MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS,

WHICH TOOK PLACE ON TUESDAY, MARCH 18, 2003,

AT 6:30 P.M., IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL,

MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

 

1.   ROLL CALL.

PRESENT:  Board Members – Green. Holthof, Lichtenwald, Pelton and Sutton

ABSENT:    Higgins (excused)

OTHERS PRESENT:   Mark Ostgarden, secretary and four people in the audience

APPROVAL OF MINUTES.

The minutes of February 18, 2003, were approved subject to the following correction:

The last sentence of the last paragraph on page one should read:

She was concerned about the encroachment and thought an attached garage could be constructed at an angle or a detached two car garage in the rear yard and not encroach into the side yard.  

PUBLIC HEARINGS AND CONSIDERATION.

Petition No. 03-02Wolgast Corporation for Central Warehouse for a parking variance to reduce the number of required parking spaces from 55 to 15 at 2520 Schuette Road.

 

Central Warehouse has received site plan approval to construct a 54,825 sf warehouse addition at its facility on Schuette Road.  The addition requires 55 parking spaces to be provided.  The warehouse addition will employee a maximum of eight employees.  The petitioner thinks that 15 spaces is sufficient for the needs of the company.  The secretary explained that the property is Zoned Industrial A.  The site will be paved, so the issue is a matter of striping the spaces on the pavement.  The secretary distributed for comparison a compilation of warehouse parking standards from around the country that was part of a recent Planning Advisory Service report on parking. 

 

There were no letters in support or in opposition to the request.

 

Doug Mazany of Wolgast Corporation and John Strobel, owner of Central Warehouse, spoke to the Board, Mr. Mazany distributed a letter to the Board that addressed the four criteria for an area/dimension variance.  Mr. Mazany explained that the area where the striping would be provided is maneuvering area for truck traffic.  Mr. Strobel reiterated the point that there would only be a maximum of eight employees.

 

No one else spoke in support of or in opposition to the request.


 

  FINDINGS OF FACT:

1.      The property is zoned Industrial A

2.      No communications were received in support or in opposition of the request.

3.      No one spoke in opposition.

4.      The proposed construction is for warehouse use only.

5.      Attachment 3 is the site plan approved by the city Council

6.      The addition will be 55,000 (54,825) sf.

7.      The “In” drive is located between lots 7 and 8 and the “Exit” drive is located to the east of the new addition.  This will provide a safe traffic flow on the site.

8.      Attachment 3 depicts 15 parking spots will be provided.

9.      The petitioner explained that the paved area will be for both parking and truck maneuvering.

10. Eight will be the maximum number of employees working in the addition.

11. One parking space /1000 sf of floor area is the Zoning Ordinance parking requirement.

12. Forty spaces would not be striped.

 

It was moved by Sally Sutton, seconded by Hank Holthof to approve the request based on the Findings of Fact

 

Hank Holthof began the Board deliberation by stating he thought the variance would do justice to the applicant because of the limited number of employees, there are unique circumstances due to site drainage, and the problem is not self created in that the Zoning Ordinance does not adequately address uses with a limited number of employees.

 

Roy Green cited that the area will be surfaced and the number of cars is not a concern to him.

 

Tim Lichtenwald and Sally Sutton agreed.  The issue is only one of providing striping.

 

Woody Pelton also agreed.  He cited that there may be a safety problem in striping the spaces.  There could be a conflict between trucks and parked vehicles.

 

The Board was concerned about a use change which could affect the number of employees or if a warehouse operation needs more spaces than the 15 that are striped.

 

To address these concerns, Sally Sutton suggested the following condition and Hank Holthof agreed to add it to the motion on the floor:

1.      If the warehouse operation changes to include any retail or wholesale activity or use, the required parking with striping will be evaluated by the City of Midland.

2.      If the number of employees exceeds the 15 parking spaces being provided, the parking spaces shall be equal to the number of warehouse employees plus five additional spaces.

 

  Vote on the motion:

  YEAS:  Green, Holthof, Lichtenwald, Pelton, Sutton

  NAYS:  None

 

  The variance was approved.

   4.  Public comments before the Zoning Board of Appeals.

   There were no public comments.

  5.  Old/New Business.

The secretary gave a brief report on the Zoning Ordinance update process.

Sally Sutton would like to attend the Scenic Michigan Workshop in Mt. Pleasant.  Roy Green also expressed an interest.

The secretary reported on the discussion he had with the City Attorney regarding variances.  He reported the opinion of the City Attorney is that although a variance runs with the land, it is for the use described to the Board as part of a particular request.  If a use changes that affects an approved variance, the variance may be no longer valid.  If for example, the use at Midland Animal Clinic (petition 02-16) changes, so that additional parking is required, the new use would need to provide the additional parking or seek a new variance.

 

6.  ADJOURN.                                  

        There was no further business and the meeting adjourned at 7:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Mark Ostgarden, AICP, CFM

Secretary

 

 

THESE MINUTES ARE NOT OFFICIAL UNTIL APPROVED BY THE ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS.