OSTLOGOL.GIF (2116 bytes)

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

October 21, 2002

Agenda

UNIVERSITY BOOKSTORE - SETBACK VARIANCE - BUILDING ADDITION - 4155 SOUTH 9TH STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-35-405-031)

CHIANG - SETBACK VARIANCE - VEHICLE DISPLAY - 8419 WEST MAIN STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-16-405-030)

COASH - FRONTAGE VARIANCE - 5324 SKYRIDGE STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-24-205-014)

R&R FLOOR COVERING - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 5775 VENTURE PARK ROAD - (PARCEL NO. 3905-25-153-200)

A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday, October 21, 2002, commencing at approximately 3:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Millard Loy, Chairperson
Stanley Rakowski
Duane McClung
Dave Bushouse

MEMBER ABSENT: Grace Borgfjord

Also present were Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director; Mary Lynn Bugge, Township Planner; Robert C. Engels, Township Attorney; and 13 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 September 16, 2002. Mr. Bushouse moved to approve the minutes as submitted, and Mr. Rakowski seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

UNIVERSITY BOOKSTORE - SETBACK VARIANCE - BUILDING ADDITION - 4155 SOUTH 9TH STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-35-405-031)

The Board considered the application of University Bookstore for a setback variance of a proposed addition to be built at 4155 South 9th Street. The subject property is located in the "I-R" Residence District zoning classification and is Parcel No. 3905-35-405-031.

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

Ms. Stefforia stated that the applicant's facility located in Oshtemo Charter Township is used for office and warehousing purposes to coordinate operations of and deliveries to two bookstores owned by applicant. The applicant wants to expand the Oshtemo Charter Township facility by increasing the warehouse space and by relocating the KVCC bookstore to this site and closing the existing store in Texas Township.

The existing building was established in 1978 and pre-dates the expansion of 9th Street and the creation of the "I-R", Industrial District, Restricted zone. The existing building is grandfathered as to the front setback, and because the proposed addition is in line with the existing building, a variance is necessary.

Additions to the building for warehouse space were made in 1988 and 1995, and currently, the building is 3,200 square feet, with a proposed 2,680 square foot warehouse addition proposed, and the conversion of 1,250 square feet of existing building space for a book store.

Ms. Stefforia pointed out that continuing the existing building line satisfied the Ordinance in the 1970's, and the addition in 1995 continued the building line, but required a variance which was granted.

Attorney Charles Etter was present representing the applicant. The applicant, Robert Warner, was not able to be present.

Mr. Etter stated that, when the building was constructed in 1975, it did comply with the existing zoning and setback requirements. Both requirements have changed since then, and 9th Street has been widened. He stated that all parking would remain behind the building line, and the variance being sought was the same type that was granted in 1995.

Mr. Etter further stated that, in the back of the property, the land drops off, and if building construction was done to the east, it would cause drainage problems with the natural slope of the property, and trees would have to be removed. He also said that a warehouse was best built in line, rather than at a right angle. He stated that the setback problem occurred because of the setback, zoning and 9th Street right-of-way changes that occurred after the original building was constructed.

Mr. Etter pointed out that it was stated in the 1995 minutes that the problem was not self-created, as the building had been constructed in conformance with applicable rules at the time, and 9th Street was widened after the building was constructed, which meant that the problem was not self-created.

Mr. Etter said that there would be no parking in the front of the building, and the building will stay in the same alignment. Additional foliage will be added to the site.

The Chairperson asked about the reasonableness of the parking space requirements, and Mr. Etter stated that the number of employees depended on the season, with most of the business being in the two and a half weeks at the end of one semester and the beginning of another. He said that other than at those times, there were not many employees on site.

The Chairperson also asked if only books would be sold, and Mr. Etter responded that pens, pads and similar items would also be sold, and that it was not going to be a large store. He was not able to comment on whether sweatshirts and other clothing would be sold, but due to the size of the proposed bookstore, there was not room for very much.

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

Mr. Bushouse questioned if the site plan, at the south elevation, was showing an extended canopy at the roof line. Ms. Stefforia stated that, if a sign was going to be placed at that location, the Sign Ordinance would have to be followed. Mr. Bushouse asked if it would change the setback, and Ms. Stefforia stated that, if it was attached, it may change the setback. Mr. Etter said that he thought it was a canopy coming out slightly in front of the building. The Chairperson asked if the sign should be considered, and Ms. Stefforia said that it should not be as notice that a sign would be considered had not been given for this hearing. Mr. Etter said that if it had not been included for notice reasons, the applicant would deal with it by coming back later or with a redesign, if necessary.

Mr. Bushouse moved to approve the variance as requested with the building line being continued. Mr. McClung seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

The Chairperson commented that the canopy would be reviewed at the Planning Commission level.

CHIANG - SETBACK VARIANCE - VEHICLE DISPLAY - 8419 WEST MAIN STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-16-405-030)

Next, the Board considered the application of Chin Fu Chiang for a variance from Section 31.403 to allow vehicle display in the required front and side yard setbacks for a used car sales lot proposed to be established at 8419 West Main Street. The subject property is located in the "C" Local Business District and is Parcel No. 3905-16-405-030.

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

Ms. Stefforia stated that the applicant is in the process of seeking special exception use and site plan approval to allow 8419 West Main Street to be used as an automobile sales lot. The proposed location of outdoor display is subject to variance approval by the Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Planning Commission requested that the Zoning Board of Appeals consider the setback variance before the site plan is presented to the Planning Commission.

The subject parcel is going to be combined with the property abutting to the east. This is required as the result of a 1990 variance to make the two nonconforming properties "buildable" as one property. Ms. Stefforia stated that there is a house on the abutting property which she thought was occupied by the applicant.

After tracing the history of the property, Ms. Stefforia stated that Section 31.403 establishes criteria that must be satisfied for commercial properties with substantial outdoor sales activity. One of the requirements is that parking or display of sales items and equipment comply with the setback requirements for buildings. The subject property is 130 feet deep and 100 feet wide. The front setback requirement is a 170 feet from the center line of West Main Street. The first 90 feet of the property outside the right-of-way falls within the front setback area. When side and rear setbacks are also considered, approximately 1,600 square feet is available for display without a variance. The current building does not satisfy the setback requirements.

Ms. Stefforia reviewed the standards of approval of a nonuse variance for practical difficulty.

She noted that the setback requirements for display leave only 1,600 square feet in the rear of the property for display, and it is reasonable for the applicant to have some display in the front of the site.

She noted that other automobile sales lots in the Township have display in the required setback area, with examples being Maple Hill Auto Group, DeNooyer Chevrolet and Metro Toyota, which have vehicles displayed at the front property line. It was also noted that earlier this year, a variance was granted to Paul Brown for outdoor display in the setback area at 8410 West Main Street, which is directly across the street from the subject property. She noted that, except for the Paul Brown variance and this request, the other outdoor sales activities referenced predated the current Ordinance requirements.

Ms. Stefforia remarked that the size of the property and the existing building present physical limitations that prevent compliance with the setback requirement. She noted that it is the applicant's interest in displaying automobiles at this property as reflected on the site plan that triggers a need for the variance request.

Ms. Stefforia stated that, when granting special exception use and site plan approval, the Planning Commission will consider if the applicant's proposed use of the commercially zoned property is appropriate. She stated that, in the vicinity of this property, there are several properties with significant outdoor display and "storage" and referenced D & R Sports, Leaders Marine and the Paul Brown car dealership across the street.

Mr. Chiang, the applicant/owner, was present. Ms. Stefforia asked who lived in the house, and she was told that it was a cousin. The Chairperson asked if the house would still be used when the properties were joined. Ms. Stefforia said that it would be allowed as long as the residential use was not discontinued for a period of one year. Mr. Rakowski asked if display would be allowed in front of the house, and Ms. Stefforia responded that it was up to the Planning Commission. Ms. Stefforia noted that there previously had been two driveways, but one of the driveways had been closed.

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

Mr. Bushouse stated that, when the Paul Brown property across the street was being addressed, it was for the display of seven vehicles. He stated that the subject parcel is small and similar to the one across the street. The Chairperson agreed with Mr. Bushouse's analysis.

Mr. Rakowski moved that the variance to allow outdoor display in the required setback area be granted, but that display be limited to seven vehicles and that all vehicles be kept out of the street right-of-way. Mr. McClung supported, and upon vote, all voted aye.

COASH - FRONTAGE VARIANCE - 5324 SKYRIDGE STREET - (PARCEL NO. 3905-24-205-014)

The Board then considered the application of Paul Coash requesting a variance to allow a parcel located at 5324 Skyridge Street to be buildable prior to public street frontage being established. The subject property is located in the "R-2" Residence District and is Parcel No. 3905-24-205-014.

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

Ms. Bugge stated that this is a request for a variance from stipulation "I" of the variance granted on June 1, 1987, and the Consent Judgment filed in July of 1987.

Ms. Bugge stated that the subject property is a landlocked parcel adjacent to the Burgundy Manor subdivision and abutting property now being developed as Redstone Farms. The subject property lacks any frontage on a public road and has an easement across the adjacent parcel for access to Skyridge Avenue.

A variance from the minimum 200 feet of public road frontage was granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals on June 1, 1987, subject to nine conditions. One of the conditions provided for the construction of a road and cul-de-sac under Kalamazoo County Road Commission standards and stipulation "I" which states, "That no occupancy permit will be issue(d) and no occupancy of any single-family residence established on the subject property shall occur until the aforementioned roadway and cul-de-sac are constructed in accordance with the terms of this variance."

A variance from the frontage requirement was sought on February 3, 1992, and denied because there had not been any change in the existing circumstances.

Ms. Bugge stated that the Planning Commission has approved the site plan for Redstone Farms, and as part of that development, Skyridge Avenue will be extended, and a cul-de-sac constructed to gain access to the interior of the project. Once dedicated to the Road Commission, the road will provide public road frontage to the applicant's property. However, at this time, only initial grading of the project has begun, and it is anticipated that the road will not be completed or dedicated until 2003.

Ms. Bugge reviewed the standards of approval of a nonuse variance (practical difficulty).

Ms. Bugge asked that consideration be given to the conditions that were applied to the variance granted in 1987. She stated that, once the public road is extended, a building permit can be issued, and the applicant could wait until then to apply for the permit.

She noted that a temporary variance from frontage and depth-to-width was granted based on a public road under construction adjacent to the property in the Hetrick matter on June 17, 2002. That was distinguished from this situation, however, as the Hetrick property had 33 feet of frontage on an existing public street, 9th Street, and the road was scheduled to soon be completed.

Ms. Bugge stated that compliance will be achieved when the abutting future street is completed, and that the purchase of the landlocked parcel in 1985 was at the discretion of the applicant. The applicant has had the opportunity to obtain a building permit by fulfilling the conditions of the variance granted on June 1, 1987.

The Chairperson asked if the applicant wanted a building permit prior to the street being started, and Ms. Bugge responded she assumed that was the case. Ms. Stefforia added that the developer has stated that it would be at least two years before the Skyridge extension was constructed. Ms. Bugge said that there is no construction of the road at this time, and there is no frontage, although the applicant does have an easement over adjacent property.

Mr. Bushouse asked if there was dedication of the easement to the Road Commission or the Township, and Ms. Bugge responded in the negative.

The applicant, Paul Coash, was not present, but he was represented by his brother. He stated that there is a buyer for the property if a house could be built. He believed that the road was a done-deal as far as Redstone Farms was concerned.

Mr. Rakowski asked, what would happen if the Redstone project did not proceed. Mr. Coash said that he had no control over that, but he assumes that it will be done. Mr. McClung asked if there was any reason known why Redstone would not proceed, and Ms. Stefforia responded that the project seems to be on course. The Chairperson said that he did not see how a variance could be given when there is no road. Mr. Bushouse stated that the applicant has the opportunity to put up a performance guarantee or a line of credit, and that would be the only way the Township could be protected.

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

The Chairperson and Mr. Rakowski agreed with Mr. Bushouse that they do not want to grant a variance for something over which the Township has no control.

Mr. Bushouse moved to deny the variance request because there was no frontage on any public street, but conditioned the denial on the applicant providing a performance guarantee to the Township prior to the issuance of a building permit. Mr. Rakowski supported the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

R&R FLOOR COVERING - SITE PLAN REVIEW - 5775 VENTURE PARK ROAD - (PARCEL NO. 3905-25-153-200)

The Board began consideration of a request for a site plan review for a proposed new showroom, sales and warehouse facility to be located at 5775 Venture Park Road. The subject property is zoned "C" Local Business District, and is Parcel No. 3905-25-153-200.

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

Ms. Bugge stated that the subject property is vacant Lot 20 in the Venture Park Condominium. She stated that the applicant is proposing a 15,000 square foot building, containing a retail showroom, offices, and warehouse area. Site access will be by one driveway, and 24 parking spaces are indicated. Public sewer and water will serve the site. There will be two wall-mounted light packs for site lighting. A dumpster enclosure is also provided.

Two overhead doors for loading operations are shown on the east side of the building, and Ms. Bugge requested that the Board ask the applicant why an exterior loading area is needed when there is an interior loading dock. She cited Section 68.300H which requires forward movement entering and leaving the site, and Section 68.301, which requires that loading operations not interfere with vehicular movement at the site. She speculated that a large truck might have difficulty maneuvering into the north door and could block access to the site.

