4512 Meldrum Road
Casco Mi 48064
Zoning Board of Appeals
September 17, 2009
Present: B. Cole, N. Gasparetto, D. Goulston, H. Manicini, B. Ruemenapp.
Absent: N. Gasparetto
Call to Order: Chairman Ruemenapp called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Motion-To approve Minutes: B. Cole moves to approve the minutes of the Zoning Board Administrative Meeting held July 9, 2009. S. Bishop seconds the motion. M/C.
Motion-To approve Agenda: B. Cole moves to approve the agenda as submitted. S. Bishop seconds the motion.
Workshop: Chairman Ruemenapp announces the fall St. Clair County Metropolitan Planning Commission Workshop scheduled for October 29, 2009.
A letter dated September 17, 2009 from the Casco Township Planner, birchler Arroyo Associates, Inc is provided to the Zoning Board of Appeals regarding the variance request before the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Appeal 2009-1 (Steven Achatz): Mr. Steven Achatz request a 1) Class A designation for the structure owned by Irene Achatz, Parcel ID 74-12-011-2007-22 located at 8111 St. Clair Hwy, Casco MI 48064, and 2) a variance to allow enlargement of a non-conforming existing use on the property prior to the adoption of the Township Zoning Ordinance in 198, per Section 13.03, Paragraph C, subparagraphs 1, 3 and D, subparagraph 3, of the Casco Township Zoning Ordinance Section 30.
Photographs and a drawing are submitted with the variance application showing the location of the proposed addition of the freestanding cold room to the rear of the existing structure.
Mr. Achatz states the purpose of the cold room is to replace chest freezers located on the wooden pallets to the rear of the structure.
Mr. Achatz states the catering business exited before the Zoning Ordinance was adopted and continued to operate in this location.
Chairman Rumenapp states that it is clear that the catering business existed before the adoption of the Zoning Ordinance but take-out food services were added latter. An expansion could only be granted for the catering business not the takeout food business.
There is discussion regarding whether removing the chest freezers after relocating materials to a new stand alone cold room should be considered an expansion.
H. Mancini states this is definitely an expansion since constructing a new structure adds to the square footage used to operate the business. Zoning Board members agree.
S. Bishop expresses strong concern regarding the chest freezers. The photos supplied with the application do not show locks on the freezers. Extension cords on the ground are also evident.
Mr. Achatz states that the health department inspected and approved of the current equipment.
S. Bishop states strongly that the lack of locks on the chest freezers presents a danger. A curious child could become trapped in a freezer. Board members agree.
Chairman Ruemenapp points out that if a Class A designation is granted and an expansion, the proposed structure would have to meet current requirements of the Zoning Ordinance. This would include approval of the site plan by the Planning Commission. Granting does not guarantee approval of site plan by the Planning Commission.
Mr. Achatz asks that the variance request to permit expansion by building a standalone walk in cooler be withdrawn. He states that it may be easier and less costly to install a cooler inside the existing structure to avoid some of the difficulties and expense of constructing a cold room in back of the existing structure and the approval process that is required.
Chairman Ruemenapp points out that a Class A designation is beneficial since it would permit rebuilding if there was a fire or other disaster.
Chairman Ruemenapp states that the only issue before the Zoning Board of appeals with respect to the Class A designation is the catering business. Selling food at the location would not be covered by the Class A designation since this activity did not exist on the premises before the Zoning Ordinance took effect.
He notes that the request meets the required criterion specified in the Zoning Ordinance for granting a Class A designation.
Chairman Ruemenapp asks Mr. Achatz if the house and pole barn are for residential use only. Mr. Achatz states the house and pole barn are used only for residential use.
Motion-Appeal 2009-1(Steven Achatz) Chairman Ruemenapp moves to grant the request for Class A designation for the structure with respect to the catering business operating on the premises before the adoption of the Zoning Ordinance. D. Goulston seconds the motion. M/C.
Reasons for grating the Class A designation (Steven Achatz):
The Class A designation was granted for the structure and catering business because, "It is the intent of the Ordinance to permit legal nonconforming lots, uses, or
structures to continue until they are removed but not encourage their survival" and the request meets criteria specified in the Zoning Ordinance with respect to the catering
1) Regarding Class A Nonconforming Uses and Structures: "Continuance there of would not be contrary to the public health, safety, or welfare."
2) "The use or structure does not and is not likely to significantly depress the value or nearby properties."
3) "No useful purpose would be served by strict application of the provisions or requirements of this Ordinance with the use or structure does not conform."
Regarding the possibility that the area where the zoning of the area where the business is located may change during the review and revision may be son that a Class A designation is not necessary. Chairman Ruemenpp states that a public hearing must occur during the process of revising the master plan. There is no guarantee that the outcome of reviewing the master plan will result in rezoning. Thus it is advantageous for Mr. Achatz to have a Class A designation.
Motion to Adjourn: B. Cole moves to adjourn. S. Bishop seconds the motion. M/C. The meeting adjourned at 7:40 p.m.