PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

Town Hall, Wednesday January 16, 2002 for approval at the

2/20/02 meeting

 

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

 

PRESENT:  Chairperson Bellmer and Planning Commissioners’ Chuck Lewis,

                     Michael Van Dyke, Dennis Jochman, and Richard Ratchman.

                     Community Development Director George Dearborn and Associate

                     Planner Jeffrey Smith.

 

EXCUSED:  Commissioners’ Pelton and Koeppe

 

ALSO PRESENT:   Peter Guchenberg

                                 Ed Fetzer

                                             Bob Liedl

                                             Bob Mangen

                                             Jerry LaMotte

                                             Barb Barczak

                                             Arden Tews

                                             Mike Lynch

                                             Dick Halbrook

                                             Barb Heeter

                                             Lee Heeter

                                             John Bartz

 

Approval of Minutes – December 12, 2001

 

Motion by Commissioner Van Dyke, seconded by Chairperson Bellmer, to approve the minutes of the Planning Commission meeting on December 12, 2001 as submitted. Motion carried with 4 Aye, 3 Excused (Commissioners’ Pelton, Jochman, and Koeppe).

 

1.  Rezoning – Halbrook Builders Inc. – Corner of Stroebe Rd. & Harrys Gateway – (008-0099-05-01)

 

            Director Dearborn explained that the proposed rezoning would remove a wetland

            designation from a majority of an R-2 lot, which would then allow the

            construction of a single-family home. The DNR recently conducted a field survey

            that determined the portion of the wetland to be removed from the lot. Director

            Dearborn then showed the Commission the DNR survey as well as pictures of the

subject property. Finally, Director Dearborn pointed out two letters from citizens, one opposing the rezoning (aesthetic, value concerns) and another supporting it (wants a single-family home constructed on the lot).

 

Peter Guchenberg, 2285 W. Butte des Morts Beach Road, stated that the subject property floods in the spring and therefore would not be a good location for a home. Mr. Guchenberg also mentioned noise concerns with a lift station nearby and the fact that there would be a lot of filling required in order to develop the lot.

 

Chairperson Bellmer clarified with Director Dearborn that current GIS data was inaccurate since it depicted the nearby area to be located in wetlands. Therefore, the DNR field survey was necessary in order to determine which area of the subject lot was actually still in the wetlands.

 

Commissioner Lewis inquired on how much fill would be required for the lot. Also, Commissioner Lewis suggested that the lift station be landscaped and screened from the adjacent residential area.

 

Dick Halbrook, the applicant, discussed some of the topographical conditions (e.g. approx. 742 ft.) of the area and stated that the elevation of the proposed home would be similar to the home next door on Stroebe Rd. Mr. Halbrook also pointed out that this next door home was not in the floodplain as well as other areas of Stroebe Island that have been taken out of the floodplain designation.

 

Commissioner Ratchman clarified with Mr. Halbrook that much of the lot would be kept natural (trees, vegetation), even when the home would be constructed.

 

Motion by Chairperson Bellmer, seconded by Commissioner Ratchman, to approve the rezoning, which removed a majority of the R-2 lot out of the wetlands, as submitted. Motion carried with 5 Aye, 2 Excused.

 

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

 

 

2.  Conditional Use Permit – Town of Menasha 1326 Cold Spring Rd. – (008-0241-02)

 

Director Dearborn briefly discussed the background of how and why the property was recently rezoned to P-1 (Institutional & Recreational) as opposed to an M-2 (Heavy Industrial) zoning. Director Dearborn then show pictures of the desirable monopole tower design and pictures of the undesirable lattice tower design. Furthermore, Director Dearborn showed the Commission the ring mount monopole design and explained that the only downfall of this design was that it limits the amount of additional carriers that can be later added onto the tower. But at the same time, this did not bother staff since the appearance of the tower was very important because of its close proximity to a residential area.  Finally, Director Dearborn listed the conditions of the CUP, which were as follows:

 

1.      The Town of Menasha adheres to the guidelines of Section 17.35 of the Joint Town/County zoning ordinance dealing with wireless communication facilities.

2.      A maximum height of 80 ft.

3.      A monopole design with surface mount antennas.

4.      All other federal, state, and local regulations are complied with.

 

Chairperson Bellmer clarified with Director Dearborn that the proposed tower can have 2-3 carriers. Director Dearborn did remind the Commission that since the tower would be located on Town land, then the Town has more control over the height and design.

 

Commissioner Jochman then clarified with the Commission that if the tower was proposed on nearby land (e.g. commercial, industrial), then the Town would not have any control over it, especially since there would then be no CUP requirement.

 

Jerry LaMotte, 1365 Cold Spring Rd., asked if the tower could be placed at the Town’s municipal site. Director Dearborn responded by explaining that the cell tower company had determined that the Cold Spring Rd. location was the desirable site based on their coverage needs. Mr. LaMotte then pondered on how high the Fire Department air sirens (approx. 35 ft.) were in relation to the proposed 80 ft. tower. Finally, Mr. LaMotte clarified that the subject property was recently rezoned to P-1 as opposed to M-2.

 

Susan Phillips, Deputy Fire Chief, later explained that there were no plans to abandon the Cold Spring Fire Department location for another site.

 

Motion by Chairperson Bellmer, seconded by Chairperson Lewis, to approve the CUP, with the specified conditions. Motion carried with 5 Aye, 2 Excused.

