PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

                   Town Hall, Wednesday August 16, 2000 for approval at the

                                                 9/20/00 Meeting

 

            Chairperson Bellmer called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m.

 

             PRESENT:  Chairperson Bellmer and Planning Commissioners’ Chuck Lewis, Dennis

                                   Jochman, Bridget Greuel, Michael Van Dyke, Kris Koeppe, and Tom Schein.

                                   Community Development Director George Dearborn and Associate Planner

                                   Jeffrey Smith.

 

             ALSO PRESENT:   Gary Zahringer

                                              Betty Zaborsky

                                              Larry Frederick

                                              Carol Frederick

                                              Vic Lutz

                                              Steve Shelley

                                              Dale Nelsen

                                              Rick Sweere

                                              Paul Beuther

                                              Alan Ament

   

             Approval of Minutes – July 19, 2000

 

             Motion by Chairperson Bellmer , seconded by Lewis, to approve the minutes of the Planning

             Commission Meeting of July 19, 2000, with the condition that “County Rd CB is replaced with

              Jacobsen Road” in item 1. Motion carried with 6 Aye, 1 Abstention. Chairperson Bellmer,

             Commissioners’ Lewis, Van Dyke, Jochman, Koeppe, Schein Aye; Comm. Greuel Abstained.

 

             1.  Certified Survey Map – Myron Tassoul – (008-0235)

 

             Director Dearborn reported to the Commission that the CSM south of Highway 10 would split

             one parcel into two parcels. Director Dearborn then reminded the Commission that the newly

             created Lot 1 (20 acres) would be the future location of a church. The 20 acres was rezoned to

             P-1, with a Quick Claim Deed restricting the use to a church, at the July Planning Commission

             meeting. The newly created Lot 2 (17 acres) would then remain zoned A-2 (General Farming).

 

             Motion by Chairperson Bellmer, seconded by Commissioner Jochman, to approve the CSM as

             submitted. Motion carried unanimously.

 

            

             

 

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2.  Certified Survey Map – Page Family Trust A and the Irrevocable Page Family Trust B – (008-0298)

 

Director Dearborn explained that the applicant requested that the CSM be tabled until the September Planning Commission meeting. Comm. Jochman inquired on whether or not the applicant should combine both parcels in order to eliminate the proposed outlot (an unbuildable lot). Director Dearborn responded that the subdivision would then have to be modified, which would be very costly. In addition, Chairperson Bellmer pointed out that the lot north of the proposed CSM lot was not part of the subdivision. Finally, Director Dearborn explained that the applicant requested the delay in order to address concerns over the high water mark (75 ft. setback requirement).

 

Motion by Chairperson Bellmer, seconded by Commissioner Greuel, to table the CSM to the September Planning Commission meeting. Motion carried unanimously.

 

3.  Changing the Date for the Planning Commission Meetings

 

Director Dearborn pointed out that staff has requested to move the Planning Commission meeting back one day to Tuesday at 5 p.m. This would allow staff with processing and distributing materials (e.g. rough draft of minutes, resolutions). All of the Commissioners, except for Comm. Jochman, did not object to changing the day of the meeting. Comm. Jochman explained that a day change would cause conflicts with his schedule. Thus, the Planning Commission decided to have the meeting remain on Wednesday at 5 p.m.

 

OLD ITEMS OF BUSINESS

 

1.  Comprehensive Plan Amendment – Consolidated Construction Company – (008-0515)

 

Director Dearborn briefly restated that the applicant was proposing to change the Future Land Use Map for a piece of property located on the SW corner of County Rd. CB and Jacobsen Rd. The applicant was proposing to change the Future Land Use Map from Mixed Residential to some sort of commercial use for a proposed two-story office building development. The applicant would later apply for a B-5 (Planned Business Park) rezoning. The applicant did originally apply for a B-5 rezoning with Winnebago County for August but later asked the Town to remove it from the agenda, since the rezoning application was completed before the Town of Menasha Town Board decided to refer the Comprehensive Plan Amendment back to the Planning Commission. One reason why the Town Board decided to refer the issue back to the Planning Commission dealt with the concern over “the majority of the entire commission” approving the amendment. Director Dearborn addressed this issue by explaining that through discussions with the Town attorney, it was discovered that the Town does not have to apply the Comprehensive Plan to the new State Smart Growth legislation since the plan does not yet comply with the new requirements from the State.

