Kentwood Committees & BoardsAPPROVED MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
Planning Commission (Back to index)
Minutes for 12/11/2007
OF THE KENTWOOD PLANNING COMMISSION
DECEMBER 11, 2007, 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 Young.
C. Roll Call:
Members Present: Betsy Artz, Laurie Sheldon, Dan Holtrop, Nancy McIntyre-Evenocheck, Ed Swanson, Frank VanderHoff, Chris Winczewski and Johngerlyn Young.
Members Absent: 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 the applicants and three citizens.
Motion by Commissioner Winczewski, supported by Commissioner Swanson, to excuse Commissioner Itani from the December 11, 2007 meeting.
- Motion Carried (8-0) ?
- Itani absent -
D. Approval of the Minutes and Findings of Fact
Motion by Commissioner Swanson, supported by Commissioner Holtrop, to approve the Minutes of November 27, 2007 and the Findings of Fact for: Case #5-07 Broadmoor Center ? Site Plan Review for Shopping Center located at 3450 & 3460 28th Street SE Kentwood; Case #14-07- Bretonfield - PUD Phase 1A Site Condominium located at Sable Ridge Drive extended east of Discovery Elementary School; Case #15-07 ? Clark on Keller Lake ? Final Site Plan Review of a PUD (Elderly/Independent Living Facility) located at 2451 Forest Hill Avenue SE; Case #16-07 ? Fox Kia Hyundai Car Dealership- Rezoning to Commercial Planned Unit Development (CPUD) from Community Commercial (C2) and Office (C4); preliminary PUD Site Plan Review; and Special Land Use for an Open Air Business for Fox Kia-Hyundai Car Dealership. Located north of 28th Street half way between East Paris Avenue and Patterson Avenue.
- Motion Carried (8-0) ?
- Itani absent -
E. Approval of the Agenda
Motion by Commissioner VanderHoff, supported by Commissioner Artz, to approve the agenda for the December 11, 2007 meeting.
- Motion Carried (8-0) ?
- Itani 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 #17-07 ? Menard?s-Special Land Use Open Air Business Garden Center/Outside Yard Area and Site Plan Review located north of 28th Street, midway between East Paris Avenue and Patterson Avenue
Planner Golder introduced the request. Menard?s is being proposed in the former AJ water park, located on the north side of 28th Street. The proposed building is 162,000 square feet in area and an overhang in the garden center that is 40,600 square feet in area and a warehouse area of 26,000 square feet. She stated behind Menard?s there is a steep hill and they plan to re-grade the overall site so that it raises the level up where the store will be sited. She stated the finished floor will be 758.5 so when the 27 foot high building will be within 14 feet on the elevation of the top of the hill on the north lot line.
Planner Golder stated with respect to the mechanicals on the top of a proposed building, there is concern with sound that carries very well on the site. She stated commissioners need to make sure that sound nuisance is abated in some way.
Planner Golder stated regarding traffic, they need to improve the taper at the right-in only driveway to a full right turn lane and also add protected left turn phase for southbound traffic out of the Art Van driveway. That will address the poor level of service for southbound left turn lanes at the intersection at peak periods. She stated two options were proposed in the traffic study; one to add the full service driveway into Damon?s and the second option was to do the right in right out on the main driveway that served the former waterpark. She stated staff wants the traffic study to reflect both options to indicate what happens to the level service. She stated there are some level service issues now according to the traffic study; the level of service can get worse with the new traffic that will be added. She suggested that the traffic study be amended to reflect the substitution of the home improvement retailer instead of the projections attributed to general retail usage.
Planner Golder stated the applicant was asked to consider seeking to relocate the Chili?s driveway in order to have it directly align with the proposed east access into the overall site. If that won?t happen they are going to have to keep driveway in place.
Planner Golder stated regarding the special land use standards for open air business, it has to be harmonious and appropriate in appearance with the character of the area. She stated we will need an operations statement from the applicant dealing with traffic, loading, hours of operation, whether they have a loud speaker system, beepers when trucks back up that may have a negative impact on the adjacent residential uses. Golder stated other issues are nuisance issues that relate to an open air business. She suggested a green roof. There are concerns whether or not they are going to plant pine trees to screen the residential neighborhood, how will they screen mechanical equipment, regarding the roof which direction will the blowers be oriented and what kind of sound buffer can they do in the area to prevent that from becoming an issue for the neighbors and also concern about site lighting.
Gary Caffee, Real Estate Attorney with Menard?s was there to represent the request. He reviewed the hours of operation for the three stores currently in the greater Grand Rapids area. He stated the hours are different for each store and adjusted due to customer traffic and the contractors. He stated if there are a larger amount of contractors utilizing the store they adjust the hours in the morning accordingly. He stated there are 10-15 trucks that drop deliveries off on an average day. He stated they will access the store from the main entrance and be directed to the guard shack, no deliveries are allowed in the front. They will then proceed to the back to make turn arounds to the truck receiving area. He stated they separated the guard shack from the garden center. He stated the garden center is used by more customers. If they separate the traffic they have less conflict with any pedestrian/shopping activity and it should minimize the conflict. He stated they will be able to access the garden center through a separate entrance door which is not the general entrance door through the store. He stated the garden center is a separate functioning unit and they have planned parking accordingly. The guard shack entrance will be for customers to use for loading and unloading. Mr. Caffee stated they do not allow deliveries at night; deliveries will be done in the a.m., none before store opening or after the store closes. He stated he will add this to the operations statement. He stated as far as the beepers and fork lifts they don?t utilize beepers they use flashing lights so there won?t be any noise disturbance due to loading and unloading activities. He stated they don?t use loud speakers everything is a headset. He stated he will address the issue of the blowers and HVAC with the store design department to see if it can be directed away from the northern neighbors. He stated they do have screening units around the HVAC units. He stated the HVAC units have to operate on their own and still be maintained. The screening for the units will allow for movement on each side of the units.
