OSTLOGOL.GIF (2116 bytes)

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

February 5, 2001

Agenda

KNAPPER - VARIANCE - FRONTAGE AND AREA - 2963 SOUTH 11TH STREET (PARCEL NO. 3905-25-455-020)

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday, February 5, 2001, commencing at approximately 3:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Millard Loy, Chairperson
David Bushouse
Sharon Kuntzman
Ted Corakis
Jill Jensen

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director, Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner, and Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney, and two 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 January 22, 2001. Ms. Kuntzman moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Mr. Corakis seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION

The Chairperson presented a Certificate of Appreciation to former Board Member and Chairperson, Tom Brodasky. The appreciation of the Township and the Zoning Board of Appeals for Mr. Brodasky's service was expressed.

KNAPPER - VARIANCE - FRONTAGE AND AREA - 2963 SOUTH 11TH STREET (PARCEL NO. 3905-25-455-020)

The Board considered the application for variance from the provisions of Section 66.201 to allow division of property resulting in two non-conforming parcels at 2963 S. 11th Street, which is Parcel No. 3905-25-455-020. The Report of the Planning and Zoning department is incorporated herein by reference.

It was noted that the applicant was not present. Ms. Bugge reported that the subject parcel consist of 4.8 acres and has approximately 319 feet of frontage on 11th Street. The Board was reminded that Section 66.201 of the Zoning Ordinance requires parcels to have 200 feet of frontage on a public road and a minimum area of 50,000 square feet. The Ordinance also requires a depth of not more than four times the mean width of the parcel. The applicant was granted a variance on August 2, 1976, to permit the division of the subject property into two parcels. One of the resulting parcels would be non-conforming, having 100 feet of frontage and an area of 20,000 square feet. The remaining parcel would conform to all dimensional requirements. However, the applicant had not acted upon the variance, and the land remained undivided.

The applicant now sought to create two non-conforming parcels from the subject property in lieu of the prior variance. One of the parcels would have 159.39 feet of frontage and a depth of 330.3 feet from the quarter section line. The area of the parcel would be approximately 47,387 square feet. Therefore, the parcel would be non-conforming as to frontage and area. The remaining parcel would also be non-conforming with regard to the frontage.

Ms. Bugge asked the Attorney to discuss whether the 1976 variance was still valid. The Township Attorney opined that a variance usually runs with the land and continues regardless of a change of ownership. However, with regard to the instant case, because the applicant had not acted upon the variance by either dividing the property or constructing a second home, the Township Attorney believed that the variance had lapsed. The Attorney's opinion was heavily based upon the fact that subsequent to 1976, the Township had adopted new Zoning Ordinance provisions, new Land Division Ordinance provisions, and the Michigan Legislature had adopted new provisions with regard to the Land Division Act. Therefore, since the applicant was now seeking division pursuant to the Land Division Act and the Township's Ordinance, the resulting parcels would be required to meet Ordinance dimensional standards. Consequently, the Attorney believed that a new variance granting the applicant permission to divide the parcels in such a way as not to conform to Ordinance dimensional standards, was needed. The Attorney, however, did note that the Zoning Board of Appeals would be the body to make any final interpretation of Ordinance provisions.

Because the applicant was still not in attendance, Ms. Stefforia attempted to reach the applicant by telephone and received no answer. Board members decided to wait ten minutes for the applicant to arrive. After ten minutes had elapsed, Mr. Bushouse moved to table the item to the meeting of March 5, 2001; Ms. Kuntzman seconded the motion. The motion carried, and the meeting was adjourned at 3:20 p.m. However, the meeting was reconvened by the Chairperson at 3:25 p.m. when the applicant appeared. The meeting was reconvened because none of the Board members or members of the public had exited during or subsequent to the motion to adjourn. The Board again considered the Knapper application. Ms. Bugge reiterated her summary of the application, and the Attorney explained her interpretation that the 1976 variance had lapsed.

The Chairperson asked the applicant to present his reasons for the variance.

Mr. Knapper stated that his existing well was in need of replacement, and therefore pursuant to Township Ordinance, he was required to hook up to public water. He did not wish to pay for 300 feet of frontage pursuant to the hook-up fee requirement. The Chairperson expressed the opinion that a variance was not a basis for avoiding a hook-up fee. He was particularly concerned since the applicant would be creating two non-conforming parcels.

Ms. Jensen stated that she was concerned about setting a undesirable precedent. The applicant expressed that he felt that his division would be in character with the area. It was noted that the 1976 variance would have created two parcels, one which was conforming and one non-conforming.

Mr. Bushouse expressed that he believed that the proposal as suggested by the applicant was in keeping with the other "small dimensioned lots" in the area. Ms. Bugge reminded the Board that the other parcels and lots with a small amount of frontage had either been created through platting or were grandfathered.

The Chairperson expressed concern about an undesirable precedent and indicated that he would like to see the applicant at least meet the square footage requirements of the Ordinance with regard to both parcels. Mr. Corakis agreed, indicating that if both resulting parcels met the square footage requirement, he believed that a frontage variance would be appropriate given the 1976 variance and given the character of the area.

Ms. Bugge noted that if one parcel had 119 feet of frontage and a depth of 455 feet, the parcel would comply with the square footage requirement, and the depth-to-width requirement. Only a frontage variance would be necessary. The remaining second parcel would comply with all dimensional standards.

Ms. Kuntzman indicated that she was not in favor of granting three variances when the applicant had other options. There was a discussion of how far the home on the property was from the north line. The applicant indicated that it was 200 feet at least from the south property line, and therefore, a division granting 119 feet of frontage to the south parcel would not interfere with the house or its setback from the sideline.

The applicant indicated that he would be agreeable to a division resulting in one parcel with 119 feet of frontage and the other with 200 feet of frontage. He realized that the motion would be conditioned upon at least 129 feet of distance between the south property line and his building at its closest point to that line.

Board members reasoned that the variance as suggested would be an improvement over the 1976 variance which would have resulted in two parcels, one of which did not conform to area or frontage. In this case, only a frontage variance for one of the parcels would be granted.

Mr. Corakis moved to grant a variance from the frontage requirement for Parcel A so as to result in a dimension of 119 feet of frontage and a depth of 455 feet from the center line, and the remaining Parcel B to have 200 feet of frontage, conditioned upon the applicant submitting measurements indicating that his building was at least 129 feet from the south line of the property. Mr. Corakis' motion was based upon the prior analysis of the Board, in particular, the reasoning that substantial justice would be served by the variance in that the variance would be an improvement over the prior variance granted to the property in 1976 and given the character of the area. Mr. Corakis reasoned that without the prior variance of 1976, there would be no justification for this variance. The motion was seconded by Ms. Kuntzman. The motion carried unanimously.

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
By:
Millard Loy, Chairperson
By:
Ted Corakis
By:
Sharon Kuntzman
By:
David Bushouse
By:
Jill Jensen

Minutes Prepared:
February 12, 2001
Minutes Approved:
, 2001