Kentwood Committees & BoardsAPPROVED MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
Planning Commission (Back to index)
Minutes for 04/26/2005
OF THE KENTWOOD PLANNING COMMISSION
APRIL 26, 2005, 7:30 P.M.
A. Chair Bohn called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
B. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Commissioner Howard VandenToorn.
C. Roll Call:
Members Present: Betsy Artz, Maggie Bohn, Todd Gray, Dan Holtrop, Abed Itani, Nancy McIntyre-Evenocheck, Ed Swanson, Howard VandenToorn and Frank Vander Hoff
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 Mary Faulkner, the applicants, the press and six citizens.
D. Approval of the Minutes and Findings of Fact
Motion by Swanson, supported by Itani, to approve the Minutes of April 12, 2005, and the Findings of Fact for: Case #17-05 Miscellaneous Zoning Ordinance Amendments.
- Motion Carried (9-0) ?
E. Approval of the Agenda
Motion by Swanson, supported by Itani, to approve the agenda for the April 26, 2005, meeting.
- Motion Carried (9-0) ?
F. Acknowledge visitors wishing to speak to non-agenda items.
There was no public comment.
G. Old Business
Case #14-05 Huisman Builders Apartments, Site Plan Review of a 12-unit Apartment Complex, located at 2688 and 2700-32nd Street (Public Hearing adjourned until May 10, 2005)
Sengupta explained that the applicant is not present at this time. Chair Bohn postponed this work session until later in the meeting.
H. Public Hearing
Case #18-05 Radisson Hotel Addition, Site Plan Review, located at 3333 ? 28th Street (Northwest corner of 28th Street and the East Beltline)
Pung explained that this request is for a new freestanding 10,000 square foot retail building along with a retail and restaurant addition to the existing hotel. The retail building is to be located on the east side of the hotel and the addition is on the south side of the hotel. Use and parking variances were granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals to permit the development as it is proposed. He reviewed the site plan and the conditions in his staff recommendation for conditional approval.
A representative from the Radisson Hotel was present and thanked the City for the support of this project.
Chair Bohn opened the public hearing. There was no public comment.
Motion by VanderHoff, supported by Itani, to close the public hearing.
- Motion Carried (9-0-) ?
VanderHoff stated that it appears to meet all of the requirements and it would be an improvement on the corner.
Itani asked if the entrance from the East Beltline was a one-way entrance. Mr. Todd Olin, Land Development Solutions, explained that it is bi-directional. He did some research and found that it is not limited to truck traffic and is for ingress and egress to the East Beltline.
McIntyre-Evenocheck stated that she had raised concerns at the work session that the drive on the East Beltline will be used for ingress and egress particularly for the drive-through coffee shop area. She stated that another concern had to do with the dumpster and seepage of oil into the storm sewer and how it will be monitored. She was concerned that we could not enforce this condition. She was glad to see the corner improved and utilized.
VandenToorn questioned condition 7 and asked what would happen if MDOT did not authorize any landscaping other than grass in the clear vision area. Pung explained that the landscaping is required if MDOT approves it, if they do not approve it then they do not have to put in the landscaping. Mr. Olin stated that there is existing landscaping along the right-of-way line and the parking lot and they are proposing to add lower shrubs along the clear vision area.
VandenToorn stated asked if the pit for the dumpster will have a grease trap in it. Mr. Olin stated that they do not have it plumbed to the grease trap right now. What they have done in the past is at the first basin outside of the trench drain they turn the pipe down and the water sits in there and the grease and oils float higher than the actual outlet and it acts the same way as a grease trap. McIntyre-Evenocheck stated that on page 2 item 6 of the city engineer?s memo talks about the oil water separator. Mr. Olin stated that it was at the suggestion of the city engineer that they install the pipes such that they are turned down.
Attorney Sluggett stated that one of the proposed conditions is compliance with the city engineer?s memo. He stated that in the memo the city engineer is making a recommendation not a condition that there should be an oil water separator. If it is something the Commission feels should be required rather than recommended he suggested that it be made clear.
Motion by Swanson, supported by McIntyre-Evenocheck, to conditionally approve the site plan dated April 19, 2005, as described in Case #18-05 Radisson Hotel Addition. Approval is conditioned on conditions 1 through 9 and basis points 1 through 6 in Pung?s memo dated 4-21-05, adding condition 10 Referencing the city engineer?s memo dated March 17, 2005, item 6, ?Requiring one oil water separator....? rather ?We recommend that at least one?.
VandenToorn made the following amendment to the motion: ?The applicant to be required to put in a grease trap that would hold the oil so that it does not have any opportunity to be released down stream, a sealed system?. McIntyre-Evenocheck supported the motion.
Bohn asked Mr. Olin if there was a cost difference between which way they go. Mr. Olin stated that they are proposing to put in a grease trap in. They are agreeing to do what the city engineer is recommending. He stated that it is a sealed system and is a grease trap and is maintained. VandenToorn stated that he wants something that is closed that would prevent all oil and grease from rising to the surface and spreading out on to the parking lot or getting into the storm sewer. Swanson stated that he understood that what the city engineer is recommending does that.
VandenToorn called for the motion. Holtrop supported VandenToorn?s call for the motion.
- Motion Carried (7-2)
- Itani and VanderHoff dissenting ?
Bohn stated that next they would vote on VandenToorn?s amendment to the original motion requiring the grease trap. VandenToorn stated that he wanted something that would prevent grease and oil from contaminating surface water or underground water. He did not want it flowing down the parking lot or in the storm system. Bohn stated that we would expect the city engineer to specify exactly what will do it.
Attorney Sluggett suggested the following wording for the amendment: ?Installation of a closed system to prevent oil and grease from leaving the site and entering the storm water system acceptable to the city engineer.? VandenToorn and McIntyre-Evenocheck agreed with the wording suggested by Attorney Sluggett.
- Motion Carried (9-0) ?
Bohn stated that they would now vote on the amended motion.
- Motion Carried (9-0) ?
I. Work Session
Case #19-05 60th Street Office Rezoning, Rezoning of 1.41 acres from R-2 Single and Two Family Residential to C-4 Office, located on the North side of 60th Street, East of Division Avenue (501 60th Street)
Pung explained that this request is to rezone 1.4 acres from R-2 to C-4 Office and is located on the north side of 60th Street east of Pine Vista Drive. The property is between two new roads as proposed as part of the Clear Pointe residential subdivision that was recently approved by the City. He reviewed the items in his staff report. Pung stated that the applicant is voluntarily willing to limit the uses permitted on the property as part of the rezoning through a ?contract? zoning. The applicant is limiting the uses to: financial institutions (no banks), clinics, general office, veterinarian office, and emergency medical center. Pung explained that in the C-4 Office clinics and general office are permitted use so site plan review would be done at the staff level. Financial institutions and emergency medical centers are special land use so they would be reviewed by the Planning Commission. Veterinarian office is not a permitted use in the C-4 so they would have to obtain a use variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals. He noted that the current Master Plan recommendation for this area is low density residential development for this site.
John Den Hartigh, 2 J?s Enterprises, the applicant, and Max Scholz, his representative were both present.
Mr. Scholz stated that the property currently has a vacant building that was the old Wood Radio tower transmitting building with an existing curb cut and there are two other prospective duplex lots with potential curb cuts. He stated that they looked at the C-4 zoning and there were a lot of uses that they did not want, such as a restaurant. That is when the city staff informed them of the contract zoning option where they could limit the uses in the C-4 zoning. If the zoning is approved it would eliminate the existing curb cut to the old Wood Radio building and it would eliminate the two curb cuts for the duplex lots. The new access points would be off both of the proposed streets. He stated that the office building would be professionally landscaped and maintained and hours are typically 8 or 9 to 5 p.m. He felt that the office use would be better than duplexes that would be built otherwise.
Holtrop stated that his concern is that it would not be a two-story building in front of the houses otherwise it is a good use on 60th Street with the buffering and landscaping. He asked Mr. Scholz if he was involved in the development to the north. Mr. Scholz indicated that he and his partner are developing the residential development to the north. Holtrop stated that Mr. Scholz has an interest in a good buffer between lots 35 and 36.
Schweitzer explained that the zoning ordinance has a height limitation of 30 feet if you have commercial adjacent to residential. Holtrop stated that it would still be bigger than the houses behind it. Mr. Scholz stated that there is a larger rear yard setback adjacent to residential.
VandenToorn stated that we just updated our Master Plan and we need to be careful amending the Master Plan or doing any rezoning. He asked Pung for clarification on the types of uses. Pung explained that a veterinarian office would come under animal hospital. VandenToorn stated that we allow certain uses within the residential area because we feel they are compatible to the residential area. He stated that general office use would have no relationship to the residential uses. VandenToorn stated that we need to look at this as a revision of the Master Plan and he did not see anything except for general office that would not be allowed as a special land use in the residential use.
Mr. Scholz stated that right now the only use that is not allowed under the C-4 is the veterinary office with or without a special land use. Right now the way it is zoned they could come in and build an office building for clinics only as a special land use. He stated that by expanding to the other uses they are not deviating from the Master Plan at all. Whether it is general office or clinic each would be housed in the same type of office building. He stated that he did not see how it would deviate from the zoning now except they would not be required for a special land use for the general office uses with the exception of veterinary office. The reason for the rezoning request is that it would allow other uses other than a clinic such as general office or a mortgage banker.
Swanson asked how many buildings are being proposed for this property. Mr. Scholz stated that to meet all of the city requirements they could put in a building of up to 8,000 square feet. He stated that it would be in the center of the subject property and the curb cuts would be on the new proposed streets and parking would be on both sides of the building. All of the curb cuts on 60th Street would be eliminated. Swanson stated that the key benefit to doing this is eliminating the access points on 60th Street and going with access from the new streets. He stated that he has some concerns on the height of the building and asked if it would be two stories. Mr. Scholz stated that when you get into a two-story building you have to address the barrier-free requirements and need and elevator. Swanson stated that a one-story would be more attractive.
Mr. DeHartigh stated that the intent would be a one-story building. Swanson asked if he would be willing to make it a condition of the rezoning. Mr. DeHartigh stated that had no intention of going to a two-story the way the land is and he could live with that condition.
McIntyre-Evenocheck stated that she felt that the property could be used as zoned. She stated that since they are doing the development to the north why not continue the single family houses down to 60th Street. She was not convinced that this needs to be rezoned to any office use. If you look east and west of this property there are no office uses to the east until you get to Kalamazoo Avenue and to the west Division Avenue.
Gray stated that clearly the current setup lends itself to a nice facelift in its current condition with the old Wood building and the fencing. He stated that residential zoning is still what he would like to see in this area. It would be in competition with the commercial area at 60th Street and Kalamazoo Avenue which is already competing with Gaines Township businesses.
Itani agreed with VandenToorn that we just approved the Master Plan. He also agreed with McIntyre-Evenocheck that duplexes could access off of the side streets instead of accessing off of 60th Street. Residential uses are best for this area.
VanderHoff agreed that there appears to be no reason to rezone the property as the Master Plan has just been adopted. It is a residential area and they could make good use of the residential uses in that area.
Bohn stated that we spent a lot of time on the Master Plan and this piece of land is surrounded both in Kentwood and Gaines Township by residential uses. She agreed with some careful planning you could put in duplexes that could come out on the new streets. There is the possibility of special land uses for some of this site. The contract zoning is an interesting concept that has just come into being. She stated that one of her concerns is that if we changed the zoning and office buildings go in there even though you have limited the uses, she could see someone coming back in five years from now trying to expand the range of uses.
Mr. Scholz stated that the ordinance does allow an office building as a special land use. He stated that if they do not get the curb cuts they will probably come back in with a special land use for the existing building and there will be two duplexes on the other lots so there will be three curb cuts on 60th Street.
Bohn asked Sengupta if the applicants for Case #14-05 Huisman Builders were present. Sengupta stated that he tried to call on his cell phone and the applicant did not respond. He stated that he could give a review of what has happened since the last work session. Bohn suggested going ahead with the next case. VandenToorn stated that if staff cannot show that it is due to a miscommunication he suggested taking it off the agenda was the easiest way possible and if the applicant wants to come back then he can pay another application fee. It was noted that the public hearing has been tabled until the May 10, 2005, meeting. Bohn stated that we need a work session before we can have a public hearing.
Motion by VandenToorn, supported by Itani to deny Case #14-05 Huisman Builders in the absence of any communication to us by staff that there was miscommunication of when the work session was scheduled.
Sengupta stated that he did not believe this motion was appropriate since the public hearing date has already been established and any such motion would have to be on the public hearing date. Attorney Sluggett suggested that Sengupta contact the applicant and have the applicant agree to adjourn the public hearing until the second meeting in May which would allow them to go ahead and open the public hearing on May 10 and treat it as a work session with the understanding that the public hearing will be held on May 24.
VandenToorn withdrew his motion.
Case #20-05 Paris Meadows Condominiums, Final Site Plan Review of a PUD, located on the West side of East Paris Avenue, 1/3 mile South of 52nd Street
Golder stated that this is a final site plan review for Paris Meadows Condominiums. The preliminary plan was approved a few months ago and nothing has changed since that time. It is on 15.05 acres and they are proposing 61 units.
Duane Gunnink, the applicant, was present and had nothing to add.
McIntyre-Evenocheck stated that she was pleased that they did not change the architectural features.
Gray asked what type of buffering is planned for the transplant buffer between this development and Bailey?s Grove. Mr.Gunnink stated that they are using existing trees on the site and moving them to the north and south lot line. He stated that there is a little bit of a gap on the west lot line and they are going to transplant some of the pine trees in that area also.
There were no other comments.
Case #21-05 Master Plan Amendments to Section 2, 13, 22, 32 and 33 and the Strategic Implementation Plan
Schweitzer explained that at the last stages of the Master Plan process there was a public hearing and there were a number of residents who offered comments that warranted consideration of a refinement or modification of the plan that was under consideration. The draft plan was adopted but the Commission asked staff to subsequently come back with recommendations to allow for a reconsideration of these additional comments received at the public hearing. Schweitzer reviewed the proposed changes as outlined in his staff report as follows:
Section 2 Future Land Use Plan ? Convert all Calvin property in Kentwood to Park-Open Space classification.
Section 13 Text - It would be more desirable, as suggested in the adopted text, to aggregate the corner property with the rest of the Patterson Farm to a Planned Unit Development to allow the corner to remain as a natural gateway and accommodate more intense medium density residential and office use on the portion of the farm fronting Patterson Avenue out of the sensitive floodplain and wetland area.
Section 13 Future land Use Plan ? Extend the Conservation-Oriented Development designation to include the block of existing residential properties along the 36th Street frontage. This map change is more reflective of the analysis found within the Section 13 text.
Section 22 Text ? Given the significant potential of the Breton and 44th Street sub area it is important that the Section 22 text specifically call out the desire to establish an identity corner. More so, the need to aggregate the various property interests needs to be clearly stated as a pre-condition to any rezoning in order to coordinate use, access and architecture. No change to the map is recommended
Section 32 Text - It is in the best interests of the community to promote the success of the retail development and preserve the high quality apartment development on the northwest corner of 60th Street and Kalamazoo Avenue. Improved access away from the intersection along Kalamazoo Avenue is important for the success of the retail area as well as the safety of the roadway. The apartment development, Sutton Club Apartments, desires to maintain, if not enhance, its privacy and natural setting. No change to the map is recommended
Section 33 Text - The triangular property at the northeast corner of 60th Street and Kalamazoo Avenue does not have to be designated park-open space. Preservation of a portion of the existing vegetation at this intersection to create an attractive gateway into the community can be accomplished by aggregating the various properties under a Planned Unit Development.
Section 33 Map ? The commercial land use designation should be extended to the corner of the northeast quadrant of 60th Street and Kalamazoo Avenue
Strategic Implementation Plan - The adopted Strategic Implementation Plan should be modified and supplemented to include action items that apply to the overall city. Resurrection of the Open Space Committee, review of the City?s sidewalk system and interconnection policies and the review and consideration of the Interurban Transit Partnership (ITP) Comprehensive Operation Analysis (COA) are just a few examples of the actions that should be specified on a city-wide basis in order to implement the plan.