Gary Caffe stated they have a list of cash transactions at a normal store to give to their traffic engineer on which to base the traffic projections for a traffic study. He stated they would like to have around 450 parking spaces.
Bill Mast with Visser Brothers and DEG, owner of the site, was also present to represent the request. He stated the site will be surrounded by a fence, they do not have problems with blowing debris. He showed pictures of the store in Holland to give the commissioners a visual of how the proposed Menard?s will look. He stated it will be a decorative iron fence. He stated Menards has utility trailers for sale they park on their site at all times.
Vice Chair Swanson asked why utilize pine trees instead of a berm along the north lot line. Mr. Visser stated there are some existing deciduous trees. Swanson stated berms would make sense to help the line of sight at the back of the property. Mr. Visser stated they might be able to put a berm around some of the larger trees. Vice Chair Swanson stated he also has some concerns about the traffic flow. If you are coming from the west 28th Street, how will you get into the site? Swanson stated he doesn?t think customers will be able to get through because of the stack up of the exiting traffic and it is going to be a problem. Swanson stated they should consider putting another traffic signal in. Swanson stated it will be otherwise tough for the inbound traffic to get in. Swanson stated you can come in the eastern drive on angle but it will wipe out Damon?s parking lot but, it will make it fit a lot better. Swanson stated the applicant needs to show how this is going to work and to come up with a better plan. He stated he would love to see this site utilized, it is just a problem of how to access the site and make it work. Bill Mast stated the drive on the east is not intended to be a high traffic drive. Swanson suggested they go to MDOT and ask for an additional traffic signal at the main drive and allow for full turn movements.
Secretary Winczewski stated that he is concerned about the exterior lighting. Gary Caffe stated the parking lot lighting turns on about 15 minutes before the store opens and the security lights are on all day. Winczewski asked about water run off. Mr. Visser stated the existing agreement is all of the property goes into the detention on the east side of the property, it is a large capacity detention pond because it is deep. Winczewski stated he would be interested to know the total concrete footprint so he can visualize what this is going to look like. Mr. Laffee stated they only have one size store they put in called a P5, which is dimensioned 162 x 340 feet.
Vice Chair Swanson asked if Flowerland would give them an easement. Bill Visser stated they have been unable to make progress with that.
Commissioner VanderHoff stated he is in favor of the project, but the big problem is if they can work out the traffic problem.
Commissioner Sheldon stated she likes the plan, She stated she would like to see the traffic issues worked out. She stated she wants to make sure there are no lighting issues with the neighbors behind them. She stated she would also like to see some of the berms put up to block the neighbors line of sight as well. She stated at the next meeting she would like to see a little more about the HVAC units screening to make sure it is covered.
Commissioner Holtrop stated it seemed strange to have everybody come from the narrow west of the building and all the way around the back to the yard. Mr. Caffe stated he will have them produce a truck turning radius on the plans to verify the sufficiency of maneuvering areas for the large trucks. Holtrop inquired about flipping the garden center to the west side in order to better align the main drive for truck movement within the site. Mr. Caffe stated there are two locations for the garden center but it has something to do with weather and he can find out more about it. Bill Visser stated they have worked with several variations of how to place the store on the site with Menard?s and if the store is moved to the east then the front door will be behind the holding pond and not as proximate with the parking in front. Mr. Visser stated they will explore the options again. Commissioner Holtrop stated he would like clarification on the outside displays. Mr. Caffe stated what they do plan to put out will be shown on the plan. Holtrop suggested they meet with the condos owners. Mr. Laffee stated they will address their concerns when they come to the public hearing. Bill Visser stated they will schedule a meeting. Holtrop stated he thinks the green roof would be a cool idea. Mr. Caffe stated they have done some green roofs and they find it economically infeasible to install.
Commissioner Artz asked about the signage along 28th Street. She stated she would like to see what the signs will look like at the public hearing
Commissioner Young stated she likes the plan and would also like the concerns about the lighting and traffic issues addressed. She also asked about the green roof.
Chair McIntyre-Evenocheck stated the biggest concern is the neighbors and the lights. She stated she is also concerned with the 10-15 trucks making deliveries. There will be a lot of noise and she thinks berms will be important. She stated she would like the issues in the memo addressed as well as the lighting, the truck turning radius, display areas, comparison of the sizes of Menard?s Lowe?s and Home Depot and how the HVAC and blower will be screened and a picture of how the sign will look.
J. New Business
There is no New Business
K. Other Business
1. Commissioners? Comments
McIntyre-Evenocheck congratulated Terry Schweitzer?s parents to have been married for 60 years. She wished everyone Happy Holiday?s
McIntyre-Evenocheck suggested to the commissioners to take the free classes for Citizen Planner online. She also wished everyone HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
2. Staff?s Comments
Schweitzer stated there will be an open house on Friday, December 14, 2007 for volunteers and board members.
Motion by Commissioner VanderHoff, supported by Commissioner Artz, to adjourn the meeting.
- Motion Carried (8-0) ?
- Itani absent -
Meeting adjourned at 8:47p.m.
Chris Winczewski, Secretary