Friday, November 24, 2017
Holland Logo

Minutes - June 27, 2017

 

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

Regular Meeting
June 27, 2017

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

Absent:   Elliott Church

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 Sign Emporium on behalf of property owner, Jason A. DeWitt for property located at 12451 James St, Suite 30, known more specifically as parcel number 70-16-16-377-007. Petitioner is requesting permission to install a roof sign on the premises. Roof signs are prohibited as described in the Holland Charter Township Zoning Ordinance, Appendix A, Section 18.8 (L)(3). The subject property is zoned General Commercial (C-2).

Present for this request was Cal Mansour of Sign Emporium and Joseph Hermiz of Metro PC.

Mr. Mansour explained that Metro PC needs a roof sign for visibility. There is a small sign on the east side of the building. Traffic heading south cannot see the signage as it is blocked by a billboard. The other store fronts in this strip have signage above their doors. Mr. Hermiz could put a wall sign on the front of his building, but it would be blocked by cars parking in front of his business. This building faces James Street at a busy intersection, the other businesses face the US 31 corridor.

Mr. Hermiz explained that the representative from Metro PC who knows the store’s address has passed him by twice because she could not locate him. He believes that the lack of traffic is because he has no visibility. He further explained that other businesses have occupied this location and have not made it, in his opinion, because they had no visible signage.

Mr. Broersma explained that if the variance were granted the signage allowed would be calculated similar to a wall sign. A building’s wall sign allowance is equal to 10% of the front façade, therefore, the other existing signs on this building have used a portion of that allowance and the proposed sign size may need to be reduced. Other roof signage in the Township includes Jean Marie’s on Chicago Drive. The Hog Wild on Lakewood Blvd. was mentioned, however, those signs are on a mansard roof and are treated similar to a parapet wall.

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

The Board went over the four standards to review when considering a nonuse variance request.

1.   Would strict compliance with the minimum area, yard setbacks, frontage, height, bulk, density, or other regulations of the Zoning Ordinance be unnecessarily burdensome? – Yes – he has no visibility at a busy intersection.

2.   Would granting the requested variance do substantial justice to the applicant as well as to other property owners in the zoning district? Or would a lesser relaxation than that applied for provide substantial relief to the property owner and be more consistent with justice to other property owners in the district? Yes – another business in the Township with similar visibility circumstances would be Jean Marie’s on Chicago Drive.

3.   Is the plight of the property owner/applicant due to the unique circumstances of the property (e.g. an odd shape or a natural feature, such a wetland or stream) and not to general neighborhood conditions in the area? - The existing building is off the street adjacent to a busy intersection where people are trying to drive safely. Improved visibility would help.

4.   Are the practical difficulties alleged self-created? – No, the placement of the billboard and the building limit visibility.

** It was moved by Mr. Johnson and supported by Mr. Swartz to approve the request for a roof sign for Suite 30, based on the ZBA’s findings of the four (4) Nonuse Variance Standards as reflected in the minutes for the reasons set forth in the minutes. With the stipulation that the sign must comply with size requirements related to wall signs and the contractor shall secure the appropriate sign permit(s). Motion carried.

** It was moved by Mr. Boersma and supported by Mr. Swartz to remove from the table a request 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). This request was tabled at the May 23, 2017 meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals. Motion carried.

Mr. Brown explained that he would like access to the back of the property to build a house. There are two parcels to the west that have similar easements and one property off of James Street. The proposed lot split would result in two parcels larger than the ones on Hayes Street.

At the May meeting the Board asked Mr. Broersma, Assistant Planner, to research if the other properties with easements received a variance.

Properties with legal non-conforming access:

10581 James Street: Recently this private drive was placed within a 40-foot-wide access and utility easement via a ZBA variance for the benefit of 1 lot only.

601 Hayes: This private drive located approximately 200 feet to the west was placed within a 50-foot-wide access and utility easement for the benefit of 2 lots.

14298 James: The private drive located approximately 600 feet to the northwest was placed within a 66-foot-wide access and utility easement for the benefit of 4 lots.

14250 James: The “pole” of the flag lot was created in 1991, however, likely approved prior to current zoning regulations.

There was further discussion about how this easement would affect the three parcels on 142nd. It would run along the back of their properties. Mr. Brown explained that the property owner on the corner already uses his side yard to get his trailer in the back yard. He also spoke with the duplex owner and he told him would put trees or a fence along the property line.

The Board commented that the driveway should be paved at least past the houses. The Board asked Mr. Broersma how the 66 foot wide easement came about and if there are any emergency access concerns. Mr. Johnson indicated it was originally established to discourage flag lots. Mr. Broersma further commented that the fire chief typically requires at least 26 feet for the access and the stabilization of fire equipment in a commercial setting, but this residential setting is obviously different. A 15 foot wide gravel drive within a 66 foot wide easement would be required for access to a single residential lot by ordinance.

