OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS MINUTES

February 1, 1999

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Agenda

HABITAT/SKY KING, L.L.C. - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 23,600 SQ. FT. INDUSTRIAL BUILDING - 7333 STADIUM DRIVE

KL ANIMAL HOSPITAL - VARIANCE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - 5263 WEST KL AVENUE

EMBERLY ACRES - VARIANCE REQUEST - WEST SIDE OF 8TH STREET NORTH OF STADIUM DRIVE

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A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday, February 1, 1999, commencing at approximately 3:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall, pursuant to notice.

MEMBERS PRESENT:

Thomas Brodasky, Chairperson
Millard Loy
David Bushouse
William Saunders
Sharon Kuntzman

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Township Planning and Zoning Department Director, Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner, Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney, and six (6) other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

The Chairperson called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m.

MINUTES

The Board considered the minutes of the meeting of January 18, 1999. Mr. Bushouse moved to approve the minutes as amended, and Ms. Kuntzman seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

 HABITAT/SKY KING, L.L.C. - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 23,600 SQ. FT. INDUSTRIAL BUILDING - 7333 STADIUM DRIVE

The next item was the application of Habitat/Sky King, L.L.C., on behalf of Lake Michigan Mailers, for site plan review of a proposed 23,600 sq. ft. industrial building with associated office area at 7333 Stadium Drive within the "I-1" Zoning District.

The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference. The property is approximately 15 acres in size. Ms. Stefforia stated that the property owner is considering the development of the site as an industrial park site condominium. If later proposed and approved by the Planning Commission, it would create six industrial building sites. The layout of the proposed building on the site was designed to allow for the possible site condominium project at a later date.

Ms. Stefforia noted that the driveway as proposed satisfied the Township’s Access Management Plan. If the industrial park is developed at a future time, the driveway serving this building would be extended and utilized to serve additional building sites without any additional curb cuts onto Stadium Drive. It was noted that the potential exists for the street to be extended to connect to 7th Street since the subject property has frontage on both Stadium Drive and 7th Street.

Ms. Stefforia noted that she had received detail regarding the dumpster enclosure and that it was satisfactory. Further, detail with regard to the lighting plan had been provided. She found that the lighting was in accord with the Ordinance requirements.

Ms. Stefforia also noted that there were residences located to the east and south but that these were considered legal nonconforming uses because they were within the Industrial zone. Although screening was not strictly required by the Ordinance, the applicant had proposed screening. The Fire Department and Township Engineer had reviewed and approved the project.

In response to questioning by the Chairperson, Ms. Stefforia stated that no signage details had been provided by the applicant but that the Planning and Zoning Department had spoken with the applicant regarding their options.

Bruce Kuipers of Delta Design was present on behalf of the applicant. He noted that, although the layout of the present site allows for the possible extension of the driveway to 7th Street, this extension was not proposed with the current application. He recognized that the layout would require Planning Commission approval as part of its review of the site condominium project, as well as review and approval by the Kalamazoo County Road Commission, if the drive were to become a public road.

Ms. Kuntzman stated that she would not be in favor of extending the driveway to 7th Street in that she felt that this would lead to "heavy traffic" near residentially zoned property.

Mr. Bushouse noted that there were some drainage problems near the intersection of 7th Street and Stadium Drive. It was noted that the applicant would be establishing a retention system at this site which might result in a decrease of the runoff which reaches 7th Street. It was felt that this might decrease the drainage problem in the area.

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

Mr. Saunders questioned the applicant as to the nature of the Lake Michigan Mailers business. The applicant responded that Lake Michigan Mailers provides a mail processing and mail assembly service.

Mr. Loy questioned whether the Township Engineer had reviewed the retention system, and Ms. Stefforia noted that the Engineer had reviewed the system and found it to be adequate as proposed.

Mr. Saunders moved to approve the site plan with the following conditions, limitations and notations:

(1) That the access point as proposed satisfies the Access Management Plan of the Township. The proposed driveway is subject to the review and approval of the Kalamazoo County Road Commission.

(2) That the number of parking spaces proposed by the applicant were satisfactory. All parking was to be dimensioned as required by the Ordinance at 10’ x 20’. Further, parking lot aisles were required to be a minimum of 25’ where parking would be established on both sides of the aisle.

(3) That no outdoor storage had been proposed or approved.

(4) That the dumpster and enclosure as proposed were satisfactory.

(5) That all lighting comply with the requirements of Section 78.700 of the Zoning Ordinance and that the lighting plan provided by the applicant previously was satisfactory.

(6) That all signage was subject to compliance with Section 76.000 of the Zoning Ordinance and must be reviewed and approved through the permit process.

(7) That the screening as proposed by the applicant was adequate.

(8) That approval was subject to the review and approval of the Township Fire Department and that the requirements of the Fire Department must be satisfied.

(9) That approval was subject to the review and approval of the Township Engineer and that the requirements of the Engineer must be satisfied.

(10) That the proposed facility would be served by public water and sewer.

(11) That it was recognized that an Environmental Permits Checklist and Hazardous Substance Reporting Form had been completed and were on file with the Township.

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

KL ANIMAL HOSPITAL - VARIANCE AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - 5263 WEST KL AVENUE

The next item was the application of KL Animal Hospital for a front setback variance from Section 64.100 of the Zoning Ordinance and site plan review to allow a proposed 1,903 sq. ft. addition to the existing animal hospital building at 5263 West KL Avenue. The subject is located in the "C" Local Business District zoning classification.

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

Ms. Bugge noted that the parcel in question has a somewhat irregular triangular shape. The parcel to the east is zoned Commercial and is occupied by a self-storage facility. The vacant parcel to the west is also zoned "C." To the south is the railroad right-of-way and to the north, across KL Avenue, is "R-4"-zoned property developed as Concord Place Apartments. It was noted that the existing building on the site does not conform to the Ordinance requirements with regard to front setbacks. It is believed that the building predates Ordinance setback requirements. The present owner wishes to expand the facility to provide for the 1,903-sq.-ft. addition onto the existing building. A variance from the front setback would be required. The addition would be set back 51.6’ as measured from the leading edge of the building to the road right-of-way. A 70’ setback is required. The present building is approximately 54.5’ from the KL Avenue right-of-way. Ms. Bugge stated that, given the shape of the parcel and the placement of the existing building, construction of an addition on the parcel in compliance with Ordinance standards would probably not be possible. Therefore, it was felt that conformance would be unnecessarily burdensome.

As to whether substantial justice would be provided if the variance were provided, it was noted that the property to the east is developed in compliance with required setbacks. This property too was irregularly shaped but had a greater depth. The parcel to the west would require a variance if developed because of its narrow depth. Further, it was felt it was significant that the property of the applicant had sufficient road frontage, 400’, to allow it to be split. If a division did occur, a new building would be allowed pursuant to Section 64.100 to be placed at the existing building setback if it were constructed within 50’ thereof.

As to whether there were unique physical circumstances justifying the variance, again there was a discussion of the triangular shape of the parcel, which complicated the placement of the building or an addition. It was further felt that the shape of the parcel and the location of the existing building were existing circumstances and that these circumstances were not a result of the actions of the applicant and therefore the hardship was not self-created. It was further reasoned that the public health, safety and welfare would be secured and the spirit and intent of the Ordinance observed if the variance were granted given the circumstances.

The applicant was present, indicating that he was available to answer questions. He stated that the building had been established in 1972 and had been used as a cat hospital since that time. He stated that the problem with placing the addition was further complicated by the need to set the building addition a sufficient distance from existing power lines and the railroad right-of-way to avoid noise and vibration impacts. In response to questioning by Mr. Bushouse, the applicant also acknowledged that the placement would avoid interference with the Arcadia Creek, which crossed the subject property.

Although it did not appear that there was previous precedent exactly like the instant application, the Chairperson recognized the previous precedent of the Board in which variance had been granted to allow an addition to a lawful nonconforming building along existing building lines. Given the footprint of the proposed addition, it was felt that this addition is sufficiently "in line" with the existing building. Further, Mr. Bushouse pointed out a previous variance granted to Dunshee in which a building expansion had been allowed within the front setback due to the limitations of the parcel.

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

Ms. Kuntzman moved to approve the variance as requested based upon the previous discussion and reasoning. Mr. Bushouse seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

The Board began a review of the site plan review criteria of Section 82.800. It was noted that parking lot aisle width was required to be 25’ if parking was allowed on both sides of the aisle and 20’ if parking was along one side only. The applicant stated that they would conform to this standard and revise their site plan accordingly.

As to the nonconforming sign at the site, the applicant was not sure that any changes would be made but realized that they would need to proceed through the permit process.

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

Mr. Loy moved to approve the site plan with the following conditions, limitations and notations:

(1) That the site would be served by the existing single access point onto KL Avenue.

(2) That, as to parking, it was required that the applicant submit a revised site plan showing conformance with the aisle width requirements of the Access Management Plan and providing for the number of parking spaces required by the Ordinance as calculated by Township staff based upon the building floor plan. All parking was required to be dimensioned as required by the Ordinance, i.e., 10’ x 20’.

(3) That no outdoor storage had been proposed or approved.

(4) That the dumpster and enclosure were satisfactory.

(5) That all lighting must conform to Section 78.700 and the lighting plan as indicated on the site plan was satisfactory.

(6) That the nonconforming free-standing sign would remain at the property, and any changes to the signage must be reviewed and approved through the permit process.

(7) That the landscaping conform to Section 11.540 of the Ordinance, and the proposed landscaping along the front of the addition was approved.

(8) That approval was subject to the review and approval of the Township Fire Department and compliance with the requirements of the Department.

(9) That approval was subject to the review and approval of the Township Engineer and conformance with the Engineer’s requirements.

(10) That it was recognized that public utilities would serve the proposed addition.

(11) That it was recognized that the applicant had submitted a completed Environmental Permits Checklist and Hazardous Substance Reporting Form.

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

 

EMBERLY ACRES - VARIANCE REQUEST - WEST SIDE OF 8TH STREET NORTH OF STADIUM DRIVE

The next item was the application of Charles Hill on behalf of Emberly Acres, L.L.C., for variances from Sections 64.200 and 66.201 of the Zoning Ordinance concerning front setback and building separations to accommodate two-stall garages on seven three-family and one two-family condominium buildings. One-stall garages had been previously proposed and approved. The subject property is within the "R-3" Residence District and is located on the west side of 8th Street, north of Stadium Drive. The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

It was noted that the Planning Commission had approved special exception use and site plan for Emberly Acres as a multi-family development on February 12, 1998. The approval was conditioned with several stipulations. One stipulation was that, if variance were granted by the ZBA, the applicant would have to return to the Planning Commission for modification of the conditions placed on the approval. The Planning Commission required that the building separation and setbacks comply with Ordinance standards.

Ms. Stefforia noted that, if the proposed street in the development remains private, the front setback would not be applicable. Therefore, the applicant had indicated that he did not intend to make the street public. Nevertheless, the building setback separation requirement of 40’ would be applicable. The applicant sought a 20’ separation. Ms. Stefforia noted that her review of the Quail Cove multi-family condominium project indicated building separations ranging from 20-25’. However, this project was approved as a Planned Unit Development, which specifically allowed flexibility for deviation from these Ordinance provisions. A review of the Danford Creek, Quail Run and Leisure Time projects indicated that they complied with the 40’ separation requirement.

Mr. Hill was present, representing the applicant. He noted that all units were "single story." He stated that the buildings would only be approximately 9’ high. He felt that this distinguished his project from the Danford Creek and Quail Run condominium sites, which were two stories in height. He felt that the 40’ separation requirement had been established to insure that, in case of fire, one building would not collapse into another. Since the buildings in question would be one story, he felt that a 20’ separation would be sufficient here.

Mr. Hill stated that the reasoning for the request was to allow for a uniqueness in design but still accommodate the need for two-car garage. He stated that the project would be designed specifically for seniors but that seniors also were desirous of two-car garages. Two units, Phases I and II, had already been constructed with single-car garages. He had requested variance as to these units but felt that, as a practical matter, the owners probably would not want to incur the cost of adding to their existing garages. There was a discussion of the possibility of redesigning the site as to the remaining phases. For example, the units in Phase IV could be shifted to the west and the building on Phase VIII shifted to the east so as to provide a building separation in compliance with Ordinance standards. The units on Phases V and VI could be reangled to allow for compliance with Ordinance standards. The applicant recognized that this was possible. There was discussion of allowing the applicant to attempt to redesign the project in compliance with Ordinance standards.

Mr. Saunders stated that, since the Planning Commission had seemed adamant about the building separation standard, he would feel more comfortable if the applicant complied with these requirements. It was recognized that, if there was compliance with the building separations, there would be no need for the applicant to return for a modification of his approval by the Planning Commission.

After further discussion, and with the agreement of the applicant, Mr. Loy moved to table the item to the meeting of March 1, 1999. The motion was seconded by Ms. Kuntzman and carried unanimously.

ADJOURNMENT

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

Minutes Prepared:
February 2, 1999

Minutes Approved: