Planning Commission Minutes 02-04-2019

View the PDF version Google Docs PDF Viewer

                                   CITY OF MUSKEGON
                                 PLANNING COMMISSION
                                   REGULAR MEETING

                                       February 14, 2019

Chairperson T. Michalski called the meeting to order at 4:04 p.m. and roll was taken.

MEMBERS PRESENT:              T. Michalski, F. Peterson, S. Gawron, B. Larson, M. Hovey-
                              Wright, E. Hood, J. Doyle

MEMBERS ABSENT:               J. Montgomery-Keast, excused; B. Mazade, excused

STAFF PRESENT:                M. Franzak, H. Mitchell

OTHERS PRESENT:               J. VanFossen, Harbor West LLC (Mt. Pleasant, MI); D. DeHaan,
                              3299 Hudson Trails; T. DeMumbrum, Westshore Consulting; W.
                              VandenBosch, Westshore Consulting; L. Swenson, 1184 7th; D.
                              Alexander, Downtown Muskegon Now; D. Kirksey, 1204 W.
                              Western; T. Fricano, 1050 W. Western; D. Dusendang, 3265 Walker
                              Ave.; L. Spataro, 1567 6th; G. Post, 272 W. Clay;


A motion to approve the Minutes of the regular Planning Commission meeting of January 10, 2019
was made by B. Larson, supported by M. Hovey-Wright and unanimously approved.


Hearing, Case 2019-02: Request for preliminary and final Planned Unit Development (PUD)
approval for a mixed-use development at 920, 1000, 1010, 1050 and 1060 W Western Ave. M.
Franzak presented the staff report. The proposed development includes the usage of five parcels
on W Western Ave: 920 (City Marina), 1000 (Former City-owned parking lot), 1010 (Bike Path),
1050 (Fricano’s), and 1060 (Bike Path). The zoning of these parcels are B-2, Convenience &
Comparison Business; I-2, General Industrial; LR, Lakefront Recreation and Form Based Code,
Neighborhood Edge. Altogether, the development includes 14.48 acres of land. The PUD
requirements for B-2 Districts state: The intent of Planned Unit Developments in the B-2
Convenience and Comparison Business Districts is to allow mixed land uses which are compatible
to each other, while prohibiting nonresidential uses which would not be compatible or harmonious
with residential dwellings. The PUD requirements for I-2 Districts state: The intent of Planned
Unit Developments in the I-2 General Industrial District is to allow mixed land uses, which are
compatible to each other. The PUD requirements for LR Districts state: The intent of Planned Unit
Developments in the LR Lakefront Recreation Districts is to allow mixed land uses, which are
compatible to each other, while prohibiting nonresidential uses which would not be compatible or
harmonious with lakefront recreation activities, or residential dwellings. The Form Based Code
section of the zoning ordinance allows Specific Development Plans, intended to allow applicants
flexibility to address market conditions and opportunities, including the master planning of large
lots exceeding the maximum block dimensions as outlined in Section 2004, as well as the
consolidation of multiple properties to create predictable and market responsive development for
the area. The project calls for 55 single-family detached houses. Phase 1 will include 34 units and
Phase 2 will include an additional 21 units. The residential units are 26 feet wide and setback 10
feet from each other. Units 1 and 10 are a little wider and shaped differently than the rest.
Residential units will consist of the “Schooner” and “Clipper” models, as depicted in the handouts.
These will vary between 1, 1.5 and 2.5 story homes. Every home will have a garage. There are six
units that will have an extra detached garage for extra storage. Basements are not possible in this
development due to groundwater levels. Other improvements to the land include marina upgrades,
a new clubhouse, improvements to the greenspace north of Fricano’s, relocation of Fricano’s lower
level parking, bike path relocation, Park improvements and rerouting of traffic to the boat launch.
The current road between the Marina entrance and the boat launch would be removed and a new
road would be located to the west of Fricano’s Place. The new road will provide access to the boat
launch. The boat launch area will lose a few parking spaces just to the east of the boat launch.
These will be replaced along the new road leading into the boat launch. All internal roads will be
private. The roads leading to the marina and boar launch will be public within dedicated easements.
No gates are proposed other than to keep the existing one into the marina. The current bike path
would be sold to the developer and used as patio space for the residential units. The bike path will
be relocated just to the north. The chain link fence at the marina would be removed and replaced
with a 4-foot tall wrought iron fence. There are 50 parking spaces located near the club house.
These will serve the club house and as overflow parking for residences. Other overflow lots for
residences will include the two parking lots for Fricano’s. While traditional sidewalks are not
incorporated, there are several concrete pathways that connect the publicly-accessible bike path.
The plan exceeds the ordinance requirements for open public space and landscaping. Any
approvals will be contingent upon issuance of a storm water permit from the Drain Commissioner.
Stormwater improvements should eliminate the flooding that occurs near the current bike path.
The applicant will be prosing a temporary holding and treatment process that will leach into the
lake. Plans are still being reviewed by other City departments. Comments will be made available
at the meeting. Phase 1 will include all improvements except for the residential units (and
associated internal road) depicted in Phase 2. Staff recommends approval of the preliminary and
final PUD.

