PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

Town Hall, Wednesday April 10, 2002 for approval at the

5/15/02 meeting

 

Commissioner Jochman called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m.

 

PRESENT:   Planning Commissioners’ Charles Lewis, Michael Van Dyke, Dennis

                      Jochman, Harold Pelton, Kris Koeppe, and Richard Ratchman.

                      Community Development Director George Dearborn and Associate

                      Planner Jeffrey Smith.

 

EXCUSED:  Chairperson Bellmer

 

ALSO PRESENT:  John Maas                               Barb Heeter

                                John Davel                              Barry Zimmermann

                                Arden Spiegel                          Pat Pazdernik

                                Judith Spiegel                          Julie Lorrig

                                John Zaborsky                         Lynn Schend

                                Bruce Anunson                        Karin Brown

                                John Schaidler                         Christine Foster

                                Claude Foster                           Michael Goss

                                David Meyer                            Russ Handevidt

                                Rick Kirstein                            Doug Beyer

                                Patrick Laux                             Barbara Hanson

                                Anne Zwirchitz

                                Dave Schmalz

                                Bob Liedl

                                Tom Wilson

                                Lynn Wilson

                                

                                                                        

Approval of Minutes – March 20, 2002

 

Motion by Commissioner Van Dyke, seconded by Commissioner Pelton, to approve the minutes of the Planning Commission meeting on March 20, 2002 as submitted. Motion carried with 6 Aye, 1 Excused (Chairperson Bellmer).

 

1.  Public Hearing – Comprehensive Plan Update – Davel Engineering  Inc.– 2nd Addition to High Plain Meadows – (008-0169[p])

 

            Director Dearborn explained that the applicant was proposing an amendment to

            the Comprehensive Plan, which would change the future land use designation for

            the subject property from Low Density Residential to Mixed Residential. The

 

applicant previously requested a rezoning to R-3 and R-4 for a duplex and multi-family project. Since the rezoning request would violate the Comprehensive Plan, Director Dearborn explained that the applicant had to first apply for an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan. Director Dearborn showed a concept plan, which called for 9 duplex lots and 4 multiple-family lots.

 

Director Dearborn pointed out that staff recommended denial of the amendment based on three reasons. The main reason involved the timing of this request and its relation to the current comprehensive plan update. Director Dearborn explained that the future land use map would be examined in the upcoming months and the goal of this process would be to develop more specific future land use designations. Currently, these designations are too general, which gives staff little choice but to recommend approval of rezoning requests. Therefore, Director Dearborn stressed the fact that it would be more suitable to address this proposal after the future land use map was amended through the upcoming public meetings. Second, Director Dearborn explained that there were other options available under the current Low Density land use designation, such as a rezoning to R-5 for a condominium or townhouse project. Finally, Director Dearborn stated that the proposed Mixed Residential designation was too general. For example, this designation could allow for many types of residential uses that may not be compatible for the area.

 

Tom Wilson, 993 Prairieview Ct., presented some arguments by the Prairie Creek neighborhood association that opposed the comprehensive plan amendment and a rezoning. These arguments were:

1.      Concern with traffic and safety with the multi-family proposal.

2.      The neighborhood association has strict covenants that address the aesthetic and property values of the neighborhood.

3.      Their subdivision is near a quarry and they are still single-family.

4.      High bedrock has not limited other single-family subdivisions, such as Wildlife Heights.

5.      The neighborhood association challenged and defeated a proposed expansion by Michels Materials in 1992.

 

John Davel, representing the developer, briefly described the details of both the duplex and multi-family lots. Mr. Davel pointed out the fact that the duplexes would serve as a buffer between the single-family and multi-family areas. Mr. Davel also posed an alternative for the property to be dedicated as a park. Finally, Mr. Davel discussed a final option, which would be for the property to have 36 single-family lots. Mr. Davel did point out though that the benefit to the tax base would be much lower for single-family as opposed to the duplex/multi-family proposal.

 

Mr. Davel later responded to a question by Commissioner Pelton, concerning the developer’s knowledge of the subject property, by explaining that the bedrock issues were understood when the land was purchased. Commissioner Pelton also questioned whether the intent of the subject property was always for multi-family when the property was originally purchased.

 

John Schaidler, 623 E. Shady Lane, explained that the property was always intended to be single-family according to the Comprehensive Plan (Low Density Residential). Therefore, Mr. Schaidler felt that this was a very bad proposal. Mr. Shaidler went on to state that the developer knew of the high bedrock when the property was purchased. Finally, Mr. Schaidler stressed the importance of the pride of home ownership as opposed to the non-pride of living in a duplex or multi-family unit.

 

Commissioner Jochman did not agree with the non-pride of living at a duplex. Furthermore, Commissioner Jochman pointed out that the quarry still has a very long active life.

 

Mr. Davel then interjected to explain that the developer may be willing to withdraw the application unless there could be an alternative solution. Director Dearborn then attempted to clear up any confusion by explaining that the Comprehensive Plan amendment was the first step in this process and furthermore, the Town was in the process of updating it by striving to achieve more specific future land use designations, such as low, medium, and high density residential. Director Dearborn stated that the second step was the rezoning request, which the applicant could modify to an R-2 (Single-Family) or R-5 (Planned Residential for a condominium or townhouse project) if it desired.

 

Director Dearborn responded to a concern about the current future land use map from Commissioner Lewis by explaining that it was too flexible and more specific designations would easily allow staff to tell a developer if a rezoning request could conform to the Comprehensive Plan.

 

Motion by Commissioner Van Dyke, seconded by Commissioner Pelton, to deny the amendment to the Comprehensive Plan, based on the timing of the request in relation to the current comprehensive plan update. Motion carried with 6 Aye, 1 Excused.

 

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

 

2.  Conditional Use Permit – John Mass – Golf Bridge Apartments II LLC – (008-0264-07, 008-0264-06)

 

Director Dearborn briefly described the CUP proposal that consisted of two 16-unit apartment buildings and one 8-unit apartment building for a total of 40 units. The density of these new units will be 11.2 units an acre, which conforms to the Town’s Comprehensive Plan maximum standard of 12 units an acre. There would be improvements to the entire site, such as removing a carport (replacing it with green space) and placing additional detached garage units. Also, there would be a screening berm placed adjacent to single-family and duplex lots. Based on these improvements to the overall R-5 project, Director Dearborn explained that this CUP proposal could address the entire apartment area, which then would have a density of 12.3 units an acre. Director Dearborn pointed out that nearby R-5 projects were closer to 9 units an acre. Finally, Director Dearborn listed the conditions set forth by staff:

1.      The drainage plan and calculations are approved by the Town Engineer. The berm must comply with the approved drainage plan.

2.      A detailed site plan is reviewed & approved by Town staff.

3.      A detailed landscaping plan is reviewed & approved by Town staff. This includes any landscaping proposed for the berms as well.

4.      A detailed exterior façade be reviewed and approved by Town staff in order to ensure that the design is compatible with the surrounding areas.

5.      The access drives and entire layout of the project provides for adequate space for all emergency vehicles.

6.      The proposal complies with all federal, state, and local regulations.

Pat Pazdernik, 1780 Mill Pond Lane, confirmed with Town staff that the apartment buildings met the zoning setbacks. Mr. Pazdernik stated that a berm was good but it should also include a fence on top. Finally, Mr. Pazdernik pointed out existing drainage problems in the area and Commissioner Jochman noted that a drainage plan was one of the conditions.

 

John Maas, representing the developer, showed the Commission façade pictures of the apartments and garages, which both consisted of brick. This would then be an upscale project in his opinion.  In addition, Mr. Maas displayed the landscape plan and showed pictures of similar projects that incorporated berms with landscaping. Furthermore, Mr. Maas explained that the berms would have different elevations and that he did not prefer a fence on top of them. Mr. Pazdernik later stated that a fence was needed to deter pedestrians from crossing into the single-family lots, especially since the berms were proposed to be 2- 4 feet in height. Mr. Mass responded by stating that it was usually the opposite, with single-family residents cutting through multiple-family projects.

 

Anne Zwirchitz, 1796 Mill Pond Lane, pointed out a picture of the current drainage problems in the area. Ms. Zwirchitz concurred with Mr. Pazdernik that a 2-4 ft. berm was inadequate. Also, Ms. Zwirchitz preferred that there would be a play area for children and that the apartment buildings would be moved to the center of the property.

 

Mr. Maas then showed pictures of spruce trees to be used as screening and stated that they would be a good buffer at maturity. Commissioner Lewis disagreed since it would take many years for them to reach maturity.

 

Commissioner Lewis stressed the importance of screening buffers and then stated that the project should require a berm with a fence. Commissioner Jochman felt that the developer could do one or the other to meet the screening concern. Commissioner Jochman also pointed out that new drainage practices could now improve the existing drainage problems in the area.

 

Barb Heeter, 1960 Tumblebrook Road, was concerned with apartment renters cutting through to single-family lots and then felt that a fence would be an immediate solution as opposed to only tress, which would take many years to mature.

