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Minutes - August 9, 2016

 HOLLAND CHARTER TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION

Regular Meeting
August 9, 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, Norm Nykamp and Ed Zylstra. Also present was Planner Corey Broersma and Recording Secretary Amy LeVesque.

Absent:   Planner Meghann Reynolds.

The minutes of the regular meeting of July 12, 2016 were approved with two corrections.

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

Next, Mr. Hoeve opened the public hearing to consider a special use request submitted by Tyce Holst on behalf of Holst Realty, LLC for property located north of 8th Street and west of Coolidge Avenue (parcel number 70-16-28-298-021). The applicants are seeking permission to construct a 6-unit building for the purpose of operating building supply and equipment establishments, including vehicle repair services without junking or wrecking, on the property. He explained that the applicants have requested that their presentation be postponed until the September 6, 2016 meeting. He then invited comments from the audience on the proposed special use request.

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

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

Commissioners decided to table the special use request until their September 6, 2016 meeting.

Next, Mr. Hoeve opened the public hearing to consider a special use request submitted by Tyler Smith of Motor Max Properties, LLC on behalf of HMMM-II, LLC for property located at 715 East Lakewood Boulevard (parcel number 70-16-21-290-006). The applicants are requesting permission to display and sell used motor vehicles, including repairs when in conjunction with the sale or leasing of vehicles. The applicant has specified that there will be no third-party repair on the property, which is located in a C-2 General Commercial zone. Present for this request were attorney Jeff Sluggett and Doug Stalsonburg of Exxel Engineering, Inc.

Mr. Sluggett explained that the requested use is a good fit for the property and that all vehicle repairs would be performed indoors in an enclosed area. He apologized for the late submission of a revised plan that Commissioners did not have an opportunity to review before the meeting.

In response to concerns from Mr. Bosma about sight lines at the corner of Lakewood Boulevard and 120th Avenue, Mr. Stalsonburg explained that the plan meets requirements for clear vision corners. He explained that the sign has been relocated to the south and that pavement at the corner has been squared off and cleaned up to create the 25 foot right of way triangle that is required at clear vision corners.

In response to a question from Mr. Nykamp, Mr. Broersma explained that the sign appears to meet setback requirements of 50 feet from the centerline of the roadway. Mr. Broersma also commented that the Ottawa County Road Commission (OCRC) would fall back to Township requirements regarding clear vision corners if they were more restrictive.

Mr. Bosma suggested eliminating the parking space on the 120th Avenue frontage that is closest to the corner since it overlaps with another parking space along Lakewood Boulevard.

Mr. Stalsonburg explained that the space in question is a parallel parking space to be used for displaying a car for sale and that the business owner wishes to display as many cars as possible. He explained that parking spaces designated for employee and client parking in the southeast side of the lot meet the nine feet by 18 feet requirement. He also explained that the other 47 spaces on the lot measure 8.3 feet by 18 feet and are to be used to display vehicles. He went on to explain that the plan is designed to maximize the number of spaces that can be used to display cars.

Mr. Bosma commented that the reduced sized parking spaces should not be permitted since they do not meet the nine feet by 18 feet requirement. He explained that if the use of the property changes, the new tenant would then have painted parking spaces that do not meet size requirements.

Mr. Nykamp questioned whether parking spaces used for display need to be painted since the business owner may wish to vary the parking configuration of the vehicles for sale.

Mr. Stalsonburg explained that Ms. Reynolds asked that the plan show designated display parking spaces to limit the number of cars for sale that can be displayed. He also explained that he does not plan to paint parking lot space stripes on the lot for display spaces.

Mr. Broersma presented the following Staff comments:

  • Parking stalls less than nine feet wide are shown on the plan. Mr. Broersma requested direction from Commissioners and stated that he is not aware of any cases in which reduced parking lot space widths were permitted by the Planning Commission.
  • Drive aisles should be no less than 24 feet wide, as required.
  • Ottawa County Water Resources Commission (OCWRC) approval must be received and submitted to Staff.
  • Signs shall comply with requirements at the time that a permit is issued. He explained that the use of banners, balloons and the like are restricted.
  • Commissioners should consider requiring additional landscaping requirements.

Mr. Vander Meulen commented that it would be difficult for a garbage service to access the dumpster in its current location.

