21 JANUARY 1997

7:30 P.M.


The meeting was called to order at 7:35 p.m. by Chairman William Mitchell.


Mr. Mitchell stated that Kathy McNear will act as secretary in the place of Mrs. Ewing.

Members Present: David Okum, James Squires, Kathy McNear,

and Chairman William Mitchell

Members Absent: Barbara Ewing, Marge Boice and Tom Schecker

Others Present: Doyle Webster, Mayor

Bill McErlane, Building Official

Mr. Mitchell stated we do have a quorum.


Mr. Squires moved to adopt and Mr. Okum seconded the motion. By voice vote all present voted aye, and the Minutes were adopted with four affirmative votes.


A. Planning Commission Meeting Minutes - 10 December 1996

B. 1/15/97 Letter from Bill McErlane to David Allor


A. Reports on Council Activities - Marge Boice

Mrs. McNear stated that there was no report.

B. Report on Planning Commission - David Okum

Mr. Okum stated we had a presentation for final plan approval for Sterling House at 11320 Springfield Pike. That was approved with a number of conditions of approval. There were two items considered to be variance issues, but they were set aside because of a zoning line and that will be explained this evening. There was a request by Lanco Development to rezone the property on the northeast corner of Kenn Road and I-275 from PF-1 to R-1-D. That was defeated by all present. We also had a concept discussion for a proposed Dave & Busterís to be located in Tri-County Commons. This would be built in the existing warehouse space next to Roberds, where the tower is. They would provide adult entertainment in an area of 60,000 square feet. They had a number of issues that were of concern to Planning, and Mr. Wilson suggested they come to Council the next night to listen to Councilís issues and concerns. The other item was final approval for the Vineyard Community Church proposed office building at 11355 Century Circle East. They are going to meet 100% of the tree replacement requirements on that site, which was a very important issue. This will be built towards Lippelman in the eastern corner, and that approval was granted.

Mr. Mitchell stated I would like to inform everyone here that the normal body of the Board of Zoning Appeals consists of seven members. We only have four members present tonight, and it would take a vote of three to one for approval; a two to two vote would act as a table and we would act on it at a later date with more members present. If you elect to table your hearing tonight and wait for a larger committee, you may do so.



21 JANUARY 1997



Jake Sweeney Chevrolet GEO, 33 West Kemper Road requests variance to allow the installation of a 195.2 s.f. wall sign and total signage of 734.8 s.f. Said variance is requested from Section 153.092(E)(1) "..A single wall sign shall not exceed 150 square feet in total area." and (D)(1)(b) "..Maximum gross area of signs = (W x 1.5) + 40 square feet."

Mr. Mitchell said to bring the committee up to date, this item was before us on December 16th and was represented by Dale Beeler. At that time the board was looking at other minor alterations to make to the signage package proposal and Mr. Beeler informed us that he could not make any changes in that proposal. So we asked that this be tabled until we could have someone from Sweeney to act on their behalf and make any decisions.

Mr. Jake Sweeney Jr. said I am president of Jake Sweeney Automotive and I am here to resolve any issues regarding signage tonight.

Mr. Beeler said since our last meeting, I have modified this board. General Motors has changed its policy and has done away with GEO as part of their corporate image. Doing away with that does two things for us. It reduces the signage coming before you tonight and it also reduces the big sign that was 150 square feet. It is now reduced to 137 square feet, so it is no longer an issue. So we have one issue to deal with tonight, and that is the overage of the total square footage for the project.

Mr. Beeler continued in doing away with the GEO brand name and rolling that into the Chevrolet name, they also have started a program where we will take all the GEOís out of these renderings. At this meeting, awe would like to request that we keep the 36 square foot GEO sign that is on Princeton Pike. It gives us a net decrease of about 20 square feet from what we came in for last time. We still intend to take down the large OK Used Car sign on Kemper Road. The rest of the signage that we showed you last month basically is unchanged.

Mr. Beeler passed out new tabular information to board members. The actual total we are asking for is 736 square feet. Mr. Mitchell commented the last time you were asking for 734.8 square feet. Mr. Beeler reported we have gotten the actual designs from the sign company, and they may have changed some of the square footage totals. What we would like to do tonight is keep the GEO pylon and add 36 square feet and that totals 770 square feet.

Mr. Sweeney added part of the reason for the GEO pylon sign is the fact that the GEO line will remain in their plans for the next year or so, but in 1998 order they will be eliminated. We still will have customers who have bought them and we will need some representation of the line. Once the GEO is gone we can change it to Chevrolet instead of GEO.

Mr. Beeler added we do not want to have GEO on the face of the building.

Mr. Okum commented I am confused on the numbers. Mr. Beeler responded the one we are talking about is the 12/10 proposal.

It still has the large Chevy dealer bow tie. It should be a loss of 20 square feet.

Mr. Mitchell stated from the last meeting, there was some discussion about the necessity of this sign at the west end of the building. That is where we got into a stonewalling situation. Did you take another look at that?


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21 January 1997

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Mr. Beeler indicated that they did. Mr. Sweeney added that is one of the reasons I am here. We felt it is very important signage, considering the fact that it faces in a totally different direction . One of the reasons I was not here the last time on the issue of signage, was that I thought when we were before Planning Commission we had made trade offs. The big concern seemed to be the pylon signs and we went back and forth on this. I traded off everything If it was not absolutely necessary when we eliminated the two pylon signs. Since then, we have been informed about the situation of GEO down the road which allows us to eliminate some other signage. The elimination of a 38 foot high large pylon sign is basically the direction Planning wanted to go, and the vote was a very favorable one. We also agreed to take any kind of signage off the windows in the showroom to try to get something that will work aesthetically and do the right thing.

Mr. Beeler added one of the things we talked about in Planning was to take the pylon down. We were under the assumption that if we got rid of the pylon, we would get more building square footage than the pylon had. That is the reason why we came forward with some excess square footage. I also didnít point out last month that we currently are operating under a variance granted by this board in 1968 for a total of 662 square feet. We were trying to work our numbers around to come very close to that 662. I donít think we can make this proposal work at 571 square feet, so we are asking for some consideration and something for that pylon sign.

Mrs. McNear said I donít think the Jake Sweeney sign on the side was a problem for everyone; Mrs. Boice brought that up because in dealing with the sign, we said we had x number of square feet that is an overage, and she questioned whether you needed that. Your facility is very large and I donít think there was a problem with that sign in particular.

Mr. Sweeney responded we were hoping that, and that is why we were pleasantly surprise when we heard of the GEO elimination, it took some footage out of there. The only reason we wanted to have our small pylon sign on the Princeton Pike side is we still need to have some GEO identification involved with the building. We have sold a number of cars that we service, and we need to let people know that we handle that product.

Mrs. McNear commented I think some of the confusion we have now is we have had a lot of paper thrown at us right now, and we really donít know what you re asking for. How many square feet are you requesting now as compared to what you already are on variance for?

Mr. Beeler answered we would like to see Proposal A which keeps the Chevrolet corporate pylon sign #1, 245 square feet. We would like to keep pylon sign #3 (GEO) which is 36 square feet, and we are going to take down pylon sign #2 (OK Used Cars) which is 37 square feet. That covers the pylon signs. On the building, we would use the bow tie and Chevrolet which is Building Sign 1 B at 137 square feet (it originally was 150 square feet). It would replace Building Sign 1 A, which would no longer exist. Building Sign 2 is Jake Sweeney, 28 inches high and 68.8 square feet. We would like to have the 36 inch Used Cars, which is Sign 3-A (85.5 square feet). If that wouldnít work we could go to the 28 inch Used Car for a total of 58.5 square feet. Building Sign 4 is the second Jake Sweeney on the northwest face of the building. A sentimental favorite that we would like to hold onto is the shamrock at the end of the building. That is the Sweeney corporate logo at 36.1 square feet.


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21 January 1997

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Mr. Beeler stated on the east side of the building we also have a bow tie and the word Chevrolet, which is not included on Proposal A. It is the small one facing Kemper Road. Mr. Mitchell said is there any way that you could give us exactly what you want to do? You are saying Proposal A and then you are adding 85 square feet here and on another elevation you want to add another sign. Mr. Beeler responded I would request that you add Sign 6, 43.3 square feet to Proposal A. That is the bow tie and the word Chevrolet. Mr. Okum said if you add 43.3 to the 650 it totals 693.3 square feet. Mr. Mitchell said correct me if Iím wrong, but did you going down through this report say you wanted to keep Building Sign 3-A, which is 85.5 square feet? Mr. Beeler answered no, it would be one or the other. Sign 3-B is the 28 inch letters and we will go with that, so 3-A, 36 inches is gone. Mr. Mitchell stated so that is a variance of 121.9 square feet.

Mr. Okum asked if the shamrock on the plan is currently on any of the buildings? Mr. Sweeney answered not in Springdale. Mr. Okum asked if it said his name in the middle of the shamrock and Mr. Sweeney answered that it did not; it is just a shamrock.

Mr. Okum said Planning Commission was pretty excited about the elimination of two pole signs. Certainly we are not there now; we are at one pole sign and it is a key pole sign and we do agree with that. On the other hand, our signage has increased a little bit. My personal feeling is if it werenít for our code, the shamrock would not be signage. We have light bands on buildings and canopies and awnings on buildings that I

feel are more of a signage issue than the shamrock placed on this building. If the shamrock were not considered, we would be reducing this down by 36.1 square feet.

Mr. Okum continued I do have a problem with the pole sign on Princeton Road remaining forever. I can understand your situation with the GEO issue. I am happy it will not be on the building, but we shifted some of that signage that we were using for GEO and put signage on the side of your building on Princeton Pike as well. If you would be willing, I would be more inclined to eliminate that sign permanently when the GEO line goes out. I am not saying come back to us and say we have another car line and we want the sign to stay. Iím saying very firmly that when GEO is gone, the sign is gone. That is the only way I would be inclined to be comfortable with allowing that sign, because in the spirit of what the Planning Commission saw and their approval, that GEO sign was gone.

Mr. Sweeney answered I agree, and I thought at that time that we had everything worked out based on the other signage that was on the building. I would be happy to go back to the original proposal which eliminated both pylon signs and there wonít be GEO on the building, as long as you would allow us the GEO identification. We need it there; as soon as the line is eliminated, we will take that down, but what I would like to go back to would be what we originally had accepted by the Planning Commission. The only difference would be that the Used Car letters were 36" instead of 28", but other than that everything was the same. I was real pleased with that and I have no problem agreeing to that second pylon being gone as soon as the GEO line is gone. Mr. Sweeney stated what I would like to happen is to eliminate the sign on the street with GEO. GEO will never appear on the face of this building. All I would like to see then is the size of the Used Car sign to go from 28" to 36", which what was originally okay. Then I think we are back to 12/10 which is what Planning Commission liked. Mr. Okum commented itís not that simple, because you are adding 43.3 on with the Chevy Bow Tie sign

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21 January 1997

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Mr. Sweeney added if we eliminate eventually the small pylon sign on the Princeton Road side, and I donít have any Chevrolet signage here, I have no Chevrolet signage on Princeton Road. Mr. Okum responded weíre not saying get rid of this; what we are saying is if you eliminate the GEO from the building, we are approving this with a little bit smaller Used Cars on that section, and you have use of your GEO pole sign until the line is phased out. When the line is phased out, the pole goes and the sign goes. We have a situation where it is win-win for you and win for us. Planning Commission gets their wish that the two pole signs are gone; it just doesnít happen right away, and you are getting the signage on the building that you particularly want, with the exception of the reduction of the square footage of the Used Cars.

Mr. Mitchell said can we calculate the square footage? Mr. Okum said it makes it 693.7 square feet, and when the GEO line is phased out, it reduces it down by 36 square feet. Mr. Mitchell commented so it is back to Proposal A, plus the Chevy Bow Tie of 43.3 square feet. Mr. Okum asked Mr. Sweeney if he were in agreement with that and he indicated that he was.

Mrs. McNear asked Mr. Sweeney how long he anticipated he would need the GEO pylon sign for service issues after the GEO is phased out. Mr. Sweeney answered I feel it would be a maximum of two years after 1998.

Mr. Okum said my concern is it becomes one variance and we have a variance from 1968 for 662 square feet on the site. We need to keep the language right because the variance goes with the land, but that Mr. Sweeney has agreed to the removal of that sign and has expressed that to the Commission.

Mr. Mitchell commented they are asking for Proposal A with an additional 43.3 square feet. which would bring the total up to 693.7 square feet. When the GEO logo is no longer needed, Mr. Sweeney has agreed to remove that from the property. Mr. McErlane stated you could make the condition that it be removed when the GEO line is removed. I donít know if you want to put a maximum time limitation on that, whatever Mr. Sweeney would feel comfortable with in terms of a time limitation.

Mr. Okum said I donít have a problem with when they drop the GEO the sign goes. Mrs. McNear added Mr. Sweeney wants it for two years beyond the line for servicing the vehicles. Mr. Sweeney commented that is not that big a sign. Mr. Okum said you still have your listing of all the things you service; that is not part of this consideration. Mr. Sweeney added it is unreadable from the street but it is there once people are on the premises to know where to go for service. If you are driving on the street, you wouldnít see it. I wouldnít make a big deal about that. What would be helpful is if we could set a date of letting us keep the sign one year beyond the final year for the GEO. We might be selling GEOís the following year. If we could take October 1, 1998 as the date of elimination for the GEO and we could take the sign 12 months beyond that. That would give me enough protection. Mr. Okum said so October 1, 1999 is your request.

Mr. Okum moved to approve the signage package based on Proposal A with the addition of Building 6 Chevy Bow Tie sign at 43.3 square feet, and Mr. Sweeneyís agreement and the variance being granted based on removal of the GEO pylon sign (Pylon #3) and the signage contained on it on October 1, 1999. Mr. Squires seconded the motion.

Voting aye were Mr. Okum, Mr. Squires, Mrs. McNear and Mr. Mitchell. Variance was granted with four affirmative votes.



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21 January 1997

Page Six


A. Dr. David C. Corfman, 11081 Springfield Pike requests a variance from Section 153.165(G) to allow a rear yard setback of 5 feet.

Michael Neiheisl attorney with Kepley Gilligan and Eyrich stated I am here on behalf of Dr. Corfman. This matter became an issue because Dr. Corfmanís neighbor Drs. Todd and Webb, proprietors of Springdale Family Medicine wanted to expand their medical practice by taking in a new physician, and in the course of doing that added a new wing to their building. They are adding additional payroll of approximately $150,000 per year, the building itself costs about $350,000 and they will be equipping the building with approximately $75,000 in furniture and equipment.

Unfortunately they were short on parking spaces and they realized that they could garner two additional parking spaces by swapping a piece of property with Dr. Corfman. They gave him a piece of property of approximately 640 feet so he could walk his dogs, and he gave them a piece of property of approximately 379 square feet to accommodate these additional parking spaces. Unfortunately Dr. Corfman had a preexisting use variance from the 35 foot rear yard setback. His building went to almost within 10 feet of the rear yard but this takes him farther away than that and the property line will come within five feet of the rear of his building. An easement restricting any kind of construction or maintenance of any structures on this property will be filed to restrict any use of this property except for parking spaces within five feet of either side of the property line, but they do need this variance to complete the parking lot with these additional two spaces.

Mr. Okum asked for an overall site plan, and Dr. Todd showed the complete site plan. Mr. McErlane reported that what this is the result of is expanding the parking area for Drs. Todd, Webb and Hancherís office, and basically is a property swap with Dr. Corfman to accommodate additional parking on Dr. Todd and Webbís property. The property that is being swapped from Dr. Todd is a portion in the back of what used to be Spoonerís Pizza and will be used for walking dogs and that type of thing. To accommodate that, it would reduce the rear yard setback for Dr. Corfmanís property to five feet along the entire back line. There was a portion towards the corner of the building that was already five feet and it was a legal nonconforming use because it existed prior to that even becoming an office. This request causes that five feet to be along the entire length of the building. The point of the no build easement is a building code issue because of fire separation distances.

Mr. Squires said as I understand this, this is an exchange of a very small parcel of real estate between the two buildings which will allow Springdale Medical Practice additional parking spaces and also will benefit Dr. Corfman in his practice to exercise his "patients". By the copies we have here, it looks like the swap already has been completed and you are asking for the setback of five feet where we require 10 feet.

Mr. Okum asked if the area in which you will be walking your dogs be enclosed, a new fenced area? Dr. Corfman said no, it is open; it is a grassy knoll.

Mr. Squires moved to grant the variance and Mr. Okum seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Squires, Mr. Okum, Mrs. McNear and Mr. Mitchell. Variance was granted with four affirmative votes.



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21 January 1997

Page Seven


B. Duke Realty Investments requests a variance to allow the installation of three leasing signs on the property at 134 Merchant Street. Said variance is requested from Section 153.092(E)(11) "Real estate ground signs shall not exceed seven feet in height."

Mike Meyer of Ray Meyer Sign stated I am here representing Duke Realty Investments. My company previously had three permit approved sign locations at 134 Merchant Street for temporary leasing signage. Previously the signs were commercial real estate signs with CB Commercial Real Estate Company. With Dukeís acquisition of that building at 134 Merchant Street, they asked me to install for them in the same locations three of their standardized leasing signs, which are eight feet tall and four feet wide. When I supplied Mr. Lohbeck with some paperwork for those signs, he advised me that those signs would be in violation of the Zoning Code, and he advised me to apply for a variance. I have applied for a lot of variances, and I canít tell you that there is a great deal of hardship not having those signs the way they are. The hardship would be that Duke would have to incur the cost to have a customized sign made that would be within the seven foot height allowance. I am really here tonight to defer to your judgment on whether or not the signs could go up and be nine foot six inches from grade to the top of the sign. It is a standardized sign that I use for them in other locations. The signs we had there previously for CB Commercial were signs that were four feet by five feet, which is standardized size for them. I did have conversations with Duke about fabricating custom signs for this location, and he told me before I do that to apply for the variance from this board.

Mr. Mitchell stated the issue is the height of the sign, nine feet six inches, instead of the seven feet required.

Mr. Okum said so you had 20 square feet per sign or 60 square feet, and now you are asking for 32 square feet per sign or 96 square feet. Mr. Meyer answered when he called me he didnít talk about square footage as an issue. Mr. Okum responded thatís fine, but you have to realize that you are putting three signs on that site and increasing them dramatically, by 30%. Mr. Meyer said I would have to defer to Mr. McErlane on this. Mr. McErlane reported a real estate sign can be up to 5j0 square feet; it is only the height that is the issue. The height is a little over nine feet. Mr. Okum wondered why there were three on one site, and Mr. McErlane reported that there really are more than one property involved there. It is 134 and 144 Merchant Street and for 144 Merchant, there are two street frontages, and 134 is allowed to have one for its street frontage. Mr. McErlane stated we asked for a site plan and did not receive it. Mr.Meyer said all I can say regarding the site plan is the sign locations for the new Duke signs are the exact same locations where the previous signs were. Mr. McErlane added it is a typical requirement to get site plans for ground signs.

