Planning Commission Minutes 04-11-2019

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                                    CITY OF MUSKEGON
                                  PLANNING COMMISSION
                                    REGULAR MEETING
                                         MINUTES

                                           April 11, 2019

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

MEMBERS PRESENT:               T. Michalski, E. Hood, J. Doyle, J. Montgomery-Keast, B.
                               Mazade, F. Peterson

MEMBERS ABSENT:                S. Gawron, excused; M. Hovey-Wright, excused; B. Larson,
                               excused

STAFF PRESENT:                 M. Franzak, D. Renkenberger

OTHERS PRESENT:                C. Beacham, 1877 Sanford; M. Poletti, 3244 Thompson Rd; B.
                               Evans, 3171 Lakeshore Dr; R. Schaub, 3232 Thompson Rd; G.
                               Schaub, 3232 Thompson Rd

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

A motion to approve the Minutes of the regular Planning Commission meeting of March 14, 2019
was made by J. Montgomery-Keast, supported by B. Larson and unanimously approved.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

Hearing, Case 2019-08: Request for a Special Use Permit to operate a car dealership at 2386 S
Getty St, by International Auto Group, LLC. M. Franzak presented the staff report. The property
is zoned B-4, General Business, which allows auto sale lots with a Special Use Permit. The zoning
ordinance states that ingress and egress to the outdoor sales area shall be at least sixty feet from
the intersection of any two streets; however, this property has curb cuts closer than 60 feet from
the intersection of Getty St. and Hovey St. The Special Use Permit should require that a 10-foot
greenbelt buffer be installed inside the sidewalk. Although there does not appear to be enough
room for that, planters are commonly used in place of this requirement. The site plan shows an
area for car preparation, which should be screened with a privacy fence from Hovey St. The plan
also shows that customer parking will be on the adjacent property so a shared parking requirement
should be provided. Staff recommends approval of the Special Use Permit with the following
conditions: 1) The curb cut closest to Hovey St is closed or that area is not used for car display; 2)
The car prep area is screened from Hovey St with a privacy fence, and 3) A shared parking
agreement is provided.