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

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

The Board went over the four standards to review when considering a nonuse variance request.

1.   Would strict compliance with the minimum area, yard setbacks, frontage, height, bulk, density, or other regulations of the Zoning Ordinance be unnecessarily burdensome? – Yes, the proposed parcel “A” would be useless without the approval of the easement. There is not enough room for the full easement.

2.   Would granting the requested variance do substantial justice to the applicant as well as to other property owners in the zoning district? Or would a lesser relaxation than that applied for provide substantial relief to the property owner and be more consistent with justice to other property owners in the district? There are easements in the surrounding neighborhood, but none this small. There is a nearby flag lot with an approximately 20 foot wide “pole”.

3.   Is the plight of the property owner/applicant due to the unique circumstances of the property (e.g. an odd shape or a natural feature, such a wetland or stream) and not to general neighborhood conditions in the area? The proposed lot would be land locked without the approval of the easement – as are several in that area.

4.   Are the practical difficulties alleged self-created? – Yes, he wants to split the lot to build a house on the back portion of the parcel. Plat was established decade ago and applicant was reminded that Township Boards approval to split a platted lot is still required.

Mr. Johnson commented that land is not available as it used to be. In his opinion, similar requests are going to be asked for.

** It was moved by Mr. Johnson and supported by Mr. Swartz to approve the request for 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 based on the ZBA’s findings of the four (4) Nonuse Variance Standards as reflected in the minutes for the reasons set forth in the minutes. Motion carried with one opposition from DeVries.

** It was moved by Mr. Boersma and supported by Mr. DeVries to remove from the table the request for 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). This item was tabled at the May 23, 2017 meeting.

Present for this request was Tim and Melonie Brannam.

The applicant stated that they would like to build a garage to park their cars in. Their house is a split level and their attached garage is under the master bedroom. The don’t want gas and chemicals under the bedroom. They are the third house from the end of the cul-de-sac; there is an industrial park behind them and there is already one neighbor with an oversized accessory building of 32’ x 50’ in the neighborhood.

The applicant is requesting a 28’ x 32’ accessory building. The building would be vinyl siding with a shingled roof to match the existing house. They plan to reside the house at the same time. There would be a hard surface driveway to the garage. It would have one overhead door.

Mr. Broersma provided a summary of the applicable ordinance. Section 3.30.B states: “…Accessory buildings shall not occupy more than thirty (30) percent of any required rear yard space…”

The rear yard space is approximately 150’x137’ = 20,550 Square Feet. Therefore, 6,165 square foot building might comply if it were not for Section 3.30.F.1.(b) which states:

(b) No more than one (1) detached accessory building shall be permitted. The permitted detached accessory building shall be subject to the following size and height restrictions:

1. If located on a lot or parcel of land less than one (1) acre in area—two hundred forty (240) square feet in area and a height no greater than twelve (12) feet.

The rear yard space occupied by the garage would be 4.3%. The neighbor’s oversized accessory building occupies 4.7%.

The height of the proposed building would be 13 and ½ feet, 12 feet is allowed by ordinance, unless your property is one acre in size or larger, then a height of 16 feet is allowed. The size of this parcel is .83 acres. The applicant owns a pickup truck that would be parked in the garage.

The density of the neighborhood was noted by the Board.

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

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

The Board went over the eight standards to review when considering an oversized accessory building with a height of 13 feet 6 inches.

1.   The size of the lot or parcel of land - .83 acres.

2.   The intended use for the building - to park vehicles inside and personal storage.

3.   The size, proposed location, type and construction, and general architectural character of the building – Proposed size is 28’ x 32’ in the rear yard; approximately 4.3% of the rear yard space; siding and roofing to match existing house; one overhead garage door.

4.   The type and kind of other principal and accessory buildings and structures presently located on the lot or parcel of land – There are no other accessory buildings on the parcel.

5.   The type and kind of principal and accessory buildings and structures located on properties which are adjoining and in the same neighborhood – A comparable accessory building is located on the adjacent property to the east. That building measures 32'x50' (1,600 square feet), with a height less than 16 feet, and takes up approximately 4.7% of the rear yard space (34,000 square feet). A variance for this building was received on September 28, 2004.

6.   Whether the building(s) will affect the light and air circulation of any adjoining properties or be visible from any adjoining properties – No adverse effect on the light and air circulation, but it will be visible.

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. Boersma and supported by Mr. DeVries to approve the request for 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 with the stipulations that 1) there is to be no living quarters, business, trade, or industry will be included within the accessory building and 2) the accessory building must match the home in style and materials. Motion carried.

** It was moved by Mr. Boersma and supported by Mr. Johnson to approve the request for 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 based on the ZBA’s findings of the eight (8) standards as reflected in the minutes for the reasons set forth in the minutes. Motion carried.

There were no public comments

The minutes of May 23, 2017 were approved as written.

The meeting adjourned at 6:32 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Laurie Slater
Recording Secretary

six pack abs