B. Larson asked what the relationship was between the developer and the marina and if it would
remain a public marina. M. Franzak stated that it would remain a public marina, but staff is looking
at having a management team for the marina. B. Larson asked if the improvements the developer
makes would benefit the marina. F. Peterson stated that there were some agreements between the
City and the developer when it came to shared amenities. T. Michalski asked about any access the
development would have regarding access to boats and used the example if everyone that would
own one of the units had a boat; would there be enough room to accommodate them as well as
those currently with boat slips at the marina. F. Peterson stated that those that currently have boat
slips would keep their slips and should the current slip owners determine they no longer want to
keep the one at the marina; then the condo owners would have first right of refusal. There is a
separate marina improvement plan being developed that changes the way the marina operates and
changes the boat sizes but not necessarily increasing the number of boat slips. T. Michalski asked
if the bike path was to be removed or just moved. F. Peterson stated that the bike path would be
moved closer to the water. M. Hovey-Wright asked who would be paying to move the bike path.
F. Peterson stated that there is a cost share agreement that is already in place. He explained some
of the funding sources that may be used.

J. VanFossen gave a brief history of the development company. They had met with the City about
two years prior discussing the possibility of purchasing the parcel as well as the research and
history and environmental issues of the site. Since that time this had gone from developing on
about three acres to seven acres due to Mr. Fricano, adjacent property owner, and his willingness
to become a partner in this development. This allowed for the development of the condos to
increase. He is thankful for the City and City staff for their enthusiasm and help with walking
through everything with the DEQ, property easements, etc. over the past couple of years which
helped bring this forward as well as Mr. Fricano who welcomed the project and his willingness to
partner with the project which helped make the project grow. D. DeHaan has become a partner in
Harbor West and has been working on this for nine to ten months now. He went over the narrative
that was provided in their proposal and how the Brownfield is underutilized, and this is an area
that would work well with this. He went over the proposed design and how much fill is required
and the zero-step design. He went over the reasons for the designs of the structures, etc. There
proposed design would work demographically and not limit the families that might reside there.
The price ranges are roughly high $300,000 to low $600,000 which includes landscaping. This
will bring 55 families that will be able to enjoy the amenities of the downtown area. Their
development will have low maintenance. The plan will be completed in two phases instead of the
original three. He went over the different designs that are proposed for the different units. They do
have some that have an interest already for purchase. They could not commit until they had the
approval for the development. B. Larson had asked where the children that might live there would
attend school and if the applicant had discussed the development with the schools. T. Michalski
added that the schools would be happy to accept any kids. D. DeHaan stated they had not discussed
this with the schools. Due to the style of the development it would attract those that generally do
not have children living at home. B. Larson and T. Michalski encouraged the developer speak with
the schools, so they are aware of the development as well. B. Larson asked if the developer had
any concerns with the fact their development would be looking at the back of the former Shaw
Walker building and how it looks. D. DeHaan stated they had no concerns about the look of it. T.
DeMumbrum and W. VandenBosch from Westshore Consulting discussed the catch basin design
and answered questions in regard to the grade, water retention and runoff. T. DeMumbrum stated
that the Drain Commissioner would also have to approve everything that has to do with runoff and

L. Swenson had given the board members a flier regarding Adventure Sports from the Boys &
Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore showing different programs for kids and water recreation.
She gave an overview of the program and how there are many kids that live in Muskegon County
that had never been in the water. The program provided kids with different water sport lessons and
how water safety. She was glad to know that the water area at the marina would remain open to
the public. D. Alexander stated he and L. Swenson have been in conversation in how to get more
children to the water. He spoke favorably on the proposed development and how the downtown
has been getting developed. M. Hovey-Wright confirmed with the developer that the proposed
structures would be condos due to the low maintenance that is proposed. D. Kirksey was glad to
hear that the City would still own the marina and he had discussed the Muskegon Lake Watershed
Group that he is a member of and the important things to consider when it comes to what can
happen to the Great Lakes when it comes to development and proper water runoff. He asked about
the fence being relocated by the bike trail so the marina would still have security. He wanted to
make sure it wasn't being removed. F. Peterson confirmed it was only being moved and not
removed. D. Kirksey was concerned that the catch basin swirl that was being discussed regarding
the development and the storm water. There is a lot of trash that is caught in the area already that
ends up in the lake. T. Fricano stated that he is 100% in support of the project and felt it had been
well thought out. This is a DeHaan home project and he has a website and he is in favor of the
request and he is in favor and happy to be a part of this project.
A motion to close the public hearing was made by B. Larson, supported by E. Hood and
unanimously approved.

