Kentwood Committees & BoardsAPPROVED MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
Planning Commission (Back to index)
Minutes for 04/25/2006
OF THE KENTWOOD PLANNING COMMISSION
APRIL 25, 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 Abed Itani.
C. Roll Call:
Members Present: Betsy Artz, Laurie Sheldon, Dan Holtrop, Abed Itani, Nancy McIntyre-Evenocheck, Ed Swanson, Frank Vander Hoff, and Chris Winczewski.
Members Absent: None
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 80 residents.
Approval of the Minutes of April 11, 2006 and Findings of Fact Case # 13-06 ? KDP Plan Retirement Services Final Site Plan Review for a PUD phase located at 3060 Lake Eastbrook Blvd.
Motion by, Holtrop, supported by Winczewski, to approve the Minutes of April 11, 2006 and the Findings of Fact for: Case # 13-06 ? KDP Plan Retirement Services Final Site Plan Review for a PUD phase located at 3060 Lake Eastbrook Blvd.
- Motion Carried (8-0) ?
D. Approval of the Agenda for April 25, 2006
LSI Financial / Capital Community Credit Union was removed from the agenda under the New Business item.
Motion by, VanderHoff, supported by Artz, to approve the agenda for the April 25, 2006 meeting as amended with the removal of the LSI request from New Business.
- Motion Carried (8-0) ?
E. Acknowledge visitors wishing to speak to non-agenda items.
There was no public comment
F. Old Business
There was no old business.
G. Public Hearing
Case #14-06 ? Breton Gardens Dental Clinic Special Land Use and Site Plan Review located at 4144 Breton Ave. SE.
Sengupta introduced the request stating that this request was seen before the Planning Commission twice. He stated that last time it came before the commission it was a tie vote which equates to a denial. The main concerns at that time were traffic safety and the nature of the use. Sengupta stated that they are back again and there have been some changes to the property: it has been split; it is owned by Dr. May; and a center turn lane has been installed along the Breton Avenue frontage. Sengupta stated that for this parcel only the use proposed is permitted with Special Land Use in a residential districts. Sengupta stated that it is keeping with the Master Plan recommendation which is for residential use. He stated that section 15.02 of the zoning ordinance gives all the standards for special land use applications. Sengupta stated that all the standards are met by the application. Dr. May owns this property and the property to the north. He stated that some of the issues that came up during the work session was traffic. He stated that the situation has improved after the fifth lane has been added to Breton Avenue and also a deceleration lane provided for the Charter school located across the street from this site. Sengupta stated that there should be no conflicting turn movements on that location. Sengupta stated that there have been three other clinics within the City that have been approved as a Special Land Use in a residential zone. He stated that in all the cases those parcels were on major corridors like Breton Avenue. Sengupta stated that the use will maintain the buffer and landscaping for parking as well as the building setback as required by the ordinance. He stated that it would be a 45 foot parking setback from all residential uses and districts, the outermost 20 foot of setback would consist of a landscape buffer and a vertical screen. Sengupta stated that the buffer to the east is provided along the proposed detention pond and not along the boundary for the property so that if there are any other developments take place on the easterly portion of these parcels there will still be buffer. He stated that they have reconfigured the proposed parking lot and now it meets all ordinance standards. Sengupta stated a condition recommended by staff is a future cross access easement along Breton Avenue subject to staff approval. He stated that inter parcel access will be a benefit if the parcel is redeveloped, meaning that there is a substantial change in the use of the property in terms of the structures or improvements that?s on the property (the property to the north of the subject property). Sengupta stated that there were also concerns of a laboratory use on the property; the lab use would have to be accessory to the clinic use meaning that it has to be a part of that operation and be supportive to the clinic use and not an independent use. Sengupta outlined the balance of the conditions and basis of the planning staff recommendation dated April 19, 2006.
Dave Charron, an attorney at Charron and Hannisch, was the applicant?s representative. He stated that the applicant accepts all the conditions that have been proposed by City staff pertaining to the special land use.
Neil Bouman, President of the Design Forum Architects in Grand Rapids also represented the applicant Dr. May and First Companies. Mr. Bouma stated that the building design is in harmony with the residential community. He stated that they are working with shingled roofs and other residential materials that are common to most new residential developments. He stated that they have included fireplaces interior wise and chimneys on the exterior. He stated that there is a front yard with no parking. He stated that landscaping will be surrounding the whole building. He said they have made use of subtle colors and shapes and residential windows. He stated that parking is behind the building so they can mitigate the impact of the parking on the overall area. He stated that they are providing bermed landscaping screens all around the parking lot. He stated that what they are trying to accomplish is to provide a screening of the view of the parking lot on the back side of the building. They are looking for their landscaping and berms to screen it from the residences to the east. He stated that there will be a mixture of evergreens and deciduous plantings but an abundance of evergreens so there is a year round landscape screen. He stated the storm water will be managed to meet or exceed City standards. He stated that their site is lower than all the condominiums. It is a ten foot drop from one to the other so water is coming to them and they are not shedding water toward those condominiums. He shared the photographs that were taken of all the surrounding buildings. He stated that the back of the building is designed to be compatible with the front of the building. He stated that in the positive points for the residents in the area is that noise from traffic on Breton Road will be blocked by the building and landscaping to this site.
Chair McIntyre-Evenocheck opened the public hearing.
Randall Kraker an attorney with Varnum Riddering and Schmidt in Grand Rapids and the Chair of the board of trustees for Holland home was present. He stated that Holland Home owns the property that surrounds the Dental Clinic on about two and a half sides. He stated that Holland home has developed approximately 300 residential units and expects to build another 600. Holland Home opposes what they are doing since they feel it introduces commercial office use in the Breton Ave corridor. He stated that the property in question should be used for residential purposes. He stated that the area is master planned for residential. He said that it is not planned for a commercial office kind of use, the surrounding property is used for residential purposes including a church and a school. He stated that this will be the first kind of non residential use that comes onto Breton Avenue. He stated that if this request is granted it will just be the beginning and it will be impossible to stop non residential office use along the corridor. Mr. Kraker discussed the prior times the request has become the Planning Commission and was turned down. He stated that if the request it granted it will change the existing character of the Breton Avenue. Corridor and the planning commission will be sending a message that commercial office use is okay. McIntrye-Evenocheck indicated to Mr. Kraker that this is not a commercial use. Mr. Kraker stated that it is in their perception. Mr. Kraker stated that he feels there are other areas in the vicinity that are available for this kind of use. He stated that there is as much property that will allow 11 or12 office buildings in the immediate vicinity at reasonable prices. He stated that it will be a mistake for the City to open this kind of office use. He stated there are many other properties that permit this Dental Clinic Office by right and doesn?t need a special land use. He stated that they have submitted information and they are prepared to develop that property for residential purposes. He stated they have made an offer and the offer is still open beyond the meeting. If it is denied they will move forward and purchase that property and devote it to residential purposes and not commercial office purposes.
Brigett Odonell, 3075 Old Kent Road, stated that she is impressed with the beauty of the building being proposed. She stated that she thinks health care is a good thing and there aren?t many dentists in Kentwood. She thinks this is a good move for the City and a good message to send that Kentwood cares about health care and making sure that businesses that come into the area are following the law. She said that the owner is doing everything he can to help Holland Home feel happy with the decision. She wanted to encourage the commissioners to support this project.
