OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

May 11, 2004

WALES - VARIANCE - 6307 ATLANTIC AVENUE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-35-215-062)

LA RUE'S FAMILY RESTAURANT - SITE PLAN AMENDMENT - BUILDING ADDITION - 6375 STADIUM DRIVE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-26-465-072)

A special meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Zoning Board of Appeals on Tuesday, May 11, 2004, commencing at approximately 3:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Grace Borgfjord, Acting Chairperson
Dave Bushouse
Duane McClung

MEMBERS ABSENT: Millard Loy
James Turcott

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

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 3:02 p.m.

MINUTES

Mr. Bushouse moved to approve the minutes of the meeting of April 27, 2004, as submitted. Mr. McClung seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

The Acting Chairperson advised the applicants present that only three members were in attendance, and therefore, any decisions would have to be made unanimously. All applicants decided to go forward with their requests.

WALES - VARIANCE - 6307 ATLANTIC AVENUE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-35-215-062)

The Board considered the application which had been tabled from the meeting of April 27, 2004, for input from the Township's Sewer and Water Committee. The applicant was requesting a variance from the provisions of Section 33.404 to allow a two-family home to be constructed on a parcel that is not served with public sanitary sewer. The home would be served by a private septic system. The subject property is located at 6307 Atlantic Avenue within the "VC" Village Commercial District classification, and is Parcel No. 3905-35-215-062. The report of the Planning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Stefforia noted that the Sewer and Water Committee of the Township had determined that it is presently not financially feasible for either public water or sewer to be extended in Atlantic Avenue to this site. She reminded the Board that the subject 1.2-acre property contains a residence. The applicant was seeking to divide the property to create an additional homesite. It was proposed that a duplex would be placed on that additional site, which would be .58 acres in size. The existing home would be on the "remainder parcel" of .69 acres.

Ms. Stefforia again reminded the Board that Section 33.404 requires development in the "VC" District to be served with public water and sewer. The section does exempt single-family residences but not duplex homes.

Mr. Bushouse expressed concern that the applicant was seeking to place the duplex home on less than a 1/4 of an acre. Ms. Stefforia stated that the Board could consider that the Ordinance had, as one of its goal, greater density in the Village area. It was noted that this might be compatible with the Plat on Parkview Avenue. Board members queried whether the duplex parcel would comply with the requirements for a platted lot with no sewer and water access. Ms. Stefforia stated that it would not, and that the requirement for such a lot is 30,000 square feet. However, it was noted that this is not strictly applicable in the "VC" District.

Board members were concerned that a Township-wide precedent not be set.

The applicant was present and stated she felt there was a slim chance that other similar properties would seek a variance. Ms. Stefforia disagreed, stating that there was a lot of vacant land in the "VC" District which could be developed with duplexes.

The applicant also stated that she felt the duplex as proposed would use the same amount of water if developed as a four-bedroom house. She felt this was a good location for a duplex and would add to the tax base of the Township.

The Acting Chairperson asked for public comment, and George Marion stated that he felt the site was not very much smaller than what a 30,000-square-foot platted lot would be. Therefore, he felt that the variance should be granted. It was his opinion that so long as the Public Health Department accepted the size of the parcel for septic and a well, the variance would be in keeping with public health, safety and welfare. There was no other public comment, and the public hearing was closed.

Mr. McClung stated that, since no sewer and water would be feasible for the foreseeable future, reasonable use of the property should be allowed. He felt a duplex was reasonable. In his opinion, the Health Department approval was important.

Mr. Bushouse was concerned about setting an undesirable precedent for "small" sites. However, Board members agreed that, if the division was reconfigured so that the duplex parcel met the minimum size of 30,000 square feet, a variance would be in keeping with the nonuse variance criteria and with public health, safety and welfare. The applicant indicated that the line between the two parcels could be reconfigured. The Acting Chairperson stated that a duplex always has a "different set of rules", but felt comfortable with the variance, if the site was reconfigured to 30,000 square feet. She felt that this would provide an adequate minimum size and be in keeping with the Village Commercial District.

Mr. McClung questioned whether the remainder parcel with the single-family home would meet the plat requirements for a parcel not served by sewer and water. Ms. Stefforia stated that a single-family home, pursuant to these standards, requires only 22,000 square feet. She felt the remainder parcel would comply with this, even if the line was reconfigured.

Mr. McClung moved to approve the variance, finding that the nonuse variance criteria were met by the proposed variance, conditioned upon the reconfiguration of the parcel division so that the duplex parcel meets the requirement of a minimum of 30,000 square feet and the remainder parcel is at least 22,000 square feet in size. Mr. Bushouse seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

LA RUE'S FAMILY RESTAURANT - SITE PLAN AMENDMENT - BUILDING ADDITION - 6375 STADIUM DRIVE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-26-465-072)

The Board considered the application concerning a building addition to LaRue's Family Restaurant at 6375 Stadium Drive. The applicant was seeking site plan amendment to allow a 1,120-square-foot addition to the existing restaurant. The parcel is located in the "VC" Village Commercial District, and is Parcel No. 3905-26-465-072. The report of the Planning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Stefforia noted that there was a history of property development referenced in her report. She stated that the applicant was seeking an addition off the east end of the current restaurant building. She stressed that the minimum parking requirements of the Ordinance had been met at the site, and no change was being made to access.

Mr. Bushouse questioned whether the Township was monitoring parking situation at the site. He was concerned that cars were being parked illegally on Parkview Avenue and that parking was not adequate during peak periods. Ms. Stefforia stated that no complaints had been made regarding parking at the site, and again, stressed that the site met and exceeded Ordinance requirements for parking.

The applicant was present, stating that he himself monitors parking at the site. He stated that sometimes the parking lot is full, but blamed some of the problems on the presence of "trailers" attached to vehicles. He felt he had an incentive to monitor the site in that there was no point to an addition if there was no parking for additional customers. He felt that the building addition would help the parking situation because those waiting would be seated more quickly.

The Acting Chairperson asked for public comment, and Ted Corakis stated that his only concern was parking. Otherwise, he favored the proposal. There was no other comment, and the public hearing was closed.

Mr. McClung noted that, since the site exceeds Ordinance requirements, there was no basis to require additional parking. However, he felt that the Township should monitor the site. The applicant stated that, if parking became an issue, he would be seeking to add additional parking. He stated that he had an oral argument with the owner of the property next door.

Mr. Bushouse was satisfied with the application, since it complied with Ordinance standards. However, he felt that, if the Township was to monitor the parking, it would be helpful in determining whether the text of the Ordinance needed to be changed to require additional parking for restaurant uses. Mr. Corakis stated that he felt that the Ordinance needed to be amended to require more parking for restaurant use.

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

(1) That any additional exterior lighting comply with Section 78.700.

(2) That approval was subject to Fire Department approval pursuant to adopted codes.

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

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at approximately 3:42 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

By:
Grace Borgfjord, Acting Chairperson

By:
Dave Bushouse

By:
Duane McClung

Minutes Prepared:
May 17, 2004

Minutes Approved:
, 2004