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Kentwood Committees & Boards
Zoning Board of Appeals (Back to index)
Minutes for 10/17/2005

APPROVED MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
OF THE KENTWOOD ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
CITY COMMISSION CHAMBERS
OCTOBER 17, 2005, 7:30 P.M.



1. Chair Derusha called the meeting to order.

2. Roll Call
MEMBERS PRESENT: Jerry Akers, Tom Cutts, Les Derusha, Theresa Dudley, Richard Lenger, Alan Lipner, and Ed Swanson
MEMBERS ABSENT: None
OTHERS PRESENT: Community Development Director Terry Schweitzer, Planner Joe Pung, Planner Debargha Sengupta, Staff Secretary Mary Faulkner, the applicants, and 15 citizens.

3. Approval of the Minutes and Findings of Fact

Motion by Swanson, supported by Dudley, to approve the minutes of September 19, 2005.

- Motion Carried (7-0) ?

4. Public Hearing

Appeal #V-05-32

Applicant: Troy Austin
Location: 5990 Division Avenue

Request: The applicant wishes to operate an open-air business (car sales) at this location. There are currently two (2) drives off of Division Avenue which the applicant wishes to retain. The southernmost drive is eighty-seven (87) feet from the intersection of Division Avenue and 60th Street; the Kentwood Zoning Ordinance requires that ingress and egress be at least one hundred and fifty (150) feet from an intersection. The requested variance is for a reduction of sixty-three (63) feet from the minimum required setback from an intersection in order to retain the southernmost drive.

Chair Derusha introduced the request and opened the public hearing.

Troy Austin explained that he is the lessee for the property and has obtained the approvals necessary from the Planning Commission for the business. He stated that the driveway has been there from when the property was developed in 1969. He stated that they have agreed to remove some of the parking along the front of the building and along side of the building so there would be no traffic issues with traffic coming in the drive. The front row of parking would be for customer parking only.

Derusha asked if this drive was grandfathered in. Pung stated that it was not and since the property was vacant for a two years and the use was changed they needed to come back for the special land use review.

Lenger asked how wide is the property on Division Avenue. Pung stated that it is approximately 235 feet along Division Avenue.

Derusha asked if this was turned down what do they do. Pung stated that they would have to remove the drive. Mr. Austin stated that they would probably look at a drive along 60th Street but that would probably not work for them. The reason they want to keep the drive is that it is right by the building which makes it obvious for people to know where to access the site. He stated that there is a computer store that shares the building and for them to have a drive further to the north would be difficult for people knowing how to enter the site.

Swanson stated that they could put a single drive 150 feet back from the intersection and it would be much closer to the building. Mr. Austin stated that they had talked to some people on that but where that is there are a lot of electrical poles there which would have to be relocated along with the sign that is there.

Lipner asked if they could enlarge the northern drive. Mr. Austin stated that they could do that but having the drive right by the building is a nice feature for the use.

Motion by Swanson, supported by Lenger, to close the public hearing.

- Motion Carried (7-0) ?

The Board reviewed Section 21.04.B as follows:
Akers stated that there are no exceptional or extraordinary circumstances or conditions applying to the property that do not apply generally to the same zoning district.
Akers stated that point 2 was not met as the condition or situation of the property is so general or recurrent as to make reasonable practical the formulation of a general regulation for such condition or situation.
Akers stated that point 3 is not met as the variance is not necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial property right.

Cutts, Lenger, Dudley, Lipner, Swanson and Derusha all concurred that points 1, 2 and 3 were not met. Derusha stated that the site is flat and square.

Akers stated that the variance would be detrimental to the surrounding neighborhood as the southernmost drive would be dangerous for making a left-turn out of the site to go south during certain times of the day.
Akers stated that the variance would impair the ordinance.
Akers stated that the immediate practical difficulty was not caused by the applicant because the applicant is the lessee.

