Planning Commission Minutes 12-13-2007

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                                      CITY OF MUSKEGON
                                    PLANNING COMMISSION
                                      REGULAR MEETING
                                           MINUTES

                                          December 13, 2007

Chairman T. Michalski called the meeting to order at 4:05 p.m. and roll was taken.

MEMBERS PRESENT:              B. Larson, B. Turnquist, L. Spataro, B. Mazade, T. Michalski,
                              T. Harryman, S. Warmington

MEMBERS ABSENT:               B. Smith, excused; J. Aslakson, excused

STAFF PRESENT:                L. Anguilm, D. Leafers

OTHERS PRESENT:               G. Breen, 800 E. Ellis #508; G. Post, 4460 Deer Creek; M. Estlick,
                              1308 W. Sherman; C. Sieradski, 2976 Sherwood Ct; R. DeBoer, 2421
                              E. Riverwood, Twin Lake


APPROVAL OF MINUTES

A motion that the minutes of the regular meeting of November 15, 2007 be approved, was made by
B. Mazade, supported by B. Larson and unanimously approved.

NEW BUSINESS/PUBLIC HEARINGS

Hearing; Case 2007-47: Request to amend the Final PUD for Phase II of the Watermark
Development, 920 Washington Avenue and 1321 Division Street, for additional parking for an
assembly/rental hall, by Gary Breen, Concept Design Studio. L. Anguilm presented the staff report.
The parcels are zoned I-1, Light Industrial District, with a PUD Overlay. The PUD for Phase II of
the Watermark was given final approval by the City Commission in May 2004. The requested use
for this phase of the development was left at “commercial” and it was planned that there would be
three commercial store fronts located inside that portion of the building. The plan included 29
parking spaces, which would have been adequate. Since the new use requires more intense parking,
it was necessary for the site to include an additional parking lot across Division Street from the
building housing Phase II. The new proposed parking lot has 124 parking spaces, and the original
parking lot located on the corner of Washington and Division has been expanded from 29 parking
spaces to 49, for a total of 173 parking spaces. While this seems excessive, staff believes that the
additional parking will be necessary when the next phase of the development takes place. It makes
sense to develop the new parking lot all at once, rather than piecemeal, with more parking added to it
down the road. In addition, the Fire Marshall can’t make a determination of the occupancy load
without seeing interior designs of the building. The Planning Department requires the following
amendments to be made to the site plan as a condition of approval: a) provide the correct zoning
designation of the property, b) include the parcel numbers of the two parcels, c) show existing land
use and zoning classification of abutting properties, d) include a grading plan, e) show soil erosion
and sedimentation control measures, f) show the location and size of all existing and proposed
utilities and easements, g) indicate location of snow storage, h) indicate on site plan that all lighting
will be “100% cut-off” lighting, i) the dumpster shown on this plan was not on the original plan for
Planning Commission Minutes – 12/13/07                                                                  1
the PUD; please show detail of the required screening, j) indicate location of fire lanes, fire lock box,
hydrants, standpipes, and security lighting, and k) since there are some residentially zoned properties
on the southeast end of the parking lot, the fence to be erected in that area must be 6 feet high and
constructed to screen the parking lot from the residential uses. In addition, the landscape plan is
inadequate for the following reasons: a) plan needs to show location, spacing, size and descriptions
for each plant type used, and b) it does not appear that there are enough canopy trees in the setback of
either property, but because the landscaping elements aren’t labeled, it’s hard to make a
determination. Staff is willing to work with the applicant to bring the landscaping into better
compliance with the zoning ordinance. The Engineering Department has the following conditions of
approval: a) need details on surface water; if there are no additional structures or connections to the
City, there is no problem, and b) need to know if there are any proposed drives. The Department of
Public Works had no outstanding issues with this request. The Fire Department has the following
conditions of approval: a) project shall comply with NFPA 1141 fire protection in planned building
groups, and b) please list or submit use of new addition information to Fire Marshall. Staff has
received no other comments regarding this request and recommends approval, with the conditions
listed in the staff report.
T. Harryman arrived at 4:09 p.m.
B. Larson stated that he was concerned about room for deceleration before the proposed driveway. L.
Spataro stated that there would be room for a deceleration lane if a couple of on-street parking spaces
were eliminated. He was concerned that there were no sidewalks shows on the site plan. He stated
that, as the area became more developed, it was important to include sidewalks for pedestrian access
and safety. B. Larson stated that there were no sidewalks on that east side of Division St. now. He
asked what the City’s policy was regarding sidewalk installation. B. Mazade stated that there wasn’t
a formal policy, but more recently the City Commission had tended to require sidewalks if it was a
heavily traveled area. Because each situation was different, requests were considered on a case-by-
case basis. T. Harryman stated that, given the nature of the area – the transition between single
family homes and the waterfront – sidewalks should be required. G. Breen indicated on the site plan
where the parking would be located and discussed the planned capacity of the hall, although plans for
that were not finalized yet.

A motion to close the public hearing was made by B. Larson, supported by L. Spataro and
unanimously approved.

Board members discussed the installation of a sidewalk on the east side of Division St. and concurred
that it should be required on the site plan.

A motion that the minor amendment to the Final PUD for the Watermark Development at 920
Washington Avenue and 1321 Division Street be approved pursuant to the determination of
compliance with the intent of the City Zoning Ordinance and City Master Land Use Plan, subject to
the conditions that 1) all revisions to the site plan listed in #5 of the staff report are completed and
approved by the Planning Department, 2) an amended landscape plan is submitted and approved by
the Planning Department, 3) all conditions of the Fire Department listed in #7 of the staff report are
met, and 4) a sidewalk is added on the property on the east side of Division St., was made by T.
Harryman, supported by L. Spataro and unanimously approved.

Hearing; Case 2007-48: Request to amend the Final PUD for 100 Muskegon Mall for the properties
located at 296, 290, 276, and 274 W. Clay Avenue, and 887 and 889 First Street, to allow a
residential development with small office, commercial and retail as incidental uses, by Gary Post,
Heritage Square Development. L. Anguilm presented the staff report. Zoning of the parcels is B-3,
Planning Commission Minutes – 12/13/07                                                                 2
Central Business, with a PUD Overlay. City Commission approved the Final PUD on February 22,
2005. At that time, uses within existing or newly developed buildings had not yet been determined,
but the approval was for “mixed use, residential and commercial”. This amendment targets several
vacant lots that contained parking for the former Muskegon Mall, located on Clay Avenue between
First and Second Streets. The request is to allow for not only a residential development, but also
small offices and some commercial/ retail uses as incidental to the residential. The first 3 units would
begin construction as soon as possible, with further units built as they are sold. Parking will be
accommodated entirely on the site. There are 22 units, which would require 33 parking spaces, and
34 spaces are provided. The units will be either two or three stories, and most will include garages.
Those that don’t include garages will be using additional open parking spaces provided on the site.
The residential units will be of the “brownstone” or “town/row” house style required in the DMDC
Design Standards, adopted by City Commission as part of the Final PUD. The landscape plan is
adequate for the site, with rear landscaping elements addressed by individual unit owners. The
Planning Department requires that the following items be amended on the site plan as a condition of
approval: a) provide parking space length dimension, b) provide the parcel numbers and street
address of the properties, c) include the height of the proposed structures, d) show area reference
points for adjacent properties (drives, structures within 100 feet), e) indicate existing zoning
classification of abutting properties, f) include arrows showing direction of existing overland flow of
storm water runoff, g) show snow storage locations, or indicate if snow will be removed from the
site, h) show sidewalks on the Second Street side of the buildings, and i) indicate location of fire
lanes and fire lock boxes. The Department of Pubic Works has no outstanding issues with this site
plan. The Engineering Department has the following conditions: a) sidewalk width along Clay must
be a minimum of five feet, b) all water and sewer services being proposed off Clay must either be
done before the City’s project or at the same time; if at the same time, the City’s contractor will do
the work and the owner will pay the cost. The Fire Department has the following conditions of
approval: a) project shall comply with NFPA 1141, Fire Protection in Planned Building Groups, b)
water supply fire flow calculations shall be conducted and submitted to the Fire Marshall, c) post
indicating valve required for fire suppression, and d) key box shall be installed for Fire Department
access. There were no other comments received regarding this request, and staff recommends
approval, with the listed conditions.

B. Larson asked if there was any type of program manager overseeing the downtown developments
in order to minimize duplication of services. L. Anguilm stated that City staff and the Planning
Commission provided oversight on the developments. B. Mazade and G. Post stated that there were
also monthly site condo association meetings. G. Post stated that he was aware of the upcoming
utility work on Clay Avenue and he planned to get his utilities in before the City work started. L.
Spataro asked if there would be sidewalks on First and Second Streets. G. Post stated that there
would. B. Mazade asked if there was a time limit for completion of the PUD amendments. L.
Anguilm stated that it was not addressed in the ordinance, but she believed that the five-year
requirement would start with the new amendment. L. Spataro asked about the design of the units. G.
Post stated that there would be four floor plans, and two were still in process. He would built
additional units as the current ones were sold. L. Spataro wanted to clarify that if the Commission
voted to approved this amendment, then they were voting for the concept of the live/work units, and
the applicant would not need to come back before the Planning Commission for each unit built. L.
Anguilm stated that was correct, and staff could approve the plans for the remaining units.

A motion to close the public hearing was made by L. Spataro, supported by T. Harryman and
unanimously approved.


Planning Commission Minutes – 12/13/07                                                                3
A motion that the minor amendment to the Final PUD for 100 Muskegon Mall for properties at 296,
290, 276, and 274 W. Clay Avenue and 887 and 889 First Street be approved pursuant to the
determination of compliance with the intent of the City Zoning Ordinance and City Master Land Use
Plan, subject to the conditions that 1) all revisions to the site plan listed in #8 of the staff report are
completed and approved by the Planning Department, and 2) all conditions of the Fire Department
stated in #11 of the staff report are met, was made by S. Warmington, supported by T. Harryman and
unanimously approved.

Hearing; Case 2007-49: Request for a Special Land Use Permit, per Section 1301 (#7) of Article
XIII, B-4, General Business Districts, of the Zoning Ordinance, to allow a church at 1260 W.
Sherman Boulevard, by Mike Housekamp, Celebration Community Church. L. Anguilm presented
the staff report. The building at 1260 W. Sherman Boulevard is zoned B-4, General Business
District. It has been vacant since the former car dealership moved its business elsewhere. The
applicant wishes to use the building for a church. Celebration Community Church has been holding
services at West Michigan Christian High School, in Norton Shores. The properties to the north are
zoned R-1, Single Family Residential, and the parcels to the east and west are zoned B-4. The City
of Roosevelt Park is to the south. The site plan submitted with the application is adequate. The
parking lot is paved, but would need to be striped. The grassy areas along Sherman will be
landscaped to soften the appearance of the large parking area. No new outdoor lighting has been
proposed, but if any new lights are requested, the site plan would need to be amended and additional
lights would be required to be 100% cut-off style. The following are conditions required for approval
of a church in a B-4 zone, and are met by the present building: a) the site shall be located as to
provide for ingress and egress from said site directly onto a major or secondary thoroughfare, b) the
principal buildings on the site shall be set back from abutting properties zoned for residential use not
less than thirty (30) feet, and c) buildings of greater than the maximum height allowed in Section
2100 may be allowed provided front, side, and rear yards are increased above the minimum
requirements by one (1) foot for each foot of buildings that exceeds the maximum height allowed.
The Department of Public Works had the following condition of approval: Contact Dave Smith, City
DPW at 724-6989, regarding placement and installation of proposed new fire hydrant. The Fire
Department has the following conditions of approval: a) fire flow water supply calculations shall be
conducted, b) fire hydrants and water supply requirements shall comply with IFC section 508 and
appendix B, and c) post indicating valve shall be installed for suppression. The Engineering
Department had the following comments: a) if there are no changes to the paved surface then no
revisions to the drainage facilities are needed, and b) need to know if there will be changes to the
drive approaches. Staff also received some comments in response to the required notification letters
that were mailed. Colleen Sieradski, owner of Nauty’s Bar at 1300 W. Sherman, objects to the
request. She feels the property should stay commercial, and isn’t sure how the change in use could
affect her liquor license. Lewis Spyke of 1334 Beardsley called to say that he is opposed to this
request. J. Ruthkowski of 1333 Beardsley indicated that she is opposed to the request due to the
increased traffic it would create. Staff recommends approval with the conditions listed in the staff
report.

L. Anguilm stated that she had asked the Police Chief to check with the Liquor Control Commission
regarding any possible effects a nearby church might have on the liquor licenses of the neighboring
bars. She provided that information to the board members, the applicants, and the bar owners who
were present. If a church were established at the proposed location, it would prevent Nauty’s Bar
from any expansion on the east side of their building. L. Spataro requested that if any landscaping
work were done, that a sidewalk be retained or replaced in front of the building. S. Warmington
asked if the property would be removed from the tax rolls if the request was approved. L. Anguilm
stated that it would. R. DeBoer stated that there was currently a sidewalk in front of the building, and
Planning Commission Minutes – 12/13/07                                                                 4
they would do some landscaping there as well. They planned to remodel and use the front third of
the church at first. T. Harryman asked why they had chosen this building. R. DeBoer stated that they
liked the visibility and the space available inside and for parking. B. Larson stated that he
appreciated the intent of the church, but in addition to removing a large commercial property from the
tax rolls, this could cause a hardship for the established neighboring businesses. R. DeBoer stated
that the church would like to go on record as having no objection to expansion or change of the
neighboring business. He stated that he understood their concerns and was willing to work with
them. B. Turnquist asked how long the congregation had been meeting at West Michigan Christian
school, and how many members there were. R. DeBoer stated that they had been there about 3 years
and had about 80 members. B. Turnquist asked if the church planned to renovate the front area of the
building. R. DeBoer stated that the glass would stay as it is. At first, that area would serve as the
worship area, and later possibly be a reception/foyer area. B. Turnquist asked what the regular
weekly schedule was. R. DeBoer stated they planned to have normal services but hoped to do more
with youth, in addition to holding services on a weeknight.

M. Estlick owned a neighboring bar and was opposed to the request. She stated that being located
that close to a church could be detrimental to her business, especially if she were to try and sell it.
She had been a tax-paying business in the City for over 20 years and was concerned about retaining
her property value. C. Sieradski of 2976 Sherwood Ct. also owned a neighboring bar and was
opposed to the request for similar reasons. Her business is her livelihood and she stated that it would
be unfair to allow a church to locate next to her, due to the additional restrictions it would place on
her business. She had been at this location since 1981. B. Turnquist asked if there was room for her
bar to expand on their lot. C. Sieradski stated that there was. Also, due to the configuration inside
the bar and the space on the lot, if she did expand it would likely be to the east. L. Spataro asked if
she would be allowed to expand to the front. L. Anguilm stated she wasn’t sure, but that could affect
the parking. L. Spataro asked if the bars would be allowed to rebuild if they were destroyed. L.
Anguilm stated that she was not familiar with the LCC regulations on that. S. Warmington stated that
this was a commercial corridor and there was currently a large new commercial investment going in
down the street. He would like to see this area remain commercial. He also stated that there were
two business owners who had been in business for over 20 years, and approval of this request could
negatively affect them. Although the applicant had indicted that they had no opposition to a possible
expansion of those businesses, LCC regulations would still have to be followed. R. DeBoer stated
that neither bar had expanded during their 20 years in business, and although the church itself would
not pay taxes, the members did.

A motion to close the public hearing was made by B. Larson, supported by T. Harryman and
unanimously approved.

B. Larson was concerned about the effect on the neighboring businesses. B. Mazade stated that the
City had issued several special use permits for churches in the past, but in this case his concern was
that this was not the most appropriate use of that building and location. L. Spataro stated that the B-4
zoning was the heaviest commercial zone and the property in question was located in a relatively
healthy business area. The neighboring businesses were allowed there by right in that zoning, and he
was against approving a special use that would negatively affect those businesses when they were
operating as allowed by City ordinance. B. Turnquist stated that he would like to know if the bars
would be allowed to rebuild if destroyed. T. Harryman stated that the issue for him was context, and
he didn’t think that this was the right location for a church.

A motion that the request for Special Land Use Permit, per section 1301 (#7) of Article XIII of the
Zoning Ordinance, to allow for a church in a B-4 zoning district at 1260 W. Sherman Boulevard, by
Planning Commission Minutes – 12/13/07                                                                5
Mike Housekamp, Celebration Community Church, be denied based on lack of compliance with the
City’s Master Land Use Plan and conditions set forth in Section 2332 of the City of Muskegon
Zoning Ordinance, was made by B. Larson, supported by S. Warmington and approved, with B.
Turnquist voting nay.

Hearing; Case 2007-50: Staff-initiated request to amend Section 1301 #14, of Article XIII, B-4,
General Business Districts, Section 1400 #13 of Article XIV, I-1, Light Industrial Districts, and
Section1500 #9, of Article XV, I-2, General Industrial Districts to remove the reference to Section
2308 (l) (f). L. Anguilm presented the staff report. Staff recently discovered that these sections of
the ordinance have references to what was formerly the sign ordinance section of the ordinance. The
section being referred to, Section 2308 (1) (f), was a reference to real estate and “For Sale” signs that
was replaced with Section 2334, Signs, #5, Exempt Signs, when the entire sign ordinance was
updated and amended in August 1998 . The change to the ordinance at that time actually made the
sign ordinance less restrictive. Section 2308 currently is the “Outdoor Seating” section of the
ordinance that was adopted by City Commission in March 2007, therefore the reference to that
section needs to be removed from Sections1301, 1400 and 1500.

A motion to close the public hearing was made by S. Warmington, supported by B. Larson and
unanimously approved.

A motion that the amendments to Section 1301, #14 of Article XIII, B-4, General Business Districts,
Section 1400, #13 pf Article XIV, I-1, Light Industrial Districts, and Section 1500, #9, of Article XV,
I-2, General Industrial Districts, of the City of Muskegon Zoning Ordinance to remove the reference
to Section 2308 (1) (f), be recommended to the City Commission for approval, was made by S.
Warmington, supported by T. Harryman and unanimously approved.


OLD BUSINESS

None


OTHER

Former National City building on mall site – L. Anguilm stated that the new owner of this building
would soon be coming before the Planning Commission for a PUD amendment. He had asked staff
to see what Planning Commission members thought about him starting some of the inside electrical
work before the site plan was approved. He would obtain the necessary building permits first. Board
members discussed the matter. Since the work would be done inside the building, necessary permits
would be obtained, and as long as they understood that it was at their own risk if the site plan were to
require changes, they didn’t have a problem with some inside work being started.

T. Michalski stated that he would be unavailable for the January meeting.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:30 p.m.



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Planning Commission Minutes – 12/13/07                                                                 6

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