J. Montgomery-Keast asked if there was a regulation stating how many cars could be on the lot for
sale. M. Franzak stated that there was not a specific number. C. Beacham stated that their proposal
for was for a used car lot. They had been in business elsewhere for 10 years but that location was
now zoned for medical marijuana facilities, so they wished to relocate the car business. J.
Montgomery-Keast asked if there would be any vehicle repairs done on site, or if there would be
tires and car parts laying around the property. C. Beacham stated that there would not be, as their
cars would be in ready-to-sell condition when they got them. M. Franzak asked about the car prep
area shown on the site plan. C. Beacham stated that it would be located behind the building and
would be used for minor things needed to get cars ready for the sales lot. J. Montgomery-Keast
asked if the area would be screened. M. Franzak stated that screening was not shown on the site
plan, but that it was needed. He also stated that if the curb cut closest to Hovey St was used for
employee vehicles only and not to display cars for sale, that curb cut could be left in place.
A motion to close the public hearing was made by J. Montgomery-Keast, supported by J. Doyle
and unanimously approved.
A motion that the request to operate a car dealership at 2386 S Getty St be approved with the
conditions that 1) The car prep area is screened from Hovey St with a privacy fence, and 2) A
shared parking agreement is provided, was made by B. Larson, supported by E. Hood and
unanimously approved, with T. Michalski, E. Hood, J. Doyle, J. Montgomery-Keast, and B.
Mazade voting aye.
Hearing, Case 2019-09: Staff-initiated request to amend Section 403 of the zoning ordinance to
revise the intent of the Planned Unit Development option by allowing limited retail options. M.
Franzak presented the staff report. The PUD option in single-family residential districts currently
does not specify whether limited business options are allowed. Staff believes that limited business
options, such as those allowed in B-1 districts, would be beneficial to residential PUDs. The
proposed language to be added is in bold: “Planned unit developments (PUDs) may be allowed by
the Planning Commission under the procedural guidelines of Section 2101. The intent of Planned
Unit Developments in the single family residential district is to allow for flexibility in the design
of housing developments, including but not limited to condominium developments and cluster
subdivisions, to allow for the preservation of open space; allow for economies in the provision of
utilities and public services; allow for the principal and special uses permitted in the B-1,
Limited Business District, without reference to limitations on square feet/employment
numbers of an individual use; provide recreational opportunities; and protect important natural
features from the adverse impacts of development.” Staff recommends approval of the
amendment.
B. Mazade stated that he was concerned that some uses allowed in a B-1 district weren’t limited
enough for a residential area, such as professional offices, for example. He asked what the reason
was for removing the limitation on square feet; he preferred that size be limited so that places such
a big box retail stores or large office buildings would not be allowed. M. Franzak stated that the
preface of the B-1 zoning ordinance stated that only businesses that served the convenience of the
residents in the adjacent areas would be allowed, and he believed that would be sufficient to limit
the scope of any businesses that could be included in the PUD. He stated that the square-foot limit
was removed, so as not to prohibit things like restaurants from locating there. B. Mazade suggested
that a larger restaurant may not belong in a PUD. J. Montgomery-Keast stated that there were
noise, odor, and traffic considerations for a large restaurant that could have a negative effect on
residential neighbors. Staff and board members discussed what size and type of business should
be allowed in a residential PUD.
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 amend Section 403 of the zoning ordinance to revise the intent of the
Planned Unit Development option by allowing limited retail options that are limited to those that
serve the neighborhood, be recommended to the City Commission for approval, was made by J.
Montgomery-Keast, supported by E. Hood and unanimously approved, with T. Michalski, E.
Hood, J. Doyle, J. Montgomery-Keast, and B. Mazade voting aye.
Hearing, Case 2019-10: Staff-initiated request to amend Section 2331 of the zoning ordinance to
allow applicants to donate trees to the City’s nursery rather than to replace trees on site during
development. M. Franzak presented the staff report. The zoning ordinance requires that certain
live trees on development sites must remain or be replanted elsewhere on site. However, that is
not always possible due to limited space. Staff is suggesting that those trees may be donated to
the City’s nursery instead. Current ordinance language states that “Preservation Required: All
existing live trees in excess of twelve (12) inches in diameter and at four and one half (4 ½) feet above
the ground shall be preserved as much as practical.”. The proposed new language reads, “Preservation
Required: All existing live trees in excess of twelve (12) inches in diameter and at four and one half
(4 ½) feet above the ground shall be preserved. Those that must be removed and cannot be replaced
on site may be donated to the City’s nursery to be used elsewhere around the City.” Staff
recommends approval of the amendment.
M. Franzak provided an example of when it may not be possible to retain a mature tree on a site.
J. Montgomery-Keast asked if it would change the landscaping requirements. M. Franzak stated
that it would not.
A motion to close the public hearing was made by J. Montgomery-Keast, supported by J. Doyle
and unanimously approved.
A motion that the request to amend Section 2331 of the zoning ordinance to allow applicants to
donate trees to the City’s nursery rather than to replace trees on site during development, be
recommended to the City Commission for approval, was made by J. Doyle, supported by B. Larson
and unanimously approved, with T. Michalski, E. Hood, J. Doyle, J. Montgomery-Keast, and B.
Mazade voting aye.

NEW BUSINESS

None

OLD BUSINESS

None

OTHER

The Docks Development – There were people in the audience who wished to speak about The
Docks development in the Bluffton area. Several audience members expressed concerns about the
development’s impact on the area, and asked that the Planning Commission do their due diligence
to ensure that objective scientific studies were done regarding the development’s environmental
impact. T. Michalski explained that Planning Commissioners had not seen an updated plan for
The Docks since the meeting held in the fall of 2018 and therefore could not comment on any
updated plan. He stated that when an updated plan was received, the Planning Commission would
hold a hearing at that time.


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:50 p.m.


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