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Draft Minutes - November 7, 2017

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HOLLAND CHARTER TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION

Regular Meeting

November 7, 2017

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Marion Hoeve at 7:00 p.m.

Present:   Chairman Marion Hoeve, Vice-Chairman/Secretary Jack Vander Meulen, Members Ken Bosma, Dennis Gebben, and Norm Nykamp.  Also present were Community Development Director John Said, Assistant Community Development Director Corey Broersma, and Recording Secretary Sheri Thomassen.

Absent:  Members LaVerne Johnson, Ed Zylstra.

The minutes of special meetings January 25, March 29, May 17, June 20, July 18, August 8, August 15, September 12, October 11, and October 18 for zoning ordinance review were approved as written.

The minutes of October 3, 2017 were approved as written.  

Mr. Hoeve explained the public hearing process to the audience. 

Mr. Hoeve asked for a motion on the Resolution and Report for Wyndover Acres PUD (request to terminate).  The document received by the Township Attorney will be revised to reflect the final legal description for Exhibit 2. 

Motion made by Mr. VanderMeulen for Staff to provide the Board of Trustees with the favorable Resolution and Report, including revision to legal description, and recommend its approval.  Supported by Bosma.  Motion carried. 

Mr. Hoeve opened the public hearing for consideration of Adam’s Ridge Preliminary PUD - Adams Street.  Request is for proposed 80 rental townhome project on 30 acres (gross).  Proposal includes attached garages for each unit, public water and sanitary sewer, private road, private stormwater retention basin and common open space.  The property is currently zoned Agriculture (A), with a proposed zoning to Single-Family Residential (R-1).

Present to speak to this request was Dave Ash, potential developer, Lakewood Construction.  Mr. Ash spoke of the team’s experience with this kind of project and need for additional rental housing in the area.  Proposing townhome look and feel, fourplex units shown at this time. 

Also present to speak to this request was Lynelle Berkenpas, Holland Engineering.  Ms. Berkenpas added that Adam’s Ridge is a unique property, about half within flood plain and portions that are wetlands, along with existing infrastructure (utility lines).  Property has been on the market for six years and will take special consideration for development.  There is currently a buy-sell agreement pending on the property. 

The developers plan to leave most existing trees. 

No work within the flood plain in being proposed at this time, and the Water Resources Commission has been consulted.  They want the water from a major rain event to disappear under the bridge as fast as possible.  If drainage can be improved, it helps everyone.

Project would provide a watermain loop from Adams to 104th. 

Commissioners Questions and Comments:

Fusion Property Management will manage the property. 

Regarding an egress, Ms. Berkenpas indicated that the proposal was sent to the Ottawa County Road Commission, and that a right turn lane on Adams may be required based on existing and anticipated increase in traffic flow.  They would prefer not to have the egress on 104th since that would require a bridge. 

Density was described as (80) 2-3 bedroom units (calculated on entire 30 acres) with 12 acres for development portion.  The number of cars coming and going from the property was estimated between 160-250.  Ms. Berkenpas added that the private drive (approximately 1,050’) can handle emergency vehicle traffic.  She added that the closest residence to the west is 265’ from unit and setbacks requirements are met.

Audience Comments:

Mrs. Juanita Bocanegra, 707 Garden Ridge Dr., is opposed and expressed concern regarding another rental property like Stratford Way and Oxford Court with an increase in crime rate.  She added that the density is misstated since only 12 of the 30 acres would be developed.  Other concerns included increase in and speed of traffic resulting in unsafe flow. 

Mr. Jonathan Hunsburger, 714 Garden Ridge Dr., is opposed and shared that the beauty of the property has been a major part of his family’s life and is concerned that the natural landscape will be destroyed.  He suggested a traffic study be done and that the area would become too densely populated.

Mr. Howard “Fitz” Fitzgerald, 421 Felch, is opposed and asked about the pitch of the road and indicated that he has seen many traffic accidents there due to people not being able to stop in time.  He also asked about a safety buffer, drainage area and high water mark.  Regarding the 100 year flood plain, he asked if any of the area has been under water in recent years.  He suggested that really good engineering data is needed and that he is concerned there will future water problems. 

Bob Harmsen, 667 Garden Ridge Dr., is opposed and agreed with the previous comments and good points brought up by Mr. Fitzgerald.  He pointed out that a portion of the property was under water two weeks ago following a significant rain event.  Other concerns expressed included 30’ of road decline does not allow enough stopping time, high traffic volume and school busses in the area. 

Mark Brink, 905 104th Ave., is opposed and would not have purchased the 20 acres to the south of the property had he known of this plan.  He is concerned with trespassing since there is no accountability with rental units.  Traffic heading east over the knoll at 55-60 mph is an issue, especially on wet or slippery roads.

Kim Tubergen, 499 Garden Ridge, is opposed for reasons previously mentioned.  Their basement flooded in 2011, and they’re on a hill, so the proposed development will be even worse.  When her family walks the property, it is always wet.  She also expressed concern about the exit/entrance since it’s already awful and would only get worse with more traffic.

Phil Elzinga, 698 Garden Ridge, is opposed and wondered about density and how this plan fits in with the Township’s master plan for “low density” residential.  He would like to see a single-family residential development instead.  He is also concerned about flooding since it’s mostly clay and often there is standing water on property. 

Five letters were received by Staff, including letters from individuals who spoke during the public hearing.  Letters were distributed to Commissioners.  Each letter opposes the development.

Motion to close the hearing made by Mr. Bosma, supported by Mr. VanderMeulen.

Mr. VanderMeulen asked if Ms. Berkenpas had information on accident count on 104th/Adams.  She does not have that information available at this time, however she added that the top of the hill is 750’ back from the proposed entrance and sight distance is okay.  He also has flooding concerns, and Ms. Berkenpas added that the developers understand the constraints and type of housing needed in this area.  Townhomes would have no basements and noted that the flood plain contours on plan are existing, not proposed.  Mr. VanderMeulen asked who tenants will likely be and what rent would be.  Developer is targeting young married professionals; rent will range from $1,250-$1,500.

Mr. Gebben suggested a traffic study be done at minimum on 104th/Adams and agreed that congestion is getting worse.  He asked about school busses turning around, and Ms. Berkenpas said they could.  Audience members on Garden Ridge added that school busses will stop on Adams and not enter private drive.  Mr. Gebben asked if this property was developed as R-1, could it look anything like what is being proposed.  No, per Staff.  If individual homes were put in there, there could be approximately 48 homes on the 12 usable acres.  Staff clarified that rezoning also requires a Public Hearing and that the proposed zoning fits the master plan.  Ms. Berkenpas added that a single-family development would be very difficult on that property and suggested the proposed PUD is the best plan for the Township.  Mr. Gebben questioned if 80 units is the best possible use for the site. 

Mr. Bosma believes that the property meets density standards and added that a different development would be difficult due to the amount of existing infrastructure.  Concerns expressed about the drive/traffic flow, destroying the natural beauty of the property and not being able to walk the property anymore were some of the very same concerns of property owners when Garden Ridge was being developed, and yet many opposed to this new development are currently living on Garden Ridge. 

“Rental” is the main concern.  We cannot discriminate, only review the physical aspects of the plan provided.  The cost to develop of site like this will be high, and the rent will be high, resulting in a different clientele than other rental units in the area.  

The 100 year flood plain data remains a concern for some.  Is it the safeguard that it once was?  Legally we have to use it as a guide, in addition to looking at evidence and using good judgement. 

Why 80 units?  Ms. Berkenpas suggested that the number was based on Township standards and what would work on this site (there may need to be some fill, to be determined later).  Most developers do not want to mess with wetlands and flood plains. 

Is traffic a choke point?  Mr. Gebben recommended a traffic study.  Mr. Nykamp suggested that he is not comfortable with the street width of 24’, and it may not be sufficient for the fire department - and if it changes, how would that change the level of density?  Ms. Berkenpas added that they are calling the street a private drive, not a road due to front yard setback.  There’s currently 29’ from the front of a unit to private drive. 

Staff report, including additional Staff comments, was reviewed. 

Motion to proceed with the preliminary PUD made by Mr. Bosma, supported by Mr. VanderMeulen.  Motion carried 4 to 1 with opposition from Mr. Gebben. 

Mr. Hoeve opened the public hearing for consideration of Hickory Woods Farm No.4 Final Plat. 
On July 11, 2017 a review of the final preliminary plat was completed by the Planning Commission.  Although a public hearing is not required by our current ordinance or the Land Division Act, a public hearing should have been held per an amendment to the Michigan Planning Enabling Act in 2008.  Our subdivision ordinance will be corrected to reflect this change.

Rick Pulaski, Nederveld Inc., was present to speak to this request and noted that until the watermain on Quincy is completed, homes will not be hooked up. 

Audience comments:  None.

Motion to close hearing made by Mr. VanderMeulen, supported by Mr. Nykamp. 

Motion made by Mr. Bosma to instruct Staff to prepare the necessary letter of recommendation to the Township Board of Trustees for action no later than November 16, 2017. Supported by Mr. Nykamp.  Motion carried. 

Mr. Hoeve opened the public hearing for consideration of a Special Use request submitted by Angel Rios for land at 2490 Van Ommen Drive (Parcel Number 70-16-16-377-010) for a vehicle repair service, not including junking or wrecking.  The property is in the C-2, General Commercial Zoning District.

When Mr. Rios purchased the property, he was told that it had a Special Use permit. The site has been cleaned up recently and brought closer to compliance.  He added that all work will be done inside and outdoor storage is limited (on north side of building). 

If outdoor storage would be allowed, it would need screening.  A greenbelt could be considered or if a fence is kept in good repair, it may be okay.

Audience comments:  None.

Motion to close hearing made by Mr. Bosma, supported by Mr. Nykamp.

Special Use Considerations/Comments were reviewed. 

Motion made by Mr. VanderMeulen to approve Special Use with stipulations requiring all work to be within the building, requiring no outdoor storage.  Supported by Mr. Gebben.  Motion carried. 

Mr. Hoeve opened the public hearing for consideration of a Special Use request submitted by Jon D. Walcott for land at 117 Fifth Avenue, Unit 3, (Parcel Number 70-16-21-374-004) for a vehicle repair service, not including junking or wrecking.  The property is within the Windmill View Business Park Planned Unit Development and is subject to the special use requirements of the C-2, General Commercial Zoning District.

Present to speak to this request was Jon Walcott, 1551 Perry St.  Mr. Walcott suggested that his request meets all the requirements of C-2 Zoning and condo bylaws.  A letter of support from Bob Maes, Bay Shores Land Co. was also presented. 

Audience comments:  None.

Special Use Consideration/Staff Comments were reviewed. 

Motion to close hearing made by Mr. VanderMeulen, supported by Mr. Nykamp.

Motion to approve the Special Use made by Mr. VanderMeulen, supported by Mr. Bosma with stipulations requiring all work to be within the building, requiring no outdoor storage.  Motion carried. 


Mr. Hoeve opened the public hearing for consideration of a Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment.  The proposed text is generally described as an amendment to Article 13 – Office and Service District, Section 13.3 – Special Uses to allow “coffee shops with or without drive-through facilities” to petition the Planning Commission for special use approval within the Office and Service zoning district.

Tom Postma was present to speak to this request.  Mr. Postma is requesting that the property currently occupied by Chemical Bank zoned O-S be used as a coffee shop with drive-thru. 

Motion to recommend approval of the text amendment by the Board of Trustees made by Mr. Bosma, supported by Mr. Gebben. 


Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment (tabled petition from June 6, 2017) - Keeping of Chickens and Bees in Residential Zoning submitted by Beverly Smith/Tim Marr – 2874 104th Ave. 

Present to speak to this petition was Beverly Smith and Tim Marr.  Ms. Smith indicated that a lot of people are interested in keeping bees and chickens, like in the City of Holland and surrounding Townships.  They hope that Holland Charter Township will follow their lead and be more open-minded.  They are still waiting for a physical inspection from the State of Michigan, part of a long and difficult process.  Don Lamb, Holland City resident, has been helping them with paperwork. 

Staff Comments were reviewed: 

Properly noticed special meetings have been held to review the potential changes to the Holland Charter Township Zoning Ordinance.  The result of these meetings has determined:

The keeping of chickens may only occur on land zoned Agriculture (A) meeting the 5 acre minimum lot size.

The keeping of bees will be limited to land zoned Agriculture (A), land zoned Single-family Residential (R-1), and land zoned One-family and Two-family Residential (R-2) provided lots meet the required minimum lot size and hives are not a source of revenue.

Hives must be set back 10 feet from all property lines and at least 50 feet from any dwelling on a neighboring property.

An adequate and constant source of water, as temperatures allow, shall be placed within 20 feet of the location of bee hives prior to issuance of a beekeeping permit and shall be permanently maintained while actively beekeeping.

Beekeeping operations shall be complaint with the State of Michigan Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices for Beekeeping and Apiary Management. Beekeepers must be able to provide verification of compliance. 

Audience comments:

Kara Nagelkirk is in support of keeping backyard chickens and has been cited after 3 years of having them.  They live in an agricultural area which has developed into a city zoning area.  She added that the City of Zeeland and City of Holland have made changes to allow chickens, and wonders why the Township won’t do the same.  Her family is moving out of Holland Charter Township because of problems with getting permits.  In her opinion, the public has a very negative view of the Township.  She suggested the Township leaders consider what the public wants and needs to be more open-minded.  Ms. Nagelkirk asked if this petition could be put on a future ballot.  That is a Township Board decision. 

Howard “Fitz” Fitzgerald, 421 Felch, is in support of keeping chickens and bees and indicated that his notes from a prior special meeting do not match the results determined by the Planning Commission.  He suggested that honey should be allowed as a source of revenue and needs clarification.  He asked that requirement be struck from the ordinance.  The sale of maple syrup and honey are cottage approved and is compliant with state laws.  He would like to have chickens for learning experience for kids and fresh eggs. 

Kyle Nagelkirk is in support of keeping backyard chickens and questioned the Commissioners personal views on the subject.  If the neighbors are okay with it, why is it a problem for the Township?  Mr. Bosma explained that the Planning Commission is trying to make the best decision for the entire Township based on research, conversations and evaluations of what others are doing.  Ms. Smith added that residents of the Township are keeping chickens, and the only reason they are here is because the Township Citation Officer walks their block.  They live in a strip of residential properties surrounded by agriculture, with soy beans in the field behind them. 

A motion was made and seconded to recommend denial of proposed text amendment by the Board of Trustees.  

Public Comment: 

Mr. DeHaan, Bellwood Dr., asked how something gets on the ballot.  Could the Board override a decision made by the Planning Commission?  Yes, the Board could deny a decision or send it back to the Planning Commission to reconsider. 

Mark Dykema kept bees as a source of income in Jamestown.  Before moving to Holland, he considered two things - the current building inspector and whether or not he could keep bees.  He added that the state process is very difficult. 

Zoning Ordinance Update

The next special meeting (zoning ordinance work session) is planned for Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at 5:30pm. 

Other Business

Meeting Dates

  • A tentative special meeting is planned for Wednesday, November 29 at 7:00pm.
  • The 2018 Regular Meetings schedule was reviewed.

Motion made by Mr. Bosma to accept the 2018 meeting schedule, supported by Mr. Gebben.

Lake Macatawa Storage, 500 Douglas Ave.

Site plan was approved in March 2016, changes were made in March 2017 for ZBA consideration.  Owner is wondering if he can move forward with 5 proposed buildings and pavement on north side of buildings along Douglas Ave. 

Commissioners do not recall approving the plan changes.  It was indicated there should be no pavement along north edge and a greenspace should remain between street and building.  Also, access door appearance along Douglas is not ideal.  Owner indicated there is a greenbelt along Douglas Ave.  If there are a total of 9 buildings being proposed, that would require an amendment since only 8 were approved previously.  Owner is open to pulling southeast building out in order to add building B/office.  Commissioners do not want paving along Douglas. 

Planning Commission will discuss again on November 29, 2017 (tentative special meeting).  Staff will confirm if the March 2017 plan was approved.

Next Regular Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 7:00pm. 

The meeting adjourned at 9:50 PM. 

Respectfully submitted,

Sheri Thomassen
Recording Secretary

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