 

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

 

 

OLD ITEMS OF BUSINESS

 

1. Conditional Use Permit – Mark Mertens – Golf Bridge Dr. – (008-0264-06, 008-0264-07)

 

Director Dearborn reported to the Commission that staff originally recommended denial of the CUP since the applicant had not submitted any revised plan during the 90 day delay. Director Dearborn then explained that the applicant submitted a fax earlier in the day that requested another 30 day delay. Staff then contacted Winnebago County, which agreed with the applicant to allow only one more delay.

 

Motion by Commissioner Jochman, seconded by Commissioner Van Dyke, to delay the CUP for 30 days. Motion carried with 5 Aye, 2 Excused.

 

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

 

2.  Conditional Use Permit Modification – Creekside Apartments – Christopher Dr.

 

Director Dearborn briefly discussed the fact that the Town Board denied the CUP modification, which would have converted a garage into an office, at their December meeting. The Planning Commission recommended a 30 day delay at their December meeting. Since that denial, the applicant proposed that the garage would only be used as storage. The regular door would remain and many of the interior installations of the proposed office would be removed, such as carpeting, baseboard heating, interior wall, and air conditioner. The AC sleeve would remain though.

 

Commissioner Lewis inquired on why the Town Board denied the CUP modification. Director Dearborn explained that the Town Board denied the modification based on the same concerns pointed out by Town staff (e.g. safety, access).

 

Chairperson Beller questioned if the CUP modification was now even required (only building permits) since he felt that the storage area would have only a minimal impact on the complex. Director Dearborn then stated that the original CUP indicated that there would be a garage and now since it was proposed to be used as storage, a CUP modification would be required.

 

Bob Mangen, representing the applicant, explained that leaving the AC sleeve would save a lot on the cost as opposed to re-siding that portion.

 

Motion by Commissioner Lewis, seconded by Commissioner Van Dyke, to approve the CUP modification as submitted. Motion carried with 5 Aye, 2 Excused.

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

1.  Discussion on lighting issue at 124 Anton Ct.

 

Director Dearborn explained that staff has researched this issue and has not found anything in lighting ordinances that would apply to this case. The ordinances have mainly applied to commercial, industrial, parking and residential street lights, not to personal lights in ones yard or on the garage. The only argument for this case would be to claim a nuisance, which would be hard to prove, especially with other similar lights in the Town. Finally, Director Dearborn inspected the site and differed with the complaint on the lighting problem.

 

Chairperson Bellmer also inspected the site and stated that the pole was approximately 35 ft. in height and the light consisted of 100 watt high pressure sodium.

 

Director Dearborn suggested that a height restriction on yard lights might be the solution for this case but it many not alleviate the glare problem in all cases.

 

2. Comprehensive Plan Update - Issues & Opportunities and Housing Elements

 

The consultant for the comprehensive plan, Jon Bartz, briefly discussed many of the current demographic data under the Issues and Opportunites element, such as population, population projections, age, household size, labor force, median incomes, poverty levels, and educational status. Mr. Bartz then listed the goals of each element of the plan, as was stated in the 1997 plan.

 

Next, Mr. Bartz presented many of the housing data for the Housing element, such as housing types, trends in single vs. multi-family over the past 10 years, owner vs. rental rates, housing values, and land available/required to meet trends.

 

The other key points addressed by the Planning Commission, staff and the public were:

 

1.      Is there low-income housing in the Town? There is no specific low-income housing program.

2.      The Town should do their fair share of low-income and assisted housing units.

3.      Change the wording in objectives, policies from “encourage, discourage” to “shall, shall not, or guide.”

4.      Should transportation services be near residential areas?

5.      How much agricultural land should the Town maintain? This will tie in with the Future Land Use Map.

6.      It is very important to interpret the trends from the data (demographic, housing) and relate them to the objectives/policies for each element. The Future Land Use Map will address these issues by taking the trends and then allocating the proper land uses (e.g. since the data shows an increase in the elderly population, then areas should be identified to address this trend; requiring certain densities would affect development types).

7.      Must determine if the trends are desired and if so, what should be done to accommodate them. At the same time, must examine what should be done do reverse the trend if it is not desirable for the future of the Town.

8.      What does the Town desire for the ratio of single vs. multi-family?

9.      There will be performance measures (e.g. annual reviews) to address what has or has not been accomplished as stated in the goals, objectives, and policies of the plan.

10.  Indentation should be used to clearly separate the goals, objectives, and policies.

11.  To achieve the goals, there needs to be ways to accomplish them, such as grants/other financial incentives, zero-lot lines, rezonings, etc.

12.  Graphs are helpful in displaying data. The plan should be kept as brief and to the point as possible. The main data could be placed in an appendix to support all the charts, graphs, maps, etc.

13.  Does the Town desire the projected population growth of 3-5% over the next 15 years?-- and the Town can either do things to encourage or stop it.  For example, larger lot sizes reduce density/population and higher density requirements could add to it.

14.  The Town could potentially partner with the City of Menasha in their housing rehabilitation program.

15.  Eventually, new construction/development will slow near a halt and housing rehabilitation programs will be necessary.

 

 

ADJOURNMENT:

 

Motion by Chairperson Bellmer, seconded by Commissioner Van Dyke, to adjourn the meeting at 7:30 p.m. Motion carried with 5 Aye, 2 Excused (Commissioners’ Pelton and Koeppe).

 

 

                                                                                   Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

 

                                                                                    Jeffrey Smith

                                                                                    Associate Planner