OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS MINUTES

JULY 7, 1997

Agenda

 

SEECO RETAIL CENTER - SITE PLAN REVIEW - PROPOSED 10,750 SQ. FT. RETAIL CENTER - 9TH ST./SEECO DR. - UNITS #7 AND #8, SEECO COMMERCIAL PARK

PENNINGS - SITE PLAN REVIEW - PROPOSED 12,500 SQ. FT. LIGHT INDUSTRIAL FACILITY - EAST OF 5875 KL AVENUE

EDWARD D. JONES & CO. - VARIANCE FROM WALL SIGN STANDARDS - 5349 WEST MAIN (GOLF RIDGE CENTER)

 

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday, July 7, 1997, commencing at approximately 3:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall, pursuant to notice.

MEMBERS PRESENT:

Thomas Brodasky, Acting Chairperson
David Bushouse
Lara Meeuwse
William Saunders

MEMBERS ABSENT: Brian Dylhoff

Also present were Rebecca Harvey, Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney, and three (3) other interested persons.

 

CALL TO ORDER

The Acting Chairperson called the meeting to order at 3:06 p.m.

MINUTES

The Board considered the minutes of the meeting of June 16, 1997. The Board reviewed the changes suggested by Ms. Harvey. Ms. Meeuwse moved to approve the minutes as amended, and Mr. Saunders seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

SEECO RETAIL CENTER - SITE PLAN REVIEW - PROPOSED 10,750 SQ. FT. RETAIL CENTER - 9TH ST./SEECO DR. - UNITS #7 AND #8, SEECO COMMERCIAL PARK

The Acting Chairperson stated that the next item had been tabled from the meeting of June 16, 1997, at the request of the applicant. Bruce Kuipers of Delta Design, representing Seeco Investment, requested site plan review of a proposed 8,750 sq. ft. retail center. The applicant also requested variance approval from the 15' parking lot setback requirement established by Section 64.760 of the Zoning Ordinance. The subject site is located on the southeast corner of 9th Street and Seeco Drive and is within the "C" Local Business District Zoning classification.

The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference. Ms. Harvey stated that the applicant was no longer requesting variance in that the revised site plan submitted by the applicant complies with the parking lot setback requirement. Therefore, the Board would only consider site plan review. Ms. Harvey further noted that the applicant had revised its site plan to basically bring it into compliance with Ordinance requirements. As to the access drive, Ms. Harvey stated that the applicant's original proposal included a driveway width of 64', which was in excess of the recommended maximum driveway width of 36'. The revised plan brought the drive into compliance with this requirement. Ms. Harvey suggested that the Board subject approval of the drive to the review and approval of the Kalamazoo County Road Commission, which Commission would review the "approach design." As to driveway spacing, the site is located on a roadway which does not trigger strict applicability of the Access Management Guidelines of the Ordinance. However, the Board usually uses the Guidelines as an advisory standard. There was no need to formally deviate, however.

Ms. Harvey noted that the dumpster location is within the 30' access easement, which easement was required so as to allow for future extension of the road to other units within the site condominium project. The Board may wish to require relocation at this time or allow the location as proposed but require relocation of the dumpster when the access easement was developed. As to landscaping, the applicant sought approval similar to that given to Automotive Werks, which allowed screening along the south boundary, i.e., the boundary with a residential district, when the residentially zoned property is developed. Ms. Harvey also recommended discussion of possible landscaping in the parking area in that there was little greenspace at the site.

In response to questioning by the Acting Chairperson, the applicant stated that the drive was approximately 165' from the intersection. Compliance with the Access Management Guidelines standard of 200' would require that the access be placed to the back of the building at the site. Mr. Kuipers felt that the site would be more functional and aesthetically pleasing if the drive were aligned with the building as proposed. As designed, the access drive allows the public to access the front of the building and delivery vehicles to easily access the back of the building. This design would "hide" the unsightly loading or delivery area from public view.

