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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

February 11, 2002

Agenda

MATTSON - SETBACK VARIANCE - 8561 STADIUM DRIVE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-33-402-502)

OSHTEMO INVESTORS, LLC - FRONTAGE VARIANCE - PROPERTY WEST OF SOUTH 11TH STREET AND NORTH OF VENTURE PARK DRIVE - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-25-105-010 AND 3905-24-355-020)

HOPE WOODS LIMITED DIVIDEND HOUSING ASSOCIATION - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 5749 STADIUM DRIVE - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-25-330-021, 3905-25-330-040 AND 3905-25-330-030)

KALAMAZOO BEER DISTRIBUTORS - SETBACK VARIANCE - 1480 SOUTH 11TH STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-24-380-031)

KALAMAZOO BEER DISTRIBUTORS - SIGN DEVIATION / WALL SIGN - 1480 SOUTH 11TH STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-24-380-031)

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Zoning Board of Appeals on Tuesday, February 11, 2002, commencing at approximately 3:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Millard Loy, Chairperson
Dave Bushouse
Jill Jensen
Grace Borgfjord

MEMBER ABSENT: Stanley Rakowski

Also present were Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner; Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney, and 12 other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 3:02 p.m.

MINUTES

The Board considered the minutes of the meeting of January 22, 2002. Mr. Bushouse moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Ms. Borgfjord seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

MATTSON - SETBACK VARIANCE - 8561 STADIUM DRIVE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-33-402-502).

The Board considered the application of Harold Mattson, which had been tabled from the meeting of January 22, 2002, for a variance from the provisions of Section 64.200 to allow an accessory building to be located within the required setback at 8561 Stadium Drive. The subject property is located within the "AG" Agricultural-Rural District zoning classification, and is Parcel No. 3905-33-402-502.

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

Ms. Bugge noted that Section 64.100 provides for a reduced setback if a proposed building is within 300 feet of a building existing in 1966. Township Staff research found that the residence on the property to the west was built in 1955, and the applicant's accessory building is within 49 feet of the building. Therefore, a reduced setback of 90 feet from the center line, rather than 120 feet, would be permitted. The subject shed is currently located 67 feet from the center line. There is approximately 25 feet of property behind the building before the topography drops off at the site. This area is currently used to store various materials. Ms. Bugge believed that the shed could be moved back into compliance with the 90-foot setback. However, the applicant was requesting a variance to allow the building to remain at the 67-foot-from-center-line point.

Ms. Bugge noted that, with regard to substantial justice, she had discovered an additional relevant decision; in the application of Vohn, a reduced front setback for a residence at 4060 South 5th Street had been requested in 1995. This property was immediately east of the subject property. The request was denied.

The applicant was present, and he submitted drawings of the site.

The Chairperson questioned the applicant as to whether there was any space to the back of the existing building so that it could be moved. The applicant admitted that there was area, but he stated that the site quickly drops off. After further discussion, he agreed that the building could come into compliance with setback standards. The applicant indicated he could move the building some distance before needing to cut trees. The Chairperson stated that he felt that, if the building could be placed in compliance with Ordinance requirements, it should be moved back.

The applicant presented photographs of the vegetation in the area.

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

The Chairperson expressed concern that previous similar applications had been denied. Therefore, he felt substantial justice would require denial of the variance. He also felt it was important that the building could be brought into compliance with Ordinance standards. He was concerned that no physical limitations existed at the site preventing the applicant from coming into compliance with the 90-foot setback requirement.

Mr. Bushouse observed that the building was "temporary". Therefore, it should be easily movable. He also felt it was significant that there was area at the site to which the building could be moved. Further, the building could be oriented sideways to gain additional area. Because the building could comply, he felt that the variance should be denied. Moreover, Mr. Bushouse felt it was significant that this was a "new building". He felt new construction should be made in compliance with Ordinance standards. Further, he was concerned that other applicants had been required to comply with Ordinance requirements, and therefore, substantial justice would require denial. Ms. Jensen and Ms. Borgfjord agreed.

Mr. Bushouse moved to deny the variance and require compliance at the property within 60 days. Ms. Jensen seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

OSHTEMO INVESTORS, LLC - FRONTAGE VARIANCE - PROPERTY WEST OF SOUTH 11TH STREET AND NORTH OF VENTURE PARK DRIVE - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-25-105-010 AND 3905-24-355-020).

The Board considered the application of Mike Ahrens on behalf of Oshtemo Investors, LLC, for a variance to allow the creation of an unbuildable parcel as part of establishing the first phase of Oshtemo Woods Plat. The subject property is located to the west of South 11th Street, north of Venture Park Drive, within the "R-1" and "R-2" Residence District zoning classifications and is Parcel Nos. 3905-25-105-010 and 3905-24-355-020.

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

Ms. Bugge presented a layout of the proposed Oshtemo Woods Plat. She stated that the subject site is a landlocked parcel containing approximately 30 acres. A portion of the property is being platted, and it was anticipated that the remainder would be developed as a future phase of the Plat. Coddington Lane was being extended into the Plat from 11th Street, and three stubs for future road extensions into the subject parcel were planned. When Phase I is platted, there would be a remainder parcel which would not have the required road frontage. Therefore, the applicant was requesting a variance from the 200-foot frontage requirement to allow the property division. The variance could be conditioned upon no building permits being issued until a public road was constructed to create frontage or until a plat or a site condominium was established.

Ryan Gardner was present on behalf of the applicant. He stated that he was available to answer questions.

No public comment was offered, and the public hearing was closed. The Chairperson observed that similar variances had been granted at least four times previously.

Mr. Bushouse moved to approve a variance with the condition that no building permit be issued until a public road was constructed to create the required frontage, or the subject property was platted or site condominiumized. It was reasoned that this was consistent with past decisions of the Board. Ms. Borgfjord seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

HOPE WOODS LIMITED DIVIDEND HOUSING ASSOCIATION - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 5749 STADIUM DRIVE - (PARCEL NOS. 3905-25-330-021, 3905-25-330-040 AND 3905-25-330-030).

The Board considered the application of Hope Woods Limited Dividend Housing Association, L.P. for renewal of a site plan approval previously granted to a 150-unit senior assisted-living facility proposed to be constructed at 5749 Stadium Drive. The subject property is located in the "R-4" Residence District zoning classification and is Parcel Nos. 3905-25-330-021, 3905-25-330-040 and 3905-25-330-030.

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

Ms. Bugge noted that the Zoning Board of Appeals had granted site plan approval for the proposed project in December of 2000. Due to inactivity, pursuant to Section 82.900, the approval had expired, and the applicant was seeking re-approval. No significant changes had been made to the site plan since the previous review by the Township. There was also no significant changes to the Zoning Ordinance which would prevent the previously-approved site plan from complying with Ordinance standards.

Michael Perlman was present on behalf of the applicant. He stated that the Planning and Zoning Department Report accurately described the application, and he was available for questions.

The Chairperson asked about the possibility of sidewalks. The Chairperson also had questions with regard to the area in which snow would be stored during snow removal efforts.

Mr. Perlman stated that the parking was more than adequate for the needs of the site. It was believed that most people living at this property would not have cars because of its nature as an assisted-living facility. Therefore, it was felt that there would be sufficient area in the parking lot for snow storage. Residents would be provided access to public transportation, and there would be daily shuttles to shopping areas, for medical appointments, etc.

With regard to the question of sidewalks, the architect for the project was present, stating that there was a 20-foot sidewalk area for residents to utilize in waiting for public transportation. However, because there were no sidewalks on either side of the property, no sidewalks were planned along the frontage.

Mr. Bushouse had questions with regard to landscaping, and it was noted that some changes were needed to the landscaping plan. The applicant indicated that many of the significant trees at the site would be retained and preserved. The applicant would be provided credit for the retention of trees.

The Chairperson sought public comment, and Henry Bonnes stated that he lived west of the project. He was concerned that the building would be four stories and would be highly visible unless there was significant landscaping. He felt that there should be a buffer between this project and the Plainview Plat.

Mr. Perlman corrected Mr. Bonnes and indicated that the project would be three stories in height and under 35 feet. Mr. Perlman felt that the typical two-story home would be 25 feet, and therefore, this property would have a building only 10 feet above the typical two-story family home.

Ms. Bugge also reminded the Board that another parcel, 90 feet in width, was placed between this property and the Plat. Further, the building was placed 88 feet from the property line. Therefore, there was a significant distance between the building on the site and the Plat.

There was discussion of the placement of the drive on the subject site, and it was noted that it would be placed directly across from Venture Park Drive. This placement would be in accordance with the Access Management Guidelines. The Drive would need Kalamazoo County Road Commission approval.

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

Ms. Bugge had questions with regard to the number of employees at the site, and the applicant indicated that there would be six employees initially, with a maximum of 18. The applicant stated that it was estimated that at least 100 of the 150 units at the site would be occupied by only one person.

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

(1) That the access drive is subject to the review and approval of the Kalamazoo County Road Commission.

(2) That all site lighting comply with the provisions of Section 78.700.

(3) That signage comply with Section 76.000 and be reviewed and approved through the permit process.

(4) That a revised landscaping plan be submitted to and reviewed and approved by the Planning Department; credit would be given for existing trees in required planting areas which were successfully preserved.

(5) That site plan approval is subject to the review and approval of the Township Fire Department.

(6) That approval is subject to the review and acceptance by the Township Engineer that the engineering is adequate.

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

KALAMAZOO BEER DISTRIBUTORS - SETBACK VARIANCE - 1480 SOUTH 11TH STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-24-380-031).

