OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS MINUTES
OCTOBER 6, 1997
PHOENIX PROPERTIES L.L.C. - SITE PLAN AMENDMENT/VARIANCE - CORNER STADIUM DRIVE AND FAIRGROVE
OSHTEMO TOWN SQUARE - SITE PLAN REVIEW/VARIANCE - CORNER STADIUM DRIVE AND SUNSET ROAD
A meeting was conducted by the Oshtemo Charter Township Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday, October 6, 1997, commencing at approximately 3:00 p.m. at the Oshtemo Charter Township Hall, pursuant to notice.
Brian Dylhoff, Chairperson
Also present were Rebecca Harvey and Mike West on behalf of the Planning and Zoning Department, Patricia R. Mason, Township Attorney, and eleven (11) other interested persons.
CALL TO ORDER
The Chairperson called the meeting to order at 3:03 p.m.
The Board discussed the minutes of the meeting of September 22, 1997. Typographical changes to pages 2, 5 and 6 were noted.
Mr. Brodasky moved to approve the minutes as amended. Ms. Meeuwse seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.
PHOENIX PROPERTIES L.L.C. - SITE PLAN AMENDMENT/VARIANCE - CORNER STADIUM DRIVE AND FAIRGROVE
The Board considered the application of Larry Harris of L.L. Harris & Associates, representing Phoenix Properties L.L.C., for site plan amendment relating to site design revisions (re: property reconfiguration, parking lot layout, stormwater management). The applicant also requested variance approval from the on-site stormwater retention requirement established by Section 78.600 of the Zoning Ordinance. The subject property is located on the northwest corner of Stadium Drive and Fairgrove and is within the "C-1" Business District Zoning classification.
The report of the Planning and Zoning Department is incorporated herein by reference. Ms. Harvey noted that the original proposal of the applicant had included a reconfiguration of property. The Board conditioned its previous approval on conformance of that reconfiguration with the Township's Land Division Ordinance. The application before the Board suggests a new proposal as to the way the property would be divided. She noted that the parcel sketch reflects the proposed property lines. She felt that the site plan and vicinity map were somewhat confusing and might be interpreted to show different lines. Therefore, for purposes of Board action, the Board should refer to the exhibit.
In response to questioning by Ms. Meeuwse, Ms. Harvey stated that the proposed land division of the applicant has received Planning and Zoning Department approval and had been sent to the assessor's office.
Ms. Harvey stated that the site plan amendment included a reconfiguration of the property boundaries, the relocation of on-site parking spaces, and the elimination of on-site stormwater retention pond. The applicant would need a variance to allow for off-site stormwater retention, and Ms. Harvey noted that the Board should refer to those applications granted in the past. The applicant proposed using a stormwater retention basin located on the property of the Kalamazoo County Road Commission. She felt that the Board should require Township Engineer approval of this arrangement and the appropriate easement from the Kalamazoo County Road Commission.
As to access, the applicant had proposed a double-drive system. The Board had previously approved one drive but allowed for the establishment of a second drive if the applicant presented a traffic analysis supporting a second drive for review and approval by the Township Planning and Zoning Department and Township Consultant. The applicant had submitted a traffic analysis received by the Township last week. Township staff had reviewed the analysis but had not had a chance to meet with traffic consultants regarding same.
Ms. Harvey also noted that, with the reconfiguration, a portion of the area which had been reserved parking for Orchard Place had been affected. It was noted that Orchard Place had received a variance conditioned upon the retention of a certain area for the establishment of future parking. This variance had been granted under a Zoning Ordinance provision regarding parking which required more spaces than the current standards. Applying current Ordinance provisions, Orchard Place meets the parking requirements without variance.
The applicant was present and displayed a drawing showing all the parcels involved. The applicant indicated that the lighting on the site was the same, i.e., six lights were proposed. The buffer and screening would remain the same. He noted that a verbal commitment had been received from the Kalamazoo County Road Commission regarding the use of their retention area.
There was discussion of the reconfigured parking area. Mr. Harris noted that the site was approximately 45% open space and that the parking and drive took up approximately 41% of the parcel.
As to signage, Mr. Harris stated that he understands the Ordinance has been interpreted to require a 1Ż times the building setback for sign placement. He felt that this would create undue hardship on the applicant. He noted that the applicant wanted one sign, not two.
The Chairperson noted that previously the applicant had proposed the connection between Orchard Place and the subject property; the applicant now indicated that the plan was to keep the property separate so that the drives no longer connect. There would be an area of undeveloped greenspace between the two properties.
Ed Swanson, traffic consultant for the applicant, was present and provided the trip- generation estimates for the proposed use. He estimated 114 trips per day. Mr. Swanson stated he felt that one drive was sufficient to accommodate this proposed use. However, since the use across the street from the property had two drives, a single drive could not be located on the property which would be adequately spaced from the drives on the opposite side of the road. Therefore, the traffic consultant proposed "mirroring" the pattern that existed across the street, i.e., two directional or one-way drives.
Ms. Harvey noted that the applicant had proposed originally two full service drives. The applicant said that they now proposed two one-way drives. Mr. Swanson recognized that these drives should be designed to the standards appropriate for directional drives. Therefore, in this case, the applicant was not proposing a deviation and would only need an approval of the arrangement proposed since it complies with the Access Management Guidelines.
Ms. Meeuwse was concerned about the location of the in/out drives. Mr. Swanson emphasized that he felt safety would require "matching" the drives with those across the street, i.e., the "in" drive across from "in" and "out" across from "out." The Chairperson and Ms. Meeuwse were concerned about "stacking" and problems with left-hand turns.
Mr. Bushouse questioned Ms. Harvey with regard to the location of the in and out drives at West Century Center. He felt that they were not aligned in the logical manner. Ms. Harvey noted that, at the time of that approval, the Township had worked with the Kalamazoo County Road Commission. West Century had been established prior to the adoption of the Access Management Guidelines.
After further discussion, Mr. Swanson stated that it would not be "the end of the world" to change the location of the in and out drives on the subject property. Mr. Saunders and Mr. Brodasky stated they felt that the decision as to the location of the in and out drives should be left to Township staff and to the Township traffic consultant.
The Chairperson sought public comment, and none was offered. The public hearing was closed.
Board members agreed they felt that there was no problem with the variance for off-site water retention in that this was consistent with previously granted variances. Mr. Brodasky moved to approve variance to allow off-site water retention for the subject property with the following conditions, limitations and notations:
(1) That a written, executed and recorded easement allowing the use of the off-site retention area be on file with the Township.
(2) That conformance was unnecessarily burdensome in that the on-site area, if off-site retention were allowed, could be retained for future parking and/or greenspace.
(3) That it was recognized that the intent of Section 78.600 had been met in that the developer had made provision for the runoff from his property through the execution of an easement.
(4) That substantial justice would require variance in that the application was similar to other applications approved in the past.
(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 the retention were used by any other parcel, a return to the Zoning Board of Appeals would be necessary.
(8) 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.
(9) That the approval is subject to the review and approval of the Township Engineer.
Mr. Saunders seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.
The Board discussed the site plan amendment proposal. In response to questioning by the Chairperson, the applicant stated that the underground tanks of the service station would remain on the Marathon property. As to signage, Ms. Harvey noted that the applicant had not applied for, and no notice had been given for, a signage variance. However, she also noted that the applicant had indicated he felt that the Ordinance was clear and argued that the setback applies only if the applicant will establish two signs. In the past, the Board has interpreted the Ordinance to require the noted setback if a site has the right to two signs. Again, the interpretation of the Ordinance had not been noticed. It was felt that the Board could approve the plan subject to the condition that signage be established in compliance with Section 76.000. The applicant then had the option of returning, if necessary, to apply for interpretation and/or variance.
There was much discussion as to whether the Orchard Place and the subject site should or could connect in the future. B
Mr. Saunders moved to approve site plan amendment with the following conditions, limitations and notations:
(1) That the access arrangement as now proposed by the applicant was approved subject to the review and approval by the Township staff and Township traffic consultant.
(2) That the proposed parking lot layout is satisfactory and that all parking spaces be subject to compliance with dimensional standards of 10' x 20'. It was required that the Board review and approve any proposed future cross-access arrangement between the subject property and Orchard Place.
(3) That barrier-free parking had been adequately provided for; said parking was subject to ADA and Michigan Barrier-Free Guidelines and was to be designated with signage and pavement logo.
(4) That the proposed dumpster arrangement is satisfactory and that the dumpster enclosure shall be detailed for the review and approval of Township staff.
(5) That all outdoor lighting be provided in compliance with the lighting guidelines set forth in Section 78.700 and that a lighting proposal be detailed for review and approval pursuant to Section 78.700(g).
(6) That signage comply with Section 76.000 and be reviewed and approved through the permit process.
(7) That the retention of the existing treeline along the north boundary of the site is approved as a buffer for the residential land use to the north.
(8) That approval is subject to the review and approval of the Township Fire Department and Township Engineer.
(9) That an environmental permits checklist and hazardous substances reporting form must be completed and submitted for the proposed project.
(10) That a landscape plan be submitted for review and approval by the Township staff.
(11) That the approval was subject to the conditions of the original approval of the project except as explicitly changed in this approval.
Mr. Brodasky seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.
OSHTEMO TOWN SQUARE - SITE PLAN REVIEW/VARIANCE - CORNER STADIUM DRIVE AND SUNSET ROAD
The next item was the application of Mike Ahrens of Ahrens Construction, representing Peat L.L.C., for site plan review of a proposed 13,983 sq. ft. retail center. The applicant also requested variance approval from the setback requirement from Sunset Road established by Section 64.300 and the parking requirements established by Section 68.300 of the Zoning Ordinance. The subject site is located at the corner of Stadium Drive and Sunset Road 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 she had provided the Board with a copy of the Village Focus Area Development Plan. She noted that this property is within the Village Focus Area. The proposed site would be comprised of what was now three separate parcels. Approval should be conditioned upon the combination of all three into one parcel through a recorded instrument. Ms. Harvey noted that the project had previously received variance from building setback requirements. The applicant now asks for variance as to parking with a reduction in the amount of proposed parking spaces. The applicant proposed the use of off-site parking and keeping an area in reserve for the establishment of future parking, if necessary. Since not all parking would be on site, a variance was required. She noted that Hardings has the ability to share parking spaces and continue to meet their own parking requirements.
The applicant's proposal reflected a "use breakdown" of 8,683 sq. ft. for retail use, 3,500 sq. ft. for a restaurant, and 1,800 sq. ft. for a post office.
It was noted that the Village Focus Area Plan provides objectives as to site design which are pertinent to parking. For example, the plan promotes the use of shared parking.
As to access, it was noted that the proposed access does not comply with a number of Access Management Guideline standards. Ms. Harvey noted that the guidelines would allow for one drive for the subject property unless a traffic analysis is presented supporting two drives and conditioned upon both drives meeting Access Management Guidelines. At present, the applicant had not provided a traffic analysis. It was noted that the Village Focus Area plan and the Access Management Guidelines support cross access. Ms. Harvey noted that the applicant should be given the opportunity to address access arrangements for the entire corner; if the applicant could obtain the support or cooperation of the other parcel owners, this might provide support for deviation from the Access Management Guidelines with regard to the access for the subject property.
The applicant was present and stated that they are interested in looking at the "big picture" for the entire corner. They are in the process of talking with other parcel owners. It was noted that there are currently two drives existing. Mr. Peat was also present and stated that his property is "deed restricted" so as to prevent the closing of the Sunset Drive access point.
Mr. Brodasky questioned the applicant as to the barrier-free requirement, and the applicant noted that barrier-free parking had been added so that it now complies. As to signage, the applicant indicated that they would comply with Ordinance requirements.
There was no public comment offered, and the public hearing was closed. Ms. Harvey noted that, since the use of the site was changing, the site was required to come into compliance with Ordinance requirements, including number of driveways permitted under the Ordinance.
There was discussion from the applicant that the two drives would be "directional drives." The Stadium Drive would be entrance only with an exit onto Sunset. It was clarified that the applicant was requesting that the second drive on Sunset remain "full service." If both drives were directional, the proposed arrangement would comply with the "number" of drives permitted by the Access Management Guidelines. However, the existing drives would have to be redesigned so as to constitute directional drives. Given the layout of the proposed directional-drive system, Ms. Harvey felt that this arrangement should be reviewed by the Township and its traffic consultant, KATS.
Mr. Bushouse commented he felt that the proposal of the applicant was a "positive step" in and of itself, noting that, by his count, the site could possibly be entitled to 11 curb cuts. He felt that the Road Commission might allow up to 14. Ms. Harvey noted that the Ordinance allows one per parcel and, therefore, theoretically, since there were seven parcels, the total could not exceed seven; however, the applicant was proposing the combination of three of those parcels because individually the three were not buildable.
After further discussion, Mr. Brodasky moved to approve the parking variance as requested by the applicant with the following conditions, limitations and notations:
(1) That the cross-access arrangement, reserved parking, as well as retention of greenspace, would be achieved by the variance. Thus, the variance would meet the goals and objectives of the Village Focus Area Development Plan.
(2) That substantial justice required granting the variance in that similar applications had been granted in the past. Again it was noted that the parking variance was in accord with and would promote the goals and objectives of the Village Focus Area Development Plan.
(3) That there were no unique physical circumstances of the property and that the hardship was self-created; but the spirit and intent of the Ordinance would be served by the variance in that it was in accord with the goals and objectives of the Village Focus Area Development Plan.
(4) That the variance was subject to the requirement that the appropriate easements, cross-parking agreement(s), etc., be written, executed, recorded and on file with the Township.
(5) That the variance was subject to the review and approval of the Fire Department and Township Engineer.
Ms. Meeuwse seconded the motion, and the motion carried unanimously.
As to site plan review, Ms. Meeuwse moved to approve the site plan with the following conditions, limitations and notations:
(1) That, as to access, one access drive for the proposed site was approved on Sunset Drive subject to Kalamazoo County Road Commission approval. However, the applicant had the option of submitting a traffic analysis supporting two drives (or a directional-drive system) for review and approval by Township staff and KATS. It was further required that final approval be provided by the Board. Ms. Meeuwse felt that this access arrangement was supported by the objectives of the Village Focus Area Development Plan, noting further that the applicant had the option of submitting an access plan for the entire corner, which would provide support for possible deviation on the subject site to allow two full-service drives.
(2) It was noted that the applicant had received a parking variance.
(3) That all parking spaces are subject to compliance with the dimensional standards of 10' x 20'.
(4) That all barrier-free parking is subject to ADA and Michigan Barrier-Free Guidelines and is to be designated by signage and pavement logo.
(5) That the proposed building setbacks were in compliance with Ordinance standards or with variances previously granted.
(6) That outdoor storage had not been proposed.
(7) That the proposed dumpster location on the northeast side of the subject site is in conflict with proposed parking and must be relocated to meet serviceability and accessibility standards. The relocation was subject to Township staff review and approval. Further, the dumpster enclosure should be submitted for Township staff review and approval.
(8) That all site lighting must comply with Section 78.700 and a lighting proposal detailed for review and approval pursuant to Section 78.720(g). Further, lighting should be in keeping with the Village Focus Area Development Plan.
(9) That all signage is to comply with Sections 76.130 and 76.135 of the Zoning Ordinance and be reviewed and approved through the permit process. Further, the signage should be in keeping with the Village Focus Area Development Plan.
(10) That screening along the northern boundary is proposed to be accomplished through retention of a low wooded area occupying the northern one-third of the site.
(11) That approval is subject to the review and approval of the Township Fire Department and Engineer.
(12) That an environmental permits checklist and hazardous substances reporting form must be completed and submitted for review and approval pursuant to Section 69.000 of the Zoning Ordinance.
(13) That all three parcels comprising the subject property must be combined into one parcel through a written and recorded instrument.
Mr. Saunders seconded the motion.
Mr. Bushouse had a question of the applicant with regard to sidewalk along Stadium Drive, and the applicant indicated that the existing sidewalk would be retained. It was felt that the retention pond proposed would not be of such a depth to require fencing.
Upon a vote on the motion, the motion carried unanimously.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 5:05 p.m.