MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS,
WHICH TOOK PLACE
AT , IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL,
1. ROLL CALL.
PRESENT: Board Members - Sutton, Lichtenwald, Higgins, Holthof and Green
ABSENT: Board Members - None
OTHERS PRESENT: Daryl Poprave, City Planner; Cheri Standfest, Community Development Specialist and 9 others.
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
It was moved by Higgins and supported by Holthof to
approve the minutes of the
Next, the Chairman explained the public hearing procedures that the ZBA would employ to reach a decision on the following variances:
3. PUBLIC HEARINGS
No. 06-01 – Keith Wirth, of Three Rivers Corporation, on behalf of Amish Reflections for an area/dimension variance to expand their existing building within the front yard setback and to construct a second story mezzanine addition at 503 South Saginaw Road.
The petitioner is proposing to erect a 3,000 square foot
mezzanine addition to the building at
Keith Wirth, Architect for Three Rivers Corporation
represented the petitioner this evening.
He stated that they were asking to have this current application replace
their previously granted application from
Mr. Wirth stated, at first, the project was going to fill
the entire road frontage. The new plan
reduces the square footage of the vestibule addition to 307 sq. ft. with the
second floor addition of 3,000 sq. ft. with portions of this mezzanine in the
front yard setback area. If they were to
build to the rear, they would have to completely redesign the parking lot or
create an underground storage tank to retain the storm water on the
property. The current owners purchased
the building in February 2005.
They are allowed to go up to 3000 square feet on the second floor, under the building code, without the need for elevators or barrier free facilities. There would be a balcony space on the second floor, contained by a railing, to allow light into the second floor. Mr. Wirth showed a drawing of the proposed additions to the building.
Higgins asked why they need a variance when they can build
the second floor onto the back section of the building and not encroach within
the front yard setback. The petitioner
stated they wanted to get the building to the front so it would be more easily
seen by approaching customers on
Holthof stated that perhaps they could put some signage on the side of the building where it sticks up over the adjacent buildings that would call attention to passing motorist about the business.
Higgins also asked why they have to have the variance good for two years, rather than the six months allowed by the Ordinance. The petitioner stated their current lease does not expire until 2008 and they will remain in their current building until the lease is up. He stated he would be willing to come back every six months and request the variance, granted tonight, be renewed. Higgins stated they made a proposal six months ago and now they are back with another proposal when the six months is ready to expire. If the owners were able to get out of their lease at their current location, they would be able to do this work within the six month time frame.
Sutton stated she is also uncomfortable allowing the variance to hang out there for two years. If the property was sold prior to 2008, the variance goes with the property – not the property owner. She feels it is better for them to come for the variance within the six months prior to the start of construction.
Staff stated the city engineering department concurs with Mr. Wirth’s storm water assessment, that, so long as they build up and not out, they do not have to comply with the additional storm water detention requirements.
No one spoke either in favor of or in opposition to this request.
Sutton and Higgins both suggested the Chairman ask the petitioner if he would like to withdraw his request at this time, and come back six months before the desired start date for building this addition.
Staff stated the City Attorney and City staff both are
uncomfortable granting anything for a longer time than what is allowed in the
Chairman Lichtenwald asked Mr. Wirth if they would consider tabling or withdrawing the request until they are ready to proceed. In consulting with the business owners, Mr. Wirth stated they would like to withdraw their application at this time.
No. 06-02 – Lawrence Hale for an area/dimension
variance for a parking lot expansion into side yard setback at
The property is located in the OS - Office Service
district. The location map shows the
property is located on the northeast corner of
The two office buildings, in their present use, are slightly non-conforming with regard off- street parking standards. The change in use requires them to conform to today’s parking standards. The petitioner must provide additional paved parking to accommodate the new beauty shop and this is the only remaining space on the property suitable for parking.
Dr. Lawrence Hale spoke as the petitioner. He stated this situation was triggered by them purchasing this property to get control of this parking lot, due to their high number of employees. It was their intention last summer to pave this lot. It was delayed because there was a power pole on one corner and the Fire Department requested the pole be removed. They will probably repave the whole lot at one time.
Higgins asked about the exit onto
Aaron Cashin, of
Roy Green announced that Dr. Hale is his family dentist, but that it will not effect his decision. Hearing no further comments the Chairman closed the public hearing and directed the Board to enter into findings of fact.
Findings of Fact:
It is moved by Higgins and supported by Sutton to approve Petition No. 06-02 based on the findings of fact, provided the following conditions be met:
1. That concrete wheel chocks be installed, per the Zoning Ordinance requirements, at the north end of the parking lot, and
2. That the parking area be constructed in accordance with Section 5.01(d) of the Zoning Ordinance.
Higgins feels this request meets all the criteria of the zoning ordinance.
Sutton agrees. This property is unique, as it has evolved over the years.
Holthof also agrees.
Green commends the owner that he has taken an existing lot and desires to make it in conformance with city regulations.
Lichtenwald agrees with what has already been said.
Voting in support of the motion:
The motion to approve Petition 06-02 was approved unanimously.
4. PUBLIC COMMENTS (not related to items on the agenda)
5. OLD BUSINESS
6. NEW BUSINESS
February Board Training Session – Staff is still talking about doing some board training, probably in March. The board felt the training was excellent last year and agreed that it would be beneficial to hold again this year.
Joe Dunn has submitted a letter of
resignation to the City
Mr. Poprave reported there were
new Zoning Ordinance changes approved by the
7. DECISION SHEET SIGNATURES
a. 05-21, 05-22, 05-23 and 05-24 approval of findings of fact.
b. Copies of recorded decision sheets from previous meeting
The Chairman adjourned the meeting at