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DECEMBER 9, 2014, 7:30 P.M.
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  1. Chair Young called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
  1. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Commissioner Swanson.
  1. Roll Call:
Members Present: Garrett Fox, Dan Holtrop, Sandra Jones, Mike Pemberton, Steve Redmond,  Ed Swanson, Frank Vander Hoff,  and Johngerlyn Young
Members Absent: Ed Kape (with notification)
Others Present: Community Development Director Terry Schweitzer, Planner Joe Pung, Staff Secretary Monique Collier and the applicants.
Motion by Swanson, supported by VanderHoff to excuse Kape from the meeting.
  • Motion Carried (8-0) –
  • Kape absent -
  1. Approval of the Minutes and Findings of Fact
Motion by Commissioner Swanson, supported by Commissioner Redmond, to approve the Minutes of November 25, 2014 and the Findings of Fact for:  Case#16-14 - Go Walt  LLC - Rezoning of .29 acres of land from R1-D Single Family Residential to C2 Community Commercial Located at 29 Sluyter SE.
  • Motion Carried (8-0) –
  • Kape absent -
  1. Approval of the Agenda
Motion by Commissioner Holtrop, supported by Commissioner Fox, to approve the agenda for the December 9, 2014 meeting.
  • Motion Carried (8-0) –
  • Kape absent -
  1. Acknowledge visitors wishing to speak to non-agenda items.
There was no public comment
  1. Old Business
There was no Old Business
  1. Public Hearing
Case#17-14 – Friction Crossfit – Special Land Use and Site Plan Review for a Small Group Fitness and Rehabilitation Facility Located at 3390 Broadmoor SE
Planner Pung stated the request is for Special Land Use and Site Plan Review for a Small Group Fitness and Rehabilitation Facility. Pung stated the zoning ordinance was amended in April 2014 to allow for these facilities as a special land use in the industrial zone. He stated the zoning ordinance was amended in August to limit the area for such facilities to either 25% or 10,000 square feet whichever is less. Pung stated in this case the building is 44,000 square feet in area, the applicant has proposed a 3,300 square foot suite within the existing building.
Pung stated the use is consistent with the special land use standards. He stated there were no major issues or concerns identified at the work session. Pung stated he is recommending conditional approval of the special land use and site plan review as described in his memo dated 11/14/14.
Motion by Pemberton, supported by VanderHoff, to grant conditional approval of the Special Land Use Small Group Fitness and Rehabilitation Training Facility as described in Case#17-14 Friction Crossfit. Approval is conditioned on conditions 1-3 and basis points 1-5 as described in Pung’s memo dated 12/3/14.
  • Motion Carried (8-0) –
  • Kape absent –
Motion by Pemberton, supported by VanderHoff, to grant conditional approval of the Site Plan Dated December 1, 2014 as described in Case#17-14 Friction Crossfit. Approval is conditioned on conditions 1-3 and basis points 1-2 as described in Pung’s memo dated 12/3/14.
  • Motion Carried (8-0) –
  • Kape absent -
  1. Work Session
Case#1-15 – A-1 36th Street Self Storage – Special Land Use and Site Plan Review for an Outdoor Storage of Recreational Vehicles - Located at 4175 36th Street SE
Director Schweitzer introduced the request. He stated the request is for Special Land Use and Site plan Review for Outdoor Storage of Recreational Vehicles in an Industrial Zone. Schweitzer stated the Zoning Ordinance was amended on August 19, 2014 to make allowance for the outdoor storage of recreational vehicles in the Industrial zone districts subject to Special Land Use and Site Plan approval.  He stated in making the changes the City cited that the overall supply of off-site recreational vehicle storage available to Kentwood residents had been recently constricted. Schweitzer stated rather than having these recreational vehicle owners park their units at their residences it is desirable to consider limited allowance for this use in the industrial zone district. However provisions are being recommended to limit the extent to which this use would occupy Kentwood’s industrial land supply. Outdoor storage of recreational vehicles outdoor in the industrial zones is only allowed as an accessory use to a mini storage facility with limitations on the extent to which the open air storage area occupies the overall lot area. Schweitzer stated on September 12, 2014 the management of A-1 36th Street Self-Storage was notified of the change in zoning regulations and they were advised to seek approval of their outside storage of recreational vehicles.
Schweitzer stated there are four self-storage buildings and a small office on the site.  He stated the high point of the site is along the east lot line common to the residence to the east.  The site slopes downward to the north and west lot lines.  There are detention areas on the southwest and northeast portions of the site. He stated there is currently outdoor storage of recreational vehicles along the east line of the site immediately north of the office as well as on the west portion of the site in the footprint of future building B.
Schweitzer stated currently where building G is proposed it is a grass area. There are recreational vehicles, cars and utility trailers being stored and on the other side of the site where the outdoor storage is taking place within future unit B; there is rubblelized asphalt in that area where most of the vehicles are being parked.
Schweitzer stated zoning enforcement of this violation has been suspended pending this special land use and site plan application.  The applicant’s November 11, 2014 Statement of Operations outlines the applicant’s plans to construct a new building along the east line of the site, complete construction of the north retaining wall and grade out and pave the north rear section of the property.
Schweitzer stated because this is a illegal non-conforming use that has not yet been approved; we have to look at this under the circumstances what they are proposing, but also be aware that come spring 2015 if the project doesn’t go forward we are going to look for this to be brought into conformance of the ordinance. Schweitzer stated that any outdoor storage at that point and time will have to be brought to the northern part of the site in the rear yard and on a paved surface.
Schweitzer stated he thinks this is a reasonable use, it is consistent with the intent of the zoning amendment but we have to gain compliance. Schweitzer stated in terms of the report from the fire department the building proposed along the east lot line, if it gets beyond a 400 foot length then it triggers additional fire lane requirements around the building. Schweitzer stated between now and the public hearing the applicant will have conversation with the fire department to discuss how big the building is proposed to be in the spring; if it does approach the length that requires additional fire lane coverage there is an appeal process they can pursue with the fire department.
Schweitzer stated the Uhaul rental service that is on the site is something that if it is strictly for trucks they have interpreted that is an allowable use in the industrial zone; However anything beyond that would be prohibited activity, the use is strictly for U-Haul rental of trucks only.
Schweitzer stated the proposed limits of the paving encroaches the contours of the existing pond on the northern part of the site. Schweitzer stated in the applicant’s proposal he is describing having a retaining wall along the area. Schweitzer stated he has talked to the City Engineers Department and it is conceivable that they can maintain the detention capacity that was designed in the original detention pond while still allowing for the extension of the paving further north into the property. Schweitzer stated he will get more information to give the commissioners better information going into the public hearing.
•Prospective resolution of current zoning violation in terms of the outdoor recreational vehicle use and site design. 
•Relief to recreational vehicle owners whose storage area has been displaced by new YMCA site on Burton Street, east of Patterson Avenue.
•Interim mitigation of current violations of Kentwood Zoning Ordinance including the U Haul Rental Operation.
•Assurances need to be made to resolve the current violations regardless of timing of additional development of the site.
Dean Koopman, with A-1 Self Storage was present. He stated right now they are storing vehicles but the intent is a temporary facility and the goal is to build it out it is not long term outdoor vehicle storage. Koopman stated they are in the process of looking at the building on the east side and getting bids for that and the goal would be to start construction if he can get the necessary approvals and contractors lined up.  Koopman stated there are vehicles along the east side, there is space to move them over.  He stated he is currently using those areas instead of the back area for the winter season for snow. Most of the cars are moved along the back area which is paved during the summer, however after digging several vehicles out last winter he does not want to do that his year. He stated he understand the restrictions with the Uhaul trailers and would rather not deal with the trailers and doesn’t have a problem with that restriction.
Fox questioned if there were expected timelines for the two future units. Koopman stated that building G on the east side would essentially be spring of 2015 and Building G he doesn’t have a current date for that. He wants to do the one on the eastern edge just for the sight benefit of his next door neighbor. Fox questioned the number of vehicles he currently has on site will and if they would all fit into building G. Koopman stated yes there are about 10 vehicles along that space that would fit into what he has open in the other area.
Pemberton stated his concern is they are going to add one roof for sure in the spring and then another roof down the road and some paving. Pemberton questioned if he will exceed the capacity of the detention ponds. Koopman stated he has not looked at that. Schweizer stated he has had that discussion with the Assistant City Engineer and there is some additional paving associated with this proposal, but from his standpoint he didn’t anticipate that it was going to go much beyond the capacity of the initial detention ponds. Schweitzer stated this was built at the time the former City Engineer Gordon Start worked with the City and he made sure that the first stage of the development had the detention for the entire site. Discussion ensued regarding design of the site.
Holtop questioned if building G was going to house some of the smaller items. Koopman stated in the long run he would like that, but not everyone would like to pay the extra to store the trailers, cars, etc inside. Holtop ask if parking spaces are required. Schweitzer stated they are required to have off street parking, there aren’t very many based on warehousing requirements. Koopman stated there are defined spaces on the end,but none on the north and parking in front of the office. Schweitzer stated they still have to provide the minimum amount of parking spaces on the property.
Jones questioned how many vehicles/rv’s are being stored on the premises right now. Koopman stated approximately 40 vehicles. Jones ask how many were stored after September 12. Koopman stated about half. Jones ask when he plans to move them onto a paved area. Jones stated her concern is he added more vehicles to the premises after he was made aware that he was already in violation of the ordinance. Koopman stated he was confused with the question they haven’t stored any more vehicles since September 12 they put a moratorium when they were made of the violation. Jones ask what kind of mitigation are they doing now about being in violation. Koopman stated depending on the decision tonight, he would notify the customers that are storing in these areas that they are in violation and that they would need to find alternative places to park.
Swanson questioned how many years he has been storing rv’s. Koopman stated on and off for most of the time. Koopman stated they had cleared it out and they had nothing on property from approximately 2004-2006. Swanson ask how long has he been aware that he was in violation of the old ordinance. Koopman stated he knew he was somewhat beyond but he was within the number of parking spaces that he had available. Swanson stated the applicant came to the ZBA to ask for a variance to allow him to put rv’s there and he was denied and at that time he knew he was in violation and continued to do it. Koopman stated he did empty them out and put them back in. Swanson stated he has a problem with this. Swanson stated he was on the ZBA when the variance was denied and he was the only one that voted for the rv’s and he has a problem with the applicant ignoring the denial. Swanson stated he should go back to the ZBA to see if he can get some kind of approval to leave them there if not then they should be vacated and vacated now. Swanson stated he thinks it will be hard on his business, but this is very frustrating to him. Swanson stated he doesn’t have a problem with what he is doing once it meets all the codes, but he does have a problem with ignoring the ordinance.
Redmond stated he agrees with Swanson. Redmond questioned what is the next step in the enforcement process. Schweitzer stated the applicant has been given notification of the violation he is seeking zoning approval to remedy the violation and during that period of time when he is seeking zoning approval we put a hold on the enforcement action. Schweitzer stated from the discussion this evening he thinks he should take all the vehicles that are on grass and get them on a paved surface. As we go forward from now to the public hearing we look to see if it is consistent with what they have proposed and also set a date certain whether this proposed building takes place or not that they bring everything into conformance; all the vehicles on a paved surface and rear portion of the property. Schweitzer state we will require a plan submitted to the City by him showing how he is going to park the vehicles he’s got out there right now on the back portion of the property in compliance. Schweitzer stated if he can’t show that he can do so in an orderly fashion, he may have to reduce the number of units he has on the property during that time period until he can accomplish that. Schweitzer stated all this is taking place right now and it is winter time we will not see the construction take place until likely in the spring so it is going to have a certain degree of violation through all that time. The logical place for those to be parked is either along the north side of the existing site and/or within the footprint of building B.
Redmond stated as time progresses whatever happens at the zoning board is going to determine how he addresses these violation. Schweitzer stated the zoning board isn’t an option unless he ask for a waiver of the request because it is now an allowable use whereas before it was a use variance. Schweitzer stated this is an allowable use. Redmond stated the best remedy is to get this up to code. Redmond stated that it is disturbing to know that decisions have been made and then he hasn’t abided by them and that is very concerning. Redmond stated he understands what he wants to do and he is supportive of it and supportive of the changes that were made to the ordinance so that businesses could have the recreational vehicles.
Young stated she concurs with Swanson and Redmond.
Koopman stated his intent is to move it to the paved portion and the reason he doesn’t do that is for his maintenance standpoint.
VanderHoff stated we are not happy with the way the things have been handled, but it is what it is and he just needs to get back into compliance as soon as possible.
  1. New Business
There was no New Business
  1. Other Business
  1. One year Extension for: Case#16-13- Breton Manor Extended Care Center -Special Land Use Adult Caring Facility and Final Site Plan Review – Located at  2589 44th
Schweitzer stated this is part of the Holland Home campus that fronts on Breton Ave and 44th Street. The nursing home portion of the overall site approval that is under construction. They are also going to put a new adult foster care building along the frontage of 44th Street. The one year time period on the Adult Foster Care approval will expire the end of January.  Breton Manor will not be able to meet the schedule and are asking for an extension on the approval on the site plan and the use. Schweitzer stated there is a provision in our zoning ordinance that does allow for the use and site be extended for one time for a one year period.
Motion by Swanson, supported by Holtrop, to allow for a one year extension for Case#16-13 Breton Manor Extended Care Center Adult Foster Care Facility
  • Motion Carried (8-0) –
  • Kape absent -
  1. Commissioners’ Comments
Commissioner Swanson will be retiring from the Planning Commission in January. He thanked the commissioners and said it has been a lot of fun he appreciates staff and the opportunity to serve the City in this format.
All the commissioners thanked Swanson for his years of service on the commission and stated they have learned from his expertise and stated he will be truly missed.
  1. Staff’s Comments
Staff offered no additional comments.
  1. Adjournment  
Motion by Commissioner  VanderHoff, supported by Commissioner Fox,                          to adjourn the meeting.
  • Motion Carried (8-0) –
  • Kape absent -
Meeting adjourned at 8:25pm
                                                            Respectfully submitted,
                                                            Ed Kape, Secretary