APPROVED MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
OF THE KENTWOOD PLANNING COMMISSION
NOVEMBER 11, 2011, 7:30 P.M.
A. Chair Holtrop called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
B. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Commissioner Sheldon.
C. Roll Call:
Members Present: Maurice Groce, John Helder, Dan Holtrop, Ed Kape, Laurie Sheldon, Ed Swanson, Don Yokom and Johngerlyn Young
Members Absent: Frank Vander Hoff (with notification)
Others Present: Community Development Director Terry Schweitzer, Economic Development Planner Lisa Golder, Planner Joe Pung, Staff Secretary Monique Collier, the press and about 25 residents.
Motion by Commissioner Sheldon, supported by Commissioner Swanson, to excuse Commissioner VaderHoff from the meeting.
- Motion Carried (8-0) –
- Vanderhoff absent -
D. Approval of the Minutes
The October 25, 2011 Minutes were approved as drafted.
E. Approval of the Agenda
Motion by Commissioner Swanson, supported by Commissioner Helder, to approve the agenda for the November 8, 2011meeting.
- Motion Carried (8-0) –
- VanderHoff absent –
F. Acknowledge visitors wishing to speak to non-agenda items.
There was no public comment.
G. Old Business
There was no Old Business
H. Public Hearing
There were no Public Hearings.
I. Work Session
Case #11-11 – ICC Behar – Special Land Use and Site Plan Review for parking in the flood plain located at 3425 East Paris Ave.
Planner Pung introduced the request. He stated the request is a special land use and site plan review to permit parking within the floodplain. Pung stated the applicant has a portion of the parking constructed and their plan is to add fill and also extend a parking deck over the floodplain into part of the floodway. Pung stated the construction on the building started in 2008 and a parking setback variance was granted for the setback for the parking in 2006; the proposed parking addition would be viewed as a minor change and consistent with the variance which was granted. Pung stated we wouldn’t require them to come back for an additional variance only, to meet the same landscaping requirements for any additional parking they put on to provide for that buffer. He stated the majority of the property is encumbered by floodplain and wetlands. He stated there is very little high ground outside where they have already built the building and the existing parking.
Pung stated at the staff meeting the focus of discussion was the parking deck and support pillars proposed to be built in the floodway. The applicant was made aware by the Engineering Department that City Ordinance does not permit the support pillars for the proposed parking deck to be located within the floodway. He stated City Ordinance does permit filling of the floodplain as long as the area filled is replaced with an equal amount of storage elsewhere.
Pung stated their current plan will change. The applicant no longer plans to have the deck but instead fill up to the floodway. They will put up a retaining wall so they won’t get all the parking spaces they were looking for but they will get some additional parking without having to put anything in the floodway. Pung stated in order to build in the floodway that they would have to go to the Service Committee and it may not be guaranteed they would be able to get a variance. Therefore, they are looking at filling within the floodplain making up for that elsewhere on the site and getting some additional parking but not the entire parking that is shown on the plan. Pung stated the City Engineer is ok with that as long as they can make up for additional fill elsewhere. Pung stated in addition, the applicant would need to apply for a floodplain map revision amendment based on fill. He stated once they fill the area it will no longer be in the floodplain since it has been raised up, they would just have to file an amendment that goes through FEMA where the floodplain lines are amended so that area is no longer considered part of the floodplain.
Yokom noted the project started in 2008 and questioned when will it be finalized. Pung stated it is based on how the building is financed and constructed, due to religious beliefs they do not do interest therefore it is constructed as monies become available.
Swanson stated he recalls they had parking agreements with the church and with the building across the street so that they didn’t need the parking, he questionedwhat has changed. Pung stated they wanted to have some additional parking onsite so people don’t have to walk as far in the evening hours.
Holtrop stated they will have to provide their revised revised proposal and where they plan to dig. Pung stated they are working with Excel to figure out where they can do that. Pung stated the commissioners will see an amended plan at the next meeting.
Case #12-11- Camille Woods – Preliminary and Final Site Plan Review for a Site Condominium Development located North West of Lake Dr. and Camille
Planner Golder introduced the request. She stated the request is for site plan approval for a 12 unit site condominium development zoned R1-C on 3.77 acres located north of Lake Drive and west of Camille. She stated surrounding uses are mostly single family residential, over to the west there is an office building owned by Calvin College, and then a church further to the north.
Golder stated site condominiums are developed under the Condominium Act, a site condominium expands the ownership privileges to include a lot. It would look like a typical single family subdivision but it is developed under the Condominium Act. She stated it is collectively owned, some of the things that are owned in common include the road and any open space that is not a site condominium itself.
