OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS MINUTES

October 19, 1998

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Agenda

INSTANT INTERIORS (DELTA DESIGN SYSTEMS REP) - SITE PLAN REVIEW - PROPOSED 17,150 SQ. FT. WAREHOUSE ADDITION - 4001 S. 9TH STREET

OSHTEMO BUSINESS PARK - VARIANCE REQUEST - 9TH STREET AND N AVENUE (HOLLENBECK CONSTRUCTION)

OSHTEMO BUSINESS PARK - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 25,000 SQ. FT. INDUSTRIAL BUILDING - LOT 9 - NE CORNER 9TH STREET AND N AVENUE (HOLLENBECK CONSTRUCTION)

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A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday, October 19, 1998, 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
William Saunders
Lara Meeuwse

MEMBERS ABSENT: None

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Township Planning and Zoning Department, Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney, and two (2) other interested persons.

CALL TO ORDER

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

MINUTES

The Board considered the minutes of the meeting of October 5, 1998. Mr. Brodasky suggested a change to page 3 under item #1 to read ". . .adjusted by 8’ to the north."

Mr. Brodasky moved to approve the minutes as amended, and Ms. Meeuwse seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

 

INSTANT INTERIORS (DELTA DESIGN SYSTEMS REP) - SITE PLAN REVIEW - PROPOSED 17,150 SQ. FT. WAREHOUSE ADDITION - 4001 S. 9TH STREET

The next item was the application of Delta Design Systems for site plan review concerning a proposed 17,150 sq. ft. warehouse addition to the Instant Interiors building at 4001 S. 9th Street.

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

Ms. Stefforia reported that the Fire Department had issued its comments concerning the proposed site plan and that the Fire Department’s representative had met with the applicant concerning suggested changes. Further, a Hazardous Substance Reporting Form had been submitted by the applicant pursuant to Section 69.000 of the Zoning Ordinance.

Bruce Kuipers was present on behalf of the applicant. He stated he felt the application was straightforward in that it involved only the addition of warehousing space. In response to questioning by the applicant Chairperson , the Chairperson applicant stated that two dumpsters were already in existence at the site and that no more would be needed. He stated that the existing building is utilized for office and warehouse space. The addition would be devoted solely to warehouse use.

Ms. Meeuwse questioned the presence of the 12 Instant Interiors trucks in the parking lot. Ms. Stefforia reported that the Township had previously administratively approved additional parking for the trucks to increase their number to 12. She noted that the site plan proposed for the addition should be corrected on this point.

Ms. Meeuwse questioned the applicant concerning semi-truck trailers parked to the back of the site. The applicant stated that these were not permanent at the site and would not be stored there. Ms. Meeuwse also questioned the applicant regarding stormwater retention. Mr. Kuipers indicated that the Township Engineer had reviewed the proposed retention basin and had indicated satisfaction that it would have sufficient capacity.

Mr. Brodasky questioned the applicant with regard to the proposed parking. After some discussion, it was determined that no additional parking would be needed in that the addition would not involve any further "work area" for employees. Mr. Kuipers reported that the current parking arrangement provides in excess of that which is required by the Ordinance and exceeds that which is needed by the present use.

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

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

(1) That no new access or drive onto 9th Street was proposed or approved. Access around the building and site would not be altered with the building addition.

(2) That existing parking was determined to be satisfactory.

(3) That the proposed building addition satisfies the setback requirements of the Ordinance.

(4) That no outdoor storage had been proposed or approved.

(5) That all outdoor lighting comply with Ordinance standards.

(6) That no alteration to existing site signage had been proposed or approved.

(7) That no additional screening was proposed or necessary.

(8) That no variances had been requested.

(9) That approval was subject to the review and approval of the Township Fire Department and Engineer.

(10) That approval was subject to the compliance with the Groundwater Protection Standards of Section 69.000.

(11) That approval was subject to the completion and filing of the Environmental Permits Checklist and Hazardous Substance Reporting Form.

(12) That issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy was contingent on final inspections and approvals from the Building, Mechanical, Electrical, Fire, Planning and Zoning Departments to insure compliance with all applicable standards and conditions.

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

OSHTEMO BUSINESS PARK - VARIANCE REQUEST - 9TH STREET AND N AVENUE (HOLLENBECK CONSTRUCTION)

The next item was the application of Hollenbeck Construction for variance from Section 82.900 of the Zoning Ordinance to allow construction to commence on building sites within the Oshtemo Business Park (site condominium project) prior to completion or bonding of the new public street. The subject site is at the northeast corner of 9th Street and N Avenue.

