Minutes: September 10th, 2019

Catawba Island Township Board of Township Trustees

Public Hearing

September 10, 2019

Trustee Chairman William Rofkar called the Public Hearing to order Tuesday, September 10, at
6:30 p.m. in the conference room of the administration building.

In attendance were: Gary Mortus, William Rofkar, Matt Montowski, Karen Shaw, Joanne Hawk, Pauline Coleman, Suzanne Richard, Craig Koerpel, Robert Martin, Susan Pickens, Theron Finke, Linda Finke, Judi Halstead, Judy Peters, Lana Schlosser, Marge White, John Rudnik, Jeff Green, Carol Kubit, Chris Singerling, Mike Sudsina, Charlene Pestovic, Ed Pestovic, Jack Madison,
Dan Kline, Nancy Kline, Cherie Oberst, Bruce Buckingham, Regina Hille, Bob Hille, Jack DeVore, Randy Riedmaier, and Quintin Smith

William Rofkar said application #331908 submitted by Quinterprise, LLC & Quinstock Farms is a request to rezone Lots 1, 2, and 11 of L.C. Heights Allotment and a 0.35 acre parcel in Fractional Section 25 of Catawba Island Township. The address of the parcels to be rezoned are O Betty Lane, 478 NE Catawba Road and 0 NE Catawba Road. William Rofkar said the present zoning is “R-E” Residential Estate District and the applicants are requesting a zoning change to the “C-2” General Commercial District.

William Rofkar said the Ottawa Regional Planning Commission met on August 20, 2019 to review the request. The parcel has a farm house and a barn/steel out building located on it and the owner would like to rezone the parcel to expand his business and potentially build a small hotel/motel. The adjoining parcels are as follows: The parcel to the north is vacant ground and is zoned “R-E” Residential Estate. To the west is Betty Drive and vacant ground which is zoned “R-E” Residential Estate. Next to that lot is the Mon Ami which is zoned “C-2” General Commercial. To the South across Wine Cellar Road is a home which is owned by the applicant and is zoned “R-E” Residential Estate. The parcel is bound on the east by East Catawba Road, across the street is a single family home owned by the applicant that is zoned “R-E” Residential Estate, and vacant ground that is zoned “R-4” Residential. The current Land Use Plan calls for General Commercial zoning cases to be looked at on a case by case basis. The Land Use Plan states that the committee felt there may be a desire to include small commercial parcels as part of a larger residential development and/or to have smaller commercial properties subordinate to larger parcels.

William Rofkar said the Ottawa Regional Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of the rezoning request based on the Catawba Island Land Use Plan.

William Rofkar said the Catawba Island Zoning Commission met on August 21, 2019 to review the rezoning request and voted to recommend to the Trustees approval of the application.

Quintin Smith gave a brief history of the Mon Ami building and shared his vision for the future stating the focus is more on the historic building and the location as a wedding destination and less on a large scale restaurant. He said he would like to preserve the green space, plant grape vines, and add walking trails along the property. Quintin Smith said he plans to use the old horse barn to make wine and would like to build a small boutique hotel.

Matt Montowski said when looking at the zoning change request it is necessary to look at all the uses available within the new zoning.

William Rofkar explained a property owner can propose to build what they want and as long as they meet the basics of the zoning code they are permitted to build as desired. He said a property owner may have the best intentions but if something happens and the land gets sold and was not developed as intended, anything that fits within “C-2” can be built on that land and the township has no recourse. William Rofkar said if “C-2” were to be approved for that property, anything allowable in “C-2” can be built.

William Rofkar gave an example from years past where property owners wanted a whole strip of land rezoned to “C-2” and the Trustees did not feel the whole strip of land should be rezoned because what the owners wanted to do was allowable in the “C-1” district. He said the Trustees held the land owners to “C-1”, but the one small parcel that was already zoned “C-2” is where the current Dollar General is located today. He said the general public thinks the Trustees could have stopped that construction but because the small parcel was already zoned “C-2” the use was allowable.

William Rofkar said the decisions we make now are very important because people can have the best of intentions but sometimes plans do not turn out as intended.

Matt Montowski read a list of allowable uses within the “C-2” General Commercial District which is being requested. He said an alternative zoning is “C-1” Neighborhood Commercial District which, with approval of a Conditional Use Variance, would include a hotel. Matt Montowski said “C-1” zoning would require an additional meeting to request approval of a Conditional Use Variance. He said in this case Quintin Smith could accomplish what he wants, but if something happens unexpectedly the township would be protected in the future.

William Rofkar said the Neighborhood Commercial District permitted uses are considered low impact such as a doctor’s office or real estate office and not businesses like stores and bars.

When asked why the Trustees couldn’t just change the zoning if intended plans fell through, William Rofkar said the property owner is the only person that can request a change of zoning on a piece of property. He said the Township Trustees do not have the authority to change the zoning or force a property owner to change zoning.

Gary Mortus said it appears everyone in the room is in favor of the proposed plan for the property and hotel and therefore he did not feel there would be any opposition to a Conditional Use permit. Gary Mortus said with “C-2” zoning Trustees and residents have no control over what can be built, but the request of a Conditional Use Variance allows everyone to hear exactly what is intended with the property and gives the township and residents peace of mind that something less desirable will not be built in the event the property is sold in the future.

William Rofkar asked Quintin Smith if he could build the hotel as desired on the property would it be acceptable to go with “C-1” zoning and a Conditional Use Variance.

Quintin Smith said he was good with that plan.

Gary Mortus made a motion to amend application #331908 to “C-1” instead of “C-2”and to waive the Conditional Use application fee to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Matt Montowski seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Gary Mortus made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Matt Montowski seconded the motion. All voted aye. The meeting adjourned at 7:20 p.m.

_______________________________ ______________________________
William Rofkar, Chairman Karen Shaw, Fiscal Officer