Planning Commission Minutes 05-04-2020

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                                    CITY OF MUSKEGON
                                  PLANNING COMMISSION
                                    REGULAR MEETING

                                            May 4, 2020

Vice-Chairperson B. Mazade called the meeting to order at 4:05 p.m. and roll was taken.

MEMBERS PRESENT:               J. Montgomery-Keast, J. Doyle, S. Gawron, B. Mazade, E. Hood,
                               F. Peterson, L. Spataro, B. Larson

MEMBERS ABSENT:                T. Michalski

STAFF PRESENT:                 M. Franzak, H. Mitchell

OTHERS PRESENT:                T. Romanowski, Consultant; L. Evans, City Engineer; S.
                               Mungarwadi, City Water Filtration Plant; S. Newton, 3344 Keaton
                               Ct; T. Newton, 2244 Keaton Ct.; K. Kolberg, 3414 Whiskey
                               Hollow; L. Larson, 3342 Arlington; A. Riegler, 3240 Boltwood.


A motion to approve the Minutes of the regular Planning Commission meeting of January 16, 2020
was made by J. Montgomery-Keast, supported by J. Doyle and unanimously approved.

A motion to approve the Minutes of the regular Planning Commission meeting of March 12, 2020
was made by J. Montgomery-Keast, supported by J. Doyle and unanimously approved.

E. Hood arrived at 4:10 p.m.


Hearing, Case 2020-09: Request to amend the Planned Unit Development at 1875 Waterworks
Rd; 1490 Edgewater St; and 3400, 3460, 3474 Wilcox Ave, by Damfino Development, LLC. M.
Franzak stated that the applicant asked to have this removed and have it heard at the next meeting
as the applicant was working on more updates.

Hearing, Case 2020-10: Request for a special use permit for a Wireless Communication Service
Facility at 1900 Beach St, by the City of Muskegon. M. Franzak presented the staff report. A copy
of Section 2321 (Wireless Communication Service Facilities) of the zoning ordinance which had
an amendment approved to add the Water Filtration Plan and Marsh Field to it by the Zoning Board
of Appeals at their April 29, 2019th meeting as well as a copy of the meeting minutes from that
meeting. The variance allows an additional 100 feet in height, up to 300 feet tall. Please see the
enclosed plans for the proposed WCSF. The plans propose a 300 foot tall lattice tower. The
current lattice tower on site would be removed and the new tower would go in its place. City
equipment needs to be around 220 feet high to communicate with City Hall. The additional height
will be for four vertical slots of 20 foot each for wireless carriers. Notices were sent to properties
within 300 feet of the water filtration plant parcels. Comments from the public were provided to
the commission members. Although the ordinance does not require a setback of 300 feet, some
commenters have noted a 300 foot requirement in other ordinances. It should be noted that no
property line is within 300 feet of the proposed WCSF. Staff recommends approval of the proposed
WCSF as proposed.

J. Montgomery-Keast asked how tall the current tower was. M. Franzak stated it was about 150 ft.
He also showed pictures to show a couple of views due to reflect the views would not be obstructed
by much or noticed. L. Spataro stated that the request is for one that as twice as tall as the current
one. He asked if the base would need to be twice as wide in order to support the height. M. Franzak
showed the members the sketch with dimensions that was supplied by the consultant of the
proposed tower. M. Franzak showed the commission pictures from the Newton property as well
as the view from Whiskey Hollow. The view from Newton property would be more visible than
the other location. B. Mazade confirmed this is for 300 ft. of less but not any taller. M. Franzak
confirmed that it would not go taller. T. Romanowski described the wireless towers and the need
for the height as well as the cost benefit to the City if they can get some carriers to rent space on
the tower for their telecommunications. As well as the benefits that their customers would have
with cell phone reception being improved down by the lake. B. Mazade asked if the City was in
need of the revenue from the other companies and if the carriers didn’t rent space; would the City
still proceed with building the tower. T. Romanowski stated that the City already budgeted for the
cost of the construction but it would be helpful if other carriers leased space on it. J. Montgomery-
Keast asked how the tower would if it had other tenants. T. Romanowski described what it would
look like. There was further discussion with the consultant and the board members on the design
and safety of a taller tower as well as placement. T. Romanowski stated that a Structural Engineer
would be used to ensure safety, wind load, structure weights, etc. He hasn’t seen a tower fail for
fall. B. Larson asked what the time frame would be for the construction to start. T. Romanowski
stated that if the request is approved; then they would get a feel from other tenants to see if there
is a need and it should take about a year. B. Larson asked if there would be a time frame
requirement like other requests get in case something doesn’t happen. M. Franzak stated that it is
usually 12 to 18 months. L. Spataro had some concerns for lighting if there would be a lack of or
if there would be too much and end up detracting from the neighborhood. T. Romanowski stated
that the FAA determines the lighting. There was discussion on the location. S. Mungarwadi stated
that the County owns the current tower and cheaper to construct it where proposed and great
access. There would be no need for a more expensive one. The cell phone and internet
communications at the Filtration Plant aren’t very good and this is the less expensive option than
the others that were reviewed.
S. Newton that the original monopole was 200 ft. and this has grown exponentially. This is bigger
than what is there. There were other residents that were opposed to the request, suggested other
locations or had questions. T. Newton felt that the location wouldn’t have an inviting view. He
understood the need but thought there would be a better location for it. L. Larson felt that if other
companies would lease space on the tower then it should offset the money and should allow for a
better spot to place the tower that could be concealed by more trees. A. Riegler stated that there
should be more consideration to move it into the wooded area with the extra cost, concurring that
looking at leasing space to other carriers would help offset the costs and to look at all other options.
A motion to close the public hearing as made by B. Larson, supported by J. Doyle and unanimously

A motion that the request for the Wireless Communication Service Facility at 1900 Beach be
approved with the condition that it would not exceed 300 ft. and construction would not exceed
twenty-four (24) months was made by B. Larson, supported by F. Peterson and approved, with S.
Gawron, E. Hood, B. Larson, B. Mazade, F. Peterson and L. Spataro voting aye with J.
Montgomery-Keast and J. Doyle voting nay.


Staff updated the commission members on projects.

Staff continues to update the Master Plan and plan on having the neighborhood plans completed
and ready for public review in one to two months.

J. Montgomery-Keast asked about the beach water and stated it was looking better. L. Evans stated
that there were able to get Beach St. opened again but people are still unable to park in that area
as the rains didn’t help.

B. Mazade asked about Edgewater project. L. Evans stated that the water is was measured to be
18 inches deep in some spots of Edgewater and they have been trying to pump the water out. There
was further discussion about raising of the street between Wilcox to Park but there had been
concerns that this would push the water to the houses that are lower down still.

M. Franzak updated the members on the paid parking at Pere Marquette beach and the installation
of the Kiosks. Each residence in the City of Muskegon is allowed one parking pass for free any
additional ones would have to be purchased. Anyone that is not a City of Muskegon resident would
have to pay to park in the park.


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:16 p.m.


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