HOLLAND CHARTER TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION
March 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, and Vern Johnson. Also present were Community Development Director John Said, Assistant Community Development Director Corey Broersma, and Recording Secretary Sheri Thomassen.
Absent: Chairman Marion Hoeve, Member Ed Zylstra
Motion to approve the minutes for special meeting of February 27, 2018, made by Mr. Nykamp, supported by Mr. Johnson. Motion carried.
Mr. Vander Meulen explained the Public Hearing process to the audience.
Mr. VanderMeulen opened the public hearing for consideration of a Special Use request submitted by William Sikkel on behalf of Boat Lifts Unlimited, LLC and the Gladys Kuipers Trust for land addressed as 4424 and 4430 136th Ave., described more specifically as Parcel Number 70-16-05-100-036 and -037 respectively. Petitioner is seeking permission for the outdoor storage of boat lifts. The property is in the I-2, General Industrial.
Lance Kuipers, owner of Boat Lifts Unlimited and son of Gladys Kuipers, was present to speak to this request. He shared the history and nature of the business, including operating for more than 20 years without complaint out of this location. Almost all actual work takes place on a barge on lakes near people’s homes. In addition to winter storage, they also sell and repair lifts. Without this affordable service and storage, the lifts would end up in people’s yards in residential neighborhoods. He also indicated that 10-15 hours of work in an entire year is done outside, and that there has been no negative impact on his neighbors or the neighborhood. They would like to continue to do a handful of small repair jobs outside when weather permits. There are a handful of by-appointment visits scheduled, so only a few parking spaces are needed. The property is accessed by private roads with lots of trees and vegetation. The surface is natural, solid ground and drains nicely; they would prefer to not have to excavate. The lifts drag and leave marks on pavement but move easily on natural ground cover. Mr. Kuipers expressed his thanks to the Township staff, especially Corey, for assistance in this special use process. He hopes that the Planning Commission will agree that Boat Lifts Unlimited and the service they provide is a benefit to the community and a good fit in the Township.
Questions from the Commissioners followed:
- When was the aerial picture taken, what time of year? Unknown.
- What is the quantity of lifts stored outside? Maybe 75 in the winter; a few stay out in the summer for various reasons (10 on average).
- Is vegetation growing through the lifts; looks they’ve been there a long time? No, the lifts are positioned under the trees at times, but there are none with vegetation growing through them.
- Are lifts fabricated on the property? No, they’re assembled.
- How much real estate does Boat Lifts Unlimited occupy in addition to the storage yard? They move to wherever they don’t have other tenants. Ninety percent of the work they do is off a barge, so they don’t need much indoor space. Lifts have been stored outside at “home base” for 20+ years.
- Is the business fluid? Is it always moving around? No. Assembly moves around as space is available (as other tenants come and go), but it always happens at that location.
- What about screening? What if Mrs. Kuipers sells? The property will all go together, Mrs. Kuipers won’t break it up. Other tenants know what’s going on there and are not surprised.
- Mr. Vander Meulen added that the property, from the aerial, looks “helter skelter” and that it may look like they’re riding by a junk yard, plus it’s not on an improved surface. What are plans to improve moving forward? Mr. Kuipers indicated that he uses tree lines and the natural vegetation and angles when positioning the lifts, and that he would like to keep the surface natural. Mr. Kuipers agreed that some lifts could be re-positioned, in addition to eliminating some lifts from the southwest corner of the lot. Water coming off Shoreline building is sucked up, drains nicely. Scum build-up on the lifts runs off with rain, harmlessly into the ground, probably providing soil benefit. It has been working pretty good for 20+ years and he would like to keep doing it. Mr. Kuipers offered that maybe planting some evergreens would help relieve some of Mr. Vander Meulen’s concerns regarding the “junk yard” look. Mr. Kuipers invited the Commissioners to come by and check it out.
Staff added that the new ordinance gives latitude to Staff to approve a “suitable surface”. Mr. Gebben added that it would have to be in compliance with the ordinance, and he would hate to see it paved, it’s a waste of resources and bad water policy in his view. Issues are managing storm water, screening and aesthetics. Storage along Shoreline will have to be moved back to meet set-back requirements.
Mr. Kuipers clarified that boat owners do not use this site, only the business owner. Mr. Vander Meulen added that all work should happen inside.
No one in the audience was present to speak to this request.
Motion to close Public Hearing made by Mr. Bosma, supported by Mr. Gebben. Motion carried.
Special Use Considerations and Staff Comments/Recommendations were read by Mr. Vander Meulen.
Motion to approve the Special Use if the applicant will work with Staff to come up with a plan that meets the requirements of the ordinance with regard to screening, setbacks and surfacing and that the sole activity be for boat lifts, no outdoor repair, storage only, made by Mr. Gebben and supported by Mr. Nykamp. All in favor. Motion carried. Should come back to the Planning Commission for information only.
Mr. Vander Meulen opened the public hearing for consideration of a Special Use request submitted by William Sikkel on behalf of TKP Investments, LLC for land addressed as 156 East Lakewood Boulevard, described more specifically as Parcel Number 70-16-20-275-021. Petitioner is seeking permission for automobile broker services. The property is in the C-2, General Commercial.
Bill Sikkel was present to speak to this request and explained that an automobile broker is different than a used auto sales in that the broker doesn’t take title of the vehicle. The broker will work on behalf of the buyer or seller, working with classic or collector cars mainly, in this case. There will be very little traffic on the property related to brokering since most activity will be done online and unnoticeable to the general public. Site is already used by Macatawa Auto for used automobile sales/leasing, so brokerage seems to be a compatible use.
Questions from the Commissioners followed:
- Will there be a change in the number of parking spaces? No. These cars will be inside, if on the property at all, not displayed outdoors.
- Will there be public auctions? No.
- Will there be a sign? No.
No one in the audience was present to speak to this request.
Motion to close Public Hearing made by Mr. Johnson, supported by Mr. Nykamp. Motion carried.
Staff pointed out that this special use would not include parts. Martin Boyce, General Manager, Leadfoot Muscle Cars, clarified their only interest is in classic vehicles stored inside, marketed on the internet, no desire to do parts or component pieces or anything like that.
Special Use Considerations and Staff Comments/Recommendations were read by Mr. Vander Meulen. It was noted that should more parking be needed it will come at the expense of number of cars on the lot.
Motion to grant the special use request with stipulation that car count would count against the original number of cars on the lot and anything short of a full car must be stored inside, and there will be no public auctions on site made by Mr. Nykamp, supported by Mr. Bosma. All in favor. Motion carried.
Mr. Vander Meulen opened the continuance of public hearing for consideration of a Special Use request (tabled from January 2, 2018 and February 6, 2018) submitted by Ralph Wyngarden on behalf of Verizon Wireless for land at 10636 Chicago Dr., 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.
Ralph Wyngarden (Faulk & Foster, 678 Front Avenue NW, Grand Rapids) on behalf of Verizon Wireless was present to speak to this request. Mr. Wyngarden expressed his appreciation to Staff for their assistance in this process and feels that they’re in agreement with Staff recommendations and requirements. This tower will fill in gaps in coverage and share load of other existing towers.
Questions and comments from the Commissioners followed:
- The actual location was pointed out by Mr. Wyngarden.
- How far from the edge of the playground? 95’ to property line to the south (meets requirement per Staff); Staff clarified 389’ to school building and 424’ to nearest residence to north.
- Mr. Wyngarden summarized maps showing tower locations and strength of signal.
- Will the tower be standard construction or “fake tree”? Standard, not fake.
Mr. Vander Meulen thanked the applicant for the work on gathering all required documents.
No one in the audience was present to speak to this request.
Motion to close the continuance of Public Hearing made by Mr. Bosma, supported by Mr. Nykamp. Motion carried.
Staff commented that the applicant significantly met any objections. Mr. Said added that it might be helpful to add trees along Chicago Drive and the east property line to help visually soften appearance of the tower. Mr. Bosma replied that may be a challenge due to location of sanitary sewer and right of way, and that it could be looked at but we don’t want roots tearing up pavement. Staff agreed to the extent where practical and possible.
Motion to approve the special use with staff review of landscaping made by Mr. Bosma, supported by Mr. Gebben. All in favor. Motion carried.
Mr. Vander Meulen opened the public hearing for consideration of a rezoning request submitted by Mary Nygrens on behalf of the Carol King estate, to change the lands addressed as 10502 Adams Street, described more specifically as Parcel Number 70-16-35-200-006 from A, Agriculture and F, Floodplain to R-1, Single-family Residential and F, Floodplain.
Becky Page, Holland Engineering, was present to speak to this request. Ms. Page indicated that this rezoning request is supported by the master plan.
Rezoning Considerations and Staff Comments were reviewed.
Bob Harmsen (687 Garden Ridge) asked who initiated this rezoning request and why. And why did it change from R-3 to R-1? Staff explained that the developers are the applicants with authorization of the property owners per the application. And the zoning request comes after preliminary PUD approval which at that time the Planning Commission determined the concept of the attached single family was appropriate for the PUD. The PUD review and approval process does allow for applicants to request exceptions to the code, and in this particular instance the request is for R-1 zoning is a detached single family zoning district. The proposed use has been revised to 76 townhomes (attached single family residences), no more than 4 in a line, to be discussed later.
Mr. Gebben asked when it comes to rezoning, does applicant have to state intended use of property? Is this germane at this point to Commission’s deliberation? Generally speaking our goal is always to try to get it to be closer to future land use plan. It is not a requirement to state intended use.
Juanita Bocanegra (Garden Ridge) asked if applicant has legal standing on behalf of the owner. Yes, the owner’s signature is on the application. And although she’s heard it’s going to be a multi-unit development, the classification is single family? Staff clarified that it’s a townhome, also referred to as attached single family. Ms. Bocanegra also asked if the board has considered the flood plains and trusts that this is being reviewed and this is not going to impact further flooding in this area. Mr. Vander Meulen asked that we consider rezoning only at this time and not intended use. The speaker added that this has been a frustrating experience for those who live in the nearby subdivision and that there aren’t more people present because they felt like it doesn’t matter what they say, that the board has already made up their mind.
Motion to close the public hearing made by Mr. Johnson, supported by Mr. Nykamp. Motion carried.
Motion to approve the rezoning request from A, Agriculture and F, Floodplain to R-1, Single-family Residential and F, Floodplain and recommend to the Township Board made by Mr. Bosma, supported by Mr. Nykamp. All in favor. Motion carried.
Final Development Plan - Adam’s Ridge Planned Unit Development, located at the southwest corner of the Adams Street and 104th Avenue intersection. Becky Page, Holland Engineering, was present to address the changes to the PUD:
- Number of units reduced from 80 to76, and 6-10 of those will have an option to be a main floor bedroom or barrier-free unit.
- 1st floor of units min sf of 530sf up to 900sf for main floor bedroom units, overall sf of each unit would not be less than 1200sf min.
- Plans have been revised to include building envelopes as opposed to the actual building shape.
- A new set of plans was provided this afternoon; resubmittal shows 14’ min between each of the building envelopes as well as removing any of the building envelopes from any of the proposed easement areas.
- Driveways are shown to be a min of 22’ long, and building envelopes can be adjusted to allow for a 25’ driveway if that’s what is preferred.
- Emergency access road - willing to work on with fire chief and OCRC on the specifics of that access point.
- Parking proposed 42 spaces and some deferred future parking; will work with staff on desired number of current parking spaces on location of those parking spaces.
- Rules of Establishment for storage will be incorporated in the Establishment rules so that there would not be long-term outdoor parking of RVs and things like that.
- Worked with OCRC on driveway access point and have added a right-turn lane, could also be utilized for bus stop usage.
- Also met with Ottawa County Water Resource Commission and also the Tulip Intercounty Draining Board who has also made a motion for a preliminary approval of the development.
Questions and comments from the Commissioners followed:
- Is the emergency access going across the driveway of one of the units? Mr. Nykamp suggested that needs to be adjusted so that it attaches to the end of the road. Ms. Page agreed that change could be made, if that’s preferred; they were trying to minimize the location of where that’s at compared to the wetlands and floodplain. But emergency access generally is allowed to be put in within a floodplain area as it’s a safety item.
- What is that surface? Needs to be determined, will work with Fire Chief to meet all requirements for an emergency access.
- Number of units reduced by 4, what changed/dropped off? Removed one of the buildings, more room to add units with main floor bedroom.
- Length of driveways – Staff is trying to verify that. Needs to be 25’ for safety reasons.
- Mr. Gebben suggested we keep track of anything that’s a deviation from R-1. The reason why a PUD would be need in order to make this work. If there amenities that are being added that are not being required in an R-1, on the positive side, but beneficial to the overall development; i.e. the emergency access road is not required in an R-1. Staff clarified that this configuration deviates from what would be permitted by County standards in terms of width.
- Private roads with emergency access need to be 26’.
- Are there any decks proposed? No; concrete patios are within the building envelope.
- What about storage for bicycles, boats? Looks like a shed in the back for mechanicals. Storage will be in attached garages or off-site; site managed daily by Property Management.
- Did anybody go out and notice how close they came after the last flood we had? It was dry; Holland Engineering did a great job of laying it out, even had some extra freeboard. Ms. Page added that current proposed draining, each unit will be at least 2’ above the 100 year floodplain elevation.
- Mr. Gebben wished the bike path was on the south side of the road for safety reasons. Mr. Nykamp asked that if this is considered at the Board level to add bike paths on the south side of Adams, would they be willing to add them. Or would there be issues with right of way floodplain? Other options for bike path location were discussed. Would the Township add them? Does the Township need to ask the developer/applicant to provide a 10’ easement for future bike path?
- Would applicant consider a bus stop shelter? No structure is allowed due to utility easement; no space anywhere close to where bus would stop. Students would have to walk 50’ if shelter were located on the east side of the entrance. Mr. Vander Meulen suggested this would be a good feature to add.
- Mr. Broersma wondered if it’s safe to assume that the gas company and utilities would allow sidewalk along that taper, deceleration lane, as a drop off pad for the bus if the bus stop was to be utilized in that location? Ms. Page replied that she thinks they allow pavement as long as the grade is maintained. They are willing to review that with the gas company. Mr. Nykamp suggested they check back with the school again to make sure the location of the pad makes sense. Mr. Vander Meulen would really like to see them add a shelter. Mr. Bosma added that they need to be careful with sight vision when adding structures.
- Parking – 24 spaces may be installed later and parking would be monitored by Property Management, based on supply and demand. Staff added that the developer may be asked down the road based on Sheriff Department or Code Enforcement reports.
Mr. Said reviewed the Staff Report and highlighted concerns and items that need to be clarified.
- Emergency access road is a concern.
- Building envelope setbacks, minimum 14’, needs to be clarified.
- Concern between parking spaces and units, where guest parking is too close to units, would like to see addressed.
- Landscaping proposed is not adequate around guest parking areas, none shown. Provide enhanced landscaping on the plan, a rendering like what was provided for the units would be nice to include.
- Garbage and refuse curbside pick-up – will that be sufficient with the number of tenants moving in and out? Needs to be addressed by applicant.
- Some confusion regarding floor plans and how things are labeled.
- The southeast corner of the area, building envelopes for units 45-48 and 49-52, need to be realigned to not conflict with the proposed easement. Needs to be addressed.
- The retaining wall between units 9-12, 13-16, and 17-20 is approximately 7’ high resulting in privacy concerns. Needs to be modified.
- The opportunity to reorient units 73-76 to an east-west access should be reviewed by the applicant to help reduce visual impact of the development.
How is mail being done? There will be a community mailbox at the entrance. That needs to be shown on the plan.
Motion to table this request until applicant has addressed all matters of concern or in question made by Mr. Nykamp, supported by Mr. Bosma. All in favor. Motion carried.
The next order of business was consideration of a proposed Resolution and Report concerning the recommended approval of a proposed amendment to the Macatawa Legends Planned Unit Development project. The applicant that the projected finish date is December 31, 2033.
John Tenpas, Driesenga & Associates, was present on behalf of Mick McGraw, to answer any questions and gave a summary of the project.
Motion made by Mr. Bosma for Staff to provide the Board of Trustees with the favorable Resolution and Report, including revision to legal description with the projected finish date of December 31, 2033, and recommend its approval.
Supported by Mr. Gebben. All in favor. Motion carried.
The next order of business was the review of the text of the 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.
The memo below dated March 5, 2018, from David M. Jirousek, Williams & Works, was read by Mr. Said which summarized and clarified changes to the January 11, 2018 Public Hearing Draft agreed upon during the special meeting on February 27, 2018:
Table 4.3B. Revise min. floor area (s.f.) for multi-family in R-2A to “720 plus 150 square feet per additional bedroom over 1.”
Section 8.13 A. Revise to state: “This section applies to tents when permitted in association with special events and temporary outdoor sales, as defined in Article 22.”
Section 8.13 B.1. Revise to state: “Tents are subject to International Fire Code and Township permitting requirements.”
Section 8.13 B.3. Revise to state: “No tent shall be located within 20 feet of a lot line, structure, building, generator, internal combustion engine, and any outdoor cooking apparatus that produces sparks or grease-laden vapors. Generators and other internal combustion engines shall be isolated from the general public by access control.”
Section 8.13 B.7-8. Delete and renumber section.
Section 9.15 A. Revise to state: “Conformance to State Regulations. All manufactured home communities shall conform to the all applicable State regulations.”
Section 9.15 B. Revise to state: “Subject to Subsection A above, each lot in the community shall have:”
Section 9.20. Revise to be re-lettered so as to have A. through D.
Section 9.20 B. Revise to state: “Temporary outdoor sales may be permitted only in connection with, incidental to, and on the same lot as, a permitted use. Outside party temporary outdoor sales and sales on vacant parcels are prohibited. Proof of tenant occupancy in the principle building shall be provided to the satisfaction of the Zoning Administrator. This section does not apply to non-profit organization fundraisers.”
Section 9.22 B. Delete and renumber section.
Section 10.2.F.2. Revise to state: Commercial vehicle parking is restricted to one (1) per lot of record, up to a Class III (14,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating) commercial heavy duty pickup truck or van without modifications to its factory storage capacity. This section shall not apply to temporary commercial vehicle parking while engaged in a delivery, pickup, or service call to the property where located, or those parked completely in an enclosed private garage or accessory building.
Section 10.2 G.1. Revise to state: “The maximum number of recreational equipment parked or stored outdoors on a lot of record shall comply with Table 10.2. Limits and restrictions do not apply to farm equipment on farms.”
Table 10.2 Recreational Equipment Maximums
2 max. on property including 1 max. in front yard
3 max. on property including 1 max. in front yard
4 max. on property including 1 max. in front yard
Section 12.3. Revise Table 12.3 as follows:
Table 12.3 Required Site Illumination
Location on Site
Parking Lots and Building Entrances
0.6 (at any point)
0.2 (at any point)
Along Front Lot Line Adjacent to the Street Frontage
Along a Lot line Adjoining a Non-Residential Use or District
Along a Lot line Adjoining a Residential Use or District
Section 22.2 Definitions. Revise to state: Recreational Equipment. Any of the following: recreation camper, boat, boat trailer, snowmobile, snowmobile trailer, motorcycle or motorcycle trailer, all-terrain vehicle, all-terrain vehicle trailer, enclosed trailers, utility trailers, or similarly licensed vehicles, trailers, or equipment.
Section 22.2 Definitions. Revise to state: Vehicles and Trailers, Commercial. Any vehicle or trailer bearing or required to bear commercial license plates and/or DOT numbers. Examples include, but are not limited to:
Semi-truck trailers, which shall include flat beds, stake beds, roll-off containers, tanker bodies, dump bodies, and full or partial box-type enclosures;
Food trucks and vehicles of a type that are commonly used for the delivery of food or vending supplies;
Pickup trucks, vans, and trailers commonly used by construction industry contractors;
Tow trucks and repair service trucks;
Vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; and
Commercial trailers designed to haul heavy equipment, materials, and supplies.
Mr. Said also reported the total number of zoning variation requests regarding oversized accessory buildings over that past 3 years: 2015 – 3; 2016- 7; 2017 – 7. Not all of them were approved, but those are the total number requested.
Ms. Inez Altman (10337 Hannah Dr.) expressed her thanks for being part of this process, she has enjoyed it and has learned a lot. She asked that corner lots be reviewed and how that is handled, would like to see that addressed. She also and wondered why pick-up trucks owned by a contractor are different than a panel van? Needs clarification.
Bob Harmsen (687 Garden Ridge Dr.) wanted to address PUD at 10502 Adams St. He’s concerned that the Commissioners changed plan to single family R-1 zoning as it’s part of the master plan and thought it fit in with the neighborhood, but now they’re considering putting 76 units part of R-1 single family but there are no no apartment complexes in this area. Regarding crossing the road, it’s a busy street, not a very safe situation due to being at the bottom of the hill. And also the apartment complex is 4 times the size of their association. Has sewer and water for 76 units at the bottom of the hill been considered? Is pumping station at Adams Street capable of handling additional 76 plus whatever houses are built along that area? School bus – at bottom of the hill, there will be a deceleration lane, but if you pull off to the side you can’t see the lights anymore. Also, safe stopping distance requires minimum of 500’; there’s 560’ feet when you’re coming down the hill, and at 55mph, they require 500’ for a standard vehicle; semi’s, night, slippery, people speeding, those distances go up over 600’, we’re infringing on what American Association of Highway Design uses to design roads. Also, the floodplain. They’re close on the floodplain requirements. He referenced the FEMA map, and they’re infringing on it. Walking out there after it rains doesn’t mean they’re hitting the 100 year flood mark and where the floodplain is. Please consider. Also, no one mentioned anything about rental rates and who is going to be renting these apartments. Low income or high income makes a big difference in surrounding property values.
Nicole VanOss (12065 James St.) currently what is proposed would require her to move something on her property. She has a between 1-2 acres, the proposed 480sf is less than 1% of her property, and it might only fit their camper, and height would probably not be sufficient. What would we rather see? A trailer on her property or a bigger building?
Daniel Veldheer (11340 Riley St.) has hobby farm with lots of trailers, utility trailers, tractors, snowmobiles and ATVs, on almost 10 acres. His daughter does 4H and fairs (horse trailers, camper) and they use the ATVs for work (fence repair). He also has boats. They use the property for farming and trails and keeps it looking nice. Maximum proposed 4 trailers is not enough. With 10 acres, he isn’t hurting anyone with that much property and having trailers on there. He’s zoned Agriculture. Agriculture is exempt from maximums for farm use. There are many gray areas in what’s proposed - are these things considered recreational or farm use?
Lisa Scholtens (3148 104th Ave.) would like Commissioners to look at corner lots because that would affect her greatly. Concerned as to how big of a problem we are trying to fix based on complaint summary shared previously. Also, regarding some comments made regarding RVs and chickens, goals of masterplan page 4 goals is to promote the interest of citizens at large as opposed to those of individuals or special interest groups – has concerns on how many complaints vs. how many people have additional RVs. Are you really looking at citizens at large or are we looking at specific informal conversations? What’s driving this? Do we base our property rights based on the value of the home? Do people with bigger homes get more rights and get to say what happens on the neighbor’s property? Concerned with how these changes came about.
Fitz Fitzgerald (421 Felch) stated that we don’t have specific numbers on how many complaints were issued just for trailers on the last year. Even if every single complain was trailer-related, it would be small number. He proposes a waiting period, maybe for one year for a listening period, and that there be a grandfathered non-conforming. Doesn’t think it’s fair to make Boy Scouts and others to spend money that may not have to build a building for their two extra trailers. He hopes there will be grandfathered, non-conforming. Curious regarding ordinance as a whole, where is this going to hurt the Commissioners, what sacrifices will we have to make?
Mr. Vander Meulen acknowledged that corner lots still need to be addressed. Staff clarified that a corner lot is two front yards, so if you’re going to park it on one of those front yards it has to be a paved surface.
Mr. Said read limits of commercial vehicle parking again for clarification (Sec. 10.2.F.2.) “Commercial vehicle parking is restricted to one (1) per lot of record, up to a Class 111 (14,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating) commercial heavy duty pickup truck or van without modifications to its factory storage capacity. This section shall not apply to temporary commercial vehicle parking while engaged in a delivery, pickup or service call to the property where located, or those parked completely in an enclosed private garage or accessory building.” This expands what’s currently allowed.
Mr. Vander Meulen asked if someone gets cited for something, is there any kind of recourse? Staff confirmed that, yes, through Zoning Board of Appeals or 58th District Court (if a citation/ticket is issued).
Mr. Gebben is not happy with numerical standards, and added that others are approaching it in different ways. Would like to explore this more. The size allowed doesn’t fit in any garage unless you have 5 acres, the correlation between the buildings you can build and the number of vehicles you can own contradicts in his opinion. Mr. Bosma disagreed and suggested that numerical values are a good way to go for the property owner and for the administration. It’s the clearest thing for a resident to understand what they can have without doing an additional mapping expense and it makes it clearer for the administration. Mr. Gebben doesn’t approach it from the standpoint of what makes it easier for the administration, he wants to be able to support the lifestyles of everyone in the Township as long as it’s a lifestyle that’s not abusive to their neighbors. If there are things being done that are aesthetically unpleasing, we have to have the tools to control that, but he’d like to look at this further. There are townships around us that are a step or two above us in the value of their real estate, they’re looser on some of these control of toys than we are in this township. If property values are higher are they less regulated? Where’s the sweet spot. Feels this needs to be talked about. Staff added that this proposal to provide a numerical value is something that’s been talked about many times, and Staff is responding to what the Commission has asked for. It’s either got to be number allowed or none.
Mr. Gebben mentioned accessory building size, goes back to subdivision on the east side of his property, and wondered if they can have 1200sf buildings on less than one acre approved by the PC, and it’s worked out okay. Why can it be okay for them and not okay for the ordinance? Why does it have to be done as a PUD? Mr. Vander Meulen explained that the whole neighborhood is that way and sees the whole thing as you’re not different than what your neighbor is, and you expect what’s going to be able to happen vs. somebody putting up a larger building on a smaller lot in a more populated area where a large building might seem out of place. Mr. Bosma added that a PUD document sees that building envelope and sees that it’s consistent.
Staff had someone ask about chickens yet, along with public comments made tonight regarding accessory buildings and RVs, Mr. Vander Meulen asked for ideas on how to move on.
Mr. Nykamp questioned how many times do we go back and reopen. Mr. Bosma agreed. We’ve been working on this since November 2016, and thinks the last few months have added the ability to work with public suggestions, and there’s been a lot of work and time put in by Staff and the Consultant, he would like to send on to Township Board. Mr. Nykamp would agree, and mentioned that no matter what we do, we won’t please everybody all the time. Where have the people been until now? In any capacity, we beg people to join in the Township business.
Social media comments were briefly discussed, with some clarification as to the Board members being Holland Township residents. It was clarified for the audience that all Board and Commission members have to be Township residents.
Mr. Vander Meulen invited public to talk to Township Commissioners or Board about their concerns.
Motion to pass on to Township Board with revisions received from Consultant made by Mr. Bosma, supported by Mr. Nykamp. In favor: 4 (Mr. Vander Meulen, Mr. Bosma, Mr. Nykamp, Mr. Johnson); Opposed: 1 (Mr. Gebben). Motion carried.
Mr. Johnson commented that it will be easier once it’s adopted by the Board because these ordinances are what we live by.
Staff asked if Commissioners would allow reducing future slide presentations to summary information and graphics for reference purposes, eliminating some of the text. The overhead camera could be used for additional text as needed. Commissioners agreed.
Consultant will incorporate revisions to ordinance into working document from January 11, 2018, and should be available online within 1-2 weeks. In the meantime PDF copies are available upon request. Mr. Fitzgerald asked that it would be nice to get an email blast when things of this nature are being talked about.
In response to audience member who just heard about the ordinance changes in the last two weeks, Staff responded that all Planning Commission meetings are public, agendas are posted online, and public notices are published in the Sentinel.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 7:00 pm.
The meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m.