20 MARCH 2001

7:00 P.M.




  2. Chairman David Okum called the meeting to order at 7:06 p.m..

  4. Members Present: Councilman Robert Wilson, Bob Weidlich, Bob Apke, Councilman James Squires, Fred Borden, Jane Huber and Chairman Okum.

    Others Present: Richard G. Lohbeck, Inspection Supervisor

  6. There were no corrections, and by voice vote all members voted aye and the Minutes were adopted unanimously.

    1. Planning Commission Meeting Minutes 13 February 2001
    2. Zoning Bulletin Ė February 25, 2001
    3. Zoning District Map
    4. Ordinance 103-2000 Amending Zoning Code
    1. Report on Council Activities Ė Jim Squires

Mr. Squires stated that at the last meeting of Council there was a presentation by CDS of the Springfield Pike Streetscape. Phase 1 goes from Northland Boulevard to Kemper Road and will cost about $900,000. Council gave approval to go ahead with the study of this and as property is obtained, work on this will begin. I have a report that I can share with members of this board. Mr. Okum wondered how far north it went, and Mr. Squires answered to the Shell station at the Butler County line.

B. Report on Planning Commission

Mr. Okum reported that Maple Knoll got unanimous approval of a brick wall to be constructed in front of their building. It was deferred to Planning from our board last month, and there were some issues resolved and recommendations and adjustments made.

Final approval for Mikeís Car Wash at 1190 East Kemper Road was granted after some concessions by the developer particularly with the lighting. The applicant agreed to lower the lighting levels to not exceed 15 on the site and to maintain the low levels at the perimeter.






20 MARCH 2001


  2. Mr. Okum reported approval of a 10í x 38í temporary For Lease banner for Pictoria Tower. It will go up on the metal framework, and will stay six months after opening.

    Another temporary banner was requested at Cheap Bed & Furniture (former HQ). There was quite a bit of discussion and applicant agreed to work for a permanent sign in the current light box while he has the temporary banner.

    Many members were concerned about the upkeep of the site and encouraged the applicant to have Kimco take care of it and gave him 45 days for the temporary banner. We discussed amending the Tree Preservation Ordinance to include redevelopment requirements. The Planner will bring another draft to the next meeting.


A. Tipton Interests requests variance to allow the construction of a monument sign 0 feet from the right of way and 8l feet from the east property line at 35 Tri-County Parkway. Said variance is requested from Section 153.531(D)(5) "A ground sign shall be..not less than 25 feet from another business lot line and 10 feet from a street right of way line." (tabled 2/20/01)

David Tipton, filling in for his partner Bill Woodward said I wasnít here at the last meeting, but it is my understanding that after listening to the discussion it was determined that what we were asking for was not very favorable and we should reconsider our position. With that, I believe we will move the sign to more of the center of the property. Before we were asking for it to be over next to the Cooker Restaurant. Our request is now to move it over to the center of the property. However, if we put it back off the 10-foot right of way, we will bury it in the tree and it will not be visible. So we would like to move it out into the 10-foot right of way but center it on the property so the tree does not hide it.

Mr. Okum asked if there were copies for the board members. Mr. Tipton had only one copy, and Mrs. Webb left to make copies for the members.

Mr. Okum said this shows the proposed monument sign in the original location, and your request is to move it over to where it says flagpole? Mr. Tipton said there is a circle around it; it is right on the line. Mr. Okum said so it is basically where the flagpole mount is.









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Ms. Fulks, Manager of Arhaus answered it is very close to where that was originally, but closer to the street. Mr. Okum asked if the sign would project past the dashed line on the drawing and Mr. Tipton indicated that it would not.

Mr. Okum said so this portion of the depth, "not less than 25í from a business lot line" would be removed from this request, but "10 feet from the street right of way line" would remain.

Mr. Okum asked if anyone in the audience wished to address the board. No one came forward and he closed the public hearing.

Mr. Squires said you have 18 feet back to that dashed line. Is that the right of way line? Mr. Okum answered that is the curb line; right of way line is back further from there. Currently it is 18 feet to the property lot line, and the right of way line is somewhere in the middle. Mr. Tipton said the first dashed line would be the right of way line, and we would be right on it.

Mr. Wilson added you are choosing to go as close to that right of way line as you can. Would moving it back five or six feet be an inconvenience? Mr. Tipton answered there is a beautiful tree there, and when the tree is out in the summer, the sign would be buried. That is the reason we need to move it out. Ms. Fulks added we actually took a six-foot ladder, and put the sign where we knew we could put it without a variance and we couldnít see it. We drove by at all angles and couldnít see the sign. We moved it where we are asking, and we could see it from all directions.

Mr. Wilson responded so in order to comply or bring it back five feet, you would have to cut down some branches. Ms. Fulks responded that it is a substantial tree and in the summertime, it is full. Even trimmed, it would block the sign. Mr. Okum asked if they could move it one foot off the line, and Mr. Tipton agreed to do that.

Mr. Squires moved to grant the variance for the monument sign one foot off the right of way line in the center of the site as shown on the drawing. Mr. Borden seconded the motion.

Voting aye were Mr. Squires, Mr. Borden, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Weidlich, Mr. Apke, Mrs. Huber and Chairman Okum. Variance granted with seven affirmative votes.

    1. Maple Knoll Village requests variance to allow the construction of a brick wall in front of their building at 11100 Springfield Pike. Said variance is requested from Section 153.482(A)(1) "No fence or wall, other than a retaining wall shall project past the front building lineÖ" (Tabled and deferred to Planning Commission 2/20/01)

Mr. Wilson excused himself from the discussion and vote.

Margarette Beckwith of Beckwith Chapman Associates and Lena Marsh of Maple Knoll Village approached the board. Ms. Beckwith stated at Planning Commissionís direction, we have reconfigured the wall to make it a little closer to the other and make the curve a little tighter to save the trees.


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Ms. Beckwith added we are trying to relocate as many of the memorial trees that are being eliminated within the garden area. So we will be taking up most of them and moving them, but there are several that will be eliminated because they are too old or the quality is not quite good enough to transplant. For those trees, we have asked and Planning has agreed to allow us to replant them one to one. In other words, not replace a 10-inch caliper with five 2-inch caliper trees but do it on a one to one basis. This memorial planting is done almost annually, so these were all trees that Maple Knoll planted them under this program.

I know Mr. Okum had some concerns about the view in this direction against that wall, and we are going to try and locate some flowering plants out here to create some screening. We donít want to get things in front of the sign.

We also have submitted a planting plan for this, and it h as alternate plantings of shamrock, holly, etc. which grows from four to six feet tall, and then we will have a band of spyria so this fence will be quite nicely screened from view. Besides, only a certain amount of it comes close to the road, so I think it will be a beautiful wall and provide screening from the noise and the view.

Mr. Okum said the 15-inch tree removal was a big discussion at Planning, and they agreed to alter the walkway to go around it, but it turned out that altering the walkway really didnít change the situation. What they have presented this evening moves the wall further back from the public right of way than what we saw at the last meeting, as a compromise to allow that 15 inch tree to continue to survive. Moving the wall back gives them ample space to get that sidewalk in place.

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

Mrs. Huber said last month there was an item stating that there would be a loss of four parking spaces. How are you handling that? Ms. Mares answered we submitted a parking study, and we are well within the requirements.

Mr. Borden asked if the plantings would take place as soon as the wall is erected? Ms. Mares answered as soon after as possible. Mr. Borden asked if it would all be completed this year, and Ms. Mares indicated that it would.

Mr. Weidlich wondered if the walkway where the parking spaces are is the existing walkway. Ms. Beckwith indicated that it was not, and showed the existing walkway on the drawing. Mr. Weidlich commented that the wall would be on top of it.

Mr. Borden asked if the residents can get outside the wall. Ms. Mares answered no, the intent is that this be a protected area. For those residents, particularly those with dimentia, that come down to this space, the elevator will only open out to the space. There is a service access point, and from the inside, the resident will not be able to tell it is a gate. We will screen the inside of the wall as well as the outside.


20 MARCH 2001


Ms. Beckwith added that the whole idea is to have the wall landscaped so they feel it is a part of the garden as opposed to something keeping them in. The other gardens are open so the residents will be able to walk between the gardens outside the wall.

Mr. Squires moved that the variance be granted with the relocation of the wall further back from the right of way as presented and the trees to remain as recommended by the Planning Commission.. Mr. Weidlich seconded the motion.

Voting aye were Mr. Squires, Mr. Weidlich, Mr. Apke, Mr. Borden, Mrs. Huber and Chairman Okum. Variance was granted with six affirmative votes.


A. Clifford Bosken requests variance for room addition at 11963 Navona Court to extend 31 feet from the rear property line. Said variance is requested from Section 153.102(A) "..shall have a minimum rear yard setback of 35 feet."

Mr. Bosken said I purchased this from my son who purchased it without having it surveyed, and we didnít know that our property line was inside the fence. The building was already existing; all we did was tear it down and replace the bad wood, everything but the roof. It never had a permit and was too close to the rear property line, so we are asking for a variance.

Mr. Okum asked who owned the property behind him, and Mr. Bosken answered that it is the Cityís, Chamberlain Park. I donít know who put the fence up that gave us a false reading on the location of our property line.

I think you have copies of the pictures I took; I have the originals. He passed them around the board, adding that he would clean it up, paint it and put vinyl siding on it. There also will be windows in it, but I have to get the variance first. I understand it doesnít have a foundation, and I will have to put one under the original cement floor.

Mr. Okum wondered if it were a heated area, and Mr. Bosken said that it would be. Mr. Okum opened the public hearing, asking anyone who wished to speak. No one came forward and he closed the public hearing.

Mr. Lohbeck reported that this requires a 35-foot minimum rear yard setback. The record shows that this wood structure has been here as early as 1990, and the County Auditorís records indicate 1993. Section 153.580(D) allows an open but roofed porch to encroach up to 50% into the required rear yard. Section 153.580(C) requires an enclosed porch to meet the rear yard setback of 35 feet. This enclosed room requires a 35-foot rear yard setback.

Mr. Okum added that the staff comments also state that the Building Department doesnít have a record of a permit for this.

He asked the size of the addition, and Mr. Bosken said it is 9í x 21í.


20 MARCH 2001



Addressing Mr. Lohbeck, Mr. Borden asked if the City would have any interest in the property inside the fence line. Are they willing to give it up? Mr. Lohbeck answered that he wouldnít know that. It would be up to the city engineer to survey all that. I donít think we put the fence up; the property owners at some point of time probably put it up.

Mr. Okum said I think I can understand your situation. It would be easy for a resident to assume that a fence was on his property. In this case, the fence is partially on your property and partially on the city property. You are definitely encroaching with this existing building, but I donít know how you would ever get whatís there up to meet a heated 9í x 21í space. There is a lot to do to be conforming.

Mr. Okum said because of where that fence line is, I donít have a major problem with it considering it only projects out nine feet. On the other hand, if we are talking an addition on the back of your house, it becomes an addition and not something that happened to be there and got redone.

Mr. Okum commented there is a lot involved in creating a 9í x 21í room addition. When it gets to the nitty gritty, that may not be something you would want to invest in, and you would end up with a porch without the sides on it and conform.

The reason I bring that up is that I would hate to issue a variance when the costs for a 9í x 21í addition are very excessive and we would be issuing a variance on something that would not happen. Are you prepared to go through that complete process?

Mr. Bosken said I am prepared to do it. If we donít I would have to take the whole thing down. It probably would cost me less to tear it down, but thatís not what they want; they want a room on the back of it.

Mr. Wilson said I am confused. I will read the application question and your response:

"Does strict compliance with the Zoning Code present an undue hardship or practical difficulty as it relates to use or development of the property? If so, explain." "Yes, to remove said structure would require extensive work. More work will be necessary to return room to original thereby costing expensive repairs."

You just said it would be cheaper to tear it down. Mr. Bosken said yes it would be cheaper, but my son and I can do a lot of the work ourselves. We can get it done. However, when I tear that roof down it will have to come out of my pocket, one lump sum. I am working on my friends to give their time and help me do this.

Mr. Wilson said you have an enclosed garage, which seems to be mostly storage. Maybe you could move the wall between the garage and room forward, and give you the room addition you need. So maybe you wouldnít need this room addition. We are talking about a lot of cost.


20 MARCH 2001



Mr. Wilson added I wouldnít have any problem approving the variance in terms of the footage issue, but I have a concern about approving a variance not knowing what the completed project will be. If it gets to be expensive you may eliminate something, and it may end up being an enclosed porch instead of a fully heated room addition. You are saying you will replace the flooring with new concrete. Mr. Bosken responded the floor itself is solid.

Mr. Wilson said will your vinyl siding match the colors of your brick house? What I am looking for is conformity; if you are not going to use the same brick, will the siding be the same or close to the color of the brick? Mr. Bosken answered we would try to match it as close as possible. If this is what the board wants me to do, that is what Iíll do, but I donít know how close I can come. Mr. Wilson said on the upper level, there appears to be aluminum siding, and I suspect you would try to match that as opposed to the brick. .

Mr. Borden asked if a variance had ever been revoked because of inactivity. Mr. Okum responded that according to the Charter, if after six months no action is taken or it is non-conforming to the variances request, it is revoked. Mr. Borden said if we were to approve the variance and he decided not to go through with the project, we could come in and revoke the variance. Mr. Okum confirmed this.

Mr. Squires said I donít have any problem with the footage because of the situation you have, but if we approved the variance and you decided not to build it, that variance stays. Mr. Bosken said I just heard them say that if it isnít done in six months, it can be revoked. I intend to do it.

Mr. Squires said I think Mr. Wilson was saying that we would like to see some finalized plans as to what the room addition would look like in terms of color of siding and brick. Our function is to approve a variances, but it would be helpful to me to see what it would look like and when you intend to start construction and when you intend to finish it. Mr. Wilson agreed adding we could approve the site or setback and say that we want to see what it will look like. It may or may not be in our power as a board. When we vote on a variance, most times we know what the end product will look like and we can vote on the total package. Here we are voting on half the package, and that is why I am uncomfortable. Iím not saying I wonít support it; I have no problem with the setback.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum said I think the board members are not overly comfortable with a plywood shed on the back of the house. If it ultimately becomes an addition, then the variance is more acceptable. Your intent is to make this a room addition. We know we had a roof and some columns or posts on the corners, and somehow it got enclosed. Your request is to make that enclosure permanent.

There are a lot of things involved in making this an addition, and I donít want to be granting a variance when you havenít exercised all the financial balances to make sure that this is truly a hardship and you can justify that to this board.


20 MARCH 2001



Mr. Okum added I donít have a problem with the setback request if an addition is going on there and the addition is within code. The requirements for that are pretty substantial, and that is the reason I was wondering if we were just granting a variance for a porch. You already have a porch that is permitted in that space. It became an enclosed porch at one time, and that is where it becomes difficult. The applicant is requesting that an open porch be converted to an enclosed room, and the setback requirements become the issue. The siding is not an issue. The reason for my bringing it up is because it is a little hard to change a concrete patio into a room addition base. For a nine-foot addition on the house, it doesnít seem worth the hardship on the property owner. Right now it is like a 9í x 21í shed, and I am not comfortable with a shed against the house and the setback requirement not being met.

So I am not overly excited about carrying forward on it. You are convinced you will go forward with this and make it a room addition? Mr. Bosken said it is up to you whether I do it or not.

Mr. Okum said if we grant the variance and if in six months it is not done, the variance would be void. If the board members feel that the setback is not a problem if it is an addition, and the applicant meets all the code requirements you will need to grant the variance. If you are in opposition to the setback issue, you need to vote that issue alone.

Mr. Okum said the other things to consider is if Mr. Bosken has a hardship here, would it be detrimental to adjoining properties, and is it a situation that would cause a change to jour zoning code through other properties in the area. Considering that there is a fence 49 feet from this addition that has been there probably 20 years, I would have assumed it was my property, and the hardship is that somebody made an enclosure here. So, I probably would be voting in favor of the variance, relying on our Building Department to make sure it meets code.

Mr. Squires moved to grant the variance and Mr. Borden seconded the motion.

Voting aye were Mr. Squires, Mr. Borden, Mr. Apke, Mr. Weidlich, Mr. Wilson, Mrs. Huber and Chairman Okum. Variance was granted with seven affirmative votes.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Wilson said you need to work with the Building Department and make certain what you are proposing to do is according to code before you build anything.

    1. Robert Wetterer, 12060 Elkridge Drive requests variance to allow the construction of a deck 10 feet from the rear property line. Said variance is requested from Section 153.580(D) "An entrance hood, deck or open but roofed porch may project..not more than 50% into a required rear yard. (20)"






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Mr. Wetterer said I am asking to replace a deck that apparently was built without a permit 20 years ago. It is pulling from the house; the ledger board is about an inch off the house on one end due to poor construction. It is 24 inch on center joists, and there are no supporting beams anywhere. It extends out 14 feet from the house and by code it probably should have a beam around 10 feet.

The deck also covers a kitchen window, and I am proposing to take this 14í x 18í deck and shrink the width down to 14í wide to allow light in my kitchen. The main portion of the deck will now only extend 10 feet out from the house, but I will be adding a stairway that will come down the front of the deck and make a 90 degree turn and let out on the side, so the stairway will extend out 14 feet.

The only thing I am asking is that I can replace the deck already there due to safety concerns and general lack of appearance.

Mr. Okum asked if anyone present wished to address the board.

Gene Nordgren, 851 Cedarhill Drive said the proposed deck is against our back property. Our house is below his, and we would feel the impact of the deck more than anybody in the neighborhood would, and we have no problem with it. The old deck is already there and this will be an improvement.

Rob Wetterer added that there is a door on the second floor, and if I were not able to replace the deck, I would have a door going nowhere.

No one else came forward, and Mr. Okum closed the public hearing.

Mr. Wilson said I looked at the deck and anything done to it, especially something like this, would be an improvement. You can clearly see that it is pulling away. There is a fence, almost like a privacy fence that covers the entire area, so his neighbors wouldnít even see anyone on the ground level. I feel comfortable with this.

Mr. Okum said for clarification, you indicated that the new deck would be 14í x 10í instead of 14í x 14í but you indicated that the staircase has a landing on it that adds an extra four feet. Mr. Wetterer said my main point was to indicate that the staircase isnít going to be added in front of the deck to extend it out any further than it is currently. Mr. Okum asked if the main deck without the staircase landing is 10 feet? Mr. Wetterer indicated that it was, but the landing is an integral part of it.

Mr. Borden said is it an issue of the house being constructed without a variance? Mr. Lohbeck responded we did not find anything in the records that showed any variance. It would be legal non-conforming. Mr. Okum said the rear of your deck faces the side of your neighborís home. Mr. Wetterer said by my shrinking the width of it by four feet, it will bring it even further back behind their house, maybe only five feet behind their house.



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Mr. Squires asked if he had considered anything smaller than 14 feet, and Mr. Wetterer answered there is a lower deck and a concrete pad underneath that. The concrete pad goes out 14 feet, so it would be a significant cost to have that concrete removed and reworked. To add to that, the driveway comes back at an angle that ends at that 14 feet, so it would foul up the angle of the driveway. Iím not happy with it, but I will do what I can to improve it.

Mr. Squires moved to grant the variance and Mr. Borden seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Squires, Mr. Borden, Mr. Apke, Mr. Weidlich, Mr. Wilson, Mrs. Huber and Chairman Okum. Variance was granted with seven affirmative votes.

The Board took a recess at 8:35 p.m. and reconvened at 8:45 p.m.

C. Chris Smith requests variances to allow the construction of a 1,348 s.f. single family residences with one car garage and situated 5í from the east property line and 6í from the west property line at 601 Cloverdale Avenue. Said variances are requested from Section 153.071(A) "..shall have a minimum side yard setback of 10 feet each side with a minimum total of 22 feet.", Section 153.075A) "minimum area shall be 2,000 square feet" and Section 153.075 (B) "ÖA single two car garage and related parking area is required."

Mr. Smith reported that a variance was granted some years ago to make this lot a 45-foot width. In order to get a decent house with the zoning in place, we needed to make the adjustments. The house would have five-foot side yards; our front and rear yards are fine. If we concur with todayís zoning, the house would only be about 22 feet wide, which would be the size of a two-car garage. Mr. Okum asked where the garage would be, and Mr. Smith answered inside the perimeter of the house.

Mr. Okum opened the public hearing, asking anyone present to address the board.

Mike Laage, 616 Cloverdale Avenue said I have been a resident since 1984 and a resident of Springdale for 25 years. I live about two doors up and across the street . On the north side of the street the lots are very large; I have an acre and a half. On the other side of the street, the normal lot is 50 foot. This lot is about 45 feet. This lot has been neglected for a very long time, and the elderly person who owned it failed to maintain her property line, and the owner of the house to the east sought control over a portion of the land that they were taking care of. By court order, they were granted five feet of that area, which made this lot 45 feet.

I would like to point out some facts that I think makes this a major variance, and I donít believe that it would benefit this residential area. There have been some new houses built there, but primarily it is an older residential area, and we need to protect our residential areas. The City does a great job with regards to commercial areas but the residential area, the backbone of the community, is very important and we have to maintain the quality in the residential neighborhoods.


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Mr. Laage said the requirement is for a 10-foot setback on each side. On one side it is 5 foot, a 50% reduction, and the other side is 6 foot.

They are asking for a one-car garage instead of the two-car garage that is required. The required size of the house is 2,000 s.f. minimum, and I think you have to look at the quality and what is best for the community. They are asking for a 1,348 s.f. residence which is considerably smaller than the 2,000 s.f. minimum.

I think there are a number of residents who oppose this; there are a number of them here. I had not spoken to any of them prior to tonight, and I think there would be a lot more here or who would sign a petition opposing this size building on this size lot. All you have to do is ride through the neighborhoods and look at some of the small houses that have been built on these 50-foot lots to see how they are being kept.

I have spoken to my councilperson in the past concerning my opposition to this, and I stress quality if we want our neighborhoods to be as good as they are or better in the future or go downhill. If it conforms, it is a two-car garage. I donít want to live across the street; I donít think my neighbors do or the people who live on the other side of it, so I would urge all of you and would ask as a resident that you oppose these variances..

Clifford Bosken, 600 Cloverdale said I agree with Mike 100% on this. I have lived in Springdale in this house for over 50 years. Where that house is was a swamp. We had water in there the hottest days of the year that wouldnít go down. The water table dropped, and at 595 Cloverdale they put a crawlspace underneath it when they built that house.

I donít want the house in there. I donít think the quality of the house is the same as mine, even though my house is old (built in 1929). We have too many small houses taking up lots that donít have anything on them, and I believe this would be another one that does not have the quality we would like.

Mr. Okum swore in the next person to speak.

Mike Gingrich, 595 Cloverdale said I am in the house with the five-foot difference. My wife and I have lived there 2 Ĺ years and when we saw the for sale sign go up on the lot next door we called the City and they said it was able to be built on, it caused a great concern for us. We have put our house up for sale, and it hasnít closed yet but it can happen in the next month. We werenít ready to leave Springdale; we liked our house but we were in fear if this goes in at five feet and I could jump roof to roof. We donít want a house that close to ours and we decided to sell before it was constructed. Another thing is that we werenít informed of this meeting. We found out from Mr. Bosken and this will affect us more than any one else.




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Mr. Gingrich said I strongly oppose passing these variances to allow them to build this house. Iím going to be sad to leave Springdale, but I felt that I couldnít take a chance that these variances would be passed and the house would be built. Our realtor said that was the biggest problem that people were scared that they would build a house on a 45-foot lot.

Gary Riesenberg, 610 Cloverdale Avenue said I am catty cornered from that property, and I am opposed to it. Everything has been said that can be said. Before I came to the meeting, I walked off the property, and that property is at least 10-12 feet smaller than the two or three lots next to it. The smaller ones that have been built on those 50-foot lots are just not being taken care of. My house is one of the oldest and needs the most repair, and I am trying to take care of that. If you are putting in houses so small, crackerboxes, that they will be squeezed on lots, then I donít have any incentive to fix my house up. My idea is to stay in Springdale a long time, fix the house up or add on to it.

Bert Ritzie, 604 Cloverdale Avenue (across the street from the lot) said I want to reemphasize the idea of putting these small box houses in with the traditional houses we have in that area. I have lived in my house all my life, almost 50 years, and our lot is 75 feet wide and 600 feet long. Putting a little box house along with several houses that are similar to mine doesnít seem to go together.

Mr. Bosken added that we have a resident who is out of the country, Mr. Schindler at 594 Cloverdale Avenue, and he and I have talked on many occasions, and he would be opposed if he were here. Mr. Okum responded we appreciate your comments but it would be unfortunately hearsay without him being here.

Mr. Okum said we do have a letter signed by two residents that should be part of the public record. It was addressed to William K. McErlane:

"We live at 604 Smiley Avenue. The lot you wish to build on at 601 Cloverdale is directly behind my house. The lot is so small we are not pleased about the idea, and canít understand why you wish to change the city code for this purpose. Thank you. We have to be out of town and we would have been there.

Charles E. Kloth

Rita A. Kloth"

No one else came forward, and Mr. Okum closed the public hearing.

Mr. Squires said item #2 it asks if strict compliance with the zoning code presents an undue hardship or practical difficulty as it relates to the use and/or development of the property. The answer is yes and it says "The house would not be desirable". Can you expand on that?



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Mr. Smith said if we were to build a house according to what the zoning allows, it would be only 22 feet wide, and typically a two-car garage is 20 feet wide. In order to construct a house that would be 2,000 s.f. with a two-car garage it would be strange looking to say the least. I did notice that most of the homes in the area set on 75 or 100-foot wide lots. There have been a few that have been built on 50-foot lots and I donít know how they are taken care of, but that would be the responsibility of the individual who buys the home.

If I am able to build this house, it will be a nice looking ranch house with a brick front and vinyl siding at the sides and the rear. It will be something to fit a small lot. My point is if I donít build on it, somebody will. It is a lot that is buildable if they conform to the code.