Ms. Bugge then reviewed Section 82.800 criteria.

She noted that the site will be served by one driveway from Venture Park Road, and that a driveway permit from the Kalamazoo County Road Commission is required. The site plan shows 24 parking spaces, which fulfills the requirement for the area that is stated for the showroom, warehouse and office space. She noted that all parking must conform to Section 68.000, and that backing into or from the street is prohibited for all vehicles. Ms. Bugge noted that the building meets all setback criteria, and that outdoor storage is not permitted.

Only two wall packs are indicated for outside lighting, and any additional outside lighting is subject to Township Staff review and approval. All lighting must comply with Section 78.700.

Details of the proposed dumpster enclosure meet Township criteria. The sign location indicated on the site plan is permitted under a variance granted to all Venture Park sites on December 19, 1994. Pursuant to Section 76.000, a sign permit is required before any signs can be placed on the property.

An "A" greenspace is required. A detailed landscaping plan must be submitted to Township Staff for review and approval. Landscaping must be installed consistent with the approved plan before a certificate of occupancy will be granted, or a performance guarantee consistent with the provisions of Section 82.950 must be provided.

Ms. Bugge stated that there is no variance being requested, and that the Township has reviewed the site plan. Storm water management will be on-site, and public sewer and water will service the proposed building. She also indicated that the applicant has submitted the Environmental Permits Checklist and Hazardous Substance Reporting form.

Mr. Bushouse and Ms. Stefforia were concerned about truck traffic blocking the flow of traffic on Venture Court.

Rob Martin was present for the owners. James Daly from Maverick Construction and the owners were also present.

Mr. Martin explained that there would be semi-truck access only to the indoor loading dock, and the doors were for small vehicles that could not access the loading dock. He did not believe that any parking spots would be lost due to trucks maneuvering to access the loading dock.

Mr. Martin stated that landscaping plans would be submitted to the Planning Department for review. He also said that the hours of operation were intended to be Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A discussion ensued regarding the design of the loading dock and overhead door and how they would be accessed. It was determined that it would take no longer than two or three minutes for a semi to access the loading dock, which would lead to traffic tie-up for that amount of time. Ms. Stefforia inquired as to the frequency of deliveries and was told by the owner that they should be receiving deliveries three times per week. Ms. Bugge stated that the Fire Department was comfortable with what had been proposed.

Mr. Bushouse inquired about the draining of water, and Mr. Martin responded that there would be sheet draining with a swale, which will feed a retention basin.

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

Ms. Bugge asked if the general public could come in and shop at the facility, and the owner replied that they could, and also that they might be open on Saturday, but not on Sunday.

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

(1) That the site will be served by one driveway from Venture Park Road. The driveway is subjected to receipt of a permit from the Kalamazoo County Road Commission.

(2) That all parking must conform to Section 68.000. Backing into and from the street is prohibited for all vehicles.

(3) That outdoor storage is not permitted.

(4) That all lighting shall comply with Section 78.700. Wall-packs shall be adequately shielded to direct light downward at an angle no greater than 75 degrees above the pavement.

(5) That, pursuant to Section 76.000, a sign permit will be required before any signs can be placed on the property.

(6) That a detailed landscaping plan shall be submitted for Township Staff review and approval. Landscaping shall be installed consistent with the approved plan before a certificate of occupancy will be granted, or a performance guarantee, consistent with the provisions of Section 82.950, must be provided.

(7) That site plan approval shall be subject to the applicant satisfying the requirements of the Fire Department, pursuant to the adopted codes.

(8) That site plan approval shall be subject to the Township Engineer finding that the site engineering is adequate.

(9) That public sewer and water will service the proposed building.

(10) That an earth change permit must be obtained from the Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner.

Mr. Bushouse supported the motion. Upon vote, the motion carried unanimously.

OTHER BUSINESS

Ms. Bugge presented a correction of the minutes of the January 22, 2002 meeting. The correction regarded the agenda item regarding P&N Properties in that two parcel numbers were stated incorrectly in the minutes. They are 3905-24-280-032 which should instead be 3905-34-280-032, and 3905-24-280-020, which should be 3905-34-280-020.

Mr. Bushouse moved that the corrections be made to the minutes. Mr. McClung supported the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 4:15 p.m.

OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
By:
Millard Loy, Chairperson
By:
Stanley Rakowski
By:
Dave Bushouse
By:
Duane McClung
Minutes Prepared:
October 24, 2002
Minutes Approved:
, 2002