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APPROVED MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
OF THE KENTWOOD PLANNING COMMISSION
MARCH 22, 2016, 7:30 P.M.
COMMISSION CHAMBERS
  (return  to index)
 
  1. Vice-Chair Holtrop called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
     
  2. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Commissioner Fox.
     
  3. Roll Call:
    Members Present: Bill Benoit, Emily Bridson, Garrett Fox, Dan Holtrop, Ed Kape, Mike Pemberton, Frank Vander Hoff, 
    Members Absent: Johngerlyn Young (with notification) and Sandra Jones
    Others Present:  Community Development Director Terry Schweitzer, Economic Development Planner Lisa Golder, Staff Secretary Monique Collier, City Engineer Dan VanderHeide and the applicants.
     
    Motion by Kape, supported by VanderHoff, to excuse Jones and Young from the meeting.                                                  
  4. Motion Carried (7-0) –
  5. Jones and Young absent -
     
  6. Approval of the Minutes and Findings of Fact
     
    Motion by Commissioner Pemberton, supported by Commissioner Kape, to approve the Minutes of March 8, 2016.
  7. Motion Carried (7-0) –
  8. Jones and Young absent-
  9. Approval of the Agenda
     
    Motion by Commissioner Pemberton, supported by Commissioner Kape,                            to approve the agenda for the March 22, 2016 meeting.
     
  10. Motion Carried (7-0) –
  11. Jones and Young 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
     
    Case# 4-16 West Michigan Eye Care-Final Site Plan Review of a PUD Phase located at 2112 East Paris Avenue, SE.
     
    Golder compared the site plan from the work session to the current plan with changes noted from the applicant. Golder stated some of the issues at the work session were: there was a 15 foot setback between the building and the private road to the east; there was a drop off area commissioners wanted to make sure was a one way driveway for drop off and to make sure the Go Bus could get through; there was concern about employee parking and customer parking and whether or not the employee parking will be noted as employee parking; and the alignment of the sidewalk from East Paris.
     
    Golder stated now the sidewalk connection from East Paris runs along the front of the building to the entrance for people getting off the bus and walking. She stated they did verify that the Go Bus can make it into the driveway and it is a one way driveway that will be marked. The employee parking will be marked as employee parking and customer parking. The building is smaller, it went to 11,200 square feet. She stated they reduced the lease area and that bought the setback off the private drive from 15 feet to a little over 20 feet.
     
    Golder stated she is recommending conditional approval of the site plan dated 3/11/16 as stated in her memo.
     
    Craig Baker was present. He stated they listened to the discussion from the work session and responded accordingly.
     
    Holtrop opened the public hearing.
     
    There was no public comment.
     
    Motion by VanderHoff, supported by Pemberton, to close the public hearing.
     
  15. Motion Carried (7-0) –
  16. Jones and Young absent –
     
     
    The commissioners offered no additional comments and were glad to see the changes.
     
    Holtrop questioned the walkway requirement to the parking lot to the south. Golder explained that the walkway should be aligned to allow passage between parked cars in the event the immediate parking lot is full. During the winter this walkway may be plowed shut with snow. Baker stated they could make sure it is kept open.
     
    Motion by Kape, supported by Pemberton, to recommend conditional approval of the Site Plan dated 3/11/16 for Heritage Point South West Michigan Eye Care as described in Case No. 4-16. Approval is condition on conditions 1-5 and basis points 1-3 as described in Golder’s memo date 3/16/16.
     
  17. Motion Carried (7-0) –
  18. Jones and Young absent -
     
  19. Work Session
     
    Case# 5-16 Structures and Improvements Plan 2016-2022
     
      Director Schweitzer stated the SIP is an overview of the City’s Annual Capital Improvements Program that sets forth improvements over the next 6 year period 2016-2022. He stated this plan represents Building and Site Improvements, Parks, Streets, Sidewalks and Non-Motorized Trails and Water and Sanitary Sewer Management Systems. Schweitzer stated the Planning Commission will adopt the structures and improvements plan and forward it to the City Commission. He stated there was something new added to the draft document that gives a tally of the annual draws from the various funding sources prior to the public hearing the Commission will be afforded how much money is in the respective fund to draw upon. He stated one of the areas discussed at the committee level was with the Parks and Recreation Activity Center on 48th street whether it is a good thing to invest in that building (and landscaping around the perimeter). He stated there has been remodeling inside the building. Schweitzer stated the Parks and Recreation wasn’t able to make the meeting but plan to attend the public hearing on April 12.
     
    Holtrop stated he will go by section if there are any questions.
     
    Building and Site Improvements
     
    Pemberton stated in some cases the improvements to the Parks and Recreation building involved cost increases and it seems like throughout the whole document there were a number of occasions where what was originally budgeted was now coming with substantial increases. He questioned whether it was budgeted correctly the first time around or did a lot get added as a result of some other work.
     
    Schweitzer stated in some cases the scope of the projects changed.
     
    Bridson stated she serves on the Park and Rec committee and she had a walk through and everything needs to be gutted from floor to ceiling. She stated the initial 50,000 dollars estimate was not sufficient to support the culinary programming they have planned.  
     
    Schweitzer stated another factor that is causing the cost increases is the HVAC system upgrades.
     
    Parks
    Holtrop stated in this section it appears to be a lot of maintenance.
     
    Schweitzer stated it is a matter of bringing what we have up to date. In future years there may be more focus on new capital investment but for now it is a matter of looking at what we have and making sure it’s in good shape. As you look at future expansion it will likely be necessary to ask for thepark millage to be reinstated.
     