Golder stated site condominiums are reviewed similar to the process for preliminary plats. She stated it will go through planning commission for a public hearing then city commission for a public hearing and then there is a final plat approval that the City Engineer would submit to the city commission only. Golder stated we have set up our ordinance so that these site condominiums follow the same process.
Golder stated for this site the master plan recommends less than 4 units per acre. It is calculated by taking out easements for road, utilities etc. and by that calculation the proposed layout is over 4 units per acre for this site; it is 4.19 units per acre. Golder stated reason it is like that is because the applicant did not include a piece of land that is an easement for water in the calculation. In order to fall within the Master Plan density recommendation they need to reduce the number of units by 1 that would bring it to less than 4 units per acre or 3.78 units per acre.
Golder stated the access to the development would be off Camille; come around on the south side and end in a culdesac to the north with the units being along the culdesac. Golder stated the traffic on Lake Drive it is about 7100 trips per day at East Paris. Looking at peak hours in the morning 8am-9am they are going east. In the evening 5pm-6pm they are going west. Most people are traveling on Lake Drive to get to the various employment centers in the area. Golder stated in 2003 the City designated Lake Dr. as a natural beauty road. This has to do with the maintenance within the right-of-way it has no bearing on the plan.
Golder stated the Engineering report is based on the plan they received. After the work session with the applicant there are going to be some changes to the plan, next meeting those changes will have to be discussed. Golder stated if it is a lot different commissioners might want to look at a second work session before the public hearing.
Golder stated the proposed road is a private road. The applicant did look at bringing the road from Lake Drive; the driveway that serves the church. But it is church property so he would have to get permission and the church said no. That is why the road is proposed to come in from on Camille.
Golder stated under the Condominium Act that is there is very little the City can do to require what the houses and the elevations look like. The applicant is offering those features for this development. Whereas the City can’t require it the applicant could offer that and make it part of the request. Since the applicant is offering those features the City can hold the applicant to them as part of the development.
Golder stated there are some things that need to be shown on the site plan. In the condominium development they have common elements, things that are owned by collectively everyone in the association, that need to be noted on the plan. These would be things people in the condominium development would have to pay for through their association dues. She stated we will also need to show the existing landscaping and if any of it is going to be retained we would like to see that as well. She stated also on the site plan it shows setbacks as being 25 feet and the R1-C requirements are 35 feet.
Applicant Jon Halland was present to represent the request. He stated he hasn’t purchased the property yet it is tied up in a purchase agreement signed the first week of September. He stated he met with staff to see what was allowable in this zoning and what he can do under the zoning ordinance to develop the property. Staff encouraged him to meet with the neighbors.
Halland stated he met with the neighbors and came with two plans; one was a site condominium and the other one was for detached condominiums. He stated speaking to different realtors, they convinced him to doing single family homes given were the market is now. He stated at the meeting he spoke with the neighbors about saving as many trees as possible. He stated he approached the church to see if he could bring the driveway off the church driveway and they were against it because they do plan on continuing to sell parts of their property and they feel if that drive were shared with a residential development it would hinder their sale of the property. Also the churches concern was traffic on Sunday when church lets out. He stated they talked about saving as many trees as they can, berms, landscaping and bringing some trees 25 or so white pines to replace any vegetation he has to take down as a result of putting the drive in along the south.
Halland stated he submitted a plan and there was one revision after the meeting and that was adding the landscaping and clarifying some things on the detention pond. He stated as a result of the meeting and reviewing the notes he doesn’t foresee any problems addressing the comments and concerns of the Engineer and also concerns and comments in the staff report. Halland stated the only thing he would like feedback on is the reason he can no longer get 12 lots according to staff is because the City of Grand Rapids Water Department is making him loop the watermain back out to Camille on the north end and that must go within an easement and therefore the square footage of the easement has to come out of the net density calculation. Halland stated he feels he is being unfairly penalized because of a requirement of a utility company. He stated he would like to ask for an exception in this case because it is something that is a burden upon him because of a utility company.
Groce stated he went out and looked at the site and the road coming off of Camille. He could not tell exactly where the road would be and the ravine seems to be a peak. Halland stated he will put some stakes every 50 feet or so therefore commissioners can go out and look at the site. He stated he will have his surveyor go out and flag any big trees and locate them on the survey to see if they can do something to try to save the trees. Golder asked with the grading won’t a lot of the trees be lost. Halland stated yes they will, but he is proposing to replace them with the pine trees. Groce stated in one of the letters he received it was stated that the rocks in the wall along Calvin College Road are crumbling. It is supposed to be maintained by the church and it hasn’t been. Halland stated it is not a retaining wall it is just a slope with rocks on it with a lot of vegetation. They will not be touching that. Golder stated the applicant will be working on that with the church.
Swanson stated the layout is not really creative. He stated it seems to him it would be better if he does some reconsideration of lots 12, and 13, and curve that road to keep it further away from the houses and give him more room to buffer for those people that are surrounded by roads on all sides. Swanson stated a better option would be if he could talk to the church and come up with an access to that driveway. Swanson stated he could possibly purchase an easement from them. Halland stated he has offered them some things and they are against it. Swanson stated he would like for him to consider a re-layout of that section of the road and a greater curve. Halland stated he is asking for an exception because of the easement he has to put in because of the water line, if the board doesn’t agree and grant him that exception he would like feedback what lots they want him to lose. Swanson stated he would like for him to lose lot 12. He stated this is just not a very creative design; it is going to be hard to make this a very attractive layout and fit in with the neighborhood. Swanson stated the applicant is going to have to show us how he plans to protect the neighborhood and make it look nicer.
Yokom stated he agrees with Swanson.
Sheldon stated she agrees with Swanson. She would like to see unit 12 removed and the road redirected over to the north. Sheldon asked about the flooding that seems to be a concern. Golder stated the Engineering will review to make sure that doesn’t happen and the flooding that everybody is talking about is before the improvements were made and so that shouldn’t be an issue. The Engineering Department will be at the public hearing to address issues. Sheldon stated she knows the increased traffic was an issue but if there are only going to be 11 units she doesn’t foresee the traffic being a problem. Sheldon stated she is not super excited about this but the proposal of what the homes look like is nice. She stated she would just like to make sure the homes look like they belong and have more of a feel in the neighborhood.
Kape stated he agrees with the other Commissioners. He stated one thing that concerns him is the loss of trees. He stated he is having a hard time seeing taking away the trees that are already there and replacing them with pines trees.
Young asked what kind of tenants/homes is he intending on building. Halland stated price range of homes will be starting around $200,000 to the low $300,000. He stated a comparable subdivision would be Stonebridge or Ryan Ridge at Cascade road and Fulton.
Halland stated if they curve the road then all the trees will be saved because he has talked to the church and they are going to let him outlet into the drainage swale if engineering will let him. Golder asked by taking out unit 12 whether the other lots will get widened. Halland stated he would like to make unit 6 wider by 10 feet. Golder asked whether detention will need to be there. Halland stated they are going to make the pond bigger and also do infiltration.
Kape asked what did the church grant him. Halland stated the sewer is now going to come off of Lake Drive. Halland stated they found a sanitary sewer lateral already on the property. They are going to put the water on the other side of the drive and outlet alongside the pond. Halland stated they are going to have to cut the asphalt. Then along the water line they will run the pipe that comes out the detention pond and outlet on the east side of the church drive with the overflow water of the detention pond. Along with that they will curve the road away from the Jacokes. Discussion ensued regarding trees he plans on saving/planting.
Golder stated that he also needs to note on the site plan where he plans to retain trees. Halland stated he will note anything over 10 inches or bigger. Golder stated they we would need everything over 6 inches noted. Golder stated to also show the trees he plans to retain on the east side along the units.
Holtrop noted to the residents attending that this is a work session and the residents will be able to come back November 22 to speak. However he did indicate he would like to hear from the Jacokes during this meeting if they had any comments.
Lee and Francine Jacokes spoke and they were concerned about the drain are issues. He stated they have a fair amount of water in their property and he is concerned. He stated they would rather not see a development at all but if they are going to have see one then make sure it is done right and fits in what the neighborhood looks like and less density.
Holtrop suggest he lose lot 12 and curve the road away from neighboring homes. He requested that some trees and buffer should be added to his site plan as well.
Schweitzer stated as we see a revised plan come forward staff will have a recommendation as to whether or not to take action in 2 weeks or to defer action so they can take a closer look.
Case#13-11 –Metro Cab – Special Land Use and Site Plan Review for a Fuel Depot located 4678 Danvers Dr.
Director Schweitzer introduced the request. He stated Metro Cab is an existing business located in Kentwood. Schweitzer stated the loading dock on the south end of the building is where they are proposing to place the 1,000 gallon propane tanks. Schweitzer stated their loading activity is through the overhead doors more on the northern part of the building. Schweitzer stated he feels this is a good fit. He stated they provide ground transportation and they have contracts with Gerald R Ford International Airport. Their contract is up for renewal but regardless of whether they get a renewal of their contact relationship with the airport they are looking to maintain the operations that they have in the area. Schweitzer stated they are looking at eventually equipping all of their fleet with propane fuel and they have some efficiencies in terms of being cleaner and more cost effective for them to go this route.