Saline Terinova, President of the Breton Valley Neighborhood Association, stated that their neighborhood is located on the East side of Breton between 32nd and 44th Street. She stated that they care very much about the development of the road and how it looks and how it affects their property values. She said that Mr. May cares about how it looks and the types of businesses that improve the City. She stated that some of the homes on Breton Road are beautiful and well manicured, but there are many that are hiding behind old over grown shrubs and have an extremely unkempt appearance. As proposed, the Breton Garden Dental Clinic will provide a vital service to the citizens in an environment that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. She said the building plan that the May?s have shown are the kinds of buildings that the neighbors would like to see there. She stated that the proposed building will be an attractive addition to Breton Road. She said that it will be a beautifully professionally maintained facility. She stated that she sees no interruption to the traffic flow or how this business will affect the neighborhood or City in any negative way. She said that it is exciting to see a development that is in walking distance. She stated that her neighborhood has about 76 homes and about 270 people who like to walk and ride their bikes in Kentwood. She said they appreciate businesses that are accessible by walking. She stated that Dr. May?s and Mallory have shown true leadership in Kentwood. The association would like to see them continue their business here. It is a family friendly dental office that helps this City by providing jobs and health care.
Isabelle Babb, who lives in Breton Terrace, stated that she just moved here from Lansing. She stated she is 86 years old and a patient of Dr. May. She stated that since there are no bus services to take them shopping or other appointments she was happy to find out that Dr. May had property on Breton and planning to build a new building. She stated that it would be a short walk for her and many others that live in Breton Terrace. She stated that she would appreciate having a doctor?s office to walk to. She stated that his building plan shows a beautiful fully landscaped facility that looks much like a home and she hopes the commission will see fit to allow his plans. She stated that he is an excellent dentist and would be a great asset to the community.
Lucille Klaus, 2486 Sandcherry Dr., stated that she will be deeply affected by the dental clinic in her yard. She said she is the resident committee person for her street and they unanimously protest and resist and have signed petitions to prohibit this dental office. She said when they decided to pay for their two hundred thousand dollar plus homes they asked if property in front of them was residential. They called the City to find out and the City said it was residential. She stated that they would not have put that kind of money into their property if it weren?t. She said that they were told that it is a Master Plan in effect in Kentwood. She asked the Commissioners if we are backing down on the master plan and taking their trust that they had in the city and not live up to their expectations. She stated that they live in a beautiful well maintained campus and they have great security they don?t hear, see or move as well as they us to and pay three to four thousand dollars in property taxes. She said one thing that has been a problem is the driveway out of their property; it is hard to turn left onto Breton. She stated that if they allow this dental clinic there will be more traffic. She said that they will have to put a traffic light at the area where they make the left hand turn. She stated that she loves where she lives and is happy to be part of Holland home. She asked the commission to think of them when they make the decision that they built and moved there trusting the city to live up to the master plan and to the residential area of the community.
Bob Israels submitted a petition with 167 signatures in opposition of the Dental Clinic.
Donald Geelhoed lives at 2500 Breton Woods and stated the he has experience as a Planner having served on the first Planning Commission after the City of Kentwood became a Charter City. He stated the clinics are permitted as a special land use, he stated that since Breton Avenue abuts is recently changed five lane street he thinks it will no longer be ideal for a single family home. He stated that the subject parcel is classified commercial on the assessment roll. He thinks that a dental clinic at the location will be a much appreciated addition for the residents of Breton Woods. He stated that it appears to be a good use of the property.
Kevin Ohara, resident of 2625 Rum Creek, stated that he is a patient of Dr. May?s. He stated the Dr. May is a good neighbor and thinks his expansion a good idea. He stated that for the aged, health and dental care is important. He stated that he is impressed by the business attitude, they are hard working. He stated as he looks at Holland Home he believes the neighborhood is made up of that same value hardwork and strong business concerns. He supports the clinic and would like them to be able to move forward.
Renee Cook the State of Michigan Jaycees Senator and past president of the Kentwood Jaycees stated that she has been a City resident for over 20 years and has known Dr. Heather and Dr. Dave May for over fifteen years. She stated that they have volunteered and are true leaders of the community. She stated that she would like the commission to allow them to exercise their right to build a new dental office.
