18 APRIL 2006

7:00 P.M.


I.                     CALL MEETING TO ORDER


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


II.                   ROLL CALL


Members Present:             Bob Emerson, Marge Pollitt, Bill Reichert, Jim

Squires, Bob Weidlich, Jane Huber and Chairman Okum.


Others Present:                  Richard G. Lohbeck, Inspection Supervisor


III.                  PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE




Mrs. Huber moved for adoption and Mr. Squires seconded the motion.  By voice vote all voted aye and the Minutes were approved unanimously.


V.                 CORRESPONDENCE


A.          Zoning Bulletin – February 10, 2006

B.          Zoning Bulletin – February 25, 2006

C.          Zoning Bulletin – March 10, 2006

D.          Zoning Bulletin – March 25, 2006

E.          Planning Commission Meeting Minutes – February 14, 2006

F.           Planning Commission Meeting Minutes – March 14, 2006

G.          4/6/06 Letter from John D. Meyer, 11846 Ramsdale Court


VI.               REPORTS


A.          Report on Council – Jim Squires


Mr. Squires reported that Ordinance 17-2006 is in your packets, amending the Zoning Code.


B.          Report on Planning – David Okum


At the April 11th meeting, approval of landscaping and building materials for the new Heritage Hill Elementary School was granted.  The rezoning of a 1.542 acre site at Kemper and Tri-County Parkway for a proposed Chick Fil-A was considered.  The applicant agreed that the requested rezoning should be PUD (they originally requested GB) after discussion with the commission, and Planning recommended this zoning to Council.   Planning considered a proposed sales and showroom addition for Jake Sweeney at 85 West Kemper Road.  They are on the agenda this evening for a signage variance.  They are adding the Dodge brand into that facility and constructing a retail showroom on the south side of the building.   This was approved by Planning, contingent upon this variance being granted this evening.








18 APRIL 2006



IX.               NEW BUSINESS


Approval of a variance to allow the construction of a 10’ x 16’ shed to be placed two feet from the property lines at 11828 Ramsdale Court.  Said variance is requested from Section 153.097(B) “must not be less than 5 feet from any rear or side lot lines” and Section 153.492(B) (3) “shall not exceed 120 s.f. in area.”


Shirley Flynn owner of 11828 Ramsdale court said I am approaching 80 years of age and my son Thomas is moving in with me.  He and I feel that I need the help to keep the property up as it is.  I come from a very large family and have many items I would like to keep for my grandchildren and great grandchildren so we need a large shed so that he can store his things.   


The reason why I want it closer to the fence is because five feet is such a wasted area.  I drove around and people place ladders, old wood and trash in there; I would not do that for my neighbors to look at.   My yard is always neat and tidy; I have tried to keep it perfect, so I would like this variance if I can have it.


Mr. Lohbeck reported the applicant is requesting to erect a 10’ x 16’ (160 s.f.) utility building two feet from the rear and side lot lines.


Section 153.492(B) (3) of the Zoning Code indicates that detached accessory buildings may not exceed 120 s.f.  Section 153.097(B) also indicates that accessory structures shall not be less than 5 feet from any rear or side lot lines.


The applicant has indicated that the reason for needing a larger structure is because two households are being combined at her residence.  No reasons were given for encroaching into the required five-foot setback from the side or rear lot lines. 


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


Mr. Weidlich moved to grant the variance and Mr. Reichert seconded the motion. 


Mr. Squires asked why she wanted the shed less than 5 feet from the property lines.  Mrs. Flynn answered I think it is a waste of land.  I’m going to put up a beautiful shed; it will be professionally built.  It will be large, but it will be painted and decorated.  I took a tree down in order to be able to have a nice foundation for it.  It will fit nicely in the corner.  All neighbors around think it is great.  The only reason I want to put it there is because it gives more land and behind us it will give him shade from the west sun.  I just took a large ash tree out of my front yard, and am putting in two beautiful red maples in there.  We try to keep it nice, and we feel it will fill in that corner very nicely.


Mr. Squires asked if she would be able to maintain the barn with just two feet from the property line.  Can you still mow the grass back there or paint it when needed?  Mrs. Flynn said yes, in fact my son my neighbor and I are planning on painting the fence immediately. 





18 APRIL 2006





Mr. Squires asked Tom Flynn to come forward.  Mr. Flynn said Mom and I have talked about this for a few years.  I am single with no kids and when I move in, she’ll probably take care of me for the next few years, and when it’s time, I’ll take care of her.  Mrs. Flynn said also when I would decide to go into a retirement center, he would inherit the house and continue to live there.


Mr. Squires asked if they couldn’t get by with a 120 s.f. shed.  Mr. Flynn said I could, if I had to.  Mrs. Flynn added a 10’ x 14’. 


Mr. Okum said there was a CAGIS map and the shed will be longitudinal to the site, but the pictures show the door’s orientation to the other side.  Mr. Flynn reported that it would be facing Ramsdale and we will probably put bushes on each side to decorate it up.


Mr. Okum commented the one you presented shows windows and window boxes with plants, and landscaping surrounding it and a ramp.  Is that what you intend to put there?  Mr. Flynn answered yes.  My mother keeps her house in tip-top shape.    Mrs. Flynn said it will match the house, with a black roof and be painted gray and white.


Mr. Okum said if you look at the CAGIS map it shows the fence of the neighbor’s property held off the property line, so you have been taking care of part of your neighbor’s yard for quite some time.  Mrs. Flynn responded yes, none of it is our fence.  All I put up was the gate.


Mr. Okum said my question to you would be is it your intention to put the shed two feet from the fence or two feet from your real property line?  Mrs. Flynn said I don’t know where the property line is.  She and her son came forward to look at the CAGIS map.


Mr. Okum said you are requesting a variance for two feet from the property line, which would not be two feet from the fence.  It would be approximately five to six feet from the fence.


Mrs. Flynn commented we wanted to put it two feet from the fence, and Mr. Okum responded then it would be on your neighbor’s property.  If you put it five feet from the fence, you would literally be approximately two feet from your property line.  So is your request two feet from your property line?  If the property owner next to you decided to replace their fence, they literally could put their fence on that property line, and it truly would be two feet from the shed if it were approved by this board. 


Mr. Reichert said I would like to compliment you on the care of your property.  It is very well maintained and you should be very proud of it.  My concern was the two feet because of the existing line going over.  I would rather see you give a little more room on the side.  My other question is can you get a lawnmower there with only two feet and get it cut, or will it all be growing up wild for your neighbors behind you?


Mr. Flynn answered we have had the hardest time in the last two years to get the grass to grow only because of the tree that was there.  We put a flower bed in that area, rocks from the creek to keep the dirt. 





18 APRIL 2006





Mr. Reichert commented my concern  is most lawnmowers are 20 or 22 inches and with a couple of wheels on it, you can barely get 24 inches behind that.


Mr. Emerson wondered if anyone in the neighborhood had their yard surveyed lately.  If there was a benchmark you could measure off of, you could find the true line, it would help. 


Mrs. Flynn said if we moved it five feet in from this side and two or three feet in from that side,  it would be on my property.   Mr. Flynn commented it would actually be five feet from the fence and two feet from the property line.  Am I correct?

Mr. Okum responded that is the way I interpret it.  Mr. Flynn said if we had to do it that way, we’ll be five feet from the fence line.  Mr. Okum said I think we will have to amend the motion in any case to represent a distance from the existing fence.  I’d like to see a little bit of give on the distance; not exactly 5 feet, maybe 5’-6” on the one side and maybe three feet on the rear from the fence.  That way it would take care of Mr. Reichert’s issue about getting a lawnmower back there.  You do have a large tree in your back yard.  Mrs. Flynn said that belongs to Mr. Campbell behind us.   I had one right in front of it and took it down.  Mr. Okum asked the height of the shed, and Mr. Flynn answered 12 feet high. 


Mr. Weidlich said you do have a very nice looking yard.  I really don’t have a problem with the size of the shed; it is the setback distance of two feet.   We have numerous requests like this a year and we try to get them to have the five foot setback whenever possible.  In your case the fence is into the neighbor’s property.  Is there any way you could modify your plans to move your shed inward to meet code?


Mrs. Flynn responded we could do that; we would like to have the size, but we would move it in.


Mr. Okum asked Mr. Weidlich if his request was to go from the fence or from the real property line.  Mr. Weidlich responded the real property line.  That is what everybody else has to deal with who comes before this board.  Mr. Okum said so to be five feet from the property line would make it approximately eight feet from the fence. 


Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum reported that the variances granted are permanent.  They go with whoever buys your house, and although you are a wonderful caretaker of your own home, that doesn’t mean that 15 or 20 years from now it will be that way.  The difficulty for us as board members is establishing precedents.  So is there any way possible you can conform to the code?  Mr. Weidlich indicated that he didn’t have a problem with the size of the shed, but that the setbacks were a concern.


Your neighbor’s house behind your home is pretty close, and that shed being 12 feet high and 16 feet long against that property line would be pretty significant of a building element.  That is the reason that I would like to see some limitation of height, and I also would like to see it changed long ways because of the neighbor’s view.  Ten feet is a little easier to look at than 16 feet across your property.



18 APRIL 2006





Mrs. Flynn said I would much prefer that it face Ramsdale Court.  Would you be against it if we made it 14 feet instead of 16 feet?  Mr. Flynn added and we could bring the height down as well.  Mr. Okum responded fourteen gets me closer, and getting the height down is important.  If you brought it back to the legal setbacks that are permittable, I think I would support a 10’ x 14’ shed not to exceed 13 feet in height.


Mr. Flynn responded so that would be eight feet from the fence line and five feet the other way.  Mr. Weidlich said it should be five feet from each property line; whatever it turns out to be from the fence is something else.  Mr. Okum added I would rather see a motion from the board representing a distance from the fence that is approximate.  I know that is odd but otherwise it would force a survey for the staff to know.


Mr. Lohbeck reported we can go to the GPS System and get measurements on it.  Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum said staff can give you where your shed would need to be to be five feet from the property lines, so that part of the requested variance would not be needed and we would not be considering that.


Mrs. Flynn asked how large the shed would be.  Mr. Okum responded that is between the board and you as the applicant.  I have heard Mr. Weidlich say that he didn’t have a problem with 10’ x 16’.  I have a problem with the height that we would get with the 10’ x 16’. 


Mrs. Flynn commented 10’ x 14’ would make it two feet shorter.  Mr. Flynn showed the builder specs and 10’ x 14’ would be 11’ high.   Mr. Okum said I could support that, as long as you are going to maintain the five-foot setbacks from the side and rear yard. 


Mr. Squires said the first question on the application asked if there were exceptional circumstances, and you indicated that there weren’t any.  Mrs. Flynn responded I said that the special circumstances were that he was going to move in, and that is special to me. 


Mr. Squires commented we’re talking about the building of it, that there weren’t any trees or slopes that you would have to negotiate.  Those would be exceptional circumstances.  Mrs. Flynn answered we just estimated it and made it nice and flat and ready.   Can we make the doors face the front; I like the looks of that.  Mr. Okum answered you can make it face wherever you need to.


Addressing Mr. Lohbeck, Mr. Squires said you indicated that w could get that five feet from the GPS System and that doesn’t have to be a part of the variance.  Mr. Lohbeck answered no, not if they are willing to comply with five feet to the property line.   We can mark it on the drawings. 


Mr. Okum stated the applicant has indicated that they are withdrawing their request for a variance from the setback requirement.   That portion of your motion still needs to be omitted, so we will need a motion to amend to remove that portion of the requested variance.  Then we’ll take the issue of size. 





18 APRIL 2006





Mr. Squires moved to amend the motion to withdraw the 2-foot setback from the requested variance.  Mrs. Pollitt seconded the motion.  All voted aye, and the motion was amended.


Mr. Okum stated that the applicant has indicated that a 10’ x 14’ shed 11 feet in height would be okay.  We need a motion.


Mr. Reichert moved to amend the motion to approve a 10’ x 14’ shed not to exceed 11 feet high.  Mr. Squires seconded the motion.  On the amendment, all voted aye, and the motion was amended.


