Kentwood Committees & BoardsAPPROVED MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
Planning Commission (Back to index)
Minutes for 02/14/2006
OF THE KENTWOOD PLANNING COMMISSION
FEBRUARY 14, 2006, 7:30 P.M.
A. Chair McIntyre-Evenocheck called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
B. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Commissioner Todd Gray.
C. Roll Call:
Members Present: Betsy Artz, Todd Gray, Dan Holtrop, Nancie McIntyre-Evenocheck, Ed Swanson, and Chris Winczewski.
Members Absent: Maggie Bohn, Frank VanderHoff and Abed Itani (with notification)
Others Present: City Attorney Jeff Sluggett, Community Development Director Terry Schweitzer, Economic Development Planner Lisa Golder, Planner Joe Pung, Planner Debargha Sengupta, Staff Secretary Monique Collier, the press and three citizens.
Motion by Winczewski, supported by Gray, to excuse Commissioners Bohn, VanderHoff and Itani from the meeting.
-Motion Carried (6-0) ?
- Bohn,VanderHoff and Itani absent -
D. Approval of the Minutes and Findings of Fact
A. Motion by Gray, supported by Artz, to approve the Minutes of January 24, 2006 and the Findings of Fact for: Case # 1-06 Woodhaven Condominiums Final PUD Approval of a Planned Unit Development of a Site Plan located on the east side of Walma South side of 44th Street.
- Motion Carried (6-0) ?
- Bohn, VanderHoff and Itani absent ?
E. Approval of the Agenda
Schweitzer added under new business to set the public hearing of March 14, 2006 for Case #10-06 Zoning Amendments
Motion by Holtrop, supported by Swanson, to approve the agenda for the February 14, 2006 meeting with the additional New Business item.
- Motion Carried (6-0) ?
- Bohn, VanderHoff and Itani absent -
F. Acknowledge visitors wishing to speak to non-agenda items.
G. Old Business
There was no old business.
H. Public Hearing
Case #2-06 Walgreens Pharmacy Rezoning of 3.93 acres from C-4 Office to C-2 Community Commercial, located on the Northeast corner of 44th Street and Breton Avenue
Case #3-06 Walgreens Pharmacy Site Plan Review and Special Land Use ? Drive-through Pharmacy, located on the Northeast corner of 44th Street and Breton Avenue
Golder introduced the request noting the surrounding uses and stated the applicant applied several years ago for a rezoning to a commercial PUD district. Golder outlined Basis 1-5 in the staff recommendation for approval of the C-2 Zoning. She noted that as the project came forward it went to the Land Use and Zoning Sub-Committee. Golder stated that one other positive that happened when we looked at this is that the indirect lefts were installed on Breton and 44th Street; so the pervious traffic concerns have gone away. With the Master Plan recommendation for commercial/residential use and the market study identifying more retail potential and with the indirect lefts put in place, the Land Use Zoning Sub-Committee felt that the applicant can come forward with the Walgreens proposal. They would be comfortable to be a Zoning C-2 and that is what the applicant is doing.
Golder stated that there are wetlands on the site. The applicant had to go to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and they recommended that the adjacent property over an acre in size should be put into a conservation easement and that is a requirement of their mitigation plan. It is an identity corner but not exactly right on the corner as envisioned in the Master Plan. In addition to the straight C-2 Commercial rezoning request is the special land use drive through and the site plan. It meets the rezoning standards, the only concern is about safety in the area. The conservation easement there is not allowed to be trimmed or cut; the plantings that are in there are going to be natural. Some of it is going to be uplands and some will be wet. Golder had the Police Department take a look at the plan and their concern was if it is a 24 hour pharmacy there is a possibility that someone may be hiding in the conservation easement in the middle of the night preying on people who are waiting for the drive up facility.
Golder outlined the Staff Recommendation for the Special Land Use drive through Pharmacy noting conditions 1-6.
Golder outlined the Staff Recommendation on the Site Plan Review for a drive through pharmacy noting conditions 1-6.
