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Minutes - May 23, 2017

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

Regular Meeting

May 23, 2017

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

Absent: None

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

Hearing declared open to consider a petition for a nonuse variance submitted by Anthony Brown for property located at 571 Hayes Street, known more specifically as parcel number 70-16-19-101-022. Petitioner is requesting a variance of 39 feet from the minimum 66 foot wide private access and utility easement needed for a land division; resulting in an access and utility easement width of 27 feet. The subject property is zoned Single-family Residential (R-1).

Present for this request was Anthony Brown.

Mr. Brown explained that he would like to split off the north half of his property to build a new house. The parcel that the split would create would meet the ordinance everywhere except for the driveway back to the property. Ordinance requires a 66 foot wide access and utility easement, the proposed easement would be 27 feet wide.

Mr. Broersma pointed out that there is an existing accessory building in the area of the split that would be removed from the property.

Staff comments:

Section 3.14.2(a) & (b) states:

(a) An access and public utility easement not less than sixty-six (66) feet in width shall be provided to such lot or parcel if it is not located in a platted subdivision. The easement shall be recorded in the Ottawa County Register of Deeds Office and a copy of the recorded easement provided to the zoning administrator prior to issuance of a building permit for construction of improvements on such lot or parcel.

(b) The lot or parcel shall have frontage on the access and public utility easement for at least the minimum lot width required for the zoning district within which the lot is located.

Most recent variance for a similar request was for 10593 James Street. In this case a 26 foot variance was granted along an existing driveway of a lot measuring 167 feet wide for the purposed of constructing a single family dwelling on the north 1.4 acres of the lot.

This request is for the development of a 0.33 acre lot.

The driveway would be 15 feet wide and graveled. It would run along lots at an R-1 density.

The existing house is in great repair and Mr. Brown would keep the house for his daughter.

There was further discussion about the properties two lots to the west and whether they were granted an easement or was it pre-ordinance. There is also a cul-de-sac off of James Street. It was the consensus of the Board that it would be relevant to this variance to know if these properties were granted a similar variances.

Present in the audience to speak to this request was Mike Brouwer of 572 – 142nd Avenue. His concerns were with losing his privacy in the rear of his property with the driveway/easement. There is currently woods behind his house. He has resided there seven years.

Mr. Brown commented that he was willing to modify part of the house to meet the 66 foot easement.

Mr. Church stated that three things to keep in mind are 1) there is a legal means of accomplishing this variance so it is not strictly necessary; 2) neighbors object to it; 3) there is a need to know what is going on in the neighboring lots – were there variances granted.

** It was moved by Mr. Church and supported by Mr. Swartz to table this request in order for staff to research the surrounding properties to see if similar variances were granted. Motion carried.

Hearing declared open to consider a petition for an additional or larger accessory building submitted by Tim Brannam for property located at 152 Elwill Court, known more specifically as parcel number 70-16-17-100-096. Petitioner is requesting the following variances for the purposes of constructing an accessory building: 1) A variance of 756 square feet in the maximum 240 square foot allowable size for a detached accessory structure on a residential lot of less than one acre in area; resulting in an accessory structure of 896 square feet; 2) A 1 foot 6 inch variance in the maximum 12 foot allowable height for a detached accessory structure on a residential lot of less than one acre in area; resulting in an accessory structure height of 13 feet 6 inches. The subject property is zoned Single-family and Two-family Residential (R-2).

There was no one present for this request.

** It was moved by Mr. Boersma and supported by Mr. Johnson to table this request until the June 27, 2017 meeting. Motion carried.

Hearing declared open to consider a petition for an additional or larger accessory building submitted by David VanKampen for property located at 3520 144th Avenue, known more specifically as parcel number 70-16-07-300-007. Petitioner is requesting an additional variance of 420 square feet in the maximum 480 square foot allowable size for a detached accessory structure on a residential lot of 1 acre or more in area but less than 2 acres; resulting in an accessory structure of 1,316 square feet. A variance was granted for the existing accessory building allowing it to be 896 square feet in area. The subject property is zoned Single-family Residential (R-1).

Present for this request was David VanKampen.

Mr. VanKampen explained that he would like add a third stall to the existing accessory building for the storage of a vehicle. He currently stores the car in the existing garage and sets the lawn mower outside for the winter. There are other items setting outside in the yard, these things would be cleaned up with the additional storage. The addition would be on the backside of the existing building. It would not be any more visible from the road than it already is.

There are other accessory buildings within the immediate neighborhood, but none this large. The addition would match the existing portion of the accessory building.

The Board asked Mr. Broersma if this property is in compliance with Township Ordinances. Mr. Broersma answered that there are no open enforcements on this property.

There was no one present in the audience to speak to this request.

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

The Board went over the eight standards to review when considering an oversized accessory building:

  1. The size of the lot or parcel of land – the property is of sufficient size to accommodate an accessory building of this size.

  2. The intended use for the building(s) - personal storage of a vehicle and lawn mower.

  3. The size, proposed location, type and construction, and general architectural character of the building(s) – will match the existing portion of the accessory building.
     

  4. The type and kind of other principal and accessory buildings and structures presently located on the lot or parcel of land – This would be an addition to the existing accessory building.

  5. The type and kind of principal and accessory buildings and structures located on properties which are adjoining and in the same neighborhood - there are other accessory building in the neighborhood, but none of this size. There is one further out on 144th Avenue.

  6. Whether the building(s) will affect the light and air circulation of any adjoining properties or be visible from any adjoining properties – there would be no adverse effect on the light and air circulation of any adjoining properties, however it would be visible from the side properties, but not glaring.

  7. The effect of the building(s) on the surrounding neighborhood – No adverse effect.

  8. The environmental effect of the building(s) or their proposed use – No adverse effect. 

** It was moved by Mr. Church and supported by Mr. Swartz to approve the request for an additional variance of 420 square feet in the maximum 480 square foot allowable size for a detached accessory structure on a residential lot of 1 acre or more in area but less than 2 acres; resulting in an accessory structure of 1,316 square feet with the following stipulations: there are to be no living quarters, business, trade, or industry included within the accessory building, the accessory building must match the existing portion of the accessory building in style and materials, and it is a requirement that the equipment and other items outside must be cleaned up and stored inside the accessory building. Motion carried.

Motions based on the ZBA’s findings of the eight (8) standards as reflected in the minutes for the reasons set forth in the minutes.

There were no public comments.

The minutes of April 25, 2017 were approved with one correction.

Mr. Broersma informed the Board that the Planning Commission would like the Boards input on the revisions for the ordinance pertaining to accessory buildings. The Board asked that Township Staff check around to see what other jurisdictions are doing in regards to size and number of accessory buildings allowed on various sizes of properties before they comment. The next workshop for the Planning Commission is on June 20, 2017 at 5:30 p.m.

The meeting adjourned at 6:26 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Laurie Slater

Recording Secretary

 

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