BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MINUTES
15 APRIL 2008
7:00 P.M.

I. CALL MEETING TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order at 7:06 p.m. by Chairman David Okum.

II. ROLL CALL

Members Present:     Mr. Diehl, Mr. Danbury, Mr. Weidlich,
Chairman Okum, Mrs. Huber, Mr. Reichert

    Members Absent:    Mr. Emerson

Others Present:     Mr. Campion, Inspection Supervisor


III. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE


IV. MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF MARCH 18, 2008
Mrs. Huber moved to adopt the Minutes of March 18, 2008 as written. Mr. Danbury seconded the motion. All Board of Zoning Members voted aye and the Minutes were approved.


V. CORRESPONDENCE

Zoning Bulletin - March 10, 2008
Zoning Bulletin - March 25, 2008
Zoning Bulletin - April 10, 2008


VI. REPORT ON COUNCIL
Mr. Danbury: We had three ordinances before us at our last meeting, first was dealing with people who own homes and that are renting them out to people; the City is requiring them to have a permit every year at $50.00 per permit. The City will have the right to inspect the home every two to three years with a 24 hour notice. Another issue addressed was the number of individuals living in each house; that ordinance did pass with a 7-0 vote. The second one was a housekeeping effort for ordinances, and the third item was ordinance 18 and it dealt with the Veteran’s Memorial that is being constructed right now. We entered into a resolution to enter into a project agreement with the Ohio Public Works Commission to stabilize and enhance the Beaver Run Creek by Heritage Hill.

VII. REPORT ON PLANNING COMMISSION
Chairman Okum reported that Planning Commission met with one item on the agenda, the Guitar Center which is going into Springdale Commons, next to David’s Bridal. There will be cosmetic changes and it is a nice new business coming into Springdale.
There is a special Planning Commission meeting scheduled for the 29th of April; it will involve a major development coming into Springdale.

VIII. CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT AND SWEARING IN OF APPLICANTS


IX. OLD BUSINESS
Chairman Okum reported there are no items of old business.

X. NEW BUSINESS
A. Chairman Okum stated the first item on the agenda is a variance request for approval of a variance for 1081 Ledro Street, to allow the owner to keep his fence posts to the outside of the fence located on the property. Said variance is requested from Section 153.482 (C)(4) “All structural supports of any fence shall be erected with such supports on the inside of the area to be enclosed.”
The applicant for 1081 Ledro Street, William Robertson stated that he had an old fence that was falling down and he replaced it exactly as the old one was. He did not know of the change in the law and made a mistake of assuming that the contractor had taken care of the permits. We are applying for this because we can’t really afford to change the fence and we are not able to get one neighbor to sign a certified letter to agree to leave it as is.

Staff Report read by Mr. Campion: The applicant is requesting that his 6 foot wood privacy fence remain as constructed with the fence posts located on the outside of the fenced enclosures. This condition exists along the side (east) and rear property lines. Section 153.482 (C)(4) requires that the supporting structure be located on the inside of the enclosure. Those sections of fence facing the street are in compliance. The fence on the west side of the property belongs to the adjacent neighbor.
Section 153.482 (C)(4)(b) allows the posts to be on the outside of the enclosure, if the owner obtains a notarized statement from the owner of the adjacent lot attesting that they approve of the situation.

The fence was installed without acquiring a permit, in violation of the Springdale Building Code. The owner was advised to obtain a permit on January 17, 2008 and he obtained a permit on January 22, 2008. The drawing approved with the permit contained a note that the fence posts must be located inside of the enclosure.
On March 11, 2008, Gordon King, Building Inspector, advised the owner that the fence was constructed in violation of the Springdale Zoning Code and that it must be made to comply or a variance applied for. In this same letter the applicant was informed that he could obtain a notarized letter from each of the adjacent owners attesting to their approval of the posts location. Although the owner has expressed concern about obtaining such a document from his neighbor to the east, he has not indicated if such a document can be obtained from his neighbor to the rear.

