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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

April 16, 2001

Agenda

PARAGON REAL ESTATE - VARIANCE (DEPTH-TO-WIDTH) - 7321 WEST "ML" AVENUE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-27-405-050)

BRUSSEE - VARIANCE (DEPTH-TO-WIDTH RATIO AND FRONTAGE) - 8951 AND 8967 WEST G AVENUE - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-04-105-031, -021)

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday, April 16, 2001, commencing at approximately 3:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Sharon Kuntzman, Acting Chairperson
David Bushouse
Jill Jensen
Ted Corakis

MEMBER ABSENT: Millard Loy

Also present were Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner, and Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney, and six other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 3:02 p.m.

MINUTES

The Board considered the minutes of the meeting of March 19, 2001. Mr. Bushouse moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Mr. Corakis seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

PARAGON REAL ESTATE - VARIANCE (DEPTH-TO-WIDTH) - 7321 WEST "ML" AVENUE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-27-405-050)

The Board considered the application of Alton Turley of Paragon Real Estate on behalf of the Estate of Sandra Shears for a variance from Section 66.201 to allow the division of a parcel into two parcels, where one resulting parcel has a depth greater than four times the width. The subject property is located at 7321 West "ML" Avenue within the "AG" Agricultural-Rural Zoning District classification. The parcel is No. 3905-27-405-050. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Richard Burnham, attorney on behalf of the Estate of Sandra Shears, was present. Mr. Turley was also present. Mr. Burnham stated that the property is located on the south side of "ML" Avenue and that there are a number of buildings located on the parcel. Two sales were pending receipt of Township approval of the division. One of the resulting parcels would encompass the buildings and three acres. This parcel would have 400 feet of frontage. The remaining 260 feet of frontage would be ascribed to the remaining parcel. However, this remaining parcel would violate the depth-to-width ratio requirement. A single-family residence on the "remaining parcel" was planned.

Ms. Bugge indicated that the parcel consists of approximately 40 acres on the south side of "ML" Avenue and has a total, at this time, of 660 feet of road frontage and a depth of 2,640 feet. Since Parcel A will have 400 feet of frontage and 117,000 + square feet, Parcel A would be allowed to have two dwellings on it. She noted that the parcel currently has two dwellings and a trailer. The trailer was one dwelling too many. Ms. Bugge said that Parcel B would exceed with depth-to-width ratio by 198 feet. She had provided examples of prior cases in her Report, all of which had been granted variance. Variances had been granted where the character of the surrounding area was consistent with the depth-to-width ratio requested.

Mr. Bushouse questioned whether the Township should require a right-of-way to be established by the applicant along the east line of the property. He felt it was important to allow for the possible connection of interior lands which could be landlocked in the future. Ms. Bugge responded that there had been no discussion of requiring a road right-of-way because the parcels in question had ample footage to allow for the extension of a road into the interior if the parcels were platted in the future.

In response to a comment from Ms. Bugge, Attorney Burnham stated that the trailer was not occupied, and it was intended that it would be removed by the new owner. Therefore, one single-family and one duplex dwelling would remain on the parcel.

There was no public comment, and the public hearing was closed.

Mr. Corakis stated that he felt there should be no problem with granting the variance in that the character of the area included other parcels with similar depth-to-width ratios.

Mr. Bushouse agreed, except that he was concerned that the Township preserve access to interior properties. Ms. Bugge stated that she felt the adjacent properties had sufficient public access and that no property was being landlocked by this property division.

After further discussion, Mr. Corakis moved to grant a variance to allow the property division as proposed based upon the discussion of the Zoning Board of Appeals and premised upon a finding that substantial justice would weigh in favor of granting the application because a variance was consistent with prior precedents of the Zoning Board of Appeals and was in keeping with the character of surrounding properties with regard to the existing depth-to-width ratios. Ms. Jensen seconded the motion, and the motion carried 3-to-1 with Mr. Bushouse voting against the variance.

BRUSSEE - VARIANCE (DEPTH-TO-WIDTH RATIO AND FRONTAGE) - 8951 AND 8967 WEST G AVENUE - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-04-105-031, -021)

The Board considered the application of David Brussee for a variance from Section 66.201 to allow the combination of two parcels where the resulting parcel would have a depth greater than four times the width and less than 200 feet of road frontage. The subject properties are located at 8951 and 8967 West G Avenue within the "AG" Agricultural-Rural Zoning District classification. This property consists of Parcel Nos. 3905-04-105-031 and 3905-04-105-021. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge noted that currently both parcels are non-conforming and non-buildable since neither is grandfathered. There is a residential building located on each property. Each parcel has only 82.5 feet of frontage instead of the required 200 feet. The applicant proposed the combination of the two properties into one non-conforming parcel. The resulting parcel would be in greater conformance with Ordinance requirements. The applicant was proposing to build an accessory building on the combined parcel. He is willing to remove a residential building currently located on Parcel 3905-04-105-031.

It was noted that a number of parcels in the area are non-conforming as to depth-to-width and frontage.

The applicant, David Brussee, was present. In response to a question from Mr. Corakis, the applicant indicated that there would be one residence on the combined parcel. The applicant would be adding an accessory building and removing one of the existing residences. Ms. Bugge noted that the property to the east had received a 4-to-1 depth-to-width ratio variance. That parcel is conforming with frontage requirements.

There was no public comment, and the public hearing was closed.

Mr. Bushouse stated that he felt the variance would be appropriate in that the parcel would come into closer compliance with Ordinance standards. Further, the resulting parcel would be typical of frontage and depth-to-width ratio in the area. The remaining Board members agreed.

Ms. Jensen moved to approve the variance, conditioned upon removal of one residence and permitting the establishment of one accessory building on the combined parcel with the following reasoning:

(1) That substantial justice would weigh in favor of granting the variance in that other similar frontage and depth-to-width ratio variances cited in the Planning and Zoning Report would establish precedents for granting the application.

(2) That granting the variance was in keeping with the character of the area.

(3) That the combination of the two non-conforming parcels into one parcel in greater compliance with Ordinance provision would be in keeping with the intent and spirit of the Ordinance.

Mr. Bushouse seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

Ms. Kuntzman expressed her concern that the Township Board continue to allow the Zoning Board of Appeals to have the Township Attorney attend the Zoning Board of Appeals' meetings. She noted that the ZBA is the last step before a property owner goes to circuit court. She felt that the Township Attorney had assisted the Zoning Board of Appeals in the past in preventing the ZBA from putting the Township in a position of being taken to court. She felt that the ZBA needed the Township Attorney at their meetings. Mr. Bushouse stated that he did not feel that the Township Board would support a policy change which would discontinue the attendance of the Township Attorney at Zoning Board of Appeals' meetings.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 3:45 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

By:
Sharon Kuntzman, Acting Chairperson
By:
Ted Corakis
By:
Jill Jensen
By:
David Bushouse

Minutes Prepared:
April 19, 2001
Minutes Approved:
, 2001