Mrs. McNear suggested lowering the sign. It looks like you have a good two to two and one half feet. Mr.Meyer answered that was my first comment to Mr. Lohbeck; the signs could be lowered almost to ground level which would then mean the signs would be a little over eight feet in height. I probably would want to have the signs high enough so the grass cutting people could handle the grass around the bottoms of the posts.

Mr. Okum commented you already have them in place, so it would be a matter of modification if we approve them.



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21 January 1997

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Mr. Okum asked how long the signs are intended to be up, and Mr. Meyer responded I do not know. Typically, Duke keeps signs like this up until the properties are substantially leased, and I donít know the percentage of leased space in the buildings right now. From past experience, at other locations, signs like this are up 12 to 36 months.

Mrs. McNear stated I donít have a problem if we drop the height of the signs, but if it is something that will be used for up to 36 months, I think we should look at it more in terms of allowing the sign for a short term while another sign is made, rather than give a variance for three years. What happens if they fill the building up and somebody vacates after twelve months and the sign goes back up? This is something we could be facing for a long long time, and we donít want to set a precedent. Besides that, donít put any more signs up without having the variance first. Mr. Meyer said that was miscommunication in our office. Two people handle two different accounts, and the person that handles the Duke account thought that because the sites were already permit approved there would be no problem.

Mr. Squires said Iím not so sure we would accomplish a lot by lowering these signs, and I want to reiterate that these signs are already up and what has been said before about getting a variance before putting signs up is extremely important. That should be conveyed most strongly.

Mr. Squires moved to grant the variance and Mr.Okum seconded the motion. Mr. Squires voted aye and Mr. Okum, Mrs.McNear and Mr. Mitchell voted no. Variance was denied with three negative votes.

Mr. Meyer said so the sign need to come down and something else replace them. Mr. Mitchell confirmed this.

C. Tri-County Shell Station, 11595 Princeton Pike requests variance to add 16 square feet to existing pole sign. Said variance is requested from Section 153.092(E)(3) "..a pole sign shall not exceed 50 square feet in area." Variance granted 5/19/92 to allow 160.15 square feet.

Matt Shneider the manager of the station said I am requesting the additional 16 square feet on the existing pole sign. I was not the manager when it was put up, and I would like to be able to keep the sign or at least get a permit from month to month. It is a convenience for my customers to know that we have the MAC machine in the store, which generates a lot of business.

Mrs. McNear commented this sign has been before us many times throughout my many terms on the Board of Zoning Appeals. She asked Mr. McErlane what the current variance is for that sign. Mr. McErlane reported the existing variance is 160.15 square feet, and they are asking for 16 more square feet, which would take it to 176.15 square feet total on the pole sign. Mrs. McNear continued that property has a significant amount of variance I believe, something like 600 to 700 square feet of signage.

Mr. Okum commented I like your sign drawing, but it doesnít truly depict what you have up there. You have a totem pole in front of that site, which is probably the most oversigned corner in the City of Springdale. I donít have a problem with your having a MAC sign on your sign, but I have a problem with your having a MAC sign and the ETD and all the information and the car wash and the shell on the sign. I think it is well oversigned.



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Mr. Okum continued I also use the Route 4 Shell and it has a MAC sign, but it doesnít have all the other items it, and it seems to do an ample amount of business as well. I will be voting against this request and if they do come back to us, I would expect to see the ETD gone and the MAC in that location or shift everything up if you are going to do anything with the signage. I prefer that the signage be reduced down on the site; I see a need for you to have the MAC, but I donít see a need for you to have that and the ETD. It just adds more signage on that totem pole out front.

Mr. Squires said I feel strongly as Mr. Okum does but the question would be is the ETD (Experience the Difference) sign necessary as a Shell franchise; do you have to have it? Mr. Schneider responded yes, that is all part of the Shell franchise. They are trying to make the food mart itself stand alone from the Shell gasoline. The program is to let all the customers know that any of the food marts they go into will have the same products and promotions. It stands alone, almost like a separate business. Mr. Squires said and you really feel you would lose business if you would not have a MAC facility? Mr. Schneider answered the customers have become aware of it, and we do a lot of business with people who stop in just because we have the MAC machine. Mr. Squires added and the ETD sign is required by the Shell company? Mr. Schneider confirmed this.

Mr. Okum commented I know you are a franchise, which is sort of strange because the Shell station on Route 4 is part of the same franchise and they do not have the ETD on its sign and that is a much larger foot mart than yours. I know the ETD is part of the signage package when they resigned it, but it wasnít done on Route 4 and that was done more recently than yours, so I think you are just adding signage more than replacing it.

Mrs. McNear said the problem I have with adding additional signage on your pole is your neighbor across the street will be in here next month requiring additional signage as well. This is something we have experienced, so I would like to agree with Mr. Okum in his suggestion to replace something on your sign with the MAC sign.

Mr. McErlane reported that the previous variance was for almost 340 square feet and permitted was 283 square feet. The new request would put them at 356 square feet, so we need to modify the variance request to include Section 153.092(D)(1)(b).

Mr. Okum said for purposes of getting this to the floor, I will move that this be added to the request and that the request be granted. Mrs. McNear seconded the motion.

Mr. Mitchell commented it seems as though we at this point of time are amending Shellís request; they arenít amending it. They came in asking for 16 square fret and we have added additional square footage. Mr. McErlane reported we actually added the wording for the section they were requesting, and if you approve that, the only way it can be done without also a variance for total signage is to remove some signs somewhere to accommodate it.

On the motion to grant the variance no one voted aye and Mr. Okum, Mrs. McNear, Mr. Squires and Mr. Mitchell voted no. Variance was denied with four negative votes.


Board of Zoning Ajppeals Meeting Minutes

21 January 19

Page Ten

VI NEW BUSINESS - continued

C. Sterling House, 11320 Springfield Pike requests variance to allow 31 parking spaces and to allow the waste container to be located within the side yard. Said variances are requested from Section 153.065(B) "..shall have one space of off-street parking per 300 square feet floor area and one additional space for each 2 employees." (89 required) and Section 153.072(1) "It shall not project into or be located on a front or side yard."

Mr. Steve Schuer stated I represent U.S. Commercial Constructors the builders of the Sterling House facilities. This site plan has not been revised to reflect Planningís comments and recommendations that were attached to the approval last week, but it doesnít affect tonightís discussion, because we are talking about parking and dumpster location.

Mr. Schuer continued parking needs for most of the facilities for Sterling House is quite different from what zoning regulations would require. Sterling House has done an average daily trip summary which took into consideration the families visiting the residents, the health people, vendors, administrative staff and the residents. What the study revealed was for a 42 unit facility, which this is, 26 parking spaces would be required. Also, even though this is a 42 unit facility, it is made up of 30 units of regular assisted living residents and 12 units of confusion management (Alzheimerís). The parking we have shown here is an increase from what we originally showed (26). This site plan reflects 31 parking spaces with four handicapped.

Mr. Schuer added Mr. Gassett can confirm this, but in doing studies like this, Sterling House has come up with a number of statistics that would bear out the reason for 31 spaces. One of the interesting ones was of the almost 1300 residents they have in all their facilities, four or five of them actually drove. It is not uncommon for the residents to have their children picking them up and spending time away from the facility. The average age of the resident is 85, and they do not require intense nursing home type care, but they do need some assistance.

Mr. Okum wondered what the intent was for the area of 1.39 acres to the rear of the site. Could you put parking at the rear end of the site?

Mr. Gassett said when we build a building we use our own funds to build, and then when we have it completed and occupied we go back to our lending source and receive loans. As a result, we donít want to convey any more land to the mortgage company, so we will try to establish a new boundary line. Your city attorney had contacted me about purchasing this area back here. We are requesting an additional entrance, and we are going to talk about whether it would become an easement or actual purchase. The City wants to purchase that. Mr. Okum said I am talking about Lot 3 in the back. Mr. Gassett responded that is what the City wants to purchase, in addition to the roadway access.

Mr. Gassett continued one of the other issues that I talked to Bill earlier about is we would like to have you consider the 30 foot setback from the building to this established property line. I think it will be used for parking, and they agreed to put in some additional fencing for privacy. If we did not have the 30 feet, we could move the property line back to 50 feet, but we do rather sell to the city, and 30 feet is pretty typical for a rear yard setback.

Mrs. McNear asked if they have plans for the other piece of property and Mr. Gassett answered not at this time. We have some hopes that if the building goes very well we could do additional development there.



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21 January 1997

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Mr. Okum said so if your parking became cramped, you are not going to have any place to render additional parking to your site in the back. Mr. Schuer added especially if you look at the finish grades, it will be raised considerably.

Mr. McErlane stated the applicant already will need to establish access easements with the property to the north the way it is divided off because they share a common access drive along that property line. I would like to point out the potential for shared parking easements. Considering the fact that the assisted living facility probably will have maximum parking requirements on Sundays or holidays, if that other use becomes an office use or business use of some type, it probably will not be using its parking at that point of time. It is something to consider in terms of writing easements into that before you sell that property, cross access or cross parking.

Mr. Okum said your recommendation would be to incorporate a cross easement of shared parking? Mr. McErlane answer if the applicant thinks that is a feasible alternative that would put the board at ease in terms of the number of parking spaces for maximum times. Mr. Schuer and Mr. Gassett agreed with the suggestion, adding that there is no problem with that.

Mr. Schuer showed the dumpster enclosure on the site plan. That is required to be in the rear yard but the grading plan would show the change in elevation between this edge of the building and the zoning line which is pretty extreme, and it would be difficult if not impossible to locate this enclosure in the rear yard and maintain some type of access for the trucks to pick up the dumpster. The dumpster enclosure will be cedar on metal frame and landscaped. Mr. Okum wondered if they were landscaping totally around the dumpster container, all three sides and Mr. Schuer answered that they were. Mr. Okum said for the parking space in that corner, you will need some landscaping to the right side between the parking space and the cedar fence. Mr. Okum asked how they intend to keep the dumpster trucks which slide those units back in from blowing out your cedar fence? Mr. Schuer answered typically there are bollards built in the enclosure filled with concrete so the fence will be strengthened and there probably will be bollards on the outside as well. Mr. Okum asked if the gates were steel framed and Mr. Schuer answered that they were with rods that go into the pavement.

Mr. Okum stated the applicant requested that we consider the rear proposed zoning line to be considered as part of the application in a 30 foot setback variance from our code calling for a 50 foot rear yard setback. I believe he is asking that this be added to the request.

Mr. McErlane asked if that also would include the request for the five foot setback from the north property line for your parking? The Zoning Code requirement is 10 feet. The Zoning Code requirements for Public Facilities District are a little more extensive than our commercial districts. It requires a 10 foot minimum setback from the north property line (Section 153.064(D)(1)); the applicant is requesting a five foot setback. The reason that it was questionable as to whether or not he would request it tonight was because it is a future property line, but typically in lot split situations where we are going to require a variance, it is done before the lot split is performed. The other section for the rear yard setback which is shown at 30 feet and the minimum setback requirement is 50 feet is Section 153.064(B).


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Mr. Okum said I guess I should read the comments from Ms. McBride, because these were issues brought up at Planning Commission.

"A variance should be considered to reduces the parking lot setback from the north property line to 5 feet provided an evergreen hedge two feet at planting is planted to buffer the parking area." That would be along that north line that we are talking about the potential cooperative agreement between sites for parking.

Mr. Okum stated she made a comment regarding landscape materials being filled out; "A variety of landscape materials needs to be added to the islands near the confusion management wing and the islands separating the parking area." I guess that would be in the front of the building and not the back, but she did not comment on the rear lot setback.

Mr. McErlane stated I made that comment in my report, and at that time the applicant said that would be addressed when the lot split would occur but it sounds like rather than come back to this board twice, it would make sense to consider that at this point of time.

Mr. Okum wondered if that same comment regarding landscaping and separation of properties should be considered for that rear lot? Mr. McErlane responded not necessarily; I think especially considering we would think that property line actually will be a city lot line and we will have fence up around that because it will be part of the municipal garage compound. If there is landscaping there I donít think it is to buffer this facility from our municipal garage. Mr. Okum said but we should include her comments regarding the five foot setback and hedging along that north property line. Addressing the applicant, he said I believe you said that hedging was not a problem for you, and Mr. Gassett indicated that it was not a problem.

Mr. Okum moved to grant the variance.

(1) That the 89 required parking spaces (Section 153.071(1) be reduced to 31 parking spaces;

(2) That the dumpster be located on the side of the lot with appropriate landscaping provided in the landscaping plan approved by the city (Section 153.072(1);

(3) That the request for a five foot setback from the north property line be approved (Section 153.064(D)(1) from the 10 foot requirement, provided the applicant place a two foot high at planting evergreen hedge along that property line; and that

(4) The rear yard setback be approved from the 50 foot requirement to 30 feet (Section 153.064(B)). Mrs. McNear seconded the motion.

Voting aye were Mr. Okum, Mrs. McNear, Mr. Squires and Mr. Mitchell. Variance was granted with four affirmative votes.


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A. How to Handle Expired Variances

Mr. McErlane stated at our workshop, I asked the question about variances that were never acted on, and the only place that we have anything in written form is under the Rules and Guidelines of the Board of Zoning Appeals. It says that " ..a variance once granted will be referred back to the Board of Zoning Appeals if there is a change in circumstances, which would be if they decided to change the sign or setback, or if after expiration of six months no construction is done in accordance with the terms and conditions for which such variance was granted. The City Law Director shall be consulted to ascertain if the City will incur any liability in the revocation of the variance." I know we have a number that were never acted on. I donít know that there are volumes of them, but there are some. The next step says, "When the revocation of the variance occurs, a notice in writing to the property owner should be issued with copies to the Building Official and the Mayor, and a minimum of 30 days after the notification, the variance shall be deemed null and void and all regulations governing such premises in question shall revert to those in effect before the variance was granted."

