BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING
17 APRIL 2001
Chairman David Okum called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.
Members Present: Councilman Robert Wilson, Bob Weidlich, Bob Apke
Councilman James Squires, Fred Borden, Jane
Huber and Chairman David Okum
Others Present: Richard G. Lohbeck, Inspection Supervisor
Mr. Wilson said the second page 5 and first page 6 are identical. Mr. Weidlich said his comments to Maple Knoll do not appear in the last minutes. Mr. Okum said we will defer the minutes until the next meeting.
Mr. Squires said at the last City Council meeting Ordinance 26-2001 repealed Ordinance 16-2001 awarding the Walnut Street project to Sunesis Corporation. After getting the bid, Sunesis wanted to change the unit price for 8 inch iron pipe from their bid amount of $35 per foot to $69 per foot. That represented an increase of almost $20,000. At the recommendation of the City Administrator, Council repealed the ordinance. The project will be rebid. Ordinance 103-2000 amending the Zoning Code changes was passed February 21, 2001.
Mr. Okum said there must have been some distance between Sunesis and the next lowest bid for that project.
Mr. Squires responded had Sunesis actually bid at $69 a foot for the pipe on the original bid they would not have been the low bid.
Mr. Okum stated Planning Commission met last Tuesday and there were no items of Old Business. We had a request from Samís for additional signage on the store at 800 Kemper Commons Circle. Samís did not show up and that was tabled until the next meeting.
The Great Indoors requested approval for the placement of a 6í x 25í Now Hiring Banner at 11925 Commons Drive. That banner was requested for the purpose of encouraging hiring onto the site just like we had seen for Krogerís, etc. The reason that was brought to Planning Commission is that it is in a PUD. That request for variance was granted.
The final development plan of Springdale-Mason Pediatrics at 11350 Springfield Pike went through Planning Commission very well. As you know, it was before Planning Commission before the last meeting. The changes that were approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals allowed the applicant to finish out the project very well.
We also had concept discussion for a proposed redevelopment of the Soul Winning Church of God at 540 West Kemper Road. That was a request to tear down the existing single family home which sits between two existing single family residences. They wanted to build a sanctuary that would hold 136 people. They were going to move all the parking to the rear of the site. You would enter into a single drive on the right side and go to the rear. You would need to go into a turn around area in the back to come back out. There was a straw vote taken because we wanted the applicant to have a good feeling of how we were taking this over-development of this parcel. No one on Planning Commission was in favor of what was being presented.
Dave Okum lost by one vote in the Regional Planning Commission election to Mr. Ausfelder of Mariemont. It was an open election and I feel good about it. We are now very active members of the Regional Planning Commission. Mr. Huddleston has taken on the presidency of the Regional Planning Commission Steering Committee. Itís a new, different program out of the Regional Planning Commission which is going to bring municipalities and businesses together collectively to go to the state and get funds like Northern Kentucky, Clermont County and Butler County do. His term is a three-year term and they alternate positions. Next year the vice-chairman becomes chairman.
There was discussion again on the tree preservation ordinance. Weíve still not finalized our recommendation for Council. The issue of specimen trees came up and fortunately, Mr. Osborn was there. The question of landmark trees was brought forward also. They are looking for model legislation to encourage developers to work their developments around the trees instead of taking them out.
Mr. Borden asked was there any discussion about procedure on the Springdale Pediatrics variance.
Mr. Okum stated an applicant has the right to request a variance on the land. It probably would have been better for Planning Commission to have it but there were some significant variances, and without those the development would never even have been brought forward conceptually. If the timing had been right, the right procedure would have been to do a conceptual discussion with Planning Commission; Planning Commission acting with a straw vote on the conceptual; then going to Board of Zoning Appeals and back to Planning for final review. As it turned out, it went very well.
Mr. Squires said when that was brought up in Council during my report there were eyebrows raised, but as Mr. Okum said, the applicant had the right to do that. They felt they could not go forward with their plan to purchase the property and build on it unless they had that variance.
Mr. Okum read the statement and swore in the applicants. Mr. Okum stated some guests were not sworn in. Anyone not sworn in cannot give testimony unless you request to be sworn in when you come to the podium.
VIII. NEW BUSINESS
Michael Harvey said my back yard goes up a hill. There is a flat part on top and thatís a logical place to put it. I need the shed for my pool supplies.
Mr. Squires stated I visited the property and talked with Mr. Harvey. We did stroll into his backyard. The staff report says there is a slight slope from the patio. Itís more than slight; itís rather severe. The only place he really has to put this is in the northwest corner on top of the hill. There is a picket fence up there that Mr. Harvey said he would take down. There is some question as to whether the chain link fences are on the property line. Hopefully they are but we have had cases where they werenít. If the variance is granted it would be my suggestion that you do have the lot surveyed. That will protect you and further owners as well.
Mr. Okum asked Mr. Harvey, would you be willing to get a survey done? Mr. Harvey replied yes. Mr. Okum asked would you be willing to remove the fence? Mr. Harvey replied yes.
Mr. Wilson said you have a concrete pad directly behind the house. Do you use that? Mr. Harvey replied yes. Mr. Wilson said I thought you could put the shed behind the concrete patio but if you use it, that would eliminate that. The slope does make you have to be more creative.
Mr. Borden asked were you planning to flatten out the slope up there?
Mr. Harvey replied it is pretty flat on top.
Mrs. Huber made a motion that Michael Harvey at 12149 Benadir Road be granted a variance from Section 153.492(D) so as to allow the placement of a 5í x 6í utility building three feet from his west and north property lines. Applicant has also been requested to perhaps have the property surveyed so as to be sure that he is three feet from the property line. Mr. Squires seconded.
Mr. Wilson asked, Mrs. Huber, are you saying that you are requesting that he do the survey or are you saying itís in his best interest?
Mrs. Huber said it was suggested by this board that he do that. Thatís an expensive proposition. Itís is not part of the motion.
Mr. Borden asked Mr. Lohbeck, would you request a survey? Mr. Okum stated Mr. Lohbeck indicated that the Building Department would not require a survey to verify the distance from the property line.
The request for variance passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Salvato said we would like to add a Champion enclosed patio room on the back of the house. It would be 10í x 12í so it would stick out 10í from the house. It would be four feet short of the requirement for the setback.
Mrs. Huber asked, Mr. Salvato, is your property line the row of bushes, in front of the bushes or behind them?
Mr. Salvato replied the property line is lined with bushes.
Mrs. Huber asked if the variance is granted would you retain that lovely tree?
Mr. Salvato replied thatís why itís ten feet and not farther.
Mr. Squires said I have in front of me a plot of your lot. Do you recall your setback now with the patio?
Mr. Salvato replied from the garage it is forty feet, which is six feet out from the back of the house. At the time we built it was a forty- foot setback.
Mr. Borden asked will any trees have to be removed from the property and what about the air conditioner?
Mr. Salvato replied no trees will be removed and the air conditioner will stay where it is.
Mr. Squires made a motion that the variance for Mr. Salvato at 661 Park Avenue to allow a 10í x 12í patio enclosure to be constructed on the rear of his residence 36 feet from the property line be granted. Mr. Apke seconded.
Mr. Okum stated I realize this is an encroachment into the forty-foot setback but we are looking at a porch room of ten feet depth. I think thatís conservative and I will be voting in favor of the request.
The variance was granted with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Neville said unfortunately the deck is already constructed. I wasnít aware of size limitation when I constructed the deck. The project cost me close to $3,000. The awning is constructed of aluminum sandwiched with styrofoam in-between that I purchased from C & D Home Enhancers. The decking is all quality decking, seasoned wood, lag screwed and bolted, resting on an existing concrete porch now. The concrete porch was so confining at six feet as far as being able to sit outside we decided to extend it four feet. In a way it worked out because the awning came in that size, 4í x 10í sheets. There is no adverse affect on anyone.
