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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

August 26, 2003

Agenda

ROE COMM - COMMUNICATION TOWER - 5088 WEST MICHIGAN AVENUE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-24-485-011)

CENTENNIAL COMMUNICATIONS - CO-LOCATION OF AN ANTENNA ON A COMMUNICATION TOWER - 5088 WEST MICHIGAN AVENUE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-24-485-011)

PARKER - AREA VARIANCE - 9355 STADIUM DRIVE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-32-455-022)

DES CAMP - ACCESSORY BUILDING REVIEW - 21 NORTH SECOND STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-18-480-049)

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Zoning Board of Appeals on Tuesday, August 26, 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; Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney; and four 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 June 24, 2003. Mr. McClung moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Mr. Turcott seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

ROE COMM - COMMUNICATION TOWER - 5088 WEST MICHIGAN AVENUE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-24-485-011)

The Zoning Board of Appeals considered the application of John Carnago on behalf of Roe Comm, Inc., for a site plan review of a proposed 190-foot communication tower to be established at 5088 West Michigan Avenue. The subject property is within the "I-1" Industrial District zoning classification and is Parcel No. 3905-24-485-011.

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

Ms. Bugge reported that the subject site is 21 acres. It is landlocked and located north of West Michigan Avenue adjacent to Highway U. S. 131. There are currently two commercial communication towers and associated structures located at the site. The applicant indicated that the current towers are at or near capacity and would be unable to accommodate any additional growth. Therefore, the applicant was requesting construction of a 190-foot monopole tower that could accommodate five wireless PCS providers. Access to the site was via an existing 66-foot-wide easement. The applicant was requesting an extension of the existing gravel driveway. A deviation from the paving requirements to allow this extension was proposed. It was noted that construction would disturb some of the wooded area on the western portion of the property. The applicant proposed the planting of a double row of pine trees along U. S. 131. Staff was comfortable with this proposal provided the trees were a minimum of five-feet tall at the time of planting.

The applicant was proposing an enclosure for the proposed tower and the co-locators' equipment structures of 60' x 60', i.e., 3,600 square feet. General information had been provided, however, Staff stated approval should be conditioned upon requiring that sealed tower plans and a report, including sealed foundation plans based on existing soil conditions at the site, be provided.

Ms. Bugge indicated that the site was surrounded by industrial property and uses, and there were no residences in the area. As to F.A.A. approval, the applicant had provided a copy of the "TOWAIR" Determination indicating no registration with the F.A.A. was required based upon the coordinates of the proposed tower. The applicant had agreed to future co-location of equipment on the tower. Ms. Bugge indicated that there would be little vehicular traffic to the site. However, the gravel parking area would be widened to allow two cars/trucks to park. Additionally, the design of the drive is being reviewed by the Township Fire Department for emergency vehicle access.

The applicant was present, indicating he was available to answer questions.

In response to a question from the Chairperson, the applicant indicated that each locator on the tower would have its own building or equipment set up on the ground. The monopole design of the tower was self-supporting with no guywires.

Mr. Bushouse questioned the applicant as to how many total towers could be located on site given its topography. The applicant was theorizing that two more towers could be located.

In response to questions from Mr. Turcott, the applicant indicated that the wooded area would be disturbed as little as possible.

No public comment was offered, and the public hearing was closed.

The Chairperson stated that he felt that the application was straight-forward and that no problem issues existed. Mr. Bushouse stated that he felt it was a good idea to place the proposed tower on a site which already accommodated other towers. Further, the applicant was willing to allow co-location on the proposed tower.

After further discussion, Ms. Borgfjord moved to approve the site plan with the following conditions, limitations and notations:

(1) That access to the site be provided via the existing 66-foot easement and that a deviation was granted to allow the extension of the gravel drive as proposed by the applicant to the tower area.

(2) That approval was subject to the Township receiving sealed tower plans and a report, as well as sealed foundation plans based on existing soil conditions at the site and upon the Township Staff finding these filings acceptable.

(3) That approval from the F.C.C. and F.A.A., if necessary, be provided to the Township.

(4) That the tower owner and its successors in interest allow the shared use of the tower if an additional user agrees in writing to reasonable terms and conditions for shared use.

(5) That the width of the area to the southeast of the proposed tower gate be expanded to 20 feet to accommodate two cars.

(6) That lighting comply with Section 78.700 of the Zoning Ordinance.

(7) That no commercial signs were requested or permitted.

(8) That a double row of pine trees at least 175 feet long and a minimum of 5-feet tall when planted, be established along the property line adjacent to U. S. 131 in the area disturbed for construction purposes.

(9) That approval was subject to the applicant satisfying the requirements of the Township Fire Department.

(10) That approval was subject to the Township Engineer finding site engineering adequate.

(11) That an Earth Change Permit be obtained from the Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner.

The motion was seconded by Mr. Turcott, and it carried unanimously.

CENTENNIAL COMMUNICATIONS - CO-LOCATION OF AN ANTENNA ON A COMMUNICATION TOWER - 5088 WEST MICHIGAN AVENUE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-24-485-011)

The Board considered the application of Centennial Communications for co-location of communication antennas and equipment at 5088 West Michigan Avenue. The Report of the Planning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge explained that the applicant was requesting co-location of antennas on an existing approved 400-foot Rohn communication at the subject site owned by Roe Comm, Inc. The application also proposed placement of an equipment building at the site. Ms. Bugge stated that this type of request was normally handled administratively. However, the structural analysis required by the Ordinance indicated that the tower does meet code requirements for wind with the proposed antennas, but does not meet code requirements for wind with ice. Therefore, Ms. Bugge had brought the application to the Board. It was noted that the applicant intended to re-locate its antennas to the new Roe Comm tower as soon as construction was completed. This was estimated for November, 2003. Therefore, its request was for a temporary location on the 400-foot tower. The applicant was willing to provide a performance guarantee to assure removal of the antenna from the Rohn tower prior to icy weather.

Ms. Bugge stated that the applicant was in the process of completing a new structural analysis to determine if different antenna equipment would pass the structural test. If the structural analysis of other equipment indicated that the Rohn tower could accommodate the co-location, an administrative approval would be granted.

The applicant, Mark Caesar, was present for questions. The Board had questions of Mr. Carnago concerning the timing of the construction of the new tower. Mr. Carnago stated that it could be constructed by mid to late October.

No public comment was offered, and the public hearing was closed.

After some brief discussion, Mr. Turcott moved to approve the temporary co-location on the 400-foot Rohn communication tower subject to the following conditions:

(1) That the applicant, Centennial Communications, remove its antennas from the tower by November 1, 2003, whether or not the new tower is completed at the site and available for co-location.

(2) That the applicant, Centennial Communications, submit a performance guarantee as to removal of the antennas from the Rohn tower by November 1, 2003, to the Township in the amount of $15,000 and in the form of a cash escrow or an irrevocable letter of credit drawn on a Michigan financial institution.

(3) That the applicant submit a fee, application and appropriate documentation to the Township for the co-location of the equipment on the new 190-foot tower proposed for construction at the site as soon as proper documentation for the tower was available.

(4) That the lease term for the Rohn tower be altered to reflect the November 1, 2003 removal date.

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

PARKER - AREA VARIANCE - 9355 STADIUM DRIVE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-32-455-022)

The Board considered the application of David Parker for a variance from the provisions of Section 66.201 to allow a parcel with less than the minimum required area to be buildable. The subject property is located at 9355 Stadium Drive, immediately west of the Forest Creek Plat, within the "RR" Rural Residential District zoning classification and is Parcel No. 3905-32-455-022.

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

Ms. Bugge stated that the applicant's parcel is a nonconforming remainder parcel created when the applicant developed the Forest Creek Plat in 1993. The parcel was originally included in the Plat as part of Lot #1; however, it was later removed. Both municipal sewer and water are available to the property. It has 200 feet of frontage but lacks the 50,000 square feet of area. At 30,000 square feet, it exceeds the 29,040 square feet required for platted lots with water in the Rural Residential District.

Ms. Bugge reminded the Board that a text amendment is being considered by the Township that would permit a deviation from the dimensional requirements provided that the nonconforming parcel satisfies the minimum dimensional requirements for a platted lot and that the dimensions of the neighboring, lawfully nonconforming properties would support the deviation. Ms. Bugge pointed out that there were three parcels in the area which were legally nonconforming.

