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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

November 25, 2003

Agenda

MORSE - FRONT SETBACK VARIANCE - 378 NORTH 4TH STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-16-305-081)

PURAZRANG - SITE PLAN REVIEW - HOUSE CONVERSION TO OFFICE USE - 3393 SOUTH 9TH STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-35-205-201)

WEST MAIN MALL - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 5157 AND 5155 WEST MAIN STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-13-430-036)

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Zoning Board of Appeals on Tuesday, November 25, 2003, commencing at approximately 3:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

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

MEMBER ABSENT: James Turcott

Also present were Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner; James W. Porter, 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 28, 2003. Mr. McClung moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Ms. Borgfjord seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

MORSE - FRONT SETBACK VARIANCE - 378 NORTH 4TH STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-16-305-081)

The Board considered the application of Jason Morse for approval of a variance from Section 62.151 to allow the expansion of a nonconforming building in a manner not in compliance with current setback requirements. The subject property is located at 378 North 4th Street within the "RR" Rural Residential District zoning classification. The site is Parcel No. 3905-16-305-081. The Report of the Planning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge stated that the garage and a portion of the house had been removed. She said the house may have been built sometime in the 1940's and was remodeled in 1987. She reviewed the front setback requirements of the Zoning Ordinance from 1966 through the most recent changes in 1984. She noted that the home was currently located entirely within the required setback area which is currently 70 feet from the right-of-way line. She said that the applicant's proposed addition was recessed from the front of the house and would not further expand the nonconforming use of the property. Ms. Bugge then reviewed the variance standards with the Board as set forth in her Report.

The Chairperson asked Mr. Morse if he had anything to add. Mr. Morse said that he did not. The Chairperson asked Mr. Morse if part of the property had already been torn down. Mr. Morse indicated that it had. Mr. Bushouse asked Mr. Morse if he was currently re-siding the home. Mr. Morse said that he was. Mr. Bushouse noted that the property is already established as a pre-existing residential structure.

Ms. Bugge told the Board that there had been a misunderstanding with regard to the location of the structure and that the building permit had been approved prematurely. She said it was not until the time of site inspection that they caught the fact that the subject structure was entirely within the setback area.

The Chairperson asked if there was any comment from the audience. Hearing none, he called for Board deliberations. The Chairperson first noted that he did not have a problem with issuing the variance since the applicant was not expanding the nonconforming use of the property. Mr. Bushouse noted that the condition was pre-existing, but he expressed his concern to the property owner that, at some point, 4th Street would be improved, likely resulting in the road being brought very close to the home. Mr. Morse acknowledged that possibility and said that he understood. Ms. Borgfjord noted that the applicant was already underway with renovations. In comparing this to the other similar situations where variances were granted, she said she thought it would be appropriate to grant the variance.

Mr. McClung made a motion to approve the variance as requested, and the motion was seconded by Ms. Borgfjord. The Chairperson called for further discussion in support of the motion. The Board noted:

(1) That the home was a lawful, pre-existing use;

(2) That front building setbacks had changed over the years;

(3) That, even if the addition was placed on the east side, the rear of the home, it would still be in noncompliance, and therefore, any addition would require a variance;

(4) That the request was consistent with similar variances granted before.

The Chairperson called for a vote on the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.

PURAZRANG - SITE PLAN REVIEW - HOUSE CONVERSION TO OFFICE USE - 3393 SOUTH 9TH STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-35-205-201)

The Board considered the application of Mehdi Purazrang for a site plan review for the conversion of a house to an office building with related site improvements located in the "VC" Village Commercial District zoning classification. The subject property is located at 3393 South 9th Street and is Parcel No. 3905-35-205-201. The Report of the Planning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge told the Board that the property contained a single-family dwelling formerly used as a residence, now being converted to office use. She said that the property owner planned to keep the architectural design the same, which she said was a very positive step for the "VC" Village Commercial District. She reviewed the proposed site plan with the Board and said that the application required review under Section 33.400 and site plan review pursuant to Section 82.800. Ms. Bugge said that she would like to see shared access with the adjoining parcel, but that the applicant was reluctant to do so at this time as the property to the south was used as a residence. It was pointed out that much of the existing trees would remain on the property, and the proposal satisfied landscaping requirements. Additionally, a sidewalk existed in front of the building.

The Chairperson asked if there were any questions of Ms. Bugge or the applicant. Mr. Bushouse asked if the entire residence was now going to be used as an office. The applicant indicated that there would be no apartments and that the entire residence would be used as office space.

The Chairperson asked if there was anything further from the applicant. Mr. Purazrang said he thought Ms. Bugge had covered it all and thanked the Board members for their consideration. He said that he was not interested in sharing a drive at this because the adjoining property was not being used for commercial purposes.

A question arose as to possible access to the Township property. The Chairperson noted that the neighboring properties surrounded Mr. Purazrang's property and therefore, his property and the Township's property were not abutting.

Ms. Bugge asked Mr. Purazrang, if the use changed next door, whether he would be willing to consider a shared drive. Mr. Purazrang said the he would certainly discuss it, but he could not promise anything until he actually had an opportunity to discuss the matter with the adjoining property owner.

The Chairperson asked if there were other comments. Mr. Bushouse noted that the subject property was a very nice structure, and he was glad to see the exterior kept the same since the home predated the 1940's. He thought it would be beneficial to the overall village concept to keep the residence as it was.

The Chairperson asked if there were any comments from the audience, and hearing none, he called for Board deliberations.

Mr. Bushouse asked if there would be adequate parking. Ms. Bugge again reviewed the site plan, which showed the proposed parking, and she noted that it would be in compliance with the Township Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Bushouse then asked about the existing storage building on the property. Mr. Purazrang said that it would be used for storage only.

Ms. Borgfjord asked what the lighting would be. Mr. Purazrang said that there was existing lighting on the garage and the storage building. Ms. Bugge noted that, if there were any new fixtures added, they would be subject to review and approval by Township Staff.

Mr. Bushouse asked if there would be any need for a variance concerning the asphalt requirement due to the lateness of the season. The Chairperson said perhaps the Board could restrict tenancy until such time as the paving was completed. Ms. Bugge recommended that they require a performance guarantee thereby allowing the property owner to move ahead without unduly impeding his development. Mr. Purazrang noted that he would be putting the base in even if paving could not be completed until next year.

The Chairperson called for further discussion, and hearing none, he called for a motion. Ms. Borgfjord made a motion to approve conversion of the residence at 3393 South 9th Street to an office and to approve the site plan pursuant to Section 82.800 subject to the following criteria:

(1) That the existing driveway is subject to review by the Kalamazoo County Road Commission and obtaining a commercial driveway permit;

(2) That outdoor storage is neither requested nor approved;

(3) That all site lighting shall be in compliance with the lighting guidelines set forth in Section 78.800, and details of any lighting fixtures shall be submitted for Township review and approval pursuant to Section 76.000;

(4) That a sign permit will be required before any signs can be placed upon the subject property;

(5) That site plan approval is subject to the applicant complying with the requirements of the Township Fire Department pursuant to adopted codes;

(6) That the site plan approval is subject to the Township Engineer finding the proposed site engineering to be adequate;

(7) That the applicant provide a performance guarantee for paving of the drive and parking lot if not completed; and

(8) That all future tenants obtain use approval by the Township through administrative review.

The motion was seconded by Mr. Bushouse. The Chairperson called for a vote on the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.

WEST MAIN MALL - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 5157 AND 5155 WEST MAIN STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-13-430-036)

The Board considered the application of Continental Designs, Inc. for site plan review for the West Main Mall located in the "C-1" Local Business District, being Parcel No. 3905-13-430-036. The Report of the Planning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge stated that the site plan review was for a proposed 47,137 square foot multi-tenant retail/commercial building for future tenants. She noted that the review was pursuant to Section 82.800 of the Township Zoning Ordinance. Ms. Bugge noted that the proposed addition was going to be south of the Hardings Marketplace in an area previously identified for future development. Ms. Bugge reviewed her Report with the Board members, taking them through the provisions of Section 82.800 of the Zoning Ordinance. She noted the changes in the island near the south edge of the building designed to limit traffic behind the building to be constructed. She brought the Board's attention to the two loading areas on the proposed plan, and she raised some concern regarding the one angled bay to serve the most southerly proposed structure. She also said no dumpster site had been indicated on the plan. Ms. Bugge noted that she felt the applicant should expand the sidewalk on the south side of the building to accommodate pedestrian traffic. Ms. Bugge also pointed out the need for additional disabled parking east of the entrances on the proposed structures. She also noted that the landscaping east of the subject building would have to be improved to bring the property into compliance with the Zoning Ordinance. She also noted that the retaining wall to the west of the structures should have landscaping improvements.

The Chairperson asked to hear from the applicant. Mr. Josh Weiner, on behalf of the applicant, told the Board members that the proposed plan was very similar to what was first proposed to the Township. He responded to Ms. Bugge's comments by indicating that the landscaping along Drake Road would be done in compliance with her request, but would like to do it within a ten-foot-wide area. He noted that the trash compactor would be placed on site between the truck dock and the storage area to the south. He noted that he did not have details on the tenant for the southern addition, but he said that the angled docking area proposed had worked very well at many of their other facilities and thought that it would be appropriate as proposed. He noted that the sidewalk south of the building would be expanded as requested. However, he noted that there was already landscaping along the retaining wall and that it was planted with crownvetch. He said that planting was very effective in stopping erosion. He said that perhaps some weeding was in order, but he did not believe additional landscaping was needed. He also noted that additional screening would not help much, given the elevation of the property to the west. Lastly, he said he understood the sign requirements and that no outdoor display or storage would take place on the site. He asked the Board if they had any questions.

The Chairperson asked Mr. Weiner if these additional tenants completed the development of the site. Mr. Weiner said yes, with the exception of one last area in the southwest portion of the property.

A discussion ensued about the possibility of having an entrance on the south side of the building. Mr. Weiner said that is was possible, but they did not anticipate it at the present time.

Ms. Bugge, in response to Mr. Weiner's comments, said that she felt that the retaining wall could benefit from some tall grasses to screen the service area in the rear of the building from those using the elevated road behind the building. Mr. Weiner said that the suggestion had merit.

Ms. Bugge asked if perhaps the applicant could place some signs to restrict customer traffic from this service area behind the building. Mr. Weiner said that he thought that was a very good idea, and that they would do so.

A brief discussion ensued regarding the bright lighting at Kohl's. Mr. Weiner said that he envisioned no changes in the lighting for the proposed development.

The Chairperson asked if there were any additional questions or comments. Mr. Bushouse said that he thought the proposed addition would help rejuvenate the area and add to the tax base. The Chairperson said that he thought the proposal was a very good addition to the development.

The Chairperson asked if there were any comments from the audience, and there were none.

Mr. McClung made a motion to approve the site plan review subject to the following conditions, restrictions, limitations and notations:

(1) That the relocated island shall comply with the landscaping requirements of Section 75;

(2) That additional disabled accessible parking spaces must be provided in front of the building, the east side;

(3) That the front sidewalk should be extended and widened along the south side of the building for consumer safety;

(4) That outdoor display or storage is not permitted by right on the subject property, and any outdoor display is subject to review and approval of the Planning Commission under special exception use criteria;

(5) That a revised site plan indicating how and where refuse will be handled shall be provided for Staff review and approval;

(6) That, if any changes to the previously approved lighting arrangement are proposed, details of fixture type, height, wattage, shields, etc. must be provided for Staff review and approval;

(7) That all building-mounted lighting must comply with the requirements of Section 78.700 of the Zoning Ordinance and that details shall be provided for Township review and approval prior to the issuance of a building permit;

(8) That, pursuant to Section 76.000, a sign permit will be required before any new signs can be placed upon the property;

(9) That a landscaping plan indicating a Type "C" greenspace and stating species and size of proposed landscaping along Drake Road, in the new parking lot island and for the retaining wall area, shall be provided for Staff review and approval pursuant to Section 75.000 prior to the issuance of a building permit;

(10) That landscaping shall be installed consistent with the approved landscaping plan prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy or a performance guarantee must be provided consistent with Section 82.950;

(11) That details of the loading area serving Hardings, Kohl's and the proposed building, including all refuse containers and screens, must be provided for Staff review and approval prior to the issuance of a building permit;

(12) That site plan approval should be subject to the applicant satisfying the requirements of the Township Fire Department, pursuant to adopted codes; and

(13) That site plan approval should be subject to the applicant satisfying the requirements of the Township Engineer.

Ms. Bugge noted that the applicant had asked for a deviation from the landscaping requirements to reduce the width from 20 feet to 10 feet along Drake Road. Mr. McClung asked to amend his motion to include:

(14) That a deviation from the landscaping provisions to reduce the width to be landscaped from 20 feet to 10 feet along Drake Road but conform to the type and quantity of plant material required within a "C" greenspace was granted.

The Chairperson asked for a second on the motion. The motion was seconded by Ms. Borgfjord. The Chairperson called any further discussion, and hearing none, called for a vote on the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

ADOPTION OF 2004 MEETING DATES

Mr. McClung made a motion to approve the meeting dates as proposed. The motion was seconded by Ms. Borgfjord. The Chairperson called for a vote, and the motion passed unanimously.

OTHER BUSINESS

The Board determined that the next meeting would be December 16, 2003.

Mr. Bushouse wanted it noted for the record that the site plan for West Main Mall had been previously approved by the Township Fire Department, and he certainly did not want to see the entire project reworked again due to the addition the Board just approved. He said the original plan which had been previously reviewed and approved by the Fire Department had shown the proposed buildings.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 4:30 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

By:
Millard Loy, Chairperson

By:
Grace Borgfjord

By:
Dave Bushouse

By:
Duane McClung

Minutes Prepared:
December 2, 2003
Minutes Approved:
, 2003