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Minutes - September 5, 2017

HOLLAND CHARTER TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION
Regular Meeting
September 5, 2017
 
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Marion Hoeve at 7:00 p.m. 
 
Present:   Chairman Marion Hoeve, Members Ken Bosma, Dennis Gebben, LaVerne Johnson, Norm Nykamp, and Ed Zylstra.  Also present was Community Development Director John Said, Assistant Community Development Director Corey Broersma, and Recording Secretary Sheri Thomassen.
 
Absent:  Vice-Chairman/Secretary Jack Vander Meulen
 
The minutes of August 1, 2017 were approved as written.  
 
Mr. Hoeve explained the public hearing process to the audience.  
 
Mr. Hoeve opened the public hearing for consideration of a Special Use Request submitted by Russell & Lilian Veldheer Trust – 463 E. Lakewood Boulevard (# 70-16-21-100-026, -040, and -042).  Revised request seeks permission to operate a self-service storage and mini-storage facility in conjunction with a retail sales building offering boxes and moving supplies, including trailer and truck rentals.  The property’s re-zoning from Light Industrial (I-1) to General Commercial (C-2) was effective August 4, 2017.
 
Present to speak for this request was John Gilmore with U-Haul International.  Mr. Gilmore spoke to the need for this special use and answered questions from the Commissioners, addressed below.
 
Special Use Considerations/Comments:
 
1.  The size, nature, and character of the proposed use:
The property includes 3 parcels totaling approximate 4.8 acres.  Staff recommends all parcels (and corresponding lots of record) be combined to reduce non-conforming setbacks.  Buildings which remain in a non-conforming state will require ZBA approval for an extension of a non-conformity or a nonuse variances will be required prior to the issuance of building permits.
Further information is needed related to the proposed use.  It would be helpful to understand the use of the 1,600 square foot “D&R AREA” of Building A, where the outdoor storage of trucks and trailers is to be placed, where the parking for the mini-storage units will be located, and how the County Number 9 Drain is be relocated or enclosed.  
 
Mr. Gilmore indicated that all pods will be stored inside; D & R area of Building A will be used as retail space, storage, and cleaning trucks.  He understood the installation of hitches or other vehicle accessories will an additional Special Use.  Building E includes a dock and will be used for deliveries, holding area, small warehouse/receiving and is essential for business model.  U-Haul and their engineer are working with the current occupant and the Water Resource Commission to determine whether to relocate or enclose Number 9 Drain.  Mr. Gilmore is aware of Buildings B & D being non-conforming and understand they need to seek relief or variance from ZBA.  
 
2.  The proximity of the proposed use to adjoining property:
The property’s frontage and access are located along East Lakewood Boulevard.  The 37. 5 foot landscape strip shall extend along the entire frontage.  The property’s existing buildings are unable to achieve the minimum building setbacks (75 foot front / 20 foot side yard / 25 foot rear yard) in a few areas.  Similarly, the property is unable to achieve a 10-foot-wide landscape strip along segments of the west and north property lines.  ZBA approval for improvements to the nonconforming buildings will be necessary.
 
Building B is up against property line and would not be easily relocated; would like to save as much of the building as possible.  Mr. Gilmore added that Northgate Appliance is comfortable with it being there.  
 
3.  The parking facilities provided for the proposed use:
The applicant should provide a parking calculation with an updated site plan for PC review or for staff review if the PC is comfortable with the use.  For reference, the current ordinance requires 1 parking space for every 2 storage units, a minimum of 6 parking spaces for the leasing office, and 1 space per 100 square feet of retail.  The site appears to be significantly short on parking.  
 
Mr. Gilmore was comfortable working with staff to finalize the site plan for PC or Staff approval of a parking variation.
 
4.  Any traffic congestion or hazard which will be occasioned by the proposed use:
The Ottawa County Road Commission will need to determine the appropriate location and geometry for the drive entrance.  If a deceleration taper is not required, Staff would encourage a sidewalk alignment that would allow pedestrians to cross the new drive approach at the narrowest point.  This change may provide room for a car to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian without blocking a travel lane of E. Lakewood Boulevard.  
 
5.  How well the proposed use harmonizes, blends with and enhances adjoining properties in the surrounding neighborhood:
Given the adjacent service area and storm water pond to the north, US-31 highway ramp to the east, and the retail use along the frontage, Staff does not object to the location.  
 
6.  The need or necessity for the proposed use to service the needs of the surrounding neighborhood:
 
Mr. Gilmore indicated this is growing need in a growing community.  
 
7.  The effect of the proposed use on adjoining properties in the surrounding neighborhood:
A negative effect is not anticipated, but a final site plan review is needed. 
 
Mr. Gilmore indicated plans include overhauling existing buildings entirely; there has been no push back from neighbors, only anxious to see property cleaned up.   
 
Audience comments:  None.
 
**Motion to close hearing by Mr. Zylstra, supported by Mr. Bosma.  Motion carried.
 
**Motion made by Mr. Nykamp to approve special use request with final site plan approval by Staff.  Supported by Mr. Bosma.  Motion carried.  
 
Mr. Hoeve opened the public hearing for Special Use and Site Plan Review submitted by Jimmy Asmar, Holland Superior Hospitality, LLC for Vacant Land, W. Shore Dr. (# 70-16-16-100-125).  Applicant seeks permission to construct and operate a 4-story hotel containing 100 guest rooms.  Additional considerations are that the hotel’s height is proposed to be in excess of 35 feet tall and the applicant has requested site plan review be completed by the Planning Commission.  The property is in the C-2, General Commercial Zoning District.
 
Present to speak for this request was Andy Andre, 32825 Northwestern Hwy, Farmington Hills, 48334 with Stellar Development.  Mr. Andre summarized the request and indicated that the growth market is still strong and they are excited about the opportunity.  SpringHill Suites is a Marriot all-suites product and serves both the business and tourist community, a good fit for current and growing needs.  He added that the Township is in a unique, well-traveled corridor – a good combination for an all-suites hotel.  Average stay is 3 nights.  Speaker added Marriot drives the registration and rewards system in which 75% of all registrations are done online.  
 
Site plan review, Staff Comments and questions from the Commissioners and discussion followed.  
 
Special Use Considerations/Comments:
 
1.  The size, nature, and character of the proposed use:
The property includes approximately 3 acres and has proposed access from West Shore Drive.  The character of the use appears to be similar to the Home 2 Suites under construction on the adjacent lot, however, the subject hotel is 3 feet taller at 55 feet.
 
The proposed hotel and presented property configuration would extend into and impact the ongoing PUD approval for Westshore Apartments.  Therefore, Mr. William Mast has provided a conditional PUD withdraw letter dated August 23, 2017.  
 
2.  The proximity of the proposed use to adjoining property:
Site Plan shall be revised to show the appropriate setbacks for the C-2 zoning district as well as the additional setbacks required for a building in excess for 35 feet in height.  Note, all ground mounted equipment, including garbage container enclosures, shall comply with building setbacks if over 30 inches in height.
 
3.  The parking facilities provided for the proposed use:
The provided parking count is sufficient for the stated number of rooms and staff.  The number and distribution of barrier free spaces will be reviewed during building permit review.
 
4.  Any traffic congestion or hazard which will be occasioned by the proposed use:
Ottawa County Road Commission approval must be provided for the proposed drive approach including any easements necessary to maintain for clear vision.  If a deceleration taper is not required, Staff would encourage a sidewalk alignment that would allow pedestrians to cross the new drive approach at the narrowest point and provide room for a car to yield the right-of-way without blocking a travel lane of West Shore Drive.  This would require the applicant to provide a private sidewalk easement.
 
Applicant is currently working with the Road Commission and other county agencies as required.
 
5.  How well the proposed use harmonizes, blends with and enhances adjoining properties in the surrounding neighborhood:
The use may support adjacent retail.  Further, the proposed hotel would be of similar height to the adjacent Home 2 Suites and to a lesser extend the nearby apartments to the east.  It is unknown if the addition of more rooms in this area will negatively affect our existing hotels. 
 
6.  The need or necessity for the proposed use to service the needs of the surrounding neighborhood: 
The use may support adjacent retail, however, it is unknown if the addition of rooms in this area will negatively affect our existing hotels.  
 
Staff would recommend a market study be prepared accounting for the recently completed Courtyard by Marriot (140 rooms) in the City of Holland, the Home 2 Suites (109 rooms) under construction to the north, and the James Street Staybridge Suites (102 room) currently being reviewed for building permits. 
 
Staff spoke with the Holland Area Visitors Bureau and were told for our area the occupancy rates in 2016 were 66.7%.  The 2017 occupancy rates through July were 58.9% with a projected number of 61% for the year as a whole.  National averages are 63-64%.  If an independent review of the area’s lodging is needed, the Visitors Bureau provided the name of Hospitality Advisors (Chuck Skelton) as an option for such a study.  
 
Mr. Andre indicated that data could be pulled together, if required.  Mr. Andre suggested that there wouldn’t be a $7M investment if need wasn’t there and is happy to address this, if required.  
 
7.  The effect of the proposed use on adjoining properties in the surrounding neighborhood:
Staff would like the Road Commission to determine if an acceptable access point can be achieved and if a traffic study is warranted for West Shore Drive.  The proposed lighting shall be modified to eliminate the lighting of adjacent properties. 
 
Mr. Andre indicated photo-cell lighting with motion sensors would be installed
 
Staff informed the PC that a land division request had been received which would result in the hotel property being approximately 7 acres in size.  If the Special Use is approved it will only apply to the 3 acres presented.    
 
Mr. Andre indicated there are no plans for the remainder of the acreage at this time.  
 
There was no one present to speak to the request and no comments were filed in writing.  Public hearing was closed.  
 
**Motion made by Mr. Zylstra for tentative approval of special use, including the presented building height, with final site plan approval being determined by Staff.  Supported by Mr. Bosma.  Motion carried. 
 
Mr. Hoeve opened the public hearing for Special Use submitted by Martin DeHaan on behalf of Wayne & Carol Thorpe, 2470 Van Ommen Dr. (# 70-16-16-377-011).  Applicant seeks permission to operate a vehicle repair service, not including junking or wrecking, within Suite “A”.  The property’s zoning is General Commercial (C-2).  
 
Present to speak to this request was Marty DeHaan, Quality Brake & Auto Service.  He is asking to continue to run their business at the current location and is seeking special use due to recent violations in the area.  
 
Audience comments: None.  
 
**Motion to close hearing by Mr. Zylstra, supported by Mr. Bosma.  Motion carried.
 
Special Use Considerations/Comments:
 
1.  The size, nature, and character of the proposed use:
The special use is being requested for Suite “A” which is the western most (and original) portion of the building.  Provided there is no outdoor storage of parts or equipment the use will fit with the current character of VanOmmen Drive.
 
2.  The proximity of the proposed use to adjoining property:
The building complies with commercial setbacks, but paved access and parking cover the majority of the remaining open space.
 
3.  The parking facilities provided for the proposed use:
The proposed parking has not taken into account barrier free requirements or maintaining a 26 foot wide emergency access aisle along the building’s south side.  The applicant should speak to the number of customers and employees at peak shift, including the number mechanic bays proposed within the building.  The overnight parking of disabled vehicles outdoors should be discouraged.
 
4.  Any traffic congestion or hazard which will be occasioned by the proposed use:
The current drive approach would not meet today’s standards, but the use is likely to involve less traffic than most other permitted C-2 uses.
 
5.  How well the proposed use harmonizes, blends with and enhances adjoining properties in the surrounding neighborhood:
The proposed use would currently blend with the adjacent uses – a couple adjacent properties are also seeking special use approval for vehicle repair and/or used vehicle sales.  The Planning Commission should consider the long term character of the US-31 corridor in their decision, including stipulations for additional greenspace.
 
6.  The need or necessity for the proposed use to service the needs of the surrounding neighborhood:
The Applicant should speak on the demand for the proposed use.
 
Applicant is simply asking to continue to run business at the current location.  
 
7.  The effect of the proposed use on adjoining properties in the surrounding neighborhood:
A negative effect is not anticipated for the current users, however, it may be a limiting factor in redevelopment of the area.
 
Mr. DeHaan indicated that the outside of the building has been repainted and that the drain in the middle of the parking lot is connected to street storm sewer.  There is no storage of oil outside.  
 
**Motion made by Mr. Bosma to approve the special use request with the stipulations that all work is to be conducted within the building and there is to be no outside storage.  Supported by Mr. Zylstra.  Motion carried.  
 
Mr. Hoeve opened the public hearing for Special Use submitted by Jose Juan Colin, 2455 Van Ommen Dr. (# 70-16-16-376-005).  Applicant seeks permission for the sale of used car sales and permission to operate a vehicle repair service, not including junking or wrecking.  The property is in the C-2, General Commercial Zoning District.
 
Jose Juan Colin, 2814 Sunrise Ave., Holland, 49424 was present to speak to this request.  Mr. Colin indicated that all repairs would be done within one building and that used car sales would occupy half of another building (shared with upholstery business).  Plans were reviewed, however, spaces are not dimensioned.  
 
Staff would like to do a complete parking and site plan review and report back since this is a “clean-up”.  
 
Special Use Considerations/Comments:
 
1.  The size, nature, and character of the proposed use:
A prior applicant (Hank’s Discount Muffler) was granted special use approval for the sale of up to 10 used cars on November 1, 2005.  This request is for 26 used cars and vehicle repair.
 
2.  The proximity of the proposed use to adjoining property:
The southwestern building does not appear to comply with commercial setbacks.  Further, specialty display spaces appear to be partially within the public-right-of-way and must be removed.
 
3.  The parking facilities provided for the proposed use:
Staff is not comfortable with only 6 spaces for customers.  Applicant should speak to the site operations, areas for each operation, the number of customers and employees at peak shift, including the number mechanic bays proposed within the building.  
 
4.  Any traffic congestion or hazard which will be occasioned by the proposed use:
Two drive approaches are present that may not meet today’s standards.  
 
5.  How well the proposed use harmonizes, blends with and enhances adjoining properties in the surrounding neighborhood:
Provided there is no outdoor storage of parts or equipment the use will fit with the current character of VanOmmen Drive.
 
6.  The need or necessity for the proposed use to service the needs of the surrounding neighborhood:
The businesses are currently operating on-site.
 
7.  The effect of the proposed use on adjoining properties in the surrounding neighborhood:
A negative effect is not anticipated for the current users, however, it may be a limiting factor in redevelopment of the area.
 
Audience comments:  None.
 
**Motion to close hearing by Mr. Bosma, supported by Mr. Johnson.  Motion carried.  
 
**Motion made by Mr. Nykamp to approve special use request with stipulations requiring all work to be within the building, requiring no outdoor storage, and Staff review of parking and final site plan approval by Staff.  Staff to report back with the final number of parking and display spaces for information next month.  Supported by Mr. Zylstra.  Motion carried.  
 
Mr. Bosma was recused at this time for the two Resolution & Reports due to a conflict of interest.  
 
PUD Resolution & Report - Meadowland Estates PUD, Amendment #1 
 
Meadowland Estates PUD is an existing residential development that is being modified to reduce available building sites by 1 in order and to establish a shared entry sign with Creekside Meadows Assisted Living PUD.
 
**Motion made by Mr. Nykamp for Staff to provide the Board of Trustees with the favorable Resolution and Report and recommend its approval.  Supported by Zylstra.  Mr. Hoeve did not vote due to a conflict of interest.  Motion carried.
 
PUD Resolution & Report - Creekside Meadows Assisted Living PUD
 
Creekside Meadows Assisted Living PUD is a 9.74 acre development consisting of a licensed assisted living and memory care community comprised of 30 assisted living units and 14 memory care units within a single-story building on lands zoned Agriculture.  Primary access for the facility is proposed from the end of Meadowland Court and will require an improved drain crossing.  The development will be constructed in a single phase.  Mr. Colin Kray has offered a construction completion date of December 31, 2019.  
 
**Motion made by Mr. Johnson for Staff to provide the Board of Trustees with the favorable Resolution and Report and recommend its approval.  Supported by Nykamp.  Mr. Hoeve did not vote due to a conflict of interest.  Motion carried.
 
Mr. Hoeve opened the floor to Public Comment.  None.
 
Zoning Ordinance Update
 
Next meeting/work session planned for Tuesday, September 12 at 5:30 PM.  
 
Other Business
 
Salvation Army - Parking Variation, 111 Spruce
Mr. Zwyghuizen was present to speak to this request.  New chapel has seating for 178; building has capacity for 200.  Applicant is looking to install approximately 67 spaces.  Staff has indicated a site plan indicating 104 parking spaces was needed with 83 of those spaces being installed with construction and the remaining 21 spaces being held within greenspace.  
 
**Motion to approve plan of 78 spaces with overflow of 29 spaces made by Mr. Bosma, supported by Mr. Nykamp.  Motion carried.  
 
CrossFit Lake Effect - Parking Variation, 151 Coolidge
The cross-fit gym use is located in a space that would require them to install 45 parking spaces, however, the applicant is indicating the maximum number of customers and employees for an 8 hour period would be 29 individuals.  This number can be broken down to approximately 10 individuals per class.  Classes currently run at 8:30am, 12:30pm and 4:00pm.  The remainder of the building is used is primarily for warehousing associated with a small auto-parts retail area.  This portion of the building would currently require 7 parking spaces.  The property is currently in violation of Township parking standards as an aggregate surface is being used for a portion of the site’s access and parking.  Paving and striping stipulations should be placed on the property’s ownership with any parking variation.  
 
Brian Kwekel was present to speak to this request and is seeking variation with stipulation that property owner must pave lot.  
 
**Motion made by Mr. Bosma to approve plan for 20 spaces on paved area, supported by Mr. Nykamp.  Staff will need to see site plan showing how it will be striped.  Carried.
 
Biggby Coffee – Drive-thru Requirements, 501 West Main, Zeeland
Letter received from Tom Postma representing BIggby Coffee dated August 28, 2017.  Biggby has the property at 501 W. Main (currently Chemical Branch branch) under contract, subject to zoning approval for a drive-thru facility for food and beverage services.  Also note the future land use for this property is designated as Light Industrial (I-1).  
 
Office-Service (O-S) zoning does not allow drive-thru food/beverage services, however does allow banking.  All agreed that this requested use makes sense in this location.  Staff will have conversation with Mr. Postma about the procedure for an amendment to the current zoning ordinance and the tentative time frame for the current ordinance revision adoption.  
 
Next Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at 7:00 PM.  
 
The meeting adjourned at 8:40 PM.
 
Respectfully submitted,
 
Sheri Thomassen
Recording Secretary
 
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