OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS MINUTES

March 1, 1999

Agenda

ABS INCENTIVES - SITE PLAN REVIEW - PROPOSED 6,000 SQ. FT. BUILDING ADDITION - 5835 VENTURE PARK DR.

NATIONAL HERITAGE ACADEMY - VARIANCE REQUEST AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - WEST SIDE 9TH STREET NORTH OF STADIUM DRIVE

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A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday, March 1, 1999, commencing at approximately 3:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall, pursuant to notice.

MEMBERS PRESENT:

Thomas Brodasky, Chairperson
Millard Loy
David Bushouse
Sharon Kuntzman

MEMBER ABSENT: William Saunders

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Township Planning Director, Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner, Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney, and eight (8) 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 February 22, 1999. Mr. Loy moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Mr. Bushouse seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

ABS INCENTIVES - SITE PLAN REVIEW - PROPOSED 6,000 SQ. FT. BUILDING ADDITION - 5835 VENTURE PARK DR.

The next item was the application of Continental Design on behalf of ABS Incentives for site plan review of a proposed 6,000 sq. ft. building addition at 5835 Venture Park Drive. The subject property is within the "C" Local Business District Zoning classification.

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

Ms. Bugge noted that the subject parcel consists of approximately 1.54 acres within the Venture Park Site Condominium Office Park. There is currently a 5,696 sq. ft. building housing ABS Incentives, Inc. The addition would house shipping and receiving facilities. The applicant proposed the addition of 12 parking spaces. No outdoor storage was proposed, and the existing signage would not be changed. The site would be served by the existing single access point onto Venture Park Road. It was noted that the Fire Department and Township Engineer had provided comments to the applicant as to their review of the project.

The Chairperson questioned Ms. Bugge with regard to the proposed parking arrangement. Three spaces would be constructed at the same time as the addition, and nine spaces would be added as employment increased. The number of parking spaces needed was determined by using the criteria for office space for the existing building and using the criteria for manufacturing for the shipping and receiving area. If the use were to change at this site, this parking might not be adequate. For instance, Ms. Bugge indicated that, if the entire building were used for office use, 35 spaces would be needed. Other possible uses could require as many as 60 spaces.

Mike Kreps was present on behalf of the applicant. He stated, in response to questions from the Chairperson, that the applicant was aware that, if the use of the subject building were to change, there would be a requirement of a return to the Township for review and approval of, among other things, changes to the parking arrangement.

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

Mr. Bushouse observed that, with this building addition, this site would have one of the largest buildings in the Venture Park project.

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

(1) That the site be served by the existing single access point onto Venture Park Road.

(2) That the parking as proposed, given the uses of the subject building, was adequate. All parking spaces must comply with dimensional requirements of the Ordinance. Further, the parking lot layout and site circulation must comply with Fire Department standards and the Fire Department’s review and approval.

(3) That the existing dumpster and enclosure are satisfactory.

(4) That no outdoor storage is proposed or approved.

(5) That all lighting must comply with Section 78.700 of the Zoning Ordinance.

(6) That no changes to the existing sign are proposed. Any alterations must be reviewed and approved through the permit process.

(7) That the Zoning Ordinance does not require screening given adjacent land uses.

(8) That the site plan approval is subject to the review and approval of the Township Fire Department and compliance with their requirements.

(9) That the approval is subject to the review and approval of the Township Engineer and compliance with the Engineer’s requirements.

(10) That the Environmental Permits Checklist and Hazardous Substance Reporting Form have been completed and are on file with the Township.

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

NATIONAL HERITAGE ACADEMY - VARIANCE REQUEST AND SITE PLAN REVIEW - WEST SIDE 9TH STREET NORTH OF STADIUM DRIVE

The next application was for variance from Section 66.201 to allow a land division creating a parcel which does not satisfy the minimum frontage requirements of the Zoning Ordinance; and, if approved, the applicant also requests site plan review of a proposed charter school. The subject property is located on the west side of 9th Street, north of Stadium Drive, in Land Section 26 and within the "R-2" Residence District Zoning classification.

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

It was noted that the applicant intends to purchase 13.8 acres of an existing 23-acre parcel. All property in the area is zoned "R-2." Ms. Bugge stated that the four parcels which abut this property to the east are used for residential purposes. No buildings were located on the portion of the parcel which the applicant will be purchasing. The proposed division would create two parcels, one which would not comply with the required frontage on 9th Street pursuant to Section 66.201 of the Zoning Ordinance. The proposed division would create one parcel with 328' of frontage on 9th Street and the parcel of the applicant, which would have frontage at the southeast corner of approximately 7' and noncontiguous additional 66' of frontage on 9th Street. The applicant is proposing to use 66' of frontage for location of a driveway to the school site. The applicant was seeking a variance of approximately 134'. Ms. Bugge described previous frontage requests similar to the proposed application and indicated that they had been denied. The proposed land division could be accomplished through platting or site condominiumizing the property. There were no unique physical circumstances limiting compliance with the Ordinance. Further, the hardship was self-created in that the applicant could purchase additional property, allowing for compliance with Ordinance standards.

Laura Luyendyk was present on behalf of the applicant, Charter Development Company. She stated that the applicant was seeking variance in that the other methods of compliance with the Ordinance were "too time consuming and/or costly." She indicated that platting would be too lengthy and costly. She felt that site condomiumizing the property would not be of benefit to the applicant. Additional property was available for purchase, but this option too was costly.

Peter Lavdins, architect for the project, described the topography of the property, indicating that there was "15' of fall" from south to north. The natural low area would be used as a retention area.

The Chairperson observed that the Zoning Board of Appeals had been reluctant in the past to grant variance, specifically one of this magnitude, under these circumstances. The Chairperson that stated he felt it would not be desirable to set such a precedent. The reasoning behind frontage requirements was discussed. Further, it was noted that, under Michigan law, the Zoning Board of Appeals could not take the cost of compliance with Ordinance provisions as evidence of unnecessary burden. It was noted that every applicant could maintain that compliance was too costly. Therefore, if this were a valid reason for granting variance, the Ordinance would be of no effect.

Mr. Bushouse was concerned that using the outlot of 66' in width for a private driveway rather than a public street, as probably was intended at the time the outlot was created, would block access to undeveloped interior property.

There was discussion of driveway spacing, and it was noted that there was a problem with the proposed driveway location in that there are four other drives within 150'. The applicant discussed possible options of buying additional property so as to come into compliance with Ordinance provisions or, in the alternative, acquiring additional property so that there was noncontiguous road frontage of 200'. There was also discussion of the possibility of establishing a public road into the interior of the property so as to provide road frontage.

The Chairperson sought public comment, and Ed Waldren, a home owner in the area, was concerned about the proximity of the project to his property. He was concerned about another "lane" of traffic being added in front of his home. It was recognized that there would be a "taper" established within the road right-of-way in front of the Waldren property leading to the subject site.

Mark DeHaan, on behalf of National Heritage, stated that the applicant would like to pursue the possibility of establishing a public road. Tabling the item for two weeks was discussed, and the applicant stated that they felt they would have sufficient time to provide a revised plan to the Planning and Zoning Department by Monday, March 8, so as to pursue their application at the meeting of March 15, 1999.

Mr. Loy moved to table the item to March 15, 1999. Ms. Kuntzman seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

 ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.

Minutes Approved:
March 15, 1999