1.      ROLL CALL

PRESENT:††††††† Board Members -††† Green, Higgins, Holthof, Lichtenwald, and


ABSENT:††††††††† Board Members Ė†††† Steele

OTHERS PRESENT: Daryl Poprave, Debbie Marquardt, and 4 others.




It was moved by Higgins and supported by Siemer to approve the minutes of the August 21, 2007 meeting as presented.Motion was unanimously approved.


The Chairman explained the public hearing procedures and how the Board decides if the variance request is approved based on the five ordinance criteria.




a.      No. 07-12 Ė Chad Rockafellow for an area/dimension variance to allow the construction of a new attached garage with a gross floor area of 1,300 square feet at 4592 Bailey Bridge Road.


Daryl Poprave introduced the petition and the location.This is located next to a church and both a motel and a commercial real estate venture.This property is zoned RA-1 single family residential and borders Regional Commercial and Ingersoll Township.This is not part of a platted subdivision.He is seeking a variance on the size of the building not the setbacks.Staff had a couple of contingencies which are they think there is a lot of commercial adjacent to this property.It still seems to fit in with the lot.


Chad Rockafellow, 4592 Bailey Bridge Road, he is looking to build a bigger than what is allowed garage.When he bought the home in 1995, he didnít have any neighbors next door and the lot was large for improvements.He would like a work shop also to help with storage for home repairs.To have the storage trailers and his car he needs more space.He is going with more floor space because if it was higher it would not be to his benefit.The church is next door and doesnít feel it would be a problem.


Green asked about the size of the proposed garage.How did the items influence the requested size of the garage?


Mr. Rockafellow stated that it would give him room for his vehicles and other motorized vehicles plus a workshop area.


Higgins asked what the smallest size of garage would be adequate?


Mr. Rockafellow stated that he could handle 900 to 1,000 square feet but he would like to go with a 1,200 sq. ft.


Higgins wanted to know what the smallest garage is that he would be willing to put on the property because the house is only 1,300 square feet and he doesnít want the garage to be bigger then the house.He asked that Chad go through and answer the five review criteria.


Mr. Poprave stated that the board had the text in front of them you donít have to read that to the them just explain why is it a problem with the garage size of 800 square feet.


Mr. Rockafellow said that it would give him more storage room and work area.


Siemer stated that the structure would be masked by the house and there is a screen of trees immediately to the south of the property.


Higgins asked if he the minimum variance the petitioner would accept is a 1,000

†† square foot garage.


Mr. Rockafellow stated that with the larger buildings surrounding him he doesnít feel the garage would look out of place.He isnít going for the tall but for more floor area.


Higgins asked has there been something that created this problem for you that is outside of your control with relationship to the property itself?


The petitioner stated that he is renting a storage building that has been broken into.He is an electrician and he would like a workshop there to improve his home and it would give him more area to work with.


††††††††††† Higgins asked if he was willing and it is adequate to go with 1,000 square feet.


The petitioner stated that 30 by 40 would be sufficient.He could handle 1,000 sq. ft. but would like 1,200 sq. ft.


Holthof stated that when he purchased the property in 1995 he was not in the city and they were then annexed to receive city water.He was annexed in 1996.


The petitioner stated that was correct and he hoped it helped with his petition.


Siemer asked if he would be facing this problem if he was in the township?There are a number of homes further down the road with large pole barn structures but they are not in the city.


Mr. Poprave stated he did not know.He does know there are bigger buildings outside the city.


Ron Reality owns a rental home in Mapleton (4660 Bailey Bridge Road) and lives a mile down the road, 4967 South Saginaw Road.He went through the same thing as Chad did with the annexation and water.He feels that it would be an injustice if he couldnít use the little strip of property. He is trying to get ahead and improve his property.


Jack Liddell, 4659 South Saginaw Road, stated that he needs to get rid of the old garage and it is an eye sore.He is surrounded by the woods and church and he wanted to get a house and garage to match and it would be a good improvement to the neighborhood.


Findings of Fact:


1.      The property is in the RA-1 District.

2.      The property shares a border on the south with Regional Commercial.

3.      North of the property is a church.

4.      This parcel is an irregularly shaped lot.

5.      Property was annexed into the city in 1996 and the petitioner bought the property in 1995.

6.      One letter received in opposition to the request.

7.      One letter received in favor of the request.

8.      Two persons spoke in favor of the request.

9.      Size of the existing house is 1,300 square feet.

10.  Several more intensive zoning districts in close proximity to this property.

11.  The property is screened on the south by trees from S. Saginaw Road.


††††††††††† It is moved by Higgins supported by Siemer to approve Petition No. 07-12 based on the findings of fact to allow the construction of a new detached garage at 4592 Bailey Bridge Road with two conditions:


a.      1,000 square feet maximum size limit

b.      the current garage is demolished prior to construction commencing


††††††††††† Higgins felt that the garage will do substantial justice to the petitioner.The property is unique with commercial along side.He feels he could answer yes to all the review criteria questions.


††††††††††† Holthof stated that the zoning was done based on what was the use at the time.It is very confusing to figure out what district you are in.This size garage does not look out of character with other properties in the area.


††††††††††† Green stated that he was concerned with the size at first but that was addressed and the smaller size is more inline and would maintain some time of uniformity.He would support the motion.


††††††††††† Siemer agrees.The building codes were different then what exists today in the township and this should benefit all of his neighbors.The willingness to compromise helped sway him.


††††††††††† Lichtenwald agrees and believes the review criteria have been met.


Voting on the motion:

††††††††††† Green: Yes



††††††††††† Lichtenwald:Yes

††††††††††† Siemer:Yes


The motion to approve the Petition 07-12 was approved 5-0.


4.†† PUBLIC COMMENTS (not related to items on the agenda)


††††††††††† None




††††† None




††††††††††† None




  1. 07-08A and 07-08C recorded
  2. 07-10 review of findings of fact




Hearing no further business, the Chairman adjourned the meeting at 7:15 p.m.



Respectfully submitted,



Daryl Poprave

Deputy Planning Director