OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS MINUTES

October 18, 1999

Agenda

HAHN - VARIANCE FROM SECTION 62.151 - 8895 STADIUM DRIVE

OMNIPOINT COMMUNICATIONS - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 5088 WEST MICHIGAN AVENUE

OMNIPOINT COMMUNICATIONS - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 6018 WEST N AVENUE

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday, October 18, 1999, commencing at approximately 3:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township.

MEMBERS PRESENT:
Thomas Brodasky, Chairperson
David Bushouse
Sharon Kuntzman
Millard Loy
William Saunders

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Township Planning Director; Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner, and Robert C. Engels, Township Attorney, and four other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

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

MINUTES

The Zoning Board of Appeals considered the minutes of the meeting of October 4, 1999. Ms. Kuntzman moved to approve the minutes, and Mr. Saunders seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

HAHN - VARIANCE FROM SECTION 62.151 - 8895 STADIUM DRIVE

The next item was the application of Barbara Hahn for a variance from the current setback requirements for a front porch she wants to add to her house at 8895 Stadium Drive. The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Stefforia noted that the house was in compliance with the setback requirements when it was built in 1965. Since then the setback requirements have changed twice, once in 1966 to 100 feet, and again in 1984 to 120 feet. The existing house is now 85 feet from the west line and approximately 90 feet from the center of Stadium Drive (Red Arrow Highway). It is 64 feet long and 35 feet deep with the proposed porch being 10 feet wide from the front of the house. Thus with the porch, it would be approximately 80 feet from the center line of Stadium Drive (Red Arrow Highway).

Stadium Drive is angled in front of the applicant’s house, but the house is also angled so the setback would be constant with the addition of the porch.

There are several other houses along Stadium Drive near the applicant’s house which have setbacks that are not in conformance with the setback requirement.

Mr. Brodasky was concerned with substantial justice as to whether or not any of the non-complying parcels predated the Ordinance.

Mr. Loy was concerned with the possible widening of Stadium Drive and its impact on the addition of the porch. Ms. Stefforia stated that there were no plans to acquire additional right-of-way for the planned widening of Stadium Drive. That is, the center line should remain constant.

The applicant was present, and she indicated that one-half of her property already has a third lane on Stadium Drive. She did not believe that there was much of a chance that the other half would be widened because it would take a great deal of fill to make the area stable.

She stated that she has wanted a porch for a long time. She does not believe that adding a porch would be a hardship for her neighbors. She said that she has pine trees 35 feet from her house and 30 feet to the road. Thus, people would not really even see the porch.

Ms. Stefforia inquired as to the construction of the porch, and the applicant indicated that she was going to use vinyl as much as possible as she does not want to do upkeep on the porch. She will use an old-fashioned design, and it will be physically attached to the house.

Mr. Bushouse inquired regarding an extension of the roof area, and the applicant indicated that she would be extending the roof area. Mr. Bushouse asked if it would be an all-weather porch now or in the future, and the applicant responded that it would not be an all-weather porch at any time.

Mr. Brodasky wanted the applicant to be sure to understand that she was asking to increase a non-conforming use, and the applicant indicated that she did understand.

The Chairperson asked for public comment, and none was offered. The public hearing was closed.

Mr. Brodasky noted that the applicant was asking for a 10-foot variance. Mr. Loy noted that there was no real chance that the existing non-conforming building would be torn down and moved back as it was a lived-in house.

Mr. Bushouse commented that the County Road Commission already had the right to expand the road and that other properties down the road are closer to the road than the applicant’s property would be with the addition of the porch. Her property would not look unusual.

Mr. Brodasky was concerned as to whether or not there were enough distinctions not to set a precedent. Mr. Loy noted that precedent had already been set by granting variances in the past.

Mr. Saunders noted that the house had been built before the setback requirement. Mr. Loy commented that the hardship had not been self-created. Mr. Saunders stated that the applicant only wanted a porch on her property, and other properties are closer to the road now, and the County right-of-way is already in place. He can see no problems regarding precedent being set. The house was constructed before the setback requirements.

Mr. Brodasky was concerned that neighbors without porches might petition to have porches added to their homes, although he believed that at least some of the other houses would not want to add porches.

Mr. Saunders moved to approve the variance with the following conditions, limitations and notations:

(1) There are not reasonable options for compliance available as the only option for compliance would be no porch.

(2) Substance justice would be done as other homes in that stretch of Stadium Drive sit closer to the street than the current provisions allow.

(3) There are unique circumstances in that the house was built before the setbacks were implemented.

(4) This is a self-created hardship, but the spirit of the Ordinance would be served, the public health, safety, and welfare secured, and substantial justice done if the variance is granted as many other houses along that road are not in compliance with the setback requirements.

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

OMNIPOINT COMMUNICATIONS - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 5088 WEST MICHIGAN AVENUE - ROE - COMM. INC. TOWER

The Board next considered the application of Omnipoint Communications Corp for a site plan review, wherein Omnipoint requested approval of the proposed placement of antennas on an existing communications tower and auxiliary equipment at ground level. The subject property is located at 5088 W. Michigan Avenue. The property is within the "I-1" Industrial District. The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge noted that there are two communication towers on the site and that the applicant is asking that three antennas be added to the existing 480 foot tower, and that an equipment cabinet be installed in the existing fenced-in area. The request is consistent with Section 60.600.

The applicant was represented by Mr. Keith Davidow. Mr. Davidow stated that three antennas were going to be placed on the existing tower, and an equipment cabinet was going to be placed on a 10 foot x 10 foot leased area within the existing fenced-in area. A cable tray was going to be run from the cabinet to the tower. The site would be visited once every three months for routine maintenance. All fine tuning is able to be done over telephone lines.

Mr. Loy asked if the cabinet would be located off the ground. Mr. Davidow stated that it would be on auger screws with the base being less than one foot high. Ms. Bugge drew attention to the plans and drawings that had been submitted showing the detail on the radio cabinet.

Ms. Stefforia asked if the applicant was established in this area. Mr. Davidow indicated that the applicant was not yet established in this area, but was using existing facilities to locate its towers.

The applicant would be leasing tower space from ROE-COMM. Inc. Mr. Bushouse asked John Carnago (from ROE COMM) if there were any plans to ask for more antennas on the tower and more construction on the ground. He suggested that that be done so that each time an addition was contemplated, the potential user would not have to come in asking to add to the antennas and cabinets.

Ms. Bugge stated that a text amendment to permit administrative approval is now before the Planning Commission.

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

Ms. Kuntzman moved to approve the request with the following conditions, limitations and notations:

                                        (1) The existing access will be utilized.

(2) The proposed equipment location will meet setback requirements and be enclosed within the existing fenced area.

Any proposed lighting shall conform to Section 78.700 and be submitted for review and approval.

(3) The subject site is surrounded by industrial zoning and land use. Screening is not required.

                                        (4) No new variances are being requested.
                      

                                        (5) Approval shall be subject to Township Fire Department                                                  review and approval.

                                        (6) No additional run-off shall result.

(7) The proposal is consistent with Section 60.630 which encourages the use of existing towers for co-location.

(8) Equipment shall not cause interference with public safety telecommunications.

(9) An equipment removal clause shall be added to the lease agreement and submitted to the Township.

(10) The Environmental Permits Checklist and Hazardous Substance Reporting Form had been completed and submitted.

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

OMNIPOINT COMMUNICATIONS - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 6018 WEST N AVENUE, CONSUMERS ENERGY TOWER

The next item was the application of Omnipoint Communications Corp for a site plan review for the proposed placement of antennas on an existing communications tower and auxiliary equipment at ground level. The subject property is the Consumers Energy Communications Tower which is located at 6018 N Avenue, east of 9th Street. The property is within the "I-R" Industrial District, Restricted. The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference.

Ms. Bugge noted that this request is very similar to the last request by Omnipoint, but on a different tower.

Mr. Davidow was again present for the applicant, and noted that the only main difference between this application and the previous application was that in this application they are proposing to add six antennas rather than three.

Mr. Loy inquired as to whether a structure analysis of the tower had been done, and Ms. Bugge indicated that it had been done.

The Chairperson asked for public comment, none was offered, and the public hearing was closed.

Mr. Loy moved to approve the request with the following conditions, limitations and notations:

                                       (1) The existing access will be utilized.

(2) The proposed equipment location will meet setback requirements and be enclosed within the existing fenced area.

Any proposed lighting shall conform to Section 78.700 and be submitted for review and approval.

(3) The subject site has industrial zoning to the west and north and Agricultural zoning to the east. Any existing landscaping will not be disturbed.

                                        (4) No new variances are being requested.

                                        (5) Approval shall be subject to Township Fire Department                                                  review and approval.

                                        (6) No additional run-off shall result.

(7) The proposal is consistent with Section 60.630 which encourages the use of existing towers for co-location.

(8) Equipment shall not cause interference with public safety telecommunications.

(9) A copy of the site plan stamped "Approved without exception" by Consumers Energy shall be submitted to the Township.

(10) An equipment removal clause is included in the lease agreement.

(11) The Environmental Permits Checklist and Hazardous Substance Reporting Form had been completed and submitted.

Ms. Bugge stated that, in this case, the equipment removal is included in the lease.

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

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 3:40 p.m.

Minutes Prepared:  October 21, 1999

Minutes Approved:  November 1, 1999