Schweitzer stated the attributes are
-The project will assist the Metro Cab fleet to convert and rely upon a cleaner burning fuel source.
-There should be no additional traffic associated with the fuel depot use other than propane deliveries every 2 to 3 day via a relatively small, single axle, class B delivery truck similar to that providing propane for home delivery.
-The fuel depot is for the exclusive use of the Metro Cab fleet.
Schweitzer stated there was also very good discussion as far as coordinating with our Fire Department.
Steve Walz, with Metro Cab; Greg McPherson; and John Openhuizen, with First Companies were present to represent the request and answer any questions.
Yokom asked if the loading dock is just for taxi cabs or are they planning on having package delivery. Walz stated they are a taxicab company and the way they operate they lease their vehicles to the drivers so when a driver gets a vehicle it is his vehicle and he takes it to his residence. The only time they put a vehicle inside their maintenance facility is if they are going to be doing maintenance work on that vehicle. He stated they have a fleet of 55 vehicles. Yokom asked if they anticipate growing in the future. Openhuizen stated with the propane yes they do.
Swanson asked if they have an access easement agreement or do they own both properties so that they don’t need one. Openhuizen stated they do not own both properties they sold it. But they do property manage it. Schweitzer questioned whether when they sold the properties there was no easement set up between the properties. Openhuizen stated there wasn’t a need for one so nobody asked for one. Openhuizen stated if Metro wanted to fence off the property they could do so. But right now it isn’t a problem and they don’t anticipate a problem going forward. He stated the garbage truck is big that comes in there and there is plenty of room to turn around.
Holtrop asked about the tanks, if Metro Cab goes somewhere else will he remove them. McPherson stated no he will not. Metro Cab is purchasing the system from them and they will take ownership, the system will stay in place. Holtrop asked whether there are any concerns with different uses in the building to have the propane tanks just sitting there. Schweitzer stated if they moved out and sold the property as is, it would be the new buyer to determine if that is something that would be desirable for them.
Discussion ensued regarding working with the fire department. They will have a training to take place where the Chief and fire fighters can attend the training session.
Hotlrop asked if they have put these systems anywhere else. McPherson said they have some in Detroit, Zeeland and some of the school systems.
Holtrop ask why propane and not natural gas. McPherson stated propane is more readily available and big difference cost effective wise.
Yokom asked about the life cycle on the tanks. McPherson stated the tanks are inspected every year and any type of damage the tank does have it will have to be taken out of service.
J. New Business
Motion by Commissoner Kape, supported by Commissioner Sheldon, to set a public hearing date of December 13, 2011 for Case#14-11 Wax Doctor Detailing & Uhaul Service Center – Special Land Use Open Air Business and Site Plan Review located at 5091 Broadmoor Ave. SE; Case#15-11- Kentwood Market- Major Change to an Approved Site Plan located at 3321 East Paris Ave. SE
- Motion Carried (8-0) –
- VanderHoff absent -
K. Other Business
1. Commissioners’ Comments
Schweitzer gave an update on CBS outdoor landscape screening provisions for the residences on the east side of I-96.
Schweitzer stated December 14 will be the Open House for the volunteers and boards.
2. Staff’s Comments
Golder discussed the pre meeting they had with Kalamazoo and 60th Street and they will come up with a revised plan that will hopefully satisfy everybody
Meeting adjourned at 8:53p.m.
Don Yokom, Secretary
U.S. SBA April Flooding Loans Available | 6/14/2013
Kent County Emergency Management learned this afternoon that residents and businesses affected by severe storms and flooding April 7-20, 2013 can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Applicants are encouraged to apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. The center will be open Tuesday, June 18 through Thursday, June 27 for one-on-one service if needed.
Fireworks Moved to Patterson Field This Year | 6/10/2013
I want to give you folks plenty of notice that our fireworks presentation will be moving to Patterson Field behind Crestwood Middle School on 44th Street this upcoming July 4th. We had previously displayed fireworks there in the past up until their remodeling project which led the move to City Hall. All festivities you are accustomed to here at City Hall will now be at Crestwood Middle School. We thank Kentwood Public Schools for their partnership!
--- Mayor Clanton
Congrats Grads | 5/31/2013
I would just like to commend all of the hard working young people and the teachers that helped them along their as they graduate this spring! We are hoping to hear about the wonderful challenges and opportunities that await you. West Michigan is rooting for you all to do great things and we hope those things can happen here. Please be safe as you celebrate this exciting time while you transition to the next chapter of your young lives!
--- Mayor Clanton