OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

April 26, 2005

Agenda

WEST CENTURY CENTER - INTERPRETATION OF NONCONFORMING USE STATUS - 5015-5063 WEST MAIN STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-13-430-041)

WEST CENTURY CENTER - DEVIATION - WALL SIGNS - 5015-5063 WEST MAIN STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-13-430-041)

EDUCATIONAL COMMUNITY CREDIT UNION - FRONTAGE VARIANCE - 1551 SOUTH 9TH STREET AND ADJACENT VACANT ACREAGE - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-26-208-011 AND 3905-23-455-032)

ALLTEL COMMUNICATION OF SOUTHERN MICHIGAN - SETBACK VARIANCE - 4012 SOUTH 9TH STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-35-330-040)

NIEWOONDER - ACCESSORY BUILDING REVIEW - 10147 WEST MAIN STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-18-430-050)

OSHTEMO PROPERTIES, LLC - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 400 SOUTH 8TH STREET (TO BE SUBDIVIDED FROM PARCEL NO. 3905-22-276-012)

HALLI'S AUTO SALES, LLC - DISPLAY IN SETBACK VARIANCE - 8688 WEST MAIN STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-16-180-059)

A regular meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Zoning Board of Appeals on Tuesday, April 26, 2005, commencing at approximately 3:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Millard Loy, Chairman
Dave Bushouse
Grace Borgfjord

MEMBERS ABSENT: James Turcott
Duane McClung

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director; Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner; James W. Porter, Township Attorney; and approximately eight other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m. and explained to those in attendance that two members of the Board were absent. He said, as a result of the absence of two members, in order to render a decision, it would take a unanimous vote of all of the Board members. He told the applicants that, because of this requirement, he would give each applicant an opportunity to decide whether or not they wished to move forward or postpone the hearing of their request until a full complement of the Board could be convened.

MINUTES

The Chairman said the first item up for consideration was the approval of the minutes of March 22, 2005. Ms. Borgfjord made a motion to approve the March 22, 2005 minutes as submitted, and Mr. Bushouse seconded the motion. The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.

WEST CENTURY CENTER - INTERPRETATION OF NONCONFORMING USE STATUS and WALL SIGNS DEVIATION - 5015-5063 WEST MAIN STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-13-430-041)

The Chairman stated the next items up for consideration were the requests by West Century Center for an interpretation of nonconforming use status, as well as a wall signs deviation. Mr. Dave Smith, appearing on behalf of his client, West Century Center, respectfully requested to defer Items 3 and 4 on the Agenda until more Board members were present. Ms. Borgfjord made a motion to adjourn Items 3 and 4 until the next available meeting. Mr. Bushouse seconded the motion.

Mr. Bushouse suggested that a special meeting be scheduled so as to not cause undue delay of these matters. Ms. Stefforia said that the Planning Department would review the schedule and make arrangements accordingly. She said, if an additional separate mailing was required, the Township would prepare and distribute the same in accordance with the statutory requirements.

The Chairman asked if there was any further discussion, and hearing none, called for a vote on the motion; the motion passed unanimously.

EDUCATIONAL COMMUNITY CREDIT UNION - FRONTAGE VARIANCE - 1551 SOUTH 9TH STREET AND ADJACENT VACANT ACREAGE - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-26-208-011 AND 3905-23-455-032)

