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APPROVED MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
OF THE KENTWOOD PLANNING COMMISSION
JUNE 28, 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, Mike Pemberton, Frank Vander Hoff,  and Johngerlyn Young
    Members Absent: Ed Kape (with notification)
    Others Present:  Community Development Director Terry Schweitzer, Economic Development Planner Lisa Golder, Planner Joe Pung, Staff Secretary Monique Collier, the applicants and City Engineer Tim Bradshaw
     
    Motion by Holtrop, supported by Fox, to excuse Kape from the meeting.
     
  4. Motion Carried (8-0) –
  5. Kape absent -
     
  6. Approval of the Minutes and Findings of Fact
     
    Motion by Commissioner Holtrop, supported by Commissioner Jones, to approve the Minutes of May 24, 2016.
  7. Motion Carried (8-0) –
  8. Kape absent -
  9. Approval of the Agenda
     
    Motion by Commissioner VanderHoff, supported by Commissioner Fox,  to approve the agenda for the June 28, 2016 meeting.
     
  10. Motion Carried (8-0) –
  11. Kape absent -
     
  12. Acknowledge visitors wishing to speak to non-agenda items.
     
    There was no public comment.
     
  13. Old Business
     
    There was no Old Business
     
  14. Public Hearing
     
    There were no Public Hearings
     
  15. Work Session
  16.  
    Case#7-16 – 3160 Breton /Jay Stevens Group – Rezoning of .6 acres of land from I-2 Heavy Industrial to C-4 Office Located at 3160 Breton Ave SE
     
    Schweitzer stated the request is for rezoning of .6 acres of land from I-2 Heavy Industrial to C-4 Office. He stated the property is on the east side of Breton Avenue just north of 32nd Street. The site fronts on a five lane section of Breton Avenue with 5 foot sidewalks on both sides of the street. 
     
    Schweitzer stated the site has been zoned for industrial use since at least 1970.  The current I-2 Heavy Industrial zoning of the site qualifies a number of office uses as permitted uses.  A zoning board use variance granted in 1988 allowed for the existing hair salon tenant. Schweitzer stated with the heavy industrial zoning you need 200 feet of frontage and 5 acres in lot size area. In this case they have 109 feet of frontage and about 26,000 square foot in area that is the size of a lot you would find generally in an office zoning classification. 
     
    Schweitzer stated what they are asking for makes sense in terms of the size of the lot. If you look at the property to the south of their property it is zoned office and immediately to the north there is another use variance there from back in the 1980’s and that is a retail use. Schweitzer stated otherwise you have office type uses in the surrounding area. Schweitzer stated the true industrial uses are located further east off from the 32nd Street frontage.
     
    Schweitzer stated we became aware of the need to consider rezoning this site because of a recent review of a business license application for a tattoo service within another vacant tenant space. The business license was therefore denied. Schweitzer stated personal service establishments (like the tattoo service) are not allowed in the I-2 zone district. It is a permitted use in our office zone district.
     
    Marvin Haveman, with Jay Stevens Group was present. He stated they have previously had several uses in the building since they applied for the use variance back in the 1980’s.  He thought the use variance applied to the whole building but he now knows it was just for their hair salon and that is why they are asking for the rezoning.
     
    Fox questioned how many tenant spaces are within the building and whether they are all occupied. Haveman stated there are 4 units and they are all occupied at this point. Fox questioned their parking and asked if they have enough spaces. Haveman stated yes they do, they have the people that work there park behind the building and the customers park in the front.
     
    Vanderhoff questioned what businesses are currently in there now. Haveman stated the massage therapy just moved out and they are going to get a nail technician, hair salon and a photography studio. VanderHoff asked what the problem was. Schweitzer stated those uses identified are generally ones that are not allowed in the heavy industrial zone. VanderHoff stated he doesn’t have a problem with the request, he thinks it is a good idea and a good use of the building. He stated he doesn’t see a factory going up on the lot.
     
    Benoit, Pemberton, Holtrop, Bridson and Jones did not express any concerns with the request.
     
     
    Case#8-16 – Full Circle Recycle/M.S.V Construction – Major Change to Site Plan and Special Land Use Located at 3233 Broadmoor Ave SE
     
    Pung stated this project was brought before the planning commission in September of 2015 where they approved the special land use and site plan for a concrete recycling operation that involved crushing of concrete and the selling of finished materials such as the crushed concrete and stone and similar materials. The applicant is now requesting a modification to the special land use and site plan to expand the recycling operation to include the collection stock piling and transfer of yard waste and also adding the sale of finished product to include topsoil. They are looking to store up to 100 cubic yards of yard waste in the north east corner of the site. The intent is for landscape contractors to come in and drop of their waste and once it got to a certain point it would be shipped off to a different location where the actual recycling will take place. They won’t be doing any processing this is more of a collection and transfer station.
     
    Pung stated they would also like to add a 4 foot high fence on top of the existing wall that runs along Broadmoor Avenue. The side facing Broadmoor currently has a height ranging from about 3 feet to about 5 ½ feet. Pung stated they are not looking at any changes to the actual site plan just adding a new material. He stated it is still their intent to have the building remodeled and the concrete crushing moved inside this fall which should take care of any issues, if there are any, with regards to dust and noise once the facility is moved inside. He stated they also indicated they are looking at selling their existing crushing equipment and getting a mobile unit which they would transfer between this facility and another facility they are looking at putting up in Grand Rapids. The crushing apparatus would be going back and forth between the two sites. They are not looking to add any additional days to the crushing than what they are currently doing and that will all be consistent with the original approval.
     
    Pung stated one issue would be the fence. The zoning ordinance right now limits the height of the fence in a required front yard to no more than 3 feet. Therefore the current wall is non-conforming. In addition, in a non-residential district the maximum height for a fence is 8 feet. Adding another 4 foot of height to the existing wall would yield as much as be 9 ½ feet visible from Broadmoor Avenue. Their intent is provide more screening and try to block as much dust as possible that is going off the site. In order to do that they will have to go to the zoning board of appeals and get a variance for both the acceptance of the front yard fence height allowances in this non-residential zone district and the overall height requirement. Pung stated to the south  K&R they has a 6 foot high fence but that was put in before the current zoning ordinance requirements and that would also be existing non-conforming.
     
    Pung stated another thing that came up at the original facility was there was a lot of discussion about drainage and how to deal with the run off. He stated they have a pump and haul kind of operation and City Engineer Bradshaw followed that over the course of the winter to see how it was working and to determine there were any issues.
     
    Jones stated her questions are pertaining to the non-conforming fence height. She asked if the applicant is willing to do a 6 foot fence and adding some ornamental trees. Mark Velting stated as far as the fence goes it was a thought that they had that they wanted to find out what would be involved in putting a fence on top of the wall and what the restrictions were. He stated the fence  would aid in reducing wind blown particles going off-site and help block for noise. Discussion ensued. He stated they still don’t own the property and he doesn’t think he will come and seek a variance for the fence until after he owns the property because right now he is very restricted by the property owner with what he can do.  Jones asked where the yard waste products come from. Velting stated his customers are waste haulers that will drop a roll of boxes. They hire them to haul concrete. Also property owners can come and drop off leaves and their yard waste. He stated they have a contract with a composter in the Alto area and that is where they will be taking the material from the site. Jones asked if he will be storing topsoil. Velting stated yes they will return topsoil and have that available for their customers. Jones questioned if they anticipate a large amount of traffic coming in and out once they are in the business of topsoil. Velting stated he doesn’t think it is really going to change a whole lot. They are nowhere near as busy bringing concrete and asphalt in as what they had anticipated, therefore the added material is going to be very helpful.
     
    Bridson questioned the landscaping. Pung stated they still have to add the landscaping but they don’t own the property yet. He stated they are going to add some additional landscaping along Broadmoor Ave. Pung stated once they purchase the property they will have more flexibility with the restrictions that are currently on the property by the owner. Bridson questioned if it is their intent when they purchase the property to install the landscaping. Velting stated that is correct. But the existing wall is at the property line so the green area is owned by the State of Michigan. They will have to go to them to make sure that whatever they put on there is going to conform. Velting stated the other thing is the existence of a fire hydrant in this green area they need to make sure they are not restricting access to it. Discussion ensued. Bridson questioned if they will take in manure. Velting stated no, more of the type of a container from a landscaper, they will take all the bushes, all the scrubs and they may take trees. He stated it is all green waste. Discussion ensued. Bridson asked if there have been any complaints with the crushing part of the business. Pung stated he hasn’t received any, just the neighbors on the east side of Broadmoor. They stopped by with issues with dust and noise depending on which way the wind is blowing but they already spoke to the owner. Pung stated if they are able to put the crushing inside in the fall a lot of the issues should disappear.
     
    Holtrop asked for clarification whether it is the applicants intent for the existing operation to stay the same other than adding yardwaste and maybe some additional screening once he owns the parcel. Velting stated that is correct. Discussion ensued.
     
    Pemberton stated he talked to a neighbor across the street from the business and he asked how it is working. Dust is the issue, they do hear some noise but dust is the issue. Pemberton stated when they do demolish the existing buildings will the new equipment involve water spray to control dust. Velting stated they do it now with the equipment they have. It is currently their the only option because they don’t have walls around them is if they treat the material as it goes in and the water goes into the crusher as its crushing. Discussion ensued. He stated the DEQ is not excited about them moving the crushing operation entirely within the building. They look at it as unsafe and visibility is key. The other thing that being inside the building does when they are crushing and even when they are not, the wind can’t blow through or around if it is shielded on 3 sides.
     
    Benoit stated the only thing he is concerned about is odor and asked the applicant to watch out for the odor. Velting stated material shouldn’t be on the site more than 2 days and based on his conclusion the landscape contractors.
     
    VanderHoff stated he thinks the project is fine and doesn’t have a problem with it.
     
    Fox asked what type of fencing they are looking to erect. Velting stated white vinyl similar to the business K&R down the street. Fox stated he would be interested in him pursing the landscaping on the MDOT property as it was part of our initial agreement. Velting stated he would be open to suggestions if it would make more sense to put in trees rather than a fence.
     
    Pemberton asked if there were any restrictions from the State that talks about planting and so forth over utility easements. Schweitzer stated many of our local streets have utilities in the parkway between the sidewalk and the curb there are types of trees that will work in that area. In this case they have an oversize ROW. Discussion ensued
     
    Bradshaw stated with regard to landscaping, MDOT isn’t usually tree friendly due to safety reasons. Arborvitae or  any kind of a skinny tree could work on his property without having to coordinate with MDOT. He stated he has been keeping a close watch on the site. He stated he hasn’t seen any overflows or poor environmental practice as he drives by they are off to an ok start. He stated as far as the yard waste he would be concerned about leaves blowing.
     
  1. New Business
 
Motion by Holtrop, supported by VanderHoff to Set public hearing date of July 12, 2016, for:  Case#7-16 – 3160 Breton /Jay Stevens Group – Rezoning of .6 acres of land from I-2 Heavy Industrial to C-4 Office Located at 3160 Breton Ave SE; Case#8-16 – Full Circle Recycle/M.S.V Construction – Major Change to Site Plan and Special Land Use Located at 3233 Broadmoor Ave SE
 
Set a public hearing date of July 26, 2016 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
  • Motion Carried (8-0) –
  • Kape absent -
  1. Other Business
 
  1. Presentation by Elaine Isely – West Michigan Environmental Action Council
     
    Elaine Isley, is Water and Low Impact Development Program Director for the West Michigan Environmental Action Council. She presented an overview of stormwater and different infrastructure controls that you can use with storm water.
     
  2. Commissioners’ Comments
     
    Jones asked about Eastern Avenue from 54th Street to 44th Street She questioned whether it is  going to stay chip sealed. Bradshaw stated that is phase 1 of the resurfacing program, early August the fog seal contractor will come in and place another thinner layer over the top of the chip. Discussion ensued. He stated there is more work coming on Eastern south of 52nd  . It is is also going to get a chip seal in late July and 52nd west of Eastern to Division will also get the same treatment. He stated the traffic signal project at 52nd and Easternthat will be done in the next 3 weeks.
     
  3. Staff’s Comments
     
    Schweitzer stated a full size map of a proposed non-motorized facilities plan and an accompanying narrative were given to Jones, Bridson, Benoit, and VanderHoff and he would like to meet in July or August. Schweitzer requested they look at the information and if there are any questions to contact him.
     
    Golder stated we will also be talking about the Form Based Code again in July.
     
    Schweitzer stated on July 12, 2016 the Engineering department will be making a presentation on recommended storm water management ordinance changes.
     
  1. Adjournment  
 
Motion by Commissioner VanderHoff, supported by Commissioner  Fox,                          to adjourn the meeting.
  • Motion Carried (8-0) –
  • Kape absent -
     
    Meeting adjourned at 8:40p.m.
     
                                                                Respectfully submitted,
                                                                Ed Kape, Secretary