Ms. Meeuwse questioned the applicant with regard to proposed green areas. The applicant illustrated the green areas on a drawing of the site. However, a part of the greenspace shown on the site was within the road right-of-way. Nevertheless, this area would probably be mowed by Seeco, according to the applicant. There was discussion of the property to the southwest, which was the site of a pump station building. There was screening or landscaping all around this pump station. As to the dumpster, the applicant suggested allowing the dumpster to be located as provided until the access easement is developed. However, the applicant would not be opposed to placing the dumpster behind the building.

Returning to landscaping, the Acting Chairperson suggested that the applicant provide a landscape plan to the Township. The applicant stated that they would be willing to present a landscape plan and would consider providing landscaped parking lot islands. As to lighting, the applicant corrected the plan and indicated that there would be three "wallpacks" on the building. Lighting specifications would be submitted to Township staff.

In response to questioning by Ms. Meeuwse, the applicant stated that there were doors at the back of the building but no loading dock. Deliveries would not be made by semi-trucks for the most part, although the "radiuses" at the site would be able to handle semi-truck traffic.

Mr. Bushouse questioned the applicant as to how the applicant would handle storage of snow after plowing at the site. The applicant acknowledged that there was nowhere to store removed snow at the site, and therefore it would probably have to be trucked away from the site in question.

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

After discussion, Board members agreed that it would not make sense to move the access point further to the east and place it in "back of the building."

Ms. Meeuwse commented she felt that it was an improvement to the site that the applicant was able to bring the parking lot into compliance with the setback required by the Ordinance.

Mr. Saunders discussed landscaping with the applicant, who stated that it was possible that an additional 4' strip of greenspace could be located at the site; but he felt that this would bring the site out of balance. Mr. Kuipers stated that the rest of the site was designed symmetrically. Ms. Harvey stated that there was no requirement of a certain percentage of greenspace at a site. However, the Board generally required a certain amount of greenspace or landscaping in character with the area under the general site plan review criteria. Mr. Saunders noted that the applicant could eliminate up to five parking spaces and still comply with the parking requirements of the Ordinance. Mr. Saunders suggested that these parking spaces be eliminated and greenspace or landscaping added to the parking area. Mr. Bushouse agreed, stating he felt that it would be appropriate for the applicant to seek a variance to allow certain parking to be reserved. He noted that many retail centers in the area did not utilize the parking provided. However, he recognized that, at this time, the tenants of the building were unknown. It was noted that a parking variance could not be considered at this meeting since it was not noticed.

Ms. Harvey also suggested that the Board add a mention of the outdoor parking/ overnight parking of vehicles bearing business names. Generally such vehicles have been required to locate to the back of the building/in the rear parking area and/or out of sight. Here, it would be appropriate to limit such vehicles to the southeast parking area at the site.

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

(1) That it was recognized that the width of the proposed access drive had been reduced to 36' in compliance with the Access Management Guidelines of the Ordinance. The location of the drive was not in strict compliance with the Access Management Guidelines as to spacing from the intersection, but it was found that this location was the "best location" given the service road network in the area, the placement of the building, site circulation and the character of the area. Approval of the access drive is subject to the review and approval of the Kalamazoo County Road Commission.

(2) That the parking lot layout was satisfactory, and parking is subject to compliance with the parking space dimensional standards of the Ordinance, i.e., 10' x 20'.

(3) That barrier-free parking is subject to ADA and Michigan Barrier-Free Guidelines and must be designated by signage and pavement logo.

(4) That it was noted that the site complies with the 85' building setback requirement from the south property line.

(5) That the proposed location of the dumpster was approved conditioned upon a review of the easement to determine that location would not violate easement terms. Further, the location of the dumpster must be relocated when the access road is constructed.

(6) That exterior lighting is proposed to consist of four pole lights and three wallpacks on the building. All lighting must be in compliance with the guidelines set forth in Section 78.700, and a detailed lighting proposal must be submitted to Township staff for review and approval pursuant to Section 78.720(g).

(7) That signage must comply with Section 76.000 of the Ordinance and be reviewed and approved through the permit process.