 

Director Dearborn again recommended to not change the Future Land Use Map, especially since it would then leapfrog the area (Cty Rd. CB and 10/W. American Dr. interchange) the Town intended to

 

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concentrate commercial development. McMahon Associates previously submitted a letter to the Commission that expressed similar concerns. Furthermore, Director Dearborn said that those areas already designated by the Comprehensive Plan for commercial development could experience decreased values if commercial development was leapfrogged. Director Dearborn then showed the Commission a map of the Valley Gateway Development Project, which the Town has intended to be the commercial corridor. Finally, Director Dearborn pointed out that the Town has invested infrastructure in those areas designated for commercial development.

 

Comm. Greuel inquired on how values would be decreased in areas intended for commercial development if the office park was constructed. Director Dearborn responded by explaining that the Future Land Use Map and specific zoning designations allow the Town to carefully plan on where to concentrate certain types of land uses. If the Comprehensive Plan was consistently not followed or used as a tool to make land use decisions, developers would then choose to develop in areas with cheaper land values, which thus would diminish the values of areas intended on the Comprehensive Plan for commercial development. Comm. Lewis then stated that the Commission should be cautious of setting the precedent for changing the Future Land Use Map based on some uniqueness of the land. Hence, Comm. Lewis made the motion to deny the Amendment to the Comprehensive Plan, which did not have a second. Comm. Lewis then withdrew his motion because the members that made the original motion (Chairperson Bellmer) and second (Comm. Lewis) at the July meeting had to first make the motions to reconsider the amendment. Therefore, Chairperson Bellmer made the motion to reconsider the Amendment to the Comprehensive Plan, seconded by Comm. Lewis. Motion carried with 6 Aye; 1 Abstention (Comm. Jochman).

 

Steve Shelley, representing Consolidated Construction, pointed out that at the July 24 Town Bd. meeting, there was a motion and second to approve the amendment, which was later withdrawn after the Town attorney interrupted and made some comments to the Board. Mr. Shelley reiterated from past meetings that a large portion of the parcel contained wetlands, access would come only from Jacobsen Rd., and that bedrock would make it difficult to develop single-family homes.  Mr. Shelley pointed out that nearby property owner concerns, such as lighting and traffic, would be addressed. In addition, Mr. Shelley stated that the upcoming Lake St. connection to Jacobsen Rd. would already increase traffic in the area. Rick Sweere, representing Consolidated Construction, later explained that the office park and the nearby-proposed church would serve as a nice buffer to the increased traffic flow. Mr. Shelley later argued that a rezoning was recently approved for a nearby piece of property to P-1 (with a Quick Claim Deed restricting the use to a church), which the Future Land Use Map indicated as Mixed Residential (* the parcel that Consolidated Const. wants to put in an office park is currently shown as Mixed Residential on the Future Land Use Map*). Director Dearborn responded to this statement by explaining that a church and other types of public uses (e.g. school, park) were allowed uses for a Mixed Residential area, not an office park.

 

Dale Nelsen, representing Consolidated Construction, felt that the existing habitat and wildlife could be negatively affected if a single or multiple-family development was placed on the property in question. In addition, Mr. Nelsen pointed out that unlike a residential development, there would be no cars or other types of activity at night on the property if there were an office park instead. Larry and Carol Frederick, 1531 Jacobsen Rd., explained that they were in favor of an office park, especially since they felt that the developer would address the environmental/wildlife concerns. 

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Furthermore, Mr. Frederick believed that the office park would be compatible with other nearby land uses. Mrs. Frederick concurred with Dale Nelsen that an office park development would be much quieter than a residential development. Finally, Mr. Frederick stated that the $3 million project would be good for the tax base of the Town and hence be a smart business decision.

 

On the other hand, Paul Beuther, 1470 Jacobsen Rd., stated that he opposed a change to the Comprehensive Plan. First, Mr. Beuther felt that the office park would ruin the character of the nearby residential neighborhood. Second, he believed that a condominium complex facing the wetlands/woodlands would be a better project for the area. Finally, Mr. Beuther was fearful of the potential future expansion of the office park. Chairperson Bellmer then questioned the developers on the possibility of building and parking expansions. Rick Sweere, representing Consolidated Construction, explained that there possibly would be a small building addition, with trees and other natural landscaping included as well.

 

Chairperson Bellmer clarified with Director Dearborn that the applicant could not build in the wetlands but could cut down trees in the woodlands. Betty Zaborsky, 1312 Whippletree Lane, clarified with the developers that there would not be any types of construction material/machinery at the office park. Ms. Zaborsky was concerned with the amount of parking though.

 

Comm. Greuel questioned the developers on the attractiveness of the proposed land when there were other commercially zoned areas available, such as areas within the Gateway Development project. Steve Shelly and Rick Sweere, both representing Consolidated Construction, responded that the natural areas of the land were the major attraction and that there were no major woodlands within the Gateway Development area. Paul Beuther, 1470 Jacobsen Rd., later asked the developers if they knew the difference in land values between the property in question and the Gateway Development land. The developers responded that they did not know.

 

Alan Ament, one of the owners of the property, believed that the only other suitable use, besides an office building for the property, would be a multiple-family development. Furthermore, Mr. Ament felt that the Comprehensive Plan should be more flexible in this case.

 

Commissioner Lewis again stated that he was fearful of changing the Comprehensive Plan when there were other areas designated by the Comprehensive Plan for commercial development. Furthermore, Comm. Lewis restated the fact that this would be a bad precedent and that amending the Future Land Use Map for the property in question could cause further problems in the future.

 

Motion by Commissioner Lewis, seconded by Commissioner Schein, to deny the Amendment to the Comprehensive Plan. Motion carried with 4 Aye, 2 Nay, 1 Abstention.

 

Commissioners’ Lewis, Van Dyke, Greuel, Schein Aye; Chairperson Bellmer and Comm. Koeppe Nay; Comm. Jochman Abstained.

 

 

 

 

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2.   Rezoning – James Smith – (008-2439)

 

Director Dearborn briefly restated the fact that the applicant applied for a rezoning from R-2 to R-3 (Two-Family) for a property located on Linda Ave. at the July meeting. Since the rezoning would constitute spot zoning, the Planning Commission granted a 30-day delay so the applicant could reapply with Winnebago County for a rezoning, which would include the parcel to the north. If that step were taken, then there would be contiguous R-3 zoning. At this time, the applicant has not reapplied and there are indications through phone conversations that Mr. Smith may not reapply. Director Dearborn stated that if the applicant did not reapply, then staff would recommend denial of the rezoning since it would be considered spot zoning.

 

Motion by Commissioner Greuel, seconded by Commissioner Koeppe, for another thirty-day delay on the rezoning. Motion carried with 6 Aye, 1 Excused.

 

Chairperson Bellmer, Commissioners’ Lewis, Van Dyke, Greuel, Koeppe, Schein Aye; Commissioner Jochman Excused (*left at 6:07 p.m.*).

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Commissioner Greuel verbally resigned from the Planning Commission. She will later submit a written resignation. Director Dearborn commented that it would be unwise to often change the Future Land Use map, especially when it entails leapfrogging development.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

Motion by Chairperson Bellmer, seconded by Commissioner Schein, to adjourn the meeting at 6:23 p.m. Motion carried with 6 Aye, 1 Excused. Chairperson Bellmer, Commissioners’ Lewis, Van Dyke, Greuel, Koeppe, Schein Aye; Commissioner Jochman Excused.

 

                                                                                                   Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                    Jeffrey Smith

                                                                                                    Associate Planner