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Minutes - December 13, 2016

 

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

Regular Meeting
December 13, 2016

Present:   Chairman Steve Haberkorn, Members Vern Johnson, Elliott Church, Russ Boersma and Bob Swartz. Also present was Assistant Planner/Zoning Administrator Corey Broersma and Recording Secretary Laurie Slater.

Absent: None

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Steve Haberkorn at 5:30 p.m. Chairman Haberkorn explained the process to the audience.

** It was moved by Mr. Johnson and supported by Mr. Swartz to remove from the table the petition to extend a nonconforming use submitted by Jon Bryant on behalf of Lake Macatawa Storage for property located at 500 Douglas Avenue, known more specifically as parcel number 70-16-30-126-055 that was tabled at the October 25, 2016 ZBA Meeting. Petitioner is requesting a nonuse variance of 37.5 feet from the required 75 foot front yard setback for self-service storage and mini-storage facilities; resulting in a front yard setback of 37.5 feet. Petitioner is requesting the variance in order to convert an existing structure into a storage building. The subject property is zoned I-2, General Industrial. Motion carried.

Present for this request was Jon Bryant on behalf of Lake Macatawa Storage and also Greg Raad of Nederveld.

A detailed site plan was submitted by the applicant as requested at the October meeting. The site plan was for information and to draw the proposed project together for the Board and the audience. The purpose of tonight’s hearing is to approve or deny a front yard setback variance.

The Board asked for a recap of the proposed plans for the self-service storage and mini-storage facilities.

Mr. Bryant explained that the buildings are on the perimeter of the parcel to allow for outdoor storage in the center. The first phase would include four buildings, two on the north property line and two on the south property line. This phase would not include the existing structure on the property that the setback is being requested for. That would be in the next phase.

Mr. Bryant’s goal is to make the building look good for now. Eventually, it will match the look of the proposed storage units. Also, Mr. Bryant will communicate with Mike Winkler as to what he would be allowed to use it for as it is a unique structure.

It was noted that there are other buildings on this street the same setback as they are requesting.

The Board asked what the purpose of the 75 foot setback is. Mr. Broersma explained that it is for aesthetical reasons such as screening overhead doors and to allow vehicles to get around the site.

Mr. Broersma went over the staff recommendations for this request:

  1. Paved access and mechanical equipment for the structure remain outside of the landscape setback.
  2. Ingress and egress overhead doors may not be installed on the north side of the structure.
  3. The structure’s facade shall be finished to match other proposed buildings in color and material.

There has been no further contact from anyone that was present in the audience at the October meeting.

** It was moved by Mr. Boersma and supported by Mr. Church to close the hearing. Motion carried.

The Board went over the four standards to review when considering a nonuse variance request.

1.Would strict compliance with the minimum area, yard setbacks, frontage, height, bulk, density, or other regulations of the Zoning Ordinance be unnecessarily burdensome?

Strict compliance would be unnecessarily burdensome in that the building has been there for many years. There are other buildings along this stretch of the road that are just as close.

2.Would granting the requested variance do substantial justice to the applicant as well as to other property owners in the zoning district? Or would a lesser relaxation than that applied for provide substantial relief to the property owner and be more consistent with justice to other property owners in the district?

Granting this request would be just for the applicant as well as to other property owners in the zoning district in that there are other buildings along this stretch just as close to the road as this existing building. A lesser relaxation would not be consistent with what is in the surrounding neighborhood.

3.Is the plight of the property owner/applicant due to the unique circumstances of the property (e.g. an odd shape or a natural feature, such a wetland or stream) and not to general neighborhood conditions in the area?

The unique circumstance of the property is the triangular shape, however, the structure has been there for many years.

4.Are the practical difficulties alleged self-created?

The practical difficulties are no self-created. The structure has been there for many years. At the time of construction, it may have met the setback requirements that were in effect at that time.

** It was moved by Mr. Church and supported by Mr. Boersma to approved the request as submitted with the stipulations set forth in the staff recommendations:

Paved access and mechanical equipment for the structure remain outside of the landscape setback.

Ingress and egress overhead doors may not be installed on the north side of the structure.

The structure’s facade shall be finished to match other proposed buildings in color and material.

And that the proposed building materials be discussed with Township Staff and that it be constructed according to the discretion of the Zoning Administrator to make it look aesthetically pleasing. Motion carried.

There were no public comments.

The minutes of the November 15, 2016 meeting were approved as printed.

The meeting adjourned at 5:53 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Laurie Slater
Recording Secretary

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