Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes 06-09-2015

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                                               CITY OF MUSKEGON
                                            ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
                                                REGULAR MEETING
                                                    MINUTES

                                                       June 9, 2015

Chairman R. Hilt called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. and roll was taken.

MEMBERS PRESENT:                            R. Hilt, B. Larson, E. Carter, E. Fordham, S. Warmington

MEMBERS ABSENT:                             T. Halterman, W. German

STAFF PRESENT:                              M. Franzak, D. Renkenberger

OTHERS PRESENT:                             M. Bingner, 1515 Henry St; J. Reinicke, 2473 Crozier


APPROVAL OF MINUTES

A motion that the minutes of the regular meeting of February 10, 2015 be approved was made by
B. Larson, supported by E. Fordham and unanimously approved.

PUBLIC HEARING

Hearing; Case 2015-03: Request for a variance from Section 2311 of the zoning ordinance to
allow a detached garage in a front yard in an R-1. Single Family Residential district at 1515
Henry St, by Mike Bingner. M. Franzak presented the staff report. This parcel is a double lot
located at the southwest corner of Henry Street and Grand Avenue, in an R-1, Single Family
Residential district. A house used to sit on the northernmost half of the lot. Since this is a corner
lot, there are two front yards on this property per City ordinance. The ordinance does not allow
garages in front yards, which causes a genuine hardship on this property. There is no other place
on the lot that a detached garage could be built. Notice was sent to all property owners within
300 feet. At the time of this writing, staff had not received any comments from the public. Staff
recommends approval of the variance because there is an actual hardship with the way the lot is
configured, and the zoning ordinance does not make exceptions for garages in front yards on
corner lots.

E. Fordham stated that he noticed tarps and other clutter on the property, and asked if these items
would be removed once a garage was built. M. Bingner stated that he would put those items
inside the garage. E. Carter asked where access to the garage would be located. M. Franzak
stated that Mr. Bingner would be required to provide that information on a site plan once the
board granted approval to have a garage. He informed Mr. Bingner that a paved driveway to the
garage would be required.

A motion to close the public hearing was made by S. Warmington, supported by E. Carter and
unanimously approved.

R. Hilt stated that the request seemed to fit the criteria required to grant a variance. The
following findings of fact were offered: a) That there are exceptional or extraordinary
Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes – 6/11/15                                                              1
circumstances or conditions applying to the property in question or to the intended use of the
property that do not apply generally to other properties or class of uses in the same zoning
district (i.e. this property is a corner lot with two front yards), b) That such dimensional variance
is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial property right possessed by other
properties in the same zoning district and in the vicinity, c) That the authorizing of such
dimensional variance will not be of substantial detriment to adjacent property and will not
materially impair the purposes of this chapter or the public interest, d) That the alleged difficulty
is caused by the Ordinance and has not been created by any person presently having an interest
in the property, or by any previous owner, e) That the alleged difficulty is not founded solely
upon the opportunity to make the property more profitable or to reduce expense to the owner,
and f) That the requested variance is the minimum action required to eliminate the difficulty.

A motion that the variance request to allow a detached garage in the front yard as proposed on
the site plan in an R-1, Single Family Residential District at 1515 Henry St be approved, was
made by S. Warmington, supported by E. Fordham and unanimously approved, with R. Hilt, B.
Larson, E. Carter, E. Fordham, and S. Warmington voting aye.

Hearing; Case 2015-04: Request for a variance from Section 404 of the zoning ordinance to
allow an addition to the principal structure with only a three foot side setback on the west side of
the property at 2473 Crozier Ave, by John Reinecke. M. Franzak presented the staff report. The
property is located in an R-1, Single Family Residential district. The applicant is proposing to
add a new attached garage. Attached garages are considered part of the primary structure and
must have a minimum side setback of six feet. The applicant is asking for a variance to place the
garage only three feet from the side yard on the eastern side of the property. Notice was sent to
all property owners within 300 feet. At the time of this writing, staff had not received any
comments from the public. Staff does not recommend approval of the request because there is
not an actual hardship, which is necessary for granting a variance. There is enough room on the
lot to construct a garage in a different location.

M. Reinicke stated that he wished to construct a 40 x 28 drive-through attached garage. He
stated that many other properties in that area had structures that were less than 6 feet from the
property line. E. Fordham asked if he intended to have alley access to the garage as well as front
access. M Reinicke stated that he did. M. Franzak stated that only 10% of a property could be
covered with pavement, and it appeared that this property was already over that amount.
Therefore, he may not be able to install another driveway off the alley. R. Hilt asked why he
couldn’t build a detached garage, which would not require a variance. Mr. Reinicke stated that
he wanted an attached garage to provide protection from the elements in bad weather. S.
Warmington asked M. Franzak if he knew when the current setbacks were written into the
zoning ordinance. M. Franzak stated that he wasn’t sure, but there had been a major overhaul to
the zoning ordinance in 1986. The garage configuration and pavement requirements were
discussed. S. Warmington asked M. Franzak the reasons for the 10% pavement restriction. M.
Franzak stated that it was for stormwater and drainage purposes, as well as aesthetics.

A motion to close the public hearing was made by B. Larson, supported by E. Carter and
unanimously approved.

S. Warmington stated that the board’s decision was for the 3-foot setback, and the applicant
would have to work out the pavement and other issues with staff. M. Franzak reminded board
members of the criteria required to grant a variance. S. Warmington stated that no nearby

Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes – 6/11/15                                                          2
property owners had objected, and it appeared that many of the neighboring properties also had
setbacks that were less than what the current zoning ordinance required.

The following findings of fact were offered: a) That there are exceptional or extraordinary
circumstances or conditions applying to the property in question or to the intended use of the
property that do not apply generally to other properties or class of uses in the same zoning
district, b) That such dimensional variance is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a
substantial property right possessed by other properties in the same zoning district and in the
vicinity, c) That the authorizing of such dimensional variance will not be of substantial detriment
to adjacent property and will not materially impair the purposes of this chapter or the public
interest, d) That the alleged difficulty is caused by the Ordinance and has not been created by any
person presently having an interest in the property, or by any previous owner, e) That the alleged
difficulty is not founded solely upon the opportunity to make the property more profitable or to
reduce expense to the owner, and f) That the requested variance is the minimum action required
to eliminate the difficulty.

A motion that the variance request to allow an addition to the principal structure with an east side
yard setback of three feet in an R-1, Single Family Residential District at 2473 Crozier Ave be
approved, was made by S. Warmington, supported by B. Larson and approved, with R. Hilt, B.
Larson, E. Fordham, and S. Warmington voting aye, and E. Carter voting nay.

OLD BUSINESS

None

OTHER

None

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:38 p.m.




Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes – 6/11/15                                                         3

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