The Chairman said the next item was a request from the Educational Community Credit Union. He asked the representative of the Credit Union if he wished to proceed. Mr. Mark Urbanski asked to proceed. The Chairman then noted that the request was for a variance from Section 66.201 to allow parcel reconfiguration of two properties resulting in a parcel with less than 200 feet of frontage. He noted that the subject property is vacant land located adjacent to 1551 South 9th Street, being Parcel Nos. 3905-26-208-011 and 3905-23-455-032. The Chairman called for a report from the Planning Department. Ms. Bugge presented her report to the Zoning Board of Appeals dated April 26, 2005, and the same is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge explained to the Board that the Educational Community Credit Union owned four parcels on the east side of South 9th Street and south of Quail Run Drive. She said the applicant wished to reconfigure the parcels, one being the location of the Credit Union and the other being a 33-acre vacant parcel to the south and east of Highland Hills Plat. She said they wanted to add approximately 3.25 acres of the northwest portion of the vacant parcel, Parcel No. 3905-26-208-011, to the existing Credit Union building parcel, Parcel No. 3905-23-455-032. She said the re-description would incorporate 280 feet of frontage from the vacant parcel into the existing Credit Union parcel, resulting in a landlocked vacant parcel. She noted, however, that the parcel abuts a 66-foot wide future access street stub known as Renfrew Drive, created when Highland Hills Plat #1 was platted, which would provide access to 9th Street when a road was constructed. She said that the Kalamazoo County Road Commission owned the access stub.

Ms. Bugge then proceeded through the Standards for Approval for a nonuse variance as set forth in her report. The Chairman asked if there were any questions.

Mr. Bushouse asked if there was a possibility of interconnecting streets to Quail Run Drive. Ms. Bugge said that still remained a possibility and that the adjacent property abutting Quail Run Drive might provide for future connectivity. She noted that the property was not truly a landlocked parcel, given the availability of Renfrew Drive for future development.

The Chairman asked if there were any further questions of Ms. Bugge. Hearing none, he asked to hear from the applicant. Mr. Urbanski said he thought that the Planning Department had done a thorough job in presenting the proposal. He said that they would appreciate the Board's consideration.

Mr. Bushouse asked what the future use of the vacant property might be. Mr. Urbanski said he was not certain. A portion of it might be for future expansion of the Credit Union, but that the Credit Union would also be looking at other permitted uses.

The Chairman asked if there were any comments from the audience. Hearing none, he closed the public portion of the meeting and called for Board deliberations.

Mr. Bushouse said that, while it was not directly related to their request, he encouraged the Credit Union to allow the construction of a lane off of Quail Run Drive to the south in order to alleviate the traffic congestion in the area. Mr. Urbanski said that he would pass that on to the Credit Union administration. Ms. Bugge also noted, if a new site plan was developed for the Credit Union, that the Kalamazoo County Road Commission would have the opportunity to review it at that time and make recommendations that they felt were appropriate.

The Chairman told the other members of the Board he did not see a problem with the request, particularly in light of Ms. Bugge's report and past approval and the fact that nothing would be developed on the property until a new road was constructed to serve the vacant parcel.

The Chairman said, if there were no further comments, that he would entertain a motion. Ms. Borgfjord made a motion to approve the variance request, incorporating the findings and facts found in the Staff report and subject to the further condition that no building permits will be issued for the subject property until a road is constructed into the property and/or a plat or site condominium is developed. Mr. Bushouse seconded the motion. The Chairman asked if there was further discussion, and hearing none, called for a vote on the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

ALLTEL COMMUNICATION OF SOUTHERN MICHIGAN - SETBACK VARIANCE - 4012 SOUTH 9TH STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-35-330-040)

The Chairman indicated that the next item on the Agenda was a variance request submitted by ALLTEL Communications of Southern Michigan. He asked the representative of ALLTEL if they wished to proceed. Mr. Ralph Wyngarden, a representative from Faulk & Foster, said they were willing to proceed. With that, the Chairman informed those in attendance that ALLTEL was requesting a variance from Section 64.300 to place an equipment shelter building less than eight feet from the south property line at 4012 South 9th Street, Parcel No. 3905-35-330-040. The Chairman asked for a report from the Planning Department. Ms. Bugge submitted her report to the Board dated April 26, 2005, and the same is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge indicated that ALLTEL had submitted an application to co-locate cellular antennas and construct their equipment shelter on an existing SpectraSite communication tower located on the DeVisser property at 4012 South 9th Street. She said the co-location request would be handled administratively. However, the applicant was proposing to construct a 12 foot x 20 foot building less than eight feet from the south property line, when a 20-foot setback is currently required.

