CITY OF MUSKEGON
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
February 14, 2017
Chairman R. Hilt called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. and roll was taken.
MEMBERS PRESENT: R. Hilt, B. Larson, E. Fordham, S. Warmington, W. German
MEMBERS ABSENT: T. Halterman
STAFF PRESENT: M. Franzak, H. Mitchell
OTHERS PRESENT: C. VerHulst, 4223 Lamourson; E. McIntyre, 1762 Beach: M.
McIntyre, 1762 Beach; C. Meyer, 3561 Woodlawn; D.
A motion to elect R, Hilt as Chairman and E. Fordham as Vice Chairman was made by S.
Warmington, supported by B. Larson and unanimously approved.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion that the minutes of the regular meeting of February 9, 2016 be approved was made by
S. Warmington, supported by B. Larson and unanimously approved.
Hearing; Case 2017-01: Request for a variance from Sections 404 and 2326 of the zoning
ordinance to allow for construction of a new house that will not meet with minimum lot size and
width, the rear setback, and the parking requirements, at 3560 Woodlawn Ct. M. Franzak
presented the staff report. The house at 3560 Woodlawn Ct is for sale. The potential new owner
has applied for several variances so that he may demolish the home and rebuild it in the same
footprint. The parcel does not abut an active street; however, Nelson Street is platted as a right-
of-way to the east of the property, so that is considered the front of the property. The variances
necessary to rebuild the home in its current location are as follows: 1) Lot size. The lot is
approximately 5,663 square feet which does not meet minimum lot size requirements of 6,000
square feet; 2) Lot width - there must be at least 50 feet of road frontage. There currently is not
any road frontage and the lot is only 22 feet wide on the side nearest to Nelson Street; 3) Rear
setback. It is currently only 6 feet, but the zoning ordinance requires 30 feet, and 4) Parking.
Homes are required to have at least two parking spaces, but this parcel does not provide any
parking spaces. The current homeowner is allowed to park on the adjacent parcel at 1767 Nelson
Street. The applicant’s answers to the variance questions were provided, as well as a site plan of
M. Franzak stated he had received a letter from L. Poppen-Reynolds of 1746 Beach who was in
favor of the request. R. Hilt asked if this property was fronting a street that wasn’t physically
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there and if there were any plans to put one in. M. Franzak stated that the topography wouldn’t
allow for it to be physically there.
C. VerHulst provided background information to the board members on his research and
approvals as to what was needed including his contact with the DEQ due to the location and the
dunes as well as what was required with the City and the Fire Department. He had given an
overview of the information he had on the structure that was there currently and how it had older
electrical and how the addition had not been constructed by a licensed builder. He stated how
there is a written document that allows for parking and walking up to the home that is not located
on the property of this home. He has been in contact with the State and the mandates there
require that they be able to pull up to the home. He has been in contact with three attorneys who
believe that they can accomplish this. B. Larson confirmed that C. VerHulst was the applicant
and that D. Caroll was the property owner with the sale being contingent on the approval of the
variances. C. VerHulst confirmed this. The members discussed the uniqueness of this situation
and how difficult it would be to have the street actually constructed. C. VerHulst stated how he
had been in contact with the DEQ and that they had met with them on the site. He went over the
elevations, etc. from the discussion with the DEQ and what was supplied in the information to
the members. M. Franzak had added that the applicant had worked closely with the Fire Marshal
regarding access and any issues with them so fire suppression would be covered.
E. McIntyre stated that this property was located behind her property and she was in favor of
someone constructing a new home at this location. M. McIntyre was also in favor of the request
and he accesses his property the same way that access is currently gained for the applicant’s
address had been. C. Meyer is also in favor of the request. D. Medendorp, realtor, had stated that
this property was one that he has had to work the hardest on to help with a sale due to the
uniqueness. He had received a written agreement from the McIntyre family for parking and
access to the home since there wasn’t a way to physically place a road at this time to the home.
A motion to close the public hearing was made by B. Larson, supported by W. German and
B. Larson was in favor of the request and deferred to M. Franzak regarding any issues with fire
department access and whether there could be an issue with the parking in the future. M. Franzak
stated that the applicant had been working closely with the Fire Marshall and that if there were to
be an issue with the parking in the future; it could probably be worked out later. E. Fordham
stated that he had worked with the DEQ and suggested that the applicant get everything in
writing. He was also in favor of the request. W. German stated that he was in favor of the request
and he had some concerns with access and with what the applicant and M. Franzak had stated; he
felt everything had been worked out. S. Warmington stated that the applicant had done his
homework and he seems to know what he needs to do to move forward.
A motion that the variance requests for: 1) A reduced minimum lot size of 5,663 sf.; 2) A
reduced lot width of 22 ft.; 3) A rear setback of 6 ft.; 4) And no provided parking on site at 3560
Woodlawn Ct be approved, based on the following review standards: 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
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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. f) That the requested variance is the
minimum action required to eliminate the difficulty; was made by S. Warmington, supported by
B. Larson and unanimously approved.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:44 p.m.
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