A motion that the request for preliminary Planned Unit Development (PUD) approval for a mixed-
use development at 920, 1000, 1010, 1050 and 1060 W Western Ave be approved was made by
B. Larson, supported by J. Doyle, and unanimously approved.

A motion that the request for final Planned Unit Development (PUD) approval for a mixed-use
development at 920, 1000, 1010, 1050 and 1060 W Western Ave be recommended to the City
Commission for approval with the following conditions: a) The bike path be elevated with culverts
to avoid flooding. b) A sidewalk shall be installed along the new road that leads to the boat launch.
c) The bike path shall be constructed to AASHTO standards for non-motorized trails. d) The
pavement between homes on units 8-26 and 40-48 should be reduced by at least half and replaced
with more greenspace and landscaping. e) The public roads shall have a minimum of 4” asphalt
over 8” of gravel and the interior private roads shall have a minimum of 3” asphalt over 6” of
gravel. f) Spacing between fire hydrants shall not exceed 500 feet. g) All approvals shall be
contingent upon the issuance of a stormwater permits from the Drain Commissioner’s Office; was
made by M. Hovey-Wright, supported by B. Larson, and unanimously approved.

Hearing, Case 2019-03: Request for several departures from the Form Based Code section of the
zoning ordinance for the proposed residential development at 241 & 245 W Western Ave. M.
Franzak present the staff report. The two parcels are zoned FBC, Mainstreet. Both lots combined
have 241 feet of frontage along Western Ave and have a depth of 60 feet. New 16 feet wide by 60
feet deep parcels will be created. This will create a density of 45 units per acre. Zero lot line
setbacks in the rear will allow garage access from the public parking lot in the back. The proposed
rowhouse development meets the form base code, except for the following regulations, which will
need to receive departures: Two story buildings are required, this development proposes three
stores. Staff prefers the three-story development because of its location on Western Ave. Units are
required to be a minimum of 18 feet, this development proposes 16 feet widths. Staff finds this
acceptable because of the space created from the additional floor. The code limits the maximum
number of attached rowhouses to eight, this development proposes 15 attached units. Staff prefers
this number of units because of the amount of road frontage on Western Ave, which will allow for
more density. The development does not meet all of the requirements of one the two choices for
frontages, including “lightwell” or “stoop.” It meets all of the requirements of the stoop option,
except the stoop will only be raised 5 inches off of grade, rather than the required 18 inches. Please
see the regulations for these on the following pages. The number of windows facing Jefferson St
does not meet the minimum requirement of 10% of the upper story’s facade. This requirement falls
just short. Staff recommends approval of the departures.

D. Dusendang gave an overview of the project. L. Spataro is in favor of the higher density and
attraction for different income levels. He had concerns about the limited retail space downtown
and would like to make sure that there is more space available for this. The higher density creates
more people moving downtown so there is a need for the retail. T. Michalski agreed there is a need
for more retail space. G. Post stated that he since he also resides in the area and had received a
letter regarding the request for the departures from the form-based code; the letter didn’t specify
what those departures were and now that he has heard what they are and what they entail; he is
fine with the request. He would like to see that the need for more retail space not be forgotten as
more development happens in the downtown area. D. Alexander stated that he has spoken and is
working with retailers. There is a need for more affordable retail space downtown as the businesses
outgrow the chalets; they are unable to find the middle area for retail space downtown. The next
level of retail space is costlier and there needs to be a middle level of retail space in the downtown
area. M. Franzak showed in the form-based code where the development is outside the area where
the retail space is required. He showed the members where the locations are that the retail is
required for development.

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

A motion that departures from the Form Based Code section of the zoning ordinance, as proposed,
for the residential development at 241 & 245 W Western Ave be approved and that staff gives
final approval on the site plan with any outstanding issues, was made by J. Doyle, supported by S.
Gawron and unanimously approved.







There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:24 p.m.


Top of Page