Tuesday, June 19, 2018
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Minutes - February 6, 2018

HOLLAND CHARTER TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION

Regular Meeting
February 6, 2018

The meeting was called to order by Vice-Chairman/Secretary Jack Vander Meulen at 7:00 p.m.

Present: Vice-Chairman/Secretary Jack Vander Meulen, Members Ken Bosma, Dennis Gebben, Norm Nykamp, Vern Johnson, and Ed Zylstra. Also present were Community Development Director John Said, Assistant Community Development Director Corey Broersma, and Recording Secretary Sheri Thomassen.

Absent: Chairman Marion Hoeve

Mr. Vander Meulen explained the Public Hearing process to the audience.

Motion to approve the minutes for regular meeting of January 2, 2018 as written made by Mr. Bosma, supported by Mr. Zylstra. Motion carried.

Mr. VanderMeulen opened the public hearing for consideration of a Special Use request submitted by Thomas S. Postma on behalf of ZMS4, LLC for 501 W. Main St., Zeeland, Michigan, described more specifically as Parcel Number 70-16-13-300-031. Petitioner is seeking permission for a coffee shop with drive-through. The property is in the O-S, Office Services District.

Mr. Tom Postma was present to speak to this request. Mr. Postma distributed a plan showing location of call-in and pick-up windows in addition to car stacking. He also shared that they hope to someday have two tenants in the current building. Total parking spaces needed for Biggby is estimated between 8 and 13. They would install a 6-8’ tall fence, double-sided, to provide screening on the west side. They are excited to get into that location in Holland Township.

Mr. Mark Dykema, owner/operator of Biggby was present to answer questions. Mr. Gebben asked if a parking scheme provided is sufficient. Staff indicated that parking will be reviewed later with to-scale drawings on the final site plan, pending approval tonight of Special Use request. Questions and comments followed:

How many cars can stack at Biggby on Waverly? Can have 5, including 1 at the window.

How many people could be accommodated on the inside? There are 20 seats, 10 tables; expecting 12 people inside at full capacity (not counting employees), potentially 10-15 cars in the lot during peak hours (7-9 a.m.); 50% of sales are done before 9 a.m.

Hours of operation planned: 5:30 a.m. (open sign/6 a.m. posted) – 9 p.m.

Is there adequate ingress/egress? Yes, currently 2 are shown on plan; Mr. Dykema suggested that one could be entrance only; one could be entrance and exit.

Mr. VanderMeulen added that their site plan may be one of first reviewed under the re-stated zoning ordinance.

Solid 6’-8’ fence will provide screening for residence to the west; details to be determined with goal to keep headlights and noise at a minimum; call-in speaker is on the east side of the building (non-residential).

John Bouwens (10231 Chicago Drive), neighbor to the west, was present to speak to this request. Mr. Bouwens wonders what’s going to happen in 2019 when they put a roundabout in, supposedly, taking away the turn lane in front. It’s about time for a fence. He wants to make sure no one trespasses through his property like they do for the ice cream shop. They cut through from the railroad tracks; he will be putting “No Trespassing” signs up this year. Mr. Bouwens wants them to live their dream as he wants to live his dream. He is also concerned about the noise. Since there is no pedestrian crosswalk to get to Biggby, and his property is only 1’ off the road (no easement), he is concerned about people trespassing - and theft. Mr. Bouwens added that since 2013 there have been 40 accidents at the “Y”, and if Biggby is looking to do the “400 Cup Club” (per day) there will be lots of noise and lots of accidents with increased traffic. He doesn’t want a 24-hour Biggby next door. Mr. Bouwens wants Mr. Dykema to have what he has, and he wants to keep what he has. He wants to work together on this.

Inez Aultman (10337 Hannah Dr.) was present to speak to this request. Ms. Aultman shared her concern on behalf of any resident that the best rule of civility is first encroach on no one else. Progress elbows us a little bit, and that’s okay…if we’re willing to give it up. An instance of encroachment is the sign at Community Reformed Church which is much too bright, hard to drive toward, and would guess that the property value across the street has decreased in value by half. She proposed that if Mr. Bouwens’ property decreases in value, Biggby should be willing to compensate him for that inconvenience. Ms. Aultman added that traffic noise cannot be mitigated by a fence and that drive-thru noise should not be heard in a resident’s home with windows closed. Also, there is no guarantee that Mr. Bouwens won’t be able to hear the noise at the call-in window and have the enjoyment of quiet in his own home at 6:30 in the morning.

Motion to close Public Hearing made by Mr. Zylstra, supported by Mr. Bosma. Motion carried.

Regarding the hours, Commission wonders if 5:30 a.m. is too early. Would 6:30 a.m. be more neighborly? Staff suggested that could be a condition of approval. Staff comments, including maps, were reviewed:

This proposal consists of a change in use from a financial institution to a commercial food service use. Staff does not object to the proposed use, the applicant will need to work closely with Staff to ensure that the use will not negatively impact the surrounding area. Parking requirements should be expected to adhere to the parking and screening standards set forth in the re-stated zoning ordinance. Staff would recommend a consolidated entrance/exit for this site that meets Ottawa County Road Commission and City of Zeeland Standards, as applicable.

Commission commented that two driveways would seem to make more sense. Maybe designated entrance and exit would be safer with less congestion. Why reduce to one? Staff suggested that one drive would reduce the number of curb cuts and conflict points.

Mr. VanderMeulen read Special Use Considerations as presented:

The size, nature, and character of the proposed use:
The lot is approximately 1.6 acres. The size and nature of the proposed use would appear to correspond to the existing building and site. The character of the use may be of a more commercial nature than the previous bank on this property.

The proximity of the proposed use to adjoining property:
Property to the west is zoned Office-Service (O-S) and contains a legal non-conforming residential use. To the north is an active rail line and property zoned Light Industrial (I-1). The properties to the east of this site and south of West Main are within the City of Zeeland. The zoning of these properties are Industrial (I-2) and Two-family/Multiple-family (R-3) respectively.

The parking facilities provided for the proposed use:
The applicant should address their anticipated parking demand and layout for the proposed business, especially during potential peak periods.

Any traffic congestion or hazard which will be occasioned by the proposed use:
The applicant needs to address their anticipated ingress and egress for this business, including the planned drive-through demand and queueing area (drive-through lane). The proposed business is anticipated to have more volume as a coffee shop than the previous financial institution.

How well the proposed use harmonizes, blends with and enhances adjoining properties in the surrounding neighborhood:
The applicant will need to address measures that includes, but not limited to, the following:
• Required perimeter landscaping and fencing along the west edge of the site (adjacent to residential);
• Lighting and noise mitigation
• Anticipated hours of operation
Staff note: A check of other Biggby Coffee businesses in the area indicated hours of operation beginning at 5:30 or 6:00 a.m. through 9:00 or 10:00 p.m., and one location that is open 24 hours per day.

The need or necessity for the proposed use to service the needs of the surrounding neighborhood:
The applicant should address the demand for the proposed use (coffee shop).

The effect of the proposed use on adjoining properties in the surrounding neighborhood:
As noted in Item 5 above, the applicant will need to address a number of concerns to reduce the potential negative impact of the proposed use on nearby properties. This is especially relevant for the residential uses immediately to the west and those across Chicago Drive to the south.

Regarding the hours, the Commission asked if there are any stats on number of customers by time of day. Mr. Dykema responded that there is 6 years’ worth of data and that between 5:30-6:45 a.m. they serve about 5 customers total. He is required by the franchise to open by 6 a.m., and it starts to pick up by 6:45 a.m.

Mr. Bouwens added that between 2-5 p.m. every day, especially in the summer, there are back-ups and he cannot get out of his driveway. What is this going to do to them? Mr. VanderMeulen responded that the Ottawa County Road Commission will have input also.

Ms. Aultman added that there may be 6 years of data, but they haven’t seen that data. On the issue of trash, is there some compensation if there is a lot of trash on private property? Can some provision be made for that? Mr. VanderMeulen responded that typically Biggby wants their property to look good and that trash wouldn’t be a concern. Ms. Aultman agreed except trash that escapes and that employees will only clean up what’s in their parking lot.

Motion to approve the special use request with provision that applicant work with Staff on site plan submittal and all items under point 5 above. And with regards to the driveway(s), suggest Staff check with the Road Commission and City of Zeeland – and if there are safety issues, select the safest one from a traffic engineering standpoint; also with the provision that the drive-thru hours may not commence before 6:00 a.m. made by Mr. Gebben, supported by Mr. Nykamp. All in favor. Motion carried.

Mr. Vander Meulen opened the continuance of public hearing for consideration of a Special Use request submitted by Ralph Wyngarden on behalf of Verizon Wireless for land at 10636 Chicago Drive, described more specifically as Parcel Number 70-16-23-200-012. Petitioner is seeking permission to construct a wireless communications tower and associated facility. The property is in the C-2, General Commercial Zoning District.

Motion to table (Public Hearing will continue) until March 6, 2018, made by Mr. Bosma, supported by Mr. Zylstra. Motion carried.

Mr. Vander Meulen opened the continuance of public hearing for consideration of a proposed amendment to the Final Development Plan for the Macatawa Legends Planned Unit Development, located generally on New Holland Street east of 144th Avenue. The proposed amendment includes multiple revisions to development consisting of: 1) Wider site condominiums and a lengthening of the cul-de-sac street within the Villas, Phase 2; 2) An additional site condominiums and a lengthening of the cul-de-sac street within the Fairways, Phase 3 (formerly known as Golf Point); 3) Site condominium width adjustments and the establishment of 2 new cul-de-sac streets to accommodate one-family dwellings rather than two-family dwellings within the Fairways, Phase 4; 4) The addition of 1.4 acres of land within the Traditions to accommodate changes to the streets and to provide 9 new dwellings; 5) The addition of a new seasonal restroom facility between the 3rd and 6th tees; 6) Permission for the association to allow the installation of privacy screens on decks up to 6 feet in height. The proposed amendment also anticipates a reduction of 15 units within the undeveloped areas.

Mr. Mick McGraw, Eastbrook Homes, was present to speak to this request. He indicated that all information requested has been provided. The current PUD and proposed PUD were reviewed. Mr. McGraw clarified for the Commission that the on the northwest corner they acquired 1-1/4 acre to square off the site and that was added to the PUD. Also, that the “stub street” would be eliminated in a future amendment.

There was no one in the audience to speak to this request.

Motion to close the Public Hearing made by Mr. Zylstra, supported by Mr. Johnson. Motion carried.

PUD Considerations, Staff Comments, including maps, were presented and reviewed by the Commission.

PUD 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. 
Ingress and egress to the property and proposed buildings and structures thereon, with particular reference to provision of safe and convenient vehicle and pedestrian circulation and adequate emergency access. 
The extent to which the planned unit development deviates from the provisions of this ordinance otherwise applicable for the zoning district in which the planned unit development is located, and the extent to which deviation from otherwise applicable ordinance requirements is justified by unique site characteristics or other circumstances 
Compliance with other applicable provisions of this ordinance, including but not limited to, off-street parking regulations, site plan review requirements and signage regulations.

Staff Comments:
The Villas, Phase 2:
Current lot width and front yard setbacks stipulations should be maintained.
Fairways, Phase 4:
The water main easement’s specific location should be provided.
Traditions:
The stub street segment between Lots 23 and 35 should be removed or continued to the north for an additional access point to the proposed alley. If removed, it appears that this area is large enough to accommodate an additional residential lot.
Private Streets:
Reiterate the private street must be constructed to the standards of the Ottawa County Road Commission (OCRC). Consider requiring road completion and an engineer’s certification the road is constructed to OCRC standards prior to releasing building permits.
Recordation of Master Deed:
The Master Deed must be recorded prior to the issuance of building permits and the assignment of addresses.

Motion to approve the proposed amendment to the Final Development Plan for the Macatawa Legends Planned Unit Development made by Mr. Bosma, supported by Mr. Nykamp. All in favor. Motion carried.

Mr. Vander Meulen opened the public hearing for consideration of proposed amendments to the text of the Holland Charter Township Code of Ordinances, Appendix A – Zoning. The proposed text is generally described as a restatement of the entire Zoning Ordinance, including all sections and articles.  He also asked explained the hearing process and asked that speakers assemble in a line to speak by subject.

Mr. VanderMeulen shared the background on the Ordinance project:

After adoption of the 2014 Comprehensive Master Plan in 2015, the Township began to consider opportunities for updating its Zoning Ordinance. That effort began in earnest in the last quarter of 2016, with the hiring of consultant Williams & Works to guide the Township’s Ordinance update efforts.

