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MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
OF THE KENTWOOD PLANNING COMMISSION
AUGUST 9, 2016, 7:30 P.M.
COMMISSION CHAMBERS
 (return  to index)
 
  1. Chair Young called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
     
  2. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Commissioner Pemberton.
     
  3. Roll Call:
    Members Present: Bill Benoit, Emily Bridson, Garrett Fox, Dan Holtrop, Sandra Jones, Ed Kape, Mike Pemberton, Frank Vander Hoff,  and Johngerlyn Young
    Members Absent: None
    Others Present:  Economic Development Planner Lisa Golder, Planner Joe Pung, Staff Secretary Monique Collier and the applicants.
     
  4. Approval of the Minutes and Findings of Fact
     
    Motion by Commissioner Kape, supported by Fox Commissioner         to approve the Minutes of July 26, 2016 and the Findings of Fact for: Case#9-16 - Child Care Institute – Rezoning of 5.47 acres of land from RPUD-2 Low Density Residential Planned Unit Development to RPUD-1 High Density Residential Planned Unit Development Located at 3924 Shaffer Ave SE; Case #10-16 – Child Care Institute – Special Land Use and Site Plan Review of a Child Caring Institution Located at 3924 Shaffer Ave SE
  5. Motion Carried (9-0) –
     
    Jones noted that there wasn’t a name of who supported the motion on page 7 of the minutes in Case # 10-16 Child Care Institute. Bridson supported the motion. Minutes approved with change noted.
     
  6. Approval of the Agenda
     
    Motion by Commissioner Pemberton, supported by Commissioner Benoit,                              to approve the agenda for the August 9, 2016 meeting.
     
  7. Motion Carried (9-0) –
     
  8. Acknowledge visitors wishing to speak to non-agenda items.
     
    There was no public comment.
     
  9. Old Business
     
    There was no Old Business
  10. Public Hearing
     
    Case #11-16 – Grand Rapids Auto Gallery – Major Change to an Approved Site Plan Located at 4722 50th St. SE
     
    Pung stated the request is a major change to a site plan that the planning commission approved March 10, 2015 for an indoor vehicle sales operation in an industrial district. He stated the major change is for a 12,000 square foot building addition to the existing building. Pung stated at the time the original special land use and site plan were approved by the planning commission, they also showed a 6,000 square foot addition which they have subsequently built.
     
    Pung stated there were issues with outdoor storage of vehicles, therefore on May 25, 2016 the applicant came before the planning commission to explain what was going on and different alternatives. One solution was the 12,000 square foot addition that is being proposed. Pung stated there were no issues raised at the work session or by staff. The zoning board of appeals approved the variance to construct the 12,000 square foot addition.
     
    Pung stated his recommendation is for conditional approval of the site plan date June 21, 2015 and received July 11, 2016 as stated in his memo.
     
    Chris Hoexum, GR Auto Gallery was present. He stated they want to accommodate their growth that they have experienced since moving in the building about a year ago. He stated this additional expansion is going to maximize the total square footage of the building. He stated they want the full 12,000 square feet to provide them with future growth for decades. He stated it will give them a substantial amount of additional indoor storage of their vehicles.
     
    Young opened the public hearing.
     
    There was no public comment.
     
    Motion by VanderHoff, supported by Pemberton, to close the public heating.
     
  11. Motion Carried (9-0) –
     
    Benoit stated we have had a number of these request and questioned if this is something we need to go back and revisit in the ordinance. Pung stated we have had 3 or 4 requests.
     
    Fox asked if there will be any additional staff. Hoexum stated they just hired someone two months ago and they may get an additional sales person and potentially another lot attendant to help them. Fox questioned if they will be adding more office space. Hoexum stated the office space will be the same as it has been.
     
    Pemberton stated he is delighted with their growth.
     
    Motion by Kape supported Benoit, to grant conditional approval of the site plan dated June 21, 2015 and received July 11, 2016. The site plan represents a major change to the site plan approved by the Kentwood Planning Commission on March 10, 2015 in Case 07-15. Approval is condition on condition 1-5 and basis points 1-5 as described in Pungs memo dated August 2, 2016
  12. Motion Carried (9-0) –
     
  13. Work Session
     
    Case#12-16 Cloverleaf Site Condominium – Preliminary Site Plan Review for a Site Condominium Project Located at 4392 Woodside Oaks Drive
     
    Golder introduced the request. She stated there have been a lot of developers proposing something on this site. She stated the requested development is the one that has the fewest number of units. She stated it is about 8.48 acres and they are proposing 8 units, less than one unit per acre. Golder stated there is open space that they share and a private drive that goes off of Cloverleaf. She stated this is a big loop with a cul-de-sac coming off therefore there are no issues with respect to fire.
     
    Golder stated this is a site condominium development. She stated when you get above 4 splits you would have to either plat it or develop a site condominium. She stated a site condominium goes under the condominium act; the ownership instead of being just the unit would also incorporate the lot. Golder stated because of this there are things that are missing on the site plan. She stated, process wise, it works the same way as a plat and the final plat. Golder stated the request is a preliminary site condominium, therefore we don’t necessarily need all the detail but some of the detail needs to be on the plan. Golder stated she mentioned to the applicants that the planning commissioners and residents might be interested in building elevations. Golder stated this is a way to divide the land. There is a lot of information in the engineering report because they are preparing for the next detailed phase. With respect to the site plan for planning the only thing we are requiring is a wider street and the fire department and Engineering wanted to see that as well.
     
    Ed Pynnonen was present.
     
    VanderHoff stated it looks to him that this will be a nice private area without any thru traffic and acre size lots it should be a nice plan. He doesn’t have any problems with the request.
     
    Pemberton asked what the target market will be. Pynnonen stated he doesn’t always know what the market is going to come back with, but right now the homes will be priced around 300,000 dollars. Pynnonen stated he imagines they will target people with younger children. He stated they are in the Forest Hills school district and close to the freeway. He stated they may get a lot of the professionals that want to be downtown buying the homes. Pynnonen stated the homes will start around 300,000 dollars and can be a lot more, he doesn’t want to limit himself.
     
    Bridson asked about sidewalks. Pynnonen stated he likes sidewalks in neighborhoods with small children. He stated but they need to hook up to something. The main street that comes into the development does not have any sidewalks since it is a dead end street and not a lot of people living on it. He stated he is not as concerned about sidewalks if they had a neighborhood with a thru street then maybe. Discussion ensued regarding sidewalks in the Master Plan suggestions to amend the zoning ordinance to make them mandatory.  Golder stated there is a trail that runs through the nearby Woodside Oaks site condo development.
     
    Fox questioned the type of homes and square footage. Pynnonen stated he is building custom homes, therefore it depends on what the person buying the lot wants to have built. Pynnonen stated each home will be a little bit different. He stated by the next meeting he would not have many more elevations and floor plans. He cannot predict what the market will demand.
     
    Fox asked Pynnonen will they have a Homeowners Association (HOA). Pynnonen stated that there will be a simple HOA. They will not be doing any maintenance on anyone else’s lot. The HOA will be primarily just for roads. There will be snowplowing and maintenance of the roads. Fox stated he would echo the desire for sidewalks and also potentially hooking up with the trail. Pynnonen stated the trail is on private property and he doesn’t have a right to hook up to it. Pynnonen stated he is not being cheap and not putting sidewalks in but unless it connects up to something people aren’t going to use them for the most part with 8 lots. He stated he doesn’t think it is appropriate because the development doesn’t connect to anything and it will never connect to anything. Pynnonen stated he at the very end of the street there is nothing that will ever tie into anything.
     
    Holtrop stated it looks good and pretty harmonius with the surrounding neighborhood.
     
    Benoit asked if the common areas will be sprinkled. Pynnonen stated the idea is to leave it natural. There is wetlands and lots of wildlife.
     
    Kape stated one thing he noticed in the engineering report is that there is a conflict between the proposed sanitary sewer the City of Grand Rapids owns and operates. Does he anticipate any issues with the City of Grand Rapids as far as what he needs to do to develop. Pynnonen stated this is the first step and something they should be able to overcome. They just haven’t had the meeting yet with Grand Rapids. They are not to the point where they can present plans to them. Discussion ensued.
     
    Young questioned the accessibility without having sidewalks. Jones stated it depends on who buys these homes, there is an issue with accessibility. She stated they would need to have sidewalks to effectively use the neighborhood. Young also suggested that staff review the ordinance to require sidewalks in new developments. She stated we want to have a community that is walkable.
     
     
  14. New Business
     
    Motion by Holtrop, supported by Pemberton, to set a public hearing date of September 13, 2016, for:  Case#13-16 Tire Shop – Special Land Use for Minor Vehicle Repair (Tire Shop) and Site Plan Review Located at 5322 S. Division Ave SE
  15. Motion Carried (9-0) –
  16. Other Business
     
  17. Commissioners’ Comments
     
    Fox stated sidewalks are a big deal to him.
    Fox stated he went to the Kentwood’s Farmers market on Saturday and it was nice.
     
    Benoit stated he also went to Kentwood’s Farmers market this weekend, great sweet corn and good tomatoes.
     
      VanderHoff stated on the proposed development, he thinks it would be a burden to have the developer put sidewalks in and it might even detract from the attractiveness of having 8 houses on a road. He has a total confidence that the people who live there will figure out how to get their wheelchair or whatever else out to the road without having to put in sidewalks. He stated it would be redundant to put them on both sides because whose side are you going to put them on. He wouldn’t be in favor of requiring sidewalks in the development.
     
    Pemberton stated he agrees with VanderHoff. He stated if Cloverleaf down the road would start to be required to put sidewalks in then absolutely carry it right on in and go all the way around. He thinks Pynnonens point of not connecting to anything at this juncture is meaningful. He stated he would be all for it if it were required everywhere in that area versus just that one little piece.
     
    Jones stated she lives in one of Kentwood older subdivisions and they do not have sidewalks and if you go a block from her house 3 houses have sidewalks, and if you go down further, 8 houses have sidewalks, when you cross the street there are 11 houses with sidewalks.  She stated it wasn’t required at that time but now it doesn’t look right. It is very sketchy and spotty. She stated her thought is even if the developer doesn’t connect the sidewalk today it will need to connect some day in the future. She stated considering the price points of these homes she doesn’t think it will be cost prohibitive for him to put in sidewalks.
     
    Jones stated she also went to Kentwood’s Farmers Market and she’s got 8 ears of corn on her grill right now.
     
    Bridson reminded the commissioners that the Accidentals will be playing Thursday at City Hall at 7pm.
  18. Staff’s Comments
     
    Staff offered no additional comments.
     
  19. Adjournment
     
    Motion by Commissioner VanderHoff, supported by Commissioner Fox,                            to adjourn the meeting.
     
  20. Motion Carried (9-0) –
     
    Meeting adjourned at 8:05p.m.
     
     
                                                                Respectfully submitted,
     
                                                                Ed Kape, Secretary