PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
Wednesday, October 6, 2010 |
Council Chambers |
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order at or about 7:00 p.m.
Present: Member Baratta, Member Gutman, Member Larson, Member Lynch, Member Meyer, Chair Pehrson, Member Prince
Absent: Member Cassis (excused), Member Greco (excused)
Also Present: Barbara McBeth, Deputy Director of Community Development; Kristin Kolb, City Attorney; Mark Spencer, Planner; Kristen Kapelanski, Planner; David Beschke, Landscape Architect
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Member Prince led the meeting attendees in the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Moved by Member Gutman, seconded by Member Larson:
VOICE VOTE ON THE AGENDA APPROVAL MOTION MADE BY MEMBER GUTMAN AND SECONDED BY MEMBER LARSON.
Motion to approve the October 6, 2010 Planning Commission Agenda. Motion carried 7-0.
No one from the audience wished to speak.
Member Gutman stated the Planning Commission received two letters pertaining to one of the Public Hearings. Those comments will be read at that time.
There were no Committee Reports.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPUTY DIRECTOR REPORT
Deputy Director McBeth stated that the Planning Commission has been provided with the Final 2010 Master Plan for Land Use documents and the updated maps were provided on the table. There was a workshop held on September 29th for the Non-Motorized Master Plan, with approximately 35 people in attendance. She encouraged the members of the Planning Commission to visit the City’s webpage and fill in the survey for preference in regard to the Non-Motorized Master Plan.
CONSENT AGENDA - REMOVALS AND APPROVAL
There were no items on the Consent Agenda.
Public Hearing at the request of Grace Immanuel Bible Church for Special Land Use Permit and Preliminary Site Plan approval. The subject property is located in Section 36, at 21900 Meadowbrook Road, north of Eight Mile Road and east of Meadowbrook Road, in the R-3, One-Family Residential District. The subject property is approximately 2.9 acres and the applicant is proposing an approximately 1,152 square foot addition to the north side of the existing church.
Planner Kapelanski showed the location map and stated the applicant is proposing to add a 1,152 square foot addition to the existing Grace Immanuel Bible Church located on the east side of Meadowbrook Road between Eight Mile Road and Nine Mile Road. The addition will be placed on the north side of the church.
The property is currently zoned R-3, One-Family Residential. A church is a special land use in the R-3 District.
The applicant is seeking to obtain the required Special Land Use permit. A special land use permit was granted by the Planning Commission when the church originally occupied the property but the applicant is required to reapply for the special land use permit since an expansion of the use is proposed. The Planning Commission should consider the findings listed in Section 2516.2.c of the Ordinance. As part of this proposal, the applicant would be required to install ten additional parking spaces. The applicant is seeking a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals to eliminate the requirement for additional parking. Provided the applicant submits the required Noise Impact Statement, staff has not identified any major concerns regarding this Special Land Use request and therefore recommends approval subject to the conditions noted in the motion. The engineering review, traffic review, façade review and fire review all recommend approval with minor items to address on the Final Site Plan submittal. The landscape review recommends approval and notes the applicant should consider installing additional plantings along the easterly property line to provide additional screening for the adjacent residents.
Chair Pehrson thanked Planner Kapelanski for her presentation and asked the applicant to come forward for comment.
Carl Geiser, representing the applicant, was present and indicated that Planner Kapelanski’s presentation accurately covered the request. Mr. Geiser indicated that he would stand by for questions, and expected the Pastor to be in attendance shortly.
Chair Pehrson opened the public hearing.
Linda Schlessman stated that she has lived in Novi for 28 years. Her property abuts the church on the south side of the parking lot. Ms. Schlessman said in all of the time she has lived there, this church has been the best neighbor she ever had. There were issues with the prior church and daycare. This church has maintained the property. The proposed addition looks fine. The few neighbors she has talked with have no objections as long as the ordinances are followed. Ms. Schlessman does want to make sure there is additional screening put in for the neighbors to the east and the north. The church installed a fence on the south side because there were concerns about lights shining on the house. The fence has been a wonderful addition as well as attractive.
