OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS MINUTES

NOVEMBER 3, 1997

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Agenda

EDUCATIONAL COMMUNITY CREDIT UNION - VARIANCE FROM 40' BUILDING SEPARATION REQUIREMENT - 1551 S. 9TH STREET

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

LARUE'S RESTAURANT - VARIANCE FROM 70' FRONT SETBACK - 6375 STADIUM DRIVE

PENNINGS - VARIANCE FROM ON-SITE STORMWATER RETENTION - SOUTH SIDE KL AVENUE ADJACENT TO 5875 WEST KL AVENUE

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

MEMBERS PRESENT:

Brian Dylhoff, Chairperson
Thomas Brodasky
David Bushouse
Lara Meeuwse

MEMBER ABSENT: William Saunders

Also present were Rebecca Harvey and Mike West on behalf of the Planning and Zoning Department, Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney, and eight (8) other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

The Chairperson called the meeting to order at 3:04 p.m.

MINUTES

The Board considered the minutes of the meeting of October 20, 1997. The changes suggested by Ms. Harvey were noted. Ms. Meeuwse also suggested a change to the second page, third paragraph from the bottom, to eliminate a typographical error. Mr. Brodasky moved to approve the minutes as amended. Ms. Meeuwse seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

EDUCATIONAL COMMUNITY CREDIT UNION - VARIANCE FROM 40' BUILDING SEPARATION REQUIREMENT - 1551 S. 9TH STREET

The next item was the application of the Educational Community Credit Union for variance approval from the 40' separation requirement between principal buildings established by Section 66.201 of the Zoning Ordinance. The applicant proposes the temporary placement of a mobile office facility adjacent to the existing building during construction at the site. The subject site is located at 1551 S. 9th Street and is within the "R-3" Residence District Zoning classification.

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

Ms. Harvey clarified that the trailer was not a "construction trailer" but a temporary office building.

Tim Collia was present on behalf of the applicant. He stated that the applicant was proposing to remodel its existing building and needed temporary quarters. The applicant proposed the placing of a modular building next to the existing building to accommodate customers. He stated that the placement of the modular building next to the existing building would accommodate safety and convenience for members and employees. He felt that up to six months would be needed. Returning to the issue of placement, he stated that the proposed location would allow the entrances of the existing and modular buildings to be "close to one another." He stated that placing the modular building at least 40' away from the existing building would place it in the parking lot, which would disrupt the flow of traffic on site.

In response to questioning by the Chairperson, the applicant stated that employees would need to access the existing building daily.

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

Ms. Harvey noted that there were two important considerations with regard to whether the spirit and intent of the Ordinance was served by variance. She cited the temporary nature of the proposed variance and the fact that the Fire Department had reviewed and approved the proposed placement.

Mr. Brodasky moved to approve variance so as to allow placement of the modular temporary building as proposed until May 1, 1998. Mr. Brodasky reasoned as follows:

(1) That conformance was unnecessarily burdensome in that placing the temporary modular building elsewhere at the site would interfere with use of the site. The location had been proposed by the applicant to provide easy access for both employees and members and to reduce the distance for temporary utility extension, as well as to maintain site circulation during renovations.

(2) That substantial justice would weigh in favor of granting the variance in that it was temporary in nature and, therefore, the building was not meant to be a primary building for the long term.

(3) That, although there were no unique physical limitations preventing compliance with Ordinance standards, the location was appropriate to provide access for employees and members, reduce the distance for temporary utility extension, and to maintain site circulation.

(4) That the hardship was self-created but that the spirit and intent of the Ordinance was observed, as well as the health, safety and welfare secured, by the variance. The proposed temporary office trailer complies with front, rear and side setback standards. The proposed arrangement maintains adequate site circulation and required parking. The proposed arrangement has received the Fire Department review and approval.

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

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

The next item was the application of Pat Seelye for site plan review of the following uses proposed to be established at 9434 West M Avenue: two family dwelling units on a single parcel, and a facility for boarding and training of horses. The subject site consists of 145 acres and is located within the "AG"-Rural District Zoning classification.

The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference. Ms. Harvey noted that the applicant proposed the establishment of the uses on what is now five separate parcels. The applicant wished to construct riding stable facilities which would include living facilities for a trainer. In the future the owner intended to establish a second dwelling on the property. Ms. Harvey noted that the Ordinance requires site plan review where two dwellings will be placed on a single parcel. In addition, the applicant would need site plan review and approval of the boarding and training use if the use were intended to be for more than the applicant's personal horses.

Edward Annen, attorney for the applicant, was present and stated that the applicant was concerned about the possibility that his property would need to conform to ADA, Michigan Barrier-Free Guidelines, and other regulations. Mr. Annen stated that the applicant would like to adjourn the item so as to afford the opportunity to meet with Ms. Harvey to explore options for development of the property. After discussion as to the timing of the adjournment, Ms. Meeuwse moved to table the item to the meeting of November 17, 1997. Mr. Brodasky seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

LARUE'S RESTAURANT - VARIANCE FROM 70' FRONT SETBACK - 6375 STADIUM DRIVE

The next item was the application of David LaRue, representing LaRue's Family Restaurant, requesting variance approval from the 70' front setback requirement established by Section 64.300 of the Zoning Ordinance. The subject site is located at 6375 Stadium Drive and is within the "C" Local Business District Zoning classification.

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

Ms. Harvey noted that the setback reduction schedule does not apply to the proposed setback due to the fact that the setback was from Parkview rather than Stadium. Ms. Harvey also noted that the site had previously received a setback variance regarding one addition.

She also stated that there was some confusion within the Township records as to whether the property complies with the dimensional standards of the Ordinance. Township staff requested that the Board condition any action on the compliance of the parcel with Ordinance dimensional standards so that staff could clarify the situation.

The applicant was present, stating that he had begun construction of the proposed addition without realizing that he needed a building permit or a variance. He noted that his restaurant had experienced sales growth and could not keep up with its customers without additional storage.

In response to questioning by the Chairperson, Ms. Harvey noted that the previous variance granted to the property had been granted to what was the drive-through addition. The applicant proposed the same setback for the proposed addition.

Mr. Bushouse questioned why there was the necessity for another variance; why the existing variance did not apply to the entire building. Ms. Harvey noted that the Board had specifically granted variance for a particular proposal and, therefore, the variance did not extend to the entire building. However, she noted that the Board did have the discretion to grant variances in a broad manner. Mr. Bushouse stated he felt that the entire building should be allowed a variance so long as the 42' setback from the right-of-way of Parkview Avenue was met. The applicant stated that his intent in the future was to develop an addition but along Stadium Drive so as to "square off" the building.

The Chairperson sought public comment, and Ted Corakis stated that he had no objection to the proposed variance. He stated he felt that the problem had come from the previous owner's utilization of storage space for "seating." Nevertheless, he commented that he felt the applicant did not have enough parking in that his customers were parking in Mr. Corakis's lot and going across the street to the site. The applicant responded that additional parking would be addressed with this expansion.

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

The Chairperson stated he felt that because of the past variance it was reasonable to grant variance to allow this addition.

There was discussion of whether a variance should be granted so as to permit future extensions or additions so long as they complied with a 42' setback. The Chairperson stated he felt that each proposal should be reviewed individually.

Mr. Bushouse stated that neighbors to the property had asked him to raise the issue of screening so as to "break up" headlights for residents south of Parkview Avenue. The applicant stated that there were trees along the site and more trees were intended on the east. He stated that he would have no problem adding some trees and shrubs at the south of the property; however, he was concerned about his ability to place them in the right-of-way. Ms. Harvey stated that trees could be planted in the right-of-way but that this must be cleared with the Kalamazoo County Road Commission.

There was discussion of whether the 12' x 15' addition would provide sufficient storage capacity, and the applicant responded that it would.

Ms. Meeuwse moved to grant variance for the proposed addition with the following reasoning:

(1) That conformance was unnecessarily burdensome in that placement of the proposed storage addition could not be accomplished in accordance with the existing setback standards due to the size/shape of the parcel and existing improvements.

(2) That substantial justice would require variance in that a similar variance had been granted to this property. Further, variance would be consistent with previous decisions of the Board to allow extensions along existing building lines. Further, variance was consistent with the character of the surrounding area, which includes residences which are "closer to the road."

(3) That, although there were no unique physical circumstances preventing compliance, placement of the proposed addition could not be accomplished in accord with setback standards due to the size and shape of the parcel, as well as existing improvements.

(4) That, although the hardship was self-created, the variance was in keeping with the spirit and intent of the Ordinance and the public health, safety and welfare would be observed in that the proposed addition would not encroach upon the previously granted front setback variance and is in keeping with the existing building setbacks on surrounding properties. Further, the proposed addition would not result in additional linear building frontage along Parkview Avenue. The proposed addition would not adversely impact site circulation or parking. Further, the proposed addition has received review and approval by the Fire Department. The variance was conditioned upon the overall parcel meeting the dimensional requirements of the Zoning Ordinance.

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

PENNINGS - VARIANCE FROM ON-SITE STORMWATER RETENTION - SOUTH SIDE KL AVENUE ADJACENT TO 5875 WEST KL AVENUE

The next item was the application of Brian Pennings, representing W. Pennings & Sons, for variance approval from the on-site stormwater retention requirement established by Section 78.600 of the Zoning Ordinance. The subject site is located on the south side of KL Avenue adjacent to the east of 5875 West KL Avenue and is within the "I-1" District Zoning classification.

The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference. It was noted that the site had previously received site plan approval and that the applicant had checked with the Township, owner of the neighboring property, and the proposed off-site retention was feasible. Ms. Harvey noted that, in past actions, the Board had granted approval for off-site retention and that the Board should make reference to the "typical" conditions imposed.

The applicant was present, stating that he would rather not deepen his retention basin proposed on site in that it would require fencing. He felt it was more aesthetically pleasing to have a shallow area on site and allow overflow to be retained off site.

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

Mr. Brodasky moved to approve the variance from Section 78.600 so as to allow an off-site retention area for the parcel based on the following reasoning:

(1) That a common or combined retention area would be more aesthetically pleasing.

(2) That the intent of Section 78.600 had been met and that the developer was making provisions for runoff from his property through the execution of an easement.

(3) That substantial justice would require variance in that the application was similar to other applications approved in the past.

(4) That it was required that a written, executed and recorded easement allowing use of the off-site retention area be on file with the Township.

(5) That it was required that the retention area off site remain part of the approved site plan for this property.

(6) That no further development in the retention area would be permitted without a return to the Zoning Board of Appeals for approval.

(7) That, if any cloud on the legal right of the subject site's owner to use the retention basin were to arise, a return to the Zoning Board of Appeals would be necessary.

(8) That approval was subject to the review and approval of the Township Engineer.

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

ADJOURNMENT

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