Mr. Wilson said I saw the property this morning. I view it as an improvement. The prior porch, which I did not see but understand from conversation, was sagging at the base where it meets the house. I will be voting in favor of this as I actually saw it and it looks nice. I will be supporting this variance.
Mrs. Huber said there is a staff comment about some problems having to be resolved before the issuance of a permit for that.
Mr. Lohbeck said, as he mentioned, it is lying on the concrete slab. You have to verify that there is a footing underneath. The beams need to be beefed up some, & he hasnít addressed the porch roof.
Mr. Neville responded I can only guesstimate because my son-in-law and I worked on this over a two day period. All that equipment was supplied by C & D to the specifications that they would do on any residence here in Springdale. Itís all lag screwed to the house and a channel holds the sections of roofing material. There are Uís that those go into and screws that hold that up. There are three 2 x 3 posts between 7 and 8 feet separation. Those are bolted to footers that are bolted to the decking. We staggered reinforcement beams all through the beams you are referring to with sections of cut 2 x 6s that actually go between the cross members. The deck almost sits on the ground. In fact, it rides on that concrete. The concrete upright posts that we used in the back are actually resting on the old porch. That porch is at least five feet down underground. I was there when it was dug and back filled with iron and concrete. Thatís why it canters down. When my dad did it I guess maybe he didnít put a good layer of gravel down and all the weight of that iron has caused the original concrete porch to sink. There is a concrete step also. Everything is resting on that concrete step, comes across to rest in the post holders, then rests on the concrete. There is no elevation to it. The only elevation is the 2 x 6s going across. I defy anybody to have a problem with the way that thing is put together. I spent $1,900 on the awning material and another $1,000 on the decking, railing, spindles. I will paint that this summer and I carpeted it. I didnít want it to look like a deck on the front of the house. I wanted it to look like a porch.
Mr. Okum said I think the reference was that those issues need to be resolved. Whether a variance is granted or denied those issues must be resolved with the Building Department before you could utilize this deck/porch entry. Being in the insurance repair business I have replaced a lot of the awning systems that have been put up over the last twenty-five years. Although they give you lag screws and there is a U channel that mounts to your house, if you donít accurately locate the vertical studs and you screw into the old siding, you are basically only anchoring to that surface. I think our Building Department will work with you to make sure it meets all the safety and building standards.
Mr. Squires asked if you are awarded this variance are you willing to work with the Building Department to assess these things that are a concern to us. Mr. Neville replied yes.
Mr. Squires made a motion that Mr. Greg Neville, 314 West Sharon Road be granted a variance for his deck that will encroach ten feet into the front yard with the understanding that he will have to get a building permit and answer some pertinent questions from the Building Department relative to the actual construction of the porch. Mr. Borden seconded. The motion passed with 7 affirmative votes.
Mr. Neville said the property that is adjacent to mine is an L shaped property that is probably 50 feet wide going back 100 feet. Then it turns into a large square lot. On that lot there is a 32í x 28í existing structure. The owner traded his property for a property down the street, retaining ownership of the garage. I approached him with the offer to buy that structure to use as a garage. I have an existing 20' x 20í garage currently on the lot. I would demolish the existing garage. I have a 20í x 20í pad as well as a 7í x 20í patio next to it. I would have to extend out eight feet towards the rear and five feet to the west, put a good footer in and put a slab down to put this garage on. I have an estimate to move the building. I donít have an estimate for the concrete. I want to make sure I can do it before any money changes hands or I get a concrete pad laid down. I have a collector car. I am a collector of a lot of things and as such, I have a small house and have a 20í x 20í rental unit at Uncle Bobís so I could save approximately $100 a month if I had this garage on my property. There would be no negative impact on the neighbors.
Mrs. Huber said you also have a utility building. Would that also come down with your existing garage?
Mr. Neville replied I would probably put that behind it. I have a kennel fence also at the rear of the property and I would have to move those to move that building. Then I would have a new chain link fence erected also.
Mrs. Huber asked will that property that has been donated to the Nazarene Church be demolished?
Mr. Neville responded the garage is going to be moved one way or another.
Mrs. Huber asked will the residence remain?
