BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
JANUARY 20, 2004
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman David Okum.
Members Present: Robert Apke, Fred Borden, Marge Pollitt, James Squires, Robert Weidlich, and David Okum
Absent: Jane Huber
Others present: Dick Lohbeck, Inspections Supervisor
Anne McBride, City Planner
Mr. Squires made a motion to adopt and Mr. Borden seconded. The motion passed with 5 affirmative votes. Mr. Okum abstained.
Mr. Squires said we members of Council have been getting some very good news concerning the Burns property. We look for some very nice things to be happening there soon. The Board of Education has purchased five pieces of property adjacent to the Springdale School east of the school. They have already purchased three of them and two have decided to litigate the price. CMHA is going to start construction this spring.
The applicants were sworn in.
Jeff Martin, 479 Dimmick Avenue, said I am trying to construct a fence and last month we were trying to get an exact location where we can put it. (Mr. Martin passed out pictures of the location.) Last month when we looked at the setback and where the fence was being suggested, it was running across into the middle of a pine tree. We’re trying to find another solution and not to take down that pine tree. We can bring the fence back but I have a half circular stone wall there with another tree. We’re trying to bring the fence back to avoid the stone wall and any trees that I have and make it straight across to the back fence.
Mr. Okum said you are wishing to amend your original application and bring that fence back closer to your home.
Mr. Martin said no, we were trying to suggest bringing it closer to the road.
Mr. Okum asked do you have any drawings that you’d like to submit? Mr. Martin replied just measurements.
Mr. Lohbeck said my comments are the same as from 10-17-03.
Ms. Pollitt asked what is the difference between the cedar tree and the tree in the retaining wall area? It looks like a fence could go between there.
Mr. Martin replied we talked about that because of the root system and not wanting to damage the tree.
Ms. Pollitt asked what is the drip line on the tree?
Mr. Martin answered the one that I had to cut down came out to the edge of the garage at one time.
Ms. Pollitt asked how far in front of that do you think you would have to go?
Mr. Martin said I measured from the front of the garage that we had talked about last time up to where the goal post is. That’s 16’2". That would clear everything. From the edge of the driveway to the goalpost is 25 feet.
Ms. Pollitt stated we are looking at a 10 feet variance.
Mr. Weidlich said we discussed last time going to a 25 foot setback instead of 35’ foot setback.
Ms. Pollitt stated I would like to see us come to some conclusion as you have been before the board three times.
Mr. Okum said we currently have a home that is on Rose Lane. We don’t have a CAGIS on it but I surveyed it today and that house is actually closer to the right of way and closer to Rose Lane. It’ pretty much in the neighborhood that you are talking. If that applicant were to replace his fence, it would have to run even with where their garage doors are currently which is pretty close to where this applicant is indicating he would like to carry the fence to. Mr. Lohbeck, where would the line be for the Rose Lane property where the garage doors are?
Mr. Lohbeck responded the bump out is the line.
Mr. Okum recommended that the applicant be held to no further than the farthest point on the adjacent property. If the neighbor was to construct a fence within their rights under the code, your fence would even up with their fence.
Mr. Weidlich made a motion to approve a variance for a fence constructed at 479 Dimmick Lane to be in line with the neighbor’s garage that faces Rose Lane who has Cloverdale address to be in line with the bump out of the garage door wall to go straight across to the applicant’s driveway and back to the corner of his garage. Mr. Apke seconded.
Mr. Okum asked Mr. Martin, do you understand the motion? Mr. Martin replied yes.
Mr. Okum said I will be supporting the motion as there is currently a large evergreen and another tree. The fence would be placed closer in proximity to the smaller tree but the roots of the larger tree will not be imposed on by a fence system as it would be if it were put where the code allowed. If the neighbor were to construct a fence, this places the fence in continuity with the adjoining property.
The motion passed with six affirmative votes with conditions.
VIII. NEW BUSINESS
Maurice Tate, Project Engineer, said we had installed an office trailer in the rear of the facility for engineers to work out of while we were in the process of doing some major projects. This variance is asking to leave it there about the end of April.
Mr. Lohbeck reported staff comments. The applicant is requesting that an office trailer remain on the property until April 20, 2004. The applicant has indicated that the trailer is to be used for offices for engineers. It did not explain the need or purpose of the trailer. The trailer has already been in place without permits or proper approval. No specific information about the trailer has been submitted.
Mr. Okum said we have a site plan received January 12, 2004 show us that trailer.
Mr. Tate replied it is in the upper left hand corner.
Mr. Okum asked is it on an improved surface? Does it have restroom facilities in it?
Mr. Tate responded it is on a gravel surface. It does not have restroom facilities. They are in the main building.
No one else in the audience wanted to address the board.
Mr. Borden asked are there any combustibles in the trailer? Mr. Tate replied no.
Mr. Borden asked when was the trailer first installed? Mr. Tate answered the first of November.
Mr. Okum asked Mr. Lohbeck, is there anything additional the applicant will need to do for placement of this temporary trailer?
Mr. Lohbeck replied you need to get a permit and also get an electrical permit and inspection.
Mr. Okum asked the applicant if he understands that?
Mr. Tate asked what process do I have to go through to do this? Mr. Lohbeck said I will explain it when you are done here.
Mr. Okum said we want to put the purpose of this request and a termination date on the temporary use.
Ms. Pollitt made a motion to approve this variance at 11801 Chesterdale Road to allow an office trailer to remain on the property until April 20, 2004 with the following conditions: that a permit is obtained from the Springdale Building Department and that you also obtain an electrical permit and inspection. Mr. Squires seconded the motion.
The motion passed with six affirmative votes.
Dale Beeler, with KZF Design, said we represent the Jake Sweeney organization on most of the projects they do in Springdale.
Mr. Okum stated there are two properties here. You stated your reason for both properties is a division of ownership on the properties so we will be handling these individually. We are referring to what was the Hardee’s Restaurant on Kemper Road.
Mr. Beeler said the reason we are requesting the variance is that the property is 1.15 acres and had a 4,000 square foot building in the center of it. We’re taking that building down and constructing a slightly smaller building to the west of it. We have three employee parking spaces directly off our property line, which is convenient, is out of sight and well landscaped. It’s on the back side of the adjacent property and not visible from the street. We share a 50’ wide access parking egress/ingress with the adjacent property. We share an existing property line with the BMW dealership. We are displaying vehicles in this area. We have chosen to put a 10’ landscape buffer between the two. The cars would be a foot off the property line on one side and seven feet on the other. Also, we are 8% higher on the percentage of impervious surface on the site. We are down to 16’ on the display spaces. We don’t have a whole lot more room to lose there. We are 8% short but we have put significant landscaping around our new building, between our two properties, landscaping and planter islands in display paths to soften up the extent of the asphalt. The product we sell is big, is displayed outside and takes up a lot of space. It would be a real hardship for this owner to have to give up another 8% of this site. I know we are going to handle the McGillard Street site separately but we have added landscaping and taken out asphalt and landscaped around the existing pylon signs. That improved the percentage of this site about 3 percentage points.
The lighting was scaled back to single poles with 1,000 watt fixtures. That’s typical of all Sweeney properties. They are high cut off, flat lens fixtures. They throw the majority of the light forward but because of the proximity to the property line we are running several 2-4 foot candles at the curb. That does exceed your zoning code. At the meeting last week we cut the lighting level in half. We have 50’ candles at the brightest level which is low for us.
Ms. McBride said the property is zoned GB (General Business). There are a number of variances needed for redevelopment of this site and it’s important that the board keep that in mind. Staff looked at a couple of indicators regarding the increase in impervious surface ratio. Although these are two separate parcels, they really are basically one business entity. The current Hardee’s site has a current impervious surface ratio of .76, so while it’s an increase over the existing situation, the existing Hardee’s does not meet our current GB requirements either. The new car BMW dealership on McGillard actually has an impervious ratio today of .93 and that is going to be reduced to .89 percent imperious surface. That’s a pickup of .4 and if you add that to the .76, you are at 80 and they are asking for 83%. Their store area is literally outdoor display space. Staff believes that in consideration of the fact that the impervious surface area is being lowered on the adjacent property and there have been good intentions to landscape, we don’t have any objection to that.
Ms. McBride said in regards to the setbacks, they do meet that setback on West Kemper and McGillard. The problem is that they don’t meet the setback on the west to the small shopping center there or to the south to their own dealership. Staff is looking at the property line to the south as a paper property line. In regards to the property line to the west, they have 5 parking spaces that are located south of the proposed new building. There is an access easement that exists today on the east side of that shopping center. Without that access they might be asking for another curb cut on West Kemper which we certainly would not want to encourage. Those five parking spaces are located south of the building and have all of their access from that access easement. It would be very unrealistic to expect them to be located ten feet from the access drive. Staff has no objection to this request.
Ms. McBride continued in consideration of the lighting, when you have two retail properties abutting each other, is it really realistic to expect the .5 foot candles? We did work with the applicant. Their original submission had double headed, two 1,000 watt fixtures mounted at 22’ throughout the lot. They have reduced that. The perimeter lights are still at 22’ but they only include one 1,000 watt fixture. Their interior poles still contain two 1,000 watt fixtures. That has substantially reduced the light levels. The only suggestion we would have to the board is that there are two fixtures; one at the southeast corner and one at the northwest corner on McGillard, and if they were shielded, you could considerably drop the light levels that come off of there. Right now it’s 33.6 on the fixture by the shopping center and 12.4 on McGillard. We recommend approval of the revised lighting plan, again with the condition that the two fixtures have shields on them to reduce it further.
Ms. McBride said I think a variance was actually omitted from the request that was listed. That is a variance from 153.606C requiring a three foot high hedge surrounding their parking areas and public right of ways. That defeats the purpose of their automobile display areas. Staff is in support of that variance.
Mr. Okum asked Mr. Beeler, do you understand the recommendations of the planner regarding those two lights and do you have any problem with that?
Mr. Beeler replied I understand and there’s no problem.
Mr. Borden asked was there any consideration to combining the two parcels?
Mr. Beeler replied some of the heirs of the Jake Sweeney family will not participate in future acquisitions and expenses so it’s important to keep the ownership separate. BMW has told the Sweeneys that they have to enlarge the facility.
Mr. Okum asked have cross easements been established between the properties? Mr. Beeler responded none have been written yet.
Ms. McBride stated we did prepare facts and conditions on the second page of my letter if the board should choose to use those.
Mr. Apke made a motion to approve the variance at Jake Sweeney BMW from 153.224 allowing an impervious surface ratio greater than .75; from Section 153.502C allowing parking setback of 0 feet on the south and northwest property lines; from 153.514(D) with modifications that the lighting fixtures on the northwest and southeast corners of the site be shielded to reduce the foot candles; to provide cross easements between the properties as referenced on the drawings; add the variance from 153.606C to be relieved of the requirement to have a three foot high hedge between the parking area and streetscapes. I’m making this motion because the exceptional circumstance test has been met. It’s a unique property with double frontage on both West Kemper and McGillard and it’s a redevelopment parcel. For the preservation of property rights the requested variances are necessary for the redevelopment of a vacant parcel in conjunction with an adjacent business. There is no detriment at all and it is not of a general nature.
Mr. Squires seconded.
Ms. McBride said I believe the motion just said increase the impervious surface ratio above .75. You might want to indicate that it is .83 as proposed by the applicant.
Mr. Apke amended the motion and Mr. Squires seconded.
The motion passed with six affirmative votes.
Mr. Beeler said again we are taking the existing site and adding a small service drive thru which takes out some of our existing parking lot. In developing the drive and access to it, it became apparent that we needed to highlight that particular drive and make it more special than it is right now. We have added planters and some strategically placed display pads. We dropped the impervious ratio down from .93 to .89.
Mr. Beeler said regarding parking, it really isn’t a 0’ setback. It’s 8’ but still under the 10’ setback required.
Mr. Beeler said I have to transfer a piece of property so we will go with a 12’ side yard setback and drop that request for a variance.
Mr. Beeler said we will probably be re-lamping fixtures on this site so that the two sites match. We will be using the same poles at the same height.
Ms. McBride said staff would suggest that the board go ahead and approve a second variance for the project at 11535 McGillard per Section 153.514D-2 to exceed the .5 foot candles at the property line with the understanding that the applicant will submit a photometric lighting plan for the McGillard Street property to staff and it has to meet with staff’s satisfaction. I also think if we’re going to look at the impervious surface ratio from the McGillard Street property, you also need to include a variance from Section 153.606C requiring the 3’ hedge.
Mr. Okum asked Mr. Beeler, do you understand this? Mr. Beeler replied yes. Mr. Okum said your request is to remove 153.221(A) because you are changing the property line.
Ms. Pollitt made a motion to approve the variances requested for Jake Sweeney BMW property located at 1535 McGillard Street to allow an impervious surface ratio of .089 (Section 153.224); Section 153.514(D)(2) to allow them to exceed the five foot candle measurement with the condition that photometric measurements on lighting plans be submitted to staff and receive approval prior to installation; 153.606(C) to relieve the property owner from having a three foot high hedge between parking areas and streetscapes; to allow for cross easements from 105 West Kemper and 11535 McGillard as provided on the drawings. 153.502 to an eight foot setback for parking for the west and south property lines. We would like to have this granted because the parcel is unique. It is a redevelopment parcel with double frontage with both Kemper Road and McGillard Street. It is an internal paper property line as far as zoning standpoints are concerned. Preservation of property rights are necessary to allow for the redevelopment of the vacant retail parcel in conjunction with the existing adjacent business. I see no reason preventing this passing as a reason of detriment. I think it would be an excellent opportunity to have that area redeveloped. The circumstances of the redevelopment of the subject property in conjunction with the adjacent business is not of a general or recurring nature. Mr. Apke seconded.
The motion passed with six affirmative votes with conditions.
In response to Mr. Borden, Ms. McBride said the next Ohio Planning Conference is scheduled for March.
No date has been determined for the Planning Commission and BZA joint training session.
Mr. Okum said I do want to compliment the board on its thoroughness and the motions. They were very well done and right on point.
Ms. McBride said we don’t want to overstep but would it be helpful if there are those draft facts and findings. Mr. Okum answered that would always be helpful.
Mr. Okum said there are things we are going to bring up at the zoning review. There are certain things that need to be addressed. A motion to deny is not an appropriate motion through our Law Director’s office, but we’ve had other legal people say it is a legal motion.
David Okum, Chairman
Bob Apke, Acting Secretary