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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

November 18, 2002

Agenda

RUINVELD - FRONTAGE VARIANCE - 6715 WEST KL AVENUE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-23-335-010)

METRO, LLC - SETBACK VARIANCE - 5900 STADIUM DRIVE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-25-305-045)

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday, November 18, 2002, commencing at approximately 3:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Millard Loy, Chairperson
Stanley Rakowski
Duane McClung
Dave Bushouse
Grace Borgfjord

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

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

CALL TO ORDER

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

MINUTES

The Board considered the minutes of the meeting of October 21, 2002. Mr. Rakowski moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Ms. Borgfjord seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

RUINVELD - FRONTAGE VARIANCE - 6715 WEST KL AVENUE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-23-335-010)

The Board considered the application of Vicki Peck on behalf of Donald and Rose Ruinveld for a variance from the parcel 200-foot frontage requirement of Section 66.201 so as to allow reconfiguration of property lines between two parcels resulting in one parcel with 140 feet of frontage, which currently has 84 feet. The subject property is located at 6715 West KL Avenue within the "I-1" Industrial District and is Parcel No. 3905-23-335-010.

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

Ms. Stefforia stated that the subject parcel is a "grandfathered" nonconforming parcel with 84 feet of frontage and an area of approximately 19,000 square feet. Since it is "grandfathered", the parcel is considered "buildable". The adjacent Parcel No. 3905-23-335-020 is a vacant conforming parcel surrounding the subject property. It has 42 feet of frontage to the west of the subject property and approximately 254 feet of frontage to the east. Both parcels are zoned "I-1" Industrial District. The applicant was seeking to reconfigure the parcels to bring the existing "grandfathered" parcel into greater conformance with current dimensional criteria while eliminating an existing awkward configuration. However, shifting parcel lines would invalidate the "grandfathered" status.

Ms. Stefforia analyzed the nonuse variance criteria. As to whether conformance was unnecessarily burdensome, it was noted that a one-lot plat could be created for the property, but Ms. Stefforia felt that the Board should consider that the parcel is buildable in its current configuration. As to substantial justice, the Board was reminded that previous requests which made parcels more conforming had been granted. As to unique physical circumstances, it was suggested that the Board consider the configuration and shape of the one parcel surrounding another. The hardship would be considered self-created; however, it was felt that the variance would be within the spirit and intent of the Ordinance, since granting the variance would allow the subject property to come into greater compliance with dimensional standards.

The applicants were present to answer questions.

Mr. Ruinveld stated that they were seeking to "straighten parcel lines". There was no public comment, and the public hearing was closed.

The Chairperson commented that he felt that the variance would be consistent with past decisions by the Board. Further, he felt the variance was appropriate since it would make the subject site more conforming. Mr. McClung agreed, stating that the revised configuration made more sense than the current one. Mr. Bushouse stated that he was also in favor of granting the variance. He felt that by bringing the "smaller parcel" into greater compliance with dimensional standards, the resulting parcel configuration would be more in keeping with the character of the surrounding area.

Mr. Bushouse moved to grant a variance, based on the non-use variance criteria, and that bringing the parcel into greater compliance with the dimensional standards of the Ordinance would result in a parcel configuration in character with the area. Mr. Rakowski seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

METRO, LLC - SETBACK VARIANCE - 5900 STADIUM DRIVE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-25-305-045)

Next, the Board considered the application of Daryl Rynd of American Village Builders on behalf of Metro, LLC (Jeff DeNooyer). The applicant was seeking a variance from Section 64.750 to allow a new building to be established in the location of the existing building (Deep Sea Aquarium) which does not satisfy the current setback requirements from the north property line. The subject property is located at 5900 Stadium Drive within the "C" Local Business District and is Parcel No. 3905-25-305-045.

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

The existing facility was approved in 1988. At that time, the subject property and the abutting property to the north were both zoned "C" Local Business District. The setback requirement from the north line was therefore 20 feet. The fire lane around the rear of the building is existing and paved two feet from the north line. In 1991, the Quail Run Condominium property was rezoned to the "R-4" Residence District. Therefore, a supplemental setback became applicable to the subject property. A building setback of 85 feet would therefore apply from the north property line.

Although the existing building is "grandfathered", the applicant wishes to demolish and build a new building in its place to house a car dealership showroom. The applicant was therefore seeking a variance from the supplemental setback requirement.

Ms. Stefforia analyzed the non-use variance criteria. As to whether conformance was unnecessarily burdensome, it was noted that a building could be established at the site without a variance. However, since the applicant sought to establish outdoor display of vehicles, if the building is moved forward on the site, the display area would be moved to the side and rear of the building. The applicant is seeking a front display area, and side or rear building display would have a greater negative impact on adjacent residential property.

As to substantial justice, Ms. Stefforia reminded the Board that the Zoning Board of Appeals had granted a variance to allow a new Drake Road office building to be located within the supplemental setback since, without variance, the property would be unbuildable. The Board was also reminded that in 1993 a 15-foot variance was granted to Metro Toyota on the abutting parcel to allow an addition which was in line with an existing building.

There were no unique physical circumstances, and the hardship was self-created. Ms. Stefforia suggested that the Board consider whether precedent would be set by granting the variance, and whether there were distinguishing factors specific to the site to justify the variance.

In response to a question by Mr McClung, it was noted that the applicant could remodel the existing building, and it would continue to enjoy its "grandfathered" status.

Daryl Rynd was present on behalf of the applicant, along with Jeff DeNooyer. Mr. Rynd stated that the degree of renovation necessary to create a functional building was not economically feasible. Mr. Rynd stated that, if the building were moved to a location in compliance with Ordinance standards, there would be more display and parking to the back nearer to the "R-4" property. Further, the current configuration would minimize traffic at the back portion of the site.

Jeff DeNooyer stated that the property would be used for Jaguar/Land Rover dealerships. The auto maker was requiring a certain look and use of particular materials in the building construction.

The Chairperson had a question regarding the existing fencing along the north line, and the applicant stated that this fencing would remain as well as the fire lane existing at the site. There would be no service work on cars in the building, and cars seeking service would be stored elsewhere.

The Chairperson asked for public comment, and Mr. and Mrs. St. Mary had questions with regard to lighting. It was noted that the applicant would have to conform with Ordinance standards. Further, even if the variance were granted, the applicant would need site plan and special use approval.

The public hearing was closed, and Mr. McClung commented that he did not have a problem with re-establishing a building in the current location. Mr. Bushouse agreed, noting that the distance of the existing building at 22 feet from the north line was sufficient. Further, based upon the use, it would be most desirable to direct the intense use of the property toward the front. Allowing use of the existing building footprint would direct the display parking, the traffic, and most of the lighting to the front of the property and away from the "R-4" zoned uses.

Based upon the non-use variance criteria and analysis of the Board, Mr. Bushouse moved to grant the variance, and Mr. McClung seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

DISCUSSION ITEMS

The attorney discussed the case of Janssen v Holland Charter Township Zoning Board. It was noted that this precedent might be used to argue that the Township had the authority to grant use variances. The potential benefits and pitfalls of granting use variances were discussed.

There was a discussion of changing the meeting time for the Zoning Board of Appeals. There was not a lot of support for changing the afternoon to an evening meeting; however, Board members indicated that a change to the day of the week for the meeting would be possible.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 4:10 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

By:
Millard Loy, Chairperson

By:
Stanley Rakowski

By:
Dave Bushouse

By:
Duane McClung

By:
Grace Borgfjord

Minutes Prepared:
November 21, 2002

Minutes Approved:
, 2002