Planning Commission Packet 08-10-2023

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                                                            CITY OF MUSKEGON
                                                          PLANNING COMMISSION
                                                            REGULAR MEETING

DATE OF MEETING:                            Thursday, August 10, 2023 at 4 pm
PLACE OF MEETING:                           Commission Chambers, First Floor, Muskegon City Hall


                                                                          AGENDA
      I. Roll Call

    II. Approval of minutes from the meetings of July 11 and July 13, 2023.

   III. Old Business

   IV. Public Hearings

        A. Hearing, Case 2023-18: Request to rezone the property at 1225 E Laketon Ave from I-2, General
           Industrial to B-4, General Business, by Tread Monkey, LLC.
        B. Hearing, Case 2023-19: Request to rezone the following parcels from R-3, High Density Single
           Family Residential to Form Based Code, Neighborhood Core: 139 Myrtle Ave;
           140/148/158/168/174/186 Allen Ave, 159/169/185 Amity Ave; and 923 Jay St, by Spire
           Development.
        C. Hearing, Case 2023-20: Staff-initiated request to amend Section 404 of the zoning ordinance to
           modify rear setback requirements and to create a front build-to zone in lieu of front setbacks in
           single-family residential zones.
        D. Hearing, Case 2023-21: Staff-initiated request to rezone the property at 417 Jackson Ave from R-1,
           Low Density Single-Family Residential to Form Based Code, Neighborhood Core.

    V. New Business

   VI. Other

        A. Update on previous cases
        B. Training (short video training from Michigan Association of Planners)

  VII. Adjourn



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                                                                                 1
                                             STAFF REPORT
                                              August 10, 2023

Hearing, Case 2023-18: Request to rezone the property at 1225 E Laketon Ave from I-2, General Industrial
to B-4, General Business, by Tread Monkey, LLC.

SUMMARY

   1. The property is zoned I-2, General Industrial and is located at the northern edge of the Medendorp
      Industrial Center.
   2. The applicant is seeking a rezoning in order to allow Tread Monkey (tire changing business) to locate
      there. They specialize in chaining tires at the scene, but would like to provide a physical location as
      well.
   3. The B-4 district allows auto repair and similar businesses as long as work is done in a completely
      enclosed building. The building on site will not accommodate this type of use, but the applicant
      intends on building a small structure in which they will change tires. There appears to be adequate
      space to do so in front of the existing building.
   4. Please see the enclosed ordinance excerpt for B-4, General Business districts.
   5. Notice was sent to all properties within 300 feet of this address. At the time of this writing, staff had
      not received any comments from the public.




                                            1225 E Laketon Ave




                                                      2
Aerial Map




Zoning Map




    3
STAFF RECOMMENDATION

While the General Industrial zoning designation allows for many different uses, it has been difficult to find a
stable user for this building. The most recent tenant with an extended stay was a company that sold industrial
cleaning solution, which was more of a retail store. The small size of the parcel limits heavy industrial
operations and its location at the intersection may be more attractive to commercial/retail businesses. Staff
agrees that a general business zoning designation would suite this property best.

DELIBERATION

The following proposed motion is offered for consideration:
I move that the request to rezone the property at 1225 E Laketon Ave from I-2, General Industrial to B-4,
General Business be recommended to the City Commission for approval.




                                                      4
Hearing, Case 2023-19: Request to rezone the following parcels from R-3, High Density Single Family
Residential to Form Based Code, Neighborhood Core: 139 Myrtle Ave; 140/148/158/168/174/186 Allen
Ave, 159/169/185 Amity Ave; and 923 Jay St, by Spire Development.

SUMMARY

   1. The properties are all zoned R-3, High-Density Single-Family Residential, but are located between
      higher-density developments. The lots combined total about 2.2 acres.
   2. The applicant is seeking a rezoning in an effort to construct affordable residential apartments. The
      numbers of units could range between 50-100 as the details are still being finalized.
   3. The Form Based Code, Neighborhood Core designation allows a variety of housing options, ranging
      from rowhouses to large multiplexes, with a maximum height of five stories.
   4. Most of the houses in this area have been demolished, with only a few remaining. There are no
      houses remaining on the lots involved with the request.
   5. Notice was sent to all properties within 300 feet of this address. At the time of this writing, staff had
      not received any comments from the public.



                       Project area with Bayview Tower located just to the north




                                                      5
Aerial Map




Zoning Map




    6
Allowed Building Types in FBC, NC (Detached and Duplexes not Allowed)




                                 7
STAFF RECOMMENDATION

The recent Housing Needs Assessment commissioned by the City has highlighted an intense need for
housing development over the next five years. A housing development of this nature would assist in meeting
the needs of the Angell neighborhood, which includes a need for all housing types. Angell contains many
vacant lots zoned for single-family use, but opportunities for larger-scale development is limited. Click here
to see the Housing Needs Assessment.

This now mostly-vacant block is located between more dense developments, including Bayview Tower and
commercial uses along Pine St and Apple Ave. The former railroad right-of-way that runs under the Amity
Ave bridge serves as a physical barrier to downtown. This block could be transformed into an extension of
downtown with dense residential development. The addition of more residents in this area should also benefit
the commercial retailers and help build the density needed to attract expanded grocery options.

DELIBERATION

The following proposed motion is offered for consideration:
I move that the request to rezone 139 Myrtle Ave; 140/148/158/168/174/186 Allen Ave, 159/169/185 Amity
Ave; and 923 Jay St from R-3, High Density Single Family Residential to Form Based Code, Neighborhood
Core be recommended to the City Commission for approval.




                                                      8
Hearing, Case 2023-20: Staff-initiated request to amend Section 404 of the zoning ordinance to modify rear
setback requirements and to create a front build-to zone in lieu of front setbacks in single-family residential
zones.

SUMMARY

   1. Staff is proposing certain modifications to Section 404 of the zoning ordinance to allow property
      owners to better maximize the usage of their property. The following are the major amendments to
      the proposed ordinance:
           •   Change the minimum front setback requirements to a build-to-zone. This is the method used
               in the form based code section of the ordinance. This would allow new houses to be placed
               anywhere from 10-30 feet from the front property line. They also have the option to move the
               house outside of the build-to-zone if it will match other houses on the block.
           •   Reduce the rear setback requirements in R-1 and R-2 zones to match the 15-foot requirement
               of the R-3 zone. The new addition of the build-to-zone requirement in the front, along with
               the existing maximum lot coverage requirements, should result in almost all new houses to
               have at least a 30-foot rear setback anyway, since most lots in Muskegon are in excess of 100
               feet long. However, this amendment will ease restrictions on odd-shaped lots. Those lots
               without much depth will have more opportunities to place their homes on buildable lots.
           •   The current ordinance states that corner lots shall be considered as having two front yards and
               must meet the minimum setback requirements for both frontages. This amendment would
               state that the secondary street is a side yard and the rear property must also abide by the side
               setback requirements. With the build-to-zone in place, along with maximum lot coverage
               standards, this should only affect small, irregular lots that have previously been spilt.

               Unique block with very small lots (see bottom right corner). Existing houses were placed
               when there were fewer zoning restrictions. Remaining lots face development challenges
               under current regulations in Section 404.




                                                      9
                           Proposed Ordinance (See attachments for redline version)

SECTION 404: AREA AND BULK REQUIREMENTS

                   R-1                          R-2                          R-3
Minimum Lot        6,000 sf                     4,000 sf                     3,000 sf
Size
Minimum Lot        50 ft                        40 ft                        30 ft
Width
Maximum Lot        Buildings: 50%               Buildings: 60%               Buildings: 70%
Coverage           Pavement: 10%                Pavement: 15%                Pavement: 20%
Height Limit*      2 stories or 35 feet**       2 stories or 35 feet**       2 stories or 35 feet**
Front Build-to-
Zone***^           10-30 feet                   10-30 feet                   10-30 feet
Rear Setback^       15 ft                        15 ft                       15 ft
Side               1 story: 6                   1 story: 6                   1 story: 5
Setbacks#^:        2 story: 8                   2 story: 7                   2 story: 5

* Height measurement: In the case of a principal building, the vertical distance measured from the average
finished grade to the highest point of the roof surface where the building line abuts the front yard, except as
follows: to the deck line of mansard roofs, and the average height between eaves and the ridge of gable, hip,
and gambrel roofs (see Figure 2-2). If the ground is not entirely level, the grade shall be determined by
averaging the elevation of the ground for each face of the building (see Figure 2-3).

** Homes located in an established Historic District may be up to 3 stories or 45 feet, if found to be
compatible with other homes within 600 feet.

*** New principal structures may align with existing principal structures in the immediate area even if the
front setback. falls outside the build-to-zone. The immediate area shall be considered all houses on the same
block face within 600 feet of the property.

 ^For corner lots, the front shall be considered the street that faces the front door. The other street shall
follow the side setback requirements. The rear, which is opposite of the front street, shall also follow the side
setback requirements.

#All required setbacks shall be measured from the property line to the nearest point of the determined drip
line of buildings.


DELIBERATION

The following proposed motion is offered for consideration:
I move that the request to amend Section 404 of the zoning ordinance to modify rear setback requirements
and to create a front build-to zone in lieu of front setbacks be recommended to the City Commission for
approval as proposed.



                                                        10
Hearing, Case 2023-21: Staff-initiated request to rezone the property at 417 Jackson Ave from R-1, Low
Density Single-Family Residential to Form Based Code, Neighborhood Core.

SUMMARY

   1. The property is currently zoned R-1, Low-Density Single-Family Residential. The seven-acre lot
      contains the former Froebel School building that measures 22,614 sf.
   2. Staff is proposing to rezone the property in order to allow for the renovation of the former Froebel
      School building into affordable residential apartments. The condition of the building is deteriorating
      quickly and must be redeveloped soon to avoid demolition. Staff has shown the building to numerous
      developers over the years and has finally found an entity that is capable of its renovation.
   3. The Form Based Code, Neighborhood Core designation allows a variety of housing options, ranging
      from rowhouses to large multiplexes, with a maximum height of five stories. This context area allows
      for large multiplex buildings, which this existing building would be considered if it were renovated to
      residential. This is the least-intense context area that allows for small multiplexes.
   4. The eastern and southern edges of this property have severe development limitations since there is a
      lack of infrastructure to support new buildings. The topography of the site does not allow for the
      installation of new infrastructure without a costly lift station. Development of the southern and
      eastern edges of the property are unlikely.
   5. Notice was sent to all properties within 300 feet of this address. At the time of this writing, staff had
      not received any comments from the public.




                                              417 Jackson Ave




                                                     11
Allowed Building Types in FBC, NC (Detached and Duplexes not Allowed)




                                 12
Aerial Map




Zoning Map




    13
DELIBERATION

The following proposed motion is offered for consideration:
I move that the request to rezone the property at 417 Jackson Ave from R-1, Low Density Single-Family
Residential to Form Based Code, Neighborhood Core be recommended to the City Commission for approval.




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