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APPROVED MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING

OF THE KENTWOOD ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

CITY COMMISSION CHAMBERS

JULY 20, 2015, 7:00 P.M.

(return to index)
 

1. Chair Derusha called the meeting to order.

2. Roll Call

MEMBERS PRESENT: Les Derusha, Kemal Hamulic, Robert Houtman, Alan Lipner,

Russ Slater, Monica Sparks and Thomas Webb

MEMBERS ABSENT: Richard Lenger (absent with notification)

OTHERS PRESENT: Planner Joe Pung, Staff Secretary Monique Collier, and the

applicants.

3. Approval of the Minutes and Findings of Fact Motion by supported by to approve the minutes of June 15, 2015

- Motion Carried (7-0) –

4. Public Hearing

Appeal #V-15-07

Applicant: Advanced Plastic Surgery

Location: 3855 Burton St SE

Request:

The applicant wishes to construct a medical clinic on the property.

The proposed building would have a rear yard setback of 35 feet;

Section 8.03.B.1 of the Zoning Ordinance requires a minimum rear

yard building setback of 50 feet. The proposed parking would come

to within 35 feet of the north lot line and 15 feet of the west lot line;

Sections 8.03.C.2 & 17.06.C.1 of the Zoning Ordinance require a

45-foot parking setback and 20-foot buffer. The requested variances

are for a reduction of 15 feet to the minimum rear yard building

setback; a reduction of 30 feet to parking setback from the west lot

line; a reduction of 10 feet to the parking setback from the north lot

line; a reduction of 5 feet to the width of the parking buffer along

the west line.  Tim Marcus, with Copper Rock Construction was present. He stated the property is

located in front of Church of the Servant and next door is an orthodontics office that has

the same setbacks they are requesting. Markus stated they think it will be in line with

what is already existing and that it will be consistent. He stated this would alleviate their

problems meeting the requirements and still have sufficient parking for the facility.

Derusha questioned if we are rezoning one property. Pung stated 3855 and also the

adjacent property 3875 (the existing dental office) are part of the rezoning request.

Derusha asked if there were any plans to do anything else in the neighborhood. Pung

stated it would more likely to be developer/property owner requested. Pung stated the

area is Master Planned for office development.

Houtman questioned if granting the request is contingent upon the City Commission

findings that will be held tomorrow night at their meeting. Derusha stated that is correct.

Markus stated his understanding is regardless if it were to remain zoned residential or

commercial they would still need the variance.

Lipner questioned if the property to the east (the dental clinic) was reviewed by the ZBA.

Pung stated when they developed the ordinance was different. Setbacks were under the

special land use and they were only required a 30 foot rear yard setback. Discussion

ensued.

Dan Hula, 17 West Oak Sand Lake MI, for Hula Engineering was present. He stated he

was the one that put the application together and the drawings.

Houtman asked if the house that is currently zoned residential will be zoned commercial

at some point. Pung stated when it is sold then the purchaser could rezone it to office.

Webb stated behind the dentist they kept a lot of the trees is that part of the plan. Hula

stated it looks like a lot the of trees planted around there were planted as part of a buffer

or screen probably by the church. Hula stated those are residential zoned properties and

most of that is off their site.

Slater asked if the dental clinic has thought about sharing some kind of a boulevard

entrance or a parking lot. Hula stated they have entertained that and that is something that

they would consider. Slater stated it would increase some parking and easements. Hula

stated they will pursue that, they have been talking about it but haven’t come to an

agreement yet.

Derusha asked about the shrubbery in the back on their property. Hula stated some of it

not a lot of it was put in as a screen to regulate the residential use.

Slater stated there is support by his neighbors, are there any concerns from the residents.

Hula stated none that he is aware of.  Webb asked in order to share the driveway would he be willing to move the building to

the other side of the parking lot area so the parking can be between the two buildings.

Hula stated he doesn’t think they would, they are pretty much set on the location. Hula

stated they want something that is going to look nice and be functional.

Derusha opened the public hearing.

There was no public comment.

Motion by Hamulic, supported by Webb, to close the public hearing.

- Motion Carried (7-0) –

Houtman stated point 1 is met the property is small and after the ordinance changed after

the dental clinic was built, it would be an odd situation if we didn’t at least replicate the

setbacksof the existing dental clinic. Houtman stated point 2 has been met it appears that

most of the area will eventually be rezoned to commercial. Houtman stated point 3 has

been met because this variance will give them the same enjoyment as the adjoining dental

clinic.

Lipner, Webb, Slater, Hamulic Sparks and Derusha concurred that points 1,2 3 have been

met. Derusha adding since we are going to make the request contingent upon the

rezoning request by the City Commission that it has been met.

Houtman stated point 4 has been met this request will not be detrimental to the adjacent

property it is going to make it match the adjacent property and a piece of the surrounding

neighborhood that will be commercial. Houtman stated point 5 has been met. Houtman

stated point 6 is met this is caused by the size of the piece of property and the change in

the ordinance.

Lipner concurred that points 4, 5, 6 have been met but adding to point 4 that not only has

it been met but it is an improvement both to the aesthetic of the neighborhood and

following the neighborhood development.

Webb, Slater, Hamulic, Sparks and Derusha concurred that points 4, 5 and 6 have been

met

Motion by Hamulic, supported by Houtman, to approve V-15-07 contingent upon

the City Commission’s approval ofthe rezoning request.

1. That there are exceptional and extraordinary circumstances or conditions applying

to the property that do not apply generally to other properties in the same zoning

district. The small area of the property and the adjacent development of the dental

clinic and church. Area Master Planned for office development.

2. Due to the exceptional and extraordinary circumstances applying to the property,

the condition or situation of the specific piece of property for which the variance is

sought is not of so general or recurrent a nature as to make reasonable practical the

formulation of a general regulation for such conditions or situations. The site of the

property and the existing development adjacent to it and the Master Plan intend for

Office Development.

3. That such variance is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial

property right similar to that possessed by other properties in the same zoning

district and in the vicinity. Without the variance would be viable to develop and

match layout of the adjacent dental clinic.

4. The variance will not be detrimental to adjacent property and the surrounding

neighborhood. Development will be similar to existing dental clinic and consistent

with planned use for the area.

5. Due to the exceptional and extraordinary circumstances applying to the property,

the variance will not impair the intent and purpose of this Ordinance.

6. That the immediate practical difficulty causing the need for the variance request

was not created by any action of the applicant.

- Motion Carried (7-0) –

Appeal V-15-08

Applicant: ICC Behar

Location: 3415 & 3425 East Paris Ave SE

Request: The applicant wishes to expand their parking lot. The expanded

parking would have a front yard setback of 13 feet; a setback of 7

feet from the north lot line; and landscaping along the north lot line

not meeting minimum Zoning Ordinance requirements. Section

8.03.B of the Zoning Ordinance requires a minimum front yard

parking setback of 30 feet; Sections 8.03.C.2 & 17.06.C.1 require a

45-foot parking setback and a 20-foot buffer, which includes a 6-

foot vertical screen, along the north property line; and Section

19.03.0 requires a 10-foot wide landscape buffer containing a

minimum of 4 canopy trees and 19 shrubs along the north property

line. The requested variances are for a reduction of 17 feet to the

front yard parking setback; reduction of 38 feet to the parking

setback from the north lot line; a reduction of 13 feet to the parking

lot buffer and 3 feet to the landscape buffer along the north lot line

and a waiver from the landscaping requirements along the north lot

line.

Todd Stuvie, with Excel Engineering was present representing the request. He stated ICC

Behar has built a small parking lot north of the building on the original parcel. He stated

that parking lot was never large enough for the use; it was always the intent to expand the

parking lot. He stated currently they are utilizing some off-site parking across the street

and up the road. There are some safety issues related to the way it is currently being

operated. Stuive stated several years ago they purchased the parcel to the north removed

the home and planned to expand the parking lot. He stated the site is challenging from

the topographic standpoint. The site drops in elevation from the street to the back portion

of the site by approximately 10 vertical feet. He stated there are wetlands and the 100

year floodplain, Plaster Creek is in the back. He stated it is there goal to avoid those

environmental impacts with the parking lot.

Stuive stated there is a retaining wall proposed along the westerly portion of the parking

lot approximately 6-7 vertical feet, in order to make it work and not slope out into the

adjacent floodplain and wetlands. He stated the proposed layout with the retaining wall

would accomplish maximizing the amount of parking that they can get into that space and

not impact those floodplains or wetland lines.

Stuive stated earlier this year the mosque to the north of the proposed parcel had a similar

request. Stuive stated they received the same variance as what they are requesting. He

stated it is their goal and plan to tie those two parking lots together in the future. He

stated that is why the alignment is important when that site (adjacent to the north) is

purchased that they can tie together. Traffic flow through the spaces and aisles will line

up and then there would be opportunity for shared parking between the two. As of today

(this parcel) is not owned and they are working with the owner and the owner has

provided an approval letter of support regarding the lesser setbacks along his south

property line. He said that is the plan to line up and eventually connect to the parking lot

to the north.

Stuive stated they are requesting a smaller setback along the front however with the

required amount of landscaping there is still room in that 13 feet to place the required

amount of landscaping and a small berm. Therefore, the intent of the ordinance is still

being met along that frontage. He stated the buffer on the north, which is adjacent to a

residential use, the owner is ok with that. They will still be providing the 6 foot vertical

screen via fence. There is an existing fence in front of the garage and they would be

providing an additional fence along the back side (westerly side) and there are several

large trees that would be maintained so there will still be a vegetative buffer.

Slater noted there was a similar request in April and we just need to do the same thing so

that the properties matchup. Slater asked if they had a time frame for purchasing the

house and making the combination. Stuive stated that he doesn’t. Slater stated the only

reason he brought it up because in the next few months why would we have them wreck

the fence that makes no sense.

Webb stated he was out at the property and the white fence and the garage create enough

blockage along the property line; he doesn’t see a reason to put a fence up along the

garage because the garage on the property line along with the fence. Pung stated a

vertical screen is required by ordinance. Houtman asked if we could waive it the fence

requirement. Pung stated they would have to come back to the ZBA since it wasn’t part

of the original request. Derusha stated he would be more comfortable putting the fence

up.

Motion Hamulic, supported by Houtman, to close the public hearing.

- Motion Carried (7-0) –

Lipner stated point 1 is met the property is unique with the floodplain and wetlands

which limit developable area. Lipner stated point 2 is met due to the floodplain and

wetlands. Lipner stated point 3 is met with the mosque to the north both properties are in

need of additional facilities to provide site and adequate parking for the current use.

Webb stated points 1,2 and 3 have been meet adding that point 3 especially because of

safety issue of parking and combining in the future the two parking lots between the two

mosques is a great plan.

Slater, Hamulic, Sparks, Houtman, Derusha concurred that points 1,2 and 3 have been

met.

Lipner stated point 4 is met it is an improvement just like the property to the north.

Lipner stated point 5 is met because of the uniqueness in light of the size of the parking

lot. Lipner stated point 6 is met the layout of the property, the size of the

property.(floodplain and wetlands)

Webb, Slater, Hamulic, Sparks, Houtman, Derusha concurred that points 4,5 and 6 have

been met. Derusha adding we are correcting a very severe safety issue.

Motion by Lipner, supported by Hamulic, to approve V-15-08.

1. That there are exceptional and extraordinary circumstances or conditions applying

to the property that do not apply generally to other properties in the same zoning

district. The wetlands and floodplain limit development on the site.

2. Due to the exceptional and extraordinary circumstances applying to the property,

the condition or situation of the specific piece of property for which the variance is

sought is not of so general or recurrent a nature as to make reasonable practical the

formulation of a general regulation for such conditions or situations.

3. That such variance is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial

property right similar to that possessed by other properties in the same zoning

district and in the vicinity. Variance is needed in order to develop similar to what

had been done to the north and to allow future alignment of parking lots.

4. The variance will not be detrimental to adjacent property and the surrounding

neighborhood.

5. Due to the exceptional and extraordinary circumstances applying to the property,

the variance will not impair the intent and purpose of this Ordinance.

6. That the immediate practical difficulty causing the need for the variance request

was not created by any action of the applicant. The wetland and floodplain created

the limitation to development which created the need for the variance.

- Motion Carried (7-0) –

Appeal V-15-09

Applicant: Jonathan Smith

Location: 5041 Kalamazoo Ave SE

Request: The applicant wishes to construct a deck on the side of their home;

the deck would be constructed up to the property line. Section

3.05.C.2 of the Kentwood Zoning Ordinance requires that the deck

be setback a minimum of 7 feet from the side lot line. The

requested variance is to waive the side yard setback requirement.

Jonathan Smith, 5041 Kalamazoo, was present representing the request. He stated it doesn’t

make sense for him to build a deck off the back side of the garage because the only access to his

house is through the breezeway. He stated to the north is actually his back yard. He stated it butts

up against Consumer’s Energy property. He stated has no neighbors adjacent to him to the north

of his property. He stated he has the Consumer’s property followed by a gravel service road

followed by the trail. He stated he called Consumers first because he wanted to do a bump out at

the end of the garage into Consumer’s property but from talking to the Planning Department we

can’t grant a variance to go beyond his own property. He stated he had Mike Friend from

Consumer come out inspect the property and they gave him a contract so he is leasing part of

their land from them. He stated there are two parts to the contract, one is a lawn and garden

agreement and when they thought they were doing the bump out it was for a structural as long as

it was not a permanent structure. Smith stated he has a lease to build or have a lawn and garden.

He stated but since he can’t go past his property he would just like a variance up to the property

line.

Slater asked how big the deck will be. Smith stated 10x30. Slater stated there is a door to the

breezeway, how is he going to get out of the deck. Smith stated it will be low to the ground about

10-12 inches off of the ground. When the door opens it will be level with the deck.

Smith stated Consumer’s wrote in the contract that should they ever need to expand and run a

second set of power lines their structure needs to be removable should it need to come down.

Discussion ensued regarding properties on Consumer Energy

Webb stated to put the deck on the other side of the house doesn’t make sense because he has a

retaining wall.

Derusha opened the public hearing.

There was no public comment.

Motion by Houtman, supported by Hamulic, to close the public hearing.

- Motion Carried (7-0) -

Webb stated point 1 is met he couldn’t find any properties that were similar in location

and situation or had similar building orientation. Webb stated point 2 is met due to the

location, layout and adjacent use. Webb stated point 3 is met.

Slater, Hamulic, Sparks, Houtman, Lipner and Derusha concurred.

Webb stated point 4 is met applicant had the approval from Consumer’s Energy. Webb

stated point 5 is met there are no residential properties next to his. Webb stated point 6 is

met.

Slater stated 4 is met and point 5 is compounded because of the Consumer’s power line

that went in after the structure was already there and point 6 has been met.

Hamulic, Sparks, Houtman, Lipner and Derusha concurred that points 4,5 and 6 have

been met.

Motion by Webb, supported by Hamulic, to approve V-15-09

1. That there are exceptional and extraordinary circumstances or conditions applying

to the property that do not apply generally to other properties in the same zoning

district. The layout or orientation of land makes the north side the practical deck

location. Abuts Consumers Energy power lines where the deck will be located.

2. Due to the exceptional and extraordinary circumstances applying to the property,

the condition or situation of the specific piece of property for which the variance is

sought is not of so general or recurrent a nature as to make reasonable practical the

formulation of a general regulation for such conditions or situations.

3. That such variance is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial

property right similar to that possessed by other properties in the same zoning

district and in the vicinity. Without the variance, construction of a deck would bit

be practical.

4. The variance will not be detrimental to adjacent property and the surrounding

neighborhood.

5. Due to the exceptional and extraordinary circumstances applying to the property,

the variance will not impair the intent and purpose of this Ordinance.

6. That the immediate practical difficulty causing the need for the variance request

was not created by any action of the applicant.

- Motion Carried (7-0) –

Approved Minutes

Zoning Board of Appeals

July 20, 2015

Page 9

Motion by Hamulic, supported by Sparks, to adjourn the meeting.

- Motion Carried (7 -0) –

Meeting adjourned at 8: p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Alan Lipner, Secretary