Mr. Gary Grysglewski stated he lives easterly and directly behind the church at 21701 Siegal Drive. He said the church has been the best neighbors. Mr. Grysglewski understands they are going before the ZBA next week also for parking, and other issues to be addressed at final site plan submittal. Mr. Grysglewski asked if someone could elaborate on this.
Planner Kapelanski stated that, in addition to the parking variance there are minor site plan changes that are involved.
Mr. Grysglewski wondered what the proposal was for plantings or a fence. As it stands right now, being on the easterly section, he can see the lights of the cars as they turn into the parking lot off of Meadowbrook Road. This property was existing and the church inherited it and he thinks the City turned their eye on it many years ago. He doesn’t think the berm was built correctly or that the plantings that were proposed on the original site plan approvals ever came to be. Plantings have died off. The City came in and did a turnaround and looked at the property. He asked if anyone parked and come over the berm to look what is on the other side of the property that also belongs to the church, but did not get much of an answer. The church has been a good neighbor, but we need to look at the noise, screening, and headlights. These are things the residents are going to see as the church expands. Plants are a wonderful thing, but a lot have died off. I am asking that the City look at this property. He questioned what kind of screening are we going to have, how far is the parking lot going to go, and will there be sound issues and light issues. Mr. Grysglewski said we want to make everyone happy and all of our concerns have to be met.
Member Gutman stated there are two public hearing responses.
Chair Pehrson closed the public hearing and asked the Commission members for comment.
Member Lynch asked for the clarification about the tree chart on the plans. It looks like several pine and spruce trees will be removed. He asked if they going to be replaced.
Landscape Architect Beschke explained that the church is proposing to replace some of the evergreens. He said he thinks there are 5 of them as well as all the small landscape materials to be relocated on the site. There is the existing berm toward the east side of the site. Landscape Architect Beschke stated that Planner Kapelanski and he walked the back of the property, and viewed the site from every angle. Those plantings on the berm will stay. Staff does not want the applicant to disturb the berm, but recommend they add to the plantings to buffer the additional parking.
Landscape Architect Beschke said that it is mostly the east side of the property that the gentleman was talking about. The church may want to look at planting some vegetative screening now in the event that if parking is installed in the future on that side, the plantings will be maturing and already filling out. That east property line is about 80 feet away from the nearest parking space. There is a grassy field there. The parking is buffered by distance and the existing berm. Landscape Architect Beschke has suggested the church consider planting a vegetative screen across that back or east side.
Member Lynch asked if there is any screening there right now.
Landscape Architect Beschke stated that there are some existing plants there and some are on the property line. He does not know who they belong to. All along the south property line is a hedgerow that goes all the way along the entire length, but is not shown on the plans.
Member Lynch asked Landscape Architect Beschke about his site visit. There is a concern about headlights. Member Lynch asked if there was an evergreen type screen would some of the noise would be reduced.
Landscape Architect Beschke stated the headlights of cars aim up a bit coming into the site. Once the cars get leveled out in the parking lot they are aimed at the 3 foot berm with the vegetation on it along the east side. He understands that the headlights can be seen from the houses on the easterly property line. That is why the City has requested the church add to that buffer.
Member Lynch stated that Landscape Architect Beschke says staff is looking for the applicant to add to that buffer, but right now there is nothing in writing to say there is going to be any additional screening.
Landscape Architect Beschke stated that is not correct. There are shrubs and 4 evergreens in that area that are proposed to be added to the edge of that berm. The church is proposing to add those with this plan. There is also the opportunity for some of the other plants that are going to get relocated to this area.
Member Lynch confirmed with Landscape Architect Beschke that the church would not have to buy anything new but would just be relocating plants to a better area.
Landscape Architect Beschke stated that there are quite a few plants that the church has put in and they have done a nice job. Landscape Architect Beschke said that he saw this site before the plants were put in and has seen it since. The church has done a great job in keeping the plants up. The fence on the south side made good sense because the cars parked there were aiming headlights at those neighbors. The parking was fairly close but there were a lot of mature evergreens staff wanted to save. The church put in a very nice fence and cleared out the dead stuff underneath the evergreens. It is a nice solution for both light and sound.
