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Kentwood Committees & Boards
Zoning Board of Appeals (Back to index)
Minutes for 09/15/2008

APPROVED MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
OF THE KENTWOOD ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
CITY COMMISSION CHAMBERS
SEPTEMBER 15, 2008, 7:30 P.M.


1. Chair Derusha called the meeting to order.

2. Roll Call
MEMBERS PRESENT: Tom Cutts, Les Derusha, Garrett Fox, Mel Holloway, Richard Lenger, Alan Lipner and Ed Swanson
MEMBERS ABSENT: None
OTHERS PRESENT: Planner Joe Pung, Staff Secretary Monique Collier, and the applicants.

3. Approval of the Minutes and Findings of Fact

Motion by Commissioner Lipner, supported by Commissioner Fox, to approve the minutes of August 18, 2008.

- Motion Carried (7-0) ?

4. Public Hearing

Appeal #V-08-18

Applicant: Refik Buric
Location: 2871 Daventry Court SE

Request: The applicant wishes to construct a 6-foot high privacy fence within 5.5 feet of Hampton Downs Drive right-of-way. Section 3.19.B.2 of the Kentwood Zoning Ordinance limits the height of solid type fences within 17 feet of the property line in the street side yard of a corner lot to 3 feet. The requested variance is for an increase in height of 3 feet over the maximum allowed by ordinance.

Muriella Buric, 4077 Forest Creek Rd. was there to represent the request. She stated the fence they would like to construct will not obstruct any traffic. She stated they would like to get a small dog and would like an enclosed back yard. She stated it is the exact same fence as the neighbor across the street.

Commissioner Swanson stated the yard looks nice and would like to know what size dog they are getting that will need a six foot fence.

Commissioner Derusha asked about the sight line issue and would it be the same as across the street. Commissioner Swanson stated it is actually better because the way the curve is the adjacent driveway is further out from the fence than the one on the other side.

Chair Derusha opened the public hearing.

There was no public comment.

Motion by Commissioner Lenger, supported by Commissioner Fox, to close the public hearing.
- Motion Carried (7-0) ?

Swanson stated point 1 was met, it is a corner lot and the driveway is adequate for sight distance. Swanson stated point 2 was met. He stated he thinks staff should look at the general regulation that would cover this, in this instance because it is on the inside of the curve and its unique. Swanson stated point 3 was met because all they want to do is have a place to put their dog and have some privacy and the neighbor across the street has the same fence.

Cutts, Lenger, Fox, Lipner, Holloway and Derusha concurred.

Swanson stated point 4 was met, there is no one in opposition and the neighbor across the street has the same identical one. Swanson stated point 5 was met because there are no sight restrictions. Swanson stated point 6 was met.

Cutts, Lenger, Fox, Lipner, Holloway and Derusha concurred.

Motion by Commission Swanson, supported by Commissioner Fox, to approve V-08-18
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. It is a corner lot with the driveway off the cul-de-sac. It is on the inside of a curve so site line is not hampered.
2. Due to the 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 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 they would be unable to construct a fence similar to what the neighbor across the street was able to do.
4. The variance will not be detrimental to adjacent property and the surrounding neighborhood. It will be similar to the fence across the street. It will not improve clear vision and site lines.
5. 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.


Appeal #V-08-20

Applicant: City of Kentwood
Location: 4989 Kalamazoo Ave. SE

Request: The applicant wishes to place a six-foot high vinyl privacy fence in the front yard along the front lot line. Section 3.19.B.1 of the Kentwood Zoning Ordinance limits solid-type fences located in the front yard to no higher than three feet. The requested variance is for a three-foot increase to the maximum fence height allowed for a solid-type fence located in the front yard.

Salvador DeAngelo the property owner and Jim Beke City Engineer were there to represent the request. Jim Beke stated the Engineering and Department of Public Works department is asking for the variance on behalf of the property owner because it is the City?s project to reconstruct the boulevard from Kalamazoo Ave from 44th Street to 52nd Street that is causing this detrimental impact to Mr. DeAngelo?s property.

Beke stated Mr. DeAngelo has a large 30 -40 foot tree row along the front of the property line. He stated he is bounded on the south by Consumers Energy and on the north side the neighbor who also has a tree row up to the property line. He stated the proposed cross section of Kalamazoo Avenue, is to widen up Kalamazoo into a Boulevard, two lanes of traffic in each direction. He stated the existing 5 foot sidewalk will be removed and replace an 8 foot asphalt non-motorized bike path at the right-of-way line. Beke stated they will tear down the first ten foot of his trees to get the needed clearance and because of the grade, the city will be filling in Mr. DeAngelo?s yard about 3 or 4 feet which will cause the city to take out the rest of the remaining trees on his property.

Beke displayed photos of how the property looks today and how it will look in the future.

Swanson stated if you put the fence right at the bike path corner, someone going down the bike path when they pull out can be dangerous. He stated it will be that way on both sides because of the treeline on the other side.

Discussion Ensued.

Pung displayed Figure 1; an example of staff?s option of how to try to create clear vision at that intersection.

Dersuha stated backing out and driving out forward will be a challenge

Discussion Ensued regarding Figure 1 and the 6 foot fence.

Mr. Deangelo and the Commissioners decided to go with staff?s figure 1 suggestion.

Chair Derusha opened the public hearing.

Motion by Commissioner Swanson, supported by Commissioner Lenger,to close the public hearing.
- Motion Carried (7-0) ?

Holloway stated that point 1 was met it is unique because of the privacy of the street Holloway stated point 2 was met with the construction of the road. He stated point 3 was met because this is a unique situation for screening and privacy and with the construction by the city.

Lipner, Fox, Lenger, Cutts, Swanson and Derusha concurred.

Holloway stated points 5 and 6 were met. Holloway stated point 6 was met because of the rebuilding of the road. He stated to include in the motion that the alternate view on Figure 1 so we can get the setback for 20 feet from the driveway.

Lipner, Fox, Lenger, Cutts, Swasnon and Derusah concurred.

Motion by Commissioner Holloway, supported by Commissioner Fox, to approve V-08-20. Constructed as shown in Figure 1 of staffs report dated September 9, 2008.
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 property has a significant natural screen along Kalamazoo Avenue. Due to the grade the city will need to fill a portion of the property which will result in the removal of the existing trees.
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 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 applicant will have no screening from Kalamazoo Avenue as a result of the road widening while others properties will be less impacted with respect to loss of existing vegetation.
4. The variance will not be detrimental to adjacent property and the surrounding neighborhood. He stated this is met because of the inclusion of the 45x20 foot angular on the south side of the driveway and front 20 foot setback on the north side of the driveway.
5. The variance will not impair the intent and purpose of this Ordinance. Because of the unique situation of the construction of the fence to provide a clear vision area.
6. That the immediate practical difficulty causing the need for the variance request was not created by any action of the applicant. It is caused by the city.




Motion by Commissioner Lenger, supported by Commissioner Cutts, to adjourn the meeting.



- Motion Carried (7-0) ?


Meeting adjourned at 8:02p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Alan Lipner, Secretary