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APPROVED MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
OF THE KENTWOOD PLANNING COMMISSION
FEBRUARY 24, 2015, 7:30 P.M.
COMMISSION CHAMBERS
  (return  to index)
 
  1. Vice Chair Holtrop called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
 
  1. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Commissioner Pemberton.
 
  1. Roll Call:
Members Present: Bill Benoit, Garrett Fox (arrived late), Dan Holtrop, Sandra Jones, Ed Kape, Mike Pemberton, Steve Redmond
Members Absent: Johngerlyn Young and Frank Vander Hoff (with notification)
Others Present:  Community Development Director Terry Schweitzer, Economic Development Planner Lisa Golder, Planner Joe Pung, Staff Secretary Monique Collier, and the applicants
 
Motion by Kape, supported by Jones, to excuse Young and VanderHoff from the meeting.
  • Motion Carried (7-0) –
  • Young and VanderHoff absent -
 
  1. Approval of the Minutes and Findings of Fact
 
Motion by Commissioner Jones, supported by Commissioner Pemberton, to approve the Minutes of February 10, 2015 and the Findings of Fact for: 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; 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    
  • Motion Carried (7-0) –
  • Young and VanderHoff absent -
  1. Approval of the Agenda
 
Motion by Commissioner Benoit, supported by Commissioner Jones, to approve the agenda for the February 24, 2015 meeting.
 
  • Motion Carried (7-0) –
  • Young and Vanderhoff 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#4-15 – East 32nd Storage – Special Land Use and Site Plan Review for Outdoor Storage of Recreational Vehicles Located at 3585 32nd Street SE;
 
Pung 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. He stated 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, 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  accessory to mini storage operations.
 
Pung stated there were no major issues identified at the work session or with staff. Pung stated he is recommending conditional approval of the special land use and site plan review for outdoor storage of recreational vehicles as described in his memos.
 
Holtrop opened the public hearing.
 
There was no public comment.
 
Motion by Benoit, supported by Pemberton, to close the public hearing.
 
  • Motion Carried (7-0) –
  • Young and vanderHof absent -
 
The commissioners offered no additional comments and stated the request is a good use for the property.
 
Motion by Pemberton, supported by Kape, to grant conditional approval of the Special Land Use Outdoor Storage of Recreational Vehicles as described in Case 04-15 East 32nd Storage.  Approval is conditioned on conditions 1-3 and basis points 1-4 as described in Pung’s memo dated Febraury12, 2015.
 
  • Motion Carried (7-0) –
  • Young and Vanderhoff absent -
 
Motion by Pemberton, supported by Fox, to grant conditional approval of the site plan dated July 24, 2014 as described in Case 04-15 East 32nd Storage.  Approval is conditioned on condition 1-5 and basis point 1 – 3 as described in Pung’s memo dated February 12, 2015.
  • Motion Carried (7-0) –
  • Young and VanderHoff absent -
 
Case #5-15 – Heritage Pointe South-Total Health Chiropractic – Final Site Plan of a  PUD Phase Located at 2172 East Paris Ave SE
 
Golder 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. She stated total square footage of the building and addition is 16,080 square feet.
 
Golder stated the main issue that came up at the work session was the fire lane. She stated the fire department was looking at the long side of the building to be protected with the fire lane, the alternative was sprinkling the building. Golder stated the applicant has decided to sprinkle the building, therefore the applicant will not need that fire lane. Golder stated sprinkling the building also made it possible for the applicant not to have the basement entry, there will just be a side door.
 
Golder stated the only other issue that was discussed at the work session was potentially they might not have enough parking in the future to accommodate their whole site. She stated therefore they might have to get the ok to park occasionally on the rest of the PUD which was a condition assigned to the overall PUD.
 
Golder stated she is recommending conditional approval of the Final Site Plan dated February 23, 2015 as described in her memo.
 
Todd Stuive, Exxel Engineering was present. He stated they have worked through the issues with engineering and fire.
 
Holtrop opened the public hearing.
 
There was no public comment.
 
Motion by Kape, supported by Pemberton, to close the public hearing.
 
  • Motion Carried (7-0) –
  • Young and Vanderhoff absent –
 
Commissioners stated they are happy to see something going on with the site and think this is a good use.
Fox ask if they had a timeframe for phase 2. Stivey stated that is still unknown.
 
