OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS MINUTES

May 3, 1999

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Agenda

OSHTEMO BUSINESS PARK - LOT 12, PHASE II - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 6395 TECHNOLOGY AVENUE

AM SUPPLY - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 7,500 SQ. FT. BUILDING - 5190 WEST MICHIGAN AVENUE

TROWBRIDGE - VARIANCE TO ALLOW NONCONFORMING PARCEL TO BE BUILDABLE - 1649 N. 10TH STREET

CHRISTIANSEN - VARIANCE TO ALLOW ACCESSORY BUILDING WITHIN FRONT SETBACK - 2053 PARTRIDGE LANE

METRO WEST CREDIT BUREAU - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 8,550 SQ. FT. OFFICE BUILDING - 6737 SEECO DRIVE

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

MEMBERS PRESENT:

Thomas Brodasky, Chairperson
Sharon Kuntzman
David Bushouse

MEMBERS ABSENT:

William Saunders
Millard Loy

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Township Planning Director, Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner, Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney, and three (3) 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 April 19, 1999. The suggestions of the Planning and Zoning Department were noted. As to page 2, a change regarding the applicant’s comments on roof height was suggested.

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

The Chairperson advised that, since only three members of the Board were present, all action by the Zoning Board of Appeals must be unanimous.

OSHTEMO BUSINESS PARK - LOT 12, PHASE II - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 6395 TECHNOLOGY AVENUE

The Board considered the application of Hollenbeck Construction for site plan review for the Phase II building on Lot 12 of the Oshtemo Business Park. The subject building is 60,770 sq. ft. in area and would be located at 6395 Technology Avenue within the "I-R" Industrial District Zoning classification.

The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference. It was noted that the proposed building would mirror the Phase I building currently under construction on Lot 12. At the present time, the expected tenants for the building were unknown. Therefore, since the Township’s Ordinance regarding parking was premised upon the type of tenant, the Planning and Zoning Department had consulted other ordinances concerning parking space requirements for this type of land use. The Planning and Zoning Department, after investigation, believed that the proposed parking would be insufficient. Landscaping was planned along the south property line. As to access, it was noted that Phase I of Lot 12 was granted site plan approval subject to no direct access to N Avenue and that this condition would remain unchanged. Access to the site would be from the interior road, i.e., Technology Avenue.

The applicant was present, stating he believed that the issues regarding the "main road" had been resolved or would be resolved within the next 30 days with the Kalamazoo County Road Commission. In response to questions from the Chairperson, the applicant indicated that the building would have the same appearance as the building presently under construction on Lot 12 except that the windows would not be as large.

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

Ms. Stefforia suggested that, with regard to the dumpsters, the applicant be required to submit a dumpster plan as occupancy was sought for each tenant.

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

(1) That access would be provided by a new public street off 9th Street to be known as Technology Avenue. In addition, the overall park would be served by two access points off from N Avenue. There would be no direct access to N Avenue from Lot 12.

(2) That parking comply with the approved site plan and the Zoning Ordinance.

(3) That the building complies with the setback requirements of the Zoning Ordinance.

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

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

(6) That a sign permit in compliance with Section 76.000 of the Zoning Ordinance be applied for and granted by the Township prior to the placement of signage on the subject property.

(7) That landscaping be installed consistent with the approved site plan before occpancy is permitted or a performance guarantee in an amount to be determined based upon the value of the required landscaping must be provided.

(8) That the approval was subject to the approval and requirements of the Township Fire Department.

(9) That the approval was subject to the review of the Township Engineer and the Engineer’s acceptance of the site engineering as adequate.

(10) That an Environmental Permits Checklist and Hazardous Substance Reporting Form be completed and provided to the Township for all tenants locating in either Phase I or Phase II buildings.

(11) That a dumpster plan be submitted to Township staff for review and approval.

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

 AM SUPPLY - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 7,500 SQ. FT. BUILDING - 5190 WEST MICHIGAN AVENUE

The next item was the application of Ahren Construction on behalf of AM Supply for site plan review of a proposed 7,500 sq. ft. building at 5190 West Michigan Avenue. The subject property is within the "I-1" Industrial District zoning classification.

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

The applicant was requesting approval for the construction of a second building at the site. The second building was previously shown with the site plan review previously conducted for the existing 5,000-sq.-ft. building in 1997. This additional 7,500-sq.-ft. building for warehouse and associated office space was proposed. The anticipated tenants were unknown at this time. Ms. Stefforia noted that there was an area set aside at the site which could be paved for additional parking if parking was determined to be insufficient in the future. It was noted that, as to the setback of the building on the west, the leading edge may be less than 20’ from the sideline and that the applicant should make note of this so that the building could be shifted accordingly to come into conformance with setback requirements. Further, it was noted that the separation required between buildings is 40’ and therefore any future additions to either building would have to comply with this requirement.

As to outdoor storage, the applicant should show any proposed storage on the plan for staff review and approval. It was reported that the Township Fire Department had tentatively approved of the plan. The Township Engineer was also recommending approval.

