PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

Town Hall, Wednesday August 15, 2001 for approval at the

9/19/01 meeting

 

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

 

PRESENT:  Chairperson Bellmer and Planning Commissioners’ Chuck Lewis,

                     Michael Van Dyke, Harold Pelton, Dennis Jochman, Kris Koeppe,

                     and Richard Ratchman. Community Development Director George

                     Dearborn and Associate Planner Jeffrey Smith.

 

ALSO PRESENT:   James Carey Jr.

                                 Barb Barczak

                                 Craig Barcazk

                                 John Schaidler

                                 Carol Schaidler

                                 Terry Bomier

                                 Matt Gehske

                                 Todd Van Zeeland

                                 Robert Lindstrom

                                 John Davel

 

 

Approval of Minutes – July 18, 2001

 

Motion by Commissioner Pelton, seconded by Commissioner Van Dyke, to approve the minutes of the Planning Commission meeting on July 18, 2001. Motion carried unanimously.

 

1.  Rezoning – James Carey Jr. – Shady Ln. & American Dr. – (008-0249)

 

Director Dearborn informed the Commission that the applicant was proposing a rezoning from B-3 (General Business) to R-3 (Two-Family Residential) for a 16 bed Community Based Retirement Facility (CBRF). Director Dearborn stated that the Future Land Use Map identified the parcel as a Mixed Use and then cautioned the Commission to examine the rezoning proposal very carefully in order to determine if it would be compatible for the area. Director Dearborn stated this concern since the area would be a high traffic, commercial intersection. Furthermore, Director Dearborn explained that the R-3 zoning allows for single-family homes or duplexes, which would not be compatible uses for a commercial intersection. Finally, Director Dearborn pointed out a letter that was submitted by Wayne Nemecek, representing Ameri-Print Graphics Inc., which opposed the

rezoning for reasons such as a negative effect on his property as well as the incompatibility with the surrounding land uses argument.

 

Commissioner Lewis inquired on how long the nearby R-3 zoning existed and furthermore, asked if it had been rezoned in the recent past. John Schaidler, 623 E. Shady Ln., responded to this question by stating that these few lots were rezoned from R-2 to R-3 about five years ago and therefore, they have been residential lots. Based on this information as well as the statements from Director Dearborn, Commissioner Lewis concluded that the proposal would be a spot zoning and an incompatible use for the area. Chairperson Bellmer soon agreed with Commissioner Lewis that the proposal could in effect be considered a spot zoning.

 

Terry Bomier, representing the current property owner, explained to the Commission that the property owner for many years has had no success in trying to sell the property for a commercial use. In addition, Mr. Bomier believed that the CBRF would be a compatible use for the area.

 

Jim Carey Jr., the applicant, stated that a CBRF was operated like a business (e.g. employees staffed 24 hours a day). Also, he explained that there are residents as well at the facility, so it is a mixed use but operated more like a business in his opinion. Mr. Carey explained that the residents would be very elderly/sick and therefore would remain in the building.

 

In response to a question by Chairperson Bellmer about the B-3 zoning district, Director Dearborn explained that a CBRF was not a use by right in this district. In addition, Director Dearborn stressed the point that the time might not be right now for a commercial use on the subject property but most likely would in the future, especially with the reconstruction of American Dr. to four lanes in 2003.

 

Mr. Schaidler stated that he opposed the rezoning, especially since a financial hardship (e.g. unable to sell the property as a commercial use right now) was not a reason to justify a rezoning. Furthermore, Mr. Schaidler owns property directly to the west, which is a commercial use (animal shelter), and therefore he feels that the intersection should remain as B-3 commercial uses. Finally, Mr. Shaidler pointed out that a navigable stream already exists in the area, which serves as a buffer between the subject B-3 property and the nearby R-3 lots.

 

Carol Schaidler, 623 E. Shady Ln., reiterated Mr. Shaidler’s view that the subject property was not the right use for a CBRF, since it was a commercial intersection.

 

Director Dearborn then clarified to Mr. Bomier about how the B-3 district does allow some residential as long as it incorporates a commercial use as well.

 

Commissioner Jochman expressed the view that the proposal was not an outright spot zoning but it was inappropriate for the area.

 

Motion by Commissioner Lewis, seconded by Commissioner Pelton, to deny the rezoning from B-3 to R-3 as submitted. Motion carried with 6 Aye, 1 Abstention.

 

Chairperson Bellmer, Commissioners’ Lewis, Van Dyke, Pelton, Jochman, Ratchman Aye; Commissioner Koeppe Abstained.

 

2.  Conditional Use Permit – James Carey Jr. – Shady Ln. & American Dr. – (008-0249)

 

The details for the conditional use permit were presented under the rezoning request in agenda item #1. Director Dearborn did point out that no site plan was submitted for the CBRF.

 

Motion by Chairperson Bellmer, seconded by Commissioner Van Dyke, to deny the CUP for the CBRF as submitted. Motion carried unanimously.

 

3.  Certified Survey Map – Valley Gateway Development LLC – (008-0231-03, 008-0233-06-06, 008-0233-06, 008-0231)

 

Director Dearborn explained that the CSM off of W. American Dr. would create three new lots and dedicate a new roadway to the public. The new lots are located in the Gateway project area. The newly created Lot 2 would be the location of a proposed video store.

 

Chairperson Bellmer questioned why the 66-foot right-of-way did not align with the proposed road on the CSM. Director Dearborn then explained that Town staff would verify that the City of Neenah mapped right-of-way was correct. Furthermore, Director Dearborn clarified with the Commission that a temporary cul-de-sac must be placed at the west end of the new road.

 

Motion by Chairperson Bellmer, seconded by Commissioner Pelton, to approve the CSM, with the condition that a temporary cul-de-sac be placed at the west end of the new roadway; and the location of the officially mapped 66 ft. right-of-way be accurately specified on the CSM. Motion carried unanimously.

 

4.  Town Conditional Use Permit – Keller Structures – W. American Dr.

 

Director Dearborn reported to the Commission that the applicant was proposing to construct a video store, which would require a Town CUP since the property was zoned B-5 (Planned Commercial Business District). The parcel was created by the CSM that was approved under agenda item #3 (newly created Lot 2). Director Dearborn pointed out that the original site plan meets some of the B-5 requirements and staff had a list of conditions.

 

The conditions set forth by staff are as follows:

 

1.      Fences – No fences are identified. Fences must abide to the B-5 zoning guidelines.

2.      Outdoor lighting –  All outdoor lighting must conform to the requirements of this district.  The applicant must provide a detailed lighting plan that shows what the lights will look like and the materials used.

3.      Signs – One pylon sign is identified. All signage must conform to the requirements of the zoning ordinance.

4.      Parking – Parking is shown on the site plan and is appropriate for the proposed use. 

5.      Radio and Television Antennas – No antennas are shown on the site plan. They must be in conformance with the requirements of the B-5 zoning district. 

6.      Satellite Dishes – No satellite dishes are shown on the plan. They must be in conformance with the requirements of the B-5 zoning district. 

7.      Landscaping – The plan shows some of the landscaping and the applicant still needs to submit a detailed landscaping plan. The proposal meets the 30 percent minimum open space requirement of the B-5 district.

8.      Garages & Storage Bldgs. – No new garage or storage buildings are identified. If proposed, they must meet the guidelines of the B-5 district.

9.      Setbacks and Square Footage – The site plan indicates all setbacks (front, side, rear to the property line), dimensions, and square footage for all the proposed building, which are all conforming. Parking lot & driveway setbacks conform to the B-5 district. The building floor area ratio does not exceed 40 percent.

10.  Exterior Façade -  The applicant shows some detail of the exterior façade for the proposed building. The final exterior façade detail shall be reviewed and approved by Town Staff as a part of the detailed site plan review.

11.  Drainage Plan – a drainage plan, with calculations, must be submitted to the Town Engineer for review & approval.

12.  A 5 ft. wide sidewalk is required on the portion of the property fronting W. American Dr.

13.  A bike rack be placed on the property.

14.  The driveway on W. American Dr. shall be moved to the west so that it can function as a shared access for the future adjacent parcel and an internal vehicular interconnection be provided to the adjacent parcel when it is developed.

15.  All other requirements of the B-5 zoning district shall be complied with as well as all other applicable local, state and federal requirements.

 

Some of the conditions that Director Dearborn pointed out were: #3 - Parking (adequate); #12 - a five-ft. sidewalk is required on the W. American Dr. portion; and #14 – a shared driveway was required as well as an interconnection with the adjacent parcel once it is developed.

 

Chairperson Bellmer clarified that the open space proposed (40 percent) met the requirement (30 percent) of the B-5 district.

Robert Linstrom, representing Keller Structures, said there were some concerns about the requirement of a shared driveway. Director Dearborn then explained that the Town wants to minimize the number of driveways that access onto W. American Dr. Director Dearborn later stated that the Town would work with the applicant on the width of the shared driveway.

 

Commissioner Jochman confirmed that the curb cuts were already in place at the front of the property.

 

Motion by Chairperson Bellmer, seconded by Commissioner Ratchman, to approve the Town CUP, with the specified conditions. Motion carried unanimously.

 

5.  Rezoning – Davel Engineering Inc. – Cold Spring Rd. – (008-0169[p])

 

Director Dearborn explained that the applicant was proposing a rezoning from A-2 (General Farming) to R-2 (Suburban Residential) for a single-family subdivision, the 1st Addition to High Plain Meadows.

 

John Schaidler, 623 E. Shady Ln., stated for the record that he was in favor of the R-2 zoning, which would be located next to property that he owns.

 

Motion by Commissioner Jochman, seconded by Commissioner Lewis, to approve the rezoning from A-2 to R-2 as submitted. Motion carried unanimously.

 

6.  Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment to Sign portion of B-4 & B-5 districts

 

Director Dearborn reported to the Commission that the Town has applied for a text amendment to the joint Town/County Zoning Ordinance for the section of signs in the B-4 (Business Park) and B-5 (Planned Commercial Business) districts. First, The amendment would allow freestanding signs to be closer to right-of-ways, driveways, and intersection without worrying about the 10 ft. clearance standard. Second, the amendment would allow for monument signs to be closer to right-of-ways, driveways, and intersections, with a maximum height of 3 ft. above grade. Finally, the amendment would allow for off-premise signs under specified conditions, such as contiguous parcels that are part of a joint development.

 

Motion by Commissioner Jochman, seconded by Commissioner Pelton, to approve the text amendment as submitted. Motion carried unanimously.

 

 

OLD ITEMS OF BUSINESS

 

1.  Variance – Davel Engineering – 4139 W. Prospect Ave. –(008-0113-05)

 

Director Dearborn briefly explained the history of the variance request. For example, the original variance request was for the proposed commercial building to be located within 75 ft. of a navigable stream. The applicants then applied with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to relocate the stream, which would then make the proposed commercial building comply with the 75 ft. setback requirement. The DNR has recently approved the stream relocation. Thus, the variance request applies to the proposed parking lot, which would be within the 75 ft. setback. As a side note, Director Dearborn told the Commission that Town staff denied the site plan last year for the proposed commercial establishment, especially over concerns such as access and traffic safety.

 

Chairperson Bellmer clarified with the Commission that the variance request was only for the parking lot since the relocation of the creek, which was recently approved by the DNR, would make the proposed building conform to the 75 ft. setback requirement.

 

Commissioner Jochman pointed out that the DNR mandated many detailed conditions in granting approval for the relocation of the creek.

 

Motion by Commissioner Jochman, seconded by Commissioner Van Dyke, to approve the variance as submitted. Motion carried unanimously.

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Director Dearborn updated the Commission on the status of some of the projects in the Gateway project area. For instance, he explained that the Town Board recently denied the request by McDonalds to be allowed to have 25 percent open space as opposed to the required B-5 district 30 percent open space requirement. Director Dearborn mentioned that the applicant refused to put in geoblocks as a way to address the open space problem, especially when the proposal indicated over twice the amount of parking required by the zoning ordinance.

 

Todd Van Zeeland, representing his project (Mobil station) located adjacent to the proposed McDonalds, stated that geoblocks were not an option for his project as well. Some Commissioners then urged the Town Board to reconsider the 30 percent open space requirement for these projects. Director Dearborn quickly warned the Commission about setting a precedent for other Gateway developments if an exemption was allowed for these two projects.

 

Barb Barczak, Town Bd. member, explained that she voted against allowing an exception for McDonald’s open space requirement since she was fearful of setting a bad precedent for future B-5 developments.

 

Commissioner Lewis asked Town staff to research how other communities have handled similar open space issues.

 

 

 

 

ADJOURNMENT:

 

Motion by Commissioner Pelton, seconded by Chairperson Bellmer, to adjourn the meeting at 6:40 p.m. Motion carried unanimously.

 

                                                                                     Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                      Jeffrey Smith

                                                                                     Associate Planner