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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

November 20, 2000

Agenda

VAN DOESELAAR - VARIANCE - FRONTAGE - 10361 WEST MAIN STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-18-405-016)

SALIK - VARIANCE - MORE THAN ONE DWELLING ON PARCEL - 9206 WEST H AVENUE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-05-480-026)

THE FOUNTAINS AT BRONSON PLACE- VARIANCE - BUILDING SEPARATION - 1700 BRONSON WAY (PARCEL NO. 3905-13-205-010)

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday, November 20, 2000, commencing at approximately 3:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Thomas Brodasky, Chairperson
Millard Loy
David Bushouse
Sharon Kuntzman
Ted Corakis

MEMBER ABSENT: None

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director, Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner, and 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 16, 2000. Ms. Kuntzman moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Mr. Loy seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

VAN DOESELAAR - VARIANCE - FRONTAGE - 10361 WEST MAIN STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-18-405-016)

The Board considered the application for a variance from the provisions of Section 66.201 to allow the subdivision of an existing property into two parcels. The resulting parcels would have less than the required frontage of 200 feet and a depth greater than four times the width. The subject property is located at 10361 West Main Street, within the "AG" Agricultural-Rural District zoning classification, and is Parcel No. 3905-18-405-016. The Report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge noted that the current parcel was created by a parcel split in 1989 and conforms to all dimensional requirements. The applicants wish to divided the property into two. The property fronts on West Main Street and abuts the new Skyview Estates Open Space Community. On January 17, 2000, the Zoning Board of Appeals approved a depth-to-width variance to permit the platting of the land into two lots. The applicants proceeded with the platting procedure. However, the procedure was suspended because the Kalamazoo County Human Services Department and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will not approve the plat due to the KL Landfill water contamination problem. The applicants believed they had a better chance of getting a well permit if the application is for an individual parcel rather than for a plat. Therefore, they were requesting a variance. The Board had previously denied a variance for the frontage requirement as to an unplatted parcel because the applicants had the option of platting or site condominiumizing.

The applicants were seeking to divide their parcel into two parcels, each with 165 feet of frontage.

The Township Attorney stated that, because the property previously received a depth-to-width ratio variance, she believes that only a frontage variance was necessary.

Ms. Stefforia indicated that, because of the history of the item, the staff had initiated this request.

Chris Vlachos was present and representing the applicants. He noted that well testing had recently been performed and that the "well is fine". He stated that the platting process was frustrated by the position of the MDEQ. He believed that the position of the MDEQ created a hardship.

The Chairperson was concerned about setting an undesirable precedent. The Township Attorney opined that the Zoning Board of Appeals had previously denied the frontage variance, finding conformance was not unnecessarily burdensome because the applicants had the option of site condominiumizing or platting the property. However, this was no longer true. Therefore, this parcel was distinguishable from other properties which could be platted and obtain MDEQ approval. In this case, the position of the MDEQ would form a basis for finding unnecessary hardship.

Mr. Bushouse stated that he was in favor of the application because it would create parcels similar to existing parcels in the area. Ms. Kuntzman and Mr. Corakis agreed. The Township Attorney stated that she felt it was significant that the parcels which would be created by the division would conform to the frontage and area requirements for platted or site condominium lots.

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

Mr. Corakis moved, based on the discussion of the Zoning Board of Appeals, to grant the variance as requested. Ms. Kuntzman seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

SALIK - VARIANCE - MORE THAN ONE DWELLING ON PARCEL - 9206 WEST H AVENUE - (PARCEL NO. 3905-05-480-026)

The Board considered the application of Stephen T. Salik for extension of a previously-granted variance from Section 66.150 that allowed placement of a manufactured home on the property with removal of the existing residence within one year.

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

Ms. Bugge reminded the Zoning Board of Appeals that it had approved a variance on September 13, 1999, subject to the following conditions:

(1) That the existing house be removed within one year from the granting of the building permit for the manufactured home;

(2) That a performance guarantee equal in amount to the cost of removal of the house; and

(3) That the existing house would be vacated within one week of the grant of the occupancy permit for the new home.

Ms. Bugge reported that a building permit was issued on November 23, 1999. However, a certificate of occupancy for the new dwelling had not been issued, and the existing home was still occupied. The applicant was seeking an extension to spring, 2001 for removal of the existing house.

The applicant was present and stated that he had applied for an occupancy permit for the manufactured home, but still needed electrical and building final inspections. The applicant indicated that it had taken an additional two to three months to clear title to the property. This put the construction schedule about three months behind. The applicant was seeking to tear down the existing home in March of April of 2001. He suggested that he would disconnect the furnace and water supply of the existing home when he received the occupancy permit for the new home.

After further discussion, it was agreed that the applicant felt it was sufficient to extend the deadline to June of 2001 for removal of the existing home.

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

Mr. Loy moved to extend the variance to June 30, 2001, with the following conditions, limitations and notations:

(1) That the furnace and water supply, as well as electrical, be discontinued at the existing home within one week of the issuance of the certificate of occupancy for the new home.

(2) That the performance guarantee be provided in an amount equal to the cost of the removal of the existing home.

(3) The no one reside in the existing home once the certificate of occupancy was issued; the existing home was to be vacated within one week.

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

THE FOUNTAINS AT BRONSON PLACE- VARIANCE - BUILDING SEPARATION - 1700 BRONSON WAY (PARCEL NO. 3905-13-205-010)

The Board considered the application of The Fountains at Bronson Place for a variance from Section 66.201 to allow less than 40 feet between proposed duplexes at 1700 Bronson Way. The subject property is located within the "R-4" Residence District and is Parcel No. 3905-13-205-010.

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

Ms. Stefforia reported that the existing Bronson Place campus was established in 1987. In 1987, a variance to allow a reduced building separation of 25 feet was denied by the Zoning Board of Appeals. The Zoning Board of Appeals reasoned that no hardship had been demonstrated. The ZBA felt that 40 feet was needed between buildings due to the nature of the use and the height of the buildings. No unique circumstances were found to warrant the variance.

Following action on the current variance request, the applicant was to return for a site plan review of the proposed facility expansion.

The applicant was requesting a minimum separation of the duplex buildings of 25 feet.

Ms. Stefforia indicated that the ZBA had tabled a request on February 1, 1999, for a similar reduced building separation with regard to Emberly Acres condominium development. The ZBA had recommended that the applicant look at redesigning the site to accommodate the two-stall garages without the need for a variance. The applicant did not return to the ZBA for final action.

Ms. Stefforia also noted that the multi-family condominium buildings at Quail Cove had separations ranging from 20 feet to 25 feet. However, this project is a PUD, and the PUD provisions specifically allow the Planning Commission to approve deviations from Ordinance provisions.

The Township staff had reviewed the site plans for Danford Creek, Quail Run and Leisure Time, and the buildings therein complied with the 40-foot separation.

Ms. Stefforia reviewed the non-use variance criteria. She noted that the Fire Department would be comfortable with the 25-foot separation according to their review of the proposed project.

Barry Jones was present, as architect, on behalf of the applicant. He stated that the applicant felt that it could create a unique setting for the duplexes, each having a view of the "water features" on the property. He showed an illustration of the layout of the proposed site and each interior unit. The site had been designed so that the duplexes would not exit directly onto the main road, but onto a secondary road. He felt that the placement of duplexes on the site was somewhat limited by the desire to place same on a secondary rather than on the main road.

In response to questions from the Chairperson, Mr. Jones stated that some separations may comply with the 40-foot standard and some would be less, but all would be more than 25 feet. He stated that the five units on the east of the property would comply with the 40-foot separation. However, eight units on the west side would not.

In response to questions from Ms. Kuntzman, the applicant indicated that each building was approximately 96 feet wide. Mr. Loy had concerns about approving a variance of more than 50% and that would apply to most of the buildings in the project.

Mr. Bushouse stated that he felt that the 40-foot separation was included in the Ordinance because of the greater height of most multi-family buildings. Since these buildings would be more like single-family homes, he did not feel that the 40-foot separation was appropriate. Ms. Kuntzman disagreed, stating her concern about setting an undesirable precedent.

Ms. Stefforia emphasized that, if the 40-foot standard was not appropriate for single and two-story homes, then the Planning Commission should consider a text change. She did not feel it was appropriate to grant a variance rather than pursue such a change.

Mr. Corakis also suggested that the applicant consider the open space community, which would provide flexibility for deviations from the building separation standard. It appeared, from a review of the proposed site design, that the applicant could comply with the open space community standards.

The actions of the applicant were summarized:

(1) Text change to create a variable building separation standard based upon the height of the building;

(2) To apply as an open space community; or

(3) Redesign to comply with the 40-foot standard.

The applicant indicated that they were in favor of tabling the item so that they could consider their options and possibly take the proposal to the Planning Commission.

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

Mr. Corakis moved to table the item, and Mr. Loy seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

It was noted that the remaining items on the Agenda had been withdrawn.

OTHER BUSINESS

Mr. Bushouse expressed concern about a duplex which the ZBA had approved for a condo. He was concerned that one side of the duplex had been rented out to college students. Ms. Stefforia noted that the Board had not approved, but had indicated that this was one method of separating the two sides of the duplex for sale. However, the applicant had not returned for site plan review. The Township Attorney noted that, whether or not the two sides of the duplex were owned separately, would not prevent their rental to students. Most communities would address such an issue through the definition of "family". However, there was concern that this is fraught with legal challenges.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 4:55 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

By:
Thomas Brodasky, Chairperson

By:
Millard Loy

By:
Ted Corakis

By:
Sharon Kuntzman

By:
David Bushouse

Minutes Prepared:
November 21, 2000

Minutes Approved:
, 2000