OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS MINUTES

Special Meeting

DECEMBER 22, 1997

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Agenda

PINEHURST TOWNHOMES - VARIANCE; TIME EXTENSION FOR COMPLETION - 6794 STADIUM DRIVE

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A special meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday, December 22, 1997, commencing at approximately 3:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall, pursuant to notice.

MEMBERS PRESENT:

Brian Dylhoff, Chairperson
David Bushouse
Lara Meeuwse
Thomas Brodasky
William Saunders

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

Also present were Mike West on behalf of the Planning and Zoning Department, Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney, and seven (7) other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

The Chairperson called the meeting to order at 3:03 p.m.

PINEHURST TOWNHOMES - VARIANCE; TIME EXTENSION FOR COMPLETION - 6794 STADIUM DRIVE

The Board considered the application of Ellen Kisinger-Rothi, on behalf of Housing Resources, Inc., for variance approval from Sections 82.900/84.200 of the Zoning Ordinance as they apply to the occupancy of the subject facility. A time extension for the completion of the site in compliance with the August 26, 1996, site plan approval is requested. The subject property is located at 6794 Stadium Drive and is situated between 8th Street and 9th Street and is within the "R-4" Residence District Zoning classification.

The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference. Mr. West stated that the applicant was requesting occupancy of Phase I and subsequent phases pursuant to a phasing/occupancy schedule in conjunction with the time extension for completion of the following site work:

(1) Township Engineer approval of stormwater management systems;

(2) Fencing of two stormwater retention ponds;

(3) Finished grade, seed and sod;

(4) Landscaping;

(5) Final asphalt/striping of the parking area;

(6) Construction of carports; and

(7) Construction of a maintenance garage.

Mr. West stated that correspondence had been received from HRI dated December 19, 1997, which provided an updated phasing/occupancy schedule and an updated timetable for completion of these site-work items. Mr. West also made reference to correspondence received from MSHDA dated December 22, 1997, concerning the performance bond provided for the project to MSHDA.

Mr. West stated that Township staff felt that the main issue was the fencing of the retention ponds. He noted that the Township Engineer had recommended fencing of these ponds since his review in July of 1996. The Township Engineer strongly recommended construction of the fencing prior to occupancy for safety reasons. Reference was made to the December 10, 1997, letter of the Township Engineer.

Helen Gardner was present, stating that she owned lands contiguous to the Pinehurst property. She felt that it was important that the applicant prevent trespassing from the Pinehurst site onto her property.

The applicant was present, stating that there had been confusion about the need for retention pond fencing. Ms. Rothi noted that the ponds met the 4:1 slope limitation of the Zoning Ordinance and, therefore, the applicant believed they would not be required to fence the ponds. The applicant did not understand that fencing would be required until December of 1997. She stated that the applicant intended to fence the retention ponds and follow the recommendation of the Engineer; however, since they had not been previously aware of the requirement, the applicant sought to allow occupancy of two buildings prior to the establishment of the fencing. She stated that a number of tenants are waiting to occupy the site. Ms. Rothi said that the applicant could construct its permanent wrought iron fencing by the end of February and that a temporary 6' chain link fence could be established by mid-January. It was noted that the Engineer's requirement as to fencing would be satisfied by the chain link fencing proposed by the applicant. Establishment of the 6' wrought iron fencing would be at the applicant's discretion.

Robert Lennon, attorney for the applicant, was present, stating that the applicant would like to have the families/tenants move in a couple of weeks before the fencing is put in. Again he noted that the retention ponds met the slope standards of the Zoning Ordinance. He said that a number of other similar projects had retention ponds similar to those proposed for this site which are not fenced. Moreover, MSHDA was not going to require fencing of the retention ponds. He therefore felt safety was not an issue.

In response to questioning from the Chairperson as to why the issue of fencing had not been addressed since July of 1996, Mr. Lennon stated that the Engineer's initial letter stated that it was a recommendation. Mr. Lennon stated that the applicant did not know until December of 1997 that fencing would be required and has been working diligently with the Township since that time to address the situation.

Mr. West stated that the Township Engineer had reviewed and commented on the item in July of 1996 and had recommended fencing of the ponds. Thereafter, the site plan was approved by the Board contingent upon meeting the Engineer's recommendations. However, when revised plans were received from the applicant in March of 1997, there was an inadvertent failure to forward the plans to the Township Engineer until December of 1997. However, it was pointed out that the applicant's May 1997 landscape plan showed a 4' fence around the retention ponds.

In response to questioning, the applicant stated that there was not a lot of water in the retention ponds at this time due to the weather conditions.

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

Mr. Brodasky stated that he was concerned about allowing occupancy, which would include families with children, prior to the establishment of the fencing. Mr. Bushouse disagreed, stating that the retention ponds comply with the 4:1 slope requirement in the Ordinance. Mr. Bushouse also felt it was significant that weather conditions at this time of year would typically result in little water in these retention ponds. He had visited the site and observed less than one foot of standing water. Mr. Bushouse felt that, given these factors, public health, safety and welfare would be satisfied if the applicant was allowed occupancy prior to the establishment of fencing for a brief period. Other Board members agreed.

As to the other items of site work which would need to be completed, the Chairperson stated he was comfortable with granting extension as to these items in that similar extensions had been granted in the past. The Chairperson also felt that, given the short time frame of the variance for fencing and given weather conditions, he was comfortable with a temporary variance.

After further discussion, Mr. Saunders moved to grant variance from Sections 82.900/ 84.200 with the following conditions, limitations and notations:

(1) That the updated phase/occupancy schedule contained in the December 19, 1997, correspondence of HRI to the Township was incorporated by reference.

(2) That occupancy of Phases 1 through 3 would be allowed prior to completion of the following site work:

(a) Township Engineer approval of stormwater management systems;

(b) Fencing of two stormwater retention ponds;

(c) Finished grade;

(d) Landscaping;

(e) Final asphalt/striping of the parking area;

(f) Construction of carports; and

(g) Construction of a maintenance garage.

(3) That fencing in compliance with Township Engineer recommendation would be required to be established by January 15, 1998.

(4) That occupancy of Phases 4 through 12 would be permitted prior to completion of all of the above itemized site work items with the exception of the fencing of the two stormwater retention ponds and Engineer approval of the stormwater system.

(5) That Township Engineer approval of the stormwater management system was required by January 5, 1998.

(6) That finished grading, seed and sod, and landscaping must be completed by June 15, 1998.

(7) That final asphalt/striping be established by June 15, 1998.

(8) That construction of the carports and maintenance garage be completed by June 30, 1998.

(9) That the variance was conditioned upon Township Engineer and Fire Department review and approval (with the exception of the fencing of the retention ponds).

(10) That variance was further conditioned upon the applicant providing documentation regarding construction change orders sufficient to evidence that the existing performance bonds provided for the project to MSHDA would include the retention pond fencing.

The motion was seconded by Ms. Meeuwse and carried 4:1 with Mr. Brodasky voting against the motion.

OTHER BUSINESS

Mr. Bushouse suggested that the Planning Commission review the stormwater retention/fencing provision of the Zoning Ordinance for possible revision. He felt that the fact that the Engineer required fencing which was not required by the Ordinance provisions resulted in confusion. Other members of the Board agreed.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS