OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS MINUTES

January 18, 1999

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Agenda

UPPAL - SITE PLAN REVIEW

INVESTMENT PLUS - SITE PLAN REVIEW

DEVISSER LANDSCAPING - VARIANCE REQUEST

PARK VILLAGE PINES - SITE PLAN REVIEW

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A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday, January 18, 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, Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner, Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney, and fourteen (14) other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

Thomas Brodasky, Acting Chairperson, called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m.

MINUTES

The Board considered the minutes of the meeting of December 21, 1998. The changes suggested by Ms. Stefforia were noted. Mr. Saunders moved to approve the minutes as amended, and Mr. Bushouse seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

 ELECTION OF OFFICERS

Mr. Saunders nominated Mr. Brodasky be elected as Chairperson. Mr. Bushouse moved to close the nominations and elect Mr. Brodasky. This motion was seconded by Ms. Kuntzman. The motion carried unanimously.

UPPAL - SITE PLAN REVIEW

The next item was the application of Jogi Uppal for site plan review of a proposed new gasoline station and associated convenience store at 8739 West Main Street. The property is located in the "C" Local Business District zoning classification. It was noted that the item had been tabled from the meeting of December 21, 1998.

The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference. Ms. Stefforia noted that the applicant had revised the site plan subsequent to the previous meeting. There was no longer a need for variance in that the site plan met setback standards. The gasoline pumps had been moved to the east side of the property and the canopy, being detached from the building, did not require variance. Ms. Stefforia noted that a lighting plan was needed. Additionally, it was noted that there was no municipal water currently in this area of the Township. The owner of the property and others in the area were pursuing special assessment district to extend municipal water to this portion of the Township. Ms. Stefforia noted that the Fire Department would address this issue in its review of the site. It was further noted that the building had been shifted east and south from the previously drafted plan. The access point was shifted to the east. Parking was satisfactory.

Mark Granger was present representing the applicant, along with Jogi Uppal.

Mr. Loy questioned the applicant with regard to the number of underground tanks. Mr. Granger stated that there would be one tank with three compartments placed underground. He acknowledged that, when the truck unloading gasoline was present at the site, both diesel pumps would be blocked. Mr. Granger stated that this was acceptable to the MDEQ. There was a discussion of site circulation, and Mr. Granger stated that the truck would enter the site, go around the building, and unload at the diesel pump area. The truck would thereafter exit.

Mr. Granger said that the applicant is working with the Township Engineer regarding stormwater retention.

The Chairperson had questions with regard to the proposed landscaping at the site. It was acknowledged that more proposed landscaping had been added on the west side of the site than originally proposed. Ms. Stefforia stated that the Board might consider requiring additional landscaping along the West Main frontage. The applicant said that most of this area was within the MDOT right-of-way.

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

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

(1) That the site would be served by one access point and that its proposed location is acceptable to the Township. However, approval was conditioned upon the applicant obtaining approval of the appropriate permit from the Michigan Department of Transportation or the Kalamazoo County Road Commission before applying to the Township for building permit.

(2) That parking at the site was satisfactory. All spaces must be constructed in compliance with the Ordinance’s dimensional requirements. The barrier-free parking was subject to ADA and Michigan Barrier-Free Guidelines and must be designated with signage and pavement logo.

(3) That the applicant was required to submit a complete lighting plan for staff review and approval consistent with Section 78.700 of the Zoning Ordinance before applying for a building permit. It was required that canopy-mounted fixtures be recessed.

(4) That any signage at the site be reviewed and approved through the permit process.

(5) That a landscaping plan be submitted to Township staff for review and approval.

(6) That it was acknowledged that the setbacks are in compliance with Ordinance standards.

(7) That approval is subject to the review and approval of the Township Fire Department.

(8) That approval is subject to the review and approval of the Township Engineer.

(9) That approval was contingent upon the applicant obtaining approval from the appropriate state agencies, such as the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, which are necessary for this type of development; these approvals must be obtained and verification provided to the Township prior to application for building permit from the Township.

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

 INVESTMENT PLUS - SITE PLAN REVIEW

The next item was the application of Investment Plus for site plan review of a proposed 3,500 sq. ft. office building to be constructed at 2455 S. 11th Street. The subject site is within the "C" Local Business District zoning classification.

The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference. Ms. Stefforia noted that the condominium project itself had been approved by the Planning Commission at its previous meeting. The condominium project included two units. No new access point was proposed. The access of the existing Kitchen Shop development would be utilized for the entire condominium project. It was noted that the area designated as "future parking" would be constructed with the establishment of the building/unit #2. Ms. Stefforia suggested that additional detail was needed with regard to the dumpster and its enclosure. The Township Engineer had not yet approved the site with regard to stormwater retention, but the applicant’s engineer was working with the Township on this.

The applicant’s representative, Joe Reno, was present. Mr. Reno stated that the building would be approximately 3,500 sq. ft. The sidewalks previously planned for the east side of the building would not be established. As to future parking, he confirmed that it would be built with the construction of unit #2.

Architect for the project, Richard Schramm, stated that the dumpster would be located on the south property line. Detail would be provided as to the enclosure proposal. In response to questioning by Mr. Loy, Mr. Schramm stated that the retention area would not be fenced. He further stated that an amended plan had been created to address the Township Engineer’s comments. Mr. Bushouse questioned the applicant with regard to the location of the AT&T right-of-way in relation to the site. The applicant stated that the site "goes over" the AT&T utility easement. The walks on the east side originally planned were eliminated in that the building was no longer planned to be a walkout.

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

Mr. Bushouse asked the applicant about signage proposed. It was noted that a second free-standing sign would be requested.

After further discussion, Mr. Saunders 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 11th Street. No new driveway/access point would be established.

(2) That the parking proposed, 37 spaces, was determined to be adequate. All parking spaces must comply with Ordinance dimensional standards. The barrier-free parking was subject to ADA and Michigan Barrier-Free Guidelines and must be designated with signage and pavement logo.

(3) That the proposed building complies with all setback standards of the Ordinance.

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

(5) That the applicant was required to provide a plan/detail with regard to the proposed screening for the dumpster.

(6) That all site lighting must be in compliance with the lighting guidelines of Section 78.700. A lighting plan consistent with Section 78.700 must be provided to Township staff for review and approval.

(7) That no screening for adjacent land uses was necessary.

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

(9) That approval was subject to the review and approval of the Township Engineer.

(10) That an Environmental Permits Checklist and Hazardous Substance Reporting form had been completed and submitted for the building.

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

 

DEVISSER LANDSCAPING - VARIANCE REQUEST

The next item was the application of DeVisser Landscaping for variance from Section 62.151 of the Zoning Ordinance to allow the expansion of a legal, nonconforming use at 4014 S. 9th Street. The subject property is located within the "I-R" Industrial District - Restricted zoning classification. The applicant requests a variance to allow the placement of a pole barn building on the property for the storage of business vehicles and equipment.

The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference. Ms. Stefforia provided a brief history with regard to the zoning of the property in question. She noted that the Township had rezoned the property to the Industrial District from the Agricultural District in 1988. This rendered the current use nonconforming. The applicant sought to establish a second pole building to allow for storage of vehicles and equipment. As to whether conformance was unnecessarily burdensome, Ms. Stefforia noted that the property would continue to be used for landscaping business with or without the variance. The placement of a pole building would not increase the nonconforming use or its scope. The building would merely allow for the inside storage of current equipment and vehicles.

With regard to substantial justice, Ms. Stefforia observed that, when the "I-R" text was adopted and the subject property was rezoned, certain provisions were made to exempt legal nonconforming uses from the application of some new requirements. Therefore, it would seem consistent with substantial justice to allow this use to establish a second pole building for the storage of its vehicles and equipment.

There were no unique physical circumstances preventing compliance with the Ordinance. However, Ms. Stefforia questioned whether this criterion was applicable to the current request in that the applicant was not requesting dimensional requirement relief.

Further, even if variance were denied, the equipment and vehicles which would be stored inside the pole building would remain on site. To the extent that the applicant triggered the need for variance by requesting a second pole building, the hardship was self-created. However, the 1988 rezonings which caused the property to become nonconforming were not initiated by the applicant.

It was further felt that the variance would be in keeping with the spirit and intent of the Ordinance in that the "I-R" District allows more intensive land use than is conducted by the applicant.

The applicant, Dave DeVisser, was present, indicating that he wished to add the pole building to improve the aesthetics of the property, i.e., to allow the indoor storage of certain equipment and vehicles. The proposed pole building would be 35’ x 90’ with 12’-high sides. In addition, there would be a 12’ x 25’ lean-to along the south end of the proposed building. The pole building would have overhead doors allowing for vehicles to be driven in and the doors closed at night. Mr. DeVisser stated he felt that this would improve the look of the site, as well as protect the equipment and vehicles from theft or vandalism.

Ms. Kuntzman questioned the applicant with regard to whether additional lighting would be established. Mr. DeVisser stated that he believed the existing lighting at the site would be sufficient.

The Chairperson called for public comment, and Ted Corakis noted that he drives by the site 3-4 times per day. He supported the granting of the variance in that he felt it would improve the appearance of the site to allow the applicant to store his equipment and vehicles inside.

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

Mr. Saunders felt it was significant that this nonconforming use was less intense than those allowed in the zoning district. Mr. Loy agreed, stating that he felt the variance would improve the aesthetics of the site.

Ms. Kuntzman moved to approve the variance based on the previously articulated reasoning and discussion of the nonuse variance criteria. Mr. Loy seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

PARK VILLAGE PINES - SITE PLAN REVIEW

The next item was the application of Kalamazoo Area Christian Retirement Association/Park Village Pines for site plan review of a proposed 18,000 sq. ft. adult assisted-living facility at 2920 Crystal Lane, which is within the "R-4" Residence District zoning classification.

The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference. It was noted that the proposed building would be established on the existing Park Village Pines site. Twelve new parking spaces were proposed. Ms. Stefforia suggested that the Board obtain information from the applicant so as to determine the adequacy of the number of spaces which would be established. She further noted that the Fire Department of the Township had a "short corrections list" as a result of their review. Additionally, the screening proposed for the dumpster on a pad west of the drive was not shown. It was noted that the site might not be entitled to an additional free-standing sign. The Township Engineer has a few concerns with regard to the stormwater retention on site, and the applicant is addressing these concerns.

Paul Warnick, on behalf of Larry L. Harris, architect for the project, was present. He stated that the buildling would be utilized for 24-hour care of Alzheimer’s patients. They had reviewed a similar facility in Grand Rapids which had the same number of units and employees. The Grand Rapids facility has 13 parking spaces, of which seven are in use at any one time. Therefore, they would expect that the 12 spaces to be established with this proposed building would be sufficient. He noted that the site would have five employees. Further, he felt that there was ample parking at the Park Village Pines facility for any overflow.

The applicant indicated that an underground leaching basin system would be established rather than a retention pond. The current dumpster at the site would be used by both facilities. He stated that there would be a fenced area to the rear of the property which would be 6’ chain link. There would be two locked gates for maintenance access.

The lighting at the site would conform to Ordinance standards in that it would be sharp cutoff in nature. Mr. Warnick stated he felt that the revised site plan created in response to Fire Department and Engineer comments would respond to their concerns.

Ms. Kuntzman questioned the applicant with regard to whether there would be a kitchen in the proposed building, and the applicant responded that there would be a shared arrangement with the Park Village Pines kitchen and that there would only be a serving kitchen at this building. As to signage, the applicant acknowledged that the only signage would probably be a directional interior sign.

The Chairperson sought public comment, and Henry Bonnes expressed some concern that the vicinity map on the site did not accurately show the lines of his property. He stated that he owned the property over the previously existing 18’ right-of-way in a straight line from the boundaries of his platted lot rather than at an angle as shown. He stated he had no objection to the proposed project. Mr. Bonnes was advised to consult with the Township Assessor to clear up this question as to property lines.

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

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

(1) That it was acknowledged that the site would be served by the existing single access point onto Crystal Lane, which driveway also serves Park Village Pines.

(2) That, given the number of residents and employees expected at the site, the proposed parking was sufficient in number. All parking spaces must comply with the dimensional standards of the Ordinance. Further, barrier-free parking was subject to ADA and Michigan Barrier-Free Guidelines and must be designated by signage and pavement logo.

(3) That the project complies with all Ordinance setback standards.

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

(5) That detail as to the screening of the dumpster must be provided to Township staff for review and approval.

(6) That all lighting be in compliance with the lighting guidelines of Section 78.700.

(7) That all signage, if required by the Ordinance, must be reviewed and approved through the permit process and must comply with Ordinance requirements.

(8) That no additional screening for adjacent land uses was necessary.

(9) That no variance had been proposed or approved.

(10) That approval was subject to the review and approval of the Township Fire Department.

(11) That approval was subject to the review and approval of the Township Engineer.

(12) That an Environmental Permits Checklist and Hazardous Substance Reporting form had been completed and submitted to the Township.

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

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 4:10 p.m.

Minutes Approved:

February 1, 1999