Kentwood Committees & BoardsAPPROVED MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
Zoning Board of Appeals (Back to index)
Minutes for 09/18/2006
OF THE KENTWOOD ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
CITY COMMISSION CHAMBERS
SEPTEMBER 18, 2006, 7:30 P.M.
Chair Derusha called the meeting to order.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Jerry Akers, Les Derusha, Theresa Dudley, Richard Lenger, and Ed Swanson
MEMBERS ABSENT: Tom Cutts, Alan Lipner
Motion by, Dudley supported by Swanson to excuse Cutts and Lipner from the September 18, 2006 meeting.
- Motion Carried (5-0)-
- Cutts and Lipner absent -
OTHERS PRESENT: Planner Joe Pung, Staff Secretary Monique Collier and the applicants.
Approval of the Minutes of August 21, 2006
Motion by Dudley, supported by Swanson to approve the minutes of August 21, 2006.
- Motion Carried (5-0) ?
- Cutts and Lipner absent
Appeal # V-06-15
Applicant: Wolverine Building, Inc.
Location: 4457 ? 40th Street, SE
Request: The applicant wishes to place an off-site sign along 40th Street in order to identify 4459 ? 40th Street. The Kentwood Zoning Ordinance requires that all signs, with the exception of billboards, official signs and noncommercial signs, pertain only to the business activity conducted on the premises. The requested variance is to permit an off-site sign.
Brandon Hardel with Wolverine Building stated that they were provided an easement on the property and they have been given verbal approval from Reliable Delivery, who owns the land, for an identification sign.
Scott Urbane from Valley City Sign also representing Wolverine Building, stated that the have a 400,000 square foot building and they want to get there name out there. He stated that they have 45-50 trucks in and out a day. He stated that the sign does comply with the ordinance if it were their own property. He stated that they have two different designs because they haven?t determined whether they were going to go with an internally illuminated sign. He stated that the internally illuminated sign will be halo lighting around the letters and the egg will light up; the other option is to pour a cement wall. They are well beneath the square footage requirements. Wolverine just wants to show their location for people visiting. Scott Urbane stated that they don?t own the property at the entrance of their building. He stated that they have verbal permission from Reliable Delivery Service to put the sign on their property. He stated that if they get the variance they can get a written letter of approval from Reliable Delivery Service and submit it with the permit application. He stated that with Reliable Delivery, they are going to repave the approach redo his parking lot and they?ll put in an extra thick base because there will be truck traffic.
Lenger asked if Delivery Service had any signage. Mr. Urbane stated that they have a small wall sign. Lenger?s concern was Reliable Delivery Service can come back and say that he wants to put up a sign there also then there are two. Mr. Urbane stated that their sign will be way off to the side of his business and he stated that he doesn?t think they will be using the same drive. Mr. Hardel stated that they will use the same entrance up to a certain point.
Mr. Hardel stated that he would be able to get a written approval in a few days from the property owner stating that they can use their property for the sign.
Swanson stated that Greg Orr was at the meeting last month and wondered if everything had been worked out. Mr. Hardel stated that it has.
Pung stated that there have been other times when we have had off-site signs, one being on East Paris and Camelot Ridge identifying several businesses in the back. There was another one that has been approved for Watson?s; and Pung noted several others in the staff report that were approved.
Derusha asked if it were an on premise sign what are the sign restrictions. Pung stated that it is 48 square feet for a building with 150 feet of front wall width or less and if the main building has a front wall of 150 feet or more they can have a sign equal to 2% of the area of the front wall up to 100 square feet.
Derusha stated that what if we were to come up with something like sign sharing. If the property owner wants to put up a sign then they will have to share it. Mr. Urbane stated that he thinks that would be fine, but then they would have to increase the size of the sign. Mr. Urbane stated that as a last resort they said they would consider doing that.
Swanson stated that if this were approved he would like to see a signed agreement and an agreement to the adjacent property owner that should they add a sign they would come back and ask for a shared sign and the sizing would be worked out at that time.
Discussion ensued regarding the size of the sign.
Swanson stated that he is intending up to 48 square feet total with a multi-tenant use.
Mr. Urbane stated that they might want their sign centered on their building. Derusha stated that they need to discuss that with the property owner.
Swanson stated that they will have to have the agreement signed before the sign is approved. Pung stated that they have to get the agreement before they can get the sign permit.
Akers stated that in the minutes from last month one of Mr. Orr?s complaints was that he didn?t know what was going on. He stated that they should have brought something to the meeting with them other than just a verbal commitment.
Pung stated that they can?t approve anything greater than 48 square feet and one of the conditions can be that this sign will be the only sign on the property. He stated that they can come back and ask for a larger sign later if a tenant states they want to be on the sign too.
Carol White, 7205 60th Street Grand Rapids, MI is the co-owner of Advance Packaging. She stated that 48 feet will work. She stated that if they could do something to expand the sign before it goes up that would be appreciated.
Mr. Urbane stated that they will get the signatures and he will go to Reliable Delivery Service and ask him if he wants their name on the sign. He stated that then they will go up to 48 feet. He stated that they will stay at the parameters now.
Swanson stated that the easiest way is if he was to have a signed agreement and the commission knew what they were going to do.
Derusha stated he thinks it would be reasonable to go for 48 square feet. Derusha stated that if they want to go beyond that then they are going to have to come back to the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Akers stated that he wants to make sure that the property owner and whatever future owner both know that they have rights to that sign. He stated that his problem is that he doesn?t know if he was offered proper compensation and has options for the sign for his property.
Motion by Lenger, supported by Swanson, to close the public hearing.
-Motion Carried 5-0-
- Cutts and Lipner absent-
Swanson stated that point 1 has been met because of topography and the railroad location there is no way to service the land and therefore it was to be serviced through an easement off-site. Swanson stated that point 2 was met. Swanson stated that point 3 was meet because a 400,000 square foot building with no other access deserves a sign and he doesn?t think that there is a financial return, he thinks that any building in that zoning district would want a single sign to identify their location.
Lenger, Dudlely, Akers and Derusha concurred.
Swanson stated that point 4 was met and with the agreement he doesn?t think there will be any problems to the adjacent neighborhood. Swanson stated that point 5 was met because the ordinance didn?t take into account a situation of a land locked piece of ground and therefore he doesn?t think it impairs the intent of the ordinance. Swanson stated that point 6 was met because the previous person that did the lot distribution created the problem.
Lenger, Dudley, Akers and Derusha concurred.
Motion by Swanson, supported by Lenger, to approve V-06-15 for an offsite sign in order to identify 4045 Barden Dr. SE subject to a signed agreement with the adjacent property and that the signs remains 32 square feet unless the adjacent property owner wants to be on the sign then it will go to 48 square feet
1. That there are exceptional or extraordinary circumstances or conditions applying to the property that do not apply generally to other properties in the same zoning district. The property is large landlocked parcel with a 400,000 square foot building being constructed on it with its only access through an easement. The adjacent properties fronting on the road are developed which restricts ability to acquire land for road frontage.
2. Due to the exceptional and extraordinary circumstances apply to the property the variance will not 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. The possibility of increased financial return shall not of itself be deemed sufficient to warrant a variance. Without the variance the building would have no on-street identification similar to other properties in the vicinity.
4. The variance will not be detrimental to adjacent property and the surrounding neighborhood. With the condition of having a shared sign there would be no more signage along the street as would otherwise be permitted. The offsite sign should also improve safety since trucks traveling to the site would have an easier time locating the entrance.
5. Due to the exceptional circumstances and condition of a shared sign 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 creation of the lot without any road frontage was not done by the applicant.
-Motion Carried (5-0)-
-Lipner and Cutts absent-
5. Public Hearing
Applicant: Y & K Party Store
Location: 5658 S. Division Ave SE
Request: The property owner wishes to demolish the existing convenience store and build a new 2,520 square foot store. The new building would have a side yard setback of 5 feet from the north property line; the Zoning Ordinance requires a side yard setback of 20 feet. The requested variance is for a reduction of 15 feet to the required side yard building setback.
A letter from David J. Pray from Decker Construction was read regarding rescheduling their appearance before the Zoning Board to the October 16, 2006 meeting.
Motion by Lenger supported by Dudley to table V-06-12 to the October 16, 2006 meeting.
- Motion Carried (5-0)-
- Cutts and Lipner absent-
Applicant: DPN Ventures
Location: 4457 ? 44th Street
Request: The applicant wishes to conduct retail sales of automobiles within an enclosed building located in the I-1 Light Industrial district. The Kentwood Zoning Ordinance
does not permit retail sales of automobiles in the I-1 Light
Industrial district. The request is for a use variance to allow wholesale/retail sales of automobiles at this location.
Paul and Dan Schweitzer were there to represent the request. Paul stated that cars have been their hobby for the last 35 years and they buy and fix them up. He stated that they have talked about doing it as a dealership. Paul stated that Dan has two large pole barns in Grand Haven where they do a lot of the work and he has a three stall garage under home. He stated that they would like to get their dealership license and in order to do that they have to have a commercial site. He stated that they want it in their building on 44th Street. They own Complete Source which is located in the building. He stated that they have clients who fly in to pick up their cars and it is convenient to have the cars in the building by the airport rather than at their homes. He stated that there will not be any signage or advertising, they work through the internet and word of mouth.
Dudley asked if there would be a lot of cars in the building. Paul stated that a client will ask them to find a specific car and they will go looking for it and fix it or they will buy a car fix it up and advertise it so the client is coming in to look at a specific car. They are upscale cars they are not just the average driver cars; for example, they have a Porsche, a 37 Chevy, a 57 Chevy, and an 85 Corvette. He stated that it is a hobby for them; they both have full time jobs. He stated that they have been doing this since they have been teenagers. Dan stated that if you drive past the building nobody will know they have cars in there, the only person that will know is the client who is coming in to look at the vehicles.
Akers asked if they needed this to get their dealer license. Paul stated that is correct. He stated that although they have three large buildings the State of Michigan requires a commercial address with several stipulations and one is a zoning variance to allow that type of business in the building.
Derusha stated that there would be the restrictions, sales limited, no freestanding sign, no outside display of inventory, business not be advertised as used car sales and all activities to incur indoors.
Motion by Swanson, supported by Lenger to close the public hearing.
- Motion Carried (5-0) ?
- Cutts and Lipner absent ?
Swanson stated that point 1 was met because it is unique that it is a non advertised used car business. Swanson stated point 2 is met because it is not being advertised. Swanson stated that point 3 was met.
Lenger, Dudley, Akers and Derusha concurred.
Swanson stated that point 4 was met because there have only been four in the past. Swanson stated that point 5 was met. Swanson stated the point 6 was met because he doesn?t think it is a problem and the existing use of the building is maintained and this is secondary to the use of the building.
Lenger stated that he concurs but also that point 6 was met because of state requirements they need a commercial address.
Dudley, Akers and Derusha concurred.
Motion by Swanson, supported by Lenger to approve V-06-16 with conditions being restricted to a narrow segment of cars, no freestanding signs, only one sign not to exceed three square feet, no display of storage of inventory outside the building and not to be promoted as a used car business all activity occurs in the enclosed building, and the secondary use to the property.
-Motion Carried (5-0)
-Cutts and Lipner absent -
1. The condition, location, or situation of the specific piece of property or of the intended use of the property is unique to that property in the zoning district in which it is located and unique because it is a non advertised used car business. The proposed use is family unique and not operated like a typical used car dealership, there is no open air lot and everything is done indoors.
2. The building, structure or land cannot be reasonably used in a manner consistent with the uses allowed in the zoning district in which it is located.
3. The use variance will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood nor the intent of the City master Plan, nor be of detriment to adjacent properties. Everything would be indoors are and there would be no change to the outside of the building beyond a small wall sign.
4. The requested use is not of so general regulation or adding it to the permitted uses in the zoning district in which it is located or to permitted uses in other more appropriate zoning district. There have been only for similar requests on record, so it is not so general or common request.
5. The variance will not impair the intent and purpose of this Ordinance. Based on the limited inventory and no outside display there would be little indication that the business is there. It functions more like a warehouse than a typical used care generation.
6. The immediate unnecessary hardship causing the need for the variance request was not created by the applicant. It is the State?s requirement for a retail license which created the need for the variance.
Appeal # V-06-17
Applicant: Old Chicago Restaurant
Location: 3333 ? 28th Street
Request: The applicant wishes to install a wall sign that would project 3?6? from the building wall; Section 16.05.A.6 of the Kentwood Zoning Ordinance requires that all wall signs be placed flat against the building and not project beyond a wall or architectural feature by more than one (1) foot. The requested variance is to permit a wall sign that is not placed flat against a wall and projects an additional 2?6? from the building.
Scott Stuck President of Old Chicago Restaurants 7870 West Knapp Rd, Houghton Lake MI. and Ryan Dehog 10205 Edgerton Ave. Rockford, MI, of Appearance Project Signs and Awning were there to represent the request.
Mr. Stuck stated that what they want to do is use this sign because this it the sign they use in all their prototype restaurants. He stated that it ties back to less than one foot but protrude 3?6? off the arched entry way. He stated that it is a design element that goes with the building. He stated that this is something that they do in all their stores.
Mr. Stuck stated that one of the reasons the sign does that in the arch is because they do a thing called the world beer tour so they have people trying different beers from different parts of the world to signify the world and this is the sign that they have always done. He stated that they are looking for a standoff from the hotel something to give them a good look.
Discussion ensued regarding the sign.
Swanson asked if the three signs they have on the building meet the ordinance. Pung stated that they had double frontage on their building the way it sticks out and as long as they are not exceeding what they are allowed by ordinance they can separate the signs on the wall of the building.
Derusha wanted to make sure that they will not have any pylon sign or markee sign. Mr. Stuck stated that there will not be any additional signs and that everything is on the building.
Derusha opened the public hearing.
There was no public comment.
Motion by Swanson supported by Dudley to close the public hearing.
- Motion Carried (5-0) ?
- Cutts and Lipner absent ?
Akers stated that he thinks point 1 was met because there are exceptional circumstances to the property with the strip mall out front. Akers stated that point 2 was met. Akers stated that point 3 was met because of its location and because of the strip mall in front of it.
Dudley stated the point 1, 2 and 3 have been met she stated that such a variance is necessary for the preservation because of the angle you are at
Lenger and Swanson concurred.
Derusha stated that points 1, 2 and 3 were met and to consider a restriction that this is in lieu of a pylon sign.
Akers stated that point 4 was met because of the curvature and the architectural flare of the sign itself is classy and not a perpendicular sign. He stated that point 5 was met. Akers stated that point 6 was met because it is a good use for that particular piece of property the way it is all coming together.
Dudley, Swanson, Lenger and Derusha concurred.
Motion by Swanson, supported by Akers to approve V-06-17, for the projection of the wall sign as proposed by the applicant and that this sign be in lieu of any freestanding sign.
1. That there are exceptional or extraordinary circumstances or conditions applying to the property that do not apply generally to other properties in the same zoning district because it is on the corner of the building andon an angle to the street.
2. That 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 because there are very few request for a curved sign and the situation is unique.
3. That such a 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. The possibility of increased financial return shall not of itself be deemed sufficient to warrant a variance. Other properties located in the same zoning district but associated in the Woodland mall were permitted to have sign projection from the building by the Planning Commission.
4. The variance will not be detrimental to adjacent property and the surrounding neighborhood. The sign will not block the view of adjacent business and will fit in with the design of the restaurant and not stand out.
5. The variance will not impair the intent and purpose of this Ordinance as long as the curved sign is specific to this zoning district and based on the circumstances..
6. That the immediate practical difficulty causing the need for the variance request was not created by any action of the applicant. He stated that the shape of the property and the available land to build the building limited the way the building could be built.
Motion by supported by Lenger, supported by Akers to adjourn the meeting.
- Motion Carried ( 5-0) ?
- Cutts and Lipner absent -
Meeting adjourned at 8:36 p.m.
Jerry Akers, Secretary