The Board considered the application of Kalamazoo Beer Distributors for a variance from the setback provisions of Section 64.300 to accommodate a proposed building addition to the existing building at 1480 South 11th Street. The property is located in the "I-1" Industrial District zoning classification, and is Parcel No. 3905-24-380-031.

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

It was noted that the subject building was constructed in the 1970's and originally functioned as an ice rink. By 1982, the building's use was converted to its current use as a beverage distribution facility. In 1990, a 15,000 square foot addition was constructed by the current owner. The owner was proposing construction of another addition in front of the building. Since the building does not sit perpendicular to the street on the site, the 100-foot addition would encroach on the 70-foot setback requirement by approximately three feet in the southeast corner. The northeast corner would be within the setback by approximately two inches.

It was pointed out that, since the size of the addition was less than a 25% increase, the site plan for the project would be administratively reviewed. The addition would trigger additional required landscaping pursuant to Section 75.210.

Nick Loeks was present on behalf of the applicant. There was discussion of the location of single-family homes in the area. Mr. Loeks stated that the single-family home located to the north was owned by Kalamazoo Beer Distributors. The neighbors living in the house to the south were present, stating that their home is approximately 60 feet set back from the road. Their home is closer to the road than the Beer Distributors' building. Upon inquiry, the neighbors indicated that their home had been built in the 1930's.

After further discussion, it was noted that the reduced setback provisions of Section 64.100 would apply because of the distance of the proposed addition from the homes to the south and north. Therefore, no variance was needed.

KALAMAZOO BEER DISTRIBUTORS - SIGN DEVIATION / WALL SIGN - 1480 SOUTH 11TH STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-24-380-031).

The Board considered the application of Kalamazoo Beer Distributors for deviation from the wall sign area provisions of Section 76.180 to allow the existing wall sign to be relocated to a new location on the building at 1480 South 11th Street. The subject property is located in "I-1" Industrial District zoning classification, and is Parcel No. 3905-24-380-031.

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

Ms. Bugge reminded the Board members that the sign at issue is the Budweiser sign placed on the front of the building, which was established in that location in 1990 after the 15,000 square foot addition was constructed on the front of the building. The Zoning Ordinance formerly permitted wall signs to have an area equal to two square feet for every foot in length or height of the wall to which it was attached. Therefore, the 222 square foot sign met the provisions of the Ordinance at the time it was erected. Current Ordinance provisions allow only a 50 square foot wall sign for industrial buildings. Consequently, with the proposed addition to the front of the building, the existing sign will be removed thereby losing its "grandfathered" status. Therefore, it cannot be placed back on the building unless a deviation is granted.

Mr. Bushouse questioned the applicant with regard to the trucks in the parking lot, and it was noted that some trucks used by the business were parked along the street. These trucks had advertising of Budweiser, etc. on them. Further, the site had freestanding signage.

Randy Siesser, on behalf of the applicant, stated that he felt deviation was appropriate because the sign had been established in conformance with Ordinance requirements in 1990. He stated that the sign was expensive and that he would like to continue utilizing it.

The Chairperson asked for public comment, and Jewel Clomon, a resident of the home to the south, expressed concern with the lack of control on truck parking. She stated that the refrigeration units of the trucks could be heard from the home to the south. She wondered whether the trucks could be required to park further away from the house.

Ms. Bugge stated that, in the administrative review of the site plan, there would be additional landscaping required on the property line.

The applicant indicated that the noise being heard probably was not refrigeration units but was the engines of the delivery trucks. He stated that drivers sometimes access the site and keep their engines running overnight while they slept in the trucks.

There was concern that this use of the site was not part of the approved use or in compliance with the site plan approval for the business.

The public hearing was closed.

Mr. Bushouse noted that the applicant had a large building on a two-lane street. He felt it would not be hard to find the building. Further, the building had adequate signage, noting the address sign and other freestanding signage at the site. Mr. Bushouse felt that the use of the large Budweiser sign was not in keeping with the new sign provisions of the Ordinance. He could see no reason for deviation from current Ordinance standards in that the intent of the Ordinance was to phase out these large signs. Ms. Jensen agreed.

Ms. Borgfjord noted that she also felt the site was highly visible even from U.S. 131. The addition would move the building approximately 100 feet toward the street. She was concerned that the sign in question was almost a billboard in its advertising effect. She felt that the sign was contrary to the intent and spirit of the new Ordinance provisions, and that the sign was too large and needed to be scaled back.

The Chairperson stated that he also felt that sites within the Township needed to begin coming into compliance with the new Ordinance provisions.

Ms. Jensen moved to deny the deviation, and Mr. Bushouse seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 4:15 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS


By:
Millard Loy, Chairperson

By:
David Bushouse

By:
Jill Jensen

By:
Grace Borgfjord

Minutes Prepared:
February 14, 2002

Minutes Approved:
, 2002