City Zoning Commission


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Meeting Date: 11/02/2021  
TITLE:    Special Review 992 - 4130 Kari Lane
PRESENTED BY: Karen Husman
Department: Planning & Community Services  

Information
RECOMMENDATION

Planning staff is recommending conditional approval based on the findings of the nine review criteria (BMCC 27-1623.D).

BACKGROUND (Consistency with Adopted Plans and Policies, if applicable)
This is a special review request to allow an automobile collision repair center greater than 5,000 square feet in a Corridor Mixed Use 2 (CMU2) zoned district, for a proposed 18,554 square foot building, on Lot 13, Block 1 Montana Sapphire Subdivision, a 2.187-acre parcel of land. Tax ID: C13966.  This application also requires a variation from the off-street parking regulations. The parking code requires a minimum of 75 parking spaces for the project size 18,544 square foot building (1 per 250 square feet). The applicant is proposing 82 parking spaces, 12 spaces for daily use and 70 spaces for vehicles under repair. 

APPLICATION DATA
OWNER: Montana Sapphire, LLC
AGENT:  Matthew K. Rassmussen, P.E.
LEGAL DESCRIPTION: Lot 13, Block 1 Montana Sapphire Subdivision
ADDRESS: 4130 Kari Lane
CURRENT ZONING: CMU2
EXISTING LAND USE: Vacant
 PROPOSED USE: Auto collision repair center
 SIZE OF PARCEL: 2.187 acre

CONCURRENT APPLICATIONS
None

APPLICABLE ZONING HISTORY
See attachments

SURROUNDING ZONING & LAND USE
NORTH:   Zoning: CMU2
Land Use: vacant
SOUTH:    Zoning: NX3
Land Use:  Assisted Living Facility
EAST:       Zoning: NX3
Land Use:  Vacant
WEST:      Zoning: CMU2
Land Use:  Vacant

The proposed collision repair would fit into this area of mixed commercial development.  Including an auto dealership at 840 Shiloh Road, Kari Condominiums a commercial condo development at 840 Shiloh Road, Bar/lounge/tavern at 4241 Kari Lane, a bank at 4130 King Ave West, and an assisted living facility to the south at 4215 Montana Sapphire Drive.
STAKEHOLDERS

Applicants for special review approval are now required to conduct a pre-application neighborhood meeting similar to zone change applicants. The pre application meeting was held in virtual meeting format on Thursday, September 16, 2021. No one attended the virtual meeting. . No comments were received by the Planning staff after the public hearing notices were mailed, the property was posted, and the legal ad published as required. 
 

ALTERNATIVES
The City Zoning Commission shall make a recommendation to the City Council to:
  1. Deny the application for a special review use; or
  2. Grant the application for a special review use; or
  3. Conditionally grant the application for a special review use; or
  4. Delay action on the application for a period not to exceed thirty (30) days.

The Zoning Commission recommendation will be based on the findings of the nine review criteria for special review uses. The Zoning Commission recommendation shall be based on findings of fact for each criterion and shall be transmitted to the applicant or applicant's agent as well as the City Council. The findings of the criteria are in the Summary section below.
FISCAL EFFECTS
Approval or disapproval of the proposed special review use should not have an impact of the Planning Division budget.
SUMMARY

The new zoning code has a variety of considerations and findings before a special review use can be considered acceptable at a particular location. The requirements are set forth in Section 27-1623.D as follows:

1. The special review use is consistent with the City's growth policy and applicable neighborhood plans, if any;
2. The establishment, maintenance, or operation of the special review use will not be detrimental to or endanger the public health, safety, morals, comfort, or general welfare;
3. The site for the proposed use is adequate in size and topography to accommodate the use while meeting the other requirements of this Zoning Code, including zone district dimensions, landscaping requirements, and parking.
4. The special review use will not be injurious to the use and enjoyment of other property in the immediate vicinity for the purposes already permitted, nor substantially diminish and impair property values within the neighborhood;
5. The special review use will not impede the normal and orderly development and improvement of the surrounding property for uses permitted in the district;
6. Conditions necessary to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare can be established, including but not limited to conditions on:

(a) Regulation of the use;
(b) Special setbacks, buffers, or screening;
(c) Surfacing of parking areas;
(d) Street, alley, or service road dedications, improvements, or bonds;
(e) Regulation of points of vehicular ingress and egress;
(f) Regulation of signs;
(g) Regulation on the performance of the site, including noise, vibration, and odors;
(h) Regulation of the hours of activities;
(i) Timeframe for development
(j) Duration of use; and
(k) Other relevant conditions that will ensure the orderly development of the site.

7. Adequate utilities, access roads, drainage, and/or necessary facilities have been or are being provided;
8. Adequate measures have been or will be taken to provide ingress and egress to minimize traffic congestion in public streets; and
9. The special review use shall, in all other respects, conform to the applicable regulations of the district in which it is located, except as such regulations may, in each instance, be modified by the city council.

Each decision criteria must be given due consideration and a finding is proposed for each one. Planning staff is including a set of recommended conditions of approval based on the submitted site plan, applicant letter, and findings of the criteria. A significant change from the previous zoning code is that a special review use must not be considered an "allowed" use in the zone district. The proof of compatibility now rests with the applicant instead of the Zoning Commission and City Council to prove non-compatibility.

PROPOSED FINDINGS:

1. The special review use is consistent with the City's growth policy and applicable neighborhood plans, if any.

Applicant: The proposed Caliber Collision use is consistent with the adopted underlying zoning of Corridor Mixed Use-2 (CMU2) and will provide a use type that is compatible with and complementary to surrounding properties.  The use is supported given the commercial character of the area and provides a needed service to the community.  The intensity/density proposed is consistent with the adopted standards and policies of Yellowstone County
Staff: There are nine Growth Guidelines in the 2016 City of Billings Growth Policy including Essential Investments, Placemaking, Community Fabric, Strong Neighborhoods, Home Base, Mobility & Access and Prosperity. In addition, the West Billings Neighborhood Plan includes goals and policies related to development in this area of Billings including Planned Growth, Appropriate Land Use, Achieving a Distinctive Community Character and Enhancing Public Safety, Open Space, Waterways and Scenic Resources.  The 2016 Growth Policy Guidelines support the proposed use in some respects. The West Billings Neighborhood Plan indicates this area as a commercial node. 

Community Fabric:
· Developed landscape areas in commercial areas encourage more pedestrian activity and vibrant commercial activity. Attractive streetscapes provide a pleasant and calming travel experience in urban and suburban neighborhoods.
· Developed landscape areas in commercial areas encourage more pedestrian activity and vibrant commercial activity.
· Cost-effective landscaping of public rights-of-way and entryways makes Billings more visually appealing to residents and visitors.
Planning staff is proposing conditions and enhancement for the street frontage landscaping and requirements to accommodate people who are using alternate modes of travel such as the MET Transit, bicycle or on foot.

Strong Neighborhoods:
· Walkable neighborhoods that permit convenient destinations such as neighborhood services, open space, parks, schools and public gathering spaces foster health, good will and social interaction.
· Implementation of the Infill Policy is important to encourage development of underutilized properties.
Development of this parcel promotes infill development. During the pre-application meeting staff recommended the applicant place the building to the front of the property and allow vehicle storage to the rear of the property to allow for aesthetically pleasing area to the front. 

Prosperity:
· Successful businesses that provide local jobs benefit the community.
· Retaining and supporting existing businesses helps sustain a healthy economy.
Caliber Collision is the nations largest collision repair company. Founded in 1997 the company continues strong to this day, providing job opportunities and supporting local economy. 

Planned Growth, Appropriate Land Use, Achieving a Distinctive Community Character: (West Billings Plan)
· Promote efficient utilization of land within the West Billings planning area by promoting well-designed, more pedestrian friendly, urban development patterns with a mix of uses and an efficient, creative use of land.
· With the intent of preventing strip commercial development, the West Billings planning area should contain commercial nodes of varying sizes located at the intersections of arterial streets.
· Large commercial stand-alone development lacking amenities such as landscaping and varied roof-lines, generally known as "big box," as exists along King Avenue near 24th Street West, is not appropriate to the desired character of West Billings west of or along Shiloh Road.
· Commercial nodes should contain business development sites of various sizes to accommodate a variety of businesses.
· Create identifiable, pedestrian-oriented commercial developments with focal points, opportunities for mixed-use areas that aesthetically combine residential and commercial buildings, residential subdivisions, and park areas that link neighborhoods through a linear open space network, subdivision entryways and special arterial treatments.
· Provide a consistent and abundant network of landscaping along streets and in parking areas by the creation of street tree planting, landscaped streetscapes, and aesthetic site improvement qualities throughout West Billings, and assure there is adequate room for utility placement in the right of way.
The proposed development plan and site development will help achieve some stated goals of the West Billings Plan. The intent is to provide pedestrian access to the site, provide landscaping along the street frontage, a building design that complements the existing area and a safe lighting plan to minimize crimes of opportunity.

2. The establishment, maintenance, or operation of the special review use will not be detrimental to or endanger the public health, safety, morals, comfort, or general welfare.
Applicant: The project site is currently vacant and located within a planned commercial subdivision that is already developed with various complementary commercial uses.  Caliber Collision plans to develop the 2.2± acre site with a 18,554± collision repair center.  Collision repair services will occur entirely within the enclosed building, ensuring that any noise, odors, etc. are fully contained and mitigated.  
Staff: Staff believes the site is safely designed and has recommended conditions to improve the safety features of the site.

3. The site for the proposed use is adequate in size and topography to accommodate the use while meeting the other requirements of this Zoning Code, including zone district dimensions, landscaping requirements, and parking.
Applicant: As the community continues to grow, demand for services, including the need for collision repair services, has increased.  Caliber Collision will serve to fill this void.  Prior to entering a new market, Caliber Collision conducts in-depth market research and analysis to evaluate market demand/need, availability of existing services, etc.  The Billings site will serve the needs of area residents and will not negatively impact existing service providers in the area based on market demands.
Staff: Staff agrees with the applicant and has recommended conditions that will improve the Kari Lane landscaping, provide a buffer to the development to the south and meet the zoning district requirements.

4. The special review use will not be injurious to the use and enjoyment of other property in the immediate vicinity for the purposes already permitted, nor substantially diminish and impair property values within the neighborhood.
Applicant: Approximately, 23% of the site will be landscaping at the perimeter of the project.  This will add aesthetic appeal within the area and create a pleasant street scape along Kari Lane.  Outdoor storage areas will be fully screened with privacy fencing and further buffered with perimeter landscape improvements.  Parking provided onsite exceeds code requirements and ensures that adequate parking for customers and employees will be provided at all times.
Staff: Diminishment of property value is not likely in this case especially if the applicant adheres to the conditions of approval and maintains the required buffer and screening to the adjacent properties. Repairs will be conducted within structures on site minimizing any noise, light or fumes that would cause substantial noise and disruption to the neighbors. Property values should not substantially diminish from the property use.

5. The special review use will not impede the normal and orderly development and improvement of the surrounding property for uses permitted in the district.
Applicant: The proposed facility and use will not impede the normal improvement of the surrounding properties. The project site is currently vacant and located within a planned commercial subdivision that is already developed with various complementary commercial uses.
Staff:  The development of this parcel should not impede the continued development of this subdivision.

6. Conditions necessary to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare can be established.
Staff recommends the following conditions of approval based on the above findings and the applicant's stated intent. These conditions will be related to the listed categories above, but may include other issues specific to the use for an auto repair business.

PROPOSED CONDITIONS

  1. The special review approval is limited to Lot 13, Block 1 Montana Sapphire Subdivision, a 2.187-acre parcel of land. Tax ID: C13966, generally located at 4130 Kari Lane.
  2. The special review is for the construction and operation of an automobile collision repair center. No other use is intended or implied.
  3. A minimum 6-foot high sight-obscuring fence and landscape buffer shall be placed on the south and east property lines to buffer the adjacent uses.
  4. All outdoor lighting shall have a maximum height of 15' and full cutoff shields so no part of the fixture or lens projects below the cut-off shield. This is to attenuate light on the property and shield the neighboring property to the south and east.
  5. With the exception of the above conditions, the site shall be developed in substantial conformance with the site plan submitted.
  6. The proposed development shall comply with all other limitations of the Zoning Regulations concerning special review uses, and all other City of Billings regulations and ordinances that apply.
  7. The applicant will submit a building permit application within 12 months of the City Council approval and complete construction within 3 years of City Council approval.
  8. These conditions of special review approval shall run with the land described in this authorization and shall apply to all current and subsequent owners, operators, managers, lease holders, heirs and assigns.

7. Adequate utilities, access roads, drainage, and/or necessary facilities have been or are being provided.
Applicant: The proposed facility will go through a full engineering and permitting review from City of Billings Public Works for site layout and utility conformance to City of Billings Regulations. Construction of the proposed development will meet all City of Billings, Montana DOT, and Montana DEQ rules and regulations to assure technically sound design and construction is implemented to protect the City and neighborhood. The site and building design ensure that proper buffering/screening exists and that all potential noise and odor impacts are fully contained within the building.  Caliber Collision will be a positive addition to the community, providing a needed service, new employment opportunities, and positive fiscal impact to the community as a whole.
Staff: Staff concurs with the applicant's statements and positive findings on utilities, access roads, drainage and necessary facilities. There are no site specific conditions that would hamper the applicant's ability to fulfill the local and state regulations for access, utilities, drainage or other necessary facilities.

8. Adequate measures have been or will be taken to provide ingress and egress to minimize traffic congestion in public streets.
Applicant: The plans and reports attached demonstrate how Caliber Collision meets or exceeds all City requirements and conforms with adopted design and zoning requirements.  This Special Review ensures that the City can review and evaluate all aspects of the project and ensure that all potential impacts are properly mitigated. 
Staff: The access drive will be sufficient ingress and egress to and from Kari Lane connecting to Dannell Street. Dannell Street provides access to and from King Avenue West by way of a roundabout, lessening traffic impacts. 

9. The special review use shall, in all other respects, conform to the applicable regulations of the district in which it is located, except as such regulations may, in each instance, be modified by the city council.
Applicant: No request to modify the regulations have been made.
Staff: Planning staff has identified the number of parking spaces that would require modification of the requirements for this application. Staff recommends a variation allowing the proposed off-street parking spaces designated for storage of vehicles be allowed as part of the parking requirements.The parking code specifically states that off-street parking spaces cannot be storage spaces for vehicles or for display vehicles. A parking ratio at 1/250 sf is higher even than some more traffic intense uses.  A lot of the interior space here is vehicle service bays, this parking ratio may not be feasible a building that is 90% service bay.  Staff feels this may require a variation from the off-street parking code  to allow the proposed storage space in calculating the required parking spaces for the project. The site appears to meet all the requirements for building height, setbacks, separations, lot coverage and yard treatments. Staff has recommended specific conditions related to landscaping, lighting and buffering to address issues not apparent on the site plan.


Attachments
Zoning Map & Site photos
Application & Applicant letter
Pre App Information
Chart of Zoning History
Site Plan


    

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