Minutes: April 27th, 2010

Gary Mortus, Chairman, called the public hearing to order on April 27, 2010, at 7:00 p.m. in the conference room to hear a request for a rezoning from applicant John H. Wood.

In attendance: Gary Mortus, Matt Montowski, William Rofkar, Pat Cerny, John H. Wood, Nicole A. Wood, Greg Wood, Kay Wood, John Kocher, Jack DeVore, Steve May, Tony Corona and Keith Fisher.

The request is to rezone 2393 Northwest Catawba Road, location being Lot 3, Section 3 of Catawba Island Township, 4.18 acres from the A District to the R-2 District. The applicant is John H. Wood and his intention is to split the property to allow each of his sons to have an equal parcel of land.

On March 16, 2010, the Ottawa Regional Planning Commission voted to recommend the rezoning request be disapproved. On March 24, 2010, the Catawba Island Township Zoning Commission’s recommendation to the Trustees was to disapprove the rezoning request.

The Catawba Island Land Use Plan recommends the area for low density residential uses, which consists of residential uses with one acre of land or more per dwelling unit. The R-2 District requires a minimum lost width of 80 feet and minimum lot area of 11,000 square feet, which results in approximately 4 units per acre.

Attorney, John Kocher, representing the Wood family introduced the family and stated what uses are permitted in the R-2 District which are less than what are permitted in the A District. He also stated the big issue is the lot frontage in the two districts and that is why they applied for the rezoning, not to change the use, but to divide the lot in half. In the A district the frontage is 150 feet and 80 feet in the R-2 district and as of now there is 180 feet frontage. Mr. Kocher requested serious consideration with the applicant’s request.

Mr. Kocher also stated it is cost prohibitive to split the lot north to south. The Woods would build one house on each parcel. William Rofkar stated if you only rezone one side of the parcel to R-2 it would restrict them in the future for not allowing more dwellings if the property would get sold.

Matt Montowski stated when this application was presented at the Ottawa Regional Planning Meeting, there was no mention of another home being built, but at the Zoning Commisison meeting there was mention of another home being put on the property. Nicole Wood stated the intention is to split the parcel, clean up the parcel and on the other parcel build a home for her father and then that home would be her retirement home. This will be a family lot with no intention of selling it.

Steve May, representing the Catawba Island Club questioned why this did not go to the Zoning Appeals Board as the shape of the lot and the regulations have created a hardship for the owners and going to the Board of Appeals will let them do exactly what they want to do, put on two homes and split the lot without rezoning it to a district of higher density than the land use plan calls for.

John Kocher stated they originally were going to apply for an area variance for a reduction of the 150 feet to 80 feet but stated it was very substantial and thought that rezoning would make more sense.
The divide would exceed the 80 foot frontage and it would be 90 feet.

William Rofkar suggested the split and then rezoning one side of the property R-2, as this would safeguard our township from denser building in the future and it would allow the Woods family to accomplish what they intend to do.

Gary Mortus suggested R-1 and then the second lot would require a variance and only moving it down from a width of 100 feet to 90 feet which is not substantial and stay within the same density everyone wants. William Rofkar suggested if this is split and left R-2 on 80 feet of it and R-1 would be left on the 100 foot, it would not be creating a non-conforming lot. Matt Montowski is uncomfortable with the request.

John Kocher stated if you consider the Land Use Plan cut in stone and never be changed it his opinion that is defacto zoning. If you say it violates the Land Use Plan, you can never change it. You zoned them out from doing anything different.

Gary Mortus stated the Trustees would amend the application, and make a R-1 with a conforming width of 100 feet and an R-2 with 80 feet where the house currently sits and it would be almost next to impossible to do anything in R-2 with that narrow of a lot because of the county’s road width and drainage requirements of 60 feet. The township would be protected and the Woods family can do what they want. The R-2 to the north and R-1 for the length of the property. A small portion of the front would be R-2 and the balance R-1 including the remainder of the back of the R-2 lot would be R-1. Steve May suggested leaving the rear of these lots as the A District.

Gary Mortus suggested the family coming back to the next Trustee meeting with a recommendation of the amendment of the application.
The Trustees will then amend the application after seeing the family’s recommendation. William Rofkar made a motion to continue public hearing #543512 until May 11th at 7:00 p.m. seconded by Matt Montowski. William Rofkar, aye; Matt Montowski, aye; Gary Mortus, aye.

__________________Chairman Secretary____________________