Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

21 February 2006

7:00 p.m.


I.                     CALL MEETING TO ORDER


The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman David Okum.


II.                   ROLL CALL


Members Present              Robert Emerson, Marjorie Pollitt, Bill Reichert,

                                             James Squires, Robert Weidlich, Jane Huber

                                             and Chairman Okum


Others Present:                  William McErlane, Building Official


III.                  PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE




Mr. Squires moved to approve and Mrs. Huber seconded the motion.  By voice vote, all except Mrs. Pollitt who abstained voted aye, and the Minutes were approved with six affirmative votes.


V.                 CORRESPONDENCE


A.          Zoning Bulletin – January 10, 2006

B.          Zoning Bulletin – January 25, 2006

C.          Planning Commission Meeting Minutes – January 10, 2006


VI.               REPORTS


A.          Report on Council – Jim Squires


Mr. Squires said the property at 12065 Greencastle was declared blighted and an ordinance was passed authorizing the mayor to take action to acquire the premises, so the city now owns this property.  We passed an ordinance amending the Zoning Code,  housekeeping and language changes and you will get a copy of that.  We also had an ordinance authorizing engineering services for the improvement of S.R. 747 between I-275 eastbound off ramp and I-275 westbound off ramp.  The reports we are getting on the CSX crossing are not good in terms of schedule.  They should have had the track crossover completed by October, and as of February it is not done.  They are in an impasse right now so it is questionable whether or not they will be able to finish that by September of 2006.  There won’t be cost overruns for the City but it is an aggravation.  I haven’t heard anything about the former Thriftway property.  I understand negotiations are still going on.  They were off during the holidays and I don’t know the status.    


B.          Report on Planning – David Okum


Mr. Okum reported on the meeting February 14th.  We considered a replacement sign for Mallard Lakes.  The expressway sound barrier walls are going up, and Mallard Lakes was concerned about their sign being blocked by them.  I excused myself from the discussion due to a possible conflict of interest, and I understand that Planning approved the sign at 28 feet high by six affirmative votes.





21 FEBRUARY 2006





Mr. Okum said that Tri-County Mall is planning a renovation and if anyone would be interested in looking at the approved set of drawings, I have one here.   The Cheeseburger in Paradise wall will be revised and reviewed by staff since it is very stark and faces S.R. 747.  The sign along I-275 was incorporated into their plan.  It does include a community video screen, approximately 18’ x 40’ which is digitally operated. 


It is a great development, and I am very excited about the commitment Thor has made to the community and to the people of this region.  They intend to update Tri-County Mall to be a force in the community.  It is very important to Springdale, and we were pleased to approve their request.






IX.               NEW BUSINESS


A.          Carol Moyston, 557 West Kemper Road requests a variance to install a new fence on the property.  Said variance is requested from Section 153.482(A)(3) which states that fences on corner lots shall not be located in the required setback for the building from the side street line.


Carol Moyston, 557 West Kemper Road said I want to replace the existing fence where it is located.  When the fence was put up, this ordinance was not in place, and now to replace it in its location, I will need a variance. 


Mr. Okum asked if it would be the same type of fence that you have now.  Ms. Moyston responded no, it will be a vinyl fence.  Mr. Okum asked if it would be any higher than the existing, and Ms. Moyston answered said from the garage to the back portion will be six feet.  It is the area behind the garage. 


Mr. McErlane reported that the Building Department received an application for permit for replacing an existing chain link fence at 557 West Kemper Road.  We researched the records to determine whether or not a variance had been granted previously, which had not been.   To the best of our knowledge the fence had existed prior to the present Zoning Code requirements. 


From the application, we have determined that it is intended to be a vinyl fence, but it is not clear from the drawings submitted by the fence company whether or not it is a six-foot fence and where that will be.


The Zoning Code requires the fence to be set back a minimum of the setback for a building on the side street. In this case, that side street setback is 30 feet and it appears that the fence by being in its current location would be about 10 feet from the right of way.





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Mr. Okum said you have some very good photos that were provided to us showing the existing garage and the right of way area. How far back is the right of way from the curb?


Mr. McErlane reported that the right of way line appears to be 10 or 11 feet from the curb, so the total to the fence is about 20 or 21 feet.  


Mr. Okum opened the public hearing.  No one was present to come forward, and he closed the public hearing.


Mrs. Huber moved to grant the variance and Mr. Weidlich seconded the motion.


Mr. Squires said should we amend that motion to include the fact that it will be a vinyl fence?  Mr. Okum responded we will amend it after we have some discussion.


Mrs. Huber said her current fence is over 40 years old and it is in bad repair so I see no problem with this variance. 


Addressing the applicant, Mr. Weidlich said you just purchased the home, and it looks like the previous owner held it together with sticks across the back.  This will be a solid vinyl white fence in what style?


Ms. Moyston answered it is a dog eared type fence.  Mr. Okum asked if there were air space between the pickets or is it a solid that you can’t see through.  Ms. Moyston responded there is a little bit of space between; it is similar to a dog eared fence where the vinyl planks are right next to each other, so there is not very much space; there is a little bit.


Mr. Squires wondered if the fence was a common one that you share with your neighbor to the left.  Ms. Moyston answered it is my fence.  He asked the height of the existing fence, and Ms. Moyston answered that it is about a four-foot chain link fence.  Mr. Squires continued so it will be replaced by a vinyl fence of what height.  Ms. Moyston responded from behind the garage to the back along Madison will be a six-foot fence.   Mr. Squires asked how high the fence would be between you and the property next door, and Ms. Moyston reported that it would be four foot.  From the front of the garage to my back porch will be a four-foot fence.


Addressing Mr. McErlane, Mr. Squires said since this is a replacement fence, would it be necessary to get a lot survey. Mr. McErlane reported we don’t require a lot survey for fences, although typically it would be recommended.


Addressing the applicant, Mr. Squires wondered if she were sure that the fence was on her property line.  Ms. Moyston indicated that she was.


Mr. Reichert asked if only the fencing would be replaced or the posts as well.  Ms. Moyston answered both the fencing and the posts. 


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Mrs. Pollitt said the fence between the back of your house and the edge of your garage will be a four-foot vinyl fence.  Then going from the back of the garage to the corner and across the back property line will be six-foot vinyl.  Then the common fence between you and your neighbor will be another four-foot vinyl.  Ms. Moyston confirmed all this.   


Mrs. Huber commented I’m all for you getting a new fence in the location you have asked for, but to have a six-foot fence along Madison Avenue is awfully high.  Is the six-foot required because of your dog? 


Ms. Moyston answered yes, I wanted to put that back behind there because of my dog.  Mrs. Huber continued does he require a six-foot fence to keep him contained?   Ms. Moyston answered no, he can’t jump over the fence.  Mrs. Huber asked if she would consider anything less than six feet.  Ms. Moyston responded I considered the four-foot section and at the last minute decided to put up the six-foot behind the garage.  I always wanted the six-foot in the back. 


Mr. Okum asked the applicant if there were any reason why she could not move the fence back further into your yard to meet the zoning regulation?  It probably would put it on the other corner of your garage. 


Ms. Moyston responded I wanted to keep it in line with where the original fence was.  Mr. Okum said even though it has deteriorated, the original fence blends and falls away because of the translucent quality of the chain link.  There is a big difference when you put a solid four-foot or solid six-foot high fence in that right of way area. 


I have a real problem with a six foot high fence that doesn’t transfer any light or air and is not translucent, and it is in total violation of the Zoning Code.  If it were a picket fence or something similar to that where a lot of air could be transferred through it and it wouldn’t be as massive, it would be better.  One-half inch between pickets isn’t anything but massive; at 20 feet you don’t see the gap between them. 


I don’t see any benefit to that except it is basically a privacy fence and you are putting a privacy fence 10 feet from the right of way.  It is very similar to a garage wall being extended to the rear property line, and I could not support that.


If you would be agreeable to an open air picket type fence in that encroached area, I wouldn’t have as much trouble with it.  But when you put a six-foot high fence there or solid fence there, I have some difficulty with your request.  So, at this point, I can’t support a  solid fence within the setback.


Ms. Moyston asked if he were talking about the point from the back of the garage to the rear property line.   I would be willing to change it to a picket style. 