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


B.    Approval of variance to grant additional signage for Sweeney Automotive, 85 West Kemper Road in conjunction with the proposed building addition.  Said variance is requested from Section153.531(C) (1) (b) “...Maximum gross area of signs = (W x 1.5) + 40 s.f.”  Referred by Planning Commission


Terry Brennan and Jake Sweeney Jr. approached the board.  Mr. Brennan said we are entitled to 334 s.f. on our site, and we are 106.94 s.f. over. 


Our west elevation (McGillard) has new signage.  He showed the only other signage on the west elevation of the existing Chrysler facility.  He showed the new renovated face on Kemper Road with a new tall icon from the manufacturer simulating the three brands rolled into one. 


Mr. Sweeney stated there were four franchises on there, Jake Sweeney Chrysler, Plymouth Jeep Eagle.  Eagle was taken off two or three years ago, and Plymouth was eliminated two years ago.  Although the signage is still on there, we are anticipating taking that down and replacing it with Dodge on the front fascia, Kemper Road. 


Mr. Brennan added there are new corporate signage requirements by the manufacturer.  The reason we have to have a little larger sign on McGillard is because we are 200 feet from the back of the curb to the face of that building.


Mr. Sweeney said in many of the major markets Daimler Chrysler is allowing Dodge to be put in with the other two brands.  You still need to follow their requirements on square footages and showrooms, service stalls, parts areas etc. 


We will remodel the existing showroom, which we can do to the front of the building. The problem is to meet our showroom requirements in terms of space, (10,000 s.f. for all three brands).  It is extremely difficult to do with our existing showroom and still add Dodge to that.   


The best possibility, and the one Chrysler also endorsed is to build a separate showroom for Dodge.  It is still attached to the service operations, just on the other end.  Because of that we are required to somehow identify that showroom.   We are required to do the same look that we are doing up front with the icon.  As Terry said, the sign has to be larger because of the setback from McGillard Street.


18 APRIL 2006





Mr. Sweeney added the need to have the Dodge out front is to identify for service.   Service for all three brands will be in one place, so only sales for Dodge is separate, and we need the Dodge recognition on the fascia so people understand that Dodge is a part of the complex.


This is to identify the back showroom and to effectively do it from McGillard Street.  The showroom will be almost directly across from the new BMW showroom. 


Mr. Lohbeck reported that the applicant is requesting a variance to install new signs which will exceed the total sign area permitted for the business.   


At their April 11, 2006 meeting, Planning Commission reviewed and approved the development plan for the building addition and exterior alterations conditioned upon obtaining a variance for signs.


Section 153.531(C) (1) (b) restricts the cumulative area of all signs for the business by a formula involving the frontage of the building.  Because the building has exposure on two streets, Section 153.522 (B) (1) allows 40% of side street frontage to be used in the calculation. 


Allowable sign area is as follows:


1.5 x [140’ + (0.40 x 140’)] + 40 = 334 s.f.


The sign proposed is shown as follows:


                        North Elevation


                        Chrysler                                              39.06

                        Jeep                                                   23.00

                        Jake Sweeney                                   60.00

                        Dodge                                                            48.87

                        Service                                               14.00

                                                                                 184.93 s.f.        


                        West Elevation


                        Jake Sweeney                                   40.00

                        Dodge                                                         116.01

                        Jake Sweeney                                   60.00 

                                                                                 216.01 s.f.        

                        East Elevation


                        Jake Sweeney                                   40.00

                                                                                    40.00 s.f.


                        Total on building signs                      440.94 s.f.

                        Existing pole sign                              200.00 s.f.

                        Total Signage for Site                      640.94 s.f.


There is an existing variance issued on August 19, 1969 to allow the existing 200 s.f. pole sign.  There was also a variance granted on January 16, 1979 for a total sign area of 501 s.f.  The applicant is requesting 139.94 s.f. over the existing variance.


18 APRIL 2006





Mr. Okum said Mr. Brennan, we have a number difference here, of 106 versus 139.94.  I am asking you and Mr. Sweeney to resolve this for us because staff’s calculations show a total sign request of 640.94 s.f. and an allowable sign area of 501 s.f.


Mr. Brennan said we used what was written from Planning Commission, Ms. McBride’s calculations.  Mr. Okum said so the request is still correct, you still need 640.94 s.f.  Mr. Brennan answered yes.  Mr. Okum said so the request is 139.94 s.f.


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


Mr. Weidlich moved to grant the variance to allow a 139.94 s.f. increase in total signage on the property of Jake Sweeney at 85 West Kemper Road.   The maximum signage shall be 640.94 s.f.   Mrs. Pollitt seconded the motion.


Mr. Okum said all your vehicles at the Chevrolet Used Car portion block that sign on the east side of the building from view.  I don’t think it has real value as much as the rest of the signs on your building.  It just says Jake Sweeney and you also have your new logo with Jake Sweeney on the building element, and you have Jake Sweeney on the McGillard Street side which you basically see coming down Kemper Road.  If you took that off, you would save 40 s.f. right there.  Personally I don’t see any value to it.  It is costing you in signage on your building, and the consumer doesn’t see it.


Mr. Sweeney responded as it exists now, I would agree with you.  I think the fascia is a little higher, so it would be more visible.  Mr. Brennan added the overall height of the new fascia is 9’6”.  Right now it is 5’-6”. 


Mr. Okum said asked if they were going to put the Dodge sign on the used car pole sign on McGillard Street?  Mr. Sweeney answered our plans are to reface that sign and the smaller sign on the corner of McGillard and Kemper Road. 


Mr. Okum said the used car kiosk/dealership is not a part of this consideration, but it is a building of sign.  It is more than what was approved, and I don’t know what you can do about it, but it is pretty ugly.    

You don’t have windows any more, so it is sign all the way around.  McGillard Street is what we are looking at.  That will be the entry into your Dodge dealership.  I would assume that you are going to reconfigure how the cars are stacked and so forth. 


Mr. Sweeney responded the whole layout will be different from what it is now.  We plan to be able to operate the used car sales out of the showroom where Dodge is.  I can’t say definitely, but that is our aim.  If that was the case, we might at some point actually take the other building down.


Mr. Brennan added we have had a lot of discussions since BMW was completed and straightened up that corner.  They were trying to have automotive retail from the intersection of Kemper and McGillard back to the edge of the properties of BMW and the Chrysler site.  



18 APRIL 2006





Mr. Brennan said we know there has to be some serious inventory changes in how we present merchandise to McGillard Street.   What used to be the rear end of Saturn is now going to become a pretty important piece of real estate for merchandising vehicles, and not only for Saturn but also for Dodge. 


Mr. Sweeney added we are trying to give it a more retail look instead of it being as it once was storage property.  What I would like to see is the used car building to go away.  We have to make sure of how many vehicles we will be selling out of there once we do the Dodge thing.  


Mr. Okum said 200 feet from the curb is a pretty significant setback if we were considering a frontage on McGillard Street.  That is beyond what code calls for, but you have to be able to observe it and I think what you have requested is done in a tasteful way. 


Mr. Sweeney commented with what we have done with BMW, we are trying to do the same thing, have more of a retail look all the way down and clean it up as well.  I think this building addition will be a dynamite looking facility.  The plan is to develop that as retail space, retail display, and the cars that were formerly stored for Saturn will be put in another location. 


Mr. Okum commented the BMW dealership job was a wonderful improvement; you did a nice job with it.  Mr. Sweeney answered I think you’ll feel the same way when you see what happens with this project. 


Mr. Okum commented I understand the situation and the restrictions of the code.  In this case, we are talking about increasing signage due to a very unusual situation of depth and setback.  That is in itself strong evidence to support the requested increase in signage, so I will be supporting the request.  On the motion to grant the variance, all voted aye, and the variance was granted with seven affirmative votes.


X.                 DISCUSSION


Mrs. Huber asked if there was any information about a store going into the former Thriftway site.  Mr. Squires reported the latest I have heard is that IGA, who we thought was interested in that is getting cold feet, so we don’t know at this point of time. 


XI.               ADJOURNMENT


Mrs. Huber moved for adjournment.  All voted aye, and the Board of Zoning Appeals adjourned at 8:15 p.m.


                                                                     Respectfully submitted,



_________________________,2006   __________________________

                                                                     David Okum, Chairman



_________________________,2006   __________________________

                                                                     Jane Huber, Secretary