OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS MINUTES

NOVEMBER 17, 1997

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Agenda

SEELYE, PAT - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 9434 WEST M AVENUE

KALAMAZOO PUBLIC LIBRARY - VARIANCE FROM PARKING REQUIREMENT - 7265 WEST MAIN STREET

ACUPUNCTURE CENTER - SITE PLAN REVIEW - WALNUT WOODS - CONVERSION OF SPACE TO MEDICAL CENTER

TECH CARE - VARIANCE FROM STORMWATER DISCHARGE AREAS - UNIT #1, VENTURE PARK CONDOMINIUM - 5725 VENTURE PARK

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A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday, November 17, 1997, commencing at approximately 3:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall, pursuant to notice.

MEMBERS PRESENT:

Thomas Brodasky, Acting Chairperson
David Bushouse
Lara Meeuwse

MEMBERS ABSENT:

Brian Dylhoff
William Saunders

Also present were Mike West on behalf of the Planning and Zoning Department, Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney, and six (6) other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

The Acting Chairperson called the meeting to order at 3:07 p.m.

MINUTES

The Board considered the minutes of the meeting of November 3, 1997. Ms. Meeuwse moved to approve the minutes as submitted. Mr. Bushouse seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

The Acting Chairperson explained that, as there were only three members present, a decision on each application would have to be unanimous. It was further explained that applicants had the option of adjourning their item if they should wish.

SEELYE, PAT - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 9434 WEST M AVENUE

The next item, Pat Seelye's request for site plan review as to property at 9434 West M Avenue, was discussed. Mr. West reported that Mr. Seelye had withdrawn his application.

KALAMAZOO PUBLIC LIBRARY - VARIANCE FROM PARKING REQUIREMENT - 7265 WEST MAIN STREET

The next item was the application of the David Whisler of David Milling & Associates, representing the Kalamazoo Public Library, for modification of variance approval from the parking requirement established by Section 68.306 of the Zoning Ordinance. The subject site is located at 7265 West Main and is within the "AG"-Rural District Zoning classification.

Ernie Clements, the facilities manager, was present on behalf of the applicant.

The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference. It was noted that the site had received a variance on April 15, 1996, from the parking standards of Section 68.306 so as to allow a total of 105 spaces to be provided on site and 65 spaces to be held in future "reserved" greenspace.

It was noted that, during construction, there had been a slight modification to the parking lot. The barrier-free parking had been moved to the northwest side of the building. As a result of the modification, two spaces at the site had been lost. Therefore, the applicant was seeking amendment of the original variance. The applicant had modified the "reserved" parking area to allow for two additional spaces.

In response to questioning by Ms. Meeuwse, it was noted that the site would include the same number of barrier-free parking spaces. Mr. Bushouse commented that, since barrier-free parking is based upon existing parking, additional barrier-free parking would be needed only if the reserve parking were established.

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

There was discussion of the parking used at the site, and the applicant indicated that all parking spaces were used in the "grand opening." Since that time, there had been "good use" of the library, but the parking lot was an average of 30-40% utilized.

Ms. Meeuwse moved to approve the amendment to the variance to allow for 103 parking spaces (67 spaces held in future "reserved greenspace) with the following conditions, limitations and notations:

(1) That it was found that, even with the loss of two parking spaces, there was sufficient parking to serve the use. Moreover, an additional two parking spaces were located in the "reserved" area.

(2) That substantial justice would require amendment of the variance in that such variances had been granted in the past where an adequate number of spaces for future parking were reserved as greenspace.

(3) That there were no unique physical circumstances preventing compliance and the hardship was self-created, but that the spirit and intent of the Ordinance is met in that the information presented as to the proposed parking would indicate that a sufficient number of parking spaces have been established to serve the use and that a sufficient number of parking spaces to meet Ordinance requirements were "reserved."

(4) That all conditions applicable to the previous approval were continued.

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

ACUPUNCTURE CENTER - SITE PLAN REVIEW - WALNUT WOODS - CONVERSION OF SPACE TO MEDICAL CENTER

The next application was that of Libby Wechter, representing Acupuncture Center of SW Michigan, for site plan review of a proposed conversion of a 2,200 sq. ft. existing office space within the Walnut Woods complex to a medical clinic. The subject site is located at 5945 West Main and is within the "C" Local Business District Zoning classification.

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

The applicant was present, stating, as a correction, that there were 2,359 sq. ft. involved in the suite which would be used as a medical clinic. No structural changes to the building or the site ere proposed. It was noted that the applicant is seeking approval for a change in use.

The Acting Chairperson called for public comment; and Tim Winthrop said that, although there was just a change in use, the use involved a higher traffic volume than a typical office. He was concerned about the traffic volume and parking capacity at the site. The applicant responded that there would be three treatment rooms involved and one office potentially for a therapist. Approximately two patients per hour would be seen.

Mr. West indicated that the staff had reviewed the parking requirements and determined that the conversion to a medical clinic would not result in the need for any additional parking. Moreover, the Township had no knowledge of any parking problems at the site in that no complaints had been received and there were no such comments by enforcement personnel of the Township.

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

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

(1) That no interior or exterior changes to the existing site were proposed with the change in use of a 2,359-sq.-ft. office to a medical clinic.

(2) That any changes to existing signage (wall or free standing) at the subject site must be reviewed and approved through the permit process and comply with Ordinance requirements.

(3) That the issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the change in use is contingent on inspections from the building, mechanical, electrical, fire and Planning & Zoning Departments to insure compliance with all applicable regulations.

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

TECH CARE - VARIANCE FROM STORMWATER DISCHARGE AREAS - UNIT #1, VENTURE PARK CONDOMINIUM - 5725 VENTURE PARK

The next item was a request for variance approval from Section 78.500, Stormwater Discharge Areas, with regard to the stormwater retention basin established on the site of Tech Care. The subject property is located at 5725 Venture Park (Unit #1 of Venture Park Condominium) and is within the "C" Local Business District Zoning classification.

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

Mr. West stated that the Township staff had brought this item to the ZBA so as to clear up the status of the subject retention pond. He noted that the Engineer had reviewed and approved, with condition, the stormwater retention pond established at the Tech Care property. The Engineer had approved the retention area without redesign or fencing due to extremely high infiltration rate and the lack of standing water within the pond during significant rainfall. Although the Township Engineer had approved the stormwater retention pond, the banks of the pond in certain areas exceeded the slope standard of 4' horizontal to 1' vertical as established under Section 78.500. Under that section, fencing of the retention pond would be required. The ZBA would be considering approval of variance from this fencing requirement.

Mr. West noted that he and the Township Engineer had visited the subject site on September 17, 1997, after a substantial rainfall, and observed no standing water within the retention area. He also noted that Venture Park Condominium Association had restrictions within the condominium to prohibit fencing.

No public comment was offered on the item, and the public hearing was closed.

In response to questioning by Mr. Brodasky, Mr. West stated that only a small portion of the retention area exceeded the slope. Mr. Brodasky commented that, since this was the case and since it appeared that "percolation" rate is high, a variance would be appropriate.

There was discussion of the Engineer's proposed condition that fencing be required if water in the pond exceeded 2'. Mr. West reported that the Engineer had indicated that 18" is a statewide standard for fencing of retention areas. Mr. Bushouse stated that he would like to use this recognized standard.

Ms. Meeuwse moved to approve variance from the fencing requirement of Section 78.500 for the subject retention area with the following conditions, limitations and notations:

(1) That conformance is unnecessarily burdensome. The Township Engineer's approval of the stormwater retention pond was based upon its storage capacity and extremely high infiltration rate, which resulted in little, if any, stormwater collection within the bottom of the pond, even after a significant rainfall event. Reference was made to the Township Engineer's letter of 9/18/97.

(2) That substantial justice would weigh in favor of granting the variance in that the intent of Section 78.500 is met due to the high infiltration rate at the site. Further, the slope does not exceed the Ordinance standard on all portions of the pond.

(3) That, although the site offers no unique physical circumstances preventing compliance in that the hardship is self-created, the spirit and intent of the Ordinance would be observed and the public health, safety and welfare secured by granting the variance. The intent of Section 78.500 is to protect the public if standing water in a retention area is too deep. Given the high infiltration rate and the lack of standing water in the pond after significant rainfall, this intent would be met even without fencing. Further, a variance from the fencing requirement was in keeping with the rural character of the area.

Mr. Bushouse 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.