***TOWN OF MENASHA***

PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

WEDNESDAY, JULY 20, 2005 @ 5:00 PM

MUNICIPAL COMPLEX - 2000 MUNICIPAL DRIVE

 

CALL TO ORDER: Chairperson Bellmer called the Planning Commission Meeting of July 20, 2005 to order at 5:01 PM.

 

PRESENT:  Chairperson Alvin Bellmer, Planning Commissioners: Harold Pelton, Dennis Jochman, Kris Koeppe, Terry Buck, Michelle Schaetz, and Michael Van Dyke.  Community Development Director George Dearborn, Associate Planner Mark Mommaerts, and Intern Matt Dorner.

 

EXCUSED:     

 

ALSO PRESENT:       Kathy Eckholm Pat Riehl                       Melody Dallman                                                                       Ron Rhode                   Judy Holtz                    Steve Holtz                                                                               Bob Liedl                 Mark Grishaber            Joanne Grishaber                                                                      Jim Smogoleski Cari Smogoleski       John Collins                                                                              Barb Hanson                Mary Van Boxtel            Martha Andrew                                                                        Kathy Depries              Lori Hein                      Brian Ehricke                                                                            Kip Golden                  Mark Nyman                Steve Schmidt                                                                          Jeff Lau                        Shirl Eok                      Howard Eok                                                                            Ted DeKleyse              Loretta DeKleyse            Gary Griesback                                                                        Pam Griesbach Jona Donato                 Mike Kachur                                                                         Lisa Kachur                  Gary Micalkiewicz        Liz Michalkiewicz                                                                        Jason Schmitz               Gina Lingnofski

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES – June 15, 2005

The minutes of June were reviewed.  Motion by Commissioner Van Dyke, seconded by Commissioner Pelton to approve the minutes of the June 15, 2005 meeting.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

 

NEW ITEMS OF BUSINESS:

  1. Certified Survey Map – Lori Hein – (008-5403 & 008-5402)

Community Development Director George Dearborn explained that the applicants John and Lori Hein are proposing the certified survey map (CSM) to rectify a setback problem created by the original builder of the home.  The builder mistakenly used a property marker for a different property.  This error created a 0’ side setback for the home.  The CSM corrects the error by creating 7’ side setback, by purchasing 7’ from the adjacent property owner. 

 

Chairperson Bellmer asked if the error was from using the property marker for lots 31 and 32.  Director Dearborn explained that this was the cause of the error.

 

MOTION:  Chairperson Alvin Bellmer, seconded by Dennis Jochman to approve the certified survey map.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

  1. Rezoning – Michael Blank – Lake Breeze Condos – R-2 Suburban Residential to R-5 Plan Residential – (008-0308-01-01)

Community Development Director George Dearborn explained that the applicant Michael Blank is requesting a rezoning of 3.49 acres from R-2 Suburban Residential to R-5 Planned Residential.  The R-5 zoning is requesting because the designation would allow an increase in site density and therefore a more effective use of the site.  An R-5 would allow a 30’ setback from the external property lines and as low as 0’ for all other setbacks.  The area is identified on the future land use plan as low-density residential, which allows up to 5 units per acre.  The developer is proposing a 17 unit condominium development.  There was official mapping that goes through the property.  A border agreement is in place with the City of Menasha that identifies this area to remain in the Town.  The staff has concerns about design, density and layout, and the access road.  Staff would like to see it as a public road, in conjunction with the property to the north.  Road connections to the northern and southern properties should be explored.  As submitted, the CUP is not acceptable and staff recommends a delay so the developer can make changes and bring it back to the Plan Commission.

 

Chairperson Bellmer asked why the City of Menasha didn’t have to consult with the Town regarding the official mapping when it annexed the property to the south.

 

Director Dearborn responded that the Town, unlike the City, doesn’t have extraterritorial authority.

 

The developer, Michael Blank of Cypress Homes, Inc, spoke about the proposed rezoning and conditional use permit (CUP) (item #3).  Mr. Blank stated that the research in demographics pointed to more condominiums for minorities and for the elderly and he wanted to create new housing for the neighborhood.  His company has two other condominium projects in the area, one is sold out completely and the other has 10 of 12 sold.  He also stated that he would like to work with the Plan Commission and the residents.  Mr. Blank explained that the proposed development would include walking trails and seating around the pond, and the existing trees on the north side of the property would be transplanted throughout the development.

 

Chairperson Bellmer expressed his concerns over the private road and the officially mapped road.

 

Mr. Blank stated that he is willing to make it a public road and work with the developer to the north.

 

Steve Holtz of Lakeshore Drive expressed concern over traffic issues and how apartment residents from the property to the south don’t stop for the stop sign.  He also stated that increased traffic is undesirable.

 

Mr. Blank responded that empty nesters and retirees are the targeted population for the proposed condominiums in the $159,000 range and that the condos will be owned by the residents, they are not apartments.

 

Kathleen Depries of Pomer Way stated that there are condos and apartments elsewhere that are empty; she asked where is the need for more.  Ms. Depries also expressed concerns for traffic issues and safety, stating more people leads to more traffic which leads to less safety. 

 

Mr. Blank replied that other developments may be a different style of housing which may be why they aren’t selling elsewhere.

 

Martha Andrew of Pages Point stated that the flyer handed out to residents of the area stated that the development was going to be condos and apartments. 

 

Chairperson Bellmer stated that the development being discussed is only for condominiums.

 

Ms. Andrew stated that the minimum house price in the area is $200,000 and asked why residents were not told that the developer of the property to the north would consider selling land for public road purpose.  Ms. Andrew expressed concern that the development may annex if there were connections to other areas (to the south).  Ms. Andrew suggest that the board defeat this and not table it.

 

Director Dearborn stated that the City of Menasha would have to break the border agreement in order to annex the property.  The City should refuse and annexation, according to the agreement.

 

Barbara Hanson of Lakeshore Drive asked why the developer is not satisfied building 9 single-family homes on the site and if it were for monetary reasons.  Ms. Hanson asked Mr. Blank why he is building more condos when there are existing condos that haven’t sold yet.  Ms. Hanson also expressed concerns over how the new public road would connect.

 

Mr. Blank responded that one development is completely sold out and the other has sold 10 of 12 units.  The reason for the condo development is that condos are selling, not single-family, and that the market is demanding condos. 

 

Judy Holtz of Lakeshore Drive expressed concerns about traffic.  Ms. Holtz also stated that there are a lot of for rent signs in the area for apartments and that what the area needs is single-family development not apartments.

 

Chairperson Bellmer stated again that these are not apartments and that they are owner occupied.

 

Ms. Holtz stated that she wanted to see permanent residents.

 

Gina Lingnofski of Forkin Street stated that she doesn’t want to see more traffic.

 

A resident asked if the property were to be rezoned, what effect would it have on the property values.

 

Director Dearborn replied that the R-5 zoning is for planned unit development and not multi-family.  A property could be zoned R-5 and be single-family.  Industrial development is usually what affects single-family residential property values.

 

Chairperson Bellmer stated that R-5 also allows for clustering and reduced setbacks and for higher densities.  He also stated that R-5 could be used around the highway and not the whole site.  Chairperson Bellmer expressed concerns that the development does not tie into the northern or southern properties.  He asked the developer if a 30 day delay was ok and stated that single-family and condos that are owner-occupied are ok.

 

Commissioner Jochman did not have a problem with the condominium concept.  He cited the condo project on Cold Spring Road as having issues with the private roads.  Commissioner Jochman expressed concerns on the issues of the private road and access to the northern and southern properties.  He also stated that empty nesters and retirees generate fewer trips per day than traditional single-family development.  A mixture of condos and single-family is desirable.

 

Ms. Andrew stated that the ordinance states that there should be no more private roads in the Town and that the Town will not service private roads.

 

Director Dearborn replied that the Town wants public roads and not private roads, but in some cases private roads are acceptable, but not in this case.  The Town does not maintain private roads.

 

Ms. Depries asked about the detention pond and safety issues regarding how to keep kids out of the pond.

 

Director Dearborn stated that detention ponds are required by ordinance and that fencing is site specific.

 

Chairperson Bellmer again asked the developer if a 30 day delay was ok.  Mr. Blank responded yes.

 

MOTION:  Commissioner Harold Pelton, seconded by Chairperson Alvin Bellmer to defer the rezoning 30 days.  Motion passed unanimously.

 

  1. Conditional Use Permit – Michael Blank – Lake Breeze Condos – 17 Condominium units (008-0308-01-01)

Community Development Director George Dearborn explained that the applicant Michael Blank is requesting a conditional use permit for a 3.49 acre site for a proposed 17 unit condominium development.

 

See discussion for item #2

 

MOTION:  Chairperson Alvin Bellmer, seconded by Commissioner Dennis Jochman to defer the conditional use permit 30 days.  Motion passed unanimously.

 

Director Dearborn explained that the items still have to go before the Town Board meeting.

