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Minutes - June 7, 2016

HOLLAND CHARTER TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION

Regular Meeting

June 7, 2016

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Marion Hoeve at 7:00 p.m.

Present:   Chairman Marion Hoeve, Vice-Chairman/Secretary Jack Vander Meulen and Members Ken Bosma, Dennis Gebben, and La Verne Johnson. Also present were Planners Meghann Reynolds and Corey Broersma and Recording Secretary Amy LeVesque.

Absent:   None.

Mr. Hoeve began the meeting by asking Commissioners and members of the audience to join him in a moment of silence to honor Planning Commission members Willis Driesenga and Arlan Hossink who recently passed away.

The minutes of the regular meeting of May 10, 2016 were approved with one correction and the minutes of the special meeting of May 18, 2016 were approved as written.

Mr. Hoeve explained the meeting and hearing procedures for the assembled audience.

Mr. Hoeve next opened the public hearing to consider a special use request submitted by Larry Kooiker on behalf of LandPro Company, LLC. The applicant is requesting permission for an outdoor storage area to be comprised of multiple storage containers to be used to house maintenance equipment. The applicant also wishes to modify the previous special use approval granted September 1, 2015, which allowed the construction and operation of an electric power plant consisting of a solar array. Petitioner is requesting relief from the approved landscaping requirements. The property is located at 4211 Hallacy Drive in an I-2 General Industrial zone. Present for this request was Mr. Larry Kooiker.

Mr. Kooiker explained that the outdoor storage area he is requesting would be located behind and to the north of the existing building. He also explained that there are two shipping containers currently being used for storage located south of the existing building near the line. He asked to be relieved from landscaping requirements along Hallacy Drive since natural growth in the drainage ditch on the east side of the property provides a landscaping buffer. He also stated that installing shrubs would make it difficult to access the solar panels, which are located along the north property line and also along Hallacy Drive, north of the driveway.

Mr. Bosma commented that growth in the drain would prevent the drain from functioning properly and that the Ottawa County Water Resources Commission (OCWRC) should keep the drain clear.

Mr. Vander Meulen commented that growth in the drain would not exist year round and therefore could not be considered landscaping.

Mr. Kooiker asked why it is necessary to hide the solar panels since the industrial zoning of the property allows industrial-type apparatus.

Ms. Reynolds explained that there is an ordinance that requires grass and weeds to be maintained to 12 inches high, meaning that the natural growth near the drain should be mown.

Mr. Vander Meulen explained that low profile shrubs six feet tall or less would meet requirements and that landscaping would not need to be elaborate.

Mr. Bosma explained that there are restrictive covenants in an industrial park and that appearance of the property is the Township’s concern.

Mr. Kooiker stated that the drain has only been cleaned once in 11 years and that natural growth covers the ditch 90% of the time. He also stated that neighbors have not complained about the appearance of the property.

Mr. Vander Meulen explained that the property owner is required to maintain the area from the right of way to the solar panels.

Ms. Reynolds further explained that the drain is an easement and that the property owner is required to mow accessible areas to the edge of the property, but is not required to maintain the drain itself.

Mr. Kooiker commented that there is not enough space between the panels and potential landscaping to allow the small tractor used to access the solar panels to turn around. He proposed substituting a fence in place of the required landscaping.

Mr. Broersma commented that the special use approval of the solar array placed the panels approximately 37 feet from the drain easement. He also commented that the edge of the existing asphalt pavement may be on the drain easement line.

Mr. Kooiker explained that the OCWRC allowed him a ten foot easement for placement of his driveway.

Ms. Reynolds explained that Mr. Kooiker would need permission from the OCWRC to plant shrubs on the easement.

Mr. Hoeve commented that 37 feet is plenty of space to plant shrubs.

Mr. Vander Meulen also suggested substituting a fence, similar in appearance to the fences along the driveway, for the required landscaping and commented that the fence would look nice year round.

Turning the discussion to the outdoor storage request, Mr. Vander Meulen commented that he would like to see more details included in the plan for outdoor storage and that he does not like the idea of shipping containers used for storage.

Mr. Kooiker explained that the shipping containers have been used for the past two to three years to store materials used by high school age employees who are not allowed in industrial areas of the building. He explained that the proposed outdoor storage area would be located behind and to the north of the proposed new building. He also explained that the area west of the proposed new building has a surface of asphalt millings and that semi-trucks would use this area as a turn around. He stated that semis would park behind the building, which is 600 to 700 feet back from the road.

Ms. Reynolds explained that although shipping containers are being used as accessory buildings, they do not meet the standards or the building requirements for accessory buildings. She commented that more and more shipping containers are being used in commercial areas and that the appearance of the containers is a concern. She explained that the Code Enforcement Department is currently pursuing property owners of some of the more visible containers located in commercial areas. She also explained that the Planning Commission’s decision on the Hallacy Drive property will set a precedence regarding whether an architectural variance would be required for shipping containers. She explained that if shipping containers are approved as permanent storage structures, it would then be necessary to regulate them as accessory buildings.

Mr. Kooiker explained that his business involves stamping, machining and welding and that he would like permission to store large pieces of steel outdoors.

Ms. Reynolds explained that there is no problem with parking semi-trucks on the asphalt millings surface since the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) granted a variance to the applicant at their meeting on May 24, 2016. She explained that the ZBA’s approval was contingent upon receiving special use approval.

Mr. Vander Meulen commented that since shipping containers cannot be used for storage, an accessory building that meets requirements should be built.

Mr. Kooiker explained that he is asking for necessary latitude so that his business can function. He explained that the outdoor storage area would be located in back of his building near the semi parking lot and that storage would be for one to two months for items waiting to ship. He agreed to get rid of the shipping containers on the property.

Mr. Bosma explained that he would like to see more detail on the outdoor storage plan and suggesting tabling the outdoor storage request. The Planners commented that they would also require a landscaping plan for the outdoor storage area and also that the number and designation of parking spaces for semi-trucks should be included.

Commissions decided to table the request for outdoor storage until a revised plan is submitted. Mr. Hoeve agreed to meet with the applicant and Staff to assist with the outdoor storage plan.

There was no one present who wished to ask questions or object to the request.           

**   Mr. Bosma moved and Mr. Johnson supported the motion to close the public hearing. Motion carried.

**   Mr. Gebben moved and Mr. Johnson supported the motion to modify the former special use approval for the solar array to eliminate the stipulation for landscaping along Hallacy Drive and to stipulate the installation of a fence, similar in style and design as the existing fence along the driveway, along Hallacy Drive, on the property located at 4211 Hallacy Drive, parcel number 70-16-05-300-048, based upon the Planning Commission’s findings as reflected in the minutes for the reasons set forth in the minutes. Motion carried.

Next, Mr. Hoeve opened the public hearing to consider a special use request submitted by David Dirkse on behalf of Dirkse Capital Management for property located at 425 Douglas Avenue in the Douglas Plaza Planned Unit Development (PUD). The applicant wishes to operate a sales and leasing of new and used motor vehicles and recreational equipment business, including repair of vehicles, and is planning to display vehicles on the property. Present for this request was Mr. David Dirkse.

Mr. Dirkse explained that he is requesting permission to display and sell used vehicles on his property located at the corner of Douglas Avenue and Aniline Avenue. He also explained that the area designated for 18 deferred parking spaces along Douglas Avenue and two additional deferred parking spaces in the front lot are not paved, but that the rest of the lot is paved. He stated that there are 14 parking spaces total on the property with 11 spaces on the south side (front) of the building and four on the north side of the building (rear). He stated that one of the parking spaces in the lot that fronts on Douglas Avenue is barrier free and that he plans to use the remaining ten spaces in the front lot to display ten cars. He explained that in the rear lot, there are three spaces for customer parking and one employee space. Mr. Dirkse explained that he is the only employee and that he could park inside the building since there is an overhead door for access.

In response to a comment from Mr. Hoeve, Mr. Dirkse stated that vehicles for sale will not be parked on grass, which is not allowed by ordinance.

Mr. Broersma expressed concern that the parking plan would not meet State requirements since there are only three parking spaces for customers, and the State requires four spaces or 640 square feet of customer parking.

Mr. Gebben commented that it might be possible to park three vehicles on the cement pad on the western part of the property.

Mr. Broersma explained that parking spaces in that area would not be allowed since they are blocked in. He also stated that parking spaces in front of the overhead doors are also not allowed.

Ms. Reynolds explained that the type of parking should be designated on the plan; it should designate display parking, employee parking, and customer parking as well as barrier free parking. She explained that Township parking requirements are different than State parking requirements.

Mr. Broersma suggested paving five parking spaces in the area designed for deferred parking which would allow for better vehicle display since they are closer to Douglas Avenue.

Mr. Dirkse stated that he believes that the 14 parking spaces in his plan satisfy State requirements and that paving additional spaces is not needed at this time.

Mr. Vander Meulen commented that special use permission remains with the property and that the Planning Commission is also concerned with the use of the property in the future.

In response to Mr. Bosma’s comment that that the application lists a wide range of types of vehicles, Mr. Dirkse explained that he only plans to sell cars and agreed to limit his request to car sales only. Mr. Dirkse also agreed to stipulate that there will be no auto repairs performed on the property and explained that he has an agreement with an auto repair shop to work on his vehicles offsite. He explained that he would like permission to wash and detail cars for sale indoors and stated that he has a drain with a three-stage grease interceptor, as required. He explained that the inside space of his building is currently used for his own personal storage.

There was no one present who wished to ask questions or object to the request.  

**   Mr. Bosma moved and Mr. Johnson supported the motion to close the public hearing. Motion carried.

Commissioners next reviewed the special use considerations:

  1. The size, nature and character of the proposed use;
  2. The proximity of the proposed use to adjoining properties;
  3. The parking facilities provided for the proposed use;
  4. Any hazard which would be occasioned by the proposed use;
  5. Any environmental effect of the proposed use such as noise, smoke, dust, vibration or other similar effect; and
  6. The physical appearance of the proposed use and its compatibility with adjoining land uses and land uses in the surrounding neighborhood.

**   Mr. Gebben moved and Mr. Bosma supported the motion to grant the special use request to display and sell up to ten automobiles on the premises, with the stipulation that no repairs are allowed on the premises and also that washing and detailing automobiles for sale is allowed with the stipulation that work must be performed indoors, based on the Planning Commission’s findings as reflected in the minutes for the reasons set forth in the minutes. Motion carried.

Mr. Hoeve then opened the public hearing for a special use request for permission to operate a private recreational facility, more specifically an indoor multi-purpose sports court, on property located at 4565 – 124th Avenue. The prospective business, to be called Lakeshore Athletic Center, would be located on property in an A Agricultural zone. Present for this request were Mr. Derek Weenum and Mr. Jeff Bergstrom of Gen 1 Architectural Group.

Mr. Weenum explained that the request is for permission to construct and operate a multi-court facility to be used for basketball and volleyball. He also explained that the building would be used for training purposes, league use, sports camps and tournaments. He stated that the applicants hope to attract players from Muskegon, Grand Haven, Holland and other areas along the US-31 corridor.

Mr. Bosma informed the applicants that upcoming changes in drainage requirements may affect the proposed site and suggested that they contact the OCWRC for more information.

Mr. Vander Meulen commented that the proposed use would complement The Edge Ice Arena, located nearby.

In response to a question from Mr. Gebben, Ms. Reynolds explained that the ice rink’s property is also zoned A Agricultural and that special use permission was granted for the property.

In response to questions from Ms. Reynolds, Mr. Weenum explained that the existing home on the property would be demolished and that plans are to locate the facility on the ten acres of the parcel closest to the Ransom Street frontage

In response to a question from Mr. Broersma, Mr. Bergstrom stated that the current parking lot is designed to accommodate parking for current needs and also to be adequate for any future expansion of the building.

Ms. Reynolds explained that parking lot count, lighting plan, and landscaping plan will be reviewed at site plan review. She stated that elevation and materials details also must be provided for Staff at site plan review as well.

There was no one present who wished to ask questions or object to the request.          

**   Mr. Johnson moved and Mr. Vander Meueln supported the motion to close the public hearing. Motion carried.

Commissioners next reviewed these special use considerations:

  1. The necessity for the proposed use for the surrounding neighborhood;
  2. The proximity of the proposed use to adjoining property, specifically including proximity to occupied dwellings;
  3. The size, nature and character of the proposed use;
  4. Potential traffic congestion which might be occasioned by the proposed use;
  5. Parking facilities to be provided for the proposed use;
  6. The effect of the proposed use on adjoining properties and the surrounding neighborhood; and
  7. All retail sales and concessions shall be operated entirely within an enclosed building. The incidental retail sales shall not be advertised on any freestanding or wall sign on the lot or parcel to which the special use approval applies.

**   Mr. Bosma moved and Mr. Johnson supported the motion to grant the request for a private recreational facility at 4565 - 124th Avenue, parcel number 70-16-04-100-008, consisting of a 20,250 square foot building to house multiple sports courts, the request also includes the ability to expand the building by doubling its size, with the stipulation that approval be received from the Ottawa County Water Resources Commission and the Ottawa County Road Commission, and that the site plan is approved by Staff; based upon the Planning Commission’s findings, as reflected in the minutes for the reasons set forth in the minutes. Motion carried.

Mr. Hoeve next opened the public hearing to consider an amendment to the final development plan for the 470 & 471 Howard Avenue Planned PUD, submitted by Kelly Cavanaugh on behalf of ME Yacht Restoration. The proposed amendment would allow the addition of 3.3 acres of property located at 470 Howard Avenue, parcel number 70-16-30-150-031, to the PUD and also allow the installation of a boat ramp to be used only in conjunction with the PUD. Present for this request were Ms. Kelly Cavanaugh of Nederveld, Inc. and Mr. Mike Evenhouse of ME Yacht Restoration.

Ms. Cavanaugh explained that the purpose of amending the PUD is to add property located at 470 Howard Avenue which would bring the total acreage of the PUD to 15.5 acres, and also to add a boat ramp to be used by ME Yacht Restoration. She also explained that the applicants are working with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on meeting their requirements for the ramp. She went on to explain that the request is for a boat ramp only and not a marina and that there will be no permanent moorings, although they may wish to add a temporary dock at some point in the future. She stated that the boat ramp will have an elevation drop of approximately 25 feet from Howard Avenue to the launch and that the ramp will be constructed of scored concrete running at a 6% slope. She also explained that most of the activity at the boat ramp will be in the spring to launch boats around Memorial Day and also after Labor Day to take boats out of the water.

In response to a question from Mr. Hoeve, Ms. Cavanaugh explained that technicians will travel to large boats in need of repair and that there will be no boats anchored near the ramp.

Ms. Cavanaugh explained that they are working to lift restrictions on the western two acres of the parcel at 470 Howard Avenue with the goal of developing it for residential use. She commented that the property was previously residential and that there is an existing driveway on the property.

In response to a question from Mr. Gebben about developing the parcel as a separate area in the PUD with specified uses, Ms. Cavanaugh explained that the boat ramp will be used for transport only and that there will be no repairs or parking allowed on the parcel.

Ms. Reynolds explained that the boat ramp use is an accessory use to the existing PUD and not a new area with a new use. She further explained that the boat ramp will be the only improvements being made, and the applicants would have to request a PUD amendment if they wish to add uses to the property.

Ms. Cavanaugh explained that the property along with the boat ramp cannot be sold, since it is tied to the PUD. She also explained that existing vegetation on the east and proposed vegetation to the west meets greenbelt requirements.

Mr. Evenhouse explained that a portion of the boat ramp will be set into the existing slope approximately eight feet in order to achieve the desired slope, therefore much of the pavement will not be visible from the east or west.

Ms. Reynolds explained that it is the Planning Commission responsibility to provide clear direction regarding landscaping since the applicants are not required to submit a site plan for review. She also explained that a greenbelt is required for any parking areas or drives that are adjacent to or face residential properties.  

Mr. Evenhouse explained that he does not wish to install a greenbelt on the west since he hopes to develop this area of the property for residential use in the future. He also stated that he hopes to develop the eastern part of the property as well, when environmental restrictions are lifted. He also explained that he has to make a decision on purchasing additional property to the west by November 1, 2016.

Mr. Vander Meulen commented that moving the location of the driveway would make the land more usable in the future.

Ms. Cavanaugh explained that the location of existing utilities and the need to share a stormwater sewer pipe helped determine the location of the driveway and that there is no lighting planned for the driveway.

In response to a question from Mr. Broersma, Mr. Evenhouse explained that a future temporary dock with a single pier would be located to the southwest, away from the neighboring condominiums.

In response to questions from Ms. Reynolds, Ms. Cavanaugh explained that the applicants are working with the OCRC on aligning driveways from the PUD to the driveway to the ramp, that the existing building on the property will stay for the present, and that they plan to split the parcel. She also stated that they have applied to the DEQ for permission to work in a floodplain.

There was no one present who wished to ask questions or object to the request.          

**   Mr. Vander Meulen moved and Mr. Gebben supported the motion to close the public hearing. Motion carried.

Next, Commissioners reviewed the following PUD amendment considerations:

  1. Whether the proposed planned unit development is consistent with and promotes the intent and purpose of this ordinance.
  2. Whether the proposed planned unit development is compatible with adjacent uses of land, the natural environment and the capacities of public services and facilities affected by the planned unit development.
  3. Whether the planned unit development is consistent with the public health, safety and welfare of the township.
  4. Whether the proposed project provides safe and convenient ingress/egress to the property.
  5. Whether the proposed project deviates from the provisions of this ordinance which is otherwise applicable for the zoning district in which the PUD is located.
  6. Whether the proposed project complies with the applicable provisions of the ordinance (e.g. parking, site plan review, signage)

**   Mr. Bosma moved and Mr. Johnson supported the motion to approve the proposed amendment to the 470 & 471 Howard Avenue PUD, which consists of the addition of a boat ramp based upon the Planning Commission’s findings as reflected in the minutes for the reasons set forth in the minutes. Staff is instructed to request that the Township’s attorney prepare a favorable report. Motion carried.

Ms. Reynolds explained that the applicants for the Legends View Association PUD asked that the review of their resolution and report be postponed until the July 12, 2016 meeting.

Next, Mr. Hoeve turned Commissioners’ attention to a preliminary plat review of the Hickorywoods Farm PUD, Number 4, located near the northeast corner of 120th Avenue and Greenley Street. Present for this request was Ms. Kelly Cavanaugh of Nederveld, Inc.

Ms. Cavanaugh explained that final plat approval for Phase 3 was received in 2015 and the applicants are now requesting tentative preliminary plat approval for Hickorywoods Farm Phase 4. She also explained that a PUD Amendment was also granted in 2015 which allowed some flexibility in phasing language, a build out of 18 lots per phase, and also slight lots lines changes in Phase 4. She explained that there will be 43 lots in Phase 4 and that no amendment will be requested. She stated that the detention pond will be constructed during Phase 4.

Ms. Cavanaugh stated that developers do not plan a driveway onto Quincy Street in Phase 4 since the sanitary sewer ends short of Quincy Street and also due to grade changes in that area. She explained that when Phase 4 is completed, developers plan to continue building phases on the side of the development closer to Greenley Street. She also explained that developers are planning a connection to Quincy Street in the future but that they believe that the current two driveways, one onto 120th Avenue and one onto Greenley Street, are sufficient through the completion of Phase 4.

Ms. Reynolds expressed concern that traffic problems could be created with the addition of 43 units in Phase 4 along with approximately 20 units in Phase 3 unless a driveway to Quincy Street is constructed.

Ms. Cavanaugh stated that there are concerns about sight line issues for exiting traffic on a driveway to Quincy Street due to grade changes. Mr. Bosma suggested moving the location of a potential driveway onto Quincy Street to the east, closer to lots 155 and 156. Mr. Broersma commented that the grade of the property actually rises toward the east.

Mr. Vander Meulen commented that a condition of granting the PUD amendment for Phase 3 was that developers build an access road onto Quincy Street before commencing construction on the next phase. Mr. Johnson agreed that the access road to Quincy Street should be built now.

Ms. Cavanaugh explained that developers would not wish to construct a driveway onto Quincy Street until the sanity sewer in that area is extended to Quincy Street since they do not want to have to tear the driveway up in order to complete the sewer in the future. She explained that she understands the option of limiting the distance from the intersection to the cul de sac to 800 feet.

Mr. Norm Nykamp of 10684 West Stockbridge Court and a member of the Township Board of Trustees, commented that he is concerned that if developers do not construct a driveway onto Quincy Street now, it may be several years until more phases on the north side of the development are constructed. .

Ms. Cavanaugh stated that she plans to discuss Commissioners’ comments and suggestions with developers.

Commissioners decided to table the preliminary plat request for Hickorywood Farms No. 4 until a revised plan is submitted.

Ms. Reynolds explained that applicants for the special use request submitted by D & M Investment Properties, LLC for property located at 11024 Chicago Drive that was tabled at the January 5, 2016 meeting were not in attendance. Commissioners commented that the plans that were recently resubmitted did not have the content and detail requested by Staff. Ms. Reynolds explained that the property owner and operators of the landscaping business on the property have been informed that they are operating out of compliance. Commissioners determined that the special use request would remain tabled until the applicants submit a revised plan.

Mr. Hoeve next opened the floor to public comments.
There was no one present who wished to speak.

Mr. Hoeve then closed the public comment section of the meeting.

Mr. Hoeve reminded Commissioners that their next regular meeting will be held July 12, 2016.

The meeting adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Amy LeVesque, Recording Secretary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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