Williams & Works began by meeting with Township representatives, conducted phone interviews, and prepared an audit report with preliminary recommendations for Township consideration. Throughout the process, the Planning Commission, Township Staff and Williams & Works Project Manager David Jirousek have worked closely to prepare, discuss, review and revise the document through its most recent revision. The Commission, Staff, and Mr. Jirousek have also provided consideration of public comment throughout the preparation process.

Since this project began in 2016, full and ample opportunities for public review and input of the Zoning Ordinance amendment process have been provided. This included the following: publishing of all meeting agendas, a minimum of nine (9) public workshop meetings, additional reviews at several regular Planning Commission meetings, media coverage (including an article in the Holland Sentinel in late December, 2017), and an update presentation by Staff to the Township Board at their December 7, 2017 meeting. Most recently, the February 6 public hearing notice was published and placed on the Township’s website, and an email blast announcing the public hearing has been distributed to the community. All notices and associated procedures for the Zoning Ordinance update process meet or exceed applicable State law.

Mr. Dave Jirousek, Project Manager with Williams & Works, was present to speak to this request. The following was presented:

Goals

Full zoning code update
Support the master plan
User-friendly (consolidated, concise, tables/graphics)
Defensible (case law, enabling legislation, legal review)
Based on:
Internal and consultant audits and reviews
Significant Planning Commission guidance
Best practices

Process

Kickoff discussions and tour of the Township
Interviews, technical audit, and annotated outline
Working draft review meetings (nine total)
Formal draft review
Public hearing
Next steps:
  Planning Commission recommendation
  Board approval

Overview

Expedited zoning review
  Zoning standards and processes have been simplified for efficiency, which assists both applicants and Township Staff.
Regulatory matters
  Some regulations have been added to provide the Township with tools to control particular land uses and the impacts those uses may have on adjacent properties.
Neighborhood enhancements
  New regulations to further enhance and stabilize residential areas. These include updated accessory building size regulations and limitations on outdoor storage.
Landscaping
  Landscape requirements have been added to beautify commercial districts while providing ways to reduce stormwater runoff and other environmental factors such as heat islands or noise.
Parking
  Parking requirements have been lessened to better correspond to demand and business needs within larger commercial developments. This too will have environmental benefits by reducing pavement.
Signs
  Adjustments were made to comply with Federal Court rulings while striving to improve the overall appearance of the Township, including requirements for ground signs in commercial districts.
Planned Unit Developments (PUD)
  PUD review requirements have been enhanced with requirements for developers to provide more background information and to meet specific threshold criteria for Township review and consideration. This is intended to provide appropriate qualifications for PUD’s so that recognizable benefits are identified and projects will adhere to the Township’s Future Land Use Plan.
Alternative energy
  The new Ordinance includes detailed requirements for solar and wind power facilities, reflecting a potential increase of such facilities in the Township.
Consolidation and simplification
  Overall, the Ordinance update provides a significant simplification and consolidation of administrative requirements. The document includes new graphics, color-coded land use and zoning district regulation charts, and other helpful administrative improvements and visual tools. As with the zoning review process, these improvements will help residents, developers, Staff and any other interested parties as they navigate the Zoning Ordinance.

Since this project began in 2016, full and ample opportunities for public review and input of the Zoning Ordinance amendment process have been provided. This included the following:

- Notices in the Township E-News for May-June 2017, July-Aug. 2017, and Sept.–Oct. 2017
- Nine (9) special meetings open to the Public;
- Reviews and updates at regular Planning Commission meetings;
- Media coverage, including an article in the Holland Sentinel (Dec. 2017);
- Presentation by Staff at the Township Board Meeting (Dec. 7, 2017).
- The February 6 public hearing notice was published and placed on the Township’s website;
- Most recently, an e-mail blast announcing the public hearing was distributed to the community.

Audience Comments:

RV / Trailers / Utility Trailers

Pete Ekster (376 Elm St.) is concerned with number of RVs or trailers going down to 1 on property.
Staff clarified that any additional RVs or trailers would have to be stored inside, not necessarily off the property. What if you don’t have the room or can’t afford an accessory building or storage facility? They can’t afford $600-700/year for storage at his age and living on a fixed income, that’s like a 2 week vacation. The American Dream is going, the government is telling us this and that. Where are the citizen’s rights? Most of our life, our best years are given to employers. Asked the Planning Commission to consider that. He understand we don’t want neighborhoods with 4 or 5 RVs sitting around, but he personally has a 5th wheel and a boat and they sometimes travel with both.

Lisa Scholtens (3148 104th Ave.) asked that vague “and other trailers of this sort” be clarified. Are utility trailers considered an RV or not? The limit of 1 does not make sense. Concerned that they can’t be stored or parked; what if you need to dry your boat off after use and your RV is also on the property? The limit of 1 is extremely excessive.

Adam Fogg (3450 144th Ave.) is concerned with limits on recreational equipment. He feels it’s a discussion about a non-issue and that the Township should not be putting restrictions on quantity of things but instead talk about the quality of what’s there. He has 2-1/2 acres on the north side, rural residential. It’s way too restrictive, and the last thing we need is more restrictions on our freedom. Holland is a working class community with lots of retired people and families. He has teenagers, a boat, RV, utility trailer, horse trailer, snowmobiles, multiple trailers – because they’re an active family. Suggests maybe restrictions should vary depending on lot size. Are there are lots of complaints? Is this even an issue? Feels we don’t need these restrictions at all, there should not be a number put on it.

Bill G (Spruce Ave.) is concerned about allowing only 1 RV. He has a small lot and what he has he can keep there decently, and he tries to keep it looking nice. If he has to separate them (5th wheel and boat), he can’t put it inside because his garage is only so big. He could ask his wife to park outside, but that wouldn’t be good. They can’t afford to pay for storage…it would come down to paying for storage or taking a vacation. Is there really a problem with this? People are tired of big government when they come along making ordinances like these, government is taking too big of a step.

Jim Veldheer (Veldheer Tulip Gardens) has concern with 176 pages and no one in the room really knows what the changes are except for the Planning Commission/Staff. Mr. Veldheer needs clarification - does the trailer ordinance also adhere to agriculture or is agriculture exempt from it? Staff confirmed, yes, agriculture is exempt, it’s for residential uses and areas. Regarding landscape, who on the Board or on Staff is going to approve it? Mr. Broersma responded as he is a licensed landscape architect. Why is it required only to be hardy plants in Ottawa County? What about annuals? Staff clarified that annuals would not covered in the ordinance in terms of one of the buffer requirements of the landscape ordinance. Requirements of the ordinance are specific to parking lot trees, buffers between residential/commercial uses, shrubs and trees. Regarding commercial signs, does every business now have to pay someone else to make their signs? That’s a huge cost for any start up business. Does he have to file a permit for directional signs for the week before and after Tulip Time? Those signs keep visitors moving in a logical sequence without running into people. Is the City of Holland going to be required to do the same thing? Regarding energy, do we have to use LED bulbs now? That’s stepping on the rights of individuals in the Township. The Township is the people - the people that operate in this building, the people that come to work here, to board meetings – they work for the people, and we need to remember that. He found “fees, fees, fees” over and over again in the 176 page document. Are we hurting for finance or are these things really a problem? Regarding public noticing of meetings, he suggests more detail on the website on what’s being talked about - it is very vague, and said that if more people knew what was going on we wouldn’t be able to hold everyone here tonight. There’s a trailer issue – we have a solution already. We require all parking be on improved surface.

Brent Wallenburg (1357 Steaders Pass) is concerned with limiting the number of RVs and trailers. What is the point? For aesthetics? We want our neighbors to look at only one trailer instead of two?
Mr. VanderMeulen added that the Township does get lots of calls about trailers from neighbors. He wants the same rights on his smaller lot as those on large parcels. He feels this ordinance is nothing short of ridiculous. What constitutes as a trailer? His hog roaster has wheels, is it a trailer? He could take the wheels off and turn it into a grill. The word “etc.” is dangerous in a legal document and needs clarification.

Fitz Fitzgerald (421 Felch St.) has a question about trailers because of the “etc.” stuff and read the code, including “maximum number of 1”. He was told that the 4x8 trailer that he uses to move wood, gravel and mulch on is considered a recreational trailer. So, he needs to know what’s what. Would like to see definitions expanded, clarified. Michigan is an outdoor state with outdoor hobbies and activities, and limits on RV storage are taxing on financing for storage and time going to retrieve it from off-site facility. Begs for consideration of other policies like what nearby Townships have – no more than two RVs permitted per lot with graduated number as lot size increases capping out at 2 acres. After that it’s unlimited. Also, maybe increase the size of our outbuildings or what we can have for garages. Please respect the pursuits of us who are outdoor enthusiasts. If there’s a nuisance that’s generated by outdoor storage of an RV there are things in the code that requires it to be clean well-kept. Suitable placement might be the back of the property and doesn’t understand why it’s not.

Bob Koning (96th Ave.) having a hard time understanding the direction of the Township. The code is ridiculous in his opinion, and also the Township is also restricting the size of the buildings to put the RVs and trailers in. He understands we can’t have junkyards, but especially with areas are out a little bit more and have a little bit more room, why so restrictive?

Debra Tacoma (Walnut St.) agrees with what everyone has said. Michigan spends a tremendous amount of money advertising for our outdoor recreation and activities, we have the best water, lakes, beaches, trails. Please don’t limit us as Michiganders from being Michiganders and enjoying our property and environment.

Beekeeping

Inez Aultman (10337 Hannah Dr.) commented on the preparation and research presented by Mr. Jirousek that seemed, in her opinion, designed to set aside the audience’s concerns. She urges the Commission to put off and have a couple more meetings and more publicity. Generally she is in favor of people having the most expansive use of their property as possible. She doesn’t have a problem with her neighbors keeping bees as long as they keep them to themselves. Unfortunately they’ve become acclimated to her pool, a watersource. She went to her neighbor (no response) and has talked to the Township. Last summer, the honeybees were back again. Her child is terrified of them, and they can’t use their pool. Beekeepers and other municipalities have required that beekeepers have enclosed (fenced in) properties in residential areas. She proposes 7’ fence be required.

Mr. VanderMeulen added that the Commission listened to both sides of the bee argument and that the ordinance requires a watersource and meeting state standards. Ms. Aultman asked what recompense she has. How is the Township going to regulate that for her so that she may have the enjoyment of her property on which she’s paying taxes? Mr. VanderMeulen responded that the Commission tried to come to a reasonable and fair place for both sides. It’s a lot more open, but they have to meet the State of Michigan standards.

Outdoor Tents

Jean Ramirez (The Shops at Westshore) is concerned about temporary usage of outdoor tents for temporary events and required fire suppression in a tent over 400SF, an absolute ridiculous notion. We’re not understanding our own ordinance correctly in asking that to be a requirement. She asked for further clarification. The ordinance makes it too difficult for organizations to hold an outdoor community event. And that’s what we’re supposed to be – a community. The porta-potty requirements are also ridiculous. Do other municipalities really enforce that? The City of Holland turns their back on that all the time. They’ve invested $25M into that property and are working really hard to be part of the community, bringing in community events, including multi-family housing, and she requests the Township work with them.

Chuck Frees (TNT Firework Tents) has two main locations – in Sam’s and Meijer parking lots. He is concerned with Section 920 Outdoor Displays and Sales, location and restrictions. He asked that “outside party” be clarified. Concerned about the 3rd party vendor thing? Why should Meijer, Walmart, Sam’s be limited to someone that runs their promotion? Mr. Frees asked that this ordinance restriction be reconsidered so that they may continue doing business in the Township. What is the motive behind this particular change? Is it lack of resources to deal with these types of applications? He’s asking for a renewal of what they’ve done in prior years, in most cases.

Mr. Fitz Fitzgerald added that current wording eliminates the ability for sales by swim teams, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts to do temporary outdoor sales right outside the business because they’re not selling goods available in the business and not the same organization as the business. He thought the wording was going to change on that.

Luke Vandenberg has done business in the Township for the last 7 years, also has a fireworks company and does business with 15 different townships. None of them requires porta-potties, only Holland Charter Township. They try very hard to work with the Township, comply with their rules; they have positive working relationships with property owners and hire mostly local workers. They drive a lot of business into parking lots by putting their tents up. He needs clarification. What is the intent of the legislation? To eliminate firework sales in general from the Township? They’ve worked hard to make it easy to shop locally and hire locally. Will have an impact on local economy but he’s enjoyed working in Holland Charter Township and would like to continue. The “outside party sale” is something he asks the Township to reconsider.

Commercial Vehicles on Private Property

Mr. Brent Wallenburg (1357 Steaders Pass) is concerned with restrictions. A commercial vehicle cannot be parked outdoors on private property, as it’s worded. The definition of a commercial vehicle is one that is plated commercially and owned by a business. His Ford F150 is a commercial vehicle and is parked outside because there is no room in his garage. He probably wouldn’t want his neighbor to park his semi on the road. Probably wouldn’t but would defend his right. He is a 3 combat tour vet with the Marine Corp and defended all of our rights - it all comes down to how we do all have all these rights, having property they’ve worked hard for. Restrictions should be left up to homeowners associations, not the Township. He asked that the Township reconsider so many restrictions on the way that we live.

Mr. Fitz Fitzgerald suggested Section 10-2, F.2. pg. 10-1, definitions on pg. 22-17 be changed to not longer than 72 hours or something like that. For example, tow trucks, utility vans, sheriff deputies, on call service providers – they should be allowed to park overnight. Why restrict them? It’s impractical. He suggest this be re-worded so that those mentioned can legally bring their vehicles home.

Ms. Nikki VanOmmen (132nd Ave.) asked for clarification on this as well. Her husband’s one ton truck from his employer, commercially licensed, is too long to fit in their garage. Where is he supposed to put it? How is he supposed to get back and forth to work and to job sites? She asked for leniency.

Chickens

Mr. Tim Marr (104th Ave.) is still asking for leniency on chickens in residential areas. He thinks he has the bee thing straightened out as long as they follow GAMP rules. Something to think about, if only a small handful of people want do it (according to the Township’s previous comments), what’s the problem? They do it for health reasons and for the phenomenal taste of fresh eggs. Mr. Marr suggests it change so that people can have a few chickens in their yard.

Ms. Beverly Smith (104th Ave.) has started an online petition for keeping chickens and bees with over 100 signatures so far. She read the petition (also shared on social media) and a few of the comments added by those who signed. There are a lot of subdivisions that have associations where there are smaller yards, and it’s those Associations that can ban chickens and bees.

Mr. Fitz Fitzgerald signed the above mentioned petition and added that the keeping of chickens, let that be up to the homeowner’s association. He would like to do it personally because it’s healthier and safer alternatives to many of the store-bought consumables. Many cities and townships are allowing chickens on residential lots. He appeals to the Commission to seriously reconsider, let an honest study be conducted. He hopes to have chickens in the next few years and teach his children how to raise them. There are several families living in Holland Township that have chickens and are in the dark regarding this, they don’t know that it’s not allowed.

Oversized Buildings

Mr. Todd Boorsma (10293 Chicago Dr.) suggested that the size of buildings be based on lot size. A 720SF building with a 16’ height is small on his property footprint. Also, the maximum size requirement still doesn’t actually allow for storage of multiple RVs/trailers - it’s contradictory. In addition, if you have a 10’ side wall, a 16’ height with 12-12 pitch, can’t do it properly, looks more like a pole barn. With more height it would look a lot more pleasing. Footprint is dwarfed on his 4-1/2 acres and would like the Township to reconsider these limitations. Developments have restrictions on outbuildings itself, so the Township doesn’t have to. Give people the freedoms they deserve, right to own and occupy property without interference from the government. It’s really overly restrictive. Asks Commission to reconsider pg. 8-3 regarding size and height of buildings.

An unidentified member of the audience mentioned people in Holland Township being in the dark about this zoning ordinances were changing. For example, when long-standing things like the trailer thing being unlimited for years and now restricting it down to one and all you have is an ad saying there’s a hearing or meeting on zoning ordinance changes and don’t specify that big of a change is happening that could affect a lot of people, people don’t know. She talked to 3 neighbors with multiple trailers that didn’t know and are very upset. It was out on social media with lots of comments “I had no idea this was happening”. There are a lot of people who still don’t know, and when they start getting letters in the spring that those trailers are not allowed anymore, there will be a lot of angry people. She also asked about definitions, the questions that were asked tonight and how answers going to be shared with everyone? Does each person individually have to call for the answer? Staff’s opinion is that a utility vehicle is considered a multi-use/recreational vehicle. Commercial vehicles are defined as ones bearing or requiring to bear a commercial plates are not allowed in driveway. Staff indicated a small adjustment is being made to that item. Exceptions would include moving trucks, plumber, and contractors for permitted work, those types of things. So, if you are the plumber, you would not be allowed to park your work truck in your own driveway. Staff sees that this might need to be clarified. What about a snowplow driver that gets called out in the middle of the night? Commission will take a look at all comments from tonight.

Ms. Aultman added that it’s so sad, insulting and prohibitive of people who work really hard to create a business, they’ve taken all the risk, they pay a lot of taxes to this municipality, and to have their businesses so hamstrung, she just thinks it’s shameful.

Legal Notices

Mr. Fitz Fitzgerald was waiting to see a notification in the Holland Sentinel. He only gets the Sunday edition, and the ad for this meeting was run on a Friday. If there’s no cost difference, utilize extra free coverage. He was also hoping to see the PDF copy of the draft ordinance on the website. So much easier and encouraged Staff to utilize website and make the code easily available instead of having to come into the Township office between 8-5.

Mr. VanderMeulen thanked everyone for their comments.

Motion to close the public hearing made by Mr. Bosma, supported by Mr. Nykamp. Motion carried.

The Planning Commission, along with Staff and Mr. Jirousek, will continue to talk about this at another work session, and Staff will poll others for availability, probably a few weeks out (after the 26th of February for Mr. VanderMeulen to be in attendance). Mr. Gebben asked that minutes be put together by category and stand alone as an appendix to the minutes.

Mr. VanderMeulen suggested that Mr. Jirousek and Staff consolidate a bulleted list of points that were made, along with Commissioner’s notes, to discuss at the next work session.

Mr. Gebben wondered if a review of an updated ordinance is typically scheduled within the first year and acknowledged receiving a lot of good comments tonight. Mr. Jirousek responded that it is common with ordinance updates of this significance to hear public concerns/comments after the first year.

Public Comment

An unidentified member of the public, choose the Township because of the community, family, they’re outdoorsy people and have a camper, boat, snowmobiles, and enjoy the opportunities that Michigan presents them to explore. Further consideration of the Commissioners is appreciated. Bear in mind there a youth in this community that want to take part in all the outdoor activities and other opportunities they have in Michigan If we squash that, what are we doing? He’d rather have them doing that than going out there and finding somebody selling drugs and getting into alcohol and other things they shouldn’t be doing. He’s doing his part to make sure they’re on the right path, “do yours”.

Chuck Frees (TNT Fireworks) is wondering when the new ordinance code will be in effect. Would that be in effect by this summer? Is he able to proceed as before or not? State permitting due by April 1st. Staff and Commissioners responded that it’s difficult to predict exact dates at this point; it’s going to be close. Mr. VanderMeulen added that the Commissioners will consider this at the next work session.

Brent Wallenburg wondered if there things like this have ever, or in the future would come up as a public vote or is it not how the system works? Staff explained that there is not a public vote, a recommendation is made by the Planning Commission to the Board of Trustees for approval.

Other Business

The property at 2727 N. 120th Ave., zoned Agriculture. Mr. Broersma indicated that the property will become a good test case as we move forward with some issues. It is compliant, right size, proper frontage, and there have been several inquiries regarding multi-family housing combined with some commercial – it’s gone up for sale recently, so questions are coming in. The future land use map indicates the property as Mixed Use. As we went through this process and looked at the zoning ordinance it was determined not to establish a separate Mixed Use zoning district, rather the Planning Commission’s choice was to allow residential components within a commercial district as a special use. Several perspective buyers have looked at this property. If there would be housing component here, how do the buyers move forward? Rezoning to get that to happen? Would this be rezoned to General Commercial (C-2)? Staff asked for guidance from the Commission on how to move forward. Should areas designated for Mixed Use be considered Commercial or Office-Service? Mr. VanderMeulen replied that the idea behind the mixed use was so that we could put the residential above commercial. Many of the properties in question were Commercial, so Staff should use that as a guide. Commissioners agreed and agreed to have Staff review the topic with the Township Attorney as well.

Mr. Gebben wondered where we are on the timeline to come up with a mixed use district. The C-2 district as proposed in the new code does include residential above the first floor, as a special use, so that is within the proposed zoning ordinance, however we don’t have that certainty yet due to current review.

The next regular meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at 7:00 pm.

The meeting adjourned at 9:23 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Sheri Thomassen
Recording Secretary

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