Minutes - January 2, 2018

Regular Meeting
January 2, 2018

The meeting was called to order by Vice-Chairman/Secretary Jack Vander Meulen at 7:00 p.m.

Present: 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: Chairman Marion Hoeve, Members Vern Johnson and Ed Zylstra.

The minutes for regular meeting of December 5, 2017 and special meeting December 19, 2017 were approved as written.

Mr. Vander Meulen opened the public hearing for consideration of a Special Use request for a Wireless Communications Tower facility submitted by Ralph Wyngarden on behalf of Verizon Wireless for land at 10636 Chicago Drive (Parcel No. 70-16-23-200-012).

There was no one present to speak to this request. Staff indicated that the applicant is working on collecting additional information and is not prepared at this time.  Staff Report was reviewed.

Motion to table until next meeting, including a continuance of the public hearing, made by Mr. Nykamp, supported by Mr. Bosma.  Motion carried.

Zoning Ordinance Update

Progress and status of the Zoning Ordinance project was discussed. Staff indicated that some wordsmithing may need to be done yet, and minor changes have been made based on recommendations from the attorney.  There were no additional comments from the Commissioners.  Staff will work with the consultant on a final draft for review by Commissioners, ZBA, and Township Board early next week.  A PDF and hard copy of the final updated Zoning Ordinance will be made available.  A public hearing at the Planning Commission level will be noticed and held on February 6, 2018 with potential Township Board review/approval on February 15, 2018. 

Public Comment

Mr. Vander Meulen recognized a member of the public. Mr. Fitz Fitzgerald was present and spoke to the lighting ordinance, specifically light pollution from electronic billboards.  He suggested that lots of adjustments could be made, especially considering reflection off the snow.  He sent an email to Mr. Broersma with details.  He indicated that he will send other items of concern by email as well. 

Other Business

Adams Ridge Preliminary PUD (revisited) submitted by Tom Postma and Dave Ash. Present to speak to this project was Lynnelle Berkenpas, Holland Engineering.  Applicant is proposing a total of 1,200 SF per unit with a minimum on first floor of 537 SF (minimum requirement in R-1 district is 900 SF on first floor).  Floor plans were reviewed and discussed. 

Second floor bedrooms are not appealing to an older generation. Adams Ridge apartments would appeal to career-oriented, younger couples or empty nesters more than an “older generation”.  Ms. Berkenpas indicated that 900 SF on the first floor would reduce project to 60 (down from 80) units resulting in substantially higher costs per unit, and based on the client’s proforma the project would not make financial sense. 

Shared concerns include flood plain, amount of fill needed, and clay, complicating construction and increasing cost. The client spoke to other factors affecting project feasibility including requirement of a larger road, running a water loop up the hill almost to Ridge Point, a turn lane and traffic study – all things that put the project out of reach if number of units is reduced from 80 to 60. 

In response to a Commission question, Staff indicated that the required minimum of 900 SF may have been set as a value standard; small homes among larger residences look out of place, harmony of neighborhood.

Rezoning to R-2 with a minimum first floor requirement of 645 SF/864 total SF would not be supported by the Township’s Master Plan. It is possible to amend the Master Plan with Board approval, however. 

Staff comments were discussed, including density, demographics and private road. Client pointed out that amenities could include a playground area, community garden, park, and trails along the creek.  A second road for fire trucks would also be constructed and Adams Street drive approach would need to be improved to Road Commission standards.  Ms. Berkenpas indicated that the area is not conducive to a bike path and the flood plain is too high to add a pedestrian crossing bridge to 104th Ave. 

Commissioners asked if buses would enter the private road? Could the right turn lane be used for loading/unloading students?  Could a sidewalk or shelter be provided for loading/unloading students?  Commissioners suggested contacting the school’s transportation department with some of these questions. 

Based on comments from neighbors at previous meeting, it was suggested that this proposed development be constructed as far away as possible from existing neighborhoods. Ms. Berkenpas added that the closest proposed unit is 285’ from any existing residence.  How much can be done under power lines?  Applicant is working with all utilities already.  Between gas and power lines and wetlands, they are limited as to what amenities are possible. 

Staff added that Commissioners are being asked for advisement prior to the applicant’s preparation of final development plans, not an approval or disapproval at this time. Commissioner’s comments included allowing the applicant to continue with the 1,200 SF per unit; 80 dwelling units is too high; this development is needed in our township; more affordable units are needed.

The applicant estimated an annual household income would need to be $40-$60K in order to afford rent of $1,200-1,500/mo.

Legends View PUD Extension Mr. Chuck Schaap, Tri-Con Investment, was present to speak to this request.  He received approval for the PUD in 2016 and a stipulation of the PUD is that construction was required to begin by September 1, 2017 (within a year of approval per Sec. 16.10 of the Zoning Code). 

Construction has not yet begun due to unanticipated delays by the legal firm resulting in lack of required documents, so the petitioner now requests an extension of the PUD approval. This request will also require Board action.

This project is required to be completed by December 31, 2021. The petitioner has indicated that this deadline will be met.  New legal firm has been hired, caught up, and the excavator, builder, and other agencies including finance is ready to start now.  Builder would like a home in the Parade of Homes in May 2018. 

Motion to recommend approval of the Legends View PUD extension request to the Board of Trustees made by Mr. Bosma, supported by Mr. Nykamp. Motion carried. 

Mr. Vander Meulen opened the public hearing for consideration of a PUD Amendment for Macatawa Legends submitted by Mick McGraw. No one was present to speak to this request.

Motion to table until February meeting, including a continuance of the public hearing, made by Mr. Nykamp, supported by Mr. Gebben. 

Other Business

Vacuum Cleaner Headquarters request for food trailers was discussed. Under the new ordinance, would a special event permit needed?  Should a two-week umbrella under Planning Commission discretion be considered?  Should food trailers be tied to a specific event, i.e. Tulip Time?

Commissioners suggested Staff approval would be sufficient, not necessary to come back to Planning Commission. Commissioners suggested Staff check with the City of Holland regarding their language/ordinance.

The next regular meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 7:00 pm.

The meeting adjourned at 8:20 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Sheri Thomassen
Recording Secretary