Mr. Stalsonburg stated that he would look into the matter.

Mr. Broersma commented that if the Planning Commission would like the dumpster moved, setbacks and screening requirements would need to be met for the new location.

Mr. Bosma stated that he agrees with comments made by Staff and that he does believe that any additional landscaping is needed.

Mr. Hoeve agreed that adding landscaping could cause problems with drivers’ line of sight. He also suggested that Staff work with the applicants regarding the site plan and other requirements and that Staff return to the Planning Commission if additional issues arise.

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

**   Mr. Vander Muelen moved and Mr. Bosma 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;
    There are no issues with the size, nature and character of the proposed use.
  2. The proximity of the proposed use to adjoining properties;
    There are no problems with the proximity of the proposed use to neighboring properties.
  3. The parking facilities provided for the proposed use;
    The parking lot will be paved, as required.
  4. Any hazard which would be occasioned by the proposed use;
    There will be no additional traffic issues created 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. Bosma moved and Mr. Nykamp supported the motion to grant the special use request for the display and sales of used motor vehicles with on-site repairs to be performed indoors and no third-party repair allowed, based upon the Planning Commission’s findings of the factors to consider upon reviewing a special use as reflected in the minutes for the reasons set forth in the minutes, with the stipulation that all parking spaces meet size requirements, drive aisles be no less than 24 feet wide, Ottawa County Water Resources Commission approval received, that signs meet requirements, and that Staff approve a final site plan and also review dumpster location. Motion carried.

Mr. Hoeve introduced a review of a special use request submitted by Larry Kooiker on behalf of LandPro Company, LLC for property located at 4211 Hallacy Drive that was tabled at the June 7, 2016 meeting. The applicant has requested permission for an outdoor storage area to be located to the west and north of a proposed building addition. At their June 7, 2016 meeting, the Planning Commission approved the applicant’s request to modify the former special use approval (granted September 1, 2015) regarding the solar array on the property. Present for this request review was Mr. Larry Kooiker.

Mr. Kooiker explained that he plans to use storage racks and shipping containers to house equipment and materials in the proposed outdoor storage area. He explained that the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) granted a variance which would allow him to park semi trucks on an asphalt millings surface at their May 24, 2016 meeting. He also explained that the variance is contingent upon receiving special use permission for the outdoor storage area. He went on to explain that the shipping containers that were formerly located on the south side of the property have been relocated to the proposed outdoor storage area and are not in direct view from Hallacy Drive. He also stated that he plans a detention pond on the west side of the proposed addition and that the original detention pond has been enlarged to accommodate additional runoff from the asphalt millings surface.

Mr. Broersma commented that the shipping containers are not screened from view and that the question of permitting the use of shipping containers for storage has not yet been determined by the Planning Commission. He also commented that Commissioners’ decision regarding shipping containers on this property will set a precedence for all property zoned I-1 in the Township.

Mr. Gebben commented that some businesses in industrial zones use semi trailers for storage on an indefinite basis.

Mr. Broersma commented that this practice would be in violation of the zoning ordinance since it does not meet standards for an accessory building.

In response to a question from Mr. Broersma, Mr. Kooiker explained that he does not plan to fence or screen the outdoor storage area. He reasoned that the proposed outdoor storage area would be located next to industrially zoned property and that most materials would be stored behind the proposed addition where they would be out of sight.

Mr. Broersma commented that since outdoor storage is a special use, the Planning Commission could require screening. He explained that screening has been required for outdoor storage areas on other nearby properties, but that it would be up to the Planning Commission to set screening requirements. He also commented that screening is not usually required between properties that have the same zoning or permitted use.

Mr. Vander Meulen commented that he does not think that shipping containers should be allowed in the Township until a policy or ordinance is created to regulate them. He also commented that although the shipping containers on the property are well-hidden, he is not yet ready to allow shipping containers in the Township.

Mr. Hoeve commented that he believes that the proposed outdoor storage area is already well-screened since most of it is behind the building and it is also screened by the railroad tracks to the west and the solar panels along the north property line. He stated that he would have no problem allowing shipping containers in the outdoor storage area on the property.

Mr. Kooiker commented that businesses in industrial zones are permitted to use lugger boxes and questioned the difference in appearance between a permanent shipping container and a lugger box that is changed each week.

Mr. Bosma suggested an eight foot high fence that would extend west from the face of the addition for 40 feet to break up the appearance of the outdoor storage area. He also commented that the fence need not continue across the entire south border of the outdoor storage area.

Mr. Kooiker stated that he would be willing to install a fence along a portion of the south side of the proposed storage area and would consider having it constructed to be similar in style to other fencing on the property. He also commented that he would have no problem with complying with a new ordinance regarding shipping containers as outdoor storage but that he believes that every industrial property owner should follow the same rules. He also commented that his business has had no complaints concerning the appearance of the property in 30 years of operation.

Mr. Broersma commented that if the special use request is approved, it would stay with the property and that even if ordinance requirements change, the outdoor storage area would still be allowed.

Mr. Gebben commented that businesses in industrial zones need some provision within the zoning ordinance for outdoor storage. He stated that the sizes of the property and buildings as well as aesthetics should be considered in any change or addition to future requirements.

Mr. Broersma commented that the proposed eight foot fence would not be tall enough to adequately screen the outdoor storage area and that installing too small a fence would be a waste of money. He suggested that a row of blue spruce trees would better screen the 20 foot high racks in the outdoor storage area. He asked that Commissioners allow Staff to work with the applicant on an acceptable screening method for the outdoor storage area.

**   Mr. Bosma moved and Mr. Gebben supported the motion to grant the special use request for an outdoor storage area 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, with the stipulation that an eight foot high fence be installed that continues west from the face of the building addition for a minimum of 40 feet for the purpose of screening the outdoor storage area. Motion carried.

Mr. Hoeve next introduced a review of the final development plan and resolution and report for the Legends View Association Planned Unit Development (PUD), to be located on vacant property on 136th Avenue south of New Holland Street in an R-2 Residential zone. The Planning Commission gave preliminary approval to the residential project for two four-unit unit buildings and 13 duplex buildings at their May 10, 2016 meeting. Present for this request was Ms. Lynnelle Berkenpas of Holland Engineering.

Mr. Broersma explained that requested changes have been made, that building elevations have been included on the plan and presented the following Staff comments, which are designated by bullets:

  • Density is greater than would usually be allowed for a platted development on a public street in an R-1 or an R-2 zone by approximately ten percent. Plans meet setback requirements of 25 foot perimeters for buildings and 20 foot perimeters for decks. Potential decks for units 27, 28, 29 and 30 will be closer than 20 feet to unit 26. Decks for these units should be a minimum of 27 feet from unit 26; a 20 foot setback from the deck to the rear property line plus a traditional seven foot side yard.

Ms. Berkenpas explained that the deck envelope extends eight feet into the rear yard on units 27 through 30.

Mr. Vander Meulen questioned whether a smaller deck is needed for units 27 through 30 and commented that the plan does not show deck envelopes on these units.

Ms. Berkenpas explained that most decks have a depth of 12 to 14 feet. Mr. Bosma commented that deck envelopes appear to be 17 feet on some units.

Ms. Berkenpas explained that units 27 and 28 will be located on is flat land, meaning that a walkout lower level with a deck above it would not be possible. She also explained that these units would likely have a concrete patio. She went on to explain that units 29 and 30 will also mostly likely not have decks. She stated that bedrooms are located in the rear of these units and that sliding doors which would be necessary for deck access are not planned for units 29 and 30, but that they could be added. She explained that deck envelopes are provided on the plan to show available options for the units.

  • Road has been widened to 26 feet as requested by the fire chief. Unless curb is added or if the length is over 800 feet from the connection from 136th Avenue to the cul de sac, the road may not meet minimum width standards for public roads set by the OCRC. Driveways were reduced to 24 feet instead of the minimum requirement of 25 feet that was previously discussed.   It is up to the Planning Commission to determine whether a bit wedge curb is needed and also to determine driveway length.

Ms. Berkenpas commented that the length of the road from 136th Avenue to the cul de sac is 600 feet.

  • Landscaping has been added along the perimeter of the property, but there is still a gap in vegetation at the northwest corner of the parcel. Staff indicated nine evergreens and two deciduous trees were required by Macatawa Legends adjacent to the gap, but it is up to the Planning Commission to determine any additional landscaping requirements.