Chairman Okum opened the floor to communication from the audience.

Mr. Patel, 697 Yorkhaven Road, came to speak on behalf of Mr. Robertson, his former neighbor: Mr. Patel stated that Mr. Robertson is an upright citizen of Springdale for 35 years, raised two children, two sons and now he is raising three grandchildren. I think this is an honest mistake and I hope you will be lenient.

With no other individuals stepping forward to address the Board, Chairman Okum closed the floor.

Mrs. Huber moved to grant a variance to allow the owner of the property of 1081 Ledro Street to keep his fence posts to the outside of the fence located on his property. Said variance is requested from Section 153.482 (C)(4).

Mr. Danbury seconded the motion.

Chairman Okum: I do have one question, something about the Mills Fence estimate said that they reused your existing posts?

Mr. Robertson: Not to the best of my knowledge. I thought they put in new posts.

Chairman Okum: You have two purchase orders from Mills Fence, one from 7/10 for 30’ and one from 9/17?

Mr. Robertson: My neighbor had Mills fence install her fence, and I talked to the man doing the work and he agreed to go ahead and do mine, but not under the name of Mills. The back side and the east side he did under his own name.

Chairman Okum: Which was 105’?

Mr. Robertson: I believe that is right.

Chairman Okum: So, submitted in our packet are two proposals from Mills Fence. One was 105’ that did include new posts and the other one was 30’ using the existing posts.

Mr. Robertson: 30’ would be the neighbor on my west.

Mr. Okum: You put your fence onto your neighbor’s fence to enclose the posts?

Mr. Robertson: Yes.

Mr. Danbury: Will it be that costly to change the posts around to correct it?

Mr. Robertson: It will be. We had put the fence up just exactly how it had been for 26 years.

Mr. Danbury: I don’t see a problem with this.

Mr. Robertson: I want to abide by the law, but right now I can’t afford to correct this.

Chairman Okum: I just did some quick math, and if Mr. Robertson completed the fence with enclosure, it would be approximately $1,782.00 of costs based on 105’ of fence. The Board has latitude to put conditions on a request for a variance and time for conformance. It would be up to the Board. The burden on the permit is on the landowner, it is not on the contractor.

Mrs. Huber: I have no problem with it. I think too, in this day’s economy and again we are saying the owner is at fault, but to make him do another $1,700.00 worth of work, in my opinion let it ride as it is.

Chairman Okum: For the record, we have a set of rules that I am sure all of you are following 153.710. It is not mandatory that any of those or all of those are met; but I want the Board to recognize that 153.710 has been considered by this Board. We consider all of those rules when we grant a variance.

Mrs. Huber polled the Board and with a six Member “aye” vote (Mr. Emerson being absent) the variance was granted.

B. (The Chairman dismissed himself (to avoid a possible perceived conflict of interest) and Mr. Weidlich then became acting Chairman)
Acting Chairman Weidlich: The next item on the agenda is 1306 Wainwright, the approval of a variance to allow the owner at 1306 Wainwright to keep an 8’ X 10’ accessory structure located on the property closer than 5’ from the rear and side property lines. Section 153.097 (B)(4) “ All structures must be not less than 5’ from the rear and side lot lines.”

Marylou Holt from 1306 Wainwright Drive stepped forward as representative: My family went to Costco and bought a shed and put it up. We put it on the same spot the old shed had been for 46 years.

Staff Comment read by Mr. Campion: The applicant is requesting a variance to allow an
8’ X 10’ utility building to remain 2 feet from the rear lot line and 2 feet from the side lot line. Section 153.097 (B)(4) requires that accessory structures be a minimum of 5 feet from side and rear lot lines.
The utility building was initially placed without first acquiring a building permit in violation of the Springdale Building Code. The applicant applied for a permit on May 30, 2007 and permit was issued on May 31, 2007. The applicant indicated 5 feet setbacks from both lot lines on the site plan approved with the permit. When Gordon King, Building Inspector, visited the property in November of 2007, he found that the utility building had been constructed closer than 5 feet to the side and rear lot lines. Mr. King issued a notice to the property owners on November 15, 2007 requiring them to bring the utility building into compliance or apply for a variance by 12/15/07. On January 10, 2008 a notice of violation was sent by certified mail and was returned unclaimed on March 19, 2008. Another notice of violation was sent certified and certificate of mailing on February 15, 2008. On March 11, 2008 the owner applied for a variance.
There are no apparent practical difficulties with regard to unusual shape or topography of the lot which make it difficult to locate the utility building 5 feet minimum from the side and rear lot lines.

Acting Chairman Weidlich opened the floor to the audience.

Mrs. Nina Dykes from 1297 Wainwright drive stepped forward to represent Mrs. Holt: She didn’t know she was doing anything wrong to replace a building – it had been there for 46 years. Her back yard is lovely. This lady has certainly done her contribution to keeping Wainwright lovely; her house, her yard, everything.

Mrs. Patty Chamberlain, 1323 Castro stepped forward to represent Mrs. Holt: I built a patio cover last year and Gordon King came by and it was built wrong; I didn’t know about permits and I went by his steps to correct it. Mrs. Holt has the prettiest yard in the whole neighborhood; I am happy with it.

Ms. Charlotte Davis Watson, 1273 Castro Lane stepped forward to represent Mrs. Holt: I don’t even know this lady but her yard does look extremely nice. I got the notice in the mail and looked to see what was going on on Wainwright, and I saw her house and I thought, not her house because she does keep her house up very well. It is a pleasure to see her work and yard. I respect that we have to have a permit, but if you don’t know, you don’t know.

With no individuals desiring to comment further, Acting Chairman Weidlich closed the floor to the public.

Mrs. Huber: I move to grant a variance from Section 153.097 (B)(4), so as to allow an 8’ X 10” accessory building to located less than 5’ from the rear and side lot lines at 1306 Wainwright Drive.

Mr. Reichert seconded the motion.

Mr. Danbury: One of the prevailing reasons people come before this Board is that they do not get a permit. The City passed a law where we eliminated the fees for some permits. We provide a truck if you want to do some construction or remodeling; call the City up and we will bring a dump truck at no charge to you. I wish everyone would read the newsletters that we send out because we do have a lot of different things; the Nurse’s Department and information on building permits. I found out before I was involved in this fine City’s government, when I built a deck on my house, I spoke to Mr. McErlane and he explained that I need supports because it was 12’ wide and 18’ long. So I had to have a support in the middle. Mr. McErlane explained that if there was enough weight in the middle it could collapse. I would encourage you to always check to see if you need a permit for work on your property.

Mr. Campion: Residential permits are free if you obtain them before the work begins. The homeowner is responsible because they are the owner of the property and the contractor is your agent.

Mrs. Huber: On the drawing that you submitted way back in May of 2007, you do show that the building would be placed 5’ from the rear and side lot lines.

Mrs. Holt: I don’t think I did that drawing. Whoever the gentleman was, asked me if it was 5’ and I said that I thought so, that it was put on the same spot as the old building was on.

Mrs. Huber: Was the size the same as the old building?

Mrs. Holt: Basically, yes. It was a little bit longer.

Mr. Diehl: The reason we require a building permit is not to be a pain to the residents, but to protect you to make sure the contractor does a good job for you.

Mr. Campion: I just wanted the record to show that it is probably 3’ off the property line, not 2’, which is what our inspector, Gordon King, would have observed.

Mr. Weidlich: Mrs. Holt, what is the shed constructed of?

Mrs. Holt: It is vinyl plastic. We bought it from Costco.

Mr. Weidlich: Is it setting on a foundation or sitting right on the ground?

Mrs. Holt: My husband put concrete block in and it is sitting on that.