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Mr. Okum asked if she were going to use the picket type between the house and the garage.   Ms. Moyston confirmed this, and Mr. Okum commented so it would be a 4 foot high picket.  Ms. Moyston agreed to change that.


Mr. Okum asked how it would fall on the rear property line.  That 20-foot section would be across the garage and from the rear of the garage along the property line of the next home on Madison.  That would still need a variance, wouldn’t it?  From the garage to the rear corner of the lot and then 20 feet in on the rear of the lot is the entire variance request. 


Mr. Reichert asked if she still planned on going with the six-foot privacy fence across the back property line.  Ms. Moyston answered I was planning on that.  Mr. Reichert commented so you would have four, then six and then four again.  Ms. Moyston responded all the rest would be four foot. 


Mrs. Huber said so along Madison Avenue it would be four foot to the rear, and then the tall fence.  Mr. Okum reported across the rear, the applicant is requesting that it remain six foot high, the solid form if that she is requesting.   Ms. Moyston confirmed this.


Mrs. Pollitt commented I noticed that the house behind you on Madison, the area that would be facing the fence is a total brick wall.   There are no windows or doors and there is probably not a lot that your neighbors would be using the little side yard for and they wouldn’t have to be looking at the fence since there are no windows. 


I understand what Chairman Okum stated about the possibility of bringing the fence line into the inside and taking it back, but you have such a nice lot there I would hate to see you lose the usability of your yard.  I think if you can go with a picket on Madison and a picket on the common fence between you and your neighbor it will look very nice.


I think that stretch with a six-foot fence would be massive.  I like the idea of having it open and having the picket type there.   I don’t find vinyl fences unattractive but if it means going to a picket fence along Madison so you don’t have to move it back to the other edge of the garage, I would prefer to see you have the use of that yard. 


Mr. Squires asked Mrs. Pollitt if she was talking about a picket fence across the back instead of a solid fence.  Mrs. Pollitt answered no.  She wants a solid fence across the back and my comment was that the neighbor doesn’t have any windows or doors on that side of their home so it shouldn’t impact them.


Mr. Okum said we were provided a CAGIS survey and it shows the fence on your lot and it appears that your fence is a little out of skew with where your property line is.  It appears that your fence is going into your neighbor’s yard. So a survey may be helpful to you to make sure that your fence is put in the right place.




21 FEBRUARY 2006





Mr. Okum added my point is not to put an overburden on you because all you are doing is replacing, and it was not to force you to the position where you need to move your fence back to the other corner of your garage. 


On the other hand, in terms of what I saw as a wall being constructed there, your willingness to put a picket fence not to exceed four feet high along the Madison Avenue area would be adequate and in the spirit of what was intended, and I won’t be objecting if a motion to amend is brought forward to do that.


Mrs. Huber moved to amend the variance request that the fence from the garage south along Madison Avenue will be a not to exceed four-foot high picket fence, with a six-foot fence across the rear yard.  Mrs. Pollitt seconded the motion.


Mr. Squires wondered if it were necessary to include in the motion that it should be a four-foot picket fence along the west side.  There is no variance required for that area.  We are only dealing with the Madison Avenue area.  Mr. Okum responded the motion is only to go to the rear lot line, and to allow the applicant six feet solid on the rear lot line, including in the variance area of approximately 20 feet.  This would be approximately 37 feet plus a gate along Madison Avenue, which will be picket, and the fence along the west side from the corner of that fence all the way across within the variance area will be allowed to be a solid fence six feet high as requested.


                        On the motion to amend, all voted aye.


On the amended motion, all voted aye, and the variance was granted with seven affirmative votes.


X.                 DISCUSSION


Mr. Squires said the new Springdale Elementary School is well underway and the students will be entering the school in September. 


XI.               ADJOURNMENT


Mr. Squires moved to adjourn. By voice vote, all voted aye, and the Board of Zoning Appeals adjourned at 7:50 p.m.


                                                            Respectfully submitted,




_____________________,2006   __________________________

                                                            David Okum, Chairman




_____________________,2006   __________________________

                                                            Jane Huber, Secretary