Mr. Neville responded that will probably be determined by your body. The church wants to put a driveway through. There has been a survey made and the property stakes are there.
Mrs. Huber stated the reason I am asking is that every residence must have a garage. If you are going to move that, what happens if that house remains?
Mr. Neville replied it wonít have a garage. The Nazarene Church cannot put in the drive that it wants as long as that garage is there.
Mr. Squires asked did you say that the property at 306 West Sharon is now the property of the Nazarene Church? Mr. Neville replied yes.
Mr. Squires said what Mrs. Huber was alluding to is, if the house stays there, the garage has to stay unless there is a variance by the property owners to allow the garage to be removed. We are somewhat at an impasse here. We canít allow that garage to be removed by you unless the owners of that property get permission to do that. Am I correct in saying that, Mr. Lohbeck?
Mr. Lohbeck replied yes. Mr. Okum said but the boardís concern is the variance request for Mr. Nevilleís property to allow construction. He canít apply for a variance on the property he doesnít have control of.
Mr. Lohbeck said heís over on square footage also.
Mr. Okum responded I understand that but his variance request should be strictly to put a garage that is over the square footage on his site.
Mr. Lohbeck stated we never received a site plan so we donít know where itís going.
Mr. Okum said without a site plan we donít have much to go on.
Mr. Neville said I understand. I have been in the hospital battling a back problem for a couple of weeks. I have not had a chance to get out and measure, and draw it up. If you have the property diagram it would be sitting on that footprint where that 20 x 20 is. It would extend 7 feet to the east and 5 feet to the west. I would have to add 5 feet on the west side of the slab, go out 8 feet past there and then come over 27 feet.
Mr. Okum said okay, letís go back to the issue, a variance request to relocate a garage is, in my opinion, not a valid variance request, because he does not have rights for the property where the garage is being moved from. That request is not to be considered by this board.
Mr. Borden said he can ask for the variance for the garage on his site. Where the garage is coming from is of no consequence.
Mr. Okum said where the garage is coming from is not germane to the request. However, considering we do not have a legitimate site plans showing where this garage is going, we can either act upon it based upon the information he has given us this evening, or you could table it and carry forward to the next meeting.
Mr. Squires said Iím reading from Mr. Nevilleís application for zoning variance and it says, "to move a 32í x 28í garage from adjacent lot and place on existing 20í x 20í pad." It seems to me that we canít allow a variance to move that garage because itís on property that he doesnít own.
Mr. Okum replied that is correct but the title of his variance request is to allow a 32í x 28í garage on his property. This is an explanation of his application. Staff comments are referring to relocating your garage and a site plan being required. What happens at 306 has nothing to do with this board this evening. We cannot act on 306.
Mr. Lohbeck said the property owner, Mr. Neville, should be notified that he cannot remove that garage until 306 gets a variance.
Mr. Okum responded that has nothing to do with this board. The variance request for Mr. Neville is strictly on Mr. Nevilleís property. For information purposes only, 306 has no rights to remove the garage unless they receive a variance to move it.
Mr. Neville said when the property transaction was made. Mr. McSwain got the house and the property. He traded 270 West Sharon Road for that with the understanding that the gentleman who owned 306 was going to keep that garage.
Mr. Okum responded we understand that, Mr. Neville, but we cannot hear any issues pertaining to a variance on 306 because that is not before this board.
Mr. Neville asked who would be the party?
Mr. Okum replied the owner of 306. I want to make sure everyone understands. That is not an issue for this board. The variance request is for the size of the garage you want to place on your site.
Mr. Neville said you want me to submit a site plan and then resubmit for that size building to be erected on the lot.
Mr. Okum said I think we understand your request is for that size building on your lot. You have to handle the issue of where that garage comes from separately.
Mr. Wilson said relative to your request, there are two major issues. One, we need a site plan showing where exactly you want that garage to be. The second issue is the square footage. You are allowed 700. You are at 896. The challenge came up when you put in your request to move the garage from a piece of property that is not yours. Had that not been brought up in here we would not be discussing that now. Since it is an issue, yes, the church has to come here and request a variance to remove the garage. Where it goes after that is not a consequence to us because it's off the property. Before you purchase it you would have to come back with a site plan showing the distance around the property line is in compliance. I donít think we can vote on this now with all those issues in the air. Even if we said you could do it, if it doesnít meet the zoning laws you may have to move it again.
Mr. Borden said I think the church should come in first to see if they can get the variance if you want that garage, because if they canít get the variance, then you canít have that garage.
Mr. Squires said I suggest you table this until these other items can be obtained. If you were turned down based on the size alone, you couldnít do anything for six months. If this were tabled you can consult with the owners of the property. They can appear before this board. You can appear with our Building Department and work out any details with your site plan and the way itís going to be constructed. If you still need the 896 square feet, then you might come back before the board and consider that.
Mr. Wilson asked with an 896 square foot garage, do you need that shed in the back?
Mr. Neville replied I have a Mustang convertible currently in the 20í x 20í garage. I have all the lawn equipment I inherited from my dad, a lot of Christmas decorations. I currently have a one-car garage thatís under the house but thatís being used as a music studio. It wouldnít be hard to use the 32í x 28í garage to put the cars in as well as some storage.
Mr. Wilson asked do you still use the music studio? You are going to have three structures on the property; the house, a garage and a shed.
Mr. Neville said we use the music studio.
Mr. Okum said I donít think you are going to get a positive motion this evening. Would you be willing to request that this be tabled? Mr. Neville replied yes.
In response to Mr. Borden, Mr. Okum said Mr. Neville has a right to request a variance for whatever size garage he wants to put on his site. The location of that garage and where it comes from really doesnít matter to the board. If he wants to pursue his request at the next meeting he can.
Mr. Borden said if Mr. Neville wants to consider the garage at 306 then the owners have to be here.
Mr. Okum said, as a courtesy we could call Mr. Nevilleís item after 306ís request for a variance, but we would have to consider their request on its own merits, not on where the garage is going. In response to Mr. Borden, Mr. Okum said it would be Mr. Nevilleís responsibility to contact 306.
Mr. Lohbeck said the reason I brought that up was for information purposes only. Mr. Neville would not be able to move the garage if he is granted a variance until 306 gets a variance to not have a garage.
Mr. Okum said we appreciate that, Mr. Lohbeck, because it is important; just like his porch being constructed. Although we would grant a variance, there are issues to be resolved as far as building code issues. We appreciate you bringing that up and making us aware of it. We just want to make sure that the board understands what we are considering Ė the request to allow a 32í x 28í garage on his property.
Mr. Squires made a motion that Greg Neville, 314 West Sharon Road, be allowed to table his variance to allow a 32í x 28í garage on his property. Mr. Wilson seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Okum handed out a drawing Mr. Naugle had brought in earlier.
Mr. Naugle, representative, Cincinnati Computer Store, said we have an area in the back of the store which we feel qualifies as an off-street loading space. Its visibility from the highway, the size of the loading space, etc. meet all the requirements of the specifications of 153.510. We had a large delivery truck there before. We sold that as we werenít using it anymore. We would like to replace that with the ability to park a trailer there so we can stage our computer products as well as some items that we will have to sell. When Comp USA moved into the community they hurt a lot of us smaller retailers. My operating costs are so high in that facility that I just listed with a broker to sell the entire property. We are looking at some office space at Springdale Office Warehouse Center. The listing is for 180 days and we think we will be in the building less than that. During the interim I would like to be able to park a staging trailer where we can place some computers and configure them for our out-of-town facilities. We have had a massive lay-off so we have a lot of desks and furniture that we no longer need. Weíd like to get that out of the building so if someone bids on it they can haul it away. We are going to liquidate 90% of our fixed assets in the building. With all that coming down the pike, it would facilitate us to be able to park a non-truck. Since we sit on 1.5 acres, it meets all the requirements and is not an eyesore to the frontage of the main road. We donít block any public streets or sidewalks; it doesnít interfere with any of our parking. I talked to some of our adjacent neighbors. The fellow who owns the greenhouse, Bob Maddox, would be the one to see any vehicle parked there and he said he would have no problem with it. We talked to our other neighbor, Larry Moyer, who is in the process of selling his business but he said he didnít think that would detract at all from the sale of his building.
Mr. Wilson said with all due respect, if it looks like a trailer it is a trailer. You are playing with words when you say off-street loading space. Itís a trailer. The last time you were here we talked about trailers. You received a variance until January to remove all trailers. Four months later this trailer is still here. I can understand and appreciate your dilemma and the fact that you are remaining in Springdale but moving to another location, but to tell us this is not a trailer but an off-street loading space, I donít buy that.
Mr. Naugle said I lost a franchise and a lot of records I didnít need to keep. That was on a different part of the lot within a fairly good line of sight with the greenhouse. We did clear all that out.
Mr. Wilson said as I was coming down Northland Boulevard from Kemper, before turning into your driveway, I could see the trailer from the street. The diagram shows it extends out 6-8 feet from your building line. We have been making concessions for you for almost a year now. I can appreciate your dilemma, that youíre trying to stay in Springdale. Obviously that has to be taken into consideration, but I really have a problem with the term you are using, off-street loading space. It is a trailer and that is the issue. Will we allow a trailer on your property for a minimum of 180 days? Thatís what Iím voting on.
Mr. Naugle responded we emphasize the off-street loading space in that we are looking at the intent of the code itself whereby you canít have a trailer, but we sold our large delivery truck and we can define that area where the truck was as an off-street loading space. Typically you do have trailers and other vehicles parked at these loading docks for some extended period of time and it doesnít really ruin the ambience of the general business. Itís going to help us a lot with staging a lot of the fixed assets we have to liquidate. Since it is just for a short period of time until we can relocate to another facility we didnít think it would be out of order to ask for the variance.
Mr. Okum stated your off-street loading space comments are basically more information. Is that the reason?
Mr. Naugle replied we just trying to show that if the intent of the code was to not have a trailer sitting in the middle of something and looking like an eyesore, that we do have off-street loading space where it blends in.
Mr. Okum said you have pulled something from the code that addresses parking fields and allocation of space on a site. One of those allocations is off-street loading space. There is also off-street loading design standards. There are off-street loading facilities in the code. Those are sections referring to a site development. Although there is space allocated for the purpose of loading, it doesnít address the issue of a permanent trailer sitting on the site. It means that there is an allocation of space on the site for off-street loading. There are standards as to how that is to be constructed, where it is to be placed. Those are developmental standards. The issue of the trailer is still the issue of a trailer being in one spot and not moving from the site. The code is very clear that it cannot be there at all, but if you had a delivery trailer bringing stock and supplies you could leave it there 48 hours for unloading purposes. Youíve given us information that there is a place for you to load and unload materials. Your request is where you want to have the trailer.
Mr. Naugle said that is where we wanted to put it rather than in the outlot where it is in full view of any of our neighbors or the front entrance to Delhi Garden Center.
Mr. Apke said weíve had this on-going saga. This first came to our attention about 1 Ĺ years ago. It was the first of the year when they had first seen the trailer. Then you came in in April. For various reasons we gave you a variance to allow one trailer July 18 of last summer and that was with the understanding that you had all these records that were pertinent to your business that had to be on-site at all times. Now you say thatís not a concern anymore.
Mr. Naugle replied we still have some records but a large portion of the records requirements went away when we lost one of our franchises. We still have some storage of those records on that trailer but weíre changing the use of the trailer to like shipping/receiving. Weíre going to be bringing in some computers for liquidation, configuring them and putting them out there. Then the customers come and pick those up. As the business winds down it will be used more as a staging trailer in order to temporarily group a lot of these fixed assets so that we can get a quotation on them and they can just come and pick them up. Or it may be that they might want to buy the whole trailer lot and probably rent the trailer for a while and tow it with everything on there, unload it and bring it back. We eliminated 80% of our workforce so weíre not even parking anybody back there. It would help us so much during this transition period to be able to use this decoupled trailer for this staging.
Mr. Apke said when we granted this variance last July there was a specified trailer, skirted, ground-mounded, no wheels. That was not what was in place.
Mr. Naugle replied we looked at ones without the wheels. We got rid of all the ones with wheels except one. We were looking at the change of use where the final lot of furniture would just be hauled away. If we had a fixed facility, then it wouldnít be very easy to relocate when we sold the building. We have consolidated four trailers on wheels down to one. We have storage racks built into that facility to make it convenient to get to the records. There was no way to do that with the lowboys.
Mr. Okum said going back on the chronology, that was approved until the first of this year. Here we are in April so itís been almost 1 Ĺ years since it was brought to our attention. In reading our staff comments, they mention that somewhere temporary is no longer temporary. The Ohio Building Code considers temporary to not exceed 180 days. At that point non-permanent structures have fire and safety concerns. With this on-going trailer I feel like we are setting ourselves up for some kind of liability
Mr. Naugle stated we have made a point not to store anything flammable on the trailer.
Mr. Weidlich said as I recall back in July you said your building is 12,000 square feet and you are down to 2 or 3 employees. You have all that space, a lot fewer employees, a lot less work space being used in the building. You should have room to put this equipment inside your room now. Last time you were in you were going to look into that and do something about it. Itís evident you havenít done much.
Mr. Naugle replied we moved some of the records into the building. What really takes up space in the building is not the personnel coming in out of the field, but all the fixed assets and furniture.
Mr. Weidlich asked the records in the trainer are paper records? Mr. Naugle replied yes they are NCR type paper.
Mr. Weidlich responded you stated a few moments ago to Mr. Apke that there was nothing flammable stored in that trailer. I feel that this board has been taken advantage of and the City of Springdale with what we have granted you so far. You have had quite a few chances, sir.
Mr. Naugle said we are down to one unit and we got it out of the area that we had the variance for. We want to park it next to our shipping and receiving area so we can get a lot of other things cleaned out while we sell the building.
Mr. Weidlich asked are you here on your own accord or because the Building Department found the trailer on your property yet?
Mr. Naugle replied they did come back and mention the fact that the trailer was still there.
Mr. Borden said the last time you were in here you had some furniture you were going to get rid of. Has that occurred?
Mr. Naugle replied yes, two of the trailers we had had 10-12 desks and miscellaneous furniture. In the interest of trying to move it out quickly we donated it to Community Resources Company and they resale it to the schools. The furniture we have now we hope to get the best value we can.
Mr. Weidlich asked how much are you in and out of the trailer you have now?
Mr. Naugle responded we get into it just about every day or every one to two days.
Mr. Weidlich asked are there sprinklers inside the trailers? Mr. Naugle replied no.
Mr. Weidlich asked how quickly are you moving equipment?
Mr. Naugle replied we just signed the contract with C. B. Richard Ellis last week and we are in the process of getting the equipment listed. We want to put it on the internet also. We are just starting that now. Even when I was here last year my business was starting to go downhill but not like it has been recently.
Mr. Weidlich asked are you going out of business?
Mr. Naugle replied it almost looks imminent that we may have to. Weíre trying not to.
Mr. Weidlich asked if you get rid of all of your fixed assets you would be out of business, wouldnít you?
Mr. Naugle answered most of the fixed assets that we would be selling are furniture components for the outside people who come in and use it and arenít coming in anymore. We would be able to hang onto some of the core assets we have.
Mr. Apke stated the last time you were before us you said you had a learning center where people come to learn. It doesnít sound like you would be using that very much. Has that space opened up as a possible way to store some of this stuff?
Mr. Naugle answered we are doing some training there for our customers. We donít have enough staffing to bring them in from out of town anymore. We would like to be able to sell that furniture to another training company. Those pieces are so big they wouldnít be able to go out on the trailer because they are so large. Itís the actual fixed assets that are taking up space, not the people.
Mr. Okum said you had contacted me at home and asked for relief. My comment to you was that relief has to come from this board and I want the board members to know that. I think the Building Department gave him notice. He called me. I told him if there were to be any relief in this instance it would be from the board itself.
Mr. Okum asked do you recall how long that building was on the market before you bought it?
Mr. Naugle answered State Farm had it and it was a soft commercial period. State Farm probably had it on the market at least a year before I bought it.
Mr. Okum asked wouldnít you consider the market a little soft right now?
Mr. Naugle said in talking to the realtors they feel the market is much better than it was back in 1989, plus the interest rates were much higher. Even with the stock market ups and downs, they feel it will move faster.
Mr. Okum said you feel the 180 days is how long you think it will take you to liquidate or sell that property. I donít have as much confidence as you do that that building will sell in 180 days. Itís a unique building with unique characteristics. Ceiling heights are limited. Different things are special about that building. I donít think we should bank our variance period based upon when you think you are going to liquidate the property.
Mr. Naugle said I can sell the fixed assets before I sell the building.
Mr. Okum said we understand you are trying to do that but thereís going to be some time involved. I think the board has been very lenient. I think the Building Department has been more than lenient in allowing the proliferation of trailers non-conforming. I know specifically that the boardís direction when the motion for a variance was granted was that they would be non-wheeled, flat trailers, ground placed. You were allowed to retain those trailers with the wheels that people were climbing up into through the worst wintertime. I think our Building Department was more than liberal in enforcement of what this board allowed as a variance. On the other hand, I see your situation but I also see 12,000 square feet that is not being utilized the way you would probably want it to. I think you need to get on with the elimination of your assets. I think you need to get on with whatís going to happen with your business. There is a good bit of fire safety and safety issues associated with a trailer with storage of combustible items in it in that proximity to that structure. I do not believe that is an A-rated building. If that trailer should catch fire, that building would go. Iíd be willing to a much, much shorter period to allow you to empty that building but I would be very, very on top of the Building Department on enforcing the removal after a period of time. I think 90 days would be more than gracious considering what the board has already allowed.
Mr. Naugle responded I should be able to sell half of the fixed assets in a 90-day period. I have to get the maximum value out of the fixed assets. My debt structure has really turned sour. Iím just asking for mercy.
Mr. Wilson said I feel the applicant has taken advantage of the board but being in business myself I can understand your dilemma. I think 180 days is out of line. I think 90 days is out of line. I think if you aggressively sell your fixed assets and, as you sell them, use the space allocated that you have in the building, you can move things out of that trailer. I would feel comfortable with June 4. That will give you well over 30 days. Hopefully you will have liquidated enough from the building that you can move those things out of the trailer and into the building and have the trailer removed by 4 June. I make a motion that the trailer be allowed on your premises until 4 June, at which point it will be removed. Mr. Borden seconded the motion.
Mr. Wilson said I donít like the position you put us in. If we had not found the trailer it would still be there as an off-street loading space. Thatís going to put a little fire into you. You wonít be coming back to see us on June 4 to request any more. You should sell 40 feet of space in components or fixed assets within 30 days so you can move everything out of that trailer.
Mr. Okum said I think the applicant must clearly understand that there are businesses that just want to have a trailer for the Christmas holidays and they are denied by this City so you have been given more than ample and lenient time to accommodate your need. I know there has been a direction change in your utilization of the trailer but I think as Mr. Wilson commented, itís still a trailer. Iím going to be very in favor of the motion but I did want to make sure that everyone is clear. Mr. Wilson said the variance should be granted until June 4, 2001. That means the trailer shall be removed by June 5.
The motion passed 5-2. Mr. Apke and Mr. Weidlich voted no.
Mr. Naugle said to those who denied, Iím sorry. Iím in pretty bad shape. Iím just trying to get it all done. Iím just asking for mercy. Thank you for helping me.
The Board of Zoning Appeals adjourned at 9:04 p.m.
____________________, 2001 __________________________
David Okum, Chairman
____________________, 2001 __________________________
Jane Huber, Secretary
X . ADJOURNMENT