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APPROVED MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
OF THE KENTWOOD PLANNING COMMISSION
FEBRUARY 10, 2015, 7:30 P.M.
COMMISSION CHAMBERS
  (return  to index)
 
  1. Chair Young called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
 
  1. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Commissioner Benoit .
 
  1. Roll Call:
Members Present: Bill Benoit, Garrett Fox, Dan Holtrop, Sandra Jones, Ed Kape, Mike Pemberton, Steve Redmond, Frank Vander Hoff,  and Johngerlyn Young
Members Absent: None
Others Present:  Community Development Director Terry Schweitzer, Economic Development Planner Lisa Golder, Planner Joe Pung, Staff Secretary Monique Collier, and the applicants
 
  1. Approval of the Minutes and Findings of Fact
 
Motion by Commissioner Kape, supported by Commissioner Jones, to approve the Minutes of January 27, 2015
  • Motion Carried (9-0) –
  1. Approval of the Agenda
 
Adding under New Business Case#8-15 Sluggers Sports Academy - Special Land Use Small Group Fitness Facility Located at 4540 East Paris Ave. Suite B
 
Motion by Commissioner Holtrop, supported by Commissioner Pemberton, to approve the agenda for the February 10, 2015 meeting with change noted.
 
  • Motion Carried (9-0) –
 
  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 #2-15 – VCA Woodland Animal Hospital – Special Land Use and Site Plan Review of an Animal Hospital Located at 3100 29th Street; & Case#6-15 - VCA Woodland Animal Hospital – Change to a Special Land Use and Site Plan Review of a Kennel 3100 29th Street
 
Planner Golder displayed the original plan for the approved Whiskers site. She stated the planning commission approved a 19,000 square foot building in which kenneling was a permitted use. Golder stated one of the conditions of approval was that building could be the only place that kennels could happen. She stated there is now a new site plan and Whiskers is looking to split the property.
 
Golder stated the overall site for Whiskers and VCA Woodland is about 3 ½ acres. She stated there is a 19,642 square foot building on Whiskers property and on the VCA property the proposed building is about 7,255 square feet for the animal hospital/kennel.  Golder stated with respect to the animal hospital there are very few standards that are specific to animal hospitals, there are just the general standards and this development is consistent with these standards.
 
Golder stated they are going to split the property. Then there will be a requirement for cross access between the two because they are sharing a driveway out to 29th Street.
                       
Golder stated for the animal hospital the recommendation for the special land use operation of the VCA Woodland Animal Hospital is that it be consistent with the Operations Description dated February 3, 2015 and applicant’s representations regarding the proposed animal hospital use at the work session and public hearing.
 
Golder stated for VCA Animal Hospital site plan the recommend conditions include: Execution of an easement allowing cross access from the Whiskers Pet Spa site; Final approval of the land division to separate the Whiskers site from the animal hospital site; Staff approval of building elevations; Staff approval of the final landscaping plan, photometric plan, and lighting plan; Compliance with the City Engineer’s memo dated January 6, 2015; and a applicant’s representations regarding the proposed animal hospital use at the work session and public hearing.
 
Golder stated with respect to the kennel use there are more criteria that is specific to the kennel use as well as the general special land use standards. Golder stated with the size of building they are proposing they can have up to 120 cats and dogs, but VCA Animal Hospital has chosen to go with 41 kennels on the site. That is what is in their statement and that is what we expect for this special land use.
 
Golder stated the applicant also indicated that they care for exotic animals but the City’s Ordinance restricts its kenneling to only cats and dogs. So exotic animals that are being treated at the hospital are allowed to stay overnight only under observation. Golder stated the applicant meets the rest of the special land use standards.
 
 
Golder stated with respect to the special land use kennel the recommendation includes; Operation of the VCA Kennel (part of the VCA Woodland Animal Hospital) shall be consistent with that as described in the Operations Description dated February 3, 2015.  (The operations statement addresses the VCA Kennel only); the Whiskers Pet Spa shall be consistent with the SLU approval dated December 11, 2012, except for Condition 2 that limits the kennel area to the 19,643 square foot building: and Applicant’s representations regarding the proposed kennel use at the public hearing.
 
Golder stated the recommendation for the site plan for the kennel include the following conditions; Planning Commission approval of the Special Land Use for kennel; Execution of an easement to allow cross access from the Whiskers Pet Spa site; Final approval of the land division to separate the Whiskers site from the animal hospital site; Staff approval of building elevations; Staff approval of the final landscaping plan, photometric plan, and lighting plan; Compliance with the City Engineer’s memo dated January 6, 2015; and Applicant’s representations regarding the proposed kennel use at the public hearing.
 
Steve Witte from Nedeveld and Alisha Rienhout with VCA Animal Hospital were present representing VCA Animal Hospital. Witte stated the intent is to create an overall campus feel. When people come to Whiskers they can also come to VCA they are tied together. Witte stated another clarification that needs to be addressed. There was discussion about the kennel use and the intent is not to do the kenneling right now, but they want that ability for the kennel down the road. He stated they had kenneling at their existing building but they stopped doing that service.
 
Young opened the public hearing.
 
There was no public comment.
 
Motion by VanderHoff, supported by Jones, to close the public hearing.
 
  • Motion Carried (9-0)
 
Fox questioned if there were conversations with Whiskers regarding adding kenneling. Witte stated there have been ongoing discussion with Whiskers. Witte stated they are both boarding kenneling services yet very different products. Rienhout stated Whiskers offers high standard boarding facility in comparison to the VCA Animal Hospital. She stated VCA would have a boarding cage for a pet that is staying for more than the 3 days but not an extended time. Rienhout stated they do not see a future going back into boarding, this is mostly to maintain client satisfaction. 
 
Redmond stated he likes that they are combining the drive and both using it for the property that is good access management. He stated he likes the project.
 
Motion by Holtrop, supported by VanderHoff, to grant conditional approval of the Special Land Use animal hospital as described in Case No. 2-15.  Approval is conditioned on conditions 1-2 and basis points 1-3 as described in Golder’s memo dated 1/30/15.
  • Motion Carried (9-0) -
 
Motion by Holtrop, supported by Benoit, to grant conditional approval of the Site Plan dated January 13, 2015 as described in Case No. 2-15.  Approval is conditioned on conditions 1-7 and basis points 1-4 as described in Golder’s memo dated 1/30/15
 
  • Motion Carried (9-0) –
 
Motion by Holtrop, supported by VanderHoff, to grant conditional approval of the Special Land Use kennel as described in Case No. 6-15.  Approval is conditioned on conditions 1-2 and basis points 1-3 as described in Golder’s memo dated 1/30/15
 
- Motion Carried (9-0) –
 
Motion by Holtrop, supported by Kape, to grant conditional approval of the Site Plan dated January 13, 2015 as described in Case No. 6-15.  Approval is conditioned on conditions 1-7 and basis point 1-4 as described in Golder’s memo dated 1/30/15
 
  • Motion Carried (9-0) -
 
Case#3-15 – Wildflower Creek – Final Site Plan Review of a PUD Phase; Pre-Preliminary Plat Review; and Consideration of a Change to a PUD Condition Located at 5083 Wild Senna Ave SE
 
Frank VanderHoff dismissed himself for conflict of interest reasons, his son is the applicant, Bosco Construction.
 
Planner Pung introduced the request. He stated the applicant is requesting changing the conditions of approval of the PUD from 2006. Also a final PUD site plan and a preliminary plat approval are being sought. Pung stated in 2003 the City Commission conditionally approved the rezoning and preliminary site plan for an R-PUD-1 Low Density Residential Planned Unit Development consisting of 111 new single family homes and two existing homes.  He stated the intent was for the development to be neo-traditional in form with homes built closer to the right-of-way, streets lined with trees and a pedestrian network; in addition, the garages would be placed behind the homes.
 
Pung stated in 2004 the final site plan for the Phase I (51 lots) was approved The number of new single family homes in the overall development was reduced to 107.
Pung stated in 2006 a major change to the PUD was approved to:
  • Permit up to 40% of the homes to have front loading garages.  Garages to be placed 4 feet behind the front of the building.
  • Reduce building separation from 14 feet to 12 feet (side yard setbacks of 10 feet on one side and 2 feet on the other side).
  • Allow minimum floor area of 520 square feet on the main floor of a two-story home.  Minimum overall square footage (1,040 square feet) to remain the same.
  • Permit non-vertically oriented windows for the upper story and side windows.
 
Pung stated the original developer lost the project through foreclosure. The current developer was buying and finishing off lots in phase 1 and has purchased the remainder of the development with phase 2.
 
Pung stated the current request is to have 60% of the homes to have forward facing garages instead of the 40%. Pung stated the garages will be facing the street but not projecting out in front of the house, recessed from the leading edge of the house. He stated in 2006 the city commission added an additional condition that no more than 2 homes with forward facing garages could be located adjacent to each other.
 
Pung stated the City owns property to the north of the adjacent Consumers Energy Company property. Pung stated the current access easement through the Consumers Energy property does not align with the proposed location of Wild Senna Avenue. Pung stated as per the PUD Agreement, the developer will have to either realign the street to match up with the access easement or obtain a replacement easement approved by the City from Consumers Energy. This is a condition of approval of the final site plan to either realign the easement or the road would have to be realigned in order to make sure the city does maintain access to the property.
 
Pung stated as with Phase I and as a condition of approval for this phase the integrity of the west tree line will have to be maintained with minimal tree removal. Pung stated the applicant will have to work with City staff to determine the best approach to ensure that the integrity of the tree line is maintained.
 
Pung stated the Engineering had a few issues. He stated Wild Senna terminates at the north property line without a cul-de-sac. Engineering stated they need a cul-de-sac terminus. The final cul-de-sac will have to be approved by the City’s engineering department. Pung stated there were also drainage issues and they will have to work with the engineering department to address any drainage concerns and meet the engineering department’s requirements.
 
Pung stated he is recommending to the City Commission conditional approval of the changes to the Wildflower Creek Planned Unit Development to permit up to 60% of the homes to have forward facing garages and to permit more than two home with forward facing garages to be adjacent to each other.  Approval is conditioned on items 1-6 and basis points 1-5in his memo.
 
Pung stated he is recommending to the city commission conditional tentative approval of the Preliminary Plat dated February 3, 2015 as described in Case 3-15 Wildflower Creek.  Approval is conditioned on items 1-12 and basis points 1-7.
 
Also recommend to the City Commission conditional approval of the Final Phase II PUD plan dated February 3, 2015 as described in Case 3-15 Wildflower Creek.  Approval is conditions 1-12 and basis points 1-7.
 
Chris VanderHoff, was present. He stated he’d like to emphasis that they did come up with a plan to resurrect what was a failing development in 2010 and there is finally some traction and they want to continue to build the homes they have been building. They are building a quality affordable home with plenty of detail.
 
Young opened the public hearing.
 
Terry Speese, 5054 Breezefield Dr. SE stated his understanding was that a retaining wall was required to protect the treeline along the west line of the plat. Pung stated the retaining wall in the 1st phase was originally built in order to retain the treeline.. Pung stated in phase 2 there is not much of a grade difference, therefore a retaining wall would not be necessary in order to protect the trees. Speese stated he disagrees he feels that the retaining wall needs to go all the way down for several reasons. Chris VanderHoff stated he likes the trees as well and they cannot just take trees out there would be consequences. They put bonds up for this kind of thing and they cannot just deviate from the plan.
 
Chris VanderHoff stated in reference to retaining walls, they are not a trespassing type device or for privacy. Retainer walls are used in landscaping for topography changes when you have drastic changes to the elevations of the land. He stated he doesn’t believe this site is conducive for a retaining wall. Discussion ensued. Pung stated the original PUD did not require a retaining wall it was a decision of the applicant to put up the retaining wall in order to retain the trees. Pung stated in addition, during construction they have to make sure the trees are fenced off in order to make sure they aren’t damaged. Speese stated all the drainage goes to his backyard.
 
Anna Dmartino, 5066 Allysum, stated they have issues because they are currently on a dead end street. She stated that plows rarely come down their street affecting service from UPS trucks, mail trucks etc. They are hoping the developer will make the street continue through. Holtrop stated the street is proposed to be continued all the way through on a loop.
 
Kristina Tazlar, 5121 Blazing Star wanted to know the rationale of switching from 40% forward facing garages to 60%.  Chris VanderHoff stated the rear load garages do not sell as well as the front load garages. Discussion ensued
 
Morgan Crab, 5044 Allysum Dr. stated he too is concerned with the lack of snow removal on his street. He stated he is happy with his home from Bosco. Pung stated his street will no longer dead end it will continue through and it will be a big loop through there. Discussion ensued. Schweitzer stated staff will talk to the public works department and let them know about the concerns with plow service not coming through their development
           
            Motion by Holtrop, supported by Pemberton, to close the public hearing.
 
  • Motion Carried (8-0) –
  • VanderHoff abstaining -
 
Pemberton stated the only concern he has is drainage and there appears to be no condition to address it. Pung stated there is a condition that they applicant has to meet all the requirements from the engineering department.
 
Jones and Benoit stated her concern was about drainage as well. Pung stated the Windy Ridge property has a 20 foot easement for drainage along their east lot line. Discussion ensued regarding drainage and cul-de-sacs and parking.
 
Holtrop stated we wanedt a unique development and didn’t want garages protruding in front of the homes so by keeping them back 4 feet and recessed he thinks it will be fine. Holtrop stated as long as they are not sticking out in front and hiding the house he will be ok with the request.
 
            Kape stated the homes look very nice.
 
Fox asked the applicant if his expectations were to meet 60% of the forward facing garage. Vanderhoff stated it works out to be exactly 60%. Fox questoned if there are things he can do to assist with making it easier for snow plows to handle the roads. Chris VanderHoff stated a lot of their problems will be solved in moving the development forward cul-de-sacs they takes a different type of truck. The completion of the loop will allow the bigger trucks to come around and sweep right around the road. Discussion ensued. Fox asked how soon he will be looking at the completion of the road. Chris VanderHoff stated, providing everything is timely and the engineer and bid, he hopes the numbers come in as projected and they will continue by the end of summer. But if the numbers don’t come in like he would hope the project could take a year. Discussion ensued regarding traffic calming measures
 
Motion by Benoit, supported by Fox,  to recommend to the city commission conditional approval of the changes to the Wildflower Creek Planned Unit Development to permit up to 60% of the homes to have forward facing garages and to permit more than two home with forward facing garages to be adjacent to each other.  Approval is conditions 1-6 and basis points 1-5 as stated in Pung’s memo dated 2/5/15.
  • Motion Carried (8-0)
  • VanderHoff abstaining -
 
Motion by Benoit, supported by Pemberton, to recommend to the city commission conditional tentative approval of the Preliminary Plat dated February 3, 2015 as described in Case 3-15 Wildflower Creek.  Approval is conditioned on items 1-12 and basis points 1-7 as stated in Pung’s memo dated 2/5/15.
 
  • Motion Carried (8-0) -
  • VanderHoff abstaining -
 
Motion by Benoit, supported by to recommend to the City Commission conditional approval of the Final Phase II PUD Plan dated February 3, 2015 as described in Case 3-15 Wildflower Creek.  Approval is conditioned on items  1-12 and basis points 1-7 as stated in Pung’s memo 2/5/15.
  • Motion Carried (8-0) –
  • VanderHoff abstaining –
  1. Work Session
 
Case#4-15 – East 32nd Storage – Special Land Use and Site Plan Review for Outdoor Storage of Recreational Vehicles Located at 3585 32nd Street SE;
 
Planner Pung introduced the request. He stated the request is for special land use and site plan review for outdoor storage of recreational vehicles. He stated the property is currently vacant, a site plan for self-storage facility has been approved for this site.
 
Pung stated the property has a shared access with the property to the west.  He stated there is commercial to the north and south and west to the east industrial. There is also a residential home to the east fronting on 32nd Street.
 
Pung stated the zoning ordinance was amended on August 19, 2014 to make allowance for the outdoor storage of recreational vehicles in an industrial zone as long as it was an accessory to mini storage operations. Pung stated the mini storage is going through the building permit review process. Fire and Engineering do not have any issues.
 
Pung stated the applicant owns the adjacent facility to the east and these properties will be combined in to one overall property.
 
Pung stated there were no major issues with the request with regard to the special land use and site design criteria for outdoor vehicle storage.
 
Glenn Carlson was present representing the request.
 
Fox asked about the site being identified as a prime location for a cell tower in the city’s wireless communication and how it affects what the applicant wants to do. Pung stated the plan was adopted in 2003 identified some key locations. Discussion ensued.
 
Holtrop stated the properties will be combined into one parcel but the grade difference you will not be able to move between them. Carlson stated that is correct there is about a 7 foot grade difference.
 
The commissioners were otherwise  ok with the request.
 
Case #5-15 – Heritage Pointe South-Total Health Chiropractic – Final Site Plan of a  PUD Phase Located at 2172 East Paris Ave SE
 
Golder introduced the request. She stated the project involves the construction of a chiropractic clinic on a 1.43 acre site within the Heritage Pointe South development.  She stated the 8,300 square foot clinic portrays a future expansion of 4,700 square feet. A basement floor area of 3,080 square feet is also indicated. Total square footage of the building and addition is 16,080 square feet.
 
Golder stated we need more information on architectural design. She stated it appears from the building elevations there is too much siding which our ordinance regulates. She stated they could ask for a waiver (which is allowable under the PUD) allow the greater percent of the siding shown on the elevations.
 
Golder stated one thing that came up at the staff review was the fire lane coverage. There could be a change to the plan to either add a temporary fire lane along the east side the initial building or the applicant could elect to sprinkle the building.
 
Todd Stivey, Exxel engineering was present.
 
Pemberton stated he is happy to see something happening.
 
Benoit, Jones, VanderHoff, Kape, Redmond were good with the request.
 
Fox questioned when the landscaping needed to be completed. Golder stated when the project is developed then the landscaping for this 1.43 acres has to go in but the bulk of the remainder of the overall site will be with the big building. Fox ask when the bike racks and benches will be built. Stivey stated the bench will be put in during the building construction. Golder stated she would expect a lot of the other site amenities to go in with the big building.
 
  1. New Business
 
Motion by Holtrop, supported by VanderHoff, to Set a public hearing date of March 10, 2015, for:  Case#7-15 G.R. Auto Gallery – Special Land use for Indoor Vehicle Sales and Site Plan Review Located at 4722 50th Street SE
Case#8-15 Sluggers Sports Academy - Special Land Use Small Group Fitness Facility and site plan review Located at 4540 East Paris Ave. Suite B
 
 
  • Motion Carried (9-0) -
 
  1. Other Business
 
  1. Case #8-14 Carmax Request for a one year extension on the Special Land Use and Site Plan Approval
 
Motion by Holtrop, supported by VanderHoff, to approve a one year extension on the special land use and site plan approval for Carmax
 
  • Motion Carried (9-0) –
 
2.Commissioners’ Comments
 
Jones questioned the property on which Wally’s Treasures on Division Avenue is located and their many portable signs. Schweitzer stated we are in contact with the owner.
 
Holtrop stated he would like a report as to the number of sign violations for GR Auto Gallery at their Broadmoor/Model Court address.
 
Pemberton stated we also need to check the signs on the Sleep Doctor store at 28th Street and East Paris.
 
VanderHoff stated he will be out until March 17, 2015.
 
Fox stated he has had issues with the snowplowing on his street. Schweitzer encouraged Fox to contact the department of public works or address comments on the website. Fox stated he would like to see the Resolutions noted in the City Commission minutes. Pung stated go on our website and click on epacket to see the resolutions.
 
3.Staff’s Comments
 
Golder stated we have been working on getting a farmers market in Kentwood and have a group that did a feasibility study. The City Commission has recently authorized the farmers market. It will start in June and will be at the Kentwood library, to date, seven farmers have committed to be vendors.
 
  1. Adjournment  
 
Motion by Commissioner VanderHoff, supported by Commissioner Jones,                            to adjourn the meeting.
 
  • Motion Carried (9-0) –
Meeting adjourned at 8:40pm
 
                                                Respectfully submitted,
 
                                                            Ed Kape, Secretary