Harry Kokkinakis representing Walgreens was present. He stated that they talked to Walgreens and there is a curb that comes out five feet at the northeast corner of the building and can go out up to ten feet and they would like to put of couple of bollards in there to address sight distance issues at this corner. This approach is better for trucks rather than a fence.
Mr. Kokkinakis stated that they were asked to put a bike rack in. He stated that the Police Department has no police reports on record for their current location and they have nothing unusual to report at the store. Commissioners were concerned about smoking in front of the store. Mr Kokkinakis stated that no one can smoke in the store, employees can not smoke in front of the store and they are going to reinforce that policy at the new store. They were concerned about trash in the parking lot, Walgreens wanted to go to a freestanding site so that they can control the site themselves. Their employees are instructed to pick up trash regularly and they are going to reinforce that. Mr Kokkinakis stated they have provided two monument signs that fit within the City Standards instead of the pole sign.
Mr. Kokkanakis talked about maintenance of the wetlands and one of the things that Bob Day from DEQ said they will be allowed to do will be to irrigate the wetlands. It takes two to three years to get the wetland established and they are committed to doing that. He showed a picture of the seed mix for what the wetlands look like.
Kokkanakis answered questions regarding storage and traffic at the pick up window. He said that they have storage for 8-10 cars in addition to the two cars that will be at a pick up window which exceeds Walgreens standards. They average 5.8 cars per hour nationwide. They did say the busiest time is between 5:30 - 6:30 pm after work for people picking up their medications. They said the West Michigan market averages 69 pick ups for a 14 hour day between 8am-10pm or 4.9 pick ups per hour which is under their national average. This store will be an 8am-10pm store but they want to make sure they have the flexibility to go to 24 hours when the time was right to do that.
Kokkanakis stated that they have added window mullions to the elevation per Lisa?s recommendation. The DEQ does not want public access to the easement area. It is meant to enhance water quality. The relatively small size is not conducive to having people come through it. They had to adjust the wetland mitigation based on engineering requirements of having a minimum 5 foot flat area behind the public sidewalk along the street frontage. They also accommodated a sidewalk connection to the building. Kokkanakis stated that they have satisfied the points in Pat Hughes engineering letter except for two things that the DEQ will not allow; one is rip rap which is stone within the channel of the new wetlands. They are planting material 2 feet on center to dissipate the water flow. Rip rap would hinder the mitigation. Pat Hughes was fine with it if that what the DEQ is mandating. The other issue is putting fabric within these areas. The DEQ indicated that this would inhibit the establishment of the wetlands.
Chair McIntyre-Evenocheck opened the public hearing.
Wilma Vandyke, 3564 Brownlee Dr., currently lives in Grand Rapids. For 26 years she and her husband lived at 4345 Shaffer. Mrs. Vandyke stated she was very disappointed when she read the article in the Press that Walgreens is going to take up the last vacant corner of Breton and 44th Street, She thinks the Breton Meadows strip mall is already going down hill because of tenants going out and she wanted to know what is going to happen if Walgreens goes out. She would like to see Walgreens move to another vacant building that has more property. Mrs. Vandyke thinks Walgreens is visible where they are. She stated that it is convenient having Walgreens where it currently is due to the ATM, Bank One and D&W. If it is moved across the streets she thinks that it will be difficult to get to those places.
Mark Driesbach, 4676 Morningside Dr., thinks the corner can be used a little bit differently rather than another commercial property. He thinks Walgreens should help improve their existing location. He suggested they look at the property next to Blockbuster. Mr. Driesbach thinks that giving up the last chunk of green that we have in Kentwood is a mistake. Even though there is not access there he thinks there needs to be a fence to tell the kids not to play in the ravines or signs that say it?s a natural area. He stated that Walgreens is convenient where it is. He is also concerned about 24 hours running in that corner.
A letter from Ben M. Muller Realty (managers of the Breton Meadows Shopping Center) to the Mayor and the Planning Commissioners dated February 7, 2006 stating their concerns with the rezoning and the relocation of Walgreens from the Breton Meadows Shopping Center.
Motion by Swanson, supported by Gray, to close the public hearing.