Mr. Borden wondered if he had a buyer lined up, and Mr. Smith answered that he did have someone interested in living there.

Mr. Wilson said I looked the lots and what we have given variances to before. The adjacent lots are both 50 feet wide and this is 45 feet. Addressing Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Wilson said you indicated you were selling your house because you were afraid of what was happening next door. How long was your house on the market before it sold? Mr. Gingrich answered it is not sold yet;

We have not closed, but it took a month and a half. Mr. Wilson added you havenít closed, but you have a person who has expressed interest in spite of the fact that there may be a house next door to them. Mr. Gingrich said I donít know if the buyer is aware that there might be a house next door or not.

Mr. Wilson said the house would be five feet from the property line, but there is nine feet from your house to your property line, a total of 14 feet. I understand your concern, but I am curious as to why you are concerned. You have sold your house. Mr. Gingrich said is it fair for me to sell my house to someone without them knowing about this? When closing time comes, that is something I would like to present. Mr. Wilson said I am surprised you didnít get a notice; we can check on that and if that is the case, we owe you an apology. The surrounding neighbors are notified and there is a public legal ad in the newspaper.

Mr. Wilson added there was a comment made by Mr. Laage about the houses. Driving up and down those streets, I see houses of all sizes ages and conditions in the same neighborhood. There was another builder here a couple of months ago and we gave him a variance. Of course his lot size was larger. This is a very small lot compared to the others that we approved. While I can understand and appreciate what you are saying, and the fact that you are here means a lot to us, the fact that the house is small doesnít have anything to do with the quality. The question is can we approve a house any size built on this size lot.

Mr. Smith said the house has two full baths and three bedrooms. The master bedroom is 14í x 13í the second bedroom is 12í x 13í10" and the smallest is 11í x 11í. There is a great room that is 15 Ĺ x close to 19 feet.


20 MARCH 2001



Mr. Smith added that there would be an eat in kitchen, a laundry room and furnace room. The kitchen has a pantry and coat closets; all the bedrooms have adequate closets that are six foot long or bigger. The master bedroom has two closets. The one car garage is 12í x 20í so there is more than enough space for one car.

Mr. Squires said I assume this is on a slab. Mr. Smith indicated that it is.

Mr. Lohbeck reported that the applicant is requesting a variance from Section 153.071(A) which requires a minimum 10í side yards with a total of both side yards at 22í. The applicant is requesting a 5í minimum side yard on the east side of the house and a 6í minimum side yard on the west side of the house. He is also requesting a variance from Section 153.075(A), which requires a minimum dwelling unit area of 2,000 s.f.; he is proposing 1,348 s.f.

He is also requesting a variance from Section 153.075 (B), which requires a minimum two-car garage with a minimum floor area of 400 s.f. and a maximum floor area of 700 s.f. There is an existing variance on the property for the minimum lot size of 12,000 s.f. (5,625 s.f. exists) and for the minimum width of 80í (45í exists).

The attached site plan is for information only. It was to show that a house could be placed on the property without obtaining variances, but this site plan would require several variances since the new Zoning Code was adopted in March of 2000. It appears that a larger dwelling unit size can be obtained without encroaching into the required 40í rear yard setback. An additional 170 s.f. can be obtained by extending the house to the l40í rear yard setback and if it were multi-story additional dwelling area would be obtained. Staff recommends that the driveway be widened to 18í to accommodate the minimum requirement of 2 9í x19í offstreet parking spaces.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum said you have heard the comments from the staff concerning the ability to increase your square footage by extending the house to the 40í rear yard setback, or you could go multi-story and meet the additional space requirements per our code. How do you feel about that?

Mr. Smith responded I donít have a problem with extending it back as far as I can. I was trying not to be right on the borderline of everything, but it is no problem to do that.

Mr. Okum said if the applicant were to increase the square footage by moving additional spaces to the rear, the side yard setbacks would still be an issue. The applicant has put 6.5í on the west side and 5í on the east side.

Is the resident of the property to the west here this evening? Mr. Laage answered that he is not here. Mr. Okum said the property next door has a 28í side yard setback, and this house is being pushed the other way. It is a difficult site, but you could accomplish the square footage requirements by adding a second story on all or part of the house and exceed our 2,000 s.f. requirement.




20 MARCH 2001



Mr. Okum said based on the 34-foot wide house that the applicant has submitted, if you allow 20 foot for the garage width that would leave you 14 feet of building space across the front. So, you could accomplish a two car garage if you would go a two story and you still would have 14 feet if you had a five foot side yard setback. If we held you to the 10-foot setback, you would have five foot for frontage (besides the garage).

Mr. Smith responded my concern about having too big of a house there is having too many people to be on that small a lot. With a house that size, you could have four or five kids and not much of a backyard for them to play in. I am looking at selling this to a small family, one or two children at most or maybe no children. A ranch would be desirable to a retired person as well

Mr. Squires said we are considering at least three variances and possibly five Mr. Smith answered I think it is just three. The driveway is no problem. I didnít realize it had to be 18 foot wide and it would be easy to widen it out. The only variances are the square footage of the house and the side yard setback and the two-car garage. Mr. Squires commented whether we go to the square footage or not, the side yard setbacks are always going to be an issue. If you go into the 40-foot rear yard setback, you could pick up an additional 170 s.f. and you said you didnít have a problem with that. If you went multi-story, you could get additional square footage there, but you have a problem with that. Would you e explain that more?

Mr. Smith said due to the fact that the lot is not that big and for a house to be 2,000 s.f. you probably are talking four bedrooms, 3 baths. You probably would have a big family there and the lot doesnít carry the space for a family with kids to have room to play. I look at that in terms of a selling point. The person I have interested in it now is a single person and the house would be perfect for them. It is not too big and I can build lilt at a reasonable price. When you get into a 2,000 s.f. house, what I would have to get for that and then looking at the lot size, it will deter a family from wanting to move there. The 2,000 s.f. house doesnít fit the 12,000 s.f. lot.

Mr. Squires asked if construction costs would be $70 to $80 per square foot, and Mr. Smith indicated that it was.

Mr. Wilson said I appreciate the people in the audience coming out and speaking. That is important because many times our decisions are based on your input and also on what is best for the city. Addressing an individual in the audience, he said you raised your hand and Iíll let you speak before I comment in general. Mr. Gingrich said when you said both lots next door were 50 feet; ours is actually 105 feet because we are on a double lot.

Mr. Wilson commented the applicant could make modifications to the house to be more in compliance. I agree with him in that a 2,000 s.f. house would generate at least a family of five. I agree that is not the best use of the land, to have a house that size.



20 MARCH 2001



Mr. Wilson said in listening to you in the audience, I am concerned about those of you in the audience who are opposing this. Are you opposing the size of the house or are you opposed to a house being on that house at all?

Mr. Laage responded I am opposed to both, and I think Mr. Smith said it very clearly. The lot does not carry a larger house. A 45-foot lot just doesnít make it. That lot needs to be subdivided and the house on the left needs to take a portion and the house needs to take a portion. That is what needs to be done to make the neighborhood look better.

I have had several conversations with people; they can do it with retail around here because the land is so valuable. However, I canít go in and buy the house next door or I would if I could come out even or just lose a few dollars to make it look nicer. A person canít come in and tear a couple of houses down and build a nicer one. Believe me, I have looked at it, because that is what I want to do.

I really believe that somebody has to take a stand and say this is just not right. I ask you to put yourselves in either of those positions next door. As you are sitting there on the back porch, that vinyl siding will be right next to you, five and six feet away. To me, these are substantial variances. They are not minor variances. There are a number of them, and I think they are substantial. I have never appeared before a board like this, but I feel strongly that it shouldnít be. I know the neighborhood and I just donít think this would do the neighborhood any good. If you build a house there, I donít know who will live there; it really doesnít matter. I just donít think the house is right for that neighborhood. If it is bigger and conforms to the code, you havenít succeeded because the builder is standing here saying that lot doesnít fit the larger house; you have failed.

To me you have failed either way if it goes through. And, I think you have failed us, because in all honesty you work for us. I know that after 26 years that I work for the citizens and I feel you work for us, and that is why we are here. I hope you listen to us. I understand the code and I understand that you have to abide by the code, but by the same token at times people have to take a stand and say this is not right. If we are going to improve our neighborhood, something has to be done, and we either have to upgrade it somehow. We have to look at residential renewal, not just urban renewal or business renewal as we are doing all through the city, but residential renewal if we are going to keep our residences and our neighborhoods a good quality.

Mr. Wilson responded one side of the house is 34.65 feet from the edge of the building; the other one is 14 feet, so we do have some footage there.

Mr. Wilson said I would like to ask each of you, and maybe you donít want to respond, is are you objecting to a house being there at all or are you opposed to the zoning that says it has to be 2,000 s.f. and a two car garage?



20 MARCH 2001



Mr. Riesenberg said you make zoning laws for a certain reason, not to come in and say we are going to change it. Arenít they there to protect everybody who moved in and bought for a reason? Not to say that somebody wants to build there and we are going to move everything out or in and back.

Mr. Wilson responded we change our zoning code for many reasons. The Board of Zoning Appeals is here to grant a variance if it is needed, and if you were here all evening, you saw that we granted a lot of variances. The zoning laws are guidelines that we use, but if it is an extreme hardship, if there is a reason to grant a variance that we feel is in the best interests of the applicant and not way out of line in conforming with the city regulations, we make an exception. Yes, the Zoning Code is there for a reason. It is as guideline that we try to adhere to, but the board is here for the person who wishes to make an appeal. We listen, and in all cases if we feel it is an undue hardship and it is in the best interests of the City and the applicant to approve the variance, weíll do it. On the other hand, if we feel it is not in the best interests of the City and not in the best interests of the applicant, we deny it, or we can deny it because it is way out of line, there are too many variances. Two months ago we approved variances on properties and the developer had to make some changes, because he came in with a house this size. We try to work with the applicant and the interests of the City as well.

Mr. Okum said I think what Mr. Wilson is saying when he says the City is that the City is all the people and all the residents. It is not just those who are elected or the administration.

Mr. Wilson said at this point, is everyone opposed to a house or the size of the house. From the audience, voices said both. Mr. Wilson said you are opposed to the size of the house and a house period.

Bert Ritzie, 604 Cloverdale said I feel anybody building a house and living there would be cramped in and uncomfortable. I guess I am just biased because I live on the other side of the street and my land is 75 feet wide and 600 feet long. I am used to the big place and I have been there all my life.

Mr. Okum responded the people here and the elected officials didnít create this monster. These lots were created by many people, some people a long time before we ever came into this city.

Addressing Mr. Smith, Mrs. Huber said you are just the contractor; do you have this land under contract to buy and then to build? Mr. Smith said yes. Mrs. Huber wondered if he was here with the authorization of the current owner. Mr. Smith said yes, he notarized the paper. Mrs. Huber asked if he knew about the code requirements when he bought the land, and Mr. Smith said I havenít purchased it yet, but I knew about the variances.

Mr. Smith said the house east of this lot sold pretty fast. Also the house I am putting up, especially if I increase the square footage in the rear, is going to be about the same size as their house. Years ago their house was only four feet off the property line until they took five feet off this lot.


20 MARCH 2001



Mr. Squires said my dilemma is I am listening to the audience and Mr. Smith who has the right to make a living by building. There is considerable feeling among the citizens who are here that it is not only the size of the house, it is no house. Both are an issue here. We have heard one citizen say that the best thing that the City could do would be to subdivide the lot to each person east and west to purchase part of that. I donít know that legally we can do that.

Mr. Okum said that the board has no rights to do that. We have an application for a variance. Based on the request itself, without any massaging or discussion, we could take action. We need an answer to the question if the garage space and setback requirements are impractical and impossible to make the site work according to our existing Code. It is a little difficult for us to sit here and say that a 45í x 120í lot would hold a 2,000 s.f. house. I donít think I could defend that; I donít think I could support that. On the other hand, we have almost every adaptation to these small parcels to a two-car garage. It is very difficult for me to say to this applicant that six months ago our code called for 10% of your lot width for side yard setbacks. We understand why it was changed to a minimum of 10 feet, because 10% of your lot width would be 4í-6" which is very much too close for a property width, and smaller than any side yard setback in Springdale.

We could tell the applicant that eight feet would be reasonable because that is standard in other parts of the community. To go down to eight would be an acceptable tolerance for me, but I have a real problem with going down to six and five feet. I would also hold to the issue of the two-car garage because that is part of our Zoning Code. We know what it does when you donít have that, and every parcel that I have been involved with since I have been on this board has maintained and been able to develop with a two-car garage.

As far as your requests are concerned, I would not be willing to give you a variance on the issue of a two-car garage. I would be willing to give flexibility on the side yard setback to eight feet.

Mr. Smith responded eight feet on a 50-foot wide lot works out pretty well; it is a decent width. Under the circumstances, this lot is so small compared to all the other lots in the neighborhood, this is the only 45-foot wide lot. I think that is why years ago when they granted this that they had a plan. I donít know why the plan wasnít adopted with the variance. Mr. Okum said the side yard setbacks conformed to that code. Mr. Smith continued that made sense, because the lot was only going to be 45 feet wide. The eight feet you are referring to would work well with the 50-foot wide lot. You still could get this house on there.

Mr. Okum answered I understand that, but you have to understand my position. Itís not my fault that it is 45 feet; that is the way it is. If you want to buy land from your next door neighbor, maybe you can to adjust for that. I donít know of any other residential lot in Springdale where we have less than eight feet on our side yard setbacks. Your request is for a 6í-6" and a 5í, and I will not be voting in favor of that.


20 MARCH 2001



Mr. Smith said you are still saying you would want a two-car garage. Mr. Okum confirmed that. I am one board member, and my opinion is that we need eight-foot side yard and a two-car garage. The square footage of the house needs to be increased by at least the 1,700 s.f. recommended by staff.

From the audience, the owner of the property indicated he wished to speak. The Board agreed to reopen the public hearing, and Mr. Okum swore him in.

Donald Kennedy of Hillsboro Ohio said I am the property owner and if you have any questions, I am here.

Mr. Okum asked if anyone on the board or in the audience had questions, we will open the floor to them.

Mr. Wilson asked how long he had owned the property. Mr. Kennedy answered it was in my motherís estate, so I only have owned it for four or five months. Mr. Wilson asked if he had been aware that five feet of his property was part of his neighborís property. Mr. Kennedy answered that there were the variances that belonged to my mother, so I knew it.

Mr. Okum asked if anyone in the audience wished to ask Mr. Kennedy a question. No one came forward, and he closed the public hearing.

Mrs. Huber moved to deny the request for the variances and Mr. Weidlich seconded the motion.

Voting aye were Mrs. Huber, Mr. Weidlich, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Apke, Mr. Squires, Mr. Borden and Chairman Okum. Variances were denied by seven votes.

Mr. Okum said you could talk to the Building Department about conforming uses for the site.

D. David Forrester, Owner of Naked Furniture requests variance to allow a tent on his property at 12117 Princeton Pike to remain in place two additional weeks. Said variance is requested from Section 153.490(D)(3)(b)

Mr. Okum reported that Mr. Forrester contacted our Building Department today and indicated that the sale was going so well that he doesnít need the tent extension. The tent will be coming down in the allowable period.

  2. Mr. Weidlich said I was missing the zoning bulletin.

    Mr. Borden commented that on the web page, our Minutes and Agendas are not up to date at all.

    Mr. Okum asked that an 8 Ĺ . 11 copy of the code changes be made for the members.


    20 MARCH 2001



Mrs. Huber moved to adjourn and Mr. Borden seconded the motion. Meeting was adjourned at 9:55 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,



________________________,2001 _________________________

David Okum, Chairman



________________________,2001 __________________________

Jane Huber, Secretary