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

It was reported that the Township Planning Commission had granted site plan approval for the proposed site condominium project in September. The park would be served by a public street through the center of the park, off 9th Street, and two private streets to run north and south off N Avenue. The private streets would provide access to six building sites within the project. It was further indicated that the applicant is waiting for Kalamazoo County Road Commission approval of plans for the public street, which approval is a preliminary step to providing a bond acceptable to the Kalamazoo County Road Commission. However, the applicant was ready to proceed with construction on lots #9 and #12. The applicant therefore sought variance from Section 82.900, which requires that properties be developed in strict compliance with the approved site plan. The variance would allow the applicant to proceed with construction on the two lots prior to completion or bonding of the proposed public street.

Larry Hollenbeck was present on behalf of the applicant. Mr. Hollenbeck emphasized that the private street/shared drive would be constructed prior to occupancy of lots #9 or #12. As to timing of Road Commission progress, the applicant estimated that he would not be in a position to "bond" the public road with the Road Commission until approximately December of 1998. Mr. Hollenbeck noted that the applicant could develop the acreage in question through the Land Division Act without building the public road. He therefore felt it was not unreasonable that the Zoning Board of Appeals grant variance to allow construction to take place on two of the lots prior to construction of the public road, particularly since access for the lots would be provided on the private street/ shared drive.

Ms. Meeuwse stated that Planning Commission members who approved the project may have been concerned about completion of the public road due to the applicant's problems in completing public roads in other projects. The applicant responded that there had been no such problems in other projects.

There was discussion of the fact that, if the applicant did not proceed with construction of the site condominium project, the public road would not be necessary. The public road provided necessary public road frontage to lots #2-#8 and #10. Board members agreed that they would be more concerned about completion of the internal public road prior to construction if the applicant was seeking development of any of these lots.

In response to questioning by Ms. Meeuwse, the applicant again stated that the private road/shared drive would be "in and paved" this year. It was noted that the Fire Department had been consulted on the proposal and requested that private streets off N Avenue be constructed to a width of 26', similar to the Kalamazoo County Road Commission requirement for public streets if they were to be used for the only access to lots #12 and #9. The applicant responded that this would not be a problem. The applicant estimated a "spring occupancy" for lots #12 and #9.

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

Mr. Brodasky expressed that he saw no problem with the variance, which would essentially provide only a deviation as to "timing." Mr. Brodasky was satisfied that the variance would cause no problem as long as the two private roads were constructed and the Fire Department approved of the proposed access arrangements.

Mr. Bushouse felt it was significant that the applicant could have at least four splits of the proposed acreage with one driveway per land division. Since the proposed lots would have access via the private streets to N Avenue, he was not concerned about requiring a bond be provided by the applicant to the Township for construction of the public road. Of necessity, the public road would be required to be constructed prior to the applicant being allowed to build on any of the interior acreage.

Alice Pine commented that she occupies the home on N Avenue across the street from the subject property. She expressed concern about the traffic which would be generated for N Avenue. The Chairperson explained that the proposed site condominium development limited the number of curb cuts which could be established on N Avenue from between four to six to the two proposed. It was felt that this access arrangement would reduce traffic impact as much as possible.

After further discussion, Mr. Brodasky moved to grant the variance allowing construction on lots #9 and #12 prior to completion or bonding of the interior public road with the following reasoning:

(1) That conformance was unnecessarily burdensome. Lots #9 and #12 are ten acres in size and could have been created through land division rather than site condominium development. The lots have frontage on N Avenue and would gain access to N Avenue through the establishment of the private street/shared drive. Establishment of the public road would be required for development of the interior acreage. Therefore, variance would only impact the timing of the commencement of building on lots #12 and #9.

(2) That substantial justice would weigh in favor of granting the variance in that it would allow the applicant to proceed with construction within the park while the Kalamazoo County Road Commission reviewed the proposed public street design. Variance operated, in effect, to allow phasing of the project.

(3) That there are no unique physical circumstances; however, it was recognized that the end of the paving season is nearing.

(4) That the hardship was not necessarily self-created due to the time of year, the date of the Planning Commission approval of the site condominium project and the time necessary for Kalamazoo County Road Commission review and approval of the public road plans.

(5) It was felt that the spirit and intent of the Ordinance would be observed and the public health, safety and welfare secured if the variance were granted in that no physical changes to the layout of the park were being proposed. The variance would only allow the development of two lots which could have been created through land division (without platting or site condominiumizing) and access to such lots to the public street, i.e., N Avenue, via the construction of the private street/shared drive.

The following conditions were imposed on variance:

(1) That the variance was subject to the review and approval of the Township Fire Department.

(2) That the private street and shared drive be constructed and completed prior to occupancy of either lot #12 or #9.

(3) That in all other respects the development of lots #9 and #12 comply with the approved site plan.

(4) That no bond or letter of credit was required of the applicant except that at such time as lots #12 or #9 were ready for occupancy, the applicant could offer a bond or letter of credit to secure completion of the private street and/or shared drive.

(5) That no building permit issue for any other lot prior to construction/bonding of the public road.

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

 

OSHTEMO BUSINESS PARK - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 25,000 SQ. FT. INDUSTRIAL BUILDING - LOT 9 - NE CORNER 9TH STREET AND N AVENUE (HOLLENBECK CONSTRUCTION)

The next item was the application of Hollenbeck Construction Company for site plan approval for a proposed 25,000 sq. ft. industrial building on lot #9 of the Oshtemo Business Park, a ten-acre building site. The subject building site is the easternmost lot within the park, along N Avenue.

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

Ms. Stefforia noted, with regard to the screening proposed along N Avenue, that the applicant might seek occupancy of the site prior to weather conditions permitting the establishment of such screening in the spring of 1999. She suggested that the Board approve occupancy of the site so long as a bond was provided to the Township. The applicant was questioned with regard to the proposed screening arrangement, and he stated that a berm and plantings would be established along N Avenue.

Ms. Meeuwse questioned the applicant with regard to the proposed retention ponds on site. Mr. Hollenbeck stated that each site has its own retainage. A common retention area for the park would handle stormwater runoff from the public road only. The applicant, by providing retention for each individual site, was hoping to avoid cross-contamination problems.

Ms. Meeuwse questioned the applicant with regard to the proposed use of the site. Mr. Hollenbeck stated that the use would involve "mail processing" similar to that taking place at the U.S. Post Office site or the site of UPS. There was a discussion of the proposed refueling islands, and it was noted that the State Fire Marshal and MDEQ would need to review and approve the arrangements.

Trucks and trailers would be parked on site overnight. The applicant was questioned with regard to the loading areas, and it was indicated that there would be no "loading docks" but merely overhead doors.

Ms. Meeuwse questioned the applicant as to whether any additional greenspace would be added at the site and a reduction of the proposed asphalt areas made. The applicant responded that it would be difficult to alter the design of the site without creating problems for truck turning radius.

Mr. Bushouse questioned the applicant with regard to snow removal, and the applicant admitted that there was little area in which to store snow. He stated that it would be piled in "greenspace areas" and may have to be hauled out from time to time.

There was discussion of the southernmost access point on the shared drive and the distance of the drive from the intersection of the private drive with 9th Street. After some discussion, the applicant agreed with Board members that the angle of the access drive might produce traffic hazards. Members were concerned with truck traffic backing up into N Avenue due to the short distance between the intersection and the access point along the private drive. Reference was made to the driveway spacing provisions of the Access Management Guidelines. The applicant agreed that the access drive location should be moved further north and be placed perpendicular to the shared drive.

There was discussion of the six parking spaces at the south end of the site, and it was noted that these were "very remote" from the building. The applicant indicated that these spaces would be removed since a berm would be established in this area. The applicant stated that a landscape plan would be submitted. Members agreed that the provisions of Section 11.540(3) should govern the landscaping of the berm along N Avenue.

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

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

(1) That, as to access, no direct access from the lot would be permitted to N Avenue. Two access points on the shared drive were approved. As to the southernmost access point on the private drive, the location must be moved to a point at least 120' from the center of N Avenue (as measured from center to center). Access from the site to the interior public road of the site condominium development must be established within 90 days of completion of the public road.

(2) That parking comply with the approved site plan and the dimensional requirements of the Zoning Ordinance. All barrier-free parking must comply with Michigan Barrier-Free Guidelines and the ADA and be designated with signage and pavement logo.

(3) That no outdoor storage, aside from overnight truck parking, was approved.

(4) That a revised site plan, in compliance with all points of approval, be submitted to Township staff for review and approved prior to application for building permit.

(5) That a detailed lighting plan in compliance with Section 78.700 of the Zoning Ordinance for any outdoor lighting be submitted to the Township staff for review and approval prior to application for building permit.

(6) That a signed permit in compliance with Section 76.000 of the Ordinance be applied for and granted by the Township prior to placement of any identification signage.

(7) That screening along the south line of the property (adjacent to N Avenue) be established pursuant to Section 11.540(3). That further landscaping plans be submitted to Township staff for review and approval indicating perimeter landscaping and screening, as well as interior site landscaping.

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

(9) That approval was subject to the applicant obtaining all necessary approvals from the appropriate state agencies regarding the fueling islands.

(10) That approval was subject to the site compliance with Groundwater Protection Standards of the Ordinance.

(11) That issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy was contingent on final inspections, approvals from the Building, Mechanical, Electrical, Fire, Planning and Zoning Deparments to insure compliance with all applicable standards and conditions.

(12) That any future change in use must obtain site plan amendment approval.

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

 

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 5:40 p.m.

Minutes Prepared:

October 21, 1998

Minutes Approved: