Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

15 March 2005

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:             Fred Borden, Robert Emerson, Marjorie

                                             Pollitt, James Squires, Robert Weidlich,

                                             Jane Huber and Chairman Okum.


Others Present:                  William McErlane, Building Official


III.                  PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE




Mr. Squires moved to adopt and Mr. Borden seconded the motion.  By voice vote all voted aye, and the Minutes were adopted unanimously.


V.                 CORRESPONDENCE


A.          Zoning Bulletin – January 10, 2005

B.          Zoning Bulletin – January 25, 2005

C.          Zoning Bulletin – February 10, 2005

D.          Planning Commission Meeting Minutes – December 14, 2005

E.          Planning Commission Meeting Minutes – January 11, 2005

F.           Planning Commission Meeting Minutes – February 8, 2005



VI.               REPORTS


A.          Report on Council Activities


Mr. Squires reported that at the last meeting, we had the first reading of an ordinance to allow us to identify and address blighted areas within the city.  It would be used only when the violations are chronic and ongoing and all other measures have failed to remedy the situation.   Council also passed a resolution supporting the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority’s application for low income housing tax credits.  CMHA is going to build multi units across from Maple knoll.  They assure us they will begin construction of those in 2005 even if they don’t get the tax credits.


B.     Report on Planning Commission


Mr. Okum reported on the February meeting.  Planning granted approval of the Sprint/PCS antenna to be located on top of the Howard Johnson sign. The request for approval of four driveway connections to the street at 11475 Walnut Street was tabled to March and again to the April meeting.  Approval of a sign for National City Bank at 495 East Kemper Road was granted.  Approval of Macy’s sign was granted.





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Mr. Okum said at the March meeting, Temple Baptist Church and College library was approved and referred to BZA.   Request for two additional signs at former Pier I, 11711 Princeton Pike (off-premise signs) was denied because of the precedent that would have been set.  Request to approve of variance fore strict application for replanting 451 inches and penalty at 330 Glensprings Drive (Super 8).  The owner of the center testified that they had removed 451 caliper inches and it is impossible for him to replant 451 caliper inches.  Our planner, with their landscape architect, feels that they could help him achieve 200 inches, leaving 251 inches short, in addition to a $90,200 for the trees he had removed.  Planning gave him the opportunity to work with our planner, at his expense, to come up with a tree replanting plan and replant in an expeditious way and to fund the tree replanting program at $100 per inch for the other 251 inch shortfall.   So the penalty is in abeyance; it has not been relieved until he has done the replanting and Planning can reevaluate it.    We approved a conditional use permit for Union Savings Bank, 11333 Princeton Pike (former Cookers) to allow a drive-through on the north side of the building.  Preliminary development plan approval of the proposed 7,000 s.f. dental office at 311 West Kemper Road  in the transition overlay district. There was a lot of discussion about parking in the front and after that, there was an agreement to relocate most of that, so a lot will be in the back of the building.  This was tabled.  Preliminary development plan approval of the proposed Pregnancy Care Center, 309 West Kemper Road, adjoining the dental building.  There were several things that were not put together and this also was tabled.  Planning approved the building exterior changes of the former Bob Evans.  Planning also approved the exterior elevations of Value City Furniture, which was about 12:30 in the morning.  Mr. Squires asked if anyone had ever indicated to Value City that their parking lot could be improved if they planted some trees. 


Mr. McErlane reported that they added trees when they did the department store.  They created a new landscape bed around their sign and planted several trees in that location.  They also replanted in front of the building when they redid the department store as well.  Mr. Squires said there is nothing on the Kemper Road side.  Mr. McErlane responded probably only the street trees that the city had planted.


Mr. McErlane reported that when the department store came through, the existing façade on the building was a glazed white brick that had problems with it spauling all the way across the front and around the sides.  The department store refaced that with a drivitt system.   The only thing that was changed was the entrance around the furniture store, so the furniture store is now making some modifications to that, but not to the extent that the department store did.