Cutts and Dudley concurred with Akers. Lenger felt that point 4 could be met but not points 5 and 6. Lipner stated that he felt that points 4 and possibly 6 were met but not 5. Swanson stated that point 4 was not met as no other properties have driveways that close to an intersection. The key item is safety and all three points were not met. Derusha stated that he walks by there three times per week and he could not think of a good time for making a left-turn out of the site. He felt that points 4, 5 and 6 were not met.

Motion by Akers, supported by Lenger, to deny the variance for Appeal #V-05-32 as it does not meet the requirements of Section 21.04.B as follows:
1. There are no exceptional or extraordinary circumstances or conditions applying to the property.
2. The condition of the specific property for which the variance is so general or recurrent a nature as to make reasonable practical the formulation of a general regulation.
3. The variance is not necessary for the enjoyment of a substantial property right and the applicant has some options to changing the drives around. The property can be used with only the northernmost drive.
4. The variance will be detrimental to the surrounding neighborhood. Safety is a big factor with turning left out of the southern drive as close as it is to the intersection.
5. The variance will impair the intent and purpose of the ordinance even though the historical record is limited.

- Motion Carried ?

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Appeal #V-05-33

Applicant: Hope Network of West Michigan
Location: 1949 ? 60th Street

Request: The applicant wishes to install a six (6) foot high privacy fence, a portion of which would extend into the front yard. The braces of the fence would be facing outward in the rear and side yards. The Kentwood Zoning Ordinance limits the fence to a height of three (3) feet in the front yard and requires the finished side of the fence to be oriented to the closest property line. The requested variances are for an increase in fence height of three (3) feet for the front yard and to permit the unfinished side of the fence to be oriented to the closest property lines in the rear and side yards.

Chair Derusha introduced the request and opened the public hearing.

Doug Stout, Hope Network, explained that would like to replace the current three-foot high chain link fence with a six-foot straight sided board fence with the finished side facing in so that the residents within the home are not able to climb the fence. He stated that in the front where they need the fence to come around the front door they would install a double sided fence along with landscaping in front of the fence. Mr. Stout stated that the fencing is necessary to be able to continue to use this property as they need to.

Derusha asked what would prevent them from putting in a double-sided fence both front and back. Mr. Stout stated that it would be somewhat cost prohibitive. They are looking at $5,000 for the fence and if they made it all double-sided then it would probably exceed $7,500.

Akers questioned the need for the fence. Mr. Stout explained that there are some residents in the home that like to wander late at night so they need it to keep them in the house with the staffing level that they have now.

Lenger questioned the reason for the good side facing in. Mr. Stout stated so the residents cannot use the cross boards to scale the fence. He stated that the home is staffed 24 hours per day but they do not have a one-to-one staff ratio and they have some ingenious residents. He explained that they have alarms on the doors.

Swanson stated that it would be expensive to have a double-sided fence but they could consider an alternate side or gap fence with half the boards on the backside it would look like a completed fence for the residents on that side. He suggested conditioning the variance to make the fence look better but it would not have to be a solid fence. He felt the landscaping would he help in the front yard and if the fence could look somewhat finished on the outside it would be a significant improvement.

Derusha noted the property to the west already has a stockade fence. He stated that the issue is that the rest of the community has to look at the outside of it. Derusha stated that he still had a problem with the six-foot fence in the front yard. Mr. Stout stated that the reason for that is that with licensing rules they are required to have three unlocked exits and you can?t have an exit out of a bedroom.

Akers stated that he had a problem with the previous request for an eight-foot-high fence and he still had the same issues. He stated that you are charged with the safety of your residents and you have a residential home that you are using to move your residents into the community which is admirable. Akers stated that he was not sure they were ready to be in that environment if you are consistently calling the police to help you maintain safety and security in the home. Maybe there is another location where there is more safety and security to meet their needs. He was against any type of a fence in the front yard especially in that location across from our high school. With the number of cars parked there it appears to be more of a business rather than a residence.

Lipner agreed with Akers particularly with the fences and questioned if the building could be secured with other than a perimeter security. Mr. Stout stated that his home manager with a better understanding of state licensing rules says no.

Motion by Swanson, supported by Dudley, to close the public hearing.

- Motion Carried (7-0) ?

The Board reviewed Section 21.04.B as follows:
Swanson stated that there are exceptional circumstances applying to the property by reason of the use of the property whereby the literal enforcement of the requirements of this ordinance would involve practical difficulties because it is a group home.
Swanson stated that the situation of the specific property is not so general or recurrent in nature as to make reasonable practical the formulation of a general regulation because it is a group home. He stated that he would condition that they would agree to remove the front yard fence if at such time it is no longer used as a group home.
Swanson stated that the variance is necessary for a substantial property right based on the use of the property as a group home.

Lipner stated that it does not meet point 1, 2, or 3 as there is nothing unique about the property. Dudley agreed points 1, 2 and 3 were not met. Lenger stated that you could make a case for point 1 by use of the building but he did not feel points 2 and 3 were met. Cutts and Akers agreed that point 1 was met but not points 2 and 3. Derusha felt that it did not meet points 1, 2 or 3.

Swanson stated that if the fence was partially finished on the outside it would not be detrimental to adjacent property and point 4 could be met but not as proposed.
Swanson stated that point 5 is questionable as to impairing the intent and purpose of the ordinance since he did not see a small fence in the front yard that was landscaped as impairing the ordinance.
Swanson stated that the immediate practical difficulty was caused by the applicant since the property is being used as a group home but the difficulty causing the need for the variance is the group home.

Lipner, Dudley, Lenger, Cutts, Akers and Derusha agreed that points 4, 5 and 6 were not met. Lenger stated that if the outside is finished point 4 would be met. Derusha stated that the fence in the front yard is the real concern.

Motion by Dudley, supported by Lenger, to deny the variance for Appeal #V-05-33 as it does not meet the requirements of Section 21.04.B as follows:
1. There are no exceptional or extraordinary circumstances applying to the property.
2. The condition or situation of the specific piece of property for which the variance is sought is so general or recurring in nature as to make reasonable practical the formulation of a general regulation.
3. The variance is not necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial property right similar to that possessed by other properties in the same zoning district. The property can continue to be used as a group home without the variance.
4. The variance will be detrimental to adjacent properties and the surrounding neighborhood.
5. The variance will impair the intent and purpose of the ordinance to restrict fence height and orientation.
6. The immediate practical difficulty causing the need for the variance was created by the applicant.

- Motion Carried (6-1) ?
- Swanson dissenting ?

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Appeal #V-05-34

Applicant: C-SNIP
Location: 1675 Viewpond Drive, SE

Request: The applicant wishes to operate an animal hospital (veterinary clinic) at this location. The property is zoned C-4 Office and does not permit animal hospitals. The requested use variance is to allow an animal hospital to be located in a C-4 Office district.

Chair Derusha introduced the request and opened the public hearing.

Richard Black, Attorney and a Board Member for C-SNIP (Community Spay/Neuter Initiative Partnership) along with Pam Olsen President of C-SNIP, were present.

Mr. Black explained that there have been a number of different businesses located at this site over time, one of which was an abortion clinic. He stated that C-SNIP is not literally an animal hospital but a non-profit clinic that spays and neuters cats and dogs only with no other veterinary services and no need for a fence around it. He stated that they are looking to increase the volume of the business by having a stationary clinic and not needing to drive their mobile clinic to different locations around Kent County.

Derusha asked how long has the property been vacant. Pam Olsen stated that the property is vacant and was last used by a church which moved in 2001 and the owner foreclosed on the property in August.

Lipner asked what type of lease arrangements are they planning. Pam Olsen explained that Mrs. Levy, the owner is donating the building to C-SNIP. Ms. Olsen stated that they plan to use the building as long as there is a pet over population.

Swanson questioned whether they could condition the use on a non-profit clinic which would limit it ever going to a different type of clinic. Pung stated that you are allowed to place conditions on the variance and it may be a reasonable condition to limit the use of the property consistent with their operational description.

Dudley questioned the hours of operation. Ms. Olsen stated that people will bring their pets to them in the morning around 8:30 a.m. and then they would be picked up at 8:30 a.m. the next morning. She stated that there would be five staff people.

Akers asked if this was part of the Humane Society. Ms. Olsen stated that they are independent of the Humane Society. She stated that they do some spays and neuters on feral cats brought to them from mobile home parks and do some for rescue animals. The private owners are citizens who cannot afford to go to a veterinarian or is unwilling to pay the veterinarian fees. All of the animals are on a leash or in a carrier and are not let outside during the stay. Ms. Olsen stated that they anticipating doing 25 surgeries in one day. She explained that at the request of the Kent County Health Department they have been giving rabies shots to Farrell cats and the County gives them the inoculations for that.

Derusha asked if they looked at other locations for the clinic. Ms. Olsen stated that they have but the other properties were in need of repair or beyond their budget. Derusha asked if there were any animal hospitals in I-1 Light Industrial. Schweitzer noted that there was one veterinary clinic on Shaffer Avenue north of 32nd Street.

Motion by Swanson, supported by Dudley, to close the public hearing.

- Motion Carried (7-0) ?

The Board reviewed Section 21.04.C
Akers stated that the intended use of the property is unique to the property in the zoning district that it is located.
Akers stated that he did not feel point 2 was met as the building, structure or land could reasonably be used in a manner consistent with the uses allowed in the zoning district in which it is located.
Akers stated that he did not feel the use would alter the essential character of the neighborhood nor be detrimental to adjacent properties.
Akers stated that the requested use is not so general or recurring a nature as to make reasonably practical the formulation of a general regulation.
Akers stated that the variance will not impair the intent and purpose of the ordinance.
Akers stated that the immediate unnecessary hardship causing the need for the variance request was not created by the applicant. He stated that they did not build the building but they are requesting the variance so that they can receive the building.

Cutts stated that he felt that point 1 as the building was donated and it makes it very attractive. Cutts stated that point 2 was not met as the building could be used consistent with other uses in the zoning district. Cutts stated that point 3 was met.

Lenger stated that points 1 and 3 were met but not point 2. Dudley agreed with Lenger.

Lipner stated that points 1, 2 and 3 were met. He stated that he did not feel the building is reasonable as an office type space in the C-4. Historically based on previous occupancy both as a woman?s clinic and a church exemplify that.

Swanson stated that the request meets points 1, 2 and 3. He did not have a problem with point 2 as the building has been used for many different things and is not being used for what it was built for. He stated that there are two conditions that he would like to apply to that and they apply to points 4, 5 and 6 and that would be the use would only be for not-for-profit and no outside kennel.

Derusha agreed with Swanson. He stated that the condition of the property being available for this particular use at no cost to a public service is great. The history says that the property has had problems being used for what it is designed for. It is not so general a use.

Cutts, Lenger, Dudley, Lipner, Swanson, and Derusha agreed that points 4, 5 and 6 were met.

Akers asked if they could condition the variance on it being for ?not-for-profit?. Schweitzer stated that assigning that condition you are trying to make the distinction between a commercial enterprise and a non-profit. Pung stated the applicant provided a detailed use description of their operation. The Board agreed that the description does help in their decision.

Akers stated that he had no problem with the conditions but they also give the inoculations for rabies. He stated that if we say not-for-profit and no external kennel he could go with that.

Pung explained that in the staff report under point 6 he notes the standards for animal hospitals as part of the special land use review and the applicant will have to come back for a variance for the building setback.

Motion by Swanson, supported by Lenger, to grant the use variance for Appeal V-05-34 C-SNIP as it meets the requirements of Section 21.04.C as follows:
1. The conditions of the specific piece of property and intended use are unique.
2. The structure cannot be reasonably used consistent with the zoning based on the use history of the building.
3. The use variance will not alter the essential character of the Master Plan or the neighborhood. There will be no additional fencing and no outdoor kennel.
4. The proposed use is unique and therefore the variance is not so general or recurring a nature as to make reasonably practical the formulation of a general regulation or add to the permitted uses in the zoning district.
5. The variance will not impair the intent and purpose of the ordinance.
6. The immediate unnecessary hardship causing the need for the variance was not caused by the applicant.
The variance is conditioned on the property being used for a ?not-for-profit? pet clinic (animal hospital) and there will be no outside kenneling.

- Motion Carried (7-0) ?

Derusha informed the applicant that they will need to come back next month for the setback variances.

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Appeal #V-05-35

Applicant: Clinton Corporation
Location: 895 ? 52nd Street, SE

Request: The applicant wishes to add seven (7) parking spaces to an existing site. The proposed parking would come to within four (4) feet of the adjacent residential property to the north and involve paving up to the public right-of-way along Southglow Court; in addition, the added parking would bring the total lot coverage to approximately eighty-two (82) percent. The Kentwood Zoning Ordinance requires that parking adjacent to a residential use or district be setback a minimum of forty-five (45) feet of which the twenty (20) feet nearest the property line is to be developed as a buffer zone incorporating a six (6) foot vertical screen, the Ordinance also requires that parking be setback a minimum of ten (10) feet from the Southglow Court right-of-way and limits lot coverage to seventy-five (75) percent.

The requested variances are for a forty-one (41) foot reduction to the minimum parking setback, a reduction of sixteen (16) feet to the minimum parking buffer, elimination of the setback along Southglow Court and an increase of seven (7) percent to the maximum allowable lot coverage.

Chair Derusha introduced the request and opened the public hearing.

Gary Geenen, President of Clinton Corporation, the owner of the building, and the perspective tenant, were present.

Mr. Geenen explained that this building has been a carpet store for 20 to 25 years and whether it ever met the city ordinance on parking they do not know. If it was used as a carpet store it would probably meet the ordinance with seven spaces assuming they are less than a general retail use. Most of the flooring business has changed in the last ten years and most is done at the big box stores such as Home Depot. Mr. Geenen stated that they tried to minimize the impact of adding the seven spaces but it is a very unique piece of property. He reviewed the six points in his application noting that the building only has seven parking spaces and there is no place to get additional parking. The current owner is also in the carpet business and within the last few months there have been ten independent carpet stores that have closed. The current owner has consolidated his business with another business. Mr. Geenen stated that they have a tenant that is ?Curves? that is a women?s exercise place and if they can get these variances and add the seven parking spaces then they would have the 14 spaces required for a commercial building.

Lipner read a letter from Kim Cottrell, Owner of Curves, stating that they are currently in the strip center across the street with a membership of 350 and need more space for her membership. She noted that the majority of the workouts are prior to and after normal business hours. She asked Lori Stevenson, another area Curves club owner, to represent her at the meeting.

Swanson questioned the number of staff members for Curves. Ms. Stevenson stated that generally Curves has one to two staff members at one given time. Swanson stated that if they would have ten members and two staff members other than to meet the ordinance do you need 14 parking spaces. Ms. Stevenson stated that the extra parking spaces are needed to meet the membership. Swanson stated that he thought they could have the seven parking spaces in front add three on the side of the building and petition for on-street parking which would give four spaces on the street which would allow for 14 spaces without taking out all the greenspace. Schweitzer stated that on-street parking prohibition took place a number of years back when the Dollar Store went in on the west side of Southglow Court. Swanson stated that he was concerned with taking out all of the greenspace.

Derusha stated that if we assume another carpet store went in would they have the same parking issues. Schweitzer stated that now they would. When the carpet store went in the parking requirements was based differently. Conditions have changed with the right-of-way pavement along 52nd Street. Derusha stated that basically we will have the same issues with any use of this space. He asked Mr. Geenen if they spoke to the neighbor to the east about sharing parking. Mr. Geenen stated that the neighbor to the east owns his own property and has the parking that he needs for his business.

Mr. Jack Hodeman, owner of the adjacent presented a letter from Dr. Wilcox owner of the property at 933-937 52nd Street. Akers read the letter from Dr. Wilcox who had no problems with parking being added to the west side of the property at 895-52nd Street. He stated that they already have a problem with parking during busy times for his property. He stated that there will be inadequate parking for all without the additional parking. Mr. Hodeman stated that they have a parking problem during the mornings, lunches and during dinner time when the restaurant is operational and Dr. Wilcox is busy. He stated that he has a parking agreement with Dr. Wilcox and they do not have any room for more sharing of parking. Mr. Hodeman stated that having three or four more parking spaces on the west side of the building as opposed to a dumpster will not make any difference to the aesthetics. He stated that he has problems with the proposed use for the building.

Ms. Stevenson stated that Curves is circuit training only and they are open from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. and are closed between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. The only concern is that women will come at intermittent times and the 14 parking spaces they need is plenty to come in and out. She was concerned about on-street parking because during the winter because of the snowplowing issue. They need the handicap parking for the women that are doing physical therapy.

Arlo Mickelson, Leisure East in Building 20, directly behind the carpet building presented 38 letters from the residents opposing the proposed variances due to the infringement upon the peace and quality of life of the Leisure East residents. He stated that if the proposed parking goes in his patio will be 40 feet from the cars. He questioned where the snow will be stored in the wintertime.

Eugene Noroky, 5166 Southglow Ct. stated that he faces north but he is in Building 20. He stated that the street is not wide enough now and there would be no room to store the snow if the parking is put in. He did not feel that Curves is the appropriate business for this location with the lack of parking.

Joel Vandekieft, owner of the building, stated that they thought they had a good plan so that parking spaces would not be non-intrusive to the greenspace and make it good for the building. He stated that he is really excited to have Curves as a tenant. He felt that it is a good use of the building especially since they are closed when the restaurant is busy. Mr. Vandekieft stated that they had semis parked in the road with the carpet store. With the Dollar Store it got to be a bottleneck at times. He stated that they changed the store to be a sample-only store but now due to the change in the economy they have consolidated with their Sparta Store that does a lot of new construction.

Lenger questioned the snow removal. Mr. Vandekieft stated that they use the same service as Leisure Acres and they plow the snow and mow the grass. He did not feel the angled parking would go that far past the building.

Derusha stated that basically any business that comes in will have the same issue. He stated that you still will have the problem with snow removal and where do you put it, which is behind the building. Swanson reviewed the site plan and tried to come up with a way to resolve the issue because it takes out the greenspace. It was suggested eliminating the proposed 12, 13 and 14 parking spaces that were close to the back property line and the Leisure East Condos.

Ms. Stevenson stated that she was concerned with the on-street parking because the street is not that wide. She stated that there is still quite a bit of greenspace behind the building and the proposed parking would not take up that much greenspace because there is a lot of greenspace along with trees behind the building. Ms. Stevenson stated that if you look at the Dollar Store parking lot there is hardly any greenery there at all. She stated that if they had 10 to 12 parking spaces it would be sufficient since the workout is a 30-minute workout.

The Board agreed that it would not work with the current layout but were concerned with what other options that had. Schweitzer stated that with the proposed layout parking spaces eight through 11 could be established without the need for a variance. He stated that there were a couple of other suggestions that may be worth pursuing and to have staff go back and work with the applicant to see if there is a way to establish parking to meet the ordinance. It may not address concerns about that particular use of the building but the parking does have to be resolved. He suggested adjourning action to see if the applicant can work out something with staff.

Motion by Swanson, supported by Dudley to adjourn Case V-05-35 Clinton Realty, until the November 21, 2005, meeting.

Motion Carried.

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Appeal #V-05-36

Applicant: Embassy Properties and Investments, LLC
Location: 2500 East Paris Avenue, SE

Request: The applicant intends to divide an existing property into 4 separate lots. On one of the lots, with frontage on both East Paris Avenue and Embassy Drive, the applicant intends to locate 3 buildings and wishes to construct 2 freestanding signs. One sign would be a 100 square foot pole sign along East Paris Avenue, where the lot frontage is only 25 feet, to identify 2 of the buildings on the proposed lot and 1 on an adjacent lot to the east. The second sign would be a 60 square foot ground sign along Embassy Drive and would only identify the third building on the property. The following variances area needed for the proposed signage:

East Paris Avenue Sign:
1) The zoning ordinance requires that signs be located where the minimum lot width is obtained. The minimum lot width in the C-4 Office district is 100 feet. The requested variance is to permit a sign where the minimum lot width is not obtained.
2) The zoning ordinance limits the sign at the proposed location to 10 square feet in area. The requested variance is for an increase of 90 square feet to that allowed by ordinance.
3) The zoning ordinance requires that signs pertain only to a business or activity conducted on the premises. The requested variance is to permit identification of an off-site business.

Embassy Drive Sign:
1) The zoning ordinance does not permit a freestanding ground sign on the second street frontage if a freestanding pole sign is used. The requested variance is to permit a freestanding ground sign in addition to a freestanding pole sign.

Chair Derusha introduced the request and opened the public hearing.

Phil Stenger, Embassy Properties & Investments, 2500 East Paris Avenue, reviewed the site plan noting that Lot ?A? sits behind East Paris Avenue which is one lot and is proposed to be developed as a condominium and will have three buildings on it. One building will front Embassy Drive and have an Embassy Drive address and the other two buildings will have East Paris addresses. He stated that Lot ?B? will also have an East Paris Avenue but will be a separate parcel. Along East Paris there are three proposed lots and Lot ?A? will have a very narrow frontage on East Paris Avenue.

Derusha stated that there are the three lots along East Paris (2500, 2520 and 2524 East Paris) that are not part of the variance. Mr. Stenger stated that was correct the only lots in issue are lots A and B. He stated that what they are asking for is to allow a pylon sign on East Paris to identify buildings 2504, 2508 and 2512. He stated that they would also like a ground sign on Embassy Drive to identify the property that will be 4005 Embassy Drive. Mr. Stenger stated that a number of the neighbors set letters in support of the variances, they were: AAA of West Michigan, 2560 East Paris Avenue, Fulton Partners, LLC 4100 Embassy Drive, Ste 202, and Belfry Development Corporation owners of property across East Paris Avenue.

Derusha asked if this property has already been split. Mr. Stenger stated that it is in the process of being split. Derusha stated that if it was not split then you would be allowed to have sign on East Paris Avenue and Embassy Drive. Sengupta stated that they could have one pylon sign on East Paris or on Embassy Drive or have two ground signs one on each street. Derusha stated that we have a number of off-premise sign requests and most are denied. Derusha stated that with 25 feet on East Paris Avenue, it is a serious problem.

Mr. Stenger stated that curb cuts are limited due to the alignment of the drive across East Paris Avenue and the curb cut on Embassy is across from the AAA of Michigan drive.


Swanson stated that the split and uses do not create the problems, the signing does. A 12-foot tall pylon sign on a 25-foot wide lot causes concern. He suggested that they revise how they are transferring the property.

There was further discussion on how the property could be reconfigured so that the applicant could go back and reconfigure how the signage could be allocated. It was suggested that Lot ?B? be combined with Lot ?A? so that it would have greater access to the whole property.

Mr. Stenger stated that 2524 East Paris (corner of East Paris and Embassy) has been approved a bank and the balance of the property has not been developed or sold and the lot splits have not been completed. He stated that he could have some flexibility in the way the property is developed. Pung explained that he would be allowed two monument signs (one per street frontage) or if they wanted a pylon sign and a ground sign they would need a variance.

Mr. Stenger asked to adjourn the public hearing until the November meeting to come up with a different configuration.

Motion by Swanson, supported by Lenger, to adjourn the public hearing until the November 21, 2005, meeting.

- Motion Carried (7-0) ?

Motion by Akers, supported by Lenger, to adjourn the meeting.

- Motion Carried (7-0) ?

Meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Jerry Akers, Secretary