The applicant, Mike Ahren, stated that the existing outdoor storage had already been removed but that, if the applicant sought outdoor storage at the site, a plan would be submitted to Township staff for review and approval. Further, if it were determined that a tenant needed extra parking, there was an area which could be paved. As to future expansion plans, the applicant recognized that any future additions would have to be in compliance with setback and separation standards. Mr. Bushouse pointed out that the applicant could, however, join the buildings into one large building without a problem with "separation."

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

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

(1) That the site would be served by the existing drive off West Michigan Avenue, and no additional access points were proposed or approved.

(2) That parking was to comply with the approved site plan and the Zoning Ordinance standards. Approval was conditioned upon the requirement that additional parking/ paved area would be established at the site if Township staff determined that existing parking was inadequate.

(3) That all setbacks must be in compliance with Ordinance standards as measured from the leading edge of the building. Particular note was made of the west side setback of the building and the need for the building to be shifted, if necessary, to come into compliance with the 20’ sideline setback.

(4) It was noted that building separation was required to be 40’.

(5) That any outdoor storage must be submitted on a revised plan indicating the location of the storage for review and approval of Township staff.

(6) That all site lighting must 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 must be applied for and granted by the Township prior to the placement of any signage.

(8) That no additional landscaping was proposed or required as part of the second building’s construction.

(9) That the site plan is subject to the review and approval of the Township Fire Department and any conditions imposed by the Fire Department.

(10) That the site plan is also subject to the Township Engineer’s review and acceptance of site engineering as adequate.

(11) That an Environmental Permits Checklist and Hazardous Substance Reporting Form must be completed and provided for each tenant locating in the second building.

The motion was seconded by Mr. Bushouse and carried unanimously.

 

TROWBRIDGE - VARIANCE TO ALLOW NONCONFORMING PARCEL TO BE BUILDABLE - 1649 N. 10TH STREET

The next item was the application of Doris A. Trowbridge for variance from Section 66.201 to allow a nonconforming parcel to be buildable where that parcel does not have 200’ of frontage. The subject property is located at 1649 N. 10th Street.

The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference. It was noted that the parcel frontage is 165’, a 35’ deficiency. All other dimensional requirements of the Ordinance were met by the parcel. After 1965, approximately three acres to the rear of the parent parcel were sold and later developed as part of Westport No. 3 plat. This sale did not reduce the frontage of the parcel but changed the parcel’s status from legal nonconforming to nonconforming and unbuildable. Ms. Bugge commented that the applicant’s parcel was surrounded by platted lots. To the north and west is the Westport No. 3 plat, and the lots facing 10th Street have frontage ranging from 110’ to 139’. To the south is the Keanless plat created in 1960. The lots facing 10th Street have frontages ranging from 80’ to 142’. Behind the Keanless plat is Westport No. 2, and the two parcels directly across 10th Street have frontages of 132’ and 222’.

The applicant was present and stated that she had a potential buyer for her property. The buyer wanted a variance so that the existing house could be removed and a larger home built.

 

Mr. Bushouse commented that he felt it was significant that the sale of the rear portion of the lot did not alter the frontage of the lot which had existed when the lot was legally nonconforming. He felt that the problem resulted from the development of the Westport plat. He felt it was also significant that this parcel had larger frontage than the other platted lots in the area.

Public comment was sought, and Steve Visser, developer of the Westport plat, stated that he owned the right-of-way south of the subject property and that this right-of-way was approximately 40’ wide. He stated he was willing to sell this 40’ to the applicant to make her parcel conform. He was concerned that the 40’ would be a "standalone parcel" if the variance were granted.

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

Ms. Stefforia Bugge noted that the right-of-way was in fact 33’ in width and would not bring the applicant’s parcel into compliance. Moreover, there was a question as to whether Mr. Visser was the owner of the right-of-way in that this was not clear in the Township records.

Returning to an analysis of the variance criteria, the Chairperson noted that the character of the area was such that the frontage of this parcel was in keeping at 165’.

After further discussion, Mr. Bushouse moved to grant the variance with the following reasoning:

(1) That substantial justice would weigh in favor of granting the variance given the character of the area, i.e., platted lots, and that this parcel had the largest frontage in the area. Moreover, it was felt that this application was similar to other applications granted in the past in that the sale of the land which caused the parcel to lose its legal nonconforming status did not result in a reduction in frontage.

(2) That compliance was unnecessarily burdensome in that there was not sufficient frontage available for purchase to render the parcel conforming.

(3) That there were no unique physical circumstances, and the hardship was self-created; however, the intent and spirit of the Ordinance would be observed and the public health, safety and welfare secured if the variance were granted due to the character of the area and frontages on surrounding platted lots.

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

 

CHRISTIANSEN - VARIANCE TO ALLOW ACCESSORY BUILDING WITHIN FRONT SETBACK - 2053 PARTRIDGE LANE

The next application was that of Ronald Christiansen for variance from Section 64.200 to allow an accessory building within the front setback area on a corner lot with two front yards at 2053 Partridge Lane. The subject property is located in the Quail Meadow Planned Unit Development.

The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference. The applicant was requesting a variance of approximately 7.25’. Ms. Stefforia noted that the Planning Commission had granted deviation from setback requirements for a number of properties within the development, finding that such deviations were in keeping with the Planned Unit Development concept and in character with the project itself. As part of this Planning Commission approval, a deviation from the rear setback requirement to allow the placement of the deck at the rear of this house on the subject property was granted. Ms. Stefforia reminded the Zoning Board of Appeals that it had considered a rear and sideyard setback variance on the subject street for an accessory building, i.e., the Roseboom applicants. The variance was denied because the applicants had alternatives available for placement of the building in compliance with setback standards.

The applicant was present and stated that they have a small lot with limitations on where the accessory building could be placed. The applicant felt that the building had been placed so that no one within the house or neighboring houses would see the doors on the building.

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

Ms. Kuntzman moved to table the item to the end of the meeting so that the Planning and Zoning Department could obtain additional information on the setbacks on neighboring properties. This motion was seconded by Mr. Bushouse.

 METRO WEST CREDIT BUREAU - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 8,550 SQ. FT. OFFICE BUILDING - 6737 SEECO DRIVE

The next application was that of Terry Schley for Metro West Credit Bureau for site plan review of a proposed 8,550-sq.-ft. office building at 6737 Seeco 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 proposed building would be used for office space; the main floor would be used by Metro West Credit Bureau with approximately 600 sq. ft. of tenant office space. The lower level would not be finished and was proposed to be future tenant office space.

The applicant was present, along with the owners and builder. The applicant indicated that they had worked with the Township Fire Department to come into conformance with their concerns. He noted that the site plan reflected a connecting drive between the site and the renal care facility. Since the Township Fire Department was not requiring this connection, the applicant wished to indicate for the record that it would be eliminated.

Mr. Bushouse questioned the applicant about the lack of greenspace at the property. Mr. Schley stated that there would be plantings established in front of the building. There was no natural vegetation at the site to preserve.

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

The Chairperson questioned the applicant with regard to the aisle widths in the parking lot and whether the applicant could conform to the Access Management Plan recommendation of a 25’ width. The applicant stated that the parking lot area could be adjusted to accommodate the 25’ width.

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

(1) That the site would be served by a single driveway onto Seeco Drive, a local street. Approval was subject to the requirement that a driveway permit be obtained from the Kalamazoo County Road Commission.

(2) That parking is approved based upon the representations by the applicant that there would be 5,925 sq. ft. of usable office space. Any change in use or usable square footage would require staff and/or Board review to determine if existing parking is sufficient to accommodate the change. Further, approval recognized that the connection on the west to the dialysis clinic site was to be removed. In addition, the plan would be revised to provide for a 25’ aisle width in the parking lot.

(3) That the subject site must meet all required setbacks.

(4) That proposed lighting must be in compliance with Section 78.700.

(5) That any signage must be reviewed and approved through the permit process.

(6) That no variance was requested or approved.

(7) That site plan approval was subject to the review and approval and conditions imposed by the Township Fire Department.

(8) That site plan approval was subject to the review of the Township Engineer and a finding that the proposed site plan is acceptable.

(9) That approval is subject to the requirements of completion and submittal of the Environmental Permits Checklist and Hazardous Substance Reporting Form for all site tenants.

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

 

CHRISTIANSEN - VARIANCE TO ALLOW ACCESSORY BUILDING WITHIN FRONT SETBACK - 2053 PARTRIDGE LANE

The Board returned to a discussion of the Christiansen application. Ms. Stefforia reported that Lot #21 conformed to setback requirements in that the home was placed 41’ from the front setback. On Lot #12 there was a deviation of 4’. On Lot #23, a deviation of 5’ had been granted. Lot #2, also a corner lot, had been granted two front deviations to allow the setback of 38’ and 39’. The Chairperson was concerned with justifying the variance given the Board’s earlier denial of the Roseboom application. The applicant could conform to Ordinance provisions by moving the accessory building closer to the home.

Mr. Bushouse felt that, since this is a corner lot, the possible placement area for the shed was very limited. He also felt it was significant that other structures in this area had been granted deviation. Ms. Kuntzman also felt that the Roseboom application was distinguishable since, in that application, a 0’ setback was requested. Marilyn Christiansen stated that the applicant had placed the shed at the site, not the previous owners. Further, there was no slab under the building, it was merely sitting on cement blocks with a wood floor.

After some further discussion, Mr. Bushouse moved to deny the request for purposes of placing a motion on the floor. Ms. Kuntzman seconded the motion. There was a vote of 2:1, with Mr. Bushouse voting in opposition, which meant that no action was taken on the application. The applicants were informed that they had the option of returning, since no action was taken, when there was a more complete Board. The applicants indicated that they would return or move the building into conformance with Ordinance standards.

 

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 4:40 p.m.

Minutes Prepared:
May 5, 1999

Minutes Approved:
May 17, 1999