Motion by Jones, supported by Pemberton, to grant conditional approval of the Site Plan dated February 23, 2015 as described in Case No. 5-15. Approval is conditioned on conditions 1-5 and basis points 1-3 as described in Golder’s memo dated February 13, 2015.
  • Motion Carried (7-0) –
  • Young and VanderHoff absent -
  1. Work Session
 
Case#7-15 G.R. Auto Gallery – Special Land use for Indoor Vehicle Sales and Site Plan Review Located at 4722 50th Street SE
 
Planner Pung introduced the request. He stated the request is for Special Land use and Site Plan Review for Indoor Vehicle Sales in an Industrial District. Pung stated in June of 2012 the City amended the zoning ordinance to remove the option to request use variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals.  He stated in conjunction with amending the ordinance to remove the option to request use variances, staff reviewed the history of use variance requests and made recommendations to amend use allowances based on that research. Subsequently the Zoning Ordinance was amended to allow indoor vehicle sales as a special land use in the industrial zone districts.
 
Pung stated GR Auto Gallery is currently located at 3851 Model Court; a use variance was granted in 2010 (Case V-10-15) to allow for the retail sales of automobiles at their current location (23,000 square feet within a 50,000 square foot multi-tenant building).  The conditions of approval for the variance were: No outdoor display or sales of vehicles; No maintenance of vehicles; No added signage and everything to be done inside the building.
 
Pung stated the applicant is looking to utilize an existing 28,000 square foot building. The building was constructed in 1999 for SOS Office Supply with the potential to add 6,000 square feet in the future. 
 
Pung stated the main issue with the request is that the zoning ordinance restricts the indoor display and storage area to 5,000 square feet. Pung stated the intent of the restriction was to ensure these uses were smaller type operations focused on internet sales and not larger scale high volume retail operations with a substantial amount of walk in traffic.
 
Pung stated the applicant is looking to move into a 28,000 square foot building and they will utilize about 21,500 square feet for storage and display plus the possible 6000 square foot square addition in the future. The applicant has submitted a variance application to the zoning board of appeals for a March 15 hearing in order to exceed the 5,000 square foot limit.
 
Pung stated the applicant submitted a revised statement to clarify some issues with regard to walk in traffic etc.
 
Chris Hoexum, Owner of GR Auto Gallery was present.  He stated GR Auto Gallery would like an approval to move into a new building located at 4722 50th Street in Kentwood Michigan. GR Auto Gallery has been operating out of their current location of 3851 Model Court since 2009 and only want to move facilities due to a better business opportunity, more efficient facility and future room to grow their operation. He stated they are asking that the planning commission approve this move so that GR Auto Gallery can continue to operate in the local area and not be forced to move outside of the Kentwood area. Hoexum stated they are not a new business not looking to expand or change their operation or do anything different than what they have been doing the last 4 years in the City of Kentwood under the same zoning. 
 
Fox stated when GR Gallery was in front of the board previously there was conversation on how many cars they would be able to accommodate; he questioned whether they will they keep the same number of vehicles. Hoexum stated it will probably be about the same. They have grown their business but they have also been able to better utilize their indoor facility. They don’t see any significant increase in size or traffic flow. Fox stated there was also discussion on signage. Hoexum stated the landlord of their current facility was granted a variance for additional offsite signage for the building. Fox ask what kind of signage will they be looking for at their new location. Hoexum stated the current SOS building does have a monument sign and a wall sign on the building they would like to retain those two signs. He stated they are an internet based company and do not have a lot of foot traffic.
 
Hoexum stated the building is about a 23,000 square foot facility with a 6,000 square foot addition on to the existing building that they use just for overflow. They are going to shrink their total square footage by about 3,000 square foot. He stated they have not changed their business and they do not envision doing anything different.  
 
Redmond stated one of his concerns was the outdoor storage of vehicles. Hoexum stated they don’t want their vehicles outside and this is the reason they have had the warehouse concept.
 
Benoit questioned the vehicle display and storage area limited to 5,000 square foot ordinance. Pung stated this current request is one of the larger operations. The other indoor vehicle sales we have had in Kentwood are smaller operations of 5,000 square feet or less. Hoexum stated the operation that are 5,000 square feet or less have failed because of the lack of size. Hoexum stated with 5,000 square feet it would be impossible for them to do what they do on a successful basis. Benoit suggested keeping an eye out on the display and or storage limited to 5,000 square foot ordinance limitations, if this is one of the reasons businesses are not successful we may want to possibly look into an ordinance change.
 
Pemberton ask if they offer detailing. Hoexum stated a small detail center is the only service they offer. He stated its about 500 square feet, basics washing, waxing and vacuuming the cars to make sure they are presentable before pictures. Pemberton ask when the 6,000 square foot addition to their building will happen. Hoexum stated they would like to do it at the time they purchase the building which is tentatively a close date of July 1. They would like to start that construction at that time.
 
Jones asked if they have had any violations on their current property. Hoerum stated they have had the neon black signs and failed to take out a permit with the City until it was brought to their attention.  Pung stated there were a total of 3 violations. One was a portable sign violation in 2012. Pung stated in 2014 there was a banner on the building which required a permit. When they came in for the variance for the offsite sign the owner had to remove the freestanding sign that was  another violation.
 
Hotlrop stated one concern is that there was a commitment that all activity is inside the facility and all display vehicles are done on the inside of the building. Holtrop stated he doesn’t think this commitment has been true from 2010 until now. Holtrop stated when he was recently at the site there were about 17 cars sitting outside on the north side of the building and in the loading bays on the south side. Hoerum stated there are some 6 cars out there which belong to the current landlord and have been there since they moved in. The other cars are their employees personal vehicles.
 
Pemberton asked if the display cars they are marketing will be outside. Hoerum stated occasionally the vehicles get put outside for a couple of days if they have a client coming in after hours or for overflow, but it is not a consistent approach. Discussion ensued.
 
 
Case#8-15 Sluggers Sports Academy - Special Land Use Small Group Fitness Facility Located at 4540 East Paris Ave. Suite B
 
 Pung stated the request is for special land use and site plan review for a small group fitness and training facility. The applicant is looking to utilize 8,291 square feet of an existing 51,000 square foot building.
 
Pung stated in April 2014 the City amended the zoning ordinance to allow a Small Group Fitness and Rehabilitation Training Facility as a special land use in the industrial districts.
 
Pung stated the applicant provided a summary of the services in which they intend to provide, but some of the proposed uses such as parties and athletic rentals etc. are not permitted in the industrial zoning district nor would they be permitted under the small group fitness and rehabilitation training use. He stated the applicant will need to work with staff to clarify which uses are permitted. Pung stated also for any training they are providing they have to maintain the 1:4 ratio.
 
Wesly Timpe was present representing the request. He stated after speaking to staff and his partners they will not get involved in the party aspect and as far as the team training, renting out to the high schools, they are will review with their coaches and staff to assure they do maintain that 1:4 ratio. Currently they don’t have more than 12 kids who are sluggers baseball teams and they have ensured they have had at least one head coach and two assistant coaches and that doesn’t include his staff being present.
 
Jones ask how long have they been in operation. Timpe stated over a month, they moved in halfway through December and it was bought to their attention when they were applying for signage they would need a special land use permit and they applied right away.
           
Pemberton stated he doesn’t have any concerns as long as he meets the ordinance requirements.
 
Benoit, Redmond were all ok with the request.
 
Kape ask if this was a franchise. Timpe stated it is an open baseball organization. Timpe stated they started as a non-profit and are converting over to a for profit business in order to move to this space.  There are currently about 8 youth teams that they run from y8-y16.
 
Fox ask how many employees. Timpe stated he is the only full time employee, they have contracted out training work. Timpe stated he runs the facility as the administrator. Fox asked about the hours of operation. Timpe stated 3pm-9pm Monday-Friday and Saturday 9am-12pm. Discussion ensued.
 
Holtrop ask about parking. Pung stated there is sufficient parking and there is a lot of parking in the rear of the building and they do share that back parking lot with the adjacent building to the east.
 
  1. New Business
 
Motion by Pemberton, supported by Jones, to set a public hearing date of March 24, 2015 for Case# 9-15 Gotiva Motor Sales - Special Land Use Open Air Business and Site Plan Review located at 5091 Broadmoor Ave SE 
 
  • Motion Carried (7-0) –
  • Young and VanderHoff absent -
 
  1. Other Business
 
  1. Commissioners’ Comments
 
Fox stated Saturday February 28, 2015 from 1-5 his church is putting on a black history museum at Woodland Mall and he will be portraying Andrew Young.
 
  1. Staff’s Comments
 
Schweitzer stated we will have the Year End report next meeting. Also the SIP will be coming soon.
 
  1. Adjournment  
 
Meeting adjourned at 8:22p.m.
 
 
                                                            Respectfully submitted,
 
                                                            Ed Kape, Secretary