Ms. Bugge noted that the property has wetlands, and therefore, a small building envelope. Ms. Bugge reviewed the nonuse variance criteria, indicating that the applicant could plat the parcel in question as a one-lot plat. As to substantial justice, it was pointed out that the Eichelberg application for a frontage and area variance had been granted. However, other similar applications had been denied based on the availability of other options. There were no unique physical circumstances on the property relating to the nonconformance, and the hardship was self-created in that the applicant had created the parcel by platting the remainder of the property.

There was discussion of the wetlands on the property, and it was pointed out that since sewer and water were available, the applicant would not have to contend with establishing a well and septic system. However, the presence of the wetlands would limit the building area, and a soil erosion permit would be required from the Drain Commissioner. Additionally, any filling of the wetlands would require a permit from the Department of Environmental Quality.

The applicant was present and provided a written statement to the Board, which is incorporated herein by reference.

No public comment was offered, and the public hearing was closed.

The Chairperson expressed satisfaction that the Township was entertaining a text amendment which would allow for such properties to be buildable without platting. Ms. Bugge noted that this text amendment would be considered at a public hearing held by the Planning Commission on October 9, 2003. The Chairperson stated that he would rather not grant the variance but allow the problem to be cured by text amendment. However, the applicant indicated that he has a sales agreement on the parcel and was concerned that the purchase arrangements would fall through if there was a delay.

Based upon the fact that the property met the area required for platting, upon the available utilities, other similar lawfully nonconforming properties in area, and the Eichelberg precedent, Mr. McClung moved to grant a variance to the applicant regarding the area requirements of the Ordinance. The motion was seconded by Ms. Borgfjord, and it carried unanimously.

DES CAMP - ACCESSORY BUILDING REVIEW - 21 NORTH SECOND STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-18-480-049)

The Board considered the application of Jeffrey DesCamp for a site plan review of a proposed accessory building to be placed between the dwelling and the street on the property at 21 North 2nd Street. The subject site is within the "RR" Rural Residential District, and is Parcel No. 3905-18-480-049.

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

The applicant indicated that the building was planned as a storage for his residential tractor, trailer and household items. The applicant stated that he was considering a 24' x 32' or 24' x 40' accessory building which would be 16 feet in height. Ms. Bugge stated that the property in question has 3.7 acres, is 200 feet wide and is located on the west side of North 2nd Street. The dwelling is set back 300 feet from the centerline of the road and 25 feet from the north property line. The setbacks for the proposed accessory building were 225 feet from the centerline and 16 feet from the north property line. Ms. Bugge pointed out that the side setback must be equal to the height of the building and is measured to the leading edge of the building.

The applicant was present to discuss the style, stating that the height would be 16 feet with a 6/12 pitch roof with asphalt shingles. The applicant was proposing vinyl siding facing the house and metal sheet on the other side. However, the applicant indicated at the meeting that he was willing to place vinyl on all sides of the building. The applicant did not want to put windows on the building and indicated that the door would be the same type as on the existing garage. It was noted that the residence to the north is close to the property line, but that the house in question was set back further from the street than the home on the subject property.

The applicant stated that the building was proposed for the area between the dwelling and the street because he wished to preserve the natural features of the rear of the property and save a portion of the site to establish a hangar in the future.

There was discussion of the area between the proposed building and the roadway and whether there was any natural screening. The applicant indicated that the area was heavily wooded. However, Mr. Bushouse commented that the trees were largely deciduous and would not provide screening in the wintertime. He suggested that the applicant move some pine trees into the area between the street and the proposed accessory building.

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

The Chairperson stated that he did not have a problem with the application, given that the setback was more than 200 feet, and the property was wooded. He also felt it was significant that the roof would be pitched and would have a residential garage-style door. Ms. Borgfjord was concerned that there would be no screening between the street and the building, and she felt it was important that screening be established since the building was metal. The applicant again stated that he would be willing to provide vinyl siding on the building and would be willing to place pines between the building and the street.

After some further discussion, Ms. Borgfjord moved to approve the establishment of an accessory building of up to 960 square feet to be placed between the dwelling and the street as proposed by the applicant. The approval was conditioned as follows:

(1) That an evergreen screening be established between the east side of the building and North 2nd Street.

(2) That the building style be as proposed by the applicant with vinyl siding on all sides.

(3) That the use of the building be as described by the applicant, i.e., for storage of residential tractor, utility trailer and household items. The building could not be used for a business or commercial purposes.

The motion was seconded by Mr. McClung, and it carried unanimously.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 4:14 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:
August 29, 2003
Minutes Approved:
, 2003