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AUGUST 24, 2015, 7:00 P.M.

(return to index)

1. Chair Derusha called the meeting to order.

2. Roll Call

MEMBERS PRESENT: Les Derusha, Kemal Hamulic, Robert Houtman, Richard

Lenger, Alan Lipner Russ Slater, Monica Sparks


OTHERS PRESENT: Planner Joe Pung, Staff Secretary Monique Collier, and the applicants

3. Public Hearing

Appeal #V-15-12

Applicant: Hearthside Food Solutions

Location: 3225 – 32nd Street, SE

Request: The applicant wishes to construct an addition onto an

existing industrial building. The proposed addition would

locate loading docks in the front yard. Section 10.03.B of

the Kentwood Zoning Ordinance prohibits off-street

loading areas in the front yard. The request variance is to

allow for off-street front yard loading areas.

Greg Halonen, General contractor with Facilities Resource Group was present

representing Hearthside foods. He stated they are currently using the west area as a truck

dock. He stated they want to move the truck dock 33 feet towards the west. Holliman

stated the truck dock will be flush with the existing west wall. He stated the reason they

need the additional area is because there is a 400 foot long oven line and in order to fit it

in the facility (and this is the only facility in Grand Rapids that it will fit); they have to

use up the existing truck dock area with the new oven line. He stated they need the extra

25 feet. He stated they are restricted in the building by the area that represents about 6

foot higher floor level. They are starting a few feet from that constraint and then all the

way west. He stated it puts the oven into the existing loading dock area and this is the

reason they need to add the truck dock area.

Hamulic questioned how it will be different than what they have now. Bret stated right

now they have existing granola dryers that actually dry granola products. This is an oven

and is an indirect, like a convection oven that you have in your home. He stated the

reason it is so long is because they have to add a very long cooling section for when the

product comes out of the oven.

Discussion ensued regarding parking setbacks. Pung stated they have truck docks on 3

sides and they are going to eliminate the one on the south.

Hamulic questioned if their truck traffic will increase or decrease. Halonen stated the

traffic will stay the same, all the maneuvering will still remain onsite. He stated they are

doing site improvements to help the maneuvering. He stated they are taking out an area

that is about 20’x30’, there is a retaining wall that comes in off the drive on the north

side. They are going to remove and regrade the site so they get additional maneuvering.

Hamulic stated that his biggest concern is that the trucks will have even more difficulty

maneuvering and getting to their dock. Halonen stated they have had planning and

engineering look at it and they feel there is enough room for maneuvering. Discussion


Derusha opened the public hearing.

There was no public comment.

Motion by Lenger, supported by Slater, to close the public hearing.

- Motion Carried (7-0) –

Houtman stated point 1 has been met exceptional narrowness, shallowness or specific

property there is nowhere else to go with what they want to do. Houtman stated point 2

is met. Houtman stated point 3 is met it is necessary for him to do their business and

enjoy their property rights.

Lipner, Slater, Lenger, concurred that points 1, 2 and 3 have been met.

Hamulic stated point 1 has not been met, point 2 has been met and point 3 has been met.

Sparks stated points 1,2,3 have been met.

Derusha stated points 1,2 and 3 have been met.

Houtman stated point 4 is met the adjacent property is manufacturing. Houtman stated

point 5 is met. Houtman stated point 6 is met he is expanding but there was no other

action he could take to expand and remain in his building.

Lipner, Slater, Lenger, Hamulic, Sparks and Derusha concurred that point 4,5 and 6 have

been met.

Motion by Houtman, supported by Lenger to approve V-15-12

1. That there are exceptional and extraordinary circumstances or conditions applying

to the property that do not apply generally to other properties in the same zoning

district. The building was constructed in the 50’s and expanded multiple times,

truck docks already exist on the west side of the building. The fronyard actually

appears to be the sideyard

2. Due to the exceptional and extraordinary circumstances applying to the property,

the condition or situation of the specific piece of property for which the variance is

sought is not of so general or recurrent a nature as to make reasonable practical the

formulation of a general regulation for such conditions or situations.

3. That such variance is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial

property right similar to that possessed by other properties in the same zoning

district and in the vicinity.

4. The variance will not be detrimental to adjacent property and the surrounding

neighborhood. The adjacent properties are industrial and expansion will not come

closer to the road then the existing building. Truck docks are already on the west

side of the building.

5. Due to the exceptional and extraordinary circumstances applying to the property,

the variance will not impair the intent and purpose of this Ordinance.

6. That the immediate practical difficulty causing the need for the variance request

was not created by any action of the applicant. The truck docks are already on the

west side of the building. The truck docks are already on the west side of the


- Motion Carried (7-0) –

Motion by Hamuilc, supported by Lipner, to adjourn the meeting.

- Motion Carried ( 7-0) –

Meeting adjourned at 7:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Alan Lipner, Secretary