Mr. Weidlich: If this Board would deny your request for the variance, this shed could possibly be moved 2’ or 3'?

Mrs. Holt: I doubt it.

Mrs. Huber polled the Board and with a five Member “aye” vote (Mr. Emerson being absent and Chairman Okum abstaining) the variance was granted.

C. Chairman Okum: The approval of a variance to allow the owner of 762 Tivoli Lane to place an 10’ X 12’ utility building for an accessory structure closer than 5’ from the rear and side lot lines. Said variance is requested from Section 153.097 (B)(4) “”…all other structures must be less than 5’ from any rear or side lot lines.”

Sam Carrender, owner of 762 Tivoli Lane stepped forward: I live in Sharonville and have some property in Springdale. I need a storage building simply because when tenants leave I won’t have to carry ladders and lawnmowers back and forth from my property. Plus, the tenant that I rented to a few months ago moved out of a bigger house; they would like to have room for some of their things in a shed.

Chairman Okum: You do know that you are allowed to have a shed on your property?

Mr. Carrender: I try to keep my property in Springdale nice, as if I lived there, not like rental property. I have had tenants as long as thirteen years; not in that house. In this particular house I have been averaging tenants about three or four years and when that three or four years are up I am carting ladders and lawnmowers back and forth. Plus I did tell the lady that I would get a shed for her storage.

Mr. Campion read the Staff report: The applicant is requesting variance to place a 10’ X 12’ utility building 2 feet from his side and rear lot lines. Section 153.097 (B)(4) requires that accessory structures be located a minimum of 5 feet from the rear and side lot lines.
The applicant has not expressed that there are any unusual characteristics about the lot which would make it impractical to locate the building 5 feet from each of the lot lines.

Chairman Okum opened the floor to communication from the audience. No one came forward and Chairman Okum closed that portion of the proceedings.

Mrs. Huber: I move to grant a variance from Section 153.097 (B)(4) so as to allow a 10’ X 12’ accessory building to be located closer to the rear and side lot lines on the property of
762 Tivoli, and the variance says that all other structures must be not less than 5’ from rear and side lot line.

Mr. Weidlich seconded the motion.

Mrs. Huber: The Cagis drawing shows something on the rear of the property, can you tell us what that is?

Mr. Carrender: That is a concrete slab.

Mrs. Huber: From the edge of that patio to the rear of the property line, can you estimate how many feet that would be?

Mr. Carrender: This shed would be offset. The reason for wanting 3’, I have a hedge growing in that area and scooting it back 3’ that hedge could remain there.

Mrs. Huber: In the 2’ that would remain there, would you be able to cut the grass.

Mr. Carrender: There will not be any grass on the rear and the side; that will be taken care of with stone or brick.

Mr. Danbury: Could we put that in the variance, if this is approved, that it will be stone or brick?

Mr. Carrender: Yes. I will. There will be no need to cut grass there.

Mr. Weidlich: The picture of the shed is superimposed on the picture you provided?

Mr. Carrender: Yes.

Mr. Weidlich: One of the big reasons for the 5’ from the property line is maintenance on the building.

Mr. Carrender: My neighbor is going to stain the fence.

Mr. Diehl: Why does it have to be 2’ instead of 5’?

Mr. Carrender: One reason is that it makes the yard smaller and the second reason is I have to cut back some of that hedge and it looks pretty good. This shed is constructed by the Mennonites.

Mr. Diehl: How big is your lot?

Mr. Carrender: I don’t know how big it is, but it is relatively small.

Chairman Okum: It is probably 120’ deep.
For future reference, probably off the Auditor’s page we should get the Auditor’s lot dimensions for our hearings. If Staff could do that for us it would be helpful.
    How many feet is it from the wood fence to your neighbor to the north?

    Mr. Carrender: Really close.

Mrs. Huber: You said that you are buying from an Amish builder; I want to tell you if that building is built like their furniture, it will never leave your yard.

