Regular Meeting
February 5, 2019

Present: Vice-Chairman/Secretary Jack Vander Meulen, Members Ken Bosma, Dennis Gebben, Randy Kortering, and Norm Nykamp. 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 from the regular meeting of January 8, 2019, was made by Mr. Kortering, supported by Mr. Nykamp.  All in favor. Motion carried.

Vice-Chairman Vander Meulen explained the Public Hearing process to the audience.  

Vice-Chairman Vander Meulen opened the Public Hearing for consideration of a special use request submitted by Asmir and Leslie Horic on behalf of Bob Vandersloot for land addressed as 11140 Watertower Court, Unit 110, described more specifically as Parcel Number 70-16-23-320-019. Petitioner is seeking permission for Vehicle Sales with Vehicle Wash services at a proposed used car dealership. The subject property is currently zoned C-2 Community Commercial.

Asmir & Leslie Horic were present to speak to the request and confirmed that the space is already set up for this type of use. Mr. Horic added that the outside is ready too, however they might need parking spaces remarked.  The drawing submitted with their application was reviewed.

Questions and comments from the Commissioners followed.

How many cars will be on site at one time, and where will they be displayed?
Ten cars maximum, including cars being detailed and on display (facing Water Tower Ct). Staff added that with consideration for employee and customer parking there may be 13-15 spaces needed at any given time which chews up approximately 40% of the site’s total parking.

Are there enough spaces for the entire building?
Yes; Other units are mainly storage units.

What if, in the future, if other units get sold and have a use other than storage?
Parking spaces would be addressed with the landlord at that time.

How many spaces are allotted per unit?
That never came up; they don’t plan on having more than the display area plus vehicles being detailed.

What about signage?
Customer parking will be marked. Business name will be added to the existing awning on unit.

Mr. Kortering asked Staff to clarify “no outside activities” noted in Staff Report, if on a sunny day they wash a car outside. Staff responded that all work/repair/storage should be happening inside.  

Are there grease traps and oil separation?
Not sure, they believe it does; will add, if needed. Mr. Vander Meulen added that the Water Department may be quite concerned if stuff is being washed down the drain.

How many cars can be in the wash/detailing bay?

Mr. Nykamp added that any signage referenced will have to go through the permitting process and any issues or questions would be addressed there.

Mr. Gebben asked Staff to clarify reason for the condition of approval included in the Staff Report since the applicant’s narrative indicated a maximum number of 10: “Identifying a maximum number of vehicles that can be sold at this location, based on the amount of parking available for this tenant space.” Staff responded that the number should be a condition of approval for easy reference later.

In reference to Staff recommendation for a condition of approval included in the Staff Report regarding landscaping, “Requiring the installation of trees and shrubs along the north and west edges of the parking lot adjacent to the tenant space to address landscape requirements in the Zoning Ordinance and better buffer this new use from the existing residential use to the west.”, the Commissioners agreed that landscaping is a landlord responsibility more so than the tenant.  Staff explained additional buffering would makes some sense with the introduction of the new use since there’s a residence to the west. Mr. Gebben added that visibility is important for vehicle sales. Staff added that landscaping could be in clusters, a softening. Mr. Nykamp asked Staff to clarify area where landscaping may be necessary, the area to the north or to the west. Mr. Bosma added that he does not believe landscaping can be added to the north end because of a private road easement, so area to the west would be the only option.

Audience comments - None.  

Motion to close the Public Hearing made by Mr. Bosma, supported by Mr. Gebben.  All in favor. Motion carried.

Vice-Chairman Vander Meulen read through the Special Use Standards of Approval and Staff Comments.

Mr. Nykamp asked that the suggested landscaping condition of approval be clarified. Staff agreed to work with applicant to work on a landscaping plan but asked that the Planning Commission give them some guidance in terms of the extent of lines where landscaping might be added, to the north or to the west, or some parameters. Mr. Bosma asked how this is addressed with just the applicant when it’s really the landlord’s responsibility. Staff responded that the landlord (owner) is bound to the special use and conditions applied, and if the landlord doesn’t agree the special use doesn’t go forward. Commissioners agreed that landscaping shouldn’t have to be extensive for the applicant’s responsibility.  Mr. Gebben asked who maintains that strip – the resident or the landlord? Staff added that if it’s maintained by the resident to the west, then Staff can work with the applicant and the landlord concerning vegetation on the extension between the “backward J” between the driveway and the property line.

Motion to approve the Special Use for Vehicle Sales with Vehicle Wash services at a proposed used car dealership with the following conditions: maximum vehicle display limit of 10, minimal landscaping adjacent to the tenant space to be approved by Staff, no outside activities/storage, outside vehicles must be in operable condition, and applicant is required to adhere to all applicable Zoning Ordinance requirements, including paving and wastewater connection, made by Mr. Nykamp, supported by Mr. Bosma. All in favor.  Motion carried.  

Mr. Vander Meulen introduced a Final Site Plan Review of a multi-family residential condominium project. The vacant property is located at 2502 120th Ave. Applicant is seeking final site plan approval.

Rob Berends/Nederveld, with Attorney, Bill Sikkel, Ryan Kilpatrick/Housing Next, and applicant Mr. Kammeraad were present to speak to this request.  

Mr. Berends shared changes made to the plan:

  • Overall layout is similar but project has been decreased by one building for a total of 72 units to allow for better spacing throughout the site, including 10’ separation between garages.
  • There will be a deceleration lane/bus drop-off/loading zone identified at the entrance. They spoke with Ottawa County Road Commission, and they will plow the main line (120th), and a private plow will take care of the 12’ deceleration lane.  
  • The sidewalk throughout the development was enhanced to provide better continuity through the site.
  • They identified an easement along 120th for a future pedestrian pathway.
  • There will be a centrally located mailstation past unit 3, waste disposal area was redesigned and relocated (double 8-yard dumpsters). They worked with Republic Waste to determine maneuverability.  
  • For safety and visibility, parking spaces and garages were updated, and the internal drive is at 26’ as required.
  • They did a turning movement plan, and it works for fire access.
  • They are providing an easement for connection directly to the east between buildings 8 and 9, and the intent will be to keep that grass for now. If it ever becomes available for an emergency access, it would be paved with a gate and KnoxBox.
  • Tom Vander Kolk requested an easement (30’ wide) for public utilities to extend to the east as well as to the south, so they show an easement headed to the south as well.
  • Side setbacks have been updated to reflect R-2A requirements, and all structures have been moved to comply, including the dumpster.
  • An easement has been secured for a watermain loop through Seven Pines, past building 7 to the north.
  • Sanitary sewage and drainage will be within a utility easement.
  • A project schedule and floor plan have been provided. Each unit will be approximately 1,200 SF, 2 bedroom/2 bath, with individual washer/dryer hookups and furnace/hot water heater for each unit.
  • Outdoor storage limitations are noted on plan as well as language that will be included in the Master Deed, including maintenance of the building, vehicle parking, outside storage, and leasing. Property will be supervised and requirements enforced by the condo association.

Mr. Kilpatrick spoke briefly about Housing Next, a local non-profit affiliated with the United Way and created by the Community Foundation in Holland/Zeeland and Grand Haven areas. Their focus is on workforce housing, and there’s a gap for those earning $25,000-$65,000/year. A manufacturing workforce tends to be priced out of the current market.  The product being proposed is a sweet spot, an important market-oriented product that doesn’t need any form of subsidy and is affordable to households typically earning an annual income of between $40,000-$75,000. Traditionally we see a lot of single-family construction, however the cost of labor, plus the cost of materials, plus the cost of land and infrastructure has increased dramatically relative to inflation and wages over the last 7-8 years. Staff has done a great job of working with the applicant to meet the goals and objectives of the Master Plan.

Questions and comments from the Commissioners followed.

Tell us more about the demographics.
Those earning less than $60,000 are priced out of the Holland/Zeeland market today, unless it’s an older substandard product or some form of government subsidized product. There’s not a lot of new market-rate product coming online that can be built at a cost that’s affordable to those salary levels.

What is the market rate for the proposed product?
It’s Mr. Kilpatrick’s understanding that prices will be between $150,000-$200,000, and when you factor in a traditional 30-year mortgage at 5%, it’s an affordable mortgage. Those kinds of houses are not being currently being built in this market.  

Will it have a neighborhood feel with 8 units per building? Will the units become rentals? Will an investor buy a whole building and rent out units? 
Mr. Kilpatrick is not expecting those that buy this product as their first home will stay for 30 years, but the traditional mortgage amortizing over a 30-year period helps keep cost down. He would not expect that they will become rentals. Mr. Kammeraad answered that their goal is to provide moderately priced housing for purchase, not a rental product.  It’ll capture entry level and change of life situation buyers and provides a price point product that’ll be comfortable. The footprint of the building and amenities within will provide a reasonable and comfortable development for home ownership.  It’s a condominium development intended for home ownership. 

Mr. Gebben acknowledged that the language in the bylaws in regards to rentals is detailed with recognition that they may happen.
Mr. Kammeraad responded that the reason that the language is so pronounced is because Staff asked that they illustrate what type of language the bylaws and master deed would include so that the condo association, the Board, would have the language necessary to administrate and regulate rentals within the condo development - keeping in mind that it’s a condo association and that there will be a Board, and the Board will administrate based on application, if someone gets to a place in their life that it makes sense that they rent their unit out.

The floor plan was displayed.

Mr. Sikkel clarified that the leasing provisions language used in the master deed is standard language he includes in any housing development master deed.  They all have language that allows rentals, not that they intend to do any leasing out there.

Mr. Vander Meulen mentioned apartment complexes where somebody buys a whole building and rents out individual units vs. home ownership.
Mr. Kammeraad explained the difference - that those apartment complexes built to be apartment buildings, have always been apartment buildings, are not governed by a board, and oversight is vastly different in a condo situation.  There will be bylaws and a master deed. He added that the property for the proposed project is patterned after Crystal Waters. The price point is $175,000-$185,000, and Mr. Kammeraad doesn’t see an investor buying a building of 8 units for $175,000 each and turn that into a rental or apartment building; he doesn’t think it’s economically feasible. The whole thing is targeted and geared toward a price point where it will be owner-occupied property.  

Mr. Kortering asked what elements, mentioned in Staff’s Report, have not been resolved.  Staff replied that there’s still concern regarding a single point of access. Also, the floor plan needs more review. And landscape plan is not complete, and a requested tree survey has not been provided.  Staff added that with the new ordinance and requirements for private drives vs. public roads, how are we going to classify this type of development where they’re not adhering to either one of those standards in terms of having 66’ wide easement over top of the main thoroughfare, setbacks, etc.  Ideally Staff would like to see a connection to the east as a public road, but if private, a gate be added for emergency access. Is this a question the Planning Commission wants to talk about at this time?

Mr. Gebben is troubled by the public street, private street and in this case, a drive. Drive vs. Private Street - he would like defined criteria for both of those things. Staff replied that a private street easement has certain requirements just like a public road. Mr. Gebben wondered if this was a private street and if they wanted to design and build it as is, can they go to the Board of Review to get a variance on something like this? Staff replied that they could classify it as a private street, yes, and could apply for a variance. Everyone acknowledged it’s a difficult site to work with, and everything is “pinched”. Is it being force fitted into this space? Is it the best use for this property?  Mr. Vander Meulen wonders how anything can be built anymore. Natural gas is taking 1-2 years, same thing with cable companies. There isn’t a place to build affordable housing. There has to be give and take with something like this.  Mr. Bosma agrees. There’s a gray area between private street and a driveway.  These projects have been successfully done with driveways. There are two apartment complexes off Riley, and Falcon Woods and others with the same situation, none have private streets in them. This is that type of development. If it’s considered a condo type-thing, let them be under one association because of the uniqueness of the width of this. He doesn’t see it as an issue but would like to address the access to the east for future tie-in.  Mr. Kammeraad added that for emergency access long term, it makes a lot of sense that they provide a “gateway”. He doesn’t think it makes sense to add a new racetrack off James that becomes a road.  They would want to provide an easement for emergency access. Mr. Bosma asked if they would provide in a document who would be responsible for that cost when the time comes, that it would be the association’s expense.  Mr. Sikkel replied that it would be in the disclosure statement up front, money escrowed, and recorded in the Easement Agreement and Master Deed. Buyers would be well aware.

What about the 26’ drive in front of garages? Where is the 26’ measured from?  Is parking allowed in front of the garages?
Mr. Berends pointed out the dimensions on the plan. No parking is allowed in front of garages.

Will single garbage area be a problem?  
Staff has a potential concern with trash outside of units, in hallways, etc. due to the distance to garbage dumpster from some buildings, weather, inconvenience, physical condition, etc.  Can’t be quantified, a potential concern. Mr. Bosma asked if Crystal Waters is a single point. They have 166 units and 4 dumper locations, distance away for some is comparable. Mr. Kammeraad responded that it’s a central location, how people come and go, where they get their mail and drop off trash, walkable when the weather’s decent, and it will keep garbage trucks from going all the way through the development.

The Fire Chief has signed off on being able to maneuver in the back.

Regarding the garage area across from building 9, Staff’s concern is with the hard edge of the turn by the corner of the garage, a potential hazard for onsite traffic.
Mr. Berends added that a bollard or two on that corner would be doable and that it would not impact the Fire Chief’s turning radius.

Mr. Kortering shared that from Haworth’s perspective, we need this. It’s difficult to hire people. He has a passion for the need.  Mr. Vander Meulen agreed that this is set apart because this will be owner-occupied.  Affordable housing is needed for employers to secure employees in this area.

Audience comments - none.

Vice-Chairman Vander Meulen read through the Site Plan Conditions of Approval and Staff Comments. Staff Recommendations follow:

  • Prior to the issuance of any permit, a final tree survey and corresponding landscape plan shall be submitted and approved by Staff.
  • A revised site plan shall be submitted with a design approved by Staff for the garage area across from Building #9.
  • Prior to the issuance of any permit, a financial performance guarantee, acceptable to the Township, shall be provided for the following:
     - Interior site driveway/private road and all common area improvements.
     - Emergency access drive to the east.
  • Prior to the issuance of any permit, approval from the Ottawa County Water Resources Commissioner (OCWRC) will be required.
  • Prior to the issuance of any certificates of occupancy, the applicant shall provide a copy of the engineer’s certification (this can be in the form of a letter) stating that the drainage features were installed per the OCWRC approved plans.

Motion to approve the final site plan with Staff Recommendations, and ensuring language regarding future emergency access be sufficient to secure Township and advise buyers made by Mr. Bosma, supported by Mr. Kortering.  All in favor. Motion carried. 

Mr. Vander Meulen introduced an Intent to Plan, a request to change the Township’s Comprehensive Future Land Use Map submitted by Mr. Chuck May on behalf of the owner of property on the northwest corner of Riley and 120th Ave. The owner requests that the future land use of this parcel be changed from C-1 Neighborhood Commercial to C-2 Community Commercial.

No one was present to speak to this request.  The Commissioners discussed the request.

Motion to deny the request to amend the Future Land Use Map made by Mr. Kortering, supported by Mr. Nykamp. All in favor.  Motion carried.

Staff will clarify if this has to go to the Board.  

Public Comment – None.

Other Business

12659 Riley St. - Restaurant with Drive-thru (tabled 12/4/18).
Update from Staff- Applicant is looking at former Quizno’s space as an option.  Remains tabled.

Staff will email 2019 meeting schedule.

The next meeting is planned for March 5, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

The meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Sheri Thomassen, Recording Secretary