    Bridson stated she spoke to the Mayor and his current focus is to really take care of what we have. Discussion ensued.
     
    Schweitzer stated generally the improvements for the parks have been coming from park millage, however we have been fortunate to make use of some Federal Community Development Block Grant money to undertake some substantial improvements.
     
    Discussion ensued regarding future projections and funds available for different projects.
     
    Pemberton stated he thinks we will eventually run out of money due to the Flint crisis etc. Schweitzer stated many of the funds are dedicated and restricted to specific use.
     
    Streets Sidewalks and Non-Motorized Trails
     
    VanderHeide stated we have about 10 million dollars in our road funds. We are not currently collecting a property tax millage to support that fund, it was transferred to police and fire in 2006. He stated at our current rate of spending it is projected to run out 2020-2022. He stated our State legislature recently approved some additional funding some of which is gas tax funded and it is constitutionally protected for the roads. A portion of the road funding package is to come from the State general fund, therefore that money is a little less certain. He stated but either way whether we get only the half from gas tax money or both it will improve the situation for the roads and we expect that will turn around and that will offer us some measure of additional spending to use depending whether both halves of the funding come in or just the first half.  He stated the, gas tax money is expected to arrive in 2017 and be phased and fully arrived in 2019 second half arrives and fully implemented by 2022.
     
    Benoit asked about the sidewalks and questioned if that will be something the commissioners will have an input on. VanderHeide stated the two new projects listed in the document are intended to be funded by Community Development Block Grant funds coming available in July. Golder stated they were chosen because they are within target areas. She stated if the target areas are expanded in the future then the funding for sidewalk or projects can be increased. Discussion ensued
     
    VanderHoff questioned the construction on Wing Avenue and if it is really necessary to take the expense and put in concrete curbs and gutters, rather than country road. He also questioned the thought of putting sidewalk down both sides of Wing. He thinks that is a terrible waste of money. He stated he rarely sees anyone walking along Wing Avenue but to put sidewalk on one side you might be able to justify but to put sidewalk on both sides of the road he does not. VanderHoff stated it is a rural road and the people who live along there would like to keep it rural.
     
    VanderHeide stated it is important to remember that it is a rural road only because it used to be owned by Kent County as part of Paris Township. The City of Kentwood has never reconstructed Wing Ave. VanderHeide stated it has been and continues to be the City’s policy to upgrade streets to a City street. He stated it’s not to say we won’t take into account residents and other considerations, but the policy of the City in the past has always been similar to Wing to bring the roads both up to safety and City standards which includes the curb and gutter and the sidewalk.
     
    VanderHoff asked if they will put city water down the street. VanderHeide stated yes that is in the Grand Rapids utility district where water and sewer would be put down the street for the benefit of current and future property owners.
     
    Holtrop asked if there is an ordinance with respect to sidewalks on one side or both sides. Golder stated there are sidewalk requirements for public and private roads. Holtrop asked if all of our new subdivisions have sidewalks on both sides. Our current ordinance does allow for reduced sidewalk coverage on short street segmentsGolder stated it is in our Master Plan to have sidewalks on both sides of streets especially major streets. Discussion ensued.
     
    VanderHoff stated there is an Allen Edwin property west of his property and eventually it will get to his property but they have to put in a Breton extension from 60th to the Paul Henry Trail. He questioned if there is anything down the road where Breton will be extended south from where it is to the trail to match up. That will take a lot of traffic off Wing. VanderHeide stated any developer who develops along the future Breton corridor will be required to install Breton through their development and it is intended to go from its current intersection at 52nd to the second phase for the Allen Edwin development.
     
    Discussion ensued.
     
    Utility Systems
     
    Benoit questioned when a new development comes in and puts in a new detention pond does that remain the responsibility of the subdivision. VanderHeide stated it depends on whether it is a private or public subdivision. If it is a public plat the City takes ownership of the pond once the construction is done, if it’s a private neighborhood road then the neighborhood retains control. Holtrop stated one of the points stated if it is a private system residents may be stuck with the bill because it’s the owners response. VanderHeide stated the City may do the work but we would be able to bill the property owners.
     
    Fox asked about repainting the lining of the water tanks. VanderHeide explained that the tanks are periodically painted on the inside and outside, However, the intent of the water tank maintenance project in 2018-2019 is just the replacement of the back flow valve for 15,000 dollars.
     
  20. New Business
     
    There was no New Business
     
  21. Other Business
     
  22. 6 month Extension Request Case#9-15 Gotiva Motor Sales 5091 Broadmoor Ave
     
    Motion by VanderHoff, supported by Pemberton, to allow for a 6 month extension to September 22, 2016.
  23. Motion Carried (7-0) –
  24. Jones and Young absent -
     
  25. Commissioners’ Comments
     
    Pemberton stated on Breton next to the cleaners there are a ton of tractors sitting outside. Schweitzer stated the majority of the tractors are associated with Sweet Express and they are allowed to park there just as Velting contractors had been doing for many years.
     
     
  26. Staff’s Comments
     
     
  27. Adjournment
     
    Motion by Commissioner VanderHoff, supported by Commissioner Benoit,                          to adjourn the meeting.
     
  28. Motion Carried (7-0) –
  29. Jones and Young absent -
     
    Meeting adjourned at 8:30
     
     
                                                                Respectfully submitted,
     
                                                            Ed Kape, Secretary