-Motion Carried 6-0
-Bohn, VanderHoff and Itani absent-
Artz stated that she understands the concerns from the neighbors but she also understands why Walgreens wants a freestanding building. She identified with their concern of leasing space from someone not taking care of their property. She thought that the project looked good.
Holtrop asked who controls whether the store is open 24 hours. Golder stated that in some cases the Planning Commission makes hours of operation a specific condition of approval. Holtrop liked the condition of the site plan but he was concerned whether this is the right spot for Walgreens. Golder stated that Grand Rapids staff was advised that Walgreens is thinking about moving and they didn?t voice objections. During the recent Master Plan Update the consultants were asked what to do to that strip mall they said it is a corner piece and it will survive. They also stated that additional commercial can be supported in the area.
Todd Gray asked about the monument signs. Golder told him that is something that is reviewed on a staff level to verify conformance with the zoning ordinance. She stated that the Planning Commission can specify that they prefer one approach or the other or make it a condition.
Swanson did not think now is the time to put additional commercial on this corner and he stated that he probably would not be in favor of the project. He also expressed his concerns with the safety of the drive thru and wetlands.
Winczewski was concerned about pulling from a business in Grand Rapids. He recommended that the request be tabled to allow Walgreens and Muller Realty to discuss the Mueller proposal dated February 7, 2006.
McIntyre- Evenocheck thought the design of the existing strip mall and the economy hurt existing stores in the mall where it is now. She stated that none of the Walgreens that are freestanding are struggling. McIntyre-Evenocheck stated that there are no freestanding Walgreens in Kentwood at this time; she doesn?t think there will be a problem. McIntyre-Evenocheck stated she would like to see a welcome to Kentwood sign in that area to help out with the identity as prescribed by the Master Plan. She had no concerns about the rezoning, and felt it should not be delayed.
Motion by Artz, supported by Holtrop, recommend approval of the rezoning of 3.93 acres from C-4 Office to C-2 Community Commercial as described in Case #2-06 based on basis point 1-5 in Golder?s memo dated 2/2/06.
-Motion Tied 3-3-
-Yeas McIntyre-Evenocheck, Gray, Artz
-Nays Holtrop, Swanson, Winczewski-
-Bohn, VanderHoff and Itani absent-
Sluggett stated that the motion fails due to the tie vote. He said that they have a couple of options, one to continue discussion to see if the majority can build up amongst them or to table it until more Commissioners are present and presumably it may not be the split vote. Sluggett stated that it can?t go to the City Commission without a recommendation. He stated that it doesn?t have to be in favor, but it has to be a recommendation.
Motion Winczewski, supported by Swanson, to table the Rezoning recommendation to February 28, 2006
-Motion Carried 6-0-
- Bohn, VanderHoff and Itani absent-
Motion by Winczewski, supported by Swanson, to table the Special Land Use and Site Plan Review to February 28, 2006
-Motion Carried 6-0-
- Bohn, VanderHoff and Itani absent-
I. Work Session
Case #4-06 Encore Motors-Sales and Leasing Special Land Use-Open Air Business Vehicle Sales and Site Plan Review (Applicant has withdrawn their application)
Case #5-06 KDP Plan Retirement Services Preliminary Site Plan Review of a PUD Phase 3060 Lake Eastbrook Blvd.
Pung introduced the request and gave a brief overview of the PUD history as stated in the staff report. The issues that need to be addressed are: the building fa?ade; parking along the west side of the north/south drive; provide cross-access easement for the adjacent property to the south; and complete cross-access connection to the north.
Pung stated that the person from Houseman Construction who was handling the case was in a car accident on Friday which may account for why no one was present to answer any questions from the Commissioners.
MacIntryre-Evenocheck noted that she would like for staff to write down Commissioners concerns and address them with the applicant.
Winczeswki questioned why they have the 17 extra spaces.
Swanson stated he didn?t have a problem with the project. He just wanted to know what was going in the building, and what it is going to look like.
Holtrop stated his preference for less parking, and cross access to the south.
McIntrye-Evenocheck said that the only thing she noticed is that the elevation was not compatible at all to the surrounding areas. She was also concerned with the 17 extra parking spaces- she would like to see them possibly defer the parking. Pung stated that he is requesting them to move the parking to the east side and they are going to lose parking if they do that. McIntryre-Evenocheck also wanted to know what is going in the building and access to the south.
Case #6-06 The Shops on 52nd Street Rezoning from RPUD ? 1 to CPUD Commercial Planned Unit Development A Major Change to an Approved PUD Plan and Preliminary and Final Site Plan Review of an overall PUD Plan located East of Bailey?s Grove, South of 52nd Street
Golder introduced the request and gave a brief overview of the Zoning History and PUD as outlined in the staff report. The proposed plan is similar to the 1997 plan. They have about 16,000 sq feet of retail in two, one story buildings fronting 52nd Street opening onto a plaza that you can see and walk through. They also propose a 4,000 square foot free standing bank and about 58,000 square feet of office/retail space in buildings off the frontage. It is very similar to the square footage that was approved in 2002. Golder stated the southernmost portion of the 2002 plan contained townhouse condominiums whose garages were located along the south lot line. Golder thinks that it will be an issue with the people living in the condos to the south creating a need to talk about how high the berm and landscape screening should be. Another issue is the dumpster: is it too close to the property line. Another issue was a concern moving the park away from the independent living senior housing. Many of these people may have difficulty making it across the street and the concern is that if the park moves they may make less use of that area. Golder?s issues: open space detail needed, deferred parking should be provided for parking spaces beyond what is required by the ordinance and concern regarding building elevations for condominiums adjacent to the office/retail. She had requested a section-drawing to gauge the impact of the proposed building on the existing homes.
Frank Carnovale, an architect from Birmingham, Michigan, and Patrick Fenton, the owner of the property, represented the Shops on 52nd St. He explained their intentions with the berm, the landscaping and the dumpsters. He stated they have an old downtown look moving the roof heights up and down and trying to define store fronts with a mix of high quality brick and stone materials in different shapes and sizes. Also the buildings on the back of the site are proposed to be single story and they will construct the buildings consistent with the material they are proposing on the retail on the 52nd Street side of the project. He stated that they have a preliminary design that they would like to see at the bank site so whoever purchases that will be required to use quality high material that will complement the overall development. He stated that they have green belt and landscaping and parking on the front of the site to support the retail buildings and exits from the retail space to the courtyard area so you can walk between the buildings into the courtyard open green space area. A berm is on the back of the site that has mature evergreen and landscaping. They want to enhance the landscaping and they have the dumpsters for the retail/office buildings that are tucked into the berm so they are screened with the soil and additional array of landscaping to disguise them. The buildings will be twenty feet or less in height and the berm is ranging from 6 to 7 feet. They want to relocate the park and put it into a more logical better design location which will enhance the focus of the buildings into a courtyard. He thinks that if you bring the park into a more central space it will be used by people. It will give you a more downtown atmosphere.
Winczewski wanted to know the hours of operation of the buildings. Carnovale stated that they want a mix of community complimentary business. He said that might include a coffee shop, a deli and maybe a pizza place. Winczewski wanted to make sure the Bailey?s Grove residents would want to go to some of those businesses. Carnovale stated that they also want this to become another community center that supports the residents.
Swanson talked about the parking and the use of second story space. He stated he likes the appearance but he was thinking that they should bring the building forward to 52nd Street. Carnovale stated that they are going to need parking exposure to draw attraction to the buildings. Carnovale talked about the revision of the PUD statement addressing all the issues about phasing the construction.
Gray thinks it will be a nice upgrade. He was wondering about the berm and if they plan to enhance it. Carnovale stated that they will enhance the berm with more variety in the landscaping. Gray questioned the number of parking spaces and if there is any possibility to remove the interior parking spaces to open up that area. Carnovale stated that the parking complies with what they project they need and the park is 12,000 square feet in area. They are trying to enhance parking because they don?t know what the final use will be and he thinks that it is correct at this point. Golder stated that they are basing it on half being office and half being retail. She noted that the Planning Commission can ask for them to defer parking until we find out what exactly they are putting there. Along the driveway, Golder stated the seniors like to look out at the park and maybe they can make them a smaller park area until it is found that they need additional parking area.