Mr. Carrender: They told me that the floor was guaranteed for forty years.

Chairman Okum: The home to the north of you has a wood fence 6’ high; the home at 779 on Crescentville, they have a wood fence there too; when was that fence put up?

Mr. Carrender: Maybe three years ago. It was reversed, and I was aware of this ordinance that you have and asked my neighbor, “Are you aware that this fence is backwards?” He told me “That is the way it is, and it doesn’t bother me.”

Chairman Okum: That could have been around the time when the Code was changed, very close. And what you are indicating is there is a 6’ high fence to the north of your property and to the east of your property in the location where you are wishing to put the shed?

Mr. Carrender: Yes.

Chairman Okum: Because your property is on a skewed angle; I am looking at the fence lines and they don’t follow the property lines, based upon the Cagis your property is on a little bit of an angle, I don’t know if it is a 90 degree angle. That would mean that the closest point would be 2’ based upon this drawing?

Mr. Carrender: Yes.

Chairman Okum: It is a shed that is going against a 6’ high wood fence on two sides.

Mr. Carrender: Yes.

Mr. Campion: Just as a point of clarity because Cagis isn’t always right, are we basing this off the existing fences that are there or are we basing it off of this drawing?

Chairman Okum: Historically we do not require a survey be done for verification. I believe the Building Department has trusted the fence lines as a rule of thumb, unless there is a survey. I am looking at 776 Tivoli and the fence clearly is 3’ inside that property too; you would have assumed that this gentleman’s property line goes to that fence, but it doesn’t. I would say that you have to go by the fence. We do not require a survey.

Mr. Campion: O.K.

Chairman Okum: Mr. Weidlich you did a fence, right?

Mr. Weidlich: Yes.

Chairman Okum: Was there a survey required for your fence.

Mr. Weidlich: No, but I had it done anyways. Because I wanted to know exactly where it should go.

Mr. Campion: In this particular case, based upon the drawing if we went off the fence, the shed is going to run more parallel to the two fences than if we go off of the Cagis drawing.

Chairman Okum: That is correct. I can’t imagine those fences being in a “Y” back there like they are or in a “V”, that doesn’t make any sense, but I have never surveyed that part of the property.
The chain-link fence is no longer there?

Mr. Carrender: No. There is no chain-link fence there – now there is a chain-link fence on the south side. There is also a 10’ gate that is chain-link going into the yard directly in front of where the shed is asked to be put.

Chairman Okum: Is there a chain-link fence that goes from the rear left corner of the home back to the east corner currently?

Mr. Carrender: What we have back there, is one across the back. That wood fence is halfway, it picks up chain-link and the south side is chain-link and the front has two 5’ gates that swing open.

Chairman Okum: Those are up by your garage, or are those in the back corner.

Mr. Carrender: Those are back, they are set back about the center of the garage. So you can really take a pickup truck and drive into the back yard.

Chairman Okum: Well, you would actually be driving on top of your neighbor’s property according to the Cagis map. It may be possible that the fence at 751 Tivoli, if you have indicated that there is enough width between the left side of your home and the wood fence that wood fence that your neighbor constructed, that you can drive a car through. Then the fence that we are seeing on this drawing, the Cagis line and the fence line, that fence is probably not going at that angle and I am just guessing that that fence is probably square with the rear of that house.
For the Board’s point of view, I have a problem with going on a fence line here because if that fence line is truly not on his property – something is not right here with these fences, especially if Cagis is even close and the applicant has indicated that there is approximately 10’ from the garage, side wall and the wood fence on the adjoining property (751 Tivoli), then there is something not right on this Cagis map, which means that if we were to grant a variance based upon what we are assuming is the fence, we may be granting a variance to place a shed on the neighbor’s property. This neighbor may have property on the other side of the fence that is not being identified and we do not require a survey. But in this particular case, I think a survey would be required if I were to vote in favor of a variance on this because I think that otherwise we would have a situation where he could potentially be placing this shed on his neighbor’s land. Now the rear I don’t have a lot of problem with because I think the fence line and Cagis looks the same. The north line of the property I have some concerns with.