Sandra Hansen Dode, a current resident of Lowell at 2985 Bewell SE, stated she was a resident of Kentwood up until a year ago. She is a registered dental hygienist and a registered dental assist and has been in practice over 30 years. She stated that they have grown from one employee to over ten in about five years. She stated that they volunteer their time with the West Michigan Dental Association adult dental needs program and several others. She stated that she would like for the planning commission to consider letting them build so that they can continue to service the community.
Bob Israels, Vice Chair for Holland Home, stated that he wants this to remain a residential use. He stated that Holland Home has made an offer to Dr. May including additional property that can be utilized in a correct zone. He stated that they do not feel that is the proper use for that property. He stated that their property will drain onto the Holland Home property if they do not have the berm to the south. He wanted to know why a plan is made if it is not going to be utilized and why should it be changed when there is opportunity to fulfill what Dr. May wants in many other areas close by. He stated that those things need to be taken into consideration as public officials. He stated that he has a petition with residents who are in opposition; he stated that this change will alter what was originally designed.
Motion by VanderHoff, Supported by Artz, to close the public hearing.
-Motion Carried 7-1-
- Holtrop opposed -
Chair McIntyre-Evenocheck reminded everyone that this is not a rezoning it is a special land use and also a site plan review.
Winczewski stated that there are reasons why we have special land uses in residential zones and looking at the area and what is there he stated this special land use fits the need for what is in residential zones. He stated that he doesn?t have a problem with the proposal as far as special land uses are concerned. As far as the site plan he thinks they took extra care in doing it. He stated that it is beautifully done and a lot of consideration to what the neighbors are going to see and he is in favor of the site plan.
Itani asked if dental services are provided on the Holland Home site, Mr. Israels stated that they have the availability of them coming into their on site clinic. Itani stated that the dental clinic goes to what is in the master plan and the master plan allows for special use. He stated that the doctor owns the land and he thinks that he can develop it. He wanted to know what the future plans are for the northern parcel. Mr. Charron stated that there are no future plans. Itani stated that this is a nice plan and it fits with the surroundings and having a huge elderly community behind it; he thinks it will be a walkable distance to get to if they need dental care. He thinks it is a great plan and it fits in and he doesn?t have any problems with approving it.
VanderHoff stated that he thinks the proposed use is consistent with the master plan and the zoning district. He thinks they have met all the concerns from the planning department. He stated that it is a very good looking place and they have bent over backwards to do what we wanted them to do to get approved. He stated that traffic is no longer a problem; he is totally in favor of it. He stated that Holland Home has had several opportunities to buy this parcel in the last several years and didn?t do it and he doesn?t understand what their big concern is. He stated that maybe they are concerned with the competition because they have dentists coming on their own site. He stated he wouldn?t be surprised if Dr. May?s get residents from Holland Home as his patients. He thinks it is a great looking plan and he is in favor of it.
Holtrop stated that he is in favor of staying with the master plan and keeping it residential and not in favor of the special land use.
Sheldon stated that she thinks it should stay residential. She stated that they have done a good job to make it look beautiful like a residential home. She stated she also appreciates the comments of Holland Home residents stating what they are going to see from the back side. She stated that even if the barriers are there they are going to be some things that they will see. She stated that she strongly believes that this property can be used as residential as it states in the master plan and she is not in favor of the project.
Artz stated that she looks at the site plan and almost wishes it could be her neighbor. She thinks it will be a well kept property and can?t find any negative for the neighbors and she is in favor of it.
Swanson stated that he thinks the site plan is beautiful. He asked if the property to the north would be developed as business, would Dr. May agree to close the driveway for that property off of Breton and use a shared access for that location? Dr. May stated he absolutely would. Swanson asked if it is approved he would like for that to be a condition for the approval. He stated that it is very residential in nature and he believes that it should remain that way. He stated that there is commercial to the south the Walgreens site, the Family Fare, but there is nothing north of that. He believes if it is permitted at that location there will be great pressure on the property adjacent to it and other properties to the north for more office or businesses and it is going to be tough to avoid that if it is allowed to start at that location. He said that they have held the line in the past and believes that we should continue to hold that line. He said that he intends to vote against the project.
McIntyre-Evenocheck stated she drove the area as well as viewed the site from across the street. She stated that she believes that the site plan is excellent and it is above and beyond what is normally asked for in a site plan. She thinks this is an excellent piece of property. She stated that she is in favor of the project.
Motion by Swanson, supported by Holtrop, to recommend denial of the Special Land Use Breton Gardens Dental Clinic as described in Case 14-06. Denial is based on viewing the clinic as a business in a residential area that will change the character of the area.
- Motion failed (3-5) ?
- Itani, VanderHoff, Winczewski, McIntyre-Evenocheck, Artz dissenting -
Motion by Winczewski, supported by VanderHoff, to grant conditional approval of the special land use Breton Gardens Dental Clinic as describes in case #14-06. Approval is conditioned on conditions 1-2 and basis points 1-6 of Sengupta?s memo dated April 19, 2006 supplementing condition 2 to include the Planning Commission?s reliance on Dr. May?s representation that he or his successor of the property to the north would take whatever measures were necessary to ensure that if that property is developed for commercial purposes, that he or his successor would close the driveway for that property on Breton and use a shared access with this parcel and the applicant?s agreement to allow shared access with the parcel to the north.
- Motion Carried (5-3) ?
- Holtrop, Sheldon and Swanson dissenting-
Motion by Winczewski, supported by Artz, to grant conditional approval of the site plan for Breton Gardens Dental Clinic as described in Case #14-06 and per site plan dated April 17, 2006. Approval is conditioned on conditions 1-6 and basis points 1-7 of Sengupta?s memo dated April 19, 2006.
Holtrop wanted to know if there was a way to move the building back a little further from Breton because it sticks out further than all the residences on the street that are near it.
Winczewski withdrew his motion
VanderHoff stated that it would be fine if it were moved back 10-15 feet and that it would look better from the road but he doesn?t know how we can hold them to a different standard than what we hold the residences along Breton. He stated that he doesn?t think that makes sense.
Sheldon asked if we know what the difference is between the property adjacent to it and the current site plan. Sengupta stated that the home that is immediately north is setback approximately 70 feet from the right of way. Holtrop stated that there is enough room on the property to move back 10, 15, or even 30 feet. Mr. Bouman stated that there is enough room that they could move back. Swanson stated that he believes that eventually all the properties will be redeveloped and redesigned and they will be at the 35 foot setback. Swanson stated that he believes that it will set the standards for future development to the north and he doesn?t mind the 35 feet. He does agree that it looks out of place right now, but he thinks it won?t look out of place five years from now.
Motion by Winczewski, supported by Artz, to grant conditional approval of the site plan for Breton Gardens Dental Clinic as described in Case #14-06 and per site plan dated April 17, 2006. Approval is conditioned on the following conditions 1-6 and basis points 1-7 in Sengupta?s memo dated April 19, 2006.
- Motion Carried (5-3)-
- Holtrop, Sheldon and Swanson dissenting -
H. Work Session
There was no work session.
I. New Business
There was no new business.
J. Other Business
1. Commissioners? Comments
McIntyre-Evenocheck stated that she would like to see the minutes and agenda back on the website for the Planning Commission meetings.
McIntyre-Evenocheck also talked about the minutes from the City Commission regarding adding a condition on Deaver?s Meadows PUD to indicate that the planning commission shall hear appeals to disputes between the Bailey?s Grove Association and the developers of Deavers Meadow regarding acceptable building elevations and floor plans for the developer.
Winczewski thanked the citizens for coming out. He thanked the Planning Commission for their congratulations regarding the birth of his daughter.
2. Staff?s Comments
Motion by VanHoff, supported by Artz, to adjourn the meeting.
- Motion Carried (8-0) ?
Meeting adjourned at 8:50pm
Chris Winczewski, Secretary