OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

June 22, 2004

Agenda

REISTERER - VARIANCE - DEPTH-TO-WIDTH - 10700 WEST KL AVENUE- (PARCEL NO. 3905-19-155-052)

REISTERER - SITE PLAN REVIEW - ACCESSORY BUILDING - 10700 WEST KL AVENUE- (PARCEL NO. 3905-19-155-052)

KENDALL - VARIANCE - DEPTH-TO-WIDTH - 4601 SOUTH VAN KAL AVENUE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-31-355-015)

KENDALL - SITE PLAN REVIEW - ACCESSORY BUILDING - 4601 SOUTH VAN KAL AVENUE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-31-355-015)

SPRING HARBOR AUTO WASH - VARIANCE - WALL LIGHT FIXTURE HEIGHT - 5680 STADIUM DRIVE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-25-190-010 and 3905-25-190-005)

KALAMAZOO NORTH CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESS - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 2098 NORTH 10TH STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-12-305-017)

A regular meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Zoning Board of Appeals on Tuesday, June 22, 2004, commencing at approximately 3:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Millard Loy, Chairman
Grace Borgfjord
Dave Bushouse
Duane McClung
James Turcott

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

Also present were Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner; Catherine Kaufman, Township Attorney; and approximately ten other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

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

MINUTES

Mr. McClung moved to approve the minutes of the meeting of May 11, 2004, as submitted. Ms. Borgfjord seconded the motion. The Chairman called for a discussion, and hearing none, called for a vote on the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

REISTERER - VARIANCE - DEPTH-TO-WIDTH - 10700 WEST KL AVENUE- (PARCEL NO. 3905-19-155-052)

The Chairman noted that the next item on the agenda was consideration of the request of Norbert and Monique Reisterer for a variance from the required 4:1 depth-to-width ratio provisions of Section 66.201.

The Chairman called for the Staff report, which is incorporated herein by reference. Ms. Bugge told the Board that the requested variance was to allow a land division that would create a parcel with a depth greater than four times the width. Ms. Bugge explained that the current 21-acre parcel was zoned "RR" and was conforming. As existing, the 21-acre parcel has 731 feet of frontage and is approximately 1,256 feet deep. The applicant is proposing to divide the property into two parcels, in order to create an additional homesite. The proposed parcels as split would be as follows: Parcel A would be 8 acres in size, with 280 feet of frontage and approximately 1,256 feet in depth. Parcel B would be 13 acres in size, with 451.24 feet of frontage and approximately 1,253 feet in depth. Ms. Bugge explained that, as proposed, Parcel A would have a depth greater than four times its width. Therefore, to allow the land division, a variance would have to be granted.

Ms. Bugge outlined the standards for the Board's consideration when reviewing a nonuse variance (practical difficulty). First, Ms. Bugge indicated that, with respect to unnecessary hardship, the proposed land division would not be permitted without the Board granting a variance. Ms. Bugge indicated that the parcels could be split in conformance with Zoning Ordinance requirements, but that the applicants preferred to maintain a straight split of the properties (from front to back). The proposed straight line split would maintain the same lot configuration for the proposed parcels as exists for most of the surrounding properties. Also, Ms. Bugge noted that the applicants wanted to maintain 450 feet of frontage for the proposed Parcel B, which they would retain.

Ms. Bugge next indicated that, with respect to substantial justice to this applicant, several similar variances for depth-to-width ratios had been granted in the past. Ms. Bugge provided details on previous Zoning Board of Appeals' actions.

With respect to any unique physical characteristics pertaining to the subject parcel, Ms. Bugge indicated that its depth (approximately 1,256 feet) might be considered unique. Additionally, Ms. Bugge indicated that the need for the requested variance was created because of the applicants' desire to split the parcel as proposed, retaining 450 feet of frontage for Parcel B. Last, Ms. Bugge noted that with respect to observing the spirit of the Zoning Ordinance, granting the variance will permit the parcel to be split, and the resultant lots will be of similar configuration to surrounding properties. Moreover, the Board had granted similar variances previously.

Mr. Bushouse questioned if the variance was granted and the proposed land division occurred, could the applicant further divide Parcel B at a later date? Ms. Bugge answered that a further split of Parcel B would be possible.

Chairman Loy asked the applicant to make his presentation. Chairman Loy asked the applicant why he could not split the parcels in an L-shaped configuration, thereby meeting all frontage and depth-to-width requirements?

Mr. Norbert Reisterer appeared before the Board and indicated that he would prefer to make a straight line split of the parcels, from front to back, to prevent someone from building a home behind the other proposed homesite. Mr. Reisterer stated that, in his opinion, an L-shaped lot configuration would make development of both proposed parcels more difficult.

Mr. Bushouse asked the applicant if he could not give up an additional 30 feet of frontage to comply with the depth-to-width Zoning Ordinance requirement?

The applicant indicated that he and his wife had discussed the proposed lot widths, and they preferred to have 450 feet of frontage on Parcel B, which they would retain, to insure adequate spacing between homes.

Mr. Bushouse informed the applicant that minimum setbacks (more restrictive than required by the Zoning Ordinance) could be included in private deed restrictions.