Mr. Bosma commented that he believes that landscaping should continue along the northwest corner of the property and that Macatawa Legends PUD can add additional landscaping on their own property if they wish to screen views of Legends View PUD further. Mr. Vander Muelen agreed.

  • Suggestion to include building envelopes on plans rather than building footprints to help alleviate the need for PUD amendments.

Ms. Berkenpas commented that the developer is content with the current plan and does not anticipate making any changes to it.

In response to a question from Mr. Gebben, Ms. Berkenpas explained that there is a storm sewer that runs close to the corner of lots of units 26 and 29 but that she does not expect a problem since concrete patios are more likely for these units than decks.

Mr. Gebben commented that the units appear to be shoehorned into a piece of property that is too small. He questioned why the density of the proposed development is higher than what the underlying zoning of the property would allow. Mr. Vander Muelen also commented that he believes that the development is too dense.

Ms. Berkenpas explained that while the density is greater than would be allowed on a public road, the development is on a private road and that none of the property is lost to Ottawa County to provide a right of way. She explained that the density of the project does meet zoning and setback requirements.

**   Mr. Bosma moved and Mr. Zylstra supported the motion to approve the final development plan and resolution and report for the Legends View Association PUD, with the addition of landscaping that meets requirements in the northwest corner of the property, and forward the report to the Township Board with a recommendation for approval, with a completion date of December 31, 2021 for the entire project. Motion carried, five to two.

Next Mr. Hoeve introduced a review of the final development plan and resolution and report for the Macatawa Legends PUD amendment #8. Plans include changes to areas “The Villas” and “Independent Living Community” and a Master Sidewalk Plan for the entire development. Macatawa Legends PUD is located on New Holland Street east of 144th Avenue. The Planning Commission gave preliminary approval to the amended project at their July 7, 2016 meeting. Present for this request was Mr. Mick McGraw of Eastbrook Homes.

Mr. Broersma explained that the master sidewalk plan has been revised to incorporate requested changes. He also explained that the amended plan for The Villas adds more greenspace to the development as well as private streets with additional parking and that it will be constructed in four phases. He went on to explain that lot widths of a minimum of 64 feet are currently planned which are similar to nearby lots in R-2 zones. He presented the following Staff comments, designated by bullets:

  • Building envelopes and setbacks have been included on the final development plan. A grading plan, utility plan, and exterior lighting plan should be included as well, although the Planning Commission may choose to waive these requirements.
  • Minimum lot width of 64 feet for the 87 units is planned for The Villas, but Staff supports allowing a reduction in lot width to not less than 58 feet for up to 12 units (four per phase). Reduced lot width would allow for flexibility of home design and placement of driveways, street lights and street trees as requested by the developer. Mr. Broersma questioned whether lots 64 through 56 in phase 3 would meet minimum width requirements.

Mr. McGraw explained that the maximum number of units that would be built in The Villas is 90. He also explained that the final number will be determined phase by phase and will be driven by the demand for housing. He went on to explain that the greenspace behind units varies from 30 feet to 150 feet wide and that berms and landscaping will be added to these areas. He commented that as a result, backyards would have a great deal of privacy. He explained that some units may have a third stall garage which is requested by many home buyers. He also explained that he is requesting flexibility to allow variety in design and the ability to customize each unit. He stated that he plans to work with Staff on a final plan to be submitted shortly.

Mr. Vander Muelen questioned whether lot 63 in phase 3, which is wedge-shaped, would meet a 64 foot width requirement.

  • Driveway length of 30 feet from the edge of pavement to the face of garage has been required by the Planning Commission. The developer wishes to allow driveways adjacent to sidewalks to be a minimum of 25 feet from the sidewalk to the face of the garage.
  • Agency approvals, Master Deed recording, and base course of asphalt must be completed prior to assigning addresses or issuing building permits. Mr. Broersma explained that the installation of a base coarse would be sufficient to issue building permits with the top coat to be added later.

Mr. Vander Muelen commented that he has no problem allowing a distance of 25 feet from the edge of the sidewalk to the garage face. Mr. Bosma agreed and commented that doing so would allow units to be the same distance from the street on both sides of the road.

Mr. McGraw commented that he has been working with Director of Public Works Tom Van Der Kolk and that almost all of the watermains are in and that work has begun on the sanitary sewer. He explained that he hopes that the south loop of the street that connects with 136th Avenue will be approved as a public road by the OCRC and that it will be constructed to meet the agency’s standards.

Mr. Gebben commented that he agrees with allowing increased density in The Villas since there is additional greenspace beyond backyards and that varying lots and unit design will make the development more attractive.

**   Mr. Vander Muelen moved and Mr. Johnson supported the motion to approve the final development plan and resolution and report for the Macatawa Legends PUD, with a maximum of 90 units to be constructed in The Villas, with the allowance of a reduction in lot width for up to 12 units (4 per phase) with reduced lot width not less than 58 feet in The Villas, and a setback of 25 feet from the edge of the sidewalk to the face of the garage in The Villas, and with Staff to approve the resubmitted final development plan and forward the documents to the Township Board with a recommendation for approval, with a completion date of December 31, 2021 for the entire project; Commissioners also requested that they approve changes to the report via email before submission to the Township Board. Motion Carried.

Next Mr. Broersma introduced a preliminary proposal by Barry Favier representing Lakeshore Warriors travel baseball team to operate a recreational facility, specifically to install baseball practice equipment inside 7,400 square feet of the former Hart and Cooley building, located at 500 East 8th Street in an I-2 General Industrial zone. The proposal includes three batting cages, two pitching mounds and synthetic turf for fielding exercises. Mr. Broersma explained that the zoning code does not currently contain provisions for recreational facilities in I-2 zones but that recreational facilities are allowed as a special use in I-1 Light Industrial zones.

Mr. Favier explained that the Lakeshore Warriors have a lease agreement for space in the former Hart and Cooley building.

Mr. Broersma explained that a portion of the property located along the 8th Street frontage is zoned C-2 General Commercial and that current uses of the property, such as a beauty school, would not allow a rezoning of the entire property to C-2.

In response to a question from Mr. Zylstra, Mr. Favier stated that the former Hart and Cooley building is also being used for storage.

Ms. Jennifer Owens, of Lakeshore Advantage and also a parent of a Lakeshore Warrior player, explained that all current uses of the former Hart and Cooley building would be permitted within an I-1 zone. She explained that the property owner has been contacted about the proposal but was unable to attend the Planning Commission meeting.

Mr. Broersma explained that the future land use map shows the entire parcel as projected to be zoned I-2 and asked the Planning Commission whether they would be willing to consider changing the future land use map.

Mr. Vander Muelen explained that when the future land use map was updated recently along with the Comprehensive Master Plan, the property was already zoned I-2 and the decision was made to leave it that way.

Mr. Gebben commented that he would prefer the zoning of the property to be changed to I-1 since I-2 allows much heavier industrial uses which would be undesirable in that area.

Mr. Hoeve explained that the property owner should be involved in any discussion of changing the zoning of the property.

Mr. Favier explained that he has discussed the matter with the property owner and that he chose to approach the Planning Commission to see if the Township has any concerns.

In response to a question from Mr. Johnson, Mr. Favier stated that he would like the zoning of the entire parcel to be changed to I-1.  

Mr. Bosma commented that he supports a change to I-1 zoning for the portion of the property zoned I-2 but that he prefers that the portion of the property along 8th Street that is zoned C-2 to remain C-2. Mr. Hoeve agreed.

The Planning Commission agreed to consider changing the zoning on the future land use map to I-1 Light Industrial and planned further discussion on the matter at a future meeting pending further research and input from the property owner.

Mr. Hoeve next opened the floor to public comments.

There was no one present who wished to comment.

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

Mr. Broersma next drew Commissioners’ attention to an issue with a recently constructed building at The Shops at Westshore. He explained that the northernmost building along the US-31 frontage had not been constructed according to a set of approved building plans: a dumpster area was installed on the north side of the building instead of within the landscape screened service area approved by the Planning Commission. He asked Commissioners to take a look at the building and consider how they would like the Township to proceed concerning the issue.

Mr. Hoeve reminded Commissioners that their next regular meeting will be held September 6, 2016.

The meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Amy LeVesque, Recording Secretary

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