OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS MINUTES

June 7, 1999

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PROSOURCE/MIGALA CARPET ONE - SITE PLAN AMENDMENT TO ALLOW SHIPPING CONTAINER IN PARKING LOT FOR STORAGE - 5400 WEST MICHIGAN AVENUE

OSHTEMO AUTO SERVICE - SITE PLAN AMENDMENT TO ALLOW PARKING OF SEASONAL VEHICLES BEHIND EXISTING BUILDING - 67 S. 4TH STREET

CORNING, DAVID - VARIANCE RE: LAND DIVISION/DEPTH-TO-WIDTH RATIO - 7518 WEST KL AVENUE

SIEGEL, JACK - VARIANCE TO ALLOW REDUCED FRONT YARD SETBACKS/ NONCONFORMING BUILDING EXPANSION - 6471 STADIUM DRIVE

UPPAL, JOGI - VARIANCE: SITE LIGHTING - 8739 W. MAIN ST.

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A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday, June 7, 1999, commencing at approximately 3:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall, pursuant to notice.

MEMBERS PRESENT:
Thomas Brodasky, Chairperson
David Bushouse
Millard Loy

MEMBERS ABSENT:
William Saunders
Sharon Kuntzman

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Township Planning Director, Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner, Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney, and seven (7) other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

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

MINUTES

The Board considered the minutes of the meeting of May 17, 1999.

Mr. Loy moved to approve the minutes as amended, and Mr. Bushouse seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

The Chairperson indicated to those present that any decision in favor or in opposition to an application would need to be unanimous; otherwise, no action would occur. Applicants were given the choice of proceeding with their matter or awaiting a meeting at which more Board members could be present.

PROSOURCE/MIGALA CARPET ONE - SITE PLAN AMENDMENT TO ALLOW SHIPPING CONTAINER IN PARKING LOT FOR STORAGE - 5400 WEST MICHIGAN AVENUE

The Board considered the application of ProSource/Migala Carpet One for site plan amendment to allow the placement of a shipping container within the parking lot for storage at 5400 West Michigan Avenue. The property is located in the "C" Local Business District zoning classification.

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

Lori Ruimveld was present on behalf of the applicant

Ms. Bugge noted that the applicant was proposing the placement of one 9’-high 8’ x 20’ shipping container on site for inventory storage purposes. The shipping container would be free standing and separate from the existing building. The container was proposed to remain on site continuously. Ms. Bugge presented photographs of the container and site showing the proposed location and a location suggested by staff should the application be approved. She indicated that the Township staff questioned whether the placement of such a container for storage was appropriate under the Zoning Ordinance. If appropriate, a site plan amendment would be necessary. The staff suggested that screening should be considered.

The applicant was present, stating that the proposed Township staff location for the storage container was acceptable to the applicant. The applicant felt that the storage container should be permitted, citing the fact that Hardings had a rental storage container at the loading dock on its site. The storage container proposed by the applicant would not contain signage.

In response to questioning by Mr. Bushouse, Ms. Ruimveld indicated that the container would be used as "warehousing space for excess inventory." Mr. Bushouse wondered about the necessity of a 160-sq.-ft. space when the building at the site was approximately 8,000 sq. ft.

The Chairperson questioned the applicant as to whether screening would be added around the container. The applicant was agreeable to some screening and indicated that there was existing screening between the proposed location and the senior housing project.

In response to questioning by Mr. Loy, the applicant indicated that the container would be placed on a concrete base. Mr. Loy asked why the applicant was not constructing a building addition or accessory building for the storage. Ms. Ruimveld indicated the cost for the container was a factor and stressed that the applicant did not want a permanent building. It was possible that the container would be used only 4-6 months of the year. If the applicant found that this container was not needed, it would be moved to the Migala Portage location.

Mr. Bushouse expressed concern about setting a precedent for allowing a storage container in the alternative to a building for storage purposes. Mr. Loy concurred, noting that the storage container would not provide much storage space for the applicant and would be setting a dangerous precedent for allowing outdoor storage within a Commercial District. Mr. Bushouse was also concerned about setting a precedent of allowing uses within the parking lot area. Board members agreed that it was inappropriate to grant the application given that others in the Commercial District had been denied outdoor storage. With regard to Hardings, the market had not been approved for locating outdoor storage containers and, therefore, if there were a storage container at the site, it would be an enforcement matter.

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

Mr. Bushouse moved to deny the application based on a finding that the container would constitute outdoor storage within the "C" Local Business District which was not allowed under the Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Loy seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

OSHTEMO AUTO SERVICE - SITE PLAN AMENDMENT TO ALLOW PARKING OF SEASONAL VEHICLES BEHIND EXISTING BUILDING - 67 S. 4TH STREET

The Board next considered the application of Oshtemo Auto Service for site plan amendment to allow the parking of seasonal vehicles behind the existing building and an extension to 15 days for the length of time that a vehicle awaiting repair may be parked at the site of 67 S. 4th Street. The property is located in the "C" Local Business District zoning classification.

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

The owner of the property, Eugene Morse, was present on behalf of the applicant, Jerry Parsons, of Oshtemo Auto Service.

Ms. Stefforia noted that the applicant was seeking an extension of the time allowed for the parking of vehicles awaiting repair from 10 days to 15 days. The applicant also sought permission to store snowplows behind the building on an existing concrete pad.

Mr. Morse stated that the applicant was seeking the extension due to the time it takes to obtain parts and complete repairs. Mr. Loy agreed that in the current climate a 10-day limitation was difficult, i.e., not enough time to get parts. Mr. Loy recalled that the Township had approved other similar time periods for Halli’s and other applicants. However, Mr. Loy commented that he would not be in favor of allowing storage in back of the building. Mr. Bushouse felt that the application would not be a problem so long as the cars were not in a dismantled condition. Further, it was emphasized that all parking should be in a paved area.

Public comment was sought, and none was offered. The public hearing was closed.

There was discussion with Mr. Morse, who indicated that the applicant intended to build a pole barn in which to place the seasonal snow removal and other equipment.

Mr. Bushouse questioned Mr. Paddock regarding enforcement techniques for the time limitation for vehicles awaiting repair. Mr. Paddock responded that the site was reviewed from time to time. In the case of this particular site, some vehicles had been in the parking area for more than one year. Moreover, part of the difficulty at the site was that vehicles were being parked on the gravel area which is located in the "AG" rather than "C" District. It was noted that there were 12 striped parking spaces in the paved area at the site.

Mr. Morse questioned whether the applicant could stripe more parking spaces, and it was noted that, if a plan were submitted to Township staff showing additional striping in the paved area, it could be administratively reviewed and approved.

Mr. Loy moved to amend the site plan for the Oshtemo Auto Service property to allow vehicles awaiting repair to be parked within striped spaces in the paved parking area for up to 15 days. No outdoor storage was approved, and any snowplow vehicles would need to be parked within an approved and striped parking space on the paved area.

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

CORNING, DAVID - VARIANCE RE: LAND DIVISION/DEPTH-TO-WIDTH RATIO - 7518 WEST KL AVENUE

The Board considered the application of David Corning for variance from Section 66.200 to allow a land division resulting in a parcel where the depth exceeds four times the width. The subject property is located at 7518 West KL Avenue within the "AG" Agricultural-Rural District zoning classification.

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

Ms. Bugge noted that the applicant is seeking a variance from the 4:1 depth-to-width ratio requirement of Section 66.201. The applicant was proposing the division of a parcel into two parcels; parcel A would meet all dimensional standards of the Ordinance, but parcel B would have a mean width of 617.4’ and a depth of 2,640’. The proposed depth-to-width ratio for parcel B would be 4.3:1. It was noted that parcel B would have a depth similar to other parcels in the area. It was clarified that the Township Attorney felt it would be appropriate to consider the item as a variance rather than a mere recommendation to the Township Board.

The applicant was present, stating that it was his goal to "break off" and sell the residence and some surrounding acreage. He would retain the remainder of the acreage of his existing parcel, and he wished to have that parcel, i.e., parcel B, considered as a buildable parcel.

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

Mr. Loy pointed out that the parcel to the east of this site is almost identical in configuration. Mr. Bushouse agreed that this was important in that the intent of the Ordinance was being met. It was felt that substantial justice would weigh in favor of granting the variance based upon the character of the area. Further, the intent and spirit of the Ordinance were being met in that the intent of the section was to secure an orderly development of property in unplatted areas through the encouragement and regulation of open spaces. The configuration of parcel B would allow for future access to interior lands.

Based upon this reasoning, Mr. Loy moved to approve the variance. Mr. Bushouse seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

SIEGEL, JACK - VARIANCES TO ALLOW REDUCED FRONT YARD SETBACKS/ NONCONFORMING BUILDING EXPANSION - 6471 STADIUM DRIVE

The next item was the application of Jack Siegel for variance from Section 64.200 to allow reduced front yard setbacks from Stadium Drive and Parkview Avenue and a variance from Section 62.000 to allow a proposed expansion to the existing building at 6471 Stadium Drive. The subject property is located in the "C" Local Business District zoning classification.

The Board was also considering site plan review.

The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference. Ms. Stefforia noted that the Village Focus Area Development Plan was adopted in early 1996 and that the Township was in the process of amending the Zoning Ordinance to facilitate the design concept within that Village Focus Area Plan. Some of these included reduced building setbacks and parking behind the building. The applicant owns a furniture store on Stadium Drive between Parkview Avenue and 9th Street. He also owns the property immediately east of the store. Mr. Siegel also purchased two lots from the Township behind his business. He is proposing a 6,200-sq.-ft. expansion to the furniture store and two 800-sq.-ft. attached stores as part of a building addition. The site plan utilizes all four properties to accommodate the expansion and the associated parking.

It was noted that the existing building does not comply with setback requirements. The proposed building expansion would be in line with the existing building. The proposed setback from Stadium Drive was 52’ rather than 120’ from the centerline, and the proposed setback from Parkview Avenue was 24’ rather than 70’ from the right-of-way.

The parking proposed by the applicant satisfied the Zoning Ordinance. As to access, the addition would be served by an existing driveway onto Stadium Drive which would be full service. One existing drive would be full service. One existing drive would be closed. The Parkview Drive would be redesigned to be right-in and right-out. The Fire Department had reviewed the site and had given its preliminary approval. Ms. Stefforia stressed that the proposed site would be consistent with the Village Focus Area Plan.

As to whether conformance was unnecessarily burdensome, it was felt that it would be a burden to comply with the Ordinance given the age of the proposed existing building and its current setbacks, particularly in view of the Township’s efforts to amend the Zoning Ordinance as to setbacks in the Village Area.

As to substantial justice, it was noted that the ZBA had a long precedence of granting setback variances for additions to legal nonconforming buildings where the existing building line was maintained.

As to unique physical circumstances, it was agreed that the location of the applicant’s store and the fact that it was a corner property subject to two front setbacks was a unique physical circumstance hampering compliance with the setback standards. Although the expansion of the building was at the discretion of the applicant, the location of the building was not a result of actions taken by the applicant and, to that extent, was not self-created.

Most significant, it was felt that the plan was in the spirit and intent of the Ordinance and that the public health, safety and welfare would be secured, particularly given the Village Focus Area Development Plan and the text amendments which are forthcoming to implement the Plan.

In response to questioning by the Chairperson, Ms. Stefforia responded that the proposed plan is consistent with the setbacks which would be called for in the Village Focus Area text.

Mr. Bushouse questioned whether the Road Commission had reviewed the proposed site, and Ms. Stefforia noted that they had not yet reviewed the proposed driveways. As to parking, it was noted that the applicant has sufficient parking for the currently proposed use and additional property existed on the site to establish additional parking should the use of the property be changed.

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

Mr. Loy felt it was highly significant that the proposed plan was consistent with the Village Focus Area Plan. Further, it was appreciated that the applicant had worked with the Township in devising the plan consistent with the Village Focus Area Plan. It was noted that the setbacks at the site exceed those of other buildings in the Village Area.

Mr. Loy, based upon the above analysis, moved to approve the setback variances. Mr. Bushouse seconded the motion. Approval of the variance was conditioned upon conformance of the proposed driveway configuration and design with the Access Management Plan of the Township and the approval of the County Road Commission. Upon a vote on the motion, the motion carried unanimously.

No public comment was offered on the site plan review, and the public hearing was closed.

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

(1) That the use would be served by one driveway, full service, on Stadium Drive, and one driveway on Parkview Avenue which would be right-in and right-out. One existing driveway on Stadium Drive would be closed. It was required that these access points conform to the Township’s Access Management Guidelines and be approved by Township staff and by the Kalamazoo County Road Commission.

(2) That parking is in compliance with the Zoning Ordinance and any change in use would require administrative review of the site plan to assure adequate parking is available.

(3) That the approval was subject to the review and approval of, and any conditions imposed by, the Township Fire Department.

(4) That the proposed setbacks were approved pursuant to the variance earlier granted.

(5) That no outdoor storage was being proposed or approved for the site.

(6) That all site lighting comply with the requirements of Section 78.700 of the Zoning Ordinance.

(7) That a sign permit in compliance with Section 76.000 of the Zoning Ordinance be applied for and granted by the Township prior to placement of any signage at the site.

(8) That landscaping and green areas are required as part of the approval along the parking and driving areas. A landscaping plan is subject to the review and approval of the Township staff.

(9) That approval is subject to the review and acceptance of site engineering as adequate by the Township Engineer.

(10) That an Environmental Permits Checklist and Hazardous Substance Reporting Form must be completed and provided to the Township for the furniture store and any future tenants locating in the retail area.

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

UPPAL, JOGI - VARIANCE: SITE LIGHTING - 8739 W. MAIN ST.

The next item was the application of Jogi Uppal for variance from Section 78.720 to allow illumination levels to exceed the maximum allowed by the Ordinance along the property perimeter at 8739 W. Main St. The property is located within the "C" Local Business District zoning classification.

Some lighting information as to pole lighting was provided at the meeting, having been received by fax at 2:00 p.m. Ms. Stefforia noted that a full lighting plan for the site had not yet been received. The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference. Ms. Stefforia recommended tabling the item to allow staff to review a full lighting plan and allow for consultation with a lighting professional employed by the Township.

The applicant was present, along with Steve Bryant of Irish Design. He stated that a variance was requested due to concerns for security at the site. He noted that convenience store personnel were at high risk and a greater degree of lighting at the property would allow for more safety for the workers. In addition, drive-offs were a problem. It was noted that the lighting information which was faxed to the Township had to do with pole lighting. Separate lighting information had been supplied with regard to the canopy lighting. However, the Township Attorney noted that there was no indication on the lighting information of how the two interacted with one another and the relationship to site improvements and the adjacent roadway.

In response to questioning by the Chairperson, Mr. Bryant indicated that the applicant was requesting 80 foot candles be allowed under the canopy area.

After further discussion, the applicant, through Mr. Bryant, agreed to submit a lighting plan on a scaled architectural drawing. He indicated that he could provide it to the Township within one day. Township staff said that the lighting plan, once received, would be reviewed and submitted to a lighting professional immediately so as to obtain an opinion prior to the next meeting. It was stressed to the applicant that the timing of consideration of the item at the next meeting would be jeopardized if the lighting plan were not received within the time frame indicated.

Mr. Bushouse moved to table consideration of the item to June 21, 1999, so as to give the Township an opportunity to receive a detailed lighting plan from the applicant, to review same, and to have the lighting plan reviewed by a lighting consultant. 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 4:15 p.m.

Minutes Prepared:

June 8, 1999

Minutes Approved: