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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

April 22, 2003

Agenda

Agenda

TORRANCE - SETBACK AND ACCESSORY BUILDING REVIEW - 9409 WEST "H" AVENUE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-08-205-031)

BORTON - VARIANCE FOR TEMPORARY SECOND DWELLING - 2875 NORTH 6TH STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-09-230-087)

MAPLE HILL AUTO - VARIANCE REGARDING PARKING IN SETBACK - 5622 WEST MAIN STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-13-180-035)

DISCUSSION ITEM

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Zoning Board of Appeals on Tuesday, April 22, 2003, commencing at approximately 3:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Millard Loy, Chairperson
Duane McClung
Dave Bushouse
Grace Borgfjord
James Turcott

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

Also present were Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner; Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director (after 3:45 p.m.); Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney; and five other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 3:00 p.m.

MINUTES

The Board considered the minutes of the meeting of March 25, 2003. Ms. Borgfjord moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Mr. McClung seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

TORRANCE - SETBACK AND ACCESSORY BUILDING REVIEW - 9409 WEST "H" AVENUE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-08-205-031)

The Board considered the application of E. M. and Heather Torrance for a setback variance from Section 64.100 to allow a 47-foot front setback for an accessory building where the Ordinance requires a 70-foot setback from the street right-of-way, and Board review pursuant to Section 78.800 to allow a proposed 576 square foot accessory building to be located between the house and the front property line. The subject property is located within the "RR" Rural Residential District zoning classification at 9409 West "H" Avenue. The site is Parcel No. 3905-08-205-031.

The Report of the Planning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge stated that the applicants wish to place a 24 x 24 foot accessory building, a detached garage, within the required front setback which is 70 feet from the West H Avenue right-of-way. The applicant requested a variance to permit the location of the building 47 feet from the right-of-way line. In addition, the Board is required, pursuant to Section 78.820, to review the placement of an accessory building between the existing dwelling and the front property line. Ms. Bugge reminded the Board that this would be the first review of an accessory building under Section 78.820.

The property in question is 1.8 acres. There is approximately 25 feet of property between the required front setback area and the existing dwelling. Ms. Bugge suggested that the Board consider whether the accessory building could be placed in conformance with Ordinance standards. The applicants stated on their application that the placement was complicated by an existing drain field in front of the house, to the right of the driveway, and a well on the left side of the attached garage. In addition, the applicant contended that placement of the building to the rear of the house was problematic due to the power or cable line which extended across the width of the property.

Ms. Bugge had consulted the Kalamazoo County Human Services Department and had been advised that a building could be placed within three feet of a well.

Township Staff suggested that the Board first review the placement of the building between the property line and the dwelling as required by Section 78.820, and if the general location was found appropriate, then consider the requested variance. Ms. Bugge reviewed the standards for approval contained within Section 78.820.

With regard to the variance, Ms. Bugge reviewed the non-use variance criteria. As to substantial justice, Ms. Bugge noted that three fairly recent applications for a variance from the required setback had been denied.

Applicant Mark Torrance was present on behalf of the application. He stated that he had determined that the building could be placed an additional 23 feet from the right-of-way (a total of 103 feet from the center line), and therefore would meet the required 70-foot setback from the right-of-way. Therefore, Mr. Torrance confirmed that he was not seeking a variance. The only issue before the Board was, therefore, the placement of the accessory building in front of the existing dwelling. The applicant noted that the area in the front of the property was wooded, and therefore, it would be difficult to see the building from the street. Further, the applicant confirmed that the accessory building would be sided in the same style as the dwelling at the site, and also have a residentially-pitched roof.

The Chairperson commented that he was more comfortable with the application since there would be no variance requested from the setback provision.

The Chairperson asked for public comment, and Richard Hoffman stated that he was the owner of the property 200 feet to the south. He had questions as to whether he could place a dwelling in back of an existing accessory building, and the Chairperson referred him to the Planning Department.

There was discussion of the requirement of certain conditions attaching to placement of the accessory building in question in front of the existing dwelling. Mr. Bushouse commented that he felt that the proposed style of the accessory building would "blend" with the architecture of the house. Further, the proposed placement would not "block" a neighbor's view.

Ms. Borgfjord noted that, since the parcel was heavily wooded, the appearance of the accessory building should not be a problem.

Mr. Turcott stated that he was in favor of granting the placement of the accessory building since he felt that it would not set an undesirable precedent. The Township Attorney confirmed that each case would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

The Chairperson agreed that there would be no problem with the placement of the building since the architecture of the accessory building would be similar to the home with siding the same as the home and a 4/12 pitch roof.

Mr. Borgfjord moved to grant approval of the placement of the accessory building in compliance with the 70-foot setback but in front of the existing dwelling, pursuant to Section 78.820, based upon the architecture and materials used in construction of the accessory building and the wooded nature of the parcel. Mr. McClung seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

BORTON - VARIANCE FOR TEMPORARY SECOND DWELLING - 2875 NORTH 6TH STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-09-230-087).

The Board considered the application of Ralph Borton for variance approval to allow the construction of a second dwelling on a parcel in the "RR" Rural Residential District to precede removal of the existing home. A variance from the provisions of Section 66.150 was necessary. The subject property is located at 2875 North 6th Street and is Parcel No. 3905-09-230-087. The Report of the Planning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

The Board determined that it would table the item in that the applicant was not yet present.

MAPLE HILL AUTO - VARIANCE REGARDING PARKING IN SETBACK - 5622 WEST MAIN STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-13-180-035).

The Board considered the application of Maple Hill Leaseholds, LLC for a variance from the outdoor sales lot provisions of Section 31.403 so as to allow vehicle parking within 10 feet of the side and rear property lines where the Ordinance requires a 20-foot setback. The subject property is located within the "C" Local Business District zoning classification at 5622 West Main Street and is Parcel No. 3905-13-180-035.

The Report of the Planning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge referenced the background information and history concerning approvals for the subject site. She noted that special exception use/site plan approval had been granted on March 27, 2003, by the Township Planning Commission to permit expansion of the parking lot for storage of excess stock conditioned upon receiving a variance to permit paving and parking to within 10 feet of the property line in the expansion area. Ms. Bugge noted that Section 31.403 regarding outdoor sales lots requires all business activities including parking to conform to building setbacks.

Ms. Bugge stated that the existing drainage pond at the site would be paved over, and the drainage system placed under the paving. There would be no more property available for expansion after this area is paved over. The applicant was requesting to be allowed to pave within 10 feet of the rear and side property lines. The 10-foot setback for pavement would allow storage of excess inventory. Ms. Bugge noted that the remainder of the site is "pre-existing" and therefore paved to the property line.

Ms. Bugge pointed out that Township Staff could not find any information regarding similar applications.

It was noted that the proposed paving would be consistent with and in character with the existing site and the area. The applicant confirmed that it would meet all landscaping standards as approved by the Planning Commission for the subject area and lighting standards of the Ordinance.

Jim VandenBerg, owner and manager, was present, stating that the site had originally been established in 1968. The applicant's proposal would "follow the current fence line".

Mr. Bushouse had questions concerning the drainage, and the applicant stated that the proposed system had been designed to a 100-year water mark. Mr. VandenBerg stated that the grade along the edges of his site were higher than that of Evergreen North, and therefore, in a big rainfall, the water would back up onto the applicant's site before it flowed off site.

In response to questions, the applicant stated that, if another 10 foot of setback were accommodated, about 20% of the available parking area would be lost.

Ms. Borgfjord had questions concerning the bullpen fencing, and the applicant stated that the fencing would stay in place along the perimeter of the property.

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

After some discussion, Mr. McClung moved to grant the variance, finding that conformance was unnecessarily burdensome since the proposed setback would be more consistent with the existing parking lot pavement. Further, substantial justice and the spirit and intent of the Ordinance would be served since the proposed paving was in character with the existing site and the area. Mr. Turcott seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

BORTON - VARIANCE FOR TEMPORARY SECOND DWELLING - 2875 NORTH 6TH STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-09-230-087).

The Board returned to consideration of the application of Ralph Borton for a variance to allow the construction of a second dwelling on the subject property. It was noted that the applicant was still not present, but the Board decided to proceed with the application.

The Report of the Planning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge reviewed the standards for a non-use variance, noting that, as to whether conformance was unnecessarily burdensome, the applicant planned to remove the existing house once the new house was constructed, thus returning the parcel to a conforming status. As to substantial justice, it was noted that two applications had been approved for similar cases, but that this was the first request under the revised Section 66.150.

Ms. Bugge suggested that, concerning whether the spirit of the Ordinance would be observed, the Board should consider that the request was for a temporary non-conformity. Mr. Bushouse had questions concerning how long two structures would be located on the property, and Ms. Bugge stated that she had not obtained a time line from the applicant. Ms. Bugge suggested that the Board could request a performance guarantee for the cost of demolition of the existing dwelling prior to the issuance of a building permit.

The Chairperson stated that, given the size of the property, he would have no problem with the proposed variance. However, he felt that a performance guarantee for removal of the existing dwelling was appropriate.

Ms. Stefforia entered the meeting.

Mr. Bushouse suggested that the Planning Commission consider a text amendment to allow the Planning Department to administratively grant permission for construction of a second dwelling on site during the construction phase.

The Chairperson asked for public comment, and Mr. Hoffman stated that he had no objection to the proposed variance as long as the existing house was going to be torn down once the new house was finished.

Mr. Bushouse moved to grant a variance to allow the second dwelling conditioned upon the removal of the existing dwelling within 12 months of the issuance of a building permit for the second dwelling. The variance was conditioned upon the applicant providing a performance guarantee to the Township for one and a half times the cost of the demolition of the existing dwelling prior to the issuance of a building permit for the construction of the second dwelling. Mr. McClung seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

DISCUSSION ITEM

The Board discussed the Memorandum from the Township Attorney concerning standards for non-use variances.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 4:20 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS


By:
Millard Loy, Chairperson

By:
Duane McClung

By:
Grace Borgfjord

By:
Dave Bushouse

By:
James Turcott

Minutes Prepared:
April 28, 2003
Minutes Approved:
, 2003