 

  1. Conditional Use Permit – Kip Golden, Keller Inc. – 2 stall car wash – 1575 Appleton Road – (008-0029)

Community Development Director George Dearborn explained that the applicant Kip Golden is proposing to add a carwash to an existing building at 1575 Appleton Road.  A CUP is required for a carwash and staff recommends approval with conditions.

 

Kip Golden of Keller Inc. stated that it is an existing building and there is no plan for an addition.  The two tire bays will be converted into a 2 bay carwash and the rest of the structure will be a laundry mat.  Asphalt will be added to the rear of the property for car access.  The building will be painted and all sidewalks and entry and exit slabs will be replaced.  Green space will replace some areas of concrete and there will be a dumpster enclosure on the back side of the property.

 

Chairperson Bellmer asked about the hours of operation.  Mr. Golden responded that it could possibly be open 24 hours.

 

A comment was made about there being no difference from the Master Lube in regards to noise.

 

Chairperson Bellmer stated that this is a good use of an existing building.

 

MOTION:  Commission Dennis Jochman, seconded by Commissioner Shelly Schaetz to approve with conditions the conditional use permit.  Motion passed unanimously.

 

  1. Town Special Use Permit – Stepping Stones Learning Center – Daycare – Irish Road and W. American Drive

Community Development Director George Dearborn explained that the applicant Steve Schmidt is proposing a 9,526 sq. ft. building for a daycare on a parcel located on the northwest corner of W. American Drive and Irish Road.  The applicant is also showing a potential future expansion of 4,800 sq. ft.  The applicant is also preparing a certified survey map to create a smaller parcel of 61,382 sq. ft. for this development.  Staff has recommended approval with conditions which are stated in the memo.

 

Commissioner Jochman asked about condition #25 regarding fire protection.

 

Director Dearborn explained that the developer is aware of the sprinkler requirements.

 

Chairperson Bellmer asked if adding square footage will require sprinklers.

 

Steve Schmidt of A.C.S.S. Associates LLC stated that the site was difficult to layout with the wet detention pond so they want to flip the site plan so that they can share the wet pond with the property to the east that will be created by the CSM.

 

A comment was also made about the exterior building materials.

 

Director Dearborn explained that the exterior building material samples could be brought back to the plan commission for approval.

 

Commissioner Pelton asked again about the sprinklers.

Mr. Schmidt stated that the development did not need them and that a firewall can be put in later to meet the code.  He explained that they have met all the state codes and that a sprinkler isn’t needed because there is an egress door in every room.

 

MOTION:  Commission Harold Pelton, seconded by Commissioner Dennis Jochman to approve with conditions, adding that the exterior building material samples be brought back to the plan commission, the conditional use permit.  Motion passed unanimously.

 

  1. Condominium Plat – 1253 & 1255 Cold Spring Road – (008-4838)

Community Development Director George Dearborn explained that the applicant is proposing a condominium plat for an existing duplex located at 1253 & 1255 Cold Spring Road.

 

MOTION:  Commissioner Dennis Jochman, seconded by Shelly Schaetz to approve the condominium plat.  Motion passed unanimously.

 

  1. Discussion Item – Wildlife Heights Subdivision

Community Development Director George Dearborn explained that this item was brought back to the Plan Commission for discussion because two petitions from residents requested that a sidewalk and trail that would connect Irish Road to the open space parkland in Wildlife Heights on the north side of Elk Trial Drive and Court not be built.  He also explained that this was to be an amenity and a connection for the residents.

 

Chairperson Bellmer asked what triggered the sidewalk to be built now.  Director Dearborn responded that the developer was suppose to build the sidewalk, but hasn’t until now.

 

Brian Ehricke of Elk Trail Court stated that the sidewalk and trail County CB are to connect and asked why the sidewalk should be built when the trial portion isn’t.  He also asked if the cost of the sidewalk would be assessed to the residents.

 

Director Dearborn replied that the developer has a right to reimbursement due to the covenants of the subdivision.

 

Commission Jochman asked for clarification regarding the incomplete trial.

 

Mr. Ehricke explained that there is a walking easement between his house and another that will connect the sidewalk to the trial on County CB. 

 

Commissioner Jochman asked Mr. Ehricke if he didn’t want the sidewalk now or ever.

 

Mr. Ehricke responded that he doesn’t want the pedestrian connection between the houses or the 10’ trail because of concerns for resident safety.  Residents would like the redesign of Irish Road to have a trail.

 

Director Dearborn asked residents if they have interest in access to the CB trail.

 

Mr. Ehricke responded that they want access to the CB trail, but not from the walkway through the two houses.  The preference is along Irish Road and Jacobsen Road.

 

Director Dearborn explained that vacating the walkway easement may be a possibility.

 

Commissioner Van Dyke asked if the area behind these houses were public.  Director Dearborn confirmed that it is public.  Commissioner Van Dyke asked if the Town needed to provide access.  Director Dearborn responded that the area is parkland.

 

A comment from a resident was that they want the connection to the parkland to come off of Cty CB.

 

Cari Smogoleski of Elk Trial commented that the trail is a nice asset but they don’t need direct access.  She also stated that although a sidewalk may be a good idea, their subdivision would be the only one to have one.  She explained that a sidewalk would make the area feel more like a city, which is not what she wants, she likes the Town feeling.

 

Director Dearborn stated that Gateway Meadows subdivision will have sidewalks.

 

Commissioner Pelton was excused.

 

Gary Micalkiewicz of Elk Trail Court reiterated that residents want access to the CB trail, but don’t want the through foot traffic on the walkway easement for safety reasons.  He also stated that if the sidewalk and trail was to benefit the subdivision, and all the residents of the subdivision, except those that could not be reached, oppose the trail, then construction of the trail shouldn’t be required.

 

Jason Schmitz of Elk Trail Court agreed with the other residents and added his concern of safety for neighborhood kids once the new development to the east is built.  He stated that the sidewalk doesn’t seem to be a good fit anymore.

 

Director Dearborn asked if there was an alternate location for the connection, possibly at the end of the cul-de-sac.

 

Commissioner Van Dyke was excused.

 

Mr. Ehricke explained that a resident in the cul-de-sac want to acquire 2 lots and create access from there, however, residents are unsure about this option.

 

Commissioner Schaetz stated that she is a supporter of access to public lands.

 

Mr. Ehricke stated that the development to the east doesn’t mind giving access to the parkland.

 

Commissioner Schaetz responded that the trail will create eyes on the street which is safer with more people walking around.  She also stated that people will probably walk through to the street anyway.

 

A resident commented that they land to the south of the subdivision would be a good place for a trail.

 

Chairperson Bellmer responded that a trial to the south may not be necessary and that with the parkland behind the houses, he doesn’t want to give up the walkway easement.

 

Director Dearborn agreed that the Town wouldn’t vacate the easement without another alternative.

 

Chairperson Bellmer stated that there is no need at this time to construct the sidewalk either.  He also stated that there needs to be public access to public space.

 

A resident stated that no one wants to go back into the parkland anyway.

 

Mr. Micalkiewicz stated that the residents want to be involved in the decision either by a resident committee meeting with George Dearborn or with the commission.

 

Commissioner Jochman asked residents if what they are looking for is to move the trail south to the next development.

 

Mr. Micalkiewicz stated that he was not sure of all the alternatives and that access to the CB trail could come through Irish Road and Jacobsen Road.

 

Director Dearborn stated that he would contact the developer and delay construction of the sidewalk.

 

Chairperson Bellmer stated that the commission is not ready to vacate the walkway easement to public land.  He suggested that a resident committee be formed to sit with Community Development and discuss the alternatives.  He asked Mr. Ehricke to be the leader for the residents.

 

Mr. Ehricke agreed.

 

 

OLD ITEMS OF BUSINESS:

None for this meeting.

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS:

  1. Development Report

Director Dearborn stated that Palisades condos are to start construction on Thursday and the Town received money from them so that utilities could be started.

 

Director Dearborn stated that MEE Bellevue Multi-Family development is still in the process of resubmitting plans.

 

Director Dearborn stated that proposed sports bar and grill is looking to move into Gateway Plaza.

 

Phase III of High Plain Meadows has opened and the Town has issued at least 1 permit.

 

Director Dearborn stated that the Live/Work Condos development will be returning to the Plan Commission with a new developer.

 

  1. Building Permit Report & Cost Benefit Analysis  

The following cost-benefit table for June indicates that we are 28 single family permits behind last year due to lack of available sites.  Commercial and industrial activity is still close to last year.  We continue to have many pending commercial and multiple-family projects pending for this year.

 

 

COMMUNICATIONS:

 

ADJOURNMENT:

 

MOTION:  Chairperson Alvin Bellmer, seconded by Commissioner Terry Buck to adjourn the meeting of July 20, 2005 at 6:45 PM.   Motion carried 5-0-2(excused Commissioners Van Dyke and Pelton).

 

 

 

 

Mark J. Mommaerts

Recording Secretary