Schweitzer stated that the former Master Plan had a section devoted to the redevelopment study of the 44th Street and Division Avenue and also has a wireless communication plan to deal with cell towers. He stated that staff feels that these should still are part of the Master Plan for the community. He explained that they will be included within the recommendation to amend the adopted plan.
Section 13 ? Swanson questioned the designation of commercial at the southwest corner of 28th Street and Patterson Avenue (Patterson Farm) and the balance going to Conservation Oriented Development. Schweitzer stated that he checked with the City Assessor and the corner is assessed at a high value representative of 28th Street frontage development. The corner parcel is about six acres and of the six acres only one acre is upland area. He stated that the text change for Section 13 is to acknowledge that they do have a certain degree of right to develop it under the current zoning. VandenToorn stated that he was not sure that this property is a developable piece of property. You might be able to develop it by putting in a bridge at a great expense but that lowers the value of the property. Swanson agreed with VandenToorn. McIntyre-Evenocheck stated that this is addressed in the text portion of the Master Plan. She asked for a clarification of a conservation oriented development. Schweitzer stated that with this property there are some natural features that are limitations on the normal development of the property but also opportunities for some added value that would be to the benefit of the city as well as the benefit of the property owners to retain. He stated that you would come up with a development concept that retains those but allows for a clustering of the development that allows for a more intense use in the upland area.
Itani questioned what value would this parcel bring to the City. Schweitzer stated that in retaining the corner area you are providing a more pleasing entry into the community. He explained that the master plan recommendation is that you would take the intensity of the development that would have been allowed there under the current zoning and transfer that intensity to a more appropriate location such as further south along the Patterson Avenue frontage. He stated that in preserving the natural areas they are not compromised by the adjacent development. Itani stated that he felt that MDOT would deny them access off of 28th Street since 180 feet is not a lot of frontage. He agreed with VandenToorn that it would be costly to develop this property.
Swanson asked for a clarification from Schweitzer whether he is suggesting that we are allowing them to have the commercial development area usable as a part somewhere else on the bigger parcel. He did not see anything going on the corner. Schweitzer stated that he felt that is what the recommendation is for Section 13 that there is some value to that and use it somewhere else on the property.
Bohn stated that when we met with the residents along the north side of 36th Street they wanted to keep the industrial classification that they currently have. Schweitzer stated that there were a number that were not happy to have the industrial classification changed but there were also a number of them that were intent to continue living in that area and felt it was a good residential environment. You are not going to satisfy everyone and this was an attempt to reach the mid-ground given the varying interests there.
Bohn questioned the zoning in Section 2 where it talks about the land that may be suitable for an extension of Cook Valley Estates. Schweitzer stated that it is medium density residential. Bohn asked if Cook Valley Estates would fit in with that land use classification. Schweitzer stated that it is senior-based attached housing so the type of attached housing would be of a density of the four to eight unit range.
J. New Business
Motion by McIntyre-Evenocheck, supported by Holtrop, to set the public hearing date of May 24, 2005 for: Case #22-05 Appletree Christian Learning Center, Site Plan Review and Special Land Use ? Day Care, located at 732 52nd Street (south side of 52nd Street, just west of Eastern Avenue); Case #23-05 Quail Meadows, Rezoning of 51 acres from R1-A & R1-B Single Family Residential to RPUD-1 High Density Residential Planned Unit Development, and Preliminary Site Plan Review of a PUD, located on the North side of 52nd Street between Windy Ridge Estates and Jefferson Farms and extended North to Woodbury Commons Plat.
- Motion Carried (9-0) ?
K. Other Business
1. Case #13-04 Kentwood Congregation of Jehovoah?s Witnesses ? Request for one-year extension of Site Plan and Special Land Use
McIntyre-Evenocheck stated that since she abstained from this case during the work session and public hearing she would like to be excused from the consideration of the extension.