Mr. Danbury: The lines of the property do not coincide with how the building is built, because people buy the property first and then they just put it in where they want.

Chairman Okum: The Cagis is the closest thing we have got; the Auditor’s page would give you legal description and it would give you an approximate lot dimension but it would not give you specifics to where that line is on the north side.

Mr. Danbury: If the applicant would like to table this and get it surveyed, we may find out that you do not need to have a variance on this site.

Mr. Carrender: How about this, if 761 Tivoli okays for it to be within 2 feet?

Chairman Okum: Well, it is always helpful if there is testimony given by neighbors that they do not object to a variance. What we want to make sure of is that where the true 2’ is on your property because of the way it is drawn on the plot of record that we have. The only thing is the resources – the only thing we have is this Cagis drawing and my feeling is that it is possible, if you are indicating that you have 10’ of space between your garage wall and that fence then something is not right there. I think that there is more information needed, if I were to vote now, I would vote against it.
You can reapply or you can ask that we carry it forward to the next meeting and you could get a survey done and you would know where you are really asking to put that shed.

Mr. Carrender: If you take 5’ from the fence, small lawn anyway, the lady that is there now that would be fine. But if I rent that house to people that have small children I would be taking up part of their playing space. The reason I got wood is because if kids throw baseballs against aluminum or vinyl, it is not good – with wood you are o.k. I was considering down the road what might happen. I could get a shed all over town just a fraction of the price I am paying; but the houses I have regardless of where they are at they are up to standard.

Chairman Okum: Do you have any problem following through with the survey prior to us deliberating?

Mr. Carrender: I will probably not follow through with a survey. That is just an expense that I don’t want to have. As it stands now, I will not do a survey.

Mr. Reichert: The real problem is the side – the north fence and we are saying that the property line might be here, but your neighbor put his fence inside. If you were to just simply move that shed away from the fence, instead of 2’ just move it over 5’, you don’t need a variance because it is going to be more hidden behind the house.

Mr. Carrender: But not only do I have to move it south, I have to move it west to be 5’, 5’.

Chairman Okum: The applicant has indicated that he would like to keep it as he has requested, is that correct sir – 2’ and 2’?

Mr. Carrender: Yes sir.

Chairman Okum: Is there any motions to amend the original motion?

Mr. Danbury: I would like to make an amendment that if this is accepted that the applicant does guarantee the side portion will be the concrete stone or some form that will prevent any type of weeds or grass.

Chairman Okum: We have a motion to amend to add a requirement on the applicant that there is stone or material that is impervious – semi-impervious on the two sides of the shed. Do we have a second on that motion?

(No Board of Zoning Member moved to second the motion.)

We do not have a second on that motion. That portion of the motion fails. We are back to the original motion. Again, the applicant has indicated that he does not wish to change his request and it is up to the Board to deliberate on that.

Based upon the information that was provided I will be voting in opposition to the request primarily for the reasons I stated. I have included in my deliberations Section 153.710 of our Code.

Mrs. Huber polled the Board and with a 3 “aye” vote and a 3 “no” vote the request for the variance failed for lack of a majority.
















XI. DISCUSSION

Chairman Okum: I need your help on something, Tamie is going to do an update on the directory – phone numbers and email addresses, please let her know of any changes of information.


XII. ADJOURNMENT


A motion was made to adjourn, and the Board of Zoning Appeals adjourned at 8:55 p.m.


                            Respectfully submitted


    ____________________________, 2007 ______________________________
                            David Okum, Chairman


_____________________________, 2007 ______________________________
                            Jane Huber, Secretary
BOARD OF ZOING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES
APRIL 15, 2008
Page 8 of 8

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MINUTES

15 APRIL 2008

7:00 P.M.