Ms. Bugge explained that the SpectraSite was leasing a 75 foot x 75 foot area from DeVisser Landscaping, which contained a 210-foot communication tower and ground equipment for various cellular companies. She said the property was zoned "I-R" and that three companies had been approved for co-location at that tower, and ALLTEL would be the fourth request.

Ms. Bugge then took the members of the Zoning Board of Appeals through the Standards for Approval for a nonuse variance. At the conclusion of Ms. Bugge's presentation, the Chairman asked if there were any questions. Hearing none, he asked to hear from the representative from ALLTEL.

Mr. Ralph Wyngarden introduced himself and said he was with Faulk & Foster and a representative for ALLTEL Communications. Mr. Wyngarden presented two additional drawings with details of the SpectraSite facility. Mr. Wyngarden explained that, given the existing location of the tower, as well as the other equipment shelters located on site, it was impossible to locate their proposed shelter in any area other than the current existing setback area in the southwest corner. He said to do anything else would force the shelter outside of the existing site or within the setback area.

He specifically made reference to the ground rings which exist around the tower and the shelters for safety purposes to guard against lightning strikes. He again emphasized, because of that, there was simply no way to locate the existing shelter except in the southwest corner of the existing site. He also made note of the topography surrounding the site, which resulted in a decrease in elevation, both to the west and north of the property.

Mr. Wyngarden requested the variance so as to cause the minimum site disturbance in the area, still satisfy the ground ring clearance distances and allow full utilization of a site previously approved. He said, because of the pre-existing location of the tower, prior to the recent changes in the Township Ordinance, this situation was not likely to occur again. In that respect, the site was unique.

The Chairman asked if they could move their building closer to the Nextel shelter. Mr. Wyngarden said that they could, but there would still be the setback limitations for the ground rings, and by being located near the southeast corner, they would still be within the setback area, which would then impede future users from accessing the site, resulting in the need to construct a new tower, which would run contrary to the Township policy of maximizing use of existing towers.

The Chairman asked what materials would be used to build the shelter. Mr. Wyngarden said it would be pre-engineered concrete approximately ten feet in height, with dimensions of 12 feet x 20 feet.

Mr. Bushouse asked how many more users could locate on the existing tower. Mr. Wyngarden said it depended upon the overall design of the structure. He said that there were currently no microwaves on the tower, and therefore, in addition to the ALLTEL use, there could be one or possibly two more able to locate on the tower.

Mr. Bushouse asked if they could expand the leased area to remain in compliance with the Ordinance. Mr. Wyngarden said he thought it would be extremely difficult to renegotiate that lease with DeVissers. He also said that, because of the topography to the west and north, it would make it difficult to construct the equipment shelter and have reasonable access to the tower.

Ms. Bugge pointed out that there were also structural requirements requiring the buildings to be located in close enough proximity to accommodate the cables accessing the tower. Mr. Wyngarden thanked Ms. Bugge for pointing that out, and noted that there were limitations to how far away the shelters could be due to the diminution in signal quality. He said that, while he was not a radio frequency engineer, he did not think it would be feasible to enlarge the area and extend the distance of equipment shelters further away from the existing tower.

The Chairman asked if there was anyone in the audience who wished to comment. Hearing none, he closed the public portion of the meeting and called for Board deliberations. The Chairman said he thought that the request was consistent with the primary goal of the Township to limit the numbers of towers and to encourage co-location wherever possible.

Mr. Bushouse asked if the Planning Department thought this was unique. Ms. Bugge said she thought it was because the tower location predated the Communication Tower Ordinance. Attorney Porter concurred.

Hearing no further discussion, the Chairman said he would entertain a motion. Ms. Borgfjord made a motion to grant the variance as requested based on the facts set forth in the Planning Department report and those facts submitted by Faulk & Foster. The motion was seconded by Mr. Bushouse. The Chairman called for further discussion, and hearing none, called for a vote on the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

NIEWOONDER - ACCESSORY BUILDING REVIEW - 10147 WEST MAIN STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-18-430-050)

The Chairman indicated that the next item for consideration was a request by Mr. Steve Niewoonder. The Chairman asked Mr. Niewoonder if he wished to proceed. Mr. Niewoonder said he would like to continue. The Chairman then noted that the request by Mr. Niewoonder was for site plan review for a proposed accessory building with a floor area larger than the ground floor area of the dwelling, and for consideration of its establishment prior to the construction of the dwelling and between the dwelling and the street. He said that the subject property is located 10147 West Main Street, being Parcel No. 3905-18-430-050. The Chairman asked to hear from the Planning Department. Ms. Stefforia submitted her report to the Board dated April 26, 2005, and the same is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Stefforia explained that the applicant wished to construct a 4,800 square foot accessory building on a nine acre parcel where the future dwelling was proposed to be 2,100 square feet. She said the applicant was also requesting the right to construct the accessory building prior to the construction of the home. She said that the proposed accessory building would be set back approximately 800 feet from West Main Street and as close to the west property line as the Zoning Board of Appeals and Zoning Ordinance would allow. She said the peak of the roof would be 24 feet, making the minimum side setback 24 feet. She said the residence will be located further to the south. Ms. Stefforia then took the Zoning Board of Appeals through Section 78.820 to consider approval of an accessory building thereunder.

After completing her review with the Board members, the Chairman asked if there were any questions of Ms. Stefforia. Hearing none, he asked to hear from the applicant.

Mr. Steve Niewoonder told the Board that the accessory building and the home would be located further south than indicated by Ms. Stefforia on the aerial. He said, after site review, he thought that they would be moving their house further to the south to accommodate a walkout, which would result in the accessory building actually being built within the woods. He said that both of the structures would be built approximately 100 feet further to the south than indicated on the overhead used by Ms. Stefforia.

Ms. Bugge asked if the accessory building would be moved away from the west property line. Mr. Niewoonder said it would not.

The Chairman asked what the applicant would be storing in the accessory building. Mr. Neiwoonder said he would be storing his motor home, boat, bulldozer and trucks, all for his personal use. He said he currently had a 3,500 foot structure which was not sufficient to store all of his personal property. He specifically told the Board that there would be no commercial use of the structure and that it would only house his own personal equipment.

Mr. Bushouse asked how close he was to the runway. Mr. Niewoonder said that he would be located immediately east of the approach for the runway, which made the property to his west unbuildable. He said he did own a helicopter, but he was not planning on using the runway. Mr. Bushouse asked if he would be landscaping and what the accessory building would look like. Mr. Niewoonder presented a photograph of the proposed structure and said it would look almost identical to the photograph provided to the Board.

The Chairman asked if the accessory building was going to be constructed within the trees. Mr. Niewoonder indicated that the accessory building would be constructed within the trees and that it would not be visible from West Main. He said the peak of the building would not be visible from the road due to the hills north of the proposed structure.

Ms. Borgfjord asked if the accessory building would be screened from the property to the west. Mr. Niewoonder said that it would likely be visible, but again, pointed out that property was not buildable since it was the approach area for the public airport located to the south.

Ms. Borgfjord asked what the applicant's time line was going to be. Mr. Niewoonder said he thought it would be up to the Board, but he would like to start both the home and the accessory at the same time, but would likely complete the accessory building in advance of the home and would like to use it as storage if the Board would so allow.

Mr. Bushouse asked how much woods would be cleared to accommodate the helicopter. Mr. Niewoonder said that he was not sure that he would bring his helicopter to this site, but that they would only be clearing the woods between the accessory building and the home to create an open area. He said the trees to the east and north would remain.

The Chairman explained to the applicant that, if he was given permission to construct the accessory building prior to the construction of the home, he would have to post a bond and be required to commence the residence within a one-year period. Mr. Niewoonder said he did not believe that would be a problem.

The Chairman asked the audience if they wished to comment. Ms. Susan Grammar introduced herself to the Board. She said she lived at 505 North 2nd Street. She asked if the applicant was going to have a helicopter pad. Mr. Niewoonder said he had not even determined whether he would bring the helicopter to the site, but if it was in the area, it would be as far to the west as possible in the flat area where he proposes to construct his accessory building.

Ms. Grammar asked if he was going to be accessing the property off 2nd Street. Mr. Niewoonder said he did not have any access point off 2nd Street and that the driveway would be built to accommodate access off West Main Street.

The Chairman asked if there were any further public comments, and hearing none, closed the public portion of the meeting. The Chairman called for Board deliberations.

The Chairman commented that it was quite a large accessory building but that they had granted permission for similar structures albeit on larger parcels.

A question arose regarding the use of the helicopter on private property. Attorney Porter indicated that he had never researched this issue before, but noted that Michigan law tended to treat aviation purposes as a preferred use, and it was likely that Mr. Niewoonder could access that property. He said that, if it became an issue, he could look into it further.

The Chairman asked if there was further Board discussion. Ms. Borgfjord said she thought there was a consensus of the Board, and she made a motion to approve the applicant's request to construct a 4,800 square feet accessory building, based on the facts set forth in the Planning Department report and as submitted by the applicant, and to do so in advance of the construction of the dwelling, on the condition that the applicant provide a performance guarantee to cover the cost of removing the building if construction of the dwelling is not commenced within the required time period. Mr. Bushouse seconded the motion, and the Chairman called for further discussion. Hearing none, the Chairman called for a vote on the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.

OSHTEMO PROPERTIES, LLC - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 400 SOUTH 8TH STREET (TO BE SUBDIVIDED FROM PARCEL NO. 3905-22-276-012)

The Chairman asked Michael Mair of the Kalleward Group if he wished to proceed. Mr. Mair indicated that he did. The Chairman indicated that the request for site plan review of the proposed 8,350 square foot warehouse and office building with associated parking at 400 South 8th Street, being Parcel No. 3905-22-276-012. The Chairman asked to hear from the Planning Department.

Ms. Stefforia submitted her report to the Board dated 14-26-05 (April 26, 2005), and the same is incorporated herein by reference. Ms. Stefforia pointed out that the request for approval of a 8,350 square foot industrial building for warehouse and office space for Oshtemo Properties, LLC. She said the business was an asphalt resurfacing operation. Ms. Stefforia pointed out that the subject property is part of a larger parcel and that the application will be made to subdivide the 3.45-acre parcel from the parent parcel. She said that the applicant also owned property to the north, which would be reconfigured to insure that the remaining acreage had the required street frontage. Ms. Stefforia stated that the property was zoned "I-1" Industrial District and was suitable for warehouse, storage and associated office buildings. Ms. Stefforia then took the Zoning Board of Appeals through the provisions of Section 82.800 as set forth in her report.

At the conclusion of Ms. Stefforia's report, the Chairman asked if there was any questions. Mr. Bushouse pointed out that any landscaping requirements would be limited by the constraints imposed by Consumers Energy against allowing excessive growth near its power lines. Ms. Stefforia pointed out that they could work with Consumers Energy to recommend low-growth landscaping items in that area.

Hearing no further questions, the Chairman asked to hear from the applicant.

Mr. Michael Mair, on behalf of the Kalleward Group, introduced himself to the Board. He explained that they were attempting to fully utilize the subject property in cooperation with Consumers Energy and in complying with all the requisite setbacks. He said the proposed business was relatively small, employing five employees in the summer, and the business was shut down in the winter. He described the proposed structure and the layout on the property. Mr. Mair then asked the Board if they had any questions.

Mr. Bushouse asked if anything would be left outside. Mr. Mair said that there would be no outdoor storage, and that is why they are constructing the large warehouse. Mr. Bushouse then asked about the loading area in the back, and asked whether there would be anything stored in that area. Mr. Mair said that the loading area was simply there to allow the trucks to pull behind the building and to load and unload items, but that everything would be stored inside. Mr. Bushouse then asked if asphalt would be stored on site. Mr. Mair said absolutely not. He said they would have some stones and liquid emulsion on the equipment but it would not be stored outside.

The Chairman said that, while it was not a requirement of the Zoning Ordinance, he strongly recommended against wood gates which often failed, were difficult to maintain and create an unsightly appearance. He strongly suggested that metal be used in lieu of wood in order to properly maintain the site.

The Chairman asked if there was anybody in the audience who wished to comment. Ms. Patricia Matchinski asked to address the Board. She asked what the applicant's business was all about. Mr. Mair explained that the proposed business performed parking lot sealing, consisting of a slurry seal along with sand and a bonding agent. He said this extended parking lot life. Ms. Matchinski asked how they could operate the business with such a deep depression on the property. Mr. Mair pointed out on an overhead that the depression that Ms. Matchinski was referring to was actually north of the proposed site.

Ms. Matchinski then asked if there was any products stored on site. Mr. Mair said no. She asked if there would be any odor from the proposed business. Mr. Mair said absolutely not. Mr. Bushouse pointed out that the applicant's business was currently located next to the Chime Street School and that there had been no complaints of odor at any time from the school.

The Chairman asked if there was anything further from the audience. Hearing none, he called for Board deliberations.

Ms. Borgfjord made a motion to accept the proposed site plan as submitted, subject to the following conditions:

(1) The Kalamazoo County Road Commission must issue a permit approving of any changes to the driveway.

(2) Easement for shared driveway must be recorded.

(3) Details of the proposed light pole and wall fixtures (i.e., cut-sheets) must be provided before a Building Permit may be issued.

(4) All exterior lighting shall comply with the provisions of Section 78.700.

(5) All signs shall comply with Section 76.000 and be reviewed and approved through the permit process.

(6) A revised site plan reflecting parking lot landscaping must be submitted for Staff review and approval before a Building Permit may be issued.

(7) If outdoor storage is desired in the future, a revised site plan must be submitted for Staff review and approval of the outdoor storage area.

(8) Site plan approval is subject to review and approval of the Fire Department.

(9) Site plan approval is subject to review and acceptance by the Township Engineer as adequate.

Mr. Bushouse seconded the motion. The Chairman called for further discussion, and hearing none, called for a vote on the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

HALLI'S AUTO SALES, LLC - DISPLAY IN SETBACK VARIANCE - 8688 WEST MAIN STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-16-180-059)

This Item #9 was postponed until the next available meeting due to the fact that Ms. Borgfjord had an interest in Halli's Auto Sales. Therefore, she could not participate, resulting in the loss of a quorum for this matter.

Other Business

Ms. Stefforia asked that the minutes of February 15, 2005, be corrected to adjust the adjournment time from 8:25 p.m. to 5:25 p.m. Mr. Bushouse made a motion to have the time in the February 25, 2005 minutes corrected as requested. The motion was seconded by Ms. Borgfjord. The Chairman called for a vote on the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.

The Board then discussed a possibility of holding a special meeting, and it was agreed that the matters which had to be adjourned would be considered by the Zoning Board of Appeals by May 24 or sooner, depending upon the availability of the ZBA members to attend a special meeting.

Adjournment

The Chairman asked if there was any other business to come before the Board, and hearing none, the Chairman called for adjournment at approximately 4:35 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

By:
Millard Loy, Chairman

By:
Dave Bushouse
By:
Grace Borgfjord

Minutes Prepared:
May 2, 2005

Minutes Approved:
, 2005