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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

December 4, 2000

Agenda

HOLIDAY INN WEST - SITE PLAN AMENDMENT - 2747 SOUTH 11TH STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-25-405-116)

PRESTIGE ACCESSORIES AND HITCHES - WALL SIGN AREA DEVIATION - 3765 SKY KING BOULEVARD - (PARCEL NO. 3905-34-260-001)

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday, December 4, 2000, commencing at approximately 3:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Thomas Brodasky, Chairperson
Millard Loy
David Bushouse
Sharon Kuntzman
Ted Corakis

MEMBER ABSENT: None

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director, 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 3:01 p.m.

MINUTES

The Board considered the minutes of the meeting of November 20, 2000. Ms. Kuntzman suggested a change to page 3 to correct a typographical error. Mr. Loy moved to approve the minutes as amended, and Ms. Kuntzman seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

HOLIDAY INN WEST - SITE PLAN AMENDMENT - 2747 SOUTH 11TH STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-25-405-116)

The Board considered the application of Leslie E. Scane for Holiday Inn West for an amendment to the site plan to allow placement of trailers on the property for outdoor storage during remodeling of the existing hotel. The subject property is located at 2747 South 11th Street, within the "C" Local Business District zoning classification. The parcel is No. 3905-25-405-116.

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

Ms. Bugge stated that the Holiday Inn is in the process of remodeling the interior of the building and will be remodeling the exterior in the spring of 2001. In order to facilitate this work, 23 tractor trailers for storage purposes and 2 dumpsters had been placed on the subject property. Currently, the trailers are storing new furniture which will be installed as each room is remodeled, and storing old furniture removed from remodeled rooms until disposed of by donation.

Most trailers are located in the south parking lot, which is closed to public parking and traffic. Some trailers are located in the parking area adjacent to U.S. 131.

It was noted that under Section 30 of the Ordinance, motels are a permitted use within the "C" District. Further, accessory buildings and uses customarily incidental to permitted uses are allowed. Section 68 of the Ordinance allows the overnight parking of semi-tractors or trailers in the "C" District only when incidental and accessory to the principal commercial use being conducted on the premises.

It was noted that the Zoning Board of Appeals had previously interpreted that shipping containers are not appropriate for storage in the "C" Local Business District zoning classification. This interpretation was made in conjunction with the application of Migala Carpet for long-term use in storing carpeting. Ms. Bugge stated that, if the trailers were being used permanently on the subject site, they would not meet the criteria for an accessory building nor would they meet building setbacks.

Ms. Bugge stated that the Fire Department had reviewed the proposed site plan amendment and had some "qualifications" with regard to the placement of the containers. She urged that any approval be subject to Fire Department review and approval.

In response to questions from Mr. Corakis, the applicant, who was present, stated that, by the end of January, 2001, six of the trailers would be gone. By the end of February of 2001, an additional six trailers would be removed from the site. The remaining storage trailers and dumpsters would continue on site until the exterior renovations were completed in April of 2001.

Mr. Scane stated that the applicant hopes to have all interior rooms and public areas renovated within three months.

In response to questions from Ms. Kuntzman, the applicant stated that all furnishings for the renovations were being stored within the trailers.

Mr. Corakis felt that four trailers placed in the southwest corner were particularly unsightly. The applicant stated that he believed these trailers would be gone from the site by December 22, 2000.

The applicant was questioned with regard to whether the furniture could be delivered on site as needed. Mr. Scane stated that some furniture was coming from Colorado, and the remaining furniture was coming from suppliers located in other states. He stated that the applicant was unable to find a storage area where all furnishings could be concentrated so that they could be shipped to the site as needed. The applicant stated that all trailers and dumpsters added to the site would be removed when renovations were complete.

The Chairperson asked for public comment, and none was offered. The public hearing was closed.

Ms. Stefforia expressed concern about setting a precedent in that there are available storage facilities for lease by existing sites which are involved in construction projects.

Mr. Bushouse stated that he felt the economics of the situation were important. Using an off-site storage location would involve additional transportation expenses. Further, he felt that the size of the renovation project at this location made a significant difference.

Mr. Corakis agreed, stating that he felt it was important that the trailers would not be used for long-term storage. Since the trailers would be on site a short term, and associated with the renovation, he felt that this application was different from that of Migala.

Ms. Bugge clarified that the trailers would be on site from September of 2000 to April of 2001.

Mr. Loy also felt that the application differed from that of Migala because the trailers were being used in conjunction with the construction project. They were not being used to store the product associated with the business on site.

The Chairperson expressed that he felt that this application was different from one which would involve new construction. With regard to a new construction project, he felt that on-site storage would not be appropriate. Ms. Kuntzman agreed, stating that she felt it was significant that the applicant needed to continue its current operations while conducting renovations.

Mr. Corakis stated that he did not feel the Board was setting an undesirable precedent as long as Fire Department approval of the location of the trailers was obtained.

Mr. Corakis moved to approve the site plan amendment pursuant to the discussion of the Board, subject to the following time table:

(1) That the four trailers in the southwest corner of the site be removed by December 25, 2000.

(2) That a total of six trailers be removed by January 31, 2001.

(3) That an additional six trailers be removed by February 28, 2001.

(4) That all remaining trailers and dumpsters be removed by April 30, 2001.

The approval was subject to the review and approval of the Township Fire Department as to the location of the trailers and dumpsters.

The motion was seconded by Mr. Bushouse. The motion carried 4-to-1 with Ms. Kuntzman voting against the motion. She stated that her opposition was based on the fact that the application should have been made in September prior to the placement of any trailers.

PRESTIGE ACCESSORIES AND HITCHES - WALL SIGN AREA DEVIATION - 3765 SKY KING BOULEVARD - (PARCEL NO. 3905-34-260-001)

The Board considered the application of Prestige Accessories and Hitches for a deviation from the Sign Ordinance provisions to allow a 52 square foot tenant sign on the industrial building at 3765 Sky King Boulevard in the "I-1" Industrial District zoning classification. The parcel is No. 3905-34-260-001.

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

Ms. Stefforia stated that the new sign provisions identify permanent signs by use and no longer by zoning district. In an industrial building with more than one tenant, two options exist for wall signs. The owner may place one 50 square foot wall sign on the building, or each tenant may have a 25 square foot wall sign. However, the new sign provisions as written allow for "deviations". This was done to eliminate the need for a variance. The standards for deviation are not as stringent as the variance criteria. This would be the first deviation request considered by the Zoning Board of Appeals since the new provisions were adopted.

The subject building was originally approved with five tenant spaces. The building has been filled with just two tenants, with the applicant leasing four spaces as one suite. If the building were occupied by five tenants each with a sign, the wall signage could total 125 square feet. The applicant requested consideration of the fact that he was occupying four tenant spaces and only one wall sign would result.

Ms. Stefforia outlined the criteria for granting a deviation. It was noted that the Board should consider whether granting the request for deviation would be materially detrimental to property owners in the vicinity. It was recognized that a wall sign greater than 25 square feet for a tenant occupying more than one suite in this building would not be materially detrimental to other owners in the vicinity. However, Ms. Stefforia urged that, if deviation were granted, the wall sign size should be limited to 50 square feet, which was the maximum sign allowed to a single occupant building.

The Board should also consider whether the hardship created by a literal interpretation of the section is due to conditions unique to the building site and does not apply generally to other properties in the Township. Township Staff did not find any conditions unique to the property, since the building faces Stadium Drive and there were no visual obstructions interfering with this visibility.

Finally, the Zoning Board of Appeals should consider whether granting the deviation would be contrary to the general purposes of the section or set an adverse precedent. It was recognized that the current request might be distinguishable from other properties in that the applicant is occupying four tenant spaces. Granting the deviation for up to 50 square feet maximum would result in less total wall sign area for the building than if occupied by five tenants as originally approved. Reference was made to the Statement of Purpose for the signage provisions expressed in Section 76.100.

Ms. Kuntzman asked whether the deviation would be "permanent" like a variance. The Township Attorney explained that the deviation, like a variance, would be permanent unless the conditions under which it was granted were altered. For example, if the ZBA conditioned approval upon the occupancy of four tenant suites, and in the future only three suites were occupied, a new deviation would be necessary.

There were questions about the proposed signage, and it was noted by Ms. Stefforia that the applicant proposed a sign which would be red and white in color.

The applicant, Richard Morehouse, was present. He presented photographs of the building of the applicant located in Grand Rapids to illustrate the appearance of the proposed sign. The sign would be attached to the facia of the building. The signage existing on the awning would be removed. He felt that allowing for a larger sign would increase the visibility of the business. The applicant indicated that the current sign on the site in Grand Rapids contained letters 13 feet wide and 4 feet in height. However, he felt that the square footage could easily be reduced to 50 square feet.

The applicant stated that he would not be reducing its use of the subject building to less than four suites. If business declined, the applicant would totally move from the space in question. However, the applicant could envision taking additional space if the other tenant left the building.

In response to questions from Mr. Loy, the applicant stated that the existing signage was put up as a "temporary means" of letting the public know that the business is located in the facility. The applicant understood that the existing signage would need to be removed, including the canopy sign. It was understood that the canopy itself could remain. The proposed sign would say, "Prestige Accessories and Hitches".

The Chairperson asked for public comment, and David Rhoa of Lake Michigan Mailers, had questions with regard to the design of the sign. He was shown a drawing and the photo supplied by the applicant. Again, it was clarified in answer to questions by Mr. Rhoa, that the canopy could remain without any lettering or signage. Mr. Rhoa stated that he had no problem with the proposed sign.

The public hearing was closed.

Again, the Township Attorney discussed the concept of deviation as opposed to variance. It was noted that granting a deviation under the terms of the new Ordinance would not be the same as granting a variance from the Ordinance provisions; granting the deviation would be consistent with the current sign provisions since the current provisions included the possibility of deviation if certain conditions were met.

Ms. Stefforia urged that the Board would need to find that there is something unique about the property which caused a hardship. Ms. Kuntzman stated that she found a uniqueness for the property in that the applicant was taking 4/5's of the building. Mr. Loy agreed, if the signage permitted to the applicant was limited to 50 square feet, which is the same size allowed to a single owner.

Mr. Loy moved to approve deviation pursuant to the sign provisions of the Zoning Ordinance for wall signage of up to 50 square feet based upon the analysis of the deviation criteria in the Planning and Zoning Report, as well as the discussion of the Board. The deviation was conditioned upon the applicant occupying at least 4/5's of the subject building. It was recognized that, if the tenant changes but remains in 4/5's of the building, a new deviation would not be needed. Mr. Corakis seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

OTHER BUSINESS

The Board discussed the meeting schedule for the calendar year 2001. Mr. Corakis moved to approve the schedule as submitted. Mr. Loy seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 4:05 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
By:
Thomas Brodasky, Chairperson
By:
Millard Loy
By:
Ted Corakis
By:
Sharon Kuntzman
By:
David Bushouse

Minutes Prepared:
December 7, 2000

Minutes Approved:
, 2000