15 MARCH 2005



IX.               NEW BUSINESS


A.          Administrative Appeal – Planning Commission Denial of Landscape and Driveway Plan, 12050 Princeton Pike (Staples)


Mr. Okum said we have a letter of correspondence from the applicant’s lawyer and a phone call from the applicant.  We also have a situation where this is an appeal to a Planning Commission decision. 


The applicant has requested that this be continued, but because this has been advertised and there may be someone else in the audience that would like to address the board in this regard, we are going to open the hearing.  If no one comes forward, we will continue the hearing in progress based on the applicant’s request.  If there is someone here, we’ll hear their testimony and their position.  Is that what we need to do, Mr. McErlane?


Mr. McErlane reported I would recommend that you not hear testimony tonight, that you just open the public hearing and hear testimony next month.


Mr. Okum responded could we at least give someone who has come to the meeting the opportunity to comment?


Mr. McErlane answered I would recommend against it, because I believe that the city’s staff needs to be here.  Everybody that is going to be involved in it needs to be here to hear the testimony. 


Mr. Okum said so I will open the public hearing to give the opportunity for it to be continued.  Anyone who is here that came for the purpose of giving testimony or wishes to address the board in this regard, please understand that the applicant has requested that this be continued.  It is the decision of this board whether they want to continue this to the next meeting, but if it is continued, you are more than welcome to address the board at that meeting. 


Mr. Okum opened the public hearing.  He said since this is open to the public, is there anyone who would like to address the board? 


Mr. Okum asked Mr. McErlane if we had correspondence  from the applicant.  Mr. McErlane reported that we have correspondence from the applicant asking for a continuance until the April 19th meeting. 


Mr. Okum said is there anyone else who would like to address the board in this regard?  No one came forward, and Mr. Okum said we will close the discussion from the public at this time, but we will reopen it if this is continued.


Mr. McErlane said I would suggest that you continue the public hearing in process until the next meeting.


Mr. Borden moved to continue the public hearing in process and Mr. Squires seconded the motion.  By voice vote, all voted aye and the hearing was continued to April 19, 2005.




15 MARCH 2005



B.          Temple Baptist Church and College requests variance to allow the construction of a 4,500 s.f. library in the side yard of their property at 11965 Kenn Road.  Said variance is requested from Section 153.067(B) “Accessory uses shall not project into or be located on a front or side yard.”


Reverend Horsley said we want to place the library on the north side of the sanctuary to get closer proximity to the college.  It will be a library for the college, so it needs to be close to the classroom so the students will have easy access to it.  There is plenty of space to house it and with putting in landscape properly there should be no problem.


Mr. Okum said we received three building elevations, a floor plan of the building and a hand rendered site plan showing the requested area for the building. 


Mr. McErlane reported that the applicant is proposing to construct a 4,500 s.f. library building on the north side of their existing church and college.  Planning Commission granted a conditional approval for the project, and one of the conditions was that the applicant obtain a variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals.  


The reason for the variance is because the property is currently zoned  Residential Single Household – Low Density (RSH-L).  A number of churches in Springdale are in residential zoning districts, and religious places of worship are permitted in those districts.  However, there is a section in each of those zoning districts that requires that an accessory structure not be located in a front or side yard, or project into a front or side yard.   Realistically I don’t think this was intended to address this type of situation.  It was intended to address a residential use, so it is staff’s recommendation that the variance be granted, and that we will consider forwarding a zoning text amendment to Planning Commission to change this in the future so we don’t have this type of situation.


Mr. Okum opened the public hearing.  No one came forward and he closed the public hearing.


Mr. Squires moved to grant the variance based on the submitted drawings, and Mr. Weidlich seconded the motion.


Addressing the applicant, Mr. Squires asked if they intended to remove the shed that is in the back, and Reverend Horsley answered no. 


Mr. Okum said because this creates two accessory buildings on the site, do we need to deal with the storage shed issue?


Mr. McErlane responded probably so.  When you go into the code and look for the requirements for it, you start with 153.067 (B) which says that the accessory structures have to be in the rear yard but it refers you back to 153.492 which limits you to one shed and 120 s.f.  If you want to include Section 153.492 relative to the size and the number of buildings, that would take care of it.





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Mr. Squires moved to amend the motion to include Section 153.492 to allow more than one shed over 120 s.f. and Mr. Borden seconded the motion.


On the amendment, all voted aye, and the motion was amended unanimously.


On the motion to grant the variance, all voted aye and the variance was granted unanimously.


X.                 DISCUSSION


Mr. Okum said Mr. McErlane indicated that staff is working on changes to the Zoning Code.  If there are any items that you think need to be looked at, this is an opportunity to get your input. 


I do see one item, and that is you could have a 120 s.f. shed but you can build a 24’ x 24’ garage.  If I took out my one-car garage and put a two-car garage in my back yard, I’m legal but I could only have 120 s.f. shed.  I think we need to take a look at that.  I think one accessory building is appropriate, but I think building density and lot density is important as well.  Maybe we could look at that and see how it could work.


Mr. McErlane said if you have some suggestions, I’ll gladly consider them.  Mr. Okum answered I haven’t come up with one, but I am a little bit concerned.  Mr. Borden said are you suggesting scaling the accessory buildings according to lot size?  Mr. Okum responded something needs to be done, because you can build a two-car garage on a single-family residential lot provided you don’t have another garage on the lot.    If I were to take a Heritage Hill or  Terrace home, close off the garage and make it a family room, and then agree to build a 24’ x 24’ garage in my back yard, as long as I adhered to the Zoning Code setbacks, I think I would be legal.  Am I wrong?


Mr. McErlane reported that there are some other limitations that would apply.    One is that you have to have at least a 10-foot side yard to accommodate putting a driveway through to it.  Mr. Okum commented that is a little hard in Heritage Hill and The Terrace.  Mr. McErlane continued that there is a maximum rear yard land coverage of 18% for the accessory building and a maximum of 35% land coverage for all structures in the rear yard. 


Mr. Borden said if you had two lots, could you build a garage on the second lot.  Mr. McErlane responded if you wanted to consolidate the lots.  You can’t put an accessory building on a lot that has no principal building on it.


Mr. Emerson said my neighbor has an extra lot.  If a person were to buy it, he would have to consolidate them.  But with two-car garages on the far end, he wouldn’t be allowed to put a two-car garage on his second lot. 





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X.  DISCUSSION - continued


Mr. McErlane responded you can only have an accessory building on a lot that has a principal use on it, so it could only be on the lot that has the house on it.  Then, he could only have one garage.  So if he decided to convert the existing one, he would have to do something with the driveway, either connect to his new garage from that driveway or remove that driveway to put another one in.


Mr. Okum said if you have anything that you want to be reviewed, please get it to me so I can get it to staff.


Mr. Emerson responded a couple of months ago we ran into that situation where the applicant had a privacy fence 10 inches inside her chain link fence.   That might be something that should be addressed, to at least back it up so you can maintain your yard, to allow enough room to push a lawnmower through.


Mr. Weidlich said it should be that the property owner can only have one fence, not two.  Both of those were her fences.  Mr. Emerson added that some people put up sections of privacy fence to shade a pool or for privacy by the deck.  We don’t restrict that. 


XI.               ADJOURNMENT


Mrs. Huber moved to adjourn and Mrs. Pollitt seconded the motion.  By voice vote, all voted aye, and the Board of Zoning Appeals adjourned at 7:50 p.m.


                                                            Respectfully submitted,




__________________,2005          __________________________

                                                            David Okum, Chairman




__________________,2005          __________________________

                                                            Jane Huber, Secretary