Mr. Reisterer indicated that he wanted to maintain 13 acres, to insure distance between houses. He and his wife could afford to keep 13 acres and sell off the remaining 8 acres.

Ms. Borgfjord asked if the pink flag on a stake on site was the property line?

Mr. Reisterer responded that the entire 21-acre parcel had been surveyed and that the pink flag indicated the western corner of the parcel.

The Chairman called for public comment. Hearing none, the public hearing was closed.

The Chairman stated that he felt that the variance request was straight forward and that similar variances had been granted in the past. The Chairman requested additional discussion from the Board.

Mr. Bushouse asked Staff if only one house would be permitted on each proposed parcel? Ms. Bugge replied that only one house was permitted per parcel.

Mr. Bushouse commented that if the larger parcel (proposed Parcel B) could be further split, at a later date, another house could be added. Mr. Bushouse stated that this may be out of keeping with the surrounding residential development.

Ms. Bugge responded that if the larger parcel (proposed Parcel B) could be split at a later date, in conformance with Zoning Ordinance requirements, it would be permitted. Additionally, Ms. Bugge informed the Board that the aerial photo included in the Staff report had not been updated and that the property to the east had been split since the first of the year.

The Chairman called for additional Board discussion. Hearing none, the Chairman asked for a motion.

Ms. Borgfjord moved to approve the variance, finding that the nonuse variance criteria were met by the proposed variance, conditioned upon the division of the parcel as submitted to the Planning Department and as presented to the Zoning Board, with Parcel A (8 acres) to have 280 feet of frontage and Parcel B (13 acres) to have 451.24 feet of frontage. Mr. McClung seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

REISTERER - SITE PLAN REVIEW - ACCESSORY BUILDING - 10700 WEST KL AVENUE- (PARCEL NO. 3905-19-155-052)

The Chairman indicated that the next item on the agenda was consideration of the request of Norbert Reisterer for consideration of construction of an accessory building prior to construction of a residence. Also, Mr. Reisterer is requesting approval to locate the accessory building between the street and the future location of the home.

The Chairman called for the Staff report, which is incorporated herein by reference. Ms. Bugge indicated that the site is 10700 West KL Avenue. At present the site is zoned "RR" and is vacant land. In the immediately preceding hearing, the Zoning Board of Appeals granted Mr. Reisterer's variance request to permit division of the parcel. Ms. Bugge now reviewed with the Board the applicant's next proposal: to place a 36-foot by 24-foot accessory building (864 square feet) on the vacant property. The accessory building is proposed to be located 315 feet north of the road right-of-way and 30 feet west of the east property line. Additionally, the accessory building is proposed to be located between the future home site and the street. Last, the applicant seeks permission to build the accessory building prior to the construction of his home.

Ms. Bugge told the Board that this was the first review for approval to permit an accessory building to be constructed prior to a residence. Ms. Bugge urged the Board to discuss a construction timeline with the applicant. Ms. Bugge also informed the Board that the Planning Commission had reviewed a similar case, in conjunction with a home occupation requesting use of an accessory building prior to construction of a residence. The Planning Commission, in that instance, required the applicant to submit a performance guarantee equal to 150% of the cost of the accessory building's demolition, should the residence not be constructed within an established period of time.

Ms. Bugge reviewed the standards for the Board's consideration of accessory buildings, as contained in Section 78.820. Ms. Bugge stated that as regarding the characteristics of the proposed accessory building, the applicant had indicated that the building will be stick-built construction, with a cement floor, vinyl siding and a shingled roof. The color will be similar to that of the future residence. Ms. Bugge indicated that the proposed accessory building will be used for storage of lawn and garden equipment, a boat and household goods. Ms. Bugge indicated that the size of the property is as discussed in the previous agenda item; i.e., 13 acres in size. Ms. Bugge also noted that the proposed future residence would be approximately 2,300 square feet in size.

Ms. Bugge also stated that the proposed accessory building would be located 315 feet north of the road right-of-way line, and 30 feet from the east property line. This location would be between the future home site and the street. Ms. Bugge used the aerial photo to indicate that the existing residence to the west is only approximately 161 feet north of the road right-of-way line. Therefore, Mr. Reisterer's proposed accessory building would be located to the rear of the existing home to the west. Last, Ms. Bugge noted that existing land uses in the area included residential and agricultural uses. Some parcels are vacant. The Future Land Use for the area is depicted as Rural Residential in the Master Land Use Plan.

The Chairman asked the Board if there were questions for the Planning Staff. Mr. Turcott asked for clarification if the accessory building was proposed to be located 30 feet west of the eastern property line? Ms. Bugge answered in the affirmative. Mr. Turcott then asked what was located east of the subject property? Ms. Bugge indicated that it is vacant land with pine trees on it. Ms. Bugge indicated that this adjacent parcel has recently been divided and is anticipated to be developed for home sites.

