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APPROVED MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
OF THE KENTWOOD PLANNING COMMISSION
MARCH 10, 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 Kape.
 
  1. Roll Call:
Members Present: Bill Benoit, Garrett Fox, Dan Holtrop, Sandra Jones, Ed Kape, Mike Pemberton, Steve Redmond
Members Absent: Frank Vander Hoff, and Johngerlyn Young (with notification)
Others Present: Community Development Director Terry Schweitzer, Planner Joe Pung, Staff Secretary Monique Collier and the applicants.
 
Motion by Kape, supported by Jones, to excuse Commissioners VanderHoff and Young from the meeting.
  • Motion Carried (7-0) –
  • VanderHoff and Young absent -
 
  1. Approval of the Minutes and Findings of Fact
 
Motion by Commissioner Pemberton, supported by Commissioner Fox, to approve the Minutes of February 24, 2015 and the Findings of Fact for:  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; Case #5-15 – Heritage Pointe South-Total Health Chiropractic – Final Site Plan of a PUD Phase Located at 2172 East Paris Ave SE
  • Motion Carried (7-0) –
  • VanderHoff and Young absent -
  1. Approval of the Agenda
 
Schweitzer stated under Other Business he would like to talk briefly about the 2014 Year End report.
 
Motion by Commissioner Pemberton, supported by Commissioner Fox,                               to approve the agenda for the March 10, 2015 meeting with addition added under Other Business.
  • Motion Carried (7-0) –
  • VanderHoff and Young 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#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 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 an 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 16 hearing in order to exceed the 5,000 square foot limit.
 
Pung stated he is recommending conditional approval of the special land use and site plan review as stated in his memos.
 
Chris Hoexum, presented a slide show about their business.
 
Dan Holtrop opened the public hearing.
 
David Shapiro, owner of the property located at 4722 50th Street, was present. He stated they have been happy with the building and over the last year they have had numerous people come in and offer to buy their building. But one of the objections to overcome with the building is that when they built the building in 2000 after coming to the City of Kentwood they were allowed to build a smaller distribution building on the narrow lot along with a variance for a retail store front. He stated most of the people who have been looking at their building have been looking for manufacturing or light industrial and unfortunately because of the configuration of the lot they have found it unusable. They can’t get more than one dock in there with 53 foot trucks it is very difficult to try to get trucks around. He stated when GR Auto Gallery approached him the fit seemed to be a good fit. He thinks this would be a great fit for the area.
 
Hoexum added his realtor went around and spoke to the businesses on 50th Street and they were all in favor of the project.
 
Motion by Kape, supported by Jones, to close the public hearing.
 
  • Motion Carried (7-0) –
  • VanderHoff and Young absent -
 
Fox ask what their criteria was in selecting the cars that will be housed at their facility.  Hoexum stated it depends on the demand and the market. They are always looking for good quality vehicles. Fox questioned how staff will monitor 90% of sales delivered without the customer coming to the facility. Pung stated if there are complaints we can investigate and work with the business. Schweitzer stated this is a basis point to support the recommendation it is not meant to be a condition of approval it is a basis of their method of operation and it seems to fit with their industrial area. 
 
Note:
Pemberton, Benoit stated they like the concept and the location and thinks it is a good fit.
 
Jones ask the volume of car carriers that come through per week. Hoexum stated anywhere from 1-3 per week for drop off or pick up.
 
Redmond stated he thinks it is a good fit. His only concern is the cars being left outside. He stated he likes the business concept, it works well, good location.
 
Kape asked how they find vehicles. Hoexum stated he and his 2 business partners have developed programs and they have their ways of finding the cars; a lot of internet; a lot of connections etc.
 
Holtrop ask if there is still space for the car carrier to go around the building if they expand their space. Hoexum stated the current set up is a fire lane that goes around the building. The fire marshal approved the use pf the fire lane for their deliveries because of the length of expansion, it would give them enough space on both sides of the building to pull in easily.
 
Motion by Kape, supported by Fox, to grant conditional approval of the Special Land Use Indoor Vehicle Sales as described in Case#07-15. The approval is conditioned on conditions 1-8 and basis point 1-5 as described in Pung’s memo dated 3/2/15.
  • Motion Carried (7-0)-
  • VanderHoff and Young absent -
 
Motion by Kape, supported by Fox, to grant conditional approval of the Site Plan dated January 30, 2015 as described in Case #7-15. Approval is conditioned on conditions 1-6 and basis point 1-6 as described in Pung’s memo dated 3/2/15.
 
  • Motion Carried (7-0) –
  • VanderHoff and young absent -
 
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 after the work session the applicant submitted a list of revised services they plan to have at the facility. Pung stated for any training they are providing they will maintain the instructor to student ratio be 1:4 no matter what the use is they are providing.
 
Pung stated he is recommending conditional approval of the special land use and site plan as described in his memos.
 
Wesly Trimpe was present.
 
Holtrop opened the public hearing.
 
Motion by Benoit, supported by Jones, to close the public hearing.
 
  • Motion Carried (7-0) –
  • VanderHoff and Young absent -
 
Motion by Jones, supported by Benoit, to grant conditional approval of the Special Land use Small Group Fitness Facility as described in Case #8-15 Sluggers Sports Academy. Approval is conditioned on conditions 1-4 and basis points 1-5 as described in Pung’s memo dated 2/26/15.
 
  • Motion Carried (7-0) –
  • VanderHoff and Young absent -
 
Motion by Jones supported by Fox, to grant conditional approval of the Site Plan dated June 21, 1996 as described in Case 8-15 Sluggers Sports Academy. Approval is conditioned on conditions 1-3 and basis point 1-2 as described in Pung’s memo date 2/26/15.
  • Motion Carried (7-0) –
  • VanderHoff and young absent -
 
  1. Work Session
 
Case# 9-15 Gotiva Motor Sales - Special Land Use Open Air Business and Site Plan Review located at 5091 Broadmoor Ave SE 
 
Schweitzer introduced the request. He stated in March of 1996, this site, along with adjoining parcels totaling 6.7 acres, was rezoned from I-1 Light Industrial to C-PUD Commercial Planned Unit Development. He stated in 1997 this portion of the overall site was proposed, approved and developed for a Special Land Use vehicle rental business (Thrifty Car Rental).  The 1.51 acre site consisted of a 2,600 square foot building along with parking for approximately 45 vehicles. Schweitzer stated in 2006 the 1.51 acre site was proposed, approved and redeveloped as a Special Land Use open air vehicle sales and leasing. He stated in 2011 the same site was redeveloped again as a Vehicle Detail Center (a permitted use) in combination with a Special Land Use Open Air U-Haul rental outlet.
 
Schweitzer stated even though the site was previously approved and developed in 2006 for an open air vehicle sales and leasing use, the intervening Vehicle Detail Center in combination with a Special Land Use Open Air U-Haul rental outlet requires that the new vehicle sales be subjected to Special Land Use and site plan review.
 
Schweitzer stated we are using the site plan for the original conversion of this building. The existing 2600 square foot building was converted in 1998 from a residence with an attached garage to an office with an attached garage. Discussion ensued regarding the site.
 
Schweitzer stated the site can be accessed from a curb-cut onto Broadmoor Avenue at the north end of the site and from the adjacent property to the south through a service drive which runs parallel to Broadmoor Avenue. Schweitzer stated there is a lot of cross access on the site.
 
Schweitzer stated the main thing is that the operator has to be aware that parking and display of vehicles shall be restricted to the paved areas behind the required 35 foot front setback (behind the service drive). Schweitzer stated sign display will be another thing. This is an industrial area, but this is a commercial property. Schweitzer stated it is afforded freestanding signs and there is provision in the ordinance for up to 30 days for temporary sign display during the year with a permit and as long as he can work within those parameters it appears from the past history and going forward that it should be a reasonable use of the property.
 
Saud Alagic, tenant was present.  He stated this has been something that he has been wanting to do for a long time.
 
Fox ask if he already has cars. Alagic stated once he gets approved not at this time.
 
Pemberton stated he thinks it is a reasonable use of the property and a facility that will accommodate a smaller retail type of operation.
 
Benoit asked whether there have been any significant zoning changes in the immediate area since the first special land use was approved in terms of commercial retail. Schweitzer stated there hasn’t. Lacks Industries located immediately to the west they have expanded into the surrounding area. Discussion ensued.
 
Jones ask if this is his first time opening a car business. Alagic stated yes this is his first time opening a car business but he owned a trucking company.
 
Redmond ask if the 35 foot setback will be a hindrance in marketing his vehicles. Alagic stated he understands and no, that is fine.
 
Kape stated he drove the property and there were a 3 or 4 cars with no license plates. Alagic stated those vehicles he bought from an auction from his friend in Detroit. Kape stated the building could use some cosmetic updating. Alagic stated he will do that work, he’s just waiting for the snow to melt.
 
Holtrop stated he would just encourage him to stay within the guidelines for vehicle display and signage.
 
  1. New Business
 
Motion by Jones, supported by Pemberton, to set a public hearing date of April 14, 2015, for:  Case#10-15 - Structures and Improvements Plan 2015-2021; Case# 11-15 - Madison Ave Missionary Baptist Church – Site Plan Review of Place of Religious Worship Located at 5757 Madison Ave SE
  • Motion Carried (7-0) –
  • VanderHoff and Young absent -
 
  1. Other Business
 
  1. Year End Report
 
Schweitzer discussed an overview of the 2014 Year End Report that includes a number of activities that were identified in the implementation schedule
 
  1. Commissioners’ Comments
 
Jones stated she is excited to see things happening in Kentwood.
 
The commissioners congratulated Redmond on being appointed to the City Commission
 
  1. Staff’s Comments
 
Schweitzer stated SIP will be coming up and encouraged any commissioners who would like to serve on the committee to fill Redmond’s vacancy to send Chair Young an email.
 
  1. Adjournment  
 
Motion by Commissioner Pemberton, supported by Commissioner Fox,                            to adjourn the meeting.
  • Motion Carried (7-0) –
  • VanderHoff and Young absent -
 
Meeting adjourned at 8:35p.m.
 
 
                                                            Respectfully submitted,
 
                                                            Ed Kape, Secretary