Member Lynch asked, in Landscape Architect Beschke’s opinion, whether the relocation of the existing plantings in the area of question, which is the east side of the site, would be adequate.
Landscape Architect Beschke answered yes.
Member Baratta asked Landscape Architect Beschke about the light and the noise. Member Baratta asked if enhancing the berm or elevating the berm would help that situation. He asked about adding a fence as opposed to the additional landscaping.
Landscape Architect Beschke said that elevating the berm would provide a very minimal difference. A great depth of woodlands would be required to start knocking sound down sound measurably. Lifting the berm is a problem in that there is a large amount of vegetation on it that has gotten so big that it cannot be moved. The church could add to it and to the understory and fill out that buffer.
Member Baratta asked if a fence would help.
Landscape Architect Beschke stated that a fence helps but it would result in bouncing the sound in different directions.
Motion made by Member Meyer, seconded by Member Gutman:
ROLL CALL VOTE ON GRACE IMMANUEL BIBLE CHURCH, SP10-39 APPROVAL MOTION FOR SPECIAL LAND USE PERMIT MADE BY MEMBER MEYER AND SECONDED BY MEMBER GUTMAN.
In the matter of the request of Grace Immanuel Bible Church, SP 10-39, motion to approve the Special Land Use permit, subject to the following: (a) Planning Commission finding under Section 2516.2.c for the Special Land Use permit: Relative to other feasible uses of the site, (1) The proposed use will not cause any detrimental impact on existing thoroughfares, due to the fact that the proposed addition will generate 11 additional trips during the week and 42 additional trips on Sunday; (2) The proposed use is compatible with adjacent uses of land in terms of location, size, character, and impact on adjacent property or the surrounding neighborhood, due to the fact that the proposed operation will not generate a substantial amount of noise or adverse impacts; (3) The proposed use is consistent with the goals, objectives and recommendations of the City’s Master Plan for Land Use; (4) The proposed use will promote the use of land in a socially and economically desirable manner; (5) The proposed use is in harmony with the purposes and conforms to the applicable site design regulations of the zoning district in which it is located, as noted in the staff review letters; (b) Applicant submitting the required Noise Impact Statement; and (c) Compliance with all conditions and requirements listed in the staff and consultant review letters. This motion is made for the following reasons: because the plan is otherwise in compliance with Article 4, Article 24 and Article 25 and all other applicable provisions of the Zoning Ordinance. Motion carried 7-0.
Motion made by Member Meyer, seconded by Member Gutman:
ROLL CALL VOTE ON GRACE IMMANUEL BIBLE CHURCH, SP10-39 APPROVAL MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN MADE BY MEMBER MEYER AND SECONDED BY MEMBER GUTMAN.
In the matter of Grace Immanuel Bible Church, SP 10-39, motion to approve the Preliminary Site Plan, subject to the following: (a) Applicant submitting the required Noise Impact Statement; and (b) Compliance with all conditions and requirements listed in the staff and consultant review letters. This motion is made for the following reasons: because the plan is otherwise in compliance with Article 4, Article 24 and Article 25 and all other applicable provisions of the Zoning Ordinance. Motion carried 7-0.
2. NEXT GENERATION VOLLEYBALL, SITE PLAN 10-40
Public hearing on the request of Next Generation Volleyball Club for Special Land Use Permit and Preliminary Site Plan approval. The subject property is located at 42350 Grand River Avenue in Section 23, on the north side of Grand River Avenue between Town Center Drive and Meadowbrook Road, in the B-3, General Business District. The subject property is 2.23 acres and the applicant is proposing to retrofit a portion of an existing building for a volleyball training facility.
Planner Spencer indicated that the applicant, next Generation Volleyball Club, is proposing a Volleyball Training facility at 42350 Grand River Avenue, the developed Cort Furniture site. The 2.2 acre parcel is located on the north side of Grand River Avenue between Town Center Drive and Meadowbrook Road.
The surrounding land uses include vacant land to the north; the Thomasville retail center to the east; the Marty Feldman automobile dealership to the south; and the Maxim office building to the west
The property is zoned B-3, General Business. The properties to the north are in the I-1, Light Industrial district and properties to the east, south and west are in the B-3 district.
The applicant proposes to retrofit a portion of the Cort Furniture building with a volleyball training facility for 5 to 18 year old girls. It will occupy about 13,760 square feet on the main floor and use the 5,500 square foot mezzanine for equipment storage. Cort Furniture will continue to occupy the remaining 11,300 square feet of the building for furniture sales, rental and storage. The applicant has indicated that the volleyball training facility will be used between the hours of 4:00 pm and 9:30 pm for training only and that no competitive events would be held in the facility. No building construction is proposed.
Indoor recreation uses are permitted with a Special Land Use permit in the B-3 District. For this Special Land Use application the applicant was required to submit a noise impact statement. For Special Land Uses, a noise analysis is generally needed to determine if the proposed use exceeds allowable noise standards of the Ordinance. The Applicant is requesting the Planning Commission waive this requirement since no noise generating equipment will be installed, volleyball training should be a relative low noise generator and that the volleyball area of the building has only one opening, a small personnel door, on each side of the building that faces developed parcels and would emit sound from the building. The Planning Staff supports the waiver request. Planner Spencer reviewed the factors for consideration of a Special Land Use permit.
Although no site plan improvements were proposed, the applicant provided a plan demonstrating where additional parking spaces could be placed if needed in the future. With minor modifications, the proposed banked parking meets the general requirements of the Zoning Ordinance.
Planner Spencer continued, the applicant has worked with the planning staff to provide an adequate number of parking spaces for the combined use of the site. Although the Zoning Ordinance does not list a specific parking space requirement for volleyball training facilities or Indoor recreation/training facilities, it permits the Planning Commission to use the parking requirements of a similar use to determine the requirement for an unlisted use. Private clubs and other assembly type uses require one parking space for every three occupants, based on maximum occupancy rates. The planning staff recommends the use of this standard for a volleyball training facility since it is a similar assembly use. The required parking for the proposed training facility using this requirement is 26.7 parking spaces.
The standard parking space requirement for a retail store is one parking space per 200 square feet of gross leasable floor area. Using this standard, 56.8 parking spaces are required for the furniture store portion of the building and a total of 83 parking spaces would be required on the site.
As an alternative, the Planning Commission may approve reducing the parking requirement for a furniture stores to one space per 800 square feet of usable floor area plus one space for every two employees when room for the additional spaces required using the standard retail parking space requirements is provided on the site. Based on a maximum of 4 employees, as stated by the applicant, the furniture store parking could be set at 16.2 parking spaces plus 40.6 banked parking spaces. Using the reduced parking space requirement, the total parking spaces required for this site would be 43 spaces plus 40 banked spaces.
Planning Staff supports using the alternative parking space calculation method since furniture stores do not generate the same parking requirements as typical retail stores and because there is room on the site to construct additional parking spaces should a standard retail store consider locating on this site in the future.
The applicant has depicted 39 existing parking spaces with room to bank 44 parking spaces. The applicant was asked and has agreed to redesign the parking layout to provide a total of 43 developed parking spaces and 40 banked parking spaces to meet the requirements. In addition, the building code requires that barrier free parking spaces are the closest spaces to the entrance of each business. All of the current barrier free spaces are located near the current entrance to the furniture store. The applicant was asked and has agreed to provide one barrier parking space to serve the volleyball training facility. The additional four parking spaces, three regular and one barrier free, can be installed by painting the existing pavement.
Planning Staff recommends approval of the Preliminary Site Plan and Special Land Use Permit subject to the Planning Commission approval of using the parking requirements for a private club for an indoor recreation facility, Planning Commission approval of the alternative furniture store parking space calculations, the applicant adding 4 parking spaces including one barrier free parking space, and the applicant making minor corrections to the Site Plan as noted in the Planning Review.
Stacy Fields of General Development came forward representing the applicant. Ms. Fields seeks Planning Commission approval of the request. She said, the applicant has research in regard to the parking spaces required for the volleyball use. Cort Furniture is the front tenant. Required parking spaces for Cort Furniture have been taken into account, considering Cort has limited traffic as far as a retail location. Ms. Fields said the applicant is comfortable with the assessments presented as well as the research that has been done.
Chair Pehrson opened the public hearing. Seeing no one, and confirming that there was no correspondence, the public hearing was closed.
Motion made by Member Gutman, seconded by Member Prince:
ROLL CALL VOTE ON NEXT GENERATION VOLLEYBALL, SP 10-40, APPROVAL MOTION FOR SPECIAL LAND USE PERMIT MADE BY MEMBER GUTMAN AND SECONDED BY MEMBER PRINCE.
In the matter of Next Generation Volleyball, SP10-40, motion to approve the Special Land Use Permit for a volleyball training facility, subject to the following: (a) Planning Commission finding under Section 2516.2.c. for a Special Use Permit: Relative to other feasible uses of the site, (1) The proposed use will not cause any detrimental impact on existing thoroughfares or the capabilities of public services and facilities, since the maximum number of additional vehicles expected is 27 based on the parking standards; (2) The use Is compatible with the natural features and characteristics of the land and adjacent uses of land, since the applicant does not propose any building or parking lot expansion and the proposed use will not generate a substantial amount of noise; (3) The proposed use is consistent with the goals, objectives and recommendations of the City’s Master Plan for Land Use; (4) The proposed use will promote the use of land in a socially and economically desirable manner; (5) The proposed use is in harmony with the purposes and conforms to the applicable site design regulations of the zoning district in which it is located as noted in the Staff review letter; (b) Planning Commission waiver of the required Noise Impact Statement for the reasons noted in the Staff review letter; and (c) Compliance with all conditions and requirements in the Staff review letters. This motion is made for the following reasons: because the plan is otherwise in compliance with Article 15, Section 2400 and Article 25 of the Zoning Ordinance and all other applicable provisions of the ordinance. Motion carried 7-0.
Motion made by Member Gutman, seconded by Member Prince:
ROLL CALL VOTE ON NEXT GENERATION VOLLEYBALL, SP10-40 APPROVAL MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY SITE PLAN MADE BY MEMBER GUTMAN AND SECONDED BY MEMBER PRINCE.
In the matter of Next Generation Volleyball, SP10-40, motion to approve the Preliminary Site Plan, subject to the following: (a) The parking space requirement for a volleyball training facility is not listed in the Zoning Ordinance and as permitted in Section 2505.10, the Planning Commission finds using "private club" parking space requirements of one space for every 3 occupants at maximum capacity is acceptable because the use is a similar assembly type use; (b) The Planning Commission finds that the use of the alternative parking space requirement for furniture stores, reducing the required number of parking spaces to one space per 800 square feet of useable floor area plus one space for every two employees, is acceptable because the applicant has demonstrated it has ample parking spaces to serve the furniture store and the site has ample room to construct additional parking to meet the standard retail parking requirements; (c) Applicant redesigning the Site Plan to provide an additional four parking spaces including one barrier free parking space, for a minimum of 43 developed parking spaces and 40 banked parking spaces; and (d) The conditions and items listed in the staff review letter being addressed on the Final Site Plan. This motion is made for the following reasons: because it is otherwise in compliance with Article 15, Section 2400 and Article 25 of the Zoning Ordinance and all other applicable provisions of the Ordinance. Motion carried 7-0.
3. TEXT AMENDMENT 18.244 FOR MISCELLANEOUS ORDINANCE AMENDMENTS
Public Hearing for Planning Commission’s recommendation to the City Council to amend Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance to prohibit the installation and operation of outdoor furnaces, to modify the definition of recreational equipment, to add brewpubs and microbreweries as a principal permitted use in the B-3 District and RC District and modify the requirements for brewpubs and microbreweries in the TC and TC-1 District, to provide standards for an extension of a site plan utilizing a planned development option, to update the standards for storing a commercial vehicle at a residence and to amend the time limit on a variance granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Planner Kapelanski stated that there are a lot of things mixed in this text amendment. The Planning Commission previously considered a text amendment allowing outdoor furnaces in limited instances in the RA District. That did go to City Council and the City Council determined that they would like to prohibit outdoor furnaces, so that is included in this Amendment.