 

Based on these concerns, Commissioner Pelton wanted to add a seventh condition that mandated lower bushes to be placed between the tress on the berms. Mr. Pelton made the motion to approve the CUP with the 6 conditions from staff and the new seventh condition, which was seconded by Commissioner Lewis.

 

The Commissioner further discussed the landscape issue and then preferred that it come back to the Planning Commissioner. Therefore, an amended motion would be necessary to accomplish this objective. Motion by Commissioner Lewis, seconded by Commissioner Van Dyke, to approve the amendment that would mandate that the landscape plan come back to the Planning Commission for approval. Motion carried with 5 Aye, 1 Nay, 1 Excused. Commissioners’ Lewis, Van Dyke, Pelton, Jochman, Ratchman Aye; Commissioner Koeppe Nay, Chairperson Bellmer Excused.

 

Motion by Commissioner Pelton, seconded by Commissioner Lewis, to approve the CUP with the seven specified conditions and the approved amendment. Motion carried with 6 Aye, 1 Excused.

 

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

           

3.  Rezoning – Davel Engineering Inc. – Alaskan Acres – (008-0167)

 

Director Dearborn reported to the Commission that the applicant was proposing a rezoning from A-2 (General Farming) to R-2 (Single-Family) for a new single-family subdivision.

 

John Davel, representing the developer, stated that a final plat was being prepared to be submitted for an upcoming meeting.

 

Rick Kirstein, 2057 Irish Road, was reaffirmed by the Commission that his property, zoned A-2, was not a part of the rezoning request. Mr. Kirstein stated a concern with the drainage and Commissioner Jochman explained that a drainage plan was a condition of the preliminary plat.

 

Motion by Commissioner Lewis, seconded by Commissioner Pelton, to approve the rezoning from A-2 to R-2 as submitted. Motion carried with 6 Aye, 1 Excused.

 

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

 

 

 

 

4.  Preliminary Plat – McMahon Associates Inc. – Gambsky Grove – (008-0397)

 

Director Dearborn stated that the preliminary plat proposed 30 new single-family lots. There would be curb and gutter (storm sewer) in this subdivision. Director Dearborn did point out that the property was zoned R-3 (Two-Family Residential) but the applicant did intend on all single-family lots. Furthermore, Director Dearborn pointed out that there were 3 outlots proposed, one for stormwater detention (Outlot 1) purposes and the other two (Outlots 2 and 3) for future attachment purposes. Director Dearborn explained that staff and Winnebago County would not accept Outlots 2 & 3 so they would have to be attached to the plat. Also, a portion of Harold Drive would have to be reconfigured since it actually cut into a portion of an existing lot. Director Dearborn then listed the conditions set forth by staff:

 

1.      The drainage plan for the preliminary plat is reviewed & approved by an engineer other than McMahon Associates Inc. The outfall from the Outlot 1 detention basin shall be an enclosed storm sewer.

2.       The rear yard drainage easements shall be increased from 10 ft. to 15 ft.

3.      Outlots 2 and 3 shall either be combined with the adjacent parcels as a part of the plat or eliminated. Outlot 3 could be dedicated to the public as increased right of way if it is not incorporated into the adjacent unplatted parcel. Outlot 2 should be eliminated if it is not attached to the lot 27 of the Goss Plat. 

4.      Approval of all agencies and all other governmental entities with authority to object to a plat.

Dave Schmalz, representing the developer, explained the details of the drainage plan, such as the rear yard drainage easements and Outlot 1 serving as the stormwater detention area. Mr. Schmalz asked if Outlot 1 could be dedicated to the Town, in which Director Dearborn responded by explaining that the Town would not want to maintain the outlot. In addition, Mr. Schmalz posed the option of having Outlot 3 attach to Lot 30, with the property owner responsible for maintenance such as mowing. Director Dearborn responded by stating that the Town would want to see this outlot dedicated as a road right-of-way, with a road access restriction for the portion of the lot fronting Harold Dr. Furthermore, Mr. Schmalz told the Commission that the County was forcing a rezoning from R-3 to R-2. This County mandate surprised Town staff since the developer designed the subdivision based on R-3 zoning lot size standards but still for the intention of single-family homes. In response to a concern from Mr. Schmalz about the construction of Jennie St., Director Dearborn explained that these Jennie St. offsite improvements would be required as a part of the Developer’s Agreement. Finally, Mr. Schmalz explained that Van Realty, the owner of the property to the north of the proposed subdivision, would share in the funding for the portion of Harold Drive that would need to be constructed outside of the subdivision.

 

Doug Beyer, 1093 Goss Ave., clarified the location of the stormwater detention pond on Outlot 1 since his property would abut it. Mr. Schmalz then described the flow of water through the drainage easements, storm sewers, and detention outlot in the subdivision. Mr. Schmalz told Mr. Beyer that there would be underground utilities since that was a Town requirement. Mr. Schmalz and Town staff would look into any possible effect of the development on the existing power poles. Mr. Schmalz then answered another concern from Mr. Beyer by stating that the rear yard drainage easements were the responsibility of the owner to mow and furthermore, the easement allowed the Town to come in and fix if it was filled in. The Town could then assess the costs of this work back to the property owner.

 

Michael Goss, 1051 Goss Ave., did not agree with the Town requiring Outlot 3 to be dedicated right-of-way. Commissioner Jochman responded to this opinion by stating that these outlots often just hang around and are never sold. At the same time, another possible solution could be for Mr. Goss to purchase the property (Outlot 3) and attach it to his lot. Mr. Goss was concerned with the drainage easement grades, in which Mr. Schmalz explained would be a natural slope (6 inches to 1 foot in depth).

 

Patrick Laux, 1147 Goss Ave., was concerned with Jennie St. cutting through and preferred it to be a 60 ft. right-of-way. Director Dearborn stated that it would be a 37 ft. paved back-to-back curb and gutter road. Furthermore, the Town Street Superintendent prefers a 66 ft. right-of-way since this would be a busier through street. Finally, Director Dearborn pointed out that any reduction from a 66 ft. to 60 ft. right-of-way would require a street vacate, which needs Town Board approval.

 

Mr. Schmalz told the Commission that the developer plans on starting the project this summer.

 

Barry Zimmerman, 1078 Bartlein Ct., stated a concern with the existing vacant land flowing water onto his property. Mr. Schmalz responded by stating that the drainage plan would correct this problem.

 

Julie Lorrig, 1070 Bartlein Ct., clarified with Mr. Schmalz that the property would be rezoned to R-2 and then be all single-family.

 

Motion by Commissioner Van Dyke, seconded by Commissioner Koeppe, to approve the preliminary plat, with the specified conditions. Motion carried with 5 Aye, 2 Excused.

 

Commissioners’ Lewis, Van Dyke, Jochman, Koeppe, Ratchman Aye; Chairperson Bellmer and Commissioner Pelton (left early) Excused.

 

OLD ITEMS OF BUSINESS

 

1.  Rezoning – Davel Engineering Inc. – 2nd Addition to High Plain Meadows – (008-0169[p])* NOTE- this item was voted on after New Business Item #1*

 

Director Dearborn explained that since the amendment to the comprehensive plan was denied, then the rezoning request to R-3 and R-4 was recommended for denial.

 

At this point, Mr. Davel amended the request for an R-2 (Single-Family) zoning.

 

Motion by Commissioner Pelton, seconded by Commissioner Van Dyke, to approve the amended rezoning request to R-2. Motion carried with 6 Aye, 1 Excused (Chairperson Bellmer).

 

Motion by Commissioner Pelton, seconded by Commissioner Van Dyke, to approve the rezoning from A-2 to R-2 as was amended. Motion carried with 6 Aye, 1 Excused.

 

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

 

2. Preliminary Plat – Martenson & Eisele –  Shady Springs Estates VI  – (008-0223)

 

Director Dearborn explained that the preliminary plat was withdrawn and that the applicant may come back at a later meeting with a new proposal.

 

Commissioner Jochman posed some questions for Town staff to research or examine:

 

1.      What were the subdivision rules when Lot 80 in Shady Springs Estates III was approved?

2.      The covenants of the subdivision for Lot 80 do not allow detached garages.

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Director Dearborn reminded Commissioners’ Lewis and Jochman that their terms expire in May and to submit a letter of interest to the Town Chairman if they wish to be reappointed.

 

The meeting dates for the Future Land Use Map will be May 16 at 7 p.m. (Town Municipal Building) and May 23 at 7 p.m. (Town Community Center).

 

ADJOURNMENT:

 

Motion by Commissioner Van Dyke, seconded by Commissioner Koeppe, to adjourn the meeting at 7:41 p.m. Motion carried with 5 Aye, 2 Excused (Chairperson Bellmer and Commissioner Pelton).

 

                                                                                   Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

 

                                                                                    Jeffrey Smith

                                                                                    Associate Planner