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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

July 9, 2001

Agenda

VISION WEST, LLC - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 552 SOUTH 8TH STREET (PARCEL NO. 3905-22-285-051)

A.M. SUPPLY - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 5190 WEST MICHIGAN AVENUE (PARCEL NO. 3905-25-230-015)

GLAS ASSOCIATES - VARIANCE - FREESTANDING SIGN - 6339 STADIUM DRIVE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-26-474-020)

WILLIAMS KITCHEN & BATH - VARIANCE - NON-CONFORMING FREESTANDING SIGN - 6827 STADIUM DRIVE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-35-115-061)

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday, July 9, 2001, commencing at approximately 3:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Millard Loy, Chairperson
Sharon Kuntzman
Ted Corakis
David Bushouse
Jill Jensen (after 3:07 p.m.)

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director, Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner, Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney, and 11 other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

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

MINUTES

The Board considered the minutes of the meeting of June 18, 2001. Mr. Corakis moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Mr. Bushouse seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

VISION WEST, LLC - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 552 SOUTH 8TH STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-22-285-051)

The Board considered the application of Vision West, LLC, through Ty Beckering of Pioneer Inc., for site plan review of a 18,800 square foot warehouse/office building at 552 South 8th Street. The subject property is located in the "I-1" Industrial District and the "R-4" Residence District and is Parcel No. 3905-22-285-051.

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

Ms. Bugge reminded the Board that it had tabled its initial review of the project at the meeting of June 18, 2001. Since that date, the Planning Commission considered a rezoning request regarding the parcel and a revised site plan had been provided by the applicant. It was noted that the Planning Commission had recommended rezoning of the "R-4" portion of the property to the "I-1 Industrial District, which would be in conformance with the Master Land Use Plan. The Planning Commission recommended against the rezoning of two adjacent residential parcels.

Ms. Bugge also reminded the Board that the owner has requested the subject property be combined with Parcels 3905-22-285-005 and 021. The proposal involves a third building which could be established on the subject properties. The properties included an existing older building fronting on 8th Street and a 21,619 square foot building approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals on January 22, 2001, which was now under construction.

It was noted that the Township Staff is still awaiting:

(1) A lighting plan;

(2) A complete landscaping plan (a partial plan has been submitted); and

(3) An architectural plan for the retaining wall.

Dan Schoonmaker was present on behalf of the applicant.

Ms. Jensen arrived.

In response to questions from the Chairperson, the applicant indicated that the dumpster had been relocated near the "cul-de-sac" or emergency turnaround which had been added after consultation with the Township Fire Department.

There was discussion of the access arrangement, and Ms. Bugge indicated that one entrance was called for by the Access Management Guidelines.

Ms. Kuntzman had questions concerning the plans for the greenspace/landscaping and whether fencing would be established. The applicant indicated no intention of fencing. Ms. Bugge stated that the partial plan submitted by the applicant does meet the landscaping provisions of the Ordinance concerning the 40-foot setback from the property which was within the "R-4" District.

In response to questions from Mr. Bushouse, it was explained that the emergency spillway had been approved by the Township Engineer as part of the review of the building approved in January. This would be used only for emergency purposes, and it was noted that the normal flow of water was in this direction. The applicant indicated that they felt that the stormwater retention system on site was adequate. He indicated that there would be access to the retention system for maintenance purposes through the emergency turnaround.

The Chairperson asked for public comment, and Gordon Daam, owner of the residential parcels fronting on KL Avenue, expressed concern about the lighting and landscaping. He felt that the Township should carefully review the landscaping so as to insure that the trees were placed to provide a "screen" for his property. He also suggested shielding the lights.

Lighting was discussed, and the applicant indicated that there would be wall packs on the south building wall. There would be three poles in the south parking lot. The lighting would be cut off so as to avoid glare on the neighboring property. It was explained that the applicant would need to adhere to the Township lighting standards.

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

The Chairperson reviewed the criteria of Section 82.800.

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

(1) The main access would be via a shared driveway from 8th Street on a 66-foot right-of-way. The driveway must be adequately maintained at all times, and a maintenance agreement between the owners of the properties which would share the driveway should be executed and on file with the Township.

(2) Any change in the use breakdown of the subject property and/or tenant uses must be approved by the Township.

(3) Loading and unloading operations are subject to compliance with Section 68.301.

(4) Outdoor storage was not proposed or approved.

(5) A site lighting plan and fixture details must be submitted to the Township for review and approval and must comply with Section 78.700.

(6) All signs must comply with Section 76.000. Details of any signage must be submitted for review and approval through the permit process.

(7) A landscaping plan consistent with Section 75.000 must be submitted for review and approval by the Township.

(8) Approval is subject to the Township Board approval of the rezoning of the subject property so as to have the entire parcel within the "I-1" District, or there must be consideration of whether the proposed passive use for the (drain field) in the "R-4" portion of the property was appropriate under the Ordinance.

(9) Site plan approval is subject to the review and approval of the Township Fire Department and any conditions imposed thereby.

(10) The site plan approval is also subject to the submission of a sealed architectural plan for the proposed retaining wall on the north side of the north parking lot of the proposed building.

(11) Site plan approval is subject to the Township Engineer finding storm water management adequate and approval of the site plan.

(12) A revised earth change permit from the Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner shall be obtained if required by the Commissioner.

(13) Site plan approval is subject to the execution of a water agreement with the Township.

(14) Site plan approval is subject to the approval of the Kalamazoo County Human Services Department for the septic system.

(15) A hazardous substance reporting form must be submitted by each tenant.

(16) If the loading or unloading of hazardous substances is anticipated, ground water protection measures will be required pursuant to Section 69.200.8.

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

A.M. SUPPLY - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 5190 WEST MICHIGAN AVENUE (PARCEL NO. 3905-25-230-015)

The Zoning Board of Appeals considered the application of Ahrens Construction on behalf of A.M. Supply for site plan review of a 2,500 square foot addition to the existing building and a new 5,000 square foot warehouse/storage building at 5190 West Michigan Avenue. The subject property is located in the "I-1" Industrial District zoning classification and is Parcel No. 3905-25-230-015.

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

Ms. Stefforia indicated that the applicant was proposing to construct a second building which had previously been approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals in 1999. At that time, approval for the proposed building addition was not sought. Approval for the second building, however, expired in 2000. The applicant had scaled down the proposed new building to 5,000 square feet but was proposing the building addition. Mike Ahrens was present on behalf of the applicant.

In response to questioning by Board members, Mr. Ahrens indicated that the dumpster area would be designed to accommodate the existing building, the proposed addition, and the new building. The dumpster area would also accommodate recycling.

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

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

(1) As to access, the site would be served by the existing drive off West Michigan Avenue. No additional access point was proposed or approved.

(2) Parking must comply with the approved site plan and with the Zoning Ordinance.

(3) As to setbacks, it was particularly noted that the west side setback of the building may be less than 20 feet when measured from the leading edge. Therefore, the building should be shifted accordingly. The proposed building must meet all setbacks in the Zoning Ordinance, and the applicant was again reminded that the setback is measured from the leading edge of the building.

(4) Outdoor storage was not sought or approved.

(5) If outdoor storage was desired, it must be shown on the site plan and approved by Township Staff.

(6) No freestanding light poles were proposed; however, all lighting must comply with the requirements of Section 78.700.

(7) A sign permit in compliance with Section 76.000 must be obtained prior to the placement of any signage.

(8) Landscaping must be installed consistent with the approved landscaping plan prior to certificate of occupancy being granted for the second building; or in the alternative, a performance guarantee consistent with the provisions of Section 82.950 must be provided.

(9) Site plan approval is subject to the review and approval of the Township Fire Department and any conditions imposed thereby.

(10) Site plan approval is subject to the Township Engineer review and acceptance that the site engineering is adequate.

(11) The proposed facility would be served by public water and sewer.

(12) An environmental permits checklist and hazardous substance reporting form must be completed and provided for the tenants located in the second building.

(13) Tenant use of the subject building must be approved by the Township.

Ms. Kuntzman seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

GLAS ASSOCIATES - VARIANCE - FREESTANDING SIGN - 6339 STADIUM DRIVE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-26-474-020)

The Board considered the application of Al Spitters of Glas Associates for a variance from the provisions of Section 33.410 to allow a freestanding sign in the Village Commercial District at 6339 Stadium Drive. The subject property is Parcel No. 3905-26-474-020.

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

It was noted that the subject building was in existence prior to 1975. Since that time, it had been used to house various businesses. Home Builder Glas Associates now occupies the building. The building is set back 161 from the center line, or 111 feet from the right-of-way. The applicant proposed a ground-mounted sign, which would be 32 square feet in area, seven feet tall, and would be located 64 feet from the street center line, or 14 feet from the right-of-way.

Ms. Stefforia reminded the Board that in 2000, the subject property was rezoned from the "C" Local Business to the "VC" Village Commercial District. All existing freestanding signs in the District were grandfathered and considered legal non-conforming. However, the Village Commercial District provisions do not allow for freestanding signage. Ms. Stefforia stated that the proposed sign does satisfy the requirements of a ground-mounted sign permitted in other commercial districts in that the bottom of the sign face is less than two feet from the ground, and the overall height is less than eight feet.

Mr. Bushouse noted that his recollection was that the intent of the Village District was that new buildings were encouraged to be built closer to the road with the parking located to the rear. Allowing the buildings close to the road negated the need for freestanding signage because wall signage would allow for visibility from the street. However, with regard to the existing building, wall signage would not have visibility given the distance from the street.

The applicant was present, stating that he was available to answer questions. He indicated that the applicant had tried to preserve the character of the property, which he described as a historical house over 100 years old. Also, the applicant was attempting to preserve 200-year-old maple trees on the site.

The Chairperson asked for public comment, and Brian Dylhoff indicated that he owns a property approximately "two houses down the street". He agreed that the setback of the building would justify freestanding signage for this property. He felt that the applicant had made a big improvement to the site, and he urged that the variance be granted.

After further discussion, Ms. Kuntzman moved to approve the variance with the following reasoning:

(1) That conformance was unnecessarily burdensome, given that the distance of 111 feet from the right-of-way would indicate that wall signage would lack visibility. Conformance was not a reasonable option, given that the building was previously existing.

(2) That substantial justice would weigh in favor of granting the variance, given the character of the area and the character of the signage proposed, which would comply with the criteria for a ground-mounted sign.

(3) That unique physical circumstances did exist preventing compliance, given the distance of the existing building from the street and the trees located on the site.

(4) That given that the building was existing, the hardship was not self-created.

(5) That the intent and spirit of the Village Focus Area plan would be met by the variance, given the scale of the "ground-mounted sign".

Mr. Bushouse added that the intent and spirit was met also in that the Village Focus Area plan had as one of its goals, the preservation of existing Village structures. This goal would be met by allowing the subject site reasonable signage. Mr. Bushouse seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

WILLIAMS KITCHEN & BATH - VARIANCE - NON-CONFORMING FREESTANDING SIGN - 6827 STADIUM DRIVE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-35-115-061)

The Zoning Board of Appeals considered the application of Williams Kitchen & Bath for variance approval from the provisions of Section 62.151 to allow the replacement of a non-conforming freestanding sign in the Village Commercial District. The subject property is located at 6827 Stadium Drive and is Parcel No. 3905-35-115-061.

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

Prior to comments by the Planning and Zoning Department, the applicant indicated that he would like to submit a revised drawing for a smaller scale sign than was previously submitted. This sign would be 44 square feet, like the existing sign at the site, and would have a height of 102 inches. The base of the sign would be enclosed but would be more than two feet off the ground.

In response to questions from Mr. Corakis, the applicant indicated that there was an existing sign at the site which is 11 feet in height with a base five feet off the ground and having a square footage of 44 feet.

There was discussion of tabling the item to allow Township Staff to review the revised sign design. It was noted that the applicant may have more success with the application, based on the precedent set at the prior application, if the sign were redesigned so as to be "ground-mounted".

Mr. Corakis moved to table the item to the meeting of July 23, 2001, at 3:00 p.m. Ms. Kuntzman seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously. The applicant indicated his agreement with tabling the item.

ADJOURNMENT

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

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS


By:
Millard Loy, Chairperson

By:
Sharon Kuntzman

By:
Ted Corakis

By:
David Bushouse

By:
Jill Jensen

Minutes Prepared:
July 12, 2001

Minutes Approved:
, 2001