Staff also addressed microbreweries and brewpubs. The Zoning Ordinance currently allows microbreweries and brewpubs as principle permitted uses in the TC and TC-1 Districts. Staff has had some interest from some individuals who are interested in establishing these uses in other districts. So, staff has proposed adding microbreweries and brewpubs as principle permitted uses in the B-3 District, and special land uses in the RC District. The conditions that are included in the TC and TC-1 Districts would generally carry over to the new districts. One change in the conditions would be that a microbrewery or brewpub would no longer need to provide seating and meal service for a minimum of 125 people. However, those uses would still need to provide restaurant service. The Planning Commission could recommend that that restaurant provision no longer be included if they should choose to do so.
Staff also addressed the Planned Development Options. Right now there are no standards for extensions of Planned Development Options for developments that were approved using these options. This amendment would provide some standards for the City Council to consider when deciding whether or not to grant an extension and limit that extension for a period of two years.
Recreational equipment is another provision that is addressed. Right now the definition of recreational equipment indicates it is "equipment used for travel, recreational, and vacation use". There have been some residents storing utility trailers on their property that are not necessarily used for recreational or vacation purposes. There has been some confusion as to whether or not those would be permitted. This amendment would remove the provision stating that it is for "recreational or vacation use", so there would no longer be confusion as to whether or not utility trailers could be stored.
Currently the Zoning Ordinance permits commercial vehicles weighing 5,000 pounds or less to be parked on residential properties. This amendment would increase that weight limit to 7,000 pounds to be in line with current vehicle weights.
Lastly, staff is proposing to extend the timeframe for Zoning Board of Appeals variances from 180 days to 1 year. For a use variance that period would be extended from 90 days to 180 days.
Chair Pehrson opened the public hearing. No one from the audience wished to speak and there was no correspondence. Chair Pehrson closed the public hearing.
Chair Pehrson asked for clarification regarding outdoor furnaces and asked if that included furnaces to operate pool heaters for in-ground or above-ground pools.
Planner Kapelanski stated that staff would review that language to clarify that the intent of the ordinance is to prohibit the use of outdoor furnaces for all uses, including heating swimming pools.
Chair Pehrson asked if there should be something specific about that verbiage in the ordinance. The amendment talks about heating water, boiler or furnace fueled by wood, coal or any other type and the purpose is to provide the heat for water and/or air for a single family residence. Chair Pehrson wondered if that could be also considered a pool heater, which is a stand alone device which basically does the same thing.
Planner Kapelanski answered in saying staff could add something that refers to accessory uses.
Motion made by Member Lynch, seconded by Member Gutman:
ROLL CALL VOTE ON RECOMMENDATION OF APPROVAL MOTION MOVED BY MEMBER LYNCH AND SECONDED BY MEMBER GUTMAN.
In the matter of Text Amendment 18.244 Miscellaneous Ordinance Amendments, motion to recommend approval to the City Council of the proposed amendments. Motion carried 7-0.
MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION
1. APPROVAL OF JULY 14, 2010 PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
Moved by Member Gutman, seconded by Member Larson:
VOICE VOTE ON JULY 14, 2010 PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES APPROVAL MOTION MADE BY MEMBER GUTMAN AND SECONDED BY MEMBER LARSON.
Motion to approve the July 14, 2010 Planning Commission minutes. Motion carried 7-0.
2. APPROVAL OF AUGUST 25, 2010 PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
Moved by Member Gutman, seconded by Member Larson:
VOICE VOTE ON AUGUST 25, 2010 PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES APPROVAL MOTION MADE BY MEMBER GUTMAN AND SECONDED BY MEMBER LARSON.
Motion to approve the August 25, 2010 Planning Commission minutes. Motion carried 7-0.
Moved by Member Lynch, seconded by Member Baratta:
VOICE VOTE ON THE MOTION TO ADJOURN MADE BY MEMBER LYNCH AND SECONDED BY MEMBER BARATTA.
Motion to adjourn the October 6, 2010 Planning Commission meeting. Motion carried 7-0.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:44 p.m.
Transcribed by Juanita Freeman: November, 2010
Date Approved: December 8, 2010 ___Signature on File_______________________
Richelle Leskun, Planning Assistant