Planning Commission Minutes 07-12-2018

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                                    CITY OF MUSKEGON
                                  PLANNING COMMISSION
                                    REGULAR MEETING
                                         MINUTES

                                           July 12, 2018

Chairperson T. Michalski called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. and roll was taken.

MEMBERS PRESENT:               T. Michalski, J. Montgomery-Keast, M. Hovey-Wright, B.
                               Mazade, S. Gawron

MEMBERS ABSENT:                Excused: J. Doyle, F. Peterson, E. Hood, B. Larson

STAFF PRESENT:                 M. Franzak, D. Renkenberger

OTHERS PRESENT:                B. Varboncoeur, 2016 Morton; N. Brooks, 306 Campbell; R.
                               Harwood, 367 Gunn; M. Pastori, 766 Marquette; R. Marsh, 2063
                               Crowley

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion to approve the Minutes of the special Planning Commission meeting of June 14, 2018,
was made by J. Montgomery-Keast, supported by S. Gawron and unanimously approved.

PUBLIC HEARINGS
Hearing, Case 2018-22: Request for a special land use permit to allow an addition to a non-
conforming use at 2016 Morton Street, by Barb and Stan Varboncoeur. M. Franzak presented the
staff report. The property is zoned R-1, Low Density Single-Family Residential. The use as a
home is considered legally non-conforming because the lot size is roughly 3,650 square feet,
falling short of the minimum lot size of 6,000 square feet. It was originally platted as one lot with
the lot to the east. Non-conforming uses can be increased by up to 25% with the issuance of a
special land use permit. The home is currently 942 square feet and the proposed addition is 235
square feet, which is 25%. Notice was sent to all property owners/tenants within 300 feet of this
property. At the time of this writing, staff had not received any comments from the public. Staff
recommends approval of the special use permit.
B. Varboncoeur explained that they’d like to expand their home to add more room to the kitchen
and living room.
A motion to close the public hearing was made by J. Montgomery-Keast, supported by B. Mazade
and unanimously approved.
A motion that the request for a special land use permit to allow an addition of up to 25% to a non-
conforming use at 2016 Morton Street, be approved, was made by M. Hovey-Wright, supported
by S. Gawron and unanimously approved, with T. Michalski, J. Montgomery-Keast, M. Hovey-
Wright, B. Mazade, and S. Gawron voting aye
Hearing, Case 2018-23: Request to rezone a portion of the property at 306 Campbell St from R-
1, Low Density Single Family Residential to I-1, Light Industrial. M. Franzak presented the staff
report. The property is 7.1 acres and consists mostly of wetlands. There is a house fronting
Campbell St, but most of the property is vacant. The wetlands area is zoned I-2, General Industrial
and the rest is zoned R-1, Low Density Single-Family Residential. The applicant is requesting to
rezone the portion of the property at the corner of Getty St. and Leonard Ave. to I-1, Light
Industrial to build a small manufacturing space. The area would be approximately 92’ x 130’
(11,960 sf). This corner consists mostly of multi-family housing. Notice was sent to all property
owners/tenants within 300 feet of this property. At the time of this writing, staff had received three
calls: R. Harwood of 367 Gunn St, Y. Morrisey of 736 Marquette Ave, and J. Gomez of 681
Leonard Ave. were all opposed to the request. Staff does not recommend the rezoning to industrial,
as this area consists of residential homes and wetlands. It is unclear why the wetlands area is zoned
industrial, but it most likely is a result of a former industrial use to the north. The Master Plan
recommends buffer areas between residential and industrial uses.
J. Montgomery-Keast asked what would be allowed to be built there, under the industrial zoning.
M. Franzak stated that the applicant indicated he would build a small manufacturing shop. N.
Brooks stated that he owned the property and wished to put up a small metal building, the
approximate size of a two-stall garage. The metal structure would not conform to residential
requirements. He stated that he had considered opening a small food processing shop, or
purchasing a drill press to run a small business drilling holes in machine parts. He planned to have
a maximum of 3 people employed at the business. He stated that the lot was on the corner of Getty
St. which was a business corridor. M. Franzak stated that the proposed use was the issue, not just
the metal-sided building; a garage could be built on the property but Mr. Brooks could not run a
business out of it. N. Brooks stated that he understood the need to be respectful of the neighbors
but stated there were other businesses along Getty St. He asked if the Planning Commission could
approve the request but put limits on the hours of business. M. Franzak stated that 3 shifts were
usually allowed by right in industrial districts.
R. Harwood of 367 Gunn stated that he was opposed to the request, as he did not want to see
industrial uses in the residential neighborhood. M. Pastori asked if the current parcel was zoned
for business. N. Brooks looked up the zoning map online, which showed that it was residential.
A motion to close the public hearing was made by B. Mazade, supported by J. Montgomery-Keast
and unanimously approved.
A motion that the request to rezone a portion of the property at 306 Campbell St from R-1, Low
Density Single Family Residential to I-1, Light Industrial be recommended to the City
Commission for denial was made by J. Montgomery-Keast supported by M. Hovey-Wright and
unanimously approved, with T. Michalski, J. Montgomery-Keast, M. Hovey-Wright, B. Mazade,
and S. Gawron voting aye. B. Mazade stated that, although Mr. Brooks intent to was to have a
low-key operation, he was concerned about other uses allowed in an industrial zone, which would
be intrusive to the neighborhood. M. Franzak stated that the request would still need to go before
the City Commission for a final decision.
Hearing, Case 2018-24: Request to rezone a portion of the property at 710 Pulaksi Avenue from
I-1, Light Industrial to B-4, General Business, by David Ramos. M. Franzak presented the staff
report. The property is zoned I-1, Light Industrial and the building is used by Ramos Towing.
The northern half of the property is vacant. The applicant would like to rent space to a dance
studio, but that use is not allowed in industrial districts. The applicant would like to rezone a
portion of the property to B-4 to allow a dance studio and also for their future development plans
on the northern portion of the property. This area has a mixture of several different uses, with
business being the most prominent. Northern Machine Tool and Ramos Towing are the only
industrial properties on the block. The Seaway Industrial Park is located just to the northeast of
this property. Notice was sent to all property owners/tenants within 300 feet of this property. At
the time of this writing, staff had not received any comments from the public. Staff recommends
approval of the rezoning. While the City does have a shortage of large parcels of land available
for industry, this property is rather small and has not historically been used for industry. Also, the
screening requirements for outdoor storage in B-4 zones will ensure that the northern portion of
the property (which is visible from BUS 31) will remain in good upkeep without blight.
T. Michalski stated that he noticed the property was well-kept. R. Marsh of 2063 Crowley stated
that he was in favor of the request, as the property owner keeps the property maintained.
A motion to close the public hearing was made by B. Mazade, supported by M. Hovey-Wright and
unanimously approved, with T. Michalski, J. Montgomery-Keast, M. Hovey-Wright, B. Mazade,
and S. Gawron voting aye.

A motion that the request to rezone a portion of the property at 710 Pulaksi Ave from I-1, Light
Industrial to B-4, General Business be recommended to the City Commission for approval, was
made by B. Mazade, supported by S. Gawron and unanimously approved, with T. Michalski, J.
Montgomery-Keast, M. Hovey-Wright, B. Mazade, and S. Gawron voting aye

NEW BUSINESS

None

OLD BUSINESS

None

OTHER

Project Updates – M. Franzak updated board members on the Damfino development in the
Bluffton/Beachwood neighborhood, and stated that they would be submitting a preliminary
Planned Unit Development proposal in the near future. He also provided updates on the Harbour
Towne Yacht Club building, the Pure Muskegon property, and the proposed Hartshorn Village
development to be located near the Hartshorn Marina.

R. Marsh had been referred to the Planning Commission for questions regarding the City’s fence
ordinance. M. Franzak stated that it was something that staff would have to look into, and he
would get back to Mr. Marsh.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:04 p.m.

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