The Chairman next asked the applicant to make his presentation. Mr. Reisterer indicated that he wanted to erect the accessory building prior to beginning home construction. Chairman Loy asked Mr. Reisterer to give a rough time frame for construction of the house. Mr. Reisterer indicated that as soon as the 8-acre parcel (Parcel A in request immediately preceding) was sold, he planned to start construction of the house on Parcel B. Mr. Reisterer indicated that he had two children currently attending Mattawan schools, and he wanted to keep their residence in the attendance area. Mr. Reisterer stated that he wanted to build the accessory building to hold his tractor, lawn equipment, boat and household items. Mr. Reisterer also stated that the accessory building would be similar in appearance to the proposed home and that he had brought his home plans for the Board's review, if needed. Mr. Reisterer also informed the Board that he was considering using post frame construction for the accessory building, after comparing the costs with stick-built construction. Mr. Reisterer said that, even if he used post frame construction for the accessory building, he would still use cement footings.

With respect to the proposed location of the accessory building between the proposed home site and the street, Mr. Reisterer stated that there was a slight rise in the middle of the property, and he planned to place the residence on that rise. Additionally, he had determined that it would be more costly to put the accessory building to the rear (north) of the house, because of the cost of extending electricity further north on the site. Mr. Reisterer also indicated that he attempted to place the accessory building between the driveway and a small grove of trees. Mr. Reisterer noted that he had been planting trees on the property, with the intent of improving the property.

Mr. Turcott asked Mr. Reisterer if the pine trees run between the properties? Mr. Reisterer responded that the pine trees run up to the east property line.

Chairman Loy asked Ms. Bugge about the Planning Commission's previous approval of an accessory building for a home occupation, prior to the construction of a dwelling, and the use of a performance guarantee. Ms. Bugge stated that the Zoning Board of Appeals had the option of adding a similar condition to their approval.

Mr. Bushouse stated that he thought it would be appropriate to add additional screening between the proposed accessory building and KL Avenue. Mr. Bushouse noted that the two houses to the west have their accessory structures located to the rear of the residences, as does the one house to the east of the subject property. Mr. Bushouse commented that if the Board were to approve this request, he felt the accessory building should be screened so that the surrounding property owners would understand the intent to minimize the impact of the accessory building.

Ms. Bugge noted that the accessory building was proposed to be located 315 feet from the road right-of-way, and wondered if additional screening was necessary?

Ms. Borgfjord said that she had visited the subject property and that it was very open land.

Mr. Bushouse stated that he did not think the use of post and beam construction for the accessory building would be a problem.

The Chairman opened the public hearing.

Mr. Reisterer (the applicant) asked for clarification on screening requirements.

Ms. Bugge noted that evergreens had to be five feet in height at planting. Ms. Bugge stated that the Board was discussing requiring planting of screening trees in front of the accessory building, to screen it from the street.

Mr. Reisterer stated that he had no problem with planting trees for screening.

Ms. Bugge said that as the building was only going to be 36 feet in length, only a few trees would be required.

Hearing no further public comments, the Chairman closed the public hearing.

The Chairman next called for Board deliberation.

Chairman Loy stated that in his opinion, the proposed accessory building's location conformed to past Board approvals. He agreed that screening of the accessory structure, as proposed by Mr. Bushouse and Ms. Borgfjord, was important. Additionally, Chairman Loy stated that he would like to require some type of performance guarantee.

Mr. Bushouse discussed the advisability of requiring a performance guarantee to cover the cost of removing the accessory building after one year, if construction has not begun on the residential dwelling within that time.

Mr. McClung asked the applicant how soon after constructing the accessory building did he plan to start construction on his house?

Mr. Reisterer stated that he would begin construction of his home as soon as selling off the 8-acre parcel.

The Board discussed the appropriate length of a performance guarantee. Mr. Bushouse suggested one year for the performance guarantee, or until completion of house and receipt of certificate of occupancy.

Ms. Bugge reviewed with the Board the procedure for a performance guarantee.

Ms. Borgfjord thought it appropriate to allow one year for the applicant to pull a building permit for the house, from that date of receipt of building permit for the accessory building.

Chairman Loy explained to the applicant that the Board wants to avoid the situation of an accessory building be put on a site, with the main residence never being constructed thereafter. Chairman Loy also explained about screening the accessory building with trees.

Mr. Turcott asked if the trees used for screening would be placed only on the south side of the accessory building, to screen the building from the street?

Chairman Loy answered yes.

Ms. Borgfjord asked if a landscape plan would have to be submitted to the Planning Department and reviewed by same.

Ms. Bugge indicated that it would.

Ms. Borgfjord made a motion to approve the establishment of an accessory building prior to the residence, as well as to approve the location of the accessory building between the street and the future location of the residence (315 feet from the road right-of-way), as submitted by the applicant, provided that:

1. A landscape plan, showing screening of the accessory building from the street, shall be reviewed and approved by the Planning Staff;

2. The applicant shall submit, at time of building permit application for the accessory building, a performance guarantee for 150% the cost of demolition of the accessory building. Documentation shall include an estimated cost of demolition of the accessory building.

3. The applicant must apply for and pull a building permit for the residence on the subject property within one year of the issuance of the building permit for the accessory structure. If such is not done, the applicant acknowledges that the Township may request removal of the accessory structure.

Mr. Turcott seconded the motion. The Chairman called for further discussion on the motion. Hearing none, the Chairman called for a vote. The motion passed unanimously.

KENDALL - VARIANCE - DEPTH-TO-WIDTH - 4601 SOUTH VAN KAL AVENUE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-31-355-015)

The Chairman indicated that the next item on the agenda was consideration of the request of Timon and Miriam Kendall for a variance from the required 4:1 depth-to-width ratio provisions of Section 66.201. The Chairman called for the Staff report, which is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge stated that the subject property is a 10-acre parcel, zoned "RR", located on the east side of South Van Kal. The property is 264 feet wide and 1,651 feet deep. As such, the property does not satisfy the 4:1 depth-to-width provisions of Section 66.201. As the property was created after 1965, it is not grandfathered and not buildable. A house was built on the property in 1983. The applicants now seek to add an accessory building to the site. To do so, the applicants must receive a variance to render the lot buildable by Zoning Ordinance standards.

Ms. Bugge continued by noting that all properties to the south of the subject property are also non-conforming and not buildable.

Ms. Bugge reviewed the standards for a nonuse variance with the Board. With respect to unnecessary hardship, the parcel configuration existed prior to 1984. A dwelling was constructed on site in 1983. The applicant may not receive a building permit for the site unless the property is brought into conformance with the 4:1 depth-to-width ratio or a variance is granted. In addressing the substantial justice criteria, Ms. Bugge referenced several other variances that have been granted by the Board for depth-to-width cases.

Ms. Bugge reviewed some of the unique physical characteristics of the property, including the fact that all properties abutting to the south are also non-conforming, thereby preventing the applicant from purchasing additional property for more lot width. Also, Ms. Bugge reviewed the impracticality of the applicants' having to sell off approximately 600 feet of the rear of their property, to satisfy the depth-to-width requirements.

With respect to the issue of a self-created hardship, Ms. Bugge indicated that the applicants purchased the property in 2003, 20 years after the home was built. The applicants did choose, however, to now erect the accessory building.

Ms. Bugge also addressed whether the spirit of the Ordinance would be furthered, if the variance was granted, by referring to similar variances that had been granted previously, along with the similar depths of the adjacent properties.

Mr. Bushouse stated that he recalled a previous review of the subject property in which four of the lots were subdivided with a 33-foot private easement on two of the lots granting access to the rear. He asked Ms. Bugge for clarification on this issue.

Ms. Bugge stated that it appeared there had been a preliminary plat review on those lots at one time, but that a subdivision was never recorded.

Mr. Bushouse thought the issue was sent to the Zoning Board of Appeals, which created four 10-acre parcels, with a 33-foot easement to allow access to the rear of the sites.

Ms. Bugge stated that she did not find any recorded easements on the GIS maps, nor were there any non-accessible parcels.

The Chairman asked Ms. Bugge to continue with her presentation, including her presentation for the next agenda item, regarding placement of the accessory building in front of the existing residence.

Ms. Bugge noted that this property is heavily wooded, with extensive trees. The applicants seek to place an accessory building on the property, 30 feet by 40 feet (1,200 square feet) in size. The proposed location of the accessory building is 161 feet from the road right-of-way. The applicants' home is 400 feet from the road right-of-way. Ms. Bugge indicated that the proposed location for the accessory building is located within a heavily treed area and would not be visible from Van Kal. Ms. Bugge also noted that the existing main floor square footage of the house is 1,758 square feet, which is greater than the 1,200 square feet proposed for the accessory building.

Ms. Bugge reviewed the standards for approval for an accessory building. First, the characteristics of the proposed accessory building include its size (30 feet by 40 feet),its materials (ivory steel siding with tan wainscoting, shingle roof) and other details (10-foot ceiling and a 4/12 roof pitch). Second, the proposed uses for the accessory building are for storage of yard equipment, use as a workshop and a garage. Third, the size of the main floor of the residence is 1,758 square feet, while the proposed accessory building is 1,200 square feet. Fourth, the proposed location of the accessory building is 161 feet from the road right-of-way, 204 feet in front of the existing dwelling, in a heavily wooded area. The accessory building will be located 30 feet from the south property line. Fifth, the existing land uses in the area are characterized by residential uses. The Future Land Use Map indicates Rural Residential land uses for this area.

Ms. Bugge concluded the Staff report. The Chairman asked if there were any questions for Ms. Bugge. Hearing none, the Chairman asked the applicant to present their request.

Mr. Timon Kendall appeared before the Board and indicated that he planned to use the proposed accessory building for his woodworking hobby and as a home workshop. Mr. Kendall indicated that he chose the proposed location so as to avoid removing large trees in the rear of his property. Also in the rear of the property there is a pond, which would cause difficulty when trying to locate an accessory building. Mr. Kendall indicated that he has parked a white trailer at the site of the proposed accessory structure, and the trailer is not visible from Van Kal in the summer, and barely visible from Van Kal in the winter.

Ms. Borgfjord asked the location of the house to the south of the subject property?

Ms. Bugge stated that the house to the south was located 70 feet from the right-of-way.

Chairman Loy opened the public hearing and requested public comment on either the Kendall depth-to-width variance request or the Kendall proposed location for an accessory building. Hearing none, the public hearing was closed.

The Chairman asked the Board for further discussion.

Mr. Bushouse asked the attorney if the Board could grant depth-to-width variances for the adjacent three properties that also were non-conforming and not buildable due to deficiency in the depth-to-width ratio.

Attorney Kaufman answered that the Board would have to advertise and provide notice on each parcel (or variance request) independently. As that had not been done, the Board could only take action on the application presently before it.

Mr. Turcott made a motion to grant the variance for the depth-to-width requirement to allow the property to be buildable. Mr. McClung seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

KENDALL - SITE PLAN REVIEW - ACCESSORY BUILDING - 4601 SOUTH VAN KAL AVENUE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-31-355-015)

Mr. Bushouse stated that in his review of the subject property, he saw several other houses with garages in front of the dwellings. Mr. Bushouse also stated that while the subject property was heavily wooded, he suggested the applicant consider planting evergreen trees to screen the proposed accessory building.

Mr. Bushouse moved to approve the proposed location of the accessory building between the existing residence and the street, in accordance with the plan submitted to the Planning Staff. Mr. McClung seconded the motion. The Chairman called for further discussion on the motion. Hearing none, he called for a vote on the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

SPRING HARBOR AUTO WASH - VARIANCE - WALL LIGHT FIXTURE HEIGHT - 5680 STADIUM DRIVE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-25-190-010 and 3905-25-190-005)

The Chairman stated that the next item on the agenda was a variance request to permit building mounted light fixtures in excess of 15-feet mounting height, at the Spring Harbor Auto Wash (Bob and Kay's). The subject property is located at 5680 Stadium Drive, in the "C" Local Business District, and is Parcel Nos. 3905-25-190-010 and 3905-25-190-005. The Chairman called for the report from the Planning Department, which is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge explained that this request for a variance was being presented pursuant to Section 78.720( c) of the Township Zoning Ordinance. Ms. Bugge told the Board that the subject property was developed with Bob and Kay's Auto Wash, a business comprised of a car wash, convenience store and gas station. Ms. Bugge stated that Bob and Kay's Auto Wash is no longer affiliated with Shell gas and therefore was seeking to display their new corporate identity. Included in their new corporate graphics package were proposed graphics on the canopy. The logos proposed for the canopy are considered signs under the Township Sign Ordinance and therefore, the logo can be lighted as a sign. The proposed ribbon (or wavy stripe) along the canopy, however, is not considered a sign. As the applicant hoped to install neon lighting along this ribbon, it would be considered a building mounted light fixture and is proposed in excess of 15 feet in height. The under clearance of the canopy is 14 feet 6 inches (14' 6") in height.

Ms. Bugge reviewed the standards for approval of a nonuse variance based on practical difficulty and whether the Ordinance was unduly burdensome. She noted that the business could continue without the additional lighting proposed for the ribbon on the canopy at the proposed height. She also stated that a reasonable use of the site would remain if the variance was denied and that neon lighting could be placed along the bottom edge of the canopy in conformance with the Ordinance.

With respect to the substantial justice criterion, Ms. Bugge reviewed with the Board a similar variance request made by McDonald's for lighting in the roof beams, which would have exceeded 15 feet. That request was denied by the Board in 2001.

Concerning unique physical characteristics of the subject property, which would prevent compliance with Township Zoning Ordinance standards, Ms. Bugge stated that she was unable to find any unique physical characteristics on the site.

Regarding the self-created hardship criterion, Ms. Bugge noted that the proposed lighting was at the applicant's discretion.

Last, Ms. Bugge reviewed with the Board whether the spirit of the Zoning Ordinance would be observed and public health, safety and welfare secured if the variance was granted. Ms. Bugge referred the Board to the Statement of Purpose for Section 78.700, the Lighting Standards of the Township Zoning Ordinance.

The Chairman asked if there were any questions for Ms. Bugge.

Mr. Bushouse asked Ms. Bugge to comment on the building mounted lighting at Finleys and Walgreens.

Ms. Bugge stated that Walgreens complied with the Township Zoning Ordinance requirements, as it did not exceed 15 feet. Ms. Bugge stated that Finleys installed their lighting without a permit and that it may be in excess of 15 feet. She also noted that Finleys is located at a lower grade than the abutting road.

Mr. Bushouse added that McDonald's building is set on a knoll, and therefore, it is higher than 15 feet.

The Chairman asked the applicant to present his case.

Mr. Robb Perrin of Burkett Signs, representing Bob and Kay's Auto Wash, stated that they hoped to install a neon accent on the canopy, in the ribbon (wavy stripe) area. Mr. Perrin stated that the neon stripe accent lighting would not shine on the road and was not a floodlight. It would only provide a glow from the canopy awning. He stated that while the owners could comply with the Township Ordinance, and there was no hardship, they hoped to get permission to light the wavy stripe on the canopy.

Mr. Bob Willmarth, owner of Bob and Kay's Auto Wash, addressed the Board. He stated that he wished he had realized the conflict with lighting the canopy prior to his installation of the graphics. He did his other site in Comstock Township in the identical manner, and there was no problem with lighting the graphics on the canopy in Comstock Township. Mr. Willmarth stated that he had his graphics package designed similar to what had existed when the station was a Shell franchise and never expected that as designed they would not comply with all Township regulations.

The Chairman called for comment from the public regarding the variance request of Spring Harbor Auto Wash. Hearing none, the public hearing was closed.

The Chairman stated that in his opinion, when McDonald's requested their variance for building mounted lights in excess of 15 feet, the Township Sign Ordinance had just been newly adopted. McDonald's was denied. The Chairman stated that while Bob and Kay's was a real asset to the Township, he did not want to set a precedent of undermining the new Sign Ordinance.

The Chairman then called for comments from the Board.

Mr. Bushouse stated that he had no problem granting a variance for what was basically two feet in height, if that variance was tied to canopy lighting (not building lighting). Mr. Bushouse noted that as a minimum underclearance for a canopy was required, it would be difficult for any canopy to comply with this Township regulation. Mr. Bushouse stated that he had seen neon lighting used on buildings, to increase the visibility of the building without using a sign. He did not have a problem granting a two-foot variance for lighting on the canopy.

Mr. McClung stated that he agreed with Mr. Bushouse. As the canopy had to provide a minimum under clearance, it would be very difficult to comply with the Township lighting regulations.

Ms. Bugge reminded the Board that there are approximately eight gas stations in the Township, and a decision regarding this variance request could set a precedent.

Mr. Bushouse asked about putting advertisements on gas station canopies.

Ms. Bugge responded that advertisements can be put on canopies, but they are considered signs and regulated by the Township Sign Ordinance. Ms. Bugge noted that the Township Sign Ordinance is more liberal now with regard to the number of signs permitted.

Ms. Borgfjord stated that if the variance is granted, it will only really affect nighttime use of the site. It would not be visible during the day.

Mr. Perrin, of Burkett Signs, stated that there would be a halo effect from the canopy at night. During the day there would be no effect.

Mr. Turcott stated that he agreed with Ms. Borgfjord. He felt that the signage option was adequate and that the station's identity was properly established. He felt that the only trouble was the neon lighting for the wavy stripe on the canopy.

Chairman Loy reiterated that the neon lighting in the wavy stripe on the canopy was not problematic, but the proposed height of it was. Chairman Loy stated that the Board had denied McDonald's a variance regarding height of building mounted light fixtures and that McDonald's had ultimately kept their building mounted lighting below 15 feet in height. He stated that he would have no problem with the proposed neon lighting of the wavy stripe on the canopy, if it was below 15 feet in height.

Mr. Willmarth, owner of Bob and Kay's Auto Wash, referred the Board to nearby Amoco/BP stations, that have a green neon stripe through the center of their canopies. Mr. Willmarth stated this is a trend in gas station design.

Hearing no further discussion, Chairman Loy called for a motion.

Mr. Turcott made a motion to deny the variance request by Spring Harbor Auto Wash to permit building mounted light fixtures in excess of 15 feet. The motion was seconded by Ms. Borgfjord. The Chairman called for further discussion on the motion. Hearing none, he called for a vote on the motion. The motion passed, 3 -2.

Ayes Loy
Borgfjord
Turcott

Nays: Bushouse
McClung

KALAMAZOO NORTH CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESS - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 2098 NORTH 10TH STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-12-305-017)

The Chairman indicated that the next item on the agenda was the Site Plan Review Request of the Kalamazoo North Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. The applicant is seeking site plan approval to construct a 4,700 square foot building for use as a church.

The Chairman called for the Staff report, which is incorporated herein by reference. Ms. Bugge stated that this site plan review request was pursuant to Section 82.800 of the Township Zoning Ordinance. The subject property is located at 2098 North 10th Street, being Parcel No. 3905-12-305-017. Ms. Bugge noted that the site does not extend all the way back to US 131. The subject property is located in the "R-2" Residence District zoning classification. The applicant is seeking approval to build a 4,700 square foot building, for use as a church. Churches are permitted uses in the "R-2" zoning district. Ms. Bugge noted that this would be the fifth church to be located on North 10th Street.

Ms. Bugge indicated to the Board that they might confirm with the applicant how refuse will be handled, as no dumpster is proposed. Additionally, Ms. Bugge brought to the Board's attention that the site plan, as proposed, had little extra room for additional parking.

Ms. Bugge then reviewed Section 82.800 of the Township Zoning Ordinance, and criteria for Site Plan Approval, with the Board members.

Regarding access, Ms. Bugge explained that the site would have one driveway to North 10th Street, opposite Torrington Road. This driveway would have to receive approval from the Kalamazoo County Road Commission. Ms. Bugge also noted that 58 parking spaces are proposed on the site plan, which meets Zoning Ordinance parking requirements. Again, Ms. Bugge explained that there is little additional room on site to expand the parking lot, if needed, because of the location of the septic and stormwater systems.

Regarding minimizing impacts on surrounding properties, Ms. Bugge stated that the site plan as proposed meets all setback requirements. Additionally, the applicant is required to submit details of the parking lot light fixtures, including a photometric lighting plan. Also, as noted above, the applicant is not showing a proposed dumpster location on the site plan. Therefore, the Board should confirm how the applicant proposes to handle refuse removal. Last, any signage should comply with Township sign regulations.

With respect to landscaping required on site, Ms. Bugge indicated that along the perimeter of the site, "C" greenspace is required. Also, landscaping is required in the parking areas. As the applicant proposes to use existing trees to satisfy landscape requirements on the east side, the existing trees along that side of the property must be protected during construction. Ms. Bugge noted that a detailed landscape plan, meeting all Ordinance criteria, must be submitted and approved by the Planning Department. If all landscaping is not installed, a performance guarantee for landscaping must be provided prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy. Last, the septic system's location has to be shifted, to prevent its conflict with the required north greenspace.

Concerning compliance with all provisions of the Township Zoning Ordinance, Ms. Bugge stated that no variances are requested for this proposal.

Regarding access for emergency vehicles, Ms. Bugge said that site plan approval would be subject to the applicant satisfying all requirements of the Fire Department, pursuant to adopted codes.

With respect to stormwater management, Ms. Bugge explained that all stormwater retention would be handled on site.

Ms. Bugge next noted that the site would be served by public water and would use a private septic system. Ms. Bugge said that site plan approval would be contingent upon the applicant receiving a permit for the septic system from the Kalamazoo County Department of Environmental Health. Additionally, the applicant must receive an earth change permit from the Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner.

The Chairman asked if there were questions for the Staff. The Chairman then asked Ms. Bugge how far away from this subject property was the public sewer?

Mr. Bushouse stated that he thought the public sewer had been extended to Litchfield.

Ms. Bugge stated that sewer is an extensive distance south of the subject property. And as far as she was aware, the sewer had been extended as far north as possible, given its design.

Mr. Bushouse stated that the sewer now is a gravity system. To extend further north, a force main would be required. Mr. Bushouse stated that he would like this site plan to be reviewed by the Sewer and Water Committee. At the same time, he would like the Sewer and Water Committee to look again at the Third Reform Church and see if something can be done to service these two churches.

Chairman Loy commented that because of the septic tank location, there was no other place to expand the parking lot. He stated that the Township should consider extending public sewer up North 10th Street, as it will be needed in the future. Chairman Loy felt that this situation needs to be explored.

Mr. Turcott stated that the Zoning Board of Appeals should review the site plan as submitted.

Mr. Bushouse asked Staff if all property owners within 300 feet of the subject property had been notified of the site plan request?

Ms. Bugge indicated that they had. She said that she had received one call, asking for clarification as to why the Zoning Board of Appeals was reviewing the site plan. Ms. Bugge stated that she explained the appropriate provisions of the Township Zoning Ordinance, granting the Zoning Board of Appeals authority over site plan approval for permitted uses.

The Chairman asked the applicant to present their case.

Mr. Ned Kauffman, of the Kalamazoo North Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, appeared before the Board.

Chairman Loy asked Mr. Kauffman about the provision of 58 parking spaces, and for an explanation of the Congregation's activities, i.e., whether the Congregation would conduct Sunday School classes along with Sunday services?

Mr. Kauffman explained that they meet three times a week (at night) in small groups for Bible Study. The Bible Study represents groups of approximately 20. On Thursdays and Sundays the entire congregation meets. These meetings would comprise 100 people, at the maximum. Mr. Kauffman also stated that there would be one big meeting a year, an annual celebration. Mr. Kauffman also said that Jehovah's Witnesses congregations are kept to a certain size. Once that size is reached, the congregations split off a new congregation. The Jehovah's Witnesses never get over 100 people in size.

Chairman Loy asked Mr. Kauffman if 58 parking spaces was sufficient for their needs?

Ms. Bugge noted that the Township Zoning Ordinance parking requirements for a church are calculated as three persons to one parking space.

Mr. Kauffman stated that the Congregation hoped to get public sewer extended to their site.

Chairman Loy replied that the time was appropriate for review of the situation of the churches on North 10th Street, as well as the existing subdivision, for extension of public sewer.

Mr. Bushouse reviewed the current plans of the Township Water and Sewer Committee, regarding extension of public sewer to the Westport Plat.

Mr. Kauffman asked if there would be a time delay regarding their site plan approval, for review by the Water and Sewer Committee?

Mr. Bushouse stated that the Water and Sewer Committee was meeting that Friday and may be able to discuss the Congregation's plans at that meeting.

Chairman Loy added that he would appreciate a review of the proposed site plan from the Water and Sewer Committee.

Mr. Turcott asked the applicant if they expected offering day care services at their church?

Mr. Kauffman answered no.

Ms. Borgfjord asked whether the Congregation would consider leasing their building to someone else to provide day care services?

Mr. Kauffman answered no, that Jehovah Witnesses congregations do not lease out their buildings for other uses.

Chairman Loy reminded the applicant that they had to submit a lighting plan. He also asked about refuse collection.

Mr. Kauffman responded that their practice is for Congregation members to remove trash from the church and take it home with them, for disposal there.

Mr. Turcott asked the applicant would they have an office open at the Congregation during the weekdays?

Mr. Kauffman answered no. Mr. Kauffman stated that sometimes Congregation members met at the church building, for errands or volunteer work, and then dispersed.

Mr. Bushouse discussed dedicating area on the site plan for a future dumpster location. Ms. Bugge said that a note can be added to the site plan stating that space is available for a dumpster, if one is needed in the future.

Chairman Loy asked the applicant if the septic system location could be shifted?

The Congregation's engineer, Doug Dingwall, stated that the septic system could be reconfigured.

Mr. Bushouse stated that, per the proposed site plan, the floor elevation of the building was 965 feet and the elevation of the road was 972 feet. Therefore, the building would be depressed, and not as visible from the road.

Ms. Bordfjord asked Ms. Bugge about the proposed storm retention basins.

Ms. Bugge stated that there are other options available for on-site retention of storm water (instead of using a retention pond), but that the other options may be more costly.

Ms. Borgfjord asked the applicant how excess parking demand would be handled, in the event of a large function, such as a funeral? Ms. Borgfjord opined that parking on North 10th Street would be very dangerous and should be discouraged.

Ms. Bugge indicated that there is some additional space on site, in lawn areas, where additional parking could be provided if needed.

The Chairman called for comments from the public.

Mr. Gerard Marsh addressed the Board. Mr. Marsh stated that the proposed church would be located in his backyard. Mr. Marsh asked the Board about the proposed retention basin. Mr. Marsh stated that the land in that area was very low and that at present, water gathers on that site and runs off onto adjacent land.

Mr. Marsh also asked about parking lot lighting. He was concerned that the lights would shine into his back yard.

Last, Mr. Marsh was concerned about parking cars along North 10th Street. Mr Marsh stated that when the People's Church has an event, cars park along North 10th Street, and it is a real safety concern.

Chairman Loy responded to Mr. Marsh, stating that as proposed, the ground on the subject property is designed to accommodate all stormwater runoff from the site on the property.

Mr. Marsh asked if the storm water runoff could be run across North 10th Street to the County Drain on the other side?

Ms. Bugge answered that all storm water runoff has be to handled on site. Ms. Bugge explained the locations of the proposed retention basins.

Mr. Marsh said there were very low lands to the south of the site.

Mr. Bushouse reviewed the proposed elevations on the site plan, indicating that the adjacent property was one-half foot higher than the Jehovah Witnesses' proposed storm basin rim.

Chairman Loy addressed Mr. Marsh's concern regarding parking lot lighting by explaining that parking lot light fixtures were required to have sharp cutoffs, thereby directing lighting downward, not outward. Also, the parking lot lighting could not exceed .1 footcandle at the property line. There should be no spillover of lighting to adjacent sites.

Mr. Marsh asked if the parking lot lights would be similar to those used at the Third Reformed Church?

Ms. Bugge stated that they would probably be similar.

Chairman Loy responded that the would have flat lenses. He indicated that the photometric lighting plan still needed to be submitted to the Planning Department.

Chairman Loy asked the applicant their proposed hours of parking lot lighting?

Mr. Kauffman stated they would have building mounted light fixtures for security. The parking lots lights would be lit until 10 p.m.

Ms. Bugge stated that most businesses had the parking lot lights on when the buildings were being used, with accessory security lighting on the building itself.

Chairman Loy stated again that the lighting plans still would have to be reviewed by the Planning Department.

The Chairman said, if there was no further discussion, he would consider a motion.

Ms. Borgfjord made a motion to approve the site plan, as presented, provided that:

1. The driveway and any necessary road improvements are subject to approval and permitting by the Kalamazoo County Road Commission.

2. All parking shall conform to Section 68.000

3. All site lighting shall comply with Section 78.700 of the Zoning Ordinance. Details of revised parking lot fixtures with flat lenses and a lighting plan containing photometric data for all outside lighting shall be submitted for Staff review and approval.

4. Any sign shall comply with Section 76 and shall be subject to approval through the sign permitting process.

5. Existing trees along the east side retained to satisfy Ordinance criteria shall be protected during construction to ensure their future viability and are subject to Staff finding that they satisfy Ordinance criteria.

6. A detailed landscape plan meeting all Ordinance criteria shall be submitted for Staff review and approval. All landscaping shall be installed or a performance guarantee provided in accordance with the Ordinance prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.

7. Modification of the location of the septic system area shall be required to prevent conflict with the north greenspace.

8. Site plan approval shall be subject to the applicant satisfying the requirements of the Fire Department, pursuant to adopted codes.

9. Site plan approval shall be subject to the applicant satisfying the requirements of the Township Engineer.

10. Site plan approval shall be subject to the applicant receiving a permit for the septic system from Kalamazoo County Department of Environmental Health.

11. Site Plan approval shall be subject to obtaining an earth change permit from the Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner.

Mr. McClung seconded the motion. The Chairman called for further discussion. Hearing none, he called for a vote on the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

OTHER BUSINESS

Mr. Bushouse asked Ms. Bugge if the billboard signs for McDonalds and Maple Hill Auto had been addressed?

Ms. Bugge responded that she had sent out a letter stating that when the signs were changed, they could not extend beyond the billboard frame.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no other business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at approximately 4:45 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

By:
Millard Loy, Chairman

By:
Grace Borgfjord

By:
Dave Bushouse

By:
Duane McClung

By:
James Turcott

Minutes Prepared:
June 28, 2004

Minutes Approved:
, 2004