Zoning Board of Appeals Packet 01-11-2022

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                                               CITY OF MUSKEGON
                                            ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
                                               REGULAR MEETING

DATE OF MEETING:                           Tuesday, January 11, 2022
TIME OF MEETING:                           4:00 p.m.
PLACE OF MEETING:                          Commission Chambers, First Floor, Muskegon City Hall

I.        Roll Call

II.       Approval of Minutes of the Regular Meeting of September 14, 2021.

III.      Public Hearings

       A. Hearing; Case 2022-01: Request for a variance from Section 2305 of the zoning
          ordinance to allow a lot to be split that will create a parcel substandard in size at 3384
          Millard Ave, by Medendorp Real Estate.

IV.       New Business

V.        Old Business

VI.       Other

VII.      Adjourn


          The City of Muskegon will provide necessary reasonable auxiliary aids and services, such as signers for the hearing
          impaired and audio tapes of printed materials being considered at the meeting, to individuals with disabilities who want to
          attend the meeting, upon twenty-four hour notice to the City of Muskegon. Individuals with disabilities requiring auxiliary
          aids or services should contact the City of Muskegon by writing or calling the following:

                                                   Ann Marie Cummings, City Clerk
                                                           933 Terrace Street
                                                         Muskegon, MI 49440
                                                            (231) 724-6705
                                  TTY/TDD: Dial 7-1-1 and request that a representative dial 231-724-6705

September 14, 2021 
Chairman W. Bowman called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. and roll was taken. 
MEMBERS PRESENT:             J. Witmer, W. Bowman, T. Puffer, J. Montgomery‐Keast, V. Taylor, W. 
                             German (arrived at 4:09pm) 
MEMBERS ABSENT:              M. Ribesky 
STAFF PRESENT:               M. Franzak, C. Cashin 
OTHERS PRESENT:              C. Mattson (1812 Lakeshore Dr), B. Meyer (3561 Woodlawn Ct) 
A motion that the minutes of the regular meeting of August 19, 2021, be approved was made by J. 
Montgomery‐Keast, supported by J. Witmer and unanimously approved. 
Hearing Case 2021‐04 
Request for a variance from Section 2334 of the zoning ordinance to allow for off‐premise signage at 
1812 Lakeshore Drive, by Christine Mattson. 
  1. Section 2334.4 of the  zoning ordinance prohibits off‐premise signage.  Businesses may not have 
      signage on other properties, other than billboards.  
  2. The applicant is seeking a variance to allow the names of other businesses in Lakeside to be able 
      to be painted on the new mural on the building at 1812 Lakeshore Dr. 
  3. This mural will be visible to tourists exiting the Cross Lake Ferry property.  
  4. Please see the responses below to page two of the application.  
  5. Notice was sent to properties within 300 feet of the property. At the time of this writing, staff had 
      not received any comments.  
ZBA had a short discussion. C. Mattson stated that the property owner would like to place the 
mural/sign on the rear of the building, facing the bike path and ferry driveway. 
A motion to close the public hearing was made by J. Montgomery‐Keast, supported by J. Witmer and 
unanimously approved. 
A motion that the request for a variance from Section 2334 of the zoning ordinance to allow for off‐
premise signage at 1812 Lakeshore Drive be approved based on the review standards in Section 2502 of 
the Zoning Ordinance was made by J. Montgomery‐Keast, supported by W. Bowman and approved with 
W. Bowman, T. Puffer, J. Montgomery‐Keast, W. German, V. Taylor voting aye, and J. Witmer voting nay. 
Hearing Case 2021‐05 
Request for a variance from Section 2310 of the zoning ordinance to allow electrical lines to be buried 
on a steep slope at 3561 Woodlawn Court, by Bruce Meyer. 
  1. This property is located in a critical dune and must follow the regulations in section 2310 (critical 
      dunes) of the zoning ordinance.  
  2. The critical dune ordinance prohibits (unless a variance is granted) a use on a slope within a critical 
      dune area that has a slope steeper than a 1‐foot vertical rise in a 3‐foot horizontal plane.   
  3. The slope of the dune in this area is greater than a 1‐foot vertical rise in a 3‐foot horizontal plane.   
  4. Please see the responses below to page two of the application.  
  5. Notice was sent to properties within 300 feet of the property. At the time of this writing, staff had 
      not received any comments.  
ZBA had a short discussion. B. Meyer discussed the location of the buried lines and confirmed the old 
wires would be removed from the pole and buried.  
A motion to close the public hearing was made by J. Montgomery‐Keast, supported by J. Witmer and 
unanimously approved. 
A motion that the request for a variance from Section 2310 of the zoning ordinance to allow electrical 
lines to be buried on a steep slope at 3561 Woodlawn Court be approved based on the review standards 
in Section 2502 of the Zoning Ordinance was made by V. Taylor, supported by J. Montgomery‐Keast and 
unanimously approved. 
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:23 p.m. 
                                 CITY OF MUSKEGON
                              ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
                                   STAFF REPORT

                                   Tuesday, January 11, 2021

Hearing; Case 2022-01: Request for a variance from Section 2305 of the zoning ordinance to
allow a lot to be split that will create a parcel substandard in size at 3384 Millard Ave, by
Medendorp Real Estate.

 6. Section 2305 of the zoning ordinance prohibits splitting parcels that would make either of
    them substandard in size. See excerpt on the following pages.
 7. The property is zoned R-1, Low Density Single Family. Parcels are required to have at
    least 50 feet of street frontage and be at least 6,000 sf in size.
 8. The lot at 3384 Millard Ave measures 11,247 sf in size. The proposed split would make
    the lot with the principal structure 5,610 sf and the lot with the garage 5,637 sf. This would
    make both lots non-conforming is size.
 9. In 2006, this property was granted two variances. One was to allow a garage to be placed
    in a front yard (the property has two front yards since it faces two streets) and the other was
    to allow a garage that exceeds 14 feet in height. The garage is 23.5 feet in height.
 10. If approved, this would create a non-conforming structure on the lot with the garage.
     Garages are not allowed on properties without a principal structure. If the owner wanted to
     turn the garage into a home, there would also be issues in the conversion. A one bedroom
     home must have at least 850 sf. The floor plan of the garage shows 400 sf of garage and
     only 800 sf of living space. Also, it is unknown what the side setbacks are for the garage,
     but it appears to be only five feet on the east side. Detached garages are only required to
     have a three foot side setback, but houses must be at least six feet.
 11. Please see the enclosed responses to page two of the application.
 12. Notice was sent to properties within 300 feet of the property. At the time of this writing,
     staff had received notification from the following names/addresses that are against the
     request: Bonnie Hendrick at 3377 Lakeshore Dr, Candy Workman at 3369 Lakeshore Dr,
     Nancy Hulka at 3020 Country Club Dr, Margarette Hulka at 3389 Lakeshore Dr, Mary
     Ullmer at 2135 Bluffton Ave and Laura/Kirk Kolberg at 314 Whiskey Hollow.
Principal Housing Structure at 3383 Millard. Access off of Millard.

             Garage Structure facing Lakeshore Dr
Garage Structure with Access off of Alley

  Sketches from the Assessor’s Office
Zoning Map

Aerial Map


No parcel, whether or not platted as a lot, shall be split or reduced in size, width, or depth by any
conveyance, survey, leasing, occupancy, or other means which creates a parcel substandard in
size, width, or depth according to the requirements of this zoning ordinance. The splitting of a
lot or parcel to add to another shall not be allowed unless the remaining portion is of legal size,
width, and depth for the zone where the split parcel is located, or it is simultaneously combined
by conveyance with a contiguous parcel which will thereafter be of legal size, width, and depth.
Further, if contiguous nonconforming lots or parcels whether or not of record, are under common
ownership or control, they shall be combined to meet the provisions of this Ordinance prior to
permitting future site development or the issuance of a building permit.

Questions to consider when reviewing a variance request:
    a. Are 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. Is the dimensional variance 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. Will the authorizing of such dimensional variance be of substantial detriment to adjacent
    d. Is the alleged difficulty caused by the ordinance and not by any person presently having
       an interest in the property, or by any previous owner?
    e. Is the alleged difficulty founded solely upon the opportunity to make the property more
       profitable or to reduce expense to the owner?
    f. Is the requested variance the minimum action required to eliminate the difficulty?


The following motion is offered for consideration:

I move that that the request from Section 2305 of the zoning ordinance to allow a lot to be split
that will create a parcel substandard in size at 3384 Millard Ave be (approved/denied) based on
the review standards in Section 2502 of the Zoning Ordinance.

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