Pung stated that the request is to extend the site plan for one year which is allowed under the zoning ordinance. According to the letter from David Kiechle, Kentwood Congregation of Jehovah?s Witnesses, the issues had to do with the funding for their construction loan and construction plans. Pung explained that this request is for a one-year extension of the site plan but they will have to reapply for the special land use through the Planning Commission.
Motion by Swanson, supported by Itani, to grant a one-year extension of the site plan for Case #13-04 Kentwood Congregation of Jehovoah?s Witnesses.
- Motion Carried (7-1) ?
VandenToorn dissenting ?
- McIntyre-Evenocheck abstained ?
2. Division Avenue Rezoning 52nd to 54th Streets
Schweitzer explained that staff received a letter from Rick Postema, Vice President of Richard Postema Associates, requesting that the City initiate a rezoning of some property fronting on Division Avenue between 52nd Street and 54th Street from I-1 Light Industrial to C-2 Community Commercial. The request to sponsor the rezoning was on the premise that the rezoning would actually implement the recommendations of the recently adopted Master Plan. Schweitzer stated that Mr. Postema only has control over a portion of the parcels in this area.
Mr. Postema explained that he is being retained by B & R Auto and the purpose is to expand their location. The expansion would require a variance or rezoning to commercial would allow them to do the expansion without a variance. Since the whole area is master planned for commercial and rather than rezone only a portion of the area, it was suggested that the City may want to consider rezoning the area to commercial. He presented two letters in support of the rezoning, one was from the owners of the Citgo Service Station and the other was from Donald Joyner, owner of the buildings housing the karate school.
After a brief discussion, it was decided that Mr. Postema should meet with the Land Use & Zoning Subcommittee (LUZ) and have them look at it. Mr. Postema was instructed to try and contact the other property owners to get some positive responses and come before the LUZ Committee on May 24.
3. Zoning Ordinance Text Amendments ? Special Land Uses and Subdivision Real Estate Signs
Schweitzer explained that a series of text amendments were reviewed by the Planning Commission and reviewed by the City Commission Ordinance Committee this evening. He stated that we discovered that with the case this evening for a site plan extension of the church we do not have a similar extension allowance for special land use. He stated that we are looking at the same allowance be given for special land use. He stated that we recently discovered that the real estate signs for large subdivisions had a limited allowance for sign display ? six square feet. There was a more extensive provision several years ago and somehow was not included in the Zoning Ordinance update. He stated that staff is looking for a work session and public hearing for those changes and then they would go forward with the other changes to the City Commission for review.
After a brief discussion on the size of the signs and the special land use extensions it was decided to go forward with the request to set the public hearing to consider the amendments.
Motion by VandenToorn, supported by Holtrop, to set the public hearing date of May 24, 2005, for Case #17-05 Miscellaneous Zoning Ordinance Amendments ? Special Land Uses and Subdivision Real Estate Signs.
- Motion Carried (9-0) ?
4. Commissioners? Comments
McIntyre-Evenocheck asked for an update on Thomson?s Auto Repair. Golder stated that it looks about the same or worse. She stated that we sent a certified letter to Mr. Thomson indicating that if he did not clean it up by last Friday then he would have to go before the Commission for consideration of revoking his special land use. He never picked it up at the post office. Golder stated that she went out to speak to him and indicated that we would want him before the commission at the next meeting.
McIntyre-Evenocheck stated that the political signs are starting to show up near the public right-of-way.
VandenToorn stated that for the rezoning on 60th Street a few more curb cuts should not create any additional hazard because on the other side of the street there are a number of curb cuts. He did not know where office uses had drives coming off of residential streets. Swanson stated that it is not uncommon to have the curb cuts on the residential streets.
VandenToorn stated that he would absent at the next meeting since he will be attending his nephew?s graduation.
The commissioners welcomed Betsy Artz to the Commission.
Bohn reminded the commissioners to contact Schweitzer about the Growing Communities Conference on June 9.
5. Staff?s Comments
No comments from staff.
Motion by VanderHoff, supported by McIntyre-Evenocheck, to adjourn the meeting.
- Motion Carried (9-0) ?
Meeting adjourned at 9:35 p.m.
Nancy McIntyre-Evenocheck, Secretary