ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
February 3, 2003
MEMBERS PRESENT: John Lowe, Linda Manson-Dempsey, Dan Lowe, Dan Rossbach,
Annette McNamara, Zoning Administrator
Lowe called the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
presented. Linda Manson-Dempsey
seconded. Motion carried
the agenda this month to give them the opportunity to address the issues in the township’s consultants review letters.
They will advise when/if they would like to come before the ZBA. Mr. and Mrs. Ward will address these issues with
the Marion Township Planning Commission. Hopefully, these issues can be addressed with the Planning
Commission and not require a ZBA hearing. Larry Fillinger motioned to table ZBA Case #18-02 until the
applicant requests to be placed on the agenda, not to exceed six months. Dan Rossbach seconded.
Roll call vote: Dan Rossbach, Larry Fillinger, Linda Manson-Dempsey, John Lowe, Dan Lowe—all yes.
John Lowe advised her that copies would be available at the township
hall during regular business hours.
until March. Linda Manson-Dempsey asked what cases are on the agenda for March. Annette McNamara said that
Mr. Castle and possibly
Mr. and Mrs. Hill.
regarding this case,
and are unable to attend the March meeting, a call to the public would be
made for this issue.
He presented a color-coded map showing the layout of the lots and ownership. Most people own a combination
of lots. This is a private road, there is no organization to maintain the road, it’s substandard, and there are currently
25 lots on the road. In 1994, recognition was made that this type of situation existed and an ERS district was
created. It allowed for 18,000 square foot lots with 50 foot minimum frontage in existing platted subdivisions.
This went so far as to say that if there is a combination of lots, they would be considered as one. The intent was to
recognize this situation. Mr. Cesarz’s lots were under single ownership at the time the ordinance was created.
Together, Mr. Cesarz’s lots meet the ordinance and therefore conform to the requirements for the ERS district.
Mr. Cesarz wants to take a conforming lot and make two non-conforming lots. Mr. Barnwell is concerned about the
precedent that would be
set if this variance is granted.
10,000 square feet.
Section 19.02—Nonconforming Lots: granting this variance would not be in keeping with the intent
Section 6.19—Access Control and Section 6.19 C—Clear Vision Zone: the proposed driveway would
Section 6.21 A 2
requirement can’t be met if a house is built on Lot #10.
Other issues: ¾ mile of substandard private road with no maintenance agreement and no organization; the
potential of creating 20 to 30 more lakeside lots. Mr. Barnwell pointed out that this applies to many lots in the
township. The lots on Coon Lake and Cedar Lake are also combinations of two and three lots. The purpose of
this zoning ordinance is to maintain the integrity of the lots that existed at the time the ordinance was passed.
There are currently 25 lots on this private road, which is typically the maximum allowed on a private road.
Based on how the ordinance is written, there could be approximately 40 homes. Granting this variance could
create the potential
for approximately 70 homes.
John Lowe asked Mr.
Barnwell if he could provide copies of his handouts.
property and he sees no reason to grant the variance and make the situation worse by putting houses on
two 49-foot lots.
He sees no reason other than economic gain for this variance.
options. He feels this variance request is a waste of time and money. Mr. Strong asked if Mr. Cesarz is granted
this variance, will he
also be able to build on his two lots?
level? John Lowe responded
that if it is denied, the next level would be circuit court.
Question asked: Has there been any attorney comments on this subject? John Lowe explained the attorney was
going to be present, but because both cases were postponed, it wasn’t necessary for him to attend. The township
will provide the attorney with information from tonight’s meeting. What is the township’s relationship to the Health
Department on setbacks, septic requirements, etc? John Lowe said a letter needs to be submitted stating that
all requirements of the Livingston County Health Department are met. Did the Health Department give approval
for the existing land use permit? Annette McNamara stated that originally, the Health Department didn’t review
it as a platted sub, and he was only allowed one septic field on each side of the road. Once the Health
Department realized this was a platted sub, he was allowed four. Did he supply a drawing showing where the
septic field is and whose responsibility is it to assure it’s accurate? Ms. McNamara said that Amy Adami from
the Livingston County Health Department verifies the information.
Mr. Cesarz’s and he owns three lakefront lots. He intends someday to build a house on one of those three lots.
He has a house on one, a garage on one, and his intention is to build a house on the third someday. Several
people from Coon Lake have expressed interest in doing the same thing. When sewers become available, every
one of the lakefront lots will be built on. When Mr. Cesarz originally came in, he was instructed to go to the Health
Department for approval first. We didn’t think he would get approval. He had a land use permit approved for
remodeling the existing house because he did have Health Department approval. He then asked to rearrange
his lots so there were separate lots on the lake and two lots joined in the rear with Health Department approval for
two in the rear, so there was a land use issued for that. Then he came in for the third land use permit for the other
front lot, with Health Department approval, and we consulted with the township planner. The planner advised us
that this was a pre-existing platted subdivision lot and if Health Department approval could be obtained, we had
to issue the land use permit. Immediately after the land use permit was approved, additional information was
presented (Section 19.02). The planner felt this was “splitting hairs”, but advised us to rescind the land use permit,
which we did.
If Mr. Cesarz were to sell that lot, it could be built on.
township attorney already say something about this? Dan said something about Mr. Ambrose also concurring
attorney. Is that not true? I believe there are letters from the township attorney and
review and he will be
at the March meeting.
A variance would still be required if someone with two lots wanted to do this. Every case would be considered
on its own merits. If you take this away from Mr. Cesarz, that’s the whole reason for the variance procedure—
to allow him to use his property. I couldn’t do this today because I couldn’t get septic approval. But we’re going to
get sewers in there, and if this is denied just on the basis of continuous frontage, I could sell to my daughter today
and she could build on
you need is a hardship. The request for variance spells out the reasons. If Mr. Cesarz was living there, where is
I don’t think he meets any of the requirements for a variance.
By the same token, they don’t tell you what you have to approve or not approve. You enforce the ordinance before
you. The Health Department has 12,000 square foot minimum lot size. I can go to the township and get six tax
code IDs and six lots of record, but that doesn’t entitle me to six building sites because it doesn’t meet your
ordinance. This Board should not throw jurisdictional obligations and duties away because the Health Department
says it’s okay.
That’s not the purpose of the ordinance.
out that Mr.
Cesarz’s letter does address the issues, but they aren’t numbered.
CALL TO PUBLIC
Motion carried 5-0.