in the Community Management Report.

Supported by Mr. Stabile

Ms. Frame asked that Mr. Priest to add to the motion that they would have to meet the engineering requirements as well.

Mr. Priest agreed to the addition.

Mr. Deeby explained he had never seen anything like this done before. He would like to see something more specific as to exactly what the board would be doing. He added just so this does not come back to the Township. There has been a proposal given for SLU #2009-04 and drawings have been submitted. He stated that if the board approved that as a marketing tool without specifying that the site plans are not being approved with nothing regarding the conceptual nature. He commented that he would like to see as part of the motion that the approval is for the plan’s conceptual nature.

Mr. Priest stated that was what he had stated.

Ms. Frame agreed that was what Mr. Priest had already stated.

Chairman Priest stated that the motion was to approve the Special Land Use part and the subsequent site plan would have to meet the criteria of the ordinances

Mr. Deeby asked if that meant that until the new site plan meets the board’s concerns and criteria there would be no approval on a future site plan.

Ms. Frame stated absolutely.

Mr. Meagher explained that when the applicants find a user for the building, they will have to come back and get site plan approval.

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Carried


Fairmont Sign Co., 3750 Outer Drive, Detroit, MI 48234. Proposed new wall sign for above business located at 50150 Gratiot. Tabled 7-14-09

Chairman Priest stated that it was tabled on 7-14-09 for lack of specifics on the size of the building.

Ms. Frame stated that the applicant was present, however, the sign as submitted was still too large for the ordinance. The applicants have agreed to remove the yellow pipeline portion of the sign for the wall. She stated that with the pipeline portion of the sign removed it would fit the ordinance.

Motion by Ms. Frame to approve the Napa Auto Parts Proposed New Wall Sign-

SGN #2009-13 subject to the removal of the pipeline from the application.

Supported by Mr. Miller

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Carried


Sign & Lighting, 40920 Executive Drive, Harrison Twp., 48045. Proposed new wall sign located at 30090 23 Mile Road, Chesterfield, MI 48047. In the Raintree Plaza

Motion by Ms. Frame to approve Baywest Dental Proposed New Wall Sign-

SGN #2009-17. The sign meets all the requirements for the ordinance.

Supported by Mr. Miller

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Carried

Mr. Stabile asked if the applicants had submitted the office frontage.

Ms. Frame answered that some plans showed the frontage and some did not. She explained that had been corrected.


Sign Fabricators, 43984 Groesbeck, Clinton Twp., MI 48036. Proposed new wall sign located at 48712 Gratiot, in the Kingston Plaza, in the former "Uncle John’s House of Fish" location.

Motion by Ms. Frame to approve Pasta e Pasta Proposed New Wall Sign -

SGN #2009-18. She explained that the square footage is too large for the ordinance, although, she would like to make a motion to approve because of the fact that the building is setback so far and the new sign at 32 square feet will match the existing signs that are already on that building because of the building setback.

Supported by Mr. Kohler

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Carried


Motion by Mr. Deeby to approve the minutes from the prior meeting as submitted.

Supported by Ms. Frame

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Carried


9. NEW BUSINESS: Gratiot Avenue Corridor Improvement Plan, as requested

Sharon Hood

Mr. Meagher stated that Mr. John Paul Rea from the Macomb County Planning and he was present to answer any questions the board may have about the plan. He commented that most of the board had not had the opportunity to give a thorough review of the plan to make sure they are all comfortable. He asked the commission to read the plan carefully prior to the next meeting and then be prepared at that time to make a motion to forward it to the Township board for distribution and then the Township board would review it and make to determine if it fits in with the Master Plan. The Township board would then ask Planning forward that to the various County agencies, SEMCOG and all the surrounding communities. Meanwhile, they would be getting notices from Macomb Township, Clinton Township and several of the surrounding communities.

John Paul Rea addressed the board.

Mr. Saelens asked if the realignment of Chesterfield and Cotton Road would be considered when there is new construction? He asked where there is an existing road such as Chesterfield when it comes into Gratiot would that be county driven to change that intersection?

Mr. Rea elaborated that there are a number of ways to trigger these types of improvements. Specifically when dealing with the Road Commissions, if it is within the jurisdiction of MDOT, that would be a consideration. They have had considerable dialog with MDOT and have received assurances that as they begin to plan these programs, which are five to ten years in advance, that the road agencies will work with the communities to establish the best reconfigurations at that point in time.

Mr. Saelens asked if they would be going backwards to realign driveways.

Mr. Rea stated that it would all be on a case by case basis. Each community would be given as much flexibility as possible within the plan and within the zoning ordinances.

Mr. Meagher explained it was similar to our master plan right now, Macomb Planning has a series of programs and policies that they try to enact and not all of them are in our zoning right now. He stated that once the plan is in place, John Paul and L.S. L. will be back with some proposals for zoning ordinances. How aggressive the zoning changes will be something they would have to study and work on together.

Mr. Saelens stated that he already had a chance to go over the material very thoroughly and he agrees with many of the recommendations. The changes would make that corner safer for everybody who lives and works in that area.

Mr. Rea explained that the reason he was in front of the board was to make sure each member has an opportunity to review the plan and so they can bring a plan that would be most applicable to your community.

Mr. Stabile commented that he also read through the material and he had some questions and concerns on that same intersection at Cotton and Gratiot. He explained that in a case like that there is a restaurant/bar and parking lot which is private property; so how would something like that get initiated.

Mr. Rea explained that they would have to have discussions with the personal property owners. Obviously, it could be a trigger from a private developer starting conversations with a site plan review that comes forth with a change of use for the site. When dealing with the resurfacing and reconstruction where a road agency comes into play, they may have a higher leverage or may have a higher dollar amount or opportunity to maybe leverage that property owner to allow them to access those management standards. The benefit of this plan would be that it is so fluid that they can cater to the needs of the business owners to ensure that adequate access is there. At the same time they can be sure that there is safe and efficient transportation for all involved.

Mr. Stabile stated that at that particular site the building probably could not be built where it is now because there would be set-back problems there.

Mr. Priest stated that the man who owns that property came into the board once talking about his building. When the board had mentioned taking Cotton Road through there and they figured that there would be no place to build.

Mr. Meagher commented that the business owner was a little bit excited about moving the road because they would have a four way stop there.

Mr. Stabile stated that he would assume that the business owner would get some of the property of the existing road.

Mr. Meagher agreed and stated that there are ways to work with that. Basically what is being presented to the board was here is an ideal and here is where they would like to get to.

They do not have all the solutions right now that would be figured out as the site come in. There are cases where the Planning Commission might not want to agree 100% with what the plan says. Mr. Meagher stated that he had a discussion with John Paul and L.S.L. This plan is to promote communications between the Road Commission, MDOT, and the Planning Commission so that everyone starts to understand that there are guidelines and that the board should follow them.

Mr. Deeby asked where was the applicant at with this particular proposal?

Mr. Rea explained that at this time they are going to each of the nine communities in the corridor. There are three communities that have pushed through to the point of distribution at this time; Eastpointe, Roseville and Lenox Township. The three communities that are at the same point as Chesterfield are Richmond, Macomb Township and Clinton Township. The two remaining communities would be the Village Of New Haven that recently passed the memorandum of understanding and now they are up to speed, and Mount Clemens where it has been a little more difficult since they have a major reconstruction and resurfacing project. They are in talks with MDOT right now reviewing the applicability of this project.

Mr. Deeby verified that the proposal was a draft that has been presented to all the communities and that part of it has been approved by the Macomb County Planning Commission.

Mr. Rea answered yes. The first four chapters are the standards and each one of the separate chapters are community specific.

Mr. Miller asked if the other communities were on their way to fund these when the DBA’s or CIA’s?

Mr. Rea stated that specifically with Macomb County there are a number of opportunities with implementation and using some type of TIP funding, whether it be with a DBA or CIA or even some other type of taxing entities. Other communities have established some special assessments and some have dealt with funding from business associations.

Mr. Miller asked Mr. Meagher is this would have to end up being put into the ordinances piece by piece or would they just adopt the concept?

Mr. Meagher elaborated that basically the work team has put together a model ordinance and that would be something they would start with. Then they would try to cater it to fit this community. It could be made as general or as specific as they would like. The board would have the opportunity to run through it piece by piece and decide how it fits Chesterfield. They are not going to have a gun to their heads stating they have to adopt the model ordinance as is. He would recommend that the board take a step towards moving in this direction formally.

Motion by Mr. Priest to follow Mr. Meagher’s suggestion to table this for two weeks and encourage everybody on the board to review the proposal before them and be ready to act on it at the next meeting which would be August 11th.

Supported by Ms. Frame

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Carried


Atwell-Hicks Development Consultants, 50182 Schoenherr, Shelby Township, MI 48315. On behalf of Wal Mart SLU #2008-03, a 6 month extension is being requested. Located on the south side of 23 Mile Road, east of I-94.

Mike McPherson, 50182 Schoenherr Road, Shelby Township, MI addressed the board.

Mr. Stabile asked Mr. Meagher wasn’t a site plan good for 18 months to start?

Mr. Meagher stated that a site plan based on the ordinance was only good for 12 months.

Mr. Stabile stated that he was surprised that they asked for an extension after 6 months?

Mr. Meagher explained that they had already received a six month extension after their initial site plan expired.

Chairman Priest stated that he thought the board took the position they were only going to give one six month extension at that point and now Wal Mart is asking for another six months.

Mr. Meagher stated that Mr. Stabile was correct; the site plans are good for 18 months.

He then asked if this was a Special Land Use?

Chairman Priest answered yes.

Mr. Meagher stated that was the reason because a Special Land Use would only be good for six months before they have to pull a permit.

Mr. Saelens asked if six month would be enough time?

Mr. McPherson stated they would hope so. However, they could not commit to an exact date at that time.

Mr. Stabile would be in favor of giving a year extension; maybe they will change their minds by that time.

Mr. Meagher stated that the board could extend it up to 270 days.

Mr. Deeby asked if they were just waiting on corporate?

Mr. McPherson stated that all retailers have slowed down their development and Wal Mart is no different in this economic climate. They are holding back on a lot of construction and eventually it will break loose.

Motion by Chairman Priest to approve a six month extension for Wal Mart SLU #2008-03.

Supported by Ms. Frame

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Carried


A. Administrative Request #41: Cox Warehouse Building Addition, Site Plan #2006-26, located at 30800 26 Mile Road, Chesterfield, MI 48051. Requesting administrative changes to their previously approved Site Plan.

Mr. Meagher explained that most of these would be more engineering types of changes and they have no objections. He added that the engineers have no objections on this either.

Motion by Ms. Frame to approve Administrative Request #41: Cox Warehouse

Building Addition, Site Plan #2006-26, located at 30800 26 Mile Road, Chesterfield, MI for the requested administrative changes to their previously approved Site Plan.

Supported by Mr. Deeby

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Carried


Mr. William Baade, 46437 Prince Drive, Chesterfield, MI addressed the board.

Mr. Baade stated that he wanted to put up a wind turbine. He asked if the board was considering any new ordinances or new business coming up concerning wind turbines.

Mr. Meagher stated that the board would be discussing that matter at either the meeting in two weeks or the meeting in four weeks. At one of those meetings it will be on the agenda for approval.

There was a discussion among the board about wind turbines.

Mr. Miller had no comments

Mr. Saelens had no comments

Mr. Stabile had no comments

Ms. Frame asked who would like to attend the next Pre-planning meeting?

Mr. Kohler answered that he would be there.

Mr. Saelens stated that he would like to attend.

Ms. Frame verified that Mr. Saelens and Mr. Kohler would be attending the meeting.

Ms. Frame also brought up a proposal to have the commissioners pick up their packets at the Township Hall instead of them being mailed out in an attempt to save on postage. She did not know how they would be able to implement this; however she wanted to bring up the idea.

Mr. Saelens asked if the board members would be notified when their packets were ready?

Ms. Frame stated that she did not know.

Mr. Meagher commented that he gets an email letting him know that the packet is ready.

Chairman Priest explained that he would like to leave it up to the commissioners as to whether they pick up their packets at the Township or have them mailed to their homes.

He stated that they call him to let him know his packet is ready and he picks it up within a few days.

Mr. Deeby commented that Sherri in Planning also calls him.

Ms. Frame stated that maybe the board could have Planning call us when the packets are ready and the board members could pick them up.

Mr. Stabile asked what about when meetings are cancelled?

Chairman Priest replied that they call him.

Mr. Saelens stated that he remembered not being informed that a meeting was cancelled.

He explained that when he did not have a packet, he called the Township office and was informed that they cancelled the meeting.

Chairman Priest stated that he will see if they can work on that.

Mr. Deeby commented that he has picked up his paperwork since day one.

Mr. Miller stated that he would not be able to attend the next meeting.



Motion by Chairman Priest to adjourn at 7:47 PM.

Supported by Mr. Kohler

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Carried

Paula Frame, Secretary

Grace Mastronardi, Recording Secretary




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