Zoning Board of Appeals Packet 03-14-2017

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                                               CITY OF MUSKEGON
                                            ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
                                               REGULAR MEETING

DATE OF MEETING:                           March 14, 2017
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 February 14, 2017.


       A. Hearing; Case 2017-02: Request for a variance from Section 2311 of the zoning
          ordinance to allow construction of a garage on a lot without a principal structure in an R-
          1, Single-Family Residential District at 221 Irwin Ave.

IV.       New Business

V.        Old Business

VI.       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
                                 CITY OF MUSKEGON
                              ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
                                   STAFF REPORT
                                    March 14, 2017

Hearing; Case 2017-02: Request for a variance from Section 2311 of the zoning ordinance to
allow for the construction of a garage on a lot without a principal structure in an R-1, Single-
Family Residential District at 221 Irwin Ave.

 1. The homeowner at 233 Irwin Ave would like to build a garage on his property, but is
    unable to because of the sloped terrain in the back yard. There is also a large tree limiting
    development. The owner would also like a garage larger than what would be allowed on
    this property.
 2. The homeowner also owns the vacant, buildable lot next door, across the alley, at 221 Irwin
    Ave. However, the zoning ordinance does not allow accessory structures (garages) to be
    built on lots without a primary structure (house). Usually the lots would just be combined
    to make it buildable. However, these lots are not allowed to be combined because of the
    alley that separates them. In order to legally combine them, the alley would have to be
    vacated and the block would have to be replatted. That could potentially limit the alley use
    to the other homes that rely on it and it would not be practical.
 3. The applicant is seeking a variance to construct the garage at 221 Irwin Ave because that is
    the simplest way to remedy the problem.
 4. The vacant lot at 221 Irwin Ave measures 61’ x 130’ and is zoned R-1, Single Family
    Residential. This area has a mix of business and residential uses. In fact, the home at 233
    Irwin Ave is actually zoned B-2, Convenience and Comparison Business District. The
    home on the corner at 211 Irwin Ave is zoned B-1, Limited Business District.
 5. Notification letters were sent out to properties within 300 feet of this property. At the time
    of this writing, staff has not received any comments from the public.
 6. Please see the enclosed answers to the variance request questionnaire.

       Vacant lot at 221 Irwin Ave (233 Irwin Ave to the left. 211 Irwin Ave to the right)
Back yard at 233 Irwin Ave

       Zoning Map
                                               Aerial Map

Staff agrees that this is the best way to construct a garage for this property. Vacating the alley
would be detrimental to the rest of the block.

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 the variance requests to allow the construction of a garage at 221 Irwin Ave be
(approved/denied), based on the following review standards listed below (found in Section 2502
of the Zoning Ordinance) and subject to the following conditions (if any):
    a. The garage be setback at least as far back from the road as the home at 233 Irwin Ave
    b. The garage meets the other development standards for accessory structures in Section
        2311 of the zoning ordinance.

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