Planning Commission Minutes 05-16-2019

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                                     CITY OF MUSKEGON
                                   PLANNING COMMISSION
                                     REGULAR MEETING
                                          MINUTES

                                            May 16, 2019

Vice Chairperson B. Mazade called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. and roll was taken.

MEMBERS PRESENT:               B. Mazade, E. Hood, J. Doyle, J. Montgomery-Keast, F. Peterson,
                               S. Gawron, M. Hovey-Wright, B. Larson

MEMBERS ABSENT:                T. Michalski

STAFF PRESENT:                 M. Franzak, D. Renkenberger

OTHERS PRESENT:                A. Cotton, 2236 9th St; G. White, 883 Allen Ave; L. Spataro, 1567
                               6th St for the Nelson Neighborhood Improvement Association; E.
                               Davis, 2057 Harrison St; GL Hardy, 373 Boutique Ct, Las Vegas
                               NV; M. Poletti, 3244 Thompson Ave; B. Evans, 3171 Lakeshore Dr

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

A motion to approve the Minutes of the regular Planning Commission meeting of April 11, 2019
was made by J. Doyle, supported by B. Larson and unanimously approved.

PUBLIC HEARINGS
Hearing, Case 2019-11: Request for a Special Use Permit for a gas station and car wash at 821 E
Apple Ave. M. Franzak presented the staff report. The property is zoned B-2, Convenience &
Comparison Business District. Gas stations and car washes are both allowed with a Special Use
Permit as long as they meet the following conditions: 1) The curb cuts for ingress and egress to a
service station shall not be permitted at such locations that will tend to create traffic hazards in the
streets immediately adjacent thereto. Entrances shall be no less than twenty-five (25) feet from a
street intersection (measured from the roadway) or from adjacent residential property, and subject
to other ordinances of the City; 2) The minimum lot area shall be ten thousand (10,000) square
feet, and so arranged that ample space is available for motor vehicles which are required to wait;
3) There shall be provided, on those sides abutting or adjacent to a residential district, a four foot
(4') completely obscuring wall or fence. The height of the wall or fence shall be measured from
the surface of the ground; 4) All lighting shall be shielded from adjacent residential districts and
from abutting streets; and 5) All restroom doors shall be shielded from adjoining residential
property. The plan meets all of the conditional requirements for the Special Use Permit. The
cement pad in front of the main entrance will be removed, along with the parking on the Apple
Ave side of the building. This will create adequate maneuvering isles for cars and keep them
separated from the gas pumps. The current drive-thru structure in the back will be removed, and
shall be replaced with a pay station with two driving lanes. Depending on how much space the
pay station and driving lanes take up, it may be necessary to restrict the rear drive along Ada Street
to one-way traffic. A 5-foot tall screening fence will be erected on the southern and eastern
property lines. The current ingress/egress curb cuts on Apple Ave will be reconstructed to create
one combined curb cut. The applicant is still working on a landscaping plan. Additional trees
should be planted in the greenbelt buffer on Apple Ave and along the southern edge of the property
along Ada St. Staff recommends approval of the Special Use Permit with the following conditions:
1) The plan depicts the removal of the drive-thru station and the addition of the pay stations; and
2) A landscaping plan is provided.
M. Franzak stated that, although a landscaping plan was not included, it was something that staff
could approve at a later date if the Planning Commission agreed. He also stated that, although the
site plan showed only 18 inches of clearance near the pay station instead of the required 2 feet, he
didn’t see it as a problem since cars would be stopped in that area. A. Cotton stated that he owned
the Marathon gas station and car wash at Seaway and Hackley. He believed this would be a good
location for another, as there were no similar businesses in the area. He stated that they planned
to hire about 20 people and fix up the property to make it look nice. He also stated that there would
be space in the building for two more tenants.
G. White lived in the area was opposed to the request due to the additional traffic it would create
at an intersection that was already busy. She asked where the access locations to the gas station
would be. M. Franzak stated that it would be accessible from Getty St or Apple Ave.
A motion to close the public hearing was made by B. Larson, supported by J. Montgomery-Keast
and unanimously approved.
A motion that the request for a Special Use Permit for a gas station and car wash at 821 E Apple
Avenue be approved with the conditions that 1) The plan depicts the removal of the drive-thru
station and the addition of the pay stations, and 2) A landscaping plan is provided, was made by
M. Hovey-Wright, supported by B. Larson and unanimously approved, with B. Mazade, E. Hood,
J. Doyle, J. Montgomery-Keast, F. Peterson, S. Gawron, M. Hovey-Wright, and B. Larson voting
aye.

Hearing, Case 2019-13: Staff-initiated request to vacate 4th St between Western Ave and Shoreline
Drive. Staff requested to remove this item from consideration as it was no longer necessary per
the city’s legal counsel. Because the convention center would be placed over 4th St with pedestrian
access still available to 4th St through the building, vacating the street was not necessary.
However, because the case was on the agenda and there were people in the audience interested in
speaking on the subject, a public hearing was held.

L. Spataro spoke on behalf of the Nelson Neighborhood Association. He stated that the
neighborhood association supported a convention center but questioned the timing of this case,
since the groundbreaking was already held. They were opposed to impeding access to this section
of 4th Street, as it blocked one of few routes of access to the waterfront from downtown. He stated
that the neighborhood association would like to know what the plan was to replace this waterfront
access.
A motion to close the public hearing was made by B. Larson, supported by J. Doyle and
unanimously approved.
There was no vote taken on the request, as it was removed from the agenda before the meeting.

Hearing, Case 2019-14: Staff-initiated request to amend the Form Based Code (FBC) section of
the zoning ordinance to create new context areas for the Lakeside area. M. Franzak presented the
staff report. The Form Based Code section of the zoning ordinance was created in 2015 for the
downtown area and established six different context areas: Downtown, Mainstreet, Mainstreet
Waterfront, Neighborhood Core, Neighborhood Edge and Urban Residential. These context areas
established the uses and development guidelines for each parcel in the Form Based Code area.
Staff is proposing to utilize the same Form Based Code document and create four new context
areas for the Lakeside area: Lakeside Commercial, Lakeside Heavy Commercial, Lakeside Mixed
Residential, and Lakeside Residential. The descriptions of the new context areas are as follows:
   •   Lakeside Commercial: This context area will replace most of the B-2 and B-4 business
       districts in Lakeside. Buildings will be required to be placed closer to the street (0 to 3 feet
       front setback). Buildings currently located on the south side of Lakeshore Dr are already
       placed at zero lot line, however, the current B-2 and B-4 zoning requires a 10-foot setback.
       This change will keep the small setback on the south side of Lakeshore Dr and start to
       create the same development pattern on the north side of the street as new buildings are
       constructed. This new context area will also allow buildings to be up to four stories tall,
       compared to the two-story limit now. This will allow properties to utilize their full potential
       and create lake views. The new code will also eliminate new curb cuts (unless an alley or
       street is not present), creating a more walkable environment.
   •   Lakeside Heavy Commercial – This context area is similar to the Lakeside Commercial
       context area, but allows for more intense uses, such as auto repair. This context area was
       created to allow the current uses in this area, while designing the properties to fit in better
       with the area. If these current high-intensity businesses (car repair) eventually leave the
       area, the context area could simply be eliminated.
   •   Lakeside Mixed Residential – This context area will replace the residential zoning on
       Lakeshore Drive. It will also replace some of the B-2 zones on the north side of Lakeshore
       Drive that are mostly homes. The rezoning from B-2 to Lakeside Mixed Residential will
       help property owners sell and refinance their homes, which has been a problem because of
       the commercial zoning. Homes in this district will be allowed to have a 3rd story to take in
       lake views. More housing options will now be available; such as duplexes, small multi-
       plexes, and rowhouses. Homes may also have small retail options will the addition of a
       cottage retail building option.
   •   Lakeside Residential – This context area will replace some of the residential zoning behind
       the Lakeside Business District. This area currently has many parcels zoned for high-
       density residential that would allow large apartments, even though there aren’t any parcels
       large enough to meet the minimum standards. This area consists of detached houses, some
       of them which are duplexes and triplexes. This context area would allow single family,
       duplexes and small multiplexes (up to 6 units), but no commercial.

Notices were mailed to property owners that have parcels listed for the rezoning. Staff
recommends approval of the zoning amendments with the following changes: 1) 1732 Lakeshore
Drive should be changed to Lakeside Commercial. It is already a commercial building and the
owner would like to develop the property further; and 2) 1595 Lakeshore Drive (Wasserman’s
Floral) should be zoned Lakeside Commercial.

M. Franzak provided a color-coded zoning map of the area which showed the current RM-1-zoned
areas. He stated that the proposed FBC zoning presented a downzoning for some of these areas.
B. Mazade stated that no current businesses would be displaced, and the FBC zoning could make
it easier for property owners to make improvements. B. Mazade asked M. Franzak how the
allowance of higher buildings along Lakeshore Drive might affect the view of the lake. M. Franzak
stated that he did not expect a large impact on the view, as properties behind those on Lakeshore
Drive were up on a hill. J. Montgomery-Keast stated that a four-story building sounded to high
for the district. M. Franzak stated that when he had spoken to Lakeside business owners, they
were in favor of it.
Public comments were heard. E. Davis expressed concerns with the rezoning on Harrison Ave.
She stated that, although multi-family homes were already allowed there, they were not adequately
maintained and she did not want to see further non-owner-occupied homes being encouraged. She
was concerned that it would diminish property values and discourage owner-occupied homes.

A motion to close the public hearing was made by B. Larson, supported by E. Hood and
unanimously approved.
J. Montgomery-Keast asked how many vacant lots there were in the proposed multi-family zoning
area. M. Franzak stated that there were not many, but if a house were demolished, a multi-family
unit may be allowed to replace it. F. Peterson asked if existing single-family homes would be able
to become multi-family. M. Franzak stated that he didn’t anticipate current homes being converted
to multi-family, as it would be very difficult to meet the FBC requirements and design criteria; the
FBC was more restrictive as far as which properties would be able to be divided. M. Hovey-
Wright asked what the goal was in rezoning the area. M. Franzak stated that it was to improve the
business district and to more accurately reflect the current state of the neighborhood. In addition,
FBC zoning was great for creating walkable neighborhoods.
A motion to close the public hearing was made by J. Montgomery-Keast, supported by B. Larson
and unanimously approved.
A motion that the request to amend the Form Based Code section of the zoning ordinance to create
new context areas for the Lakeside area be approved with the condition that 1595 and 1732
Lakeshore Dr are changed to Lakeside Commercial, was made by J. Montgomery-Keast, supported
by B. Larson and unanimously approved, with B. Mazade, E. Hood, J. Doyle, J. Montgomery-
Keast, F. Peterson, S. Gawron, M. Hovey-Wright, and B. Larson voting aye.

Hearing, Case 2019-15: Staff-initiated request to rezone several properties in Lakeside to Form
Based Code. M. Franzak presented the staff report. Staff recommends approval of the rezonings
as shown on the proposed zoning map provided, with the changes made to 1595 and 1732
Lakeshore Drive, contingent upon the approval of the zoning ordinance amendments by the City
Commission. There was no further public discussion on this item, as all questions had been
addressed in the previous case.
A motion to close the public hearing was made by B. Larson, supported by J. Montgomery-Keast
and unanimously approved.
A motion that the request to rezone the parcels as presented with the changes made to 1595 and
1732 Lakeshore Drive be recommended for approval to the City Commission, contingent upon the
approval of the zoning ordinance amendments by the City Commission, was made by J. Doyle,
supported by E. Hood and unanimously approved, with B. Mazade, E. Hood, J. Doyle, J.
Montgomery-Keast, F. Peterson, S. Gawron, M. Hovey-Wright, and B. Larson voting aye.
Hearing, Case 2019-16: Staff-initiated request to amend section 2310 of the zoning ordinance to
make several changes to the critical dune ordinance. M. Franzak presented the staff report. The
Department of Environmental Quality asked that we make several minor amendments to our
Critical Dune ordinance to better reflect their model zoning ordinance. The changes are mostly
clerical and will not change how we enforce our procedures. A revised Critical Dune ordinance
was provided for the board’s review and approval. Staff recommends approval of the proposed
amendments to the Critical Dune ordinance.
M. Franzak read the list of corrections that had been requested by the DEQ.
A motion to close the public hearing was made by B. Larson, supported by J. Doyle and
unanimously approved.
A motion that the amendments to the critical dune ordinance by approved was made by B. Larson,
supported by E. Hood and unanimously approved, with B. Mazade, E. Hood, J. Doyle, J.
Montgomery-Keast, F. Peterson, S. Gawron, M. Hovey-Wright, and B. Larson voting aye.

NEW BUSINESS

Hearing, Case 2019-12: Request for a Site Plan Review for a new building at the new parcel west
of 421 W Delano Ave (parent parcel). M. Franzak presented the staff report. The property at 421
W Delano, at the corner of Delano and Park St, was recently split into six separate parcels. The
plans show new buildings on all of the new vacant parcels. The Planning Commission only needs
to approve one of the buildings, because it over 10,000 square feet. This building is located on
Parcels 1 & 2 at the end of the cul-de-sac, which was shown on a site plan provided. The properties
are zoned I-1, Light Industrial and are also located in the city’s Medical Marihuana Overlay
District. Each new proposed building will be for medical marihuana growing and processing.
Some buildings may have a retail portion as well; however, the building on Parcels 1 & 2 is only
for growing and processing. That building is 17,125 square feet in size and meets all setback
requirements. The stormwater from every parcel will drain into the same area behind the buildings.
This review will be contingent upon the Drain Commissioner approving their stormwater permit.
Staff was still working with other departments on the review at the time this staff report was
written, but the plan appeared to meet fire access requirements for Parcels 1 & 2. The width of
the lot requires at least three canopy trees, but only two are depicted. Staff recommends approval
of the site plan for the building addition on Parcels 1 & 2 as long as a revised site plan showing
additional trees in the greenspace buffer is submitted to staff, contingent upon a stormwater permit
from the Drain Commissioner.
M. Franzak stated that staff would be able to approve the updated landscape plan if the Planning
Commission wished. G.L. Hardy was one of the partners involved in the project. He stated that
he was a developer and builder, and he had a local business partner, S. Middlecamp. G. Hardy
estimated that the new businesses would employ 100 to 150 employees and stated that he already
had some interested clients.
A motion that the site plan for Parcels 1 & 2 be approved, contingent upon the issuance of a
stormwater permit from the Drain Commissioner, and with the condition that two more canopy
trees are planted on the greenbelt buffer, was made by E. Hood, supported by M. Hovey-Wright
and unanimously approved, with B. Mazade, E. Hood, J. Doyle, J. Montgomery-Keast, F.
Peterson, S. Gawron, M. Hovey-Wright, and B. Larson voting aye.


OLD BUSINESS

None

OTHER

Master Plan Update – M. Franzak stated that staff had met with 12 of the 14 neighborhood
associations so far, and would have a public meeting in the future. L. Spataro thanked staff for
their outreach efforts regarding the Third St. improvements. He also reiterated their concerns
about vacating a portion of Monroe Ave, and who would maintain the planters. He stated that the
neighborhood association was committed to contributing to the project.
M. Poletti discussed his concerns about The Docks project and the lack of studies required before
the project is approved. B. Mazade stated that a final plan had not yet come to the Planning
Commission for approval. B. Evans also urged the Planning Commission to require scientific and
environmental studies of the project.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:12 p.m.


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