Mr. McErlane stated procedurally I see that we will go through what variances have been issued and never acted on, forward a list to the Law Director to get his opinion on whether or not it presents a problem, bring that list in to the Board of Zoning Appeals and have you act on them. If they are revoked, after revocation a notice is given to the property owner, the Building Official and the Mayor, and the property owner would have 30 days to come back in and say they still need the variance. If they donít, it is null and void. For the next meeting, I will have a total number and can see if you want to act on them in one meeting or split them up.

Mr. Okum asked why the bord would need to legislatively act on them if they become null and void, isnít it a matter of acclamation? Mr. McErlane responded because your rules state that it needs to be referred back to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Mrs. McNear commented if the variance goes with the land, six months is a short time. I think we should let them know before it is expired, be proactive rather than reactive.

Mr. McErlane said so your suggestion is that we notify all the people who have expired variances and give them the option to come back into the Board of Zoning Appeals?

Mrs. McNear responded I think we need to tell them when we grant the variance that they have six months to act on it. Tell them up front. For the ones that were already granted, I donít think we can just take them away. Maybe we need to send a letter out asking them if they plan to use the variance before it would expire. Mr. Okum added it could be a form letter that the variance that was granted on such and such date is up for reconsideration due to lack of action on your part and site the section, stating that they have to take action. Mrs. McNear added and if they donít respond by a specific date, the variance will automatically expire and send the letters by certified mail.

Mr. Squires said when you talk about these expired variances, are you talking about the temporary variances that we have issued? I donít understand how a variance can expire; that bothers me.



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Mr. McErlane reported our rules say that if it is not acted on within a six month period, it expires. Mr.Okum commented what is really complicated about it is like Sweeneyís; his sign variance goes back to 1968. Mr. McErlane responded the Law Director says that if it has been acted on, it runs with the property indefinitely. Mr. Okum said he came in tonight and we approved that variance; say he doesnít act on it. It sounds to me like it goes back to the previous variance. So you would look at every variance in history to see if they have been acted upon? Mr. McErlane stated Iím not planning on going back more than 10 years, or even that far.

Mr. Mitchell commented I would send out a form letter and give them a month to respond if they want to initiate the variance. it would come back to us and we could look at what an earlier board approved and approve. Mr. Okum said and for those who donít respond, could we do it as a blanket revocation or would we have to handle them individually? Mr. Mitchell answered the ones that donít respond would be revoked; can we do that? Mr. McErlane commented I donít understand why you couldnít take a whole list of those who do not respond. Mrs. McNear asked if this would have to be put in the paper and Mr. McErlane stated we donít put anything the paper now. Mr.Mitchell commented we need to be reasonable and fair. They knew up front that they had six months. Mr. McErlane stated they probably did not know that. It is printed on a permit that they have six months to start a job. There is another six month period relative to coming in and applying for the same variance if you are denied.

Mr. Mitchell suggested that when we send out the permanent variance, we include that verbiage on the document. Mr. Okum said I think that is appropriate. Mr. Mitchell said announcing that is one thing but having it written in hand is something else. Mrs. McNear said you could also announce at the beginning of the meeting that if your variance is granted tonight you have six months to start the project. If it is denied, you can come back and request the same thing in six months. That could be placed on the agenda so you could read it at each meeting.

Mr. Mitchell asked what is happening with some of the recommendations made at the workshop? Mr. McErlane reported that there is a contract to rewrite the Zoning Code, and some of the things will be implemented there. In terms of procedures, those you should consider as a Board. I donít know that you have to write into your Guidelines that you have to notify people that they are on the record. That is a matter of procedures in the meeting. Mr. Mitchell stated I am trying to get some consistency; if it is in writing, you do it each time. Mr. McErlane said that is not to say that we canít write it down for you, or even put it on the agenda when people pick them up. Mr. Okum said they just need to be aware.

Mr. Okum added the other issue was notification. I know that Forest Park puts signs out on the sites. Mr. McErlane stated we are going to be doing that; we donít have the signs ordered yet. Mr. Okum said I think that would be really good to do. Mrs. McNear said and it would help us; sometimes it is difficult finding the site. Mr. Mitchell said another thing on visiting the sites, we probably do not have the authority to be on private property. Mr. McErlane stated you probably have more leeway on public businesses than private property. One thing he didnít point out as clearly was they donít recommend you have long discussions with the applicant about what they are requesting, only because they are afraid you will be influenced one way or another and you are getting information that the rest of the board doesnít have.


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Mr. McErlane said so we will give them notice that their variance has expired and they have the option of coming into the Board of Zoning Appeals and asking for it to be continued. Weíll give them until the deadline for filing for a variance, which will be the second Tuesday of the month of the meeting. Then we will follow the regular procedure.


Mr. Squires moved to adjourn and Mr. Okum seconded the motion. By voice vote, all present voted aye, and the Board of Zoning Appeals adjourned at 9:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,



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William Mitchell, Chairman



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Kathy McNear, Acting Secretary