Downtown Development Authority Minutes 04-09-2019

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                                CITY OF MUSKEGON
                                REGULAR MEETING

                                               April 9, 2019

Chairperson M. Bottomley called the meeting to order at 10:30 AM and roll was taken.

MEMBERS PRESENT:               Frank Peterson, Martha Bottomley, Don Kalisz, Mike Johnson, Heidi
                               Sytsema, Jeanette Moore, Jay Wallace Jr, Paul Edbrooke, Brad Hastings,
                               Doug Pollock, Mike Kleaveland, John Riegler

MEMBERS ABSENT:                Francena DePung

STAFF PRESENT:                 Mike Franzak, Planning Director; LeighAnn Mikesell, Director of
                               Municipal Services; Beth Lewis, Finance Director; Diane Renkenberger,
                               Administrative Assistant

OTHERS PRESENT:                Dave Alexander, Downtown Muskegon Now (DMN);

A motion to approve the regular meeting minutes of March 12, 2019 was made by D. Pollack, supported
by M. Johnson and unanimously approved.


Brownfield Plan Amendment – Nelson Neighborhood Infill Housing Project. M. Franzak described the
new project to the board. City staff has the opportunity to develop several vacant parcels of land in the
Nelson Neighborhood, and they are allowed to offer seller concessions as an eligible activity under the
Brownfield Plan. The City is asking for $15,000 in possible seller concessions per home, to cover staff
time for preparation and development of the Brownfield amendment, plus a 15% contingency. M.
Kleaveland asked where the City came up with the $15,000 figure. M. Franzak stated that it was from
the City’s experience with the Midtown Square housing development.

F. Peterson further explained the project. He stated that this would be part of a pilot project with the
state land bank to build infill housing in urban areas. The city received a loan from the state, which had
to be paid back at some point. This could necessitate some homes being sold at less than the city’s cost,
and reimbursement from Brownfield funds could help make up that difference. It was estimated that the
taxable value per house would be about $75,000. M. Johnson asked what the immediate impact on the
budget was. F. Peterson stated that there would be no immediate effect. H. Sytsema asked about a
timeline for construction. F. Peterson stated that the city was in a position to start immediately; the state
was waiting for approval of the Brownfield Plan amendment. H. Sytsema asked if the design would fit
in with the current houses in the neighborhood, and if there would be any multi-family homes. M.
Franzak stated that there were residential design criteria that the builders would have to abide by, and
the plan included one multi-plex housing unit. M. Kleaveland asked if garages would be included. F.
Peterson stated that garages were included, with access off an alley. D. Kalisz asked if the lack of a
basement could be a negative feature. F. Peterson stated that it was possible, but it would also allow for
a lower building cost and easier accessibility. If the lack of a basement turned out to be an issue, they
could be added to homes built in the later phases of the development.

A motion to approve the amendment adding the Nelson Neighborhood Infill Project to the City’s
Brownfield Plan as described, was made by P. Edbrooke, supported by M. Kleaveland and unanimously
approved, with F. Peterson, M. Bottomley, D. Kalisz, M. Johnson, H. Sytsema, J. Moore, J. Wallace Jr,
P. Edbrooke, B. Hastings, D. Pollock, M. Kleaveland, and J. Riegler voting aye.


Strategic Plan Report – M. Bottomley presented a draft of the strategic plan based on the planning session
input from the board. She asked for a vote on the plan so that the board would have something specific
to guide their spending. A motion to approve the plan was made by M. Johnson and supported by J.
Moore, with discussion continuing on the motion. D. Alexander addressed the retail component listed
as #3 under long term strategies. He suggested having a market study done to identify specific needs,
and to figure out how to attract retail and make it affordable. F. Peterson stated that some items under
long term strategies were too specific and there was not enough mention of housing, which would be
needed in order to support retail. D. Alexander stated that housing had been one of DMN’s top 3 goals.
J. Riegler stated that Muskegon needed to be a destination to travelers, not just residents. Staff and board
members continued discussion of the items listed in the strategic plan. F. Peterson suggested that there
be 3 or 4 broad major categories, with specific items then being put under the appropriate category; the
DDA’s mission statement could be used to determine the major categories. D. Alexander suggested the
headings of Living, Retail, Recreation, and Entertainment.

M. Johnson withdrew his original motion to approve, and J. Moore withdrew her support. M. Bottomley
stated that she would take the board members’ comments back to Suzanne to rework the strategic plan
and bring it back for board approval at a later date.

Budget Update – B. Lewis presented an updated budget and discussed recurring costs and wages while
going through each line item. D. Alexander listed the events that the DDA would be taking over, which
included the Taste of Muskegon, Food Truck Rallies, and events at the Farmers Market. L. Mikesell
stated that a streetlighting plan would be brought to the DDA for approval at some point. D. Alexander
explained marketing budget needs for the first year. M. Bottomley asked that someone make a motion
regarding the budget before discussion continued.

A motion to approve the budget as presented was made by F. Peterson and supported by J. Moore, with
discussion continuing on the motion. Walkability, wayfinding, façade improvement and other
development incentives were discussed and it was suggested that some of these items could be combined
under one heading. A vote was taken on the motion to approve the budget. The motion failed, with F.
Peterson, M. Bottomley, D. Kalisz, M. Johnson, H. Sytsema, J. Moore, J. Wallace Jr, P. Edbrooke, B.
Hastings, D. Pollock, M. Kleaveland, and J. Riegler voting nay.

A motion to change two budget item headings to reflect the categories in the strategic plan was made by
H. Sytsema, supported by J. Riegler and unanimously approved. The changes to the budget that were
approved will be made, with the budget being returned to the board for approval at the next meeting.

There being no further business, the meeting and planning session was adjourned at 12:07 PM.

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