Holtrop indicated that he wants to see less parking on 52nd Street. He also expressed concern with the prospect of the dumpsters being emptied at 4:30am. Golder said the Planning Commission can specify pick up times. Carnovale stated that the dumpsters can be controlled by good management of the project. They will be properly gated and additional landscaping will occur around the dumpster to accomplish two things to screen visually and help in a minor way to defer some of the noise. Holtrop said he is concerned with the time of day for pick-ups. Pat Fenton stated he is the owner of the daycare and their dumpster is located adjacent to the Senior Citizens and they control pick-up times through their contract with the waste hauler. Holtrop wants them to include walking access from the Bailey?s Grove development into theirs. Holtrop was also concerned with the senior citizens that can?t walk far. He wanted a better design so that they can have better access. Carnovale stated that he thinks where it is proposed will be a much improved location and when they take a few more steps to the park they will enjoy themselves there more. Holtrop stated since the road onto 52nd Street was private they can make it easy as possible for them to get there, including wide striping on the pavement and speed deterrents.
Artz commented about the parking out front. She stated from her own experience if there aren?t any cars in front more than likely she will not go because she thinks it closed. So she agrees with the parking out front. She also wanted to know who will the property management be and will they be on site. Carnovale stated that Mr. Fenton owns the adjacent property (the Daycare facility) and that he will be on site so he will handle the property management.
McIntyre-Evenocheck stated the concerns of the rest of the Commissioners were the types of business they expect to have and hours of operation; PUD provision as far as sequencing of the building, the amount of parking spaces, (maybe defer some of those); and the dumpsters location and pick up times. She also had sidewalk issues getting in and out of the Bailey?s Grove area as well as easy pedestrian access for the seniors.
Case #7-06 The Shops on 52nd Street Bank Site Plan Review and Special Land Use Financial Institution located East of Born Clinic, South of 52nd Street
Mr. Fenton stated that they talked to the homeowners association and they didn?t have any problems with this project. They know it is coming and they will put it in the Bailey?s Grove news.
There was a brief discussion concerning the prospects of attracting a bank to this site.
J. New Business
Motion by Gray supported by Swanson to set the public hearing date of February 28, 2006 for:
Case #7-06 The Shops on 52nd Street Bank Site Plan Review and Special Land Use Financial Institution, located East of Born Clinic, South of 52nd Street.
- Motion Carried (6-0)
- Bohn,VanderHoff and Itani absent
Motion by Gray, supported Swanson, to set the public hearing date of March 14, 2006, for: Case #8-06 Deaver?s Meadows Major Change to a Site Plan, Preliminary Plat And Final Site Plan for a PUD (3735 60th); Case #9-06 44th Street Rezoning south side of 44th St. From Breton to within 200 ft of Applewood Dr.; and Case # 10-06 Miscellaneous Zoning Ordinance Amendments.
- Motion Carried (6-0)
- Bohn,Vander Hoff and Itani absent
K. Other Business
1. Commissioners? Comments
McIntyre-Evenocheck stated in the year end report the action taken on 8-05 should say Structures and Improvements and not Systems and Improvements; she thought it was great to see what they have done in the past year
Winczewski welcomed Monique and congratulated Debargha on his baby.
2. Staff?s Comments
Schweitzer spoke about the Structures and Improvements Plan. Lisa has been working on it and she will bring it out to the committee so we can set a public hearing.
Schweitzer also spoke about the get together for Mary?s Faulkner?s retirement the afternoon of March 2nd. More info to follow
Schweitzer also stated that this Thursday will be the 2nd public meeting on Kalamazoo Avenue study. What will be presented for public review is a five lane cross section for that street as well as a four lane boulevard design.
Motion by Swanson, supported by Winczewski, to adjourn the meeting.
- Motion Carried (6-0) ?
- Bohn,VanderHoff and Itani absent -
Meeting adjourned at 9: 20pm
Chris Winczewski, Secretary