(8) That screening along the entire southern boundary line of the site must be established consistent with Section 11.540(1) within 90 days of the issuance of the building permit for the development of the "R-2" property located to the south or as soon thereafter as practicable given weather conditions. It was required that a landscape plan be submitted to the Township staff for review and approval. The applicant was encouraged to reduce the number of parking spaces at the site to 62 and/or obtain a parking variance so as to allow for a lesser number of parking spaces at the site. Reduction of parking would allow for the establishment of more greenspace. Further, the applicant was encouraged to establish landscaping in the parking area and along the west line of the property.

(9) That overnight parking of any business vehicle bearing business identification and/or advertising must be within the south easternmost portion of the parking lot at the site.

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

(11) That it was recognized that public utilities would serve the proposed retail center.

(12) That an environmental permits checklist and hazardous substance reporting form must be completed and submitted for the proposed project.

(13) That approval was subject to the conditions of approval established for the Seeco Site Condominium project.

The motion was seconded by Mr. Bushouse. Mr. Bushouse questioned whether screening could be established along the southern boundary at the site in that this would be placed over a sewer easement. The Township Attorney stated that placement of screening would depend upon the terms of the easement, but that normally such easements were drawn to allow for the establishment of some landscaping. It was typical in such easements to find the requirement that landscaping be re-established by a party performing work in the easement area.

Upon a vote on the motion, the motion carried unanimously.

PENNINGS - SITE PLAN REVIEW - PROPOSED 12,500 SQ. FT. LIGHT INDUSTRIAL FACILITY - EAST OF 5875 KL AVENUE

The next item was the application of Brian Pennings for site plan review of a proposed 12,500 sq. ft. light industrial facility designed to accommodate two warehouse/office uses. A general contractor's service is proposed to occupy one unit; the tenant of the remaining unit is unknown. The subject site is located on the south side of KL Avenue adjacent to the east of 5875 KL Avenue and is within the "I-1" Industrial District Zoning classification.

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

Ms. Harvey stated that, with regard to the use of the site, if the applicant was willing to commit to a particular use of the second suite, i.e., for example, as a second general contractor, the Board could approve the use of the suite. However, if the applicant could not commit to a particular use of the suite, the Board could approve the site plan, the building and the use of one suite; the applicant would be required to return for approval of the use of the second suite when a specific tenant was proposed.

As to the driveway, there were a limited number of access points in the vicinity of the area; but no information was provided on the plan. Therefore, compliance with driveway spacing could not be determined. Nevertheless, from site inspection, it appeared that this would not be a problem. As to the number of parking spaces, it appeared that the number suggested was sufficient. However, the number required was dependent upon the square footage of the office area and number of employees. Therefore, the Board should confirm the number of expected employees.

The applicant was present and stated that there was no tenant/use in mind at present for suite #2. Therefore, he stated that he would elect to leave approval of the use of that suite until a later date. As to driveway spacing, the applicant stated that the closest drive to the west was 380' from the edge of his property. The applicant recognized that he would need to get written approval from the owner of the neighboring property in that the proposed driveway approach on the east side extended beyond the frontage of his site. He noted that the neighboring property owner is the Township.

The applicant stated that there was a lot of natural screening on the west boundary presently existing.

The Acting Chairperson questioned the applicant as to the closest opposite drive. The applicant stated that this drive was to the east and was at a distance of 445' away.

There was discussion of the fact that a throat length for the access drive of 42' rather than 50' as required by the Access Management Guidelines was proposed. The applicant stated that he did not wish to redesign the parking area and could not move everything "back" 8' due to the site dimensions.

Ms. Harvey noted that the object of throat depth is to give entering vehicles enough room to "get off the road." Ms. Meeuwse was concerned about this point in that the property is located on a curve, and vehicles travel at a high rate of speed in the vicinity of the site.

The Acting Chairperson stated he felt that this would not be a problem given the design of the site and because vehicles could continue down the road.

There was discussion of the warehouse area, and the applicant stated that this would be used for storage of scaffolding and leftover materials. There would be minimal deliveries to the site in that most materials would be delivered directly to the job sites.

Returning to the throat-length issue, Mr. Saunders stated that he would rather see the circulation pattern made "one way" rather than a redesign. Ms. Harvey felt that a one-way circulation pattern would not work at the site as a practical matter because people would not comply given natural tendencies. However, she noted that the applicant was proposing a deceleration lane, that once entering on site vehicles would have "two ways to go." Further, given the proposed use, there would not be much customer access to the site; and, given building size, no matter the use of the other suite, customer traffic to the site would be limited.

The Acting Chairperson felt that redesigning the site would worsen circulation because it would create a "curve" in the throat of the driveway.

The applicant was questioned with regard to the number of employees, and Mr. Pennings stated that there would be up to two employees in suite #1.

The applicant was questioned with regard to the proposal of two signs at the site. The applicant corrected this information, stating that he wanted approval for only one sign on the east side of the site. As to stormwater retention, the applicant proposed an 8" PVC overflow pipe, which would discharge surface waters to a stormwater retention basin on a neighboring property. Ms. Harvey noted that, in order to allow for off-site stormwater retention, a variance would be required. It was suggested that the approval be subjected to Township Engineer review and approval. If the applicant could get agreement from the neighboring property owner for this off-site disposal of his stormwater, application could be made by the applicant for variance. Since the neighboring property is the Township, Mr. Pennings was directed to contact the Township Supervisor.

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

Ms. Meeuwse questioned the applicant as to the reason for the "drive-through area." The applicant stated that this would allow a truck and trailer to park underneath the overhang at night.

Ms. Meeuwse moved to approve the site plan for the site, building and tenant of suite #1 with the following conditions, limitations and notations:

(1) That the access arrangement was approved in recognition that it proposed a 42' throat length. It was determined that this 42' throat length was sufficient given the use of the site, which would involve a minimal number of deliveries, and minimal customer access and the on-site circulation pattern proposed.

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

(3) That driveway spacing was sufficient complied with Ordinance standards.

(4) That it was required that written consent from the affected property owner be provided to the Township for the proposed extension of the driveway approach beyond the frontage of the subject site.

(5) That all parking was subject to compliance with the dimensional standards of 10' x 20'.

(6) That barrier-free parking is subject to ADA and Michigan Barrier-Free Guidelines and must be designated by signage and pavement logo.

(7) That the proposed outdoor storage of a trucks and trailer under the overhang of the drive-through is approved.

(8) That the dumpster to be located within an enclosure along the south side of the subject building is satisfactory.

(9) That all site lighting must be provided in compliance with the lighting guidelines set forth in Section 78.700. A lighting proposal must be submitted to the Township staff for review and approval pursuant to Section 78.720(g).

(10) That all signage must comply with Sections 76.130 and 76.135 and be reviewed and approved through the permit process.

(11) That it was required that the vegetation along the west boundary of the site be retained as far as is practicable. The northern area of the site is to be landscaped in character with the general area and be reflected on a landscape plan. The landscape plan must be submitted to Township staff for review and approval.

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

(13) That approval is subject to the review and approval of the Township Engineer. It was acknowledged that the applicant may later request a variance to allow off-site disposal of surface water.

(14) That it was recognized that public utilities would serve the site.

(15) That an environmental permits checklist and hazardous substance reporting form had been completed and submitted by tenant #1. A similar permits checklist and reporting form would be required of tenant #2 at time of approval for that use.

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

 

EDWARD D. JONES & CO. - VARIANCE FROM WALL SIGN STANDARDS - 5349 WEST MAIN (GOLF RIDGE CENTER)

The next item was the application of Edward D. Jones, representing Edward D. Jones & Co., for variance approval from the wall sign standards established by Section 76.135 of the Zoning Ordinance. The subject site is located at 5349 West Main (Golf Ridge Center) and is within the "C" Local Business District Zoning classification. The location of the proposed site and the signage situation of the applicant was discussed. The applicant was not present, and Ms. Meeuwse moved to table the item to July 21, 1997. Mr. Saunders seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

 

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 5:05 p.m.

 

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS