Minutes - July 12, 2016
HOLLAND CHARTER TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION
July 12, 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, La Verne Johnson, and Norm Nykamp. Also present was Planner Corey Broersma and Recording Secretary Amy LeVesque.
Absent: Planner Meghann Reynolds.
The minutes of the regular meeting of June 7, 2016 were approved with one correction.
Mr. Hoeve explained the meeting and hearing procedures for the assembled audience.
Mr. Hoeve next opened the public hearing to consider a rezoning request for property located at 10244 Perry Street, parcel number 70-16-25-100-010, submitted by Ken and Kathy Riemersma. The applicants are requesting that the property, which is located in an A Agricultural zone, be rezoned to R-1 Single Family Residential. There is an existing house on the 4.9 acre parcel. Present for this request was Mr. Ken Riemersma.
Mr. Riemersma explained that he is requesting to rezone the parcel since he plans to split the property. He stated that he plans to keep the existing home on an approximately one acre parcel (parcel B) and wishes to split off two 1.8 acre parcels, one to the east (parcel C) and one to the west (parcel A) of the existing home.
Mr. Gebben commented that roads and sewer are stubbed at the eastern property line of the condominium development to the west of the property.
Mr. Bosma suggested that Mr. Riemersma reserve an easement in parcel A so that utilities, especially sewer, can be provided to parcel B and parcel C. He suggested that Mr. Riemersma contact Public Works Director Tom Van Der Kolk for more information.
Mr. Cecil Helmink of 1506 Castlemaine Drive explained that he lives across the street from the property and that he does not have any issues with allowing the rezoning. He commented that it is important to reserve sewer rights.
Mr. Marc Marcus of 1508 Castlemaine Drive commented that he also has no problem with rezoning the property. He expressed concern about maintaining the drain located on the southwest corner of the property since there have been issues with flooding in the past. He stated that he believes that fill that will likely be brought in to the property will result in changes in runoff patterns and questioned whether the drain is large enough to handle potential additional runoff. He recommended that builders construct basements on the property at ground level.
Mr. Riemersma commented that there is a ditch that flows in an easterly direction along the south property line of the current parcel.
** Mr. Nykamp moved and Mr. Vander Meulen supported the motion to close the public hearing. Motion carried.
Commissioners next reviewed the four rezoning considerations:
- Does this request result in spot zoning?
- Is the request consistent with the surrounding property?
- Is the requested rezoning consistent with the general trend of future building and population growth in the area?
- Is the requested rezoning consistent with the Future Land Use Map/Master Plan?
Mr. Broersma commented that the rezoning is consistent with the Future Land Use map.
** Mr. Bosma moved and Mr. Gebben supported the motion to recommend to the Township Board that the proposed rezoning of 10244 Perry Street, parcel no. 70-16-25-100-010, from A Agricultural to R-1 Single Family Residential be approved, as reflected in the minutes for the reasons set forth in the minutes. Motion carried.
Next, Mr. Hoeve opened the public hearing to consider an amendment to the final development plan for the Macatawa Legends Planned Unit Development (PUD), located on New Holland Street east of 144th Avenue. The proposed amendment involves changes to the areas “The Villas” and “Independent Living Community” and would result in a decrease in overall density from 492 units to 485 units. The four phase plan for The Villas is to construct 90 single family ranch-style homes. The Independent Living Community proposal is for 19 four-unit ranch-style buildings totaling 76 units. The proposed amendment plan also includes a master sidewalk plan for the entire development. Present for this request was Mr. Mick McGraw of Eastbrook Homes.
Mr. McGraw explained that the number of units in the entire development has decreased from original plans by 25 to 30 units. He expects that the number of units in future phases will probably decrease as well. He explained that he hopes to build Phase 1 of The Villas, in the northernmost portion of development, before November of 2016. He also explained that plans for The Villas are for short cul-de-sacs, allowing for fewer roads as well as increased parking and more open space. He went on to explain that the detached units with yards maintained by the association are designed to appeal to buyers who are fifty-plus years of age. He explained that units will feature landscaped berms to create plenty of privacy between the single family homes and that approximately half of the homes will be zero step units.
In response to a question from Mr. Bosma, Mr. Broersma stated that the original lot size for The Villas was 62 feet by 132 feet and that garages were proposed to be located in the rear yards.
Mr. McGraw commented that lots sizes have been increased to allow for front loaded garages.
In response to a question from Mr. Vander Meulen, Mr. McGraw stated that plans are to construct a connection to 136th through The Fairways by June 1, 2017.
In response to a question from Mr. Vander Meulen, Mr. Bosma explained that there is a City of Wyoming water main along New Holland Street and also along Ransom Street.
Mr. Broersma provided the following staff comments, some of which were included in the staff Report dated July 8, 2016:
Page 5, Item 1. Final Plans: Suggestion that the applicant submit small scale plans for The Fairways (Phase 2 and Phase 3) including: building envelopes, setbacks and/or building separation, grading, utility and exterior lighting plans. Staff suggests that the north phase of The Fairways be completed prior to the south phase.
Page 6, Item 3. Driveway Length: Suggestion that minimum driveway length be specified for The Villas and The Fairways; recommendation of 30 feet minimum from edge of street or from sidewalk (when sidewalks are present) to structure as in other duplex and multi-unit condominium areas in the development.
In response to a question from Mr. Bosma, Mr. McGraw explained that driveways in The Villas will be 30 feet from the paved edge to the face of the garage and that all roads in The Villas are private.
Page 4, Item 5., Regarding whether the PUD deviates from provisions of the underlying zoning district, Mr. Gebben commented that since the PUD alters the underlying zone to accommodate the use of the property, Commissioners should pay more attention to the zoning of the property in the future.
Mr. Broersma agreed that the underlying Agriculture (A) zoning for the Macatawa Legends PUD property should have been considered for density, but that the golf course and large amount of greenspace in the development are compatible with the Agricultural zone.
Mr. McGraw explained that he plans to omit the first four lots on the north side of the road that connects with 136th Avenue in The Fairways, which is planned for as an area of single family homes. He went on to explain that he plans to expand an existing building that houses golf course equipment which will allow the elimination of other small storage buildings located in other areas of the development. He explained that he plans to increase landscaping in the area north of The Fairways to hide the expanded storage building from view.
Mr. Broersma commented that final submission plans should show how equipment stored in the building will access the golf course.
Page 5, Item 2. Sidewalk Plan: Staff recommends that a three-armed pedestrian connection path be added through greenspace areas of The Villas, allowing residents to access each cul-de-sac and street in The Villas.
Mr. McGraw explained he does not wish to construct the proposed three-armed pedestrian path through The Villas since residents usually do not wish to have a pedestrian path adjacent to the side yard of their property.
Mr. Broersma explained that Macatawa Legends wishes to be a walkable community and that the three-armed sidewalk would go through a common area that no individual has the right to control access of.
Mr. Bosma commented that he does not feel that the three-armed sidewalk in The Villas is necessary since residents can walk on streets in their neighborhood. Mr. Hoeve agreed.
Mr. Gebben commented that sidewalks next to side yards would diminish privacy to the homes’ residents.
Staff also recommends that a sidewalk be constructed southeast of The Villas east and west of Grand Point, from the tennis courts west and continuing along the south side of the connector road to 136th Avenue. Mr. McGraw stated that he does not wish to construct the section of proposed sidewalk in the area directly to the south of The Villas since residents like the landscaping that was recently installed in this area. It was agreed to install the sidewalk as recommended and the sidewalk north of the connector road leading from the round-a-bout to 136th Avenue being omitted.
Staff suggested that developers consider adding a sidewalk from Georgian Bay Drive, east of Club 10, that would extend to the cul-de-sac of the undeveloped Club Side area. Mr. McGraw explained that residents in this area do not want a pedestrian path located there and have asked him not to construct one. It was agreed that this area be further examined when plans for the northwest portion of the development are solidified.
It was also agreed that sidewalks in the northwest portion of the property will be further examined as the plans for the homes in this area are likely to change.
Staff recommends that the access point to Quincy Park be relocated to the southwest corner of The Fairways to allow an existing bridge to be used to cross the stream in Quincy Park. Upgrades will need to be made to the bridge and this connection also must be approved in the Quincy Park master plan.
Mr. McGraw stated that he prefers the suggested access point to Quincy Park to the previous access point which was located further to the west.
Staff also suggested that developers consider adding sidewalks on the north side of the northernmost road in The Traditions, continuing east to connect to sidewalks in Phase 1 of The Villas.
Mr. Vander Muelen stated that he did not believe that the sidewalk needs to extend as far west as Staff suggests, since the road dead ends to the west in The Traditions.
Mr. McGraw explained that he would prefer to wait and consider sidewalks in The Traditions when it is developed. He stated that he will construct all of the proposed sidewalks if the Planning Commission requires them.
Mr. McGraw next drew Commissioners’ attention to a handout describing proposed side yard requirements for The Villas. He explained that he is asking for 5 foot side yards, which are smaller than required for residential zones, to give developers flexibility with design. He also explained that each unit is custom-designed with features such as fireplaces which affect the footprint of the structure. He went on to explain that, in most cases, resulting side yards would actually be larger than the requested minimum requirement. He stated that he is not requesting a change in the 7 foot side yard requirement for The Fairways.
Mr. Vander Muelen commented that he believes that the requested side yards for The Villas are too narrow.
Mr. McGraw explained that the side yard setbacks he is requesting would result in no less than ten feet between units in The Villas. He explained that, in most cases, side yards would be more than five feet.
Mr. Broersma commented that Commissioners had recently approved seven foot side yards for the Legends View Association PUD, which will be built nearby. He explained that narrow side yards might be acceptable for lots with rear garages, which was the original design for units in The Villas, but that Mr. McGraw has changed the design of homes in The Villas to front loaded garages. He suggested that lots in The Villas be widened to 64 feet if five foot side yards are to be allowed.
Mr. Vander Muelen commented that this was a good compromise.
Mr. McGraw also explained that he would like to build the connector road to 136th Avenue and also the road that will extend into the southern portion of The Fairways as public roads. He also plans to apply to the Ottawa County Road Commission (OCRC) for public road status for Georgian Bay Drive, which is currently private, in order to reduce association dues for current and future residents.
In response to a question from Mr. Gebben, Mr. McGraw stated that Georgian Bay Drive is 26 feet wide, which could be a problem in meeting OCRC requirements for public roads.
Regarding the connector road to 136th Avenue, Mr. Bosma commented that the OCRC usually will not allow roads longer than 800 feet to end in a cul-de-sac.
Mr. McGraw explained that he hopes that the OCRC will approve the connector road to 136th Avenue as a public road since there is a second means of egress to access it.
There was no one present who wished to ask questions or speak to the request.
** Mr. Johnson moved and Mr. Vander Muelen supported the motion to close the public hearing. Motion carried.
Next, Commissioners reviewed the following PUD amendment considerations:
- Whether the proposed planned unit development is consistent with and promotes the intent and purpose of this ordinance.
- 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.
- Whether the planned unit development is consistent with the public health, safety and welfare of the township.
- Whether the proposed project provides safe and convenient ingress/egress to the property.
- 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.
- Whether the proposed project complies with the applicable provisions of the ordinance (e.g. parking, site plan review, signage)
** Mr. Vander Muelen moved and Mr. Gebben supported the motion to approve the Macatawa Legends PUD amendment to alter the area known as The Villas and Independent Living Community, also to formalize the phasing for The Villas and The Fairways with the stipulation that staff sidewalk recommendations be included on the final development plan with the exception of the three-armed sidewalk in The Villas, the connection east of Club 10, and that lots in The Villas are at least 64 feet wide with side yard setbacks of five feet to be allowed, based upon the Planning Commission’s findings as reflected in the minutes for the reasons set forth in the minutes. The Planning Commission requests that staff instruct the Township Attorney to prepare a favorable report. Motion carried.
Next, Mr. Hoeve introduced a review of an amendment to the final development plan and resolution and report for the 470 & 471 Howard Avenue PUD. The applicants are requesting that 3.3 acres of property located at 470 Howard Avenue, parcel number 70-16-30-150-031, be added to the PUD and are also requesting permission to construct a boat ramp on the newly added parcel to be used only in conjunction with the PUD. Present for this request was Ms. Kelly Cavanaugh of Nederveld, Inc.
Ms. Cavanaugh explained that aerial views and a site evaluation were used to determine that existing trees and vegetation on the northeastern property line are adequate for screening. She also explained that their study showed that trees and undergrowth along the southwestern property line are also adequate, but that the developer is willing to add landscaping, if required. She explained that the property owner is hoping to receive permission to develop a parcel to the south for residential use, which would involve the construction of a driveway, and does not wish to install landscaping that would need to be removed.
Mr. Bosma reminded Commissioners that the property owner stated at the June 7, 2016, Planning Commission meeting that he would make a decision by November 1, 2016 on purchasing the adjacent property to the southwest. He suggested that the property owner be required to meet landscaping requirements on the southwestern property line of 470 Douglas Avenue by November 1, 2016 if he does not purchase the adjacent land.
Ms. Cavanaugh agreed to submit a plan showing existing landscaping and potential additional landscaping. She commented that the boat ramp would not be visible to neighbors due to the severe elevation grade to the water’s edge.
Mr. Hoeve commented that the driveway and ramp are not required to be screened.
In response to an observation from Mr. Vander Muelen, Ms. Cavanaugh explained that developers are working with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality on requirements for the ramp.
Mr. Broersma commented that if a commercial structure is proposed for the property in the future, landscaping requirements would be considered at site plan review prior to the issuance of a building permit. He explained that site plan reviews are required for construction on commercial and industrial property and that landscaping requirements are in place to ensure screening to any neighboring residential property.
** Mr. Bosma moved and Mr. Johnson supported the motion to approve the final development plan and resolution and report for 470 & 471 Howard Avenue PUD, with the stipulation that landscaping requirements on the southwestern property line must be met by November 1, 2016 if the property owner does not purchase adjacent property to the southwest by that date. The resolution and report to be forwarded to the Township Board with a recommendation for final approval. Motion carried.
Next, Mr. Hoeve turned Commissioner’s attention to a preliminary plat review of Hickorywoods Farm No. 4, located near the northeast corner of 120th Avenue and Greenly Street. The request was tabled by the Planning Commission at its June 7, 2016 meeting, pending the submission of a revised plan. Present for this request was Ms. Kelly Cavanaugh of Nederveld, Inc.
Ms. Cavanaugh explained that Commissioners’ requests have resulted in the resubmitted plans being changed to include a connection to Quincy Street as well as a sanitary sewer connection along Quincy Street as part of this phase. She explained that developers are waiting to receive Preliminary Plat approval from the Township before submitting their plan to other agencies for review.
Mr. Bosma commented that he believes that developers would likely need to connect to the water main which also runs along Quincy Street in that area.
In response to a question from Mr. Vander Meulen, Mr. Broersma explained that Phase 3 is in progress with building permits being issued. He also explained that the park, which was required to be built as part of Phase 3, is currently just designated greenspace and that it will be up to the residential association to determine the use of the park.
Mr. Bosma commented that utilities and roadways in Phase 3 have been completed, which constitutes substantial completion and which would allow the developer to move into phase 4 once the plat is approved.
Mr. Broersma commented that he is satisfied that sufficient progress has been made on Phase 3 to allow developers to proceed with plat development for Phase 4. He added that the connector road to Quincy Street will allow another access point for construction equipment which will benefit the existing community.
** Mr. Bosma moved and Mr. Johnson supported the motion to approve the preliminary plat for Hickorywood Farm No. 4 and forward the request to the Township Board with a recommendation of final approval for the preliminary plat. Motion carried.
Mr. Hoeve then closed the public comment section of the meeting.
In other business, Mr. Hoeve introduced a review of a 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. The applicants have requested permission to operate an off-street parking lot to park trucks and trailers and also permission to operate a building supply and equipment establishment. More specifically, there is a landscaping company currently operating on the property that wishes to park trucks and landscaping equipment as well as store mulch and dirt on the property. Present for this request was Mr. Mike Lemmen.
Mr. Lemmen explained that he is the property manager and that he was in attendance to represent the owner of the property. He also explained that the resubmitted plan has been revised and that the employee parking area has been moved so that it is now behind a fence and that trucks and trailers will be parked on a crushed concrete surface and not on grass.
Mr. Broersma explained that there is also an auto sales business operating with special use permission on the same lot. He described the fence that Mr. Lemmen talked about as being made up of weighted buckets, posts, and chain or ribbon. He explained that a 24 foot wide aisle would be required between employee parking spaces and truck parking spaces.
Mr. Lemmen stated that he would eliminate two truck and trailer spaces from the plan to allow for an adequate drive aisle.
In response to a question from Mr. Gebben, Mr. Lemmen explained that the auto sales business displays vehicles along the Chicago Drive frontage and has an office in the large building on the southeast portion of the property. He explained that the small building to the west of the large building is used for storage and that both businesses use the only driveway.
In response to a question from Mr. Gebben, Mr. Lemmen explained that there are no traffic conflicts between the businesses since landscaping trucks leave at 8:00 a.m. and return at 6:30 or 7:00 p.m. while the auto business is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
In response to a question from Mr. Gebben about overlapping special use permissions on a parcel, Mr. Broersma explained that special use permission can be granted to the entire parcel or to portions of the parcel when the use includes a limited area and is approved as submitted.
Mr. Bosma commented that a site plan could be used to designate special use areas.
Mr. Broersma presented the following staff comments:
All surfaces used for vehicular maneuvering and/or parking must be paved (concrete or asphalt), or a variance must be sought from the Zoning Board of Appeals in order to allow parking on the current surface of crushed concrete.
A more detailed landscape plan must be provided to better determine how the storage bins will be screened and storage bins must be kept to the subject property. To meet screening requirements, landscaping or a full stockade-type fence must be added north to south along the west property line.
Additional details concerning the four foot high storage bins should be provided (e.g. what are the bins constructed of, will they be covered, what materials will be stored in the bins).
Applicant should provide a copy of the site’s drainage approval from the Office of the Ottawa County Water Resource Commissioner prior to paving. Mr. Broersma explained that paving the lot would cause changes in water run-off.
All bulk storage areas should be screened by fencing and/or landscaping and approved by staff.
Methods for street sweeping or other maintenance to keep roads clear of debris.
Mr. Lemmen explained that there are five bins used to store dirt and different colors of mulch.
Mr. Broersma also commented that there is a drain nearby and that landscaping materials must be kept from entering the drain area.
Mr. Gebben commented that the asphalt in the area used for auto sales is in poor condition.
Mr. Broersma commented that the Township’s Property & Housing Maintenance ordinance could require action if there are complaints about the condition and maintenance of the lot.
Commissioners next considered the following Special Use Considerations:
- The size, nature and character of the proposed use;
- The proximity of the proposed use to adjoining properties;
- The parking facilities provided for the proposed use;
- Any hazard which would be occasioned by the proposed use;
- Any environmental effect of the proposed use such as noise, smoke, dust, vibration or other similar effect; and
- The physical appearance of the proposed use and its compatibility with adjoining land uses and land uses in the surrounding neighborhood.
** Mr. Bosma moved and Mr. Johnson supported the motion to approve the special use request to operate an off-street parking lot and a building supply and equipment establishment on the premises of 11024 Chicago Drive, (Parcel No. 70-16-23-100-031), with approval subject to the granting of a variance for the crushed concrete parking surface by the Zoning Board of Appeals by November 1, 2016, and with the stipulation that a final site plan be submitted for staff review and approval with staff to ensure that all comments are addressed, as reflected in the minutes for the reasons set forth in the minutes. Motion carried.
Mr. Hoeve reminded Commissioners that their next regular meeting will be held August 9, 2016.
The meeting adjourned at 8:27 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Amy LeVesque, Recording Secretary