ZBA Minutes June 11, 2018

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Meeting Minutes

Zoning Board of Appeals

June 11, 2018

7:00 PM

Present:           Doris Felton, Linda Fox, Jim Gurr, Gary Hutchens, Barb Lockrey, Susan Moglovkin, Bonnie Robbins


Call to Order

  1. Gurr called the meeting to order at 7:07 p.m.

Pledge of Allegiance

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Call for Conflict

  1. Hutchens stated he may have a conflict of interest due to him being friends with the home owner. Additionally there was an oversight by the ZA and he did not receive any informational documents prior to the meeting and he feels unprepared. The Board felt this would not be an issue and requested that he remain a voting member. He agreed.

Approval of Agenda

  1. Fox moved to approve agenda. B. Lockrey seconded. All were in favor and the motion passed.

Approval of Minutes

The minutes of April 25, 2018 were reviewed. B. Lockrey moved to approve the minutes as written. D. Felton seconded. All were in favor and the motion passed.

Zoning Administrator Staff Report

Matter to Be Addressed

  1. Molby reported that James Campbell requested a variance for 10631 Coy Street in Alden. He wants to build a new 1 ½ story 28’ x 28’ garage on the east end of his property. He is unable meet the 35’ rear set back requirements and is requesting a dimensional variance of 22 feet. He also cannot meet the 10’ south side setback and is asking for a variance of 3’. There were nineteen letters sent to area homeowners with eight responses. Five were supportive and three have concerns about the height of the garage and the proximity to the road. They mainly cited safety concerns for walkers, children, bike riders, etc.

A concern was raised regarding the accuracy of the house dimensions that were provided. The Chair stated we have to trust the information that is presented to us is accurate.

Presentation of Variance Request by Property Owner

The homeowner did not provide any additional information to the ZA report. He and his builder Ray Weier did answer questions that arose from board members during their deliberation.

Public Comments

Jim Johnston spoke about what an excellent neighbor the homeowner is. He stated Mr. Campbell informed him of his desire to build the garage. However Mr. Johnston did not feel he formally was supporting any action. Tracy Johnston also spoke about her concern that the garage would not look attractive and that trees would need to be removed.

Board Deliberation

During board deliberations the homeowner offered to change his plans and add a small addition to his house and attach the garage to his home. Therefore, the board based their deliberations on a dimensional variance of 3-4’ on the south side of the property with the size of the garage remaining the same. The homeowner asked if the red shed on his property could stay and he was told it can as long as remains a moveable structure.

The board reviewed Section 3.06.01 of the Helena Township Zoning Ordinance and determined the following findings:

  1. That the requirement in question is unreasonably burdensome to the use of the property due to the placement of the house in relation to attaching a garage. A practical difficulty exists. Board members voted and four were in favor and one was opposed.
  2. That granting the variance is just to both the applicant and to other property owners in the zoning district. Board members voted and four were in favor and one was opposed.
  3. That granting relief is consistent with the spirit of the ordinance. Board members voted and four were in favor and one was opposed.
  4. That granting relief is not harmful to the public health, safety, or welfare. Board members voted and all members were in favor with this finding.

Move To Adopt

For reasons set forth in the findings of fact, B. Lockrey moved that the application of James Campbell be approved, not for the original request, but for an amended request of a 4’ side yard setback on the south side of the property. The homeowner will build a 1.5 story (32’) 28 x 28 foot garage. G. Hutchens seconded. Board members voted and four were in favor and one was opposed. The motion passed.

Old Business

Update on Variance Application Revisions

  1. Gurr reported this has been discussed at the Planning Commission. More information will be forthcoming in the future. G. Molby was reminded that all board members and alternates are to receive the informational packet a few weeks prior to a meeting. B. Robbins presented the board with a form titled “Record of Finding of Facts” and made a motion that it be used as official minutes at the conclusion of each meeting. This form will not replace minutes by the secretary but will be in addition to them. L. Fox seconded. All were in favor and the motion passed.


Sue Moglovkin stated she will continue to be an alternate.

New Business

There was no new business discussed.


J. Gurr adjourned the meeting at 8:40 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted By,

Linda Fox, Secretary