Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

15 May 2001

7:00 p.m.


  2. The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. by Chairman David Okum.

  4. Members Present: Councilman Robert Wilson, Bob Weidlich,

    Bob Apke, Councilman James Squires, Fred

    Borden, Chairman Okum and Jane Huber

    Others Present: Richard G. Lohbeck, Inspection Supervisor

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

  8. Mr. Apke moved for adoption and Mr. Squires seconded the motion. By voice vote, all voted aye, and the Minutes were adopted unanimously.

    1. Planning Commission Meeting Minutes Ė 10 April 2001
    2. Zoning Bulletin Ė April 10, 2001
    3. Zoning Bulletin Ė April 25, 2001
    4. Corrected pages 4 and 5 of March 20, 2001 BZA Meeting


    1. Report on Council
    2. Mr. Squires reported that Ordinance 32-2001 awarded the contract for the Walnut Street and Pear Street improvements to Trend Construction. The Federal Communications Act of 1996 deregulated the telecommunications industry, and the Ohio Legislature passed legislation that would permit the construction of telecommunications facilities in a non discriminatory fashion within the rights of ways of local communities. Council passed Ordinance 31 that would allow the Mayor, Clerk of Courts-Finance Director to enter into an agreement with any company for the purpose of doing telecommunication business within the rights of way of the City of Springdale. This way we can regulate it.

    3. Report on Planning Commission

Mr. Okum said we reviewed additional signage for Samís. The Samís Store which has expanded wanted signage on the west side of the building, "Tires". A similar business was denied that request and Planning allowed a temporary banner of approximately the same size as the sign to hang for 30 days (14 days is what is allowed).



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Mr. Okum reported that Bingís Bar & Grill requested approval of a Conditional Use permit to allow the outdoor sales of food and beverages on a proposed deck. There was much discussion and comments from the neighboring property owners and the request was denied.

Steak Ďn Shake requested a Conditional Use Permit to allow a drive through window at their restaurant to be redeveloped. The building is to be facing 747, which is a great improvement. It is a bigger footprint than the original, and the applicant is here this evening to request the necessary variances. This was approved conditioned among other things upon the approval by BZA of the necessary variances.

The dedication plat of Walnut and Pear Streets was approved unanimously. The Tree Preservation Ordinance was again tabled for clarity on the commissionís direction.

  2. Mr. Okum said let the record show that everyone in attendance, except the gentleman walking in the door right now, has been sworn in. Since there are a great many people here, we do want to hear all your comments, but we want to avoid repetition.

    1. Gregory Neville, 314 West Sharon Road requests variance to allow a 32í x 28í garage on his property. Said variance is requested from Section 153.075(B) "The garage shall have a minimum floor area of 400 square feet and a maximum floor area of 700 square feet."

(tabled 4/17/01)

Mr. Okum said I believe the board requested that Mr. Neville have representation regarding the other property, which needed a separate variance in order for him to move the garage to his property. Separately, Mr. Neville was to submit a site plan with the location of the replacement garage. I think it would be appropriate to table this once more to allow him to submit the information. If it is not submitted, it can be withdrawn or we can vote to deny the request.

Mr. Squires asked if we had heard anything from Mr. Neville. Mr. Lohbeck indicated that we had not, and Mr. Squires moved to table the item. Mr. Borden seconded the motion. By voice vote, all voted aye, and the item was tabled until June 19, 2001.

    1. Ronald and Shelly Darnell, 329 Cameron Road request variance to allow the construction of a 10í x 16í shed on their property. Said variance is requested from Section 153.492(B)(3) "Detached accessory buildings other than garages shall not exceed 120 square feet in area."



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Mrs. Darnell said we would like to have this variance to construct the shed in our back yard.

Mr. Lohbeck reported that the CAGIS information aerial photo showed some sort of structure or slab in the location, and that needs to be clarified. Mrs. Darnell said there is nothing there. At one point there was a greenhouse that was taken down prior to our purchasing the house.

Mr. Okum asked if the shed would be constructed on an existing slab, and Mrs. Darnell answered that it would be placed beyond that.

Mr. Okum opened the public hearing, asking if anyone present wished to speak. No one came forward, and he closed the public hearing.

Mrs. Huber stated that she had no problem with their request. They have quite a deep lot and where they show it on their drawing it will be kin no neighborís backyard.

Mr. Wilson said when I walked back there where I think the shed will be there is a privacy fence. It faces a parking lot that is the Lutheran Church. You have indicated quite a number of items you plan to store here, and I donít have a problem based on these conditions.

Mr. Squires moved to grant the variance and Mrs. Huber seconded the motion. All members voted aye, and the variance was granted with seven affirmative votes.

B. Gregory Vonderhaar, 11979 Tavel Court requests variances to allow two utility buildings to remain on his property. Said variance is requested from Section 153.492(B)(1) "There shall be no more than one detached accessory building, other than a garage, on a lot.."

Mr. Vonderhaar said I bought the property about six weeks ago in a lot of disrepair and am remodeling it. When your building inspector came out to inspect my new roof, he phoned me and told me that the two sheds were not legal. From what I can find out both have been there at least 19 years. They back up against the woods of the GE golf course, out of view from the street and from the neighbors. It doesnít seem reasonable to tear it down at this point when it has been there for 19 years and hasnít bothered anyone.

Mr. Okum asked if anyone present wished to speak on this. No one came forward, and he closed the public hearing.

Mrs. Huber asked if he would be renting the property or reselling. Mr. Vonderhaar answered I probably will resell, but Iím not sure. I bought it to rent out, but after I put in a brand new kitchen, new flooring, new roof, new windows, Iím not sure I want to rent it. Mrs. Huber commented I suspect that financially you probably wouldnít be able to build a legal building (10í x 12í) and rid yourself of the two that are nonconforming.


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Mr. Vonderhaar answered they are both in very good shape. It seems ridiculous to tear one down to build another one. They both are on concrete slabs.

Mr. Apke said in the applicantís application, he mentioned the fact that there are two parcels on the land. If we consider this two parcels and each shed is smaller than 10'íx 12í, would this be in compliance?

Mr. Lohbeck answered that it wouldnít because he would have to have a house on the other parcel to be in compliance.

Mr. Wilson wondered if he resold it, why would the new owner need two sheds? Mr. Vonderhaar said Iím not sure that they would necessarily need it, but they both are in very good shape and I got materials to put a roof on the second one before I found out it was illegal. I didnít see a reason to tear it down when it was not bothering anyone back there.

Mr. Wilson said the issue is it is an illegal building; we only allow one. My comment is tearing down one of those is not going to have a detrimental effect on the resale or renting of your property, and it will be in compliance. My point is I donít see a reason why this is an issue. Typically when people come to us with something non-conforming it is for a reason, normally storage. There are no extenuating circumstances presented and no reason for us to approve this.

Mr. Vonderhaar answered I hear what you are saying, but why tear it down if it is totally out of sight back there and not bothering anyone. Mr. Wilson said that is not the issue; the issue is that it is illegal.

Mr. Lohbeck said I just noticed on the site plan that the sheds are one foot off the property line and 2 feet off the property line so we actually would need two variances.

Mr. Squires said the variance goes with the land, and it puts us in a bind when we authorize things of this nature.

Mr. Okum said it is a pretty tough situation. We are sympathetic to the fact that we have two fairly decent utility sheds on a large piece of property. On the other hand, we are faced with the issue of precedence, and true need and hardship. In this case, there is no hardship in removing one of the two sheds. The total square footage of the two sheds (133 s.f.) exceeds the normal allowed (120 s.f.) Also the setback issue means that there are three variances required for those two sheds. It makes it very difficult for me to vote in favor of this. Do you offer any alternatives to this board?

Mr. Vonderhaar said it seems ridiculous to tear down a perfectly good building. The fact that I got the proper permits to put the new roof on and fix up the house drew it to peopleís attention and it has to be torn down isnít common sense.


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Mr. Vonderhaar said maybe someone moving in would need the extra storage space and want the second utility building.

Mr. Borden asked if he had a preference for either of the buildings.

Mr. Vonderhaar answered that the front one is the newer one. The other one needs a roof, which I already bought the shingles for, but there is no sense putting a roof on it if you are not going to approve it.

Mr. Okum said I was going to suggest that the variance be that at any time one of the two sheds becomes in disrepair or need to be replaced, that the second shed shall be removed, leaving one shed on the property not to exceed 120 s.f. or as code permits. By needing a new roof on the shed, it needs repair. Mr. Vonderhaar responded it just needs new shingles; it is not collapsing, and actually the GE Park because of the limbs coming over the fence and dragging on the roof causes it.

Mr. Wilson said if we approve one shed, and Mr. Vonderhaar has indicated that the 7í x 9í is the better one, then I would move that he remove the 7í x 10í shed and allow the 7í x 9í to remain where it is, 2 feet from the property line. Mr. Borden seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mrs. Huber, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Borden. Mr. Okum, Mr. Weidlich, Mr. Apke and Mr. Squires voted no, and the motion failed, 3 ayes and 4 noes.

Mr. Squires moved to reconsider the matter Mr. Weidlich seconded the motion.

Mr. Wilson commented that in the past we have always granted variances based on need and extreme hardship, the two major criteria. The applicant has not given us either, especially when he indicated that he would either sell or rent the property. I see a building that is in disrepair from the standpoint of the roof. How will the roof last with the branches brushing against it? Does that mean it has to be replaced every 10 or 20 years? Mr. Vonderhaar reported that he removed all the branches that were hanging over it, and new shingles last 25 years.

Mr. Wilson said the applicant hasnít addressed the need for two sheds. He wonít be living there; will the new tenant need two sheds? Those are the criteria we are looking for. Unless you can show me why there is a need for two sheds, other than the fact that it has been there 20 years and no one ever noticed it, if you could justify it as a detrimental effect on the rent or sale of the property, that is something we can look at.

Mr. Vonderhaar responded there is a huge back yard back there and if someone wanted to put a pool up they would need the extra shed. I canít predict the future, but nothing is going to change back there because of the way it is landlocked. I donít understand why after 20 years it has to be torn down. It is not in disrepair; it needs shingles, and just to throw it away doesnít make sense either. I wouldnít want somebody to put two sheds up against my property to create an eyesore. This isnít an eyesore; it is totally hidden back there.


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Mr. Wilson said that is not a criterion for allowing two sheds, just because it is out of sight and in reasonably good condition. You have to show a need for it, and you havenít done that.

Mr. Vonderhaar responded it has a value; it is throwing away a value for no real reason.

Mr. Wilson said so you are implying that the two sheds would help with the resale value? Mr. Vonderhaar answered it very much could; I canít predict it. Mr. Wilson said and if you rent it, it might rent faster because of these sheds. These are all assumptions. Mr. Vonderhaar responded I canít predict the future but that is entirely possible. Mr. Wilson commented the only thing we know for sure is that it is against our code, and we are dealing with three variances for that. If we grant them, they stay with the land forever, and that is what we have to deal with.

Mr. Okum said there are not substantial reasons to deny and we should consider allowing the non-conforming use variance but limit to a time frame, that upon replacement of one of the two sheds, it would be consolidated into a single shed not to exceed code or 120 s.f. We can allow this considering it is against the golf course and not against a single-family residence. There are some unique characteristics to this request.

Mr. Squires asked the applicant how long he thought it would be functional for him to keep the 7í x 10í shed. Mr. .Vonderhaar answered if it keeps in repair, 10 or 20 years. If kept in repair, buildings usually last a long time. The plan was to put on a new roof and paint it so it does look like a brand new building.

Mr. Squires asked the applicant if he could live with a time frame to allow both of those sheds as they are with the idea of removing one of them say one year from now? Mr. Vonderhaar commented that one year didnít seem to be enough, and Mr. Squires responded that he was just using that as a time reference. Mr. Vonderhaar added if you want to make it a case of disrepair or if somebody wants to build a bigger building, then they would have to tear them down makes sense. To tear it down at this point doesnít seem to be logical.

Mr. Squires said we are not in favor of both those sheds there, and are trying to work out some type of compromise where you can keep one and remove one. So, I will make a motion that we allow Mr. Vonderhaar to maintain his 7í x 9í shed with the 2í setback and one year from this date remove the 7í x 10í shed on his property. Mr. Wilson seconded the motion.

Mr. Vonderhaar commented that might make it difficult to sell because I would be throwing the problem onto the next homeowner. Mr. Okum responded whether it be a disrepair issue or whatever, it would move onto the next homeowner. Mr. Vonderhaar answered disrepair is different. You have codes that say property has to be maintained which is a different issue. To say that in a year it has to be torn down no matter what shape it is in is different.


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Mr. Squires said you indicated to us that the shed was a little more in disrepair than the 7í x 9í one. Mr. Vonderhaar responded I have the shingles there to take care of it and planned to paint it before I realized it wasnít according to code. Are you saying that you want me not to fix it up and let it collapse? Mr. Squires said I donít want you to let it collapse; I was thinking you would remove it within one year. Mr. Vonderhaar responded why put money into it if I have to tear it down in a year?

On the motion, voting aye were Mr. Squires, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Weidlich, Mr. Apke, Mr. Borden, and Mrs. Huber. Chairman Okum voted no, and the variance was granted with six affirmative votes.

C. Ralph Carter, 689 Cedarhill Drive requests a variance to allow a utility building in his side yard. Said variance is requested from Section 153.492(B) "No detached accessory building..shall be erected in any yard or court except a rear yardÖ"

Mr. Carter said this is a pretty unique piece of property. My house sets 250 feet off the main street, and the placement of the shed is right at the edge of the blacktop so I can best use the snowblower, etc. Also, I have very little back yard; it is all front yard.

Mr. Okum opened the public hearing asking anyone to speak. No one came forward, and he closed the public hearing.

Mr. Borden commented I donít have a problem with this and will be voting in favor of it.

Mrs. Huber asked if he had constructed the shed in the side yard not knowing it was not allowed there. Mr. Carter answered that he was looking at it from the standpoint of the best place to put it. Mrs. Huber agreed, but that is probably why you are in here because you did it without a permit.

Mr. Wilson said I went behind your house and these diagrams indicate a lot more land in the back than what I saw. Does your land go beyond the bushes? Mr. Carter answered I understand that I go back 200 feet into the woods. Mr. Wilson continued so you could tear down some of those bushes and move the shed back there. Mr. Carter answered theoretically yes, but it would take a lot to do that and actually it is not bushes but trees. Mr. Wilson said so you are saying that if we required you to put the shed in your back yard you would have to knock down trees and bushes to get it back there.

Mr. Okum said based on the presentation and the fact that this residences is 223 feet from the public right of way and to preserve trees as we want to do whenever possible, and the fact that there is a 10 foot storm easement that runs along the left side of the property as well, I will be voting in favor of the variance.

Mrs. Huber moved to grant the variance and Mr. Squires seconded the motion. All members voted aye and the variance was granted with seven affirmative votes.


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D. Jeff Bryant, 297 Nelson Lane requests variances to allow the s storage of his utility trailer in the rear yard along with a boat on a trailer. Said variance is requested from Section 480(D)(1) "One..may be stored in an unenclosed area of the propertyÖ"

Mr. Bryant approached the board. Mr. Okum opened the public hearing, asking anyone present to speak. No one came forward, and he closed the public hearing.

Mr. Lohbeck reported that the request is for a utility trailer and a boat on a trailer in the rear yard. The applicant indicated that he had the utility trailer for eight years and four years ago purchased a boat. At times in prior years a dune buggy on a trailer was observed parked in the rear yard. Also if it is parked in the rear yard, it has to be on an improved surface.

Mr. Weidlich asked where the applicant would be putting the utility trailer. Mr. Bryant answered on the southeast corner of the property next to my shed. Mr. Weidlich commented there was a lot of brush there. Mr. Bryant answered that he had taken down bushes and trees and is waiting for the chipper to come.

Mr. Weidlich commented that there were a lot of items in the back yard, and asked the applicant if he would be willing to put up a privacy fence on one side to block the view from Lawnview? Mr. Bryant responded when this was brought to my attention, I discussed a privacy fence with Mr. Smith, and he indicated I would need another variance to be able to construct it. Mr. Weidlich said so you would be willing to do that. Mr. Bryant answered quite possibly.

Mr. Squires asked if he had considered storing the boat in a different location. Mr. Bryant answered I have checked into it and it is pretty expensive to store a boat. I prefer it to be in my rear yard closer to the house. The way my house is positioned, the driveway leans to the west of the property onto Lawnview. I am leery about leaving it there because I have had my truck broken into and all my tools stolen. Mr. Squires said if we allow you to store the boat there, would you improve the surface? Mr. Bryant asked what he considered an improved surface, and Mr. Squires answered concrete. Mr. Bryant said I have a paper that says anything in a rear yard (in terms of a boat or trailer) doesnít need to be on an improved surface. Mr. Lohbeck stated that because he is on the corner lot, it needs to be on an improved surface.

Mr. Wilson said your boat is visible from Lawnview Avenue. During the winter, do you cover it? Mr. Bryant indicated that he did, and Mr. Wilson asked the size of the trailer. Mr. Bryant answered it is 8í x 12-14í. The one there now is 14í or 15í in length.

Mr. Wilson commented that his concern was the three items in the yard. Mr. Wilson said now we are dealing with the distance from the back of the shed the utility trailer and the fence. It seems like you will be awfully close to the fence. Mr. Bryant responded the paper I have says it has to be within five feet and from the back of the trailer and the shed to the property line is 8 to 10 feet. Mr. Bryant added that from where the trailer sets to the recreation fence is probably another 8 feet.


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Mr. Wilson said walking along the walkway between your property and the community center, our residents will see your back yard and will clearly see the boat, the shed and the utility trailer. I feel uncomfortable about having all that in a small back yard where you are exposed. It might be a different issue if you had high hedges or a privacy fence. I have a real concern about a boat, a trailer and a shed on such a small highly visible lot.

Mr. Bryant asked why he had this concern, and Mr. Wilson responded that it is a lot of items in a small space. More than one variance is required, and Iím not in favor of giving a lot of variances when there might be other alternatives.

Mr. Borden said you have a dune buggy in your garage. Would you be willing to store your trailer in there also? Mr. Bryant answered that he has tried to get both of them in, but they donít fit.

Mr. Borden said you indicated earlier that you are willing to put a privacy fence up. Mr. Bryant answered if I can put the fence blocking the view from Lawnview Avenue, I will. My wife and I have talked about it. Between my house and the house to the east there was a fence years ago, and we had considered putting up another one. I talked to Mr. Smith, and he said I might have to apply for a variance for the fence on the west side. I donít want to start selling my toys because of where I live, and I would do whatever it would take.

Mr. Okum asked if there were anyone in the audience that wished to address the board.

Marian Morrison, 287 Nelson Avenue said I think granting all the variances would cause problems because these people move in and out quickly. The other thing is I think Mr. Bryantís lot is too small for all of his toys.

Mr. Okum said I think the code is somewhat liberal in the fact that it allows for a boat or utility trailer to be stored in a rear lot. In many cases it doesnít affect the adjoining properties or the public. Those properties that are on corner lots are exposed from all angles. Your property is exposed, and based on the information that the applicant has presented and considering the fact that the code allows for one utility trailer and/or a camper or a boat on the premises, is a liberal allowance.

We encourage people to store their boats in an offsite area. In this case your rear yard is open to the public in two different areas. I cannot support a variance to allow an additional trailer because once the variance is granted it would allow for any type of trailer to be stored in that space.

Mr. Wilson said if we were to approve this and you had to put concrete pads where the boat and the utility trailer are, if you look at the cost plus a privacy fence, and compare those costs to what it would cost to store your boat and the trailer, I would think that would be less, especially when you would be storing the boat during the winter.


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Mr. Squires moved to deny the request and Mr. Borden seconded the motion. All members voted aye, and the variance was denied by seven votes.

E. Kerry Ford, 150 Northland Boulevard requests variance to allow the installation of a 236 s.f. wall sign. Said variance is requested from Section 153.531(D1) "A single wall sign shall not exceed 150 s.f. in total area" and Variance 20-1990 granting a 217 s.f. wall sign and 153.531(C)(1)(b) "Maximum gross area of signs = (W x 1.5) + 40 square feet.

Patrick Merton said I am assisting Dan Brady who is with Kerry Ford. I have the approval to do this in the packet distributed to you.

Kerry Ford wants a modification to the previous variance granted in July of 1990 for 217 s.f. Now that there is a new occupant, Kerry Ford, they have made a face change with a unique design for that lot that says Kerry Certified Used Vehicles. Based on the calculation method in the code, that total is 19 s.f. above what the previous variance granted.

I have a picture of the sign and a breakdown of the letters for calculation purposes. I have tried to illustrate where that number comes from, because the applicant has painted over the old sign. This is not a new sign fascia per se; it is a new message on the sign for this new occupant.

In the lower right hand corner of Exhibit A are pictures of that previous sign. The letters were large block areas on the previous sign and we feel that this sign message is actually smaller, but it is the unique way of the font use and the symbol use that calculates over by 19 s.f.

Mr. Lohbeck reported that the applicant is requesting a variance to allow a 240 s.f. wall sign to remain on the front fascia of the building. The sign was painted on an existing sign panel without first acquiring a permit. The sign area is Ė front wall sign Ė 240 s.f., large pole sign, 241 s.f., small pole sign Ė 36 s.f. and service sign (the application is pending) is 38.5 s.f. for a total of 555.5 s.f.

We received an application today for awnings that totaled 13 s.f. Section 153.531(D1) allows an individual wall sign to be a maximum of 150 s.f. Variance 20-1990 was granted on 7/17/90 for the front wall sign to be 217 s.f. Section 153.531(C1)b) allows maximum total signage to be 340 s.f.. Variance 22-1990 was granted on 8/21/90 to allow 535 s.f. of sign area.

Mr. Okum opened the public hearing asking anyone present to speak. . No one came forward, and he closed the public hearing.

The variance limited the sign area to 535 s.f., and we have applications pending that should not be germane to this discussion, although they would have to be considered in another variance request. But it is a part of the total signage.




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Mr. Merton said I am only here tonight for the wall sign. Mr. Okum said so you canít comment concerning the other signs. Based on those issues, does the board want to continue this discussion now, or wait to see the whole package? I would hate for the board to consider this tonight, when we know that we have two applications pending that will adjust the numbers. Although the applicant has the right to pursue this, if he were denied this evening, the other items would come before the board at the next meeting. The applicant can only discuss the front wall sign with this board. The variance allows 217 s.f. and the request is to increase that sign to 240 s.f. The applicant can continue with this, but if he receives a negative vote, that would finish that sign issue completely. Mr. Merton conferred with his client.

Mr. Borden said I would like to see the entire package.

Mr. Merton said I would like to table it and present the total package next month so you can make an informed decision on everything. . Mr. Squires moved to table and Mr. Borden seconded the motion. All voted aye and the item was tabled to June 19, 2001.

Mr. Okum suggested that the applicant meet with staff concerning possibly bringing it to the board as one variance request. Mr. Merton said currently the sign is up there; do we have a reprieve for the next 30 days? Mr. Okum confirmed that they would.

Board of Zoning Appeals recessed at 8:38 p.m. and reconvened at 8:50 p.m.

    1. Chris Smith requests variance to allow the construction of a 2,060 s.f. family residence 8 feet from the east property line and 8 feet from the west property line and 35 feet from the rear property line at 601 Cloverdale Avenue. Said variance is requested from Section 153.071(A) "..shall have a minimum sideyard setback of 10 feet each side with a minimum total of 22 feet" and Section 153.072(A) "..shall have a minimum rear yard setback of 40 feet."

Mr. Smith said I took the comments presented at the last meeting. I decided to try to conform to the required square footage, added a two-car garage and try to make it work on this small lot. The lot is only 45 feet wide and I hope I can get approval tonight.

Mr. Okum asked if he had responded to the questions as to why you cannot arrive at the setback requirements? Mr. Smith answered basically it is because the lot is too small. It is the smallest in the neighborhood, 45 feet wide.

Mr. Lohbeck said the applicant needs a variance to the requirement of a 10-foot side yard with total of both side yards at 22 feet (his requested side yards are eight foot each). He also needs a variance for the rear yard setback requirement of 40 feet (his is 35 feet). Variances 33-1987 is in place for a minimum lot size of 12,000 s.f. (5,625 s.f. exists) and the required lot width (45 feet is existed). The applicant was denied a request for a variance to three sections of the code in March of this year.


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Mr. Okum opened the public hearing, asking those who wished to address the board to step forward. Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum requested that he hold your comments until the public hearing is finished and we will allow you an opportunity to readdress the board.

Michael Laage 616 Cloverdale Avenue said we were here in March and opposed these variances and my wife and I are still in the same position.

A comment was just made that I think is central to this whole issue. This is the smallest lot in the area, probably one of the smallest in the city, and we are gong to build just about the biggest house in the area on the smallest lot.

They are seeking a 53% bigger house than they came with in March; a 53% bigger house. If we just keep squeezing it in, maybe we can keep going up. Maybe we could get a variance for a third floor or a fourth floor and eventually if we keep squeezing it in from the five foot on the east and the six foot on the west to the eight foot, maybe next time if it is 10 foot and they meet that code, and they get another variance. All we are doing is switching variances. Before there was a variance on the east and west; now there is still a variance of eight foot. Before there was no variance on the rear yard, but now there is a variance. What we are doing is pushing it back. The front yard is the same and the two-car garage is in compliance. The total dwelling size has changed from 1348 to 2,060 is a 53% increase in house. I think all of these are substantial variances if youíll look at the percentages.

This is a five-bedroom house, a 29-foot house; the garage is 20 foot that leaves a frontage of nine foot. I live just about across the street and this is personal from a financial aspect. I have my savings sunk into my house and I intend to stay for a while. There is also the appearance factor in that you take some pride in where you live and the kind of neighborhood you live in. My wife and I like it here; we have raised our kids here. We have been in this city since 1975 and I think to grant a variance of this type would really hurt the neighborhood.

Think of your own house. If we have a 29-foot house with 20-foot garage, we will see garage. Where everybody else might have a couple of front windows or a bay window or a porch, this does not conform to the type of neighborhood that I think Springdale wants. It is definitely contrary to the betterment of Springdale.

It hit home when I listened to some of the arguments against some of the variances for the sheds. I kept hearing that in the past variances are granted because of a need or extreme hardship. There is not a need or extreme hardship. We donít have a problem there now. We donít have to have more storage; we donít have to have an extra fifth bedroom because the house is full of kids.

There is nothing there now, and we are heading into trouble. I think we can eliminate problems before they occur by not allowing this dwelling on this lot.


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Mr. Laage said we were asked what we were against, the size of the house Ė is it too big or too small. The response of several of the residents was it is too small of a lot. You just canít build a house like that on that size of a lot.

Up the street at the corner of Cloverdale and Harmony, someone had the foresight and good intentions to say we have two 50-foot lots here. I know a builder probably would rather have kept those separate and put two houses on those 50-foot lots. However our city leaders decided to make it one lot and have one house. What is going up there today is very acceptable, it is a nice bi-level customary to the neighborhood. This is even worse. We are not talking about a 50-foot lot; we are talking about a 45-foot lot.

Iím not sure if there are trees on that lot, but because we are a tree city, if there was a house built there, a tree might have to be eliminated, and I donít think that would be very good either.

Someone else commented before about the number of sheds and number of items in a small space. I donít think you can describe this better than that. There will be an awful lot of items in a very small space if this is okayed.

I am a firm believer that nothing should be built on this lot. There are problems at times with absentee ownership. If you go there right now, the grass hasnít been cut; it is in violation now. What do you do with this lot? I believe that lot needs to be subdivided and I think there may be an opportunity now with the house next door. Since we were here in March there has been a change to the house to the west and there may be a possibility there.

I donít think it is reasonable to build on that lot. Obviously this is an issue a lot of people care about, because everybody is here. That is one of the oldest areas in Springdale. I had people tell me in 1984 that I was crazy for building there. I liked the area for one reason Ė it was well kept. Our lots on the north side are very deep. It is a very attractive neighborhood, and I just donít think this will conform to the neighborhood atmosphere. I think it will hurt it. It is a 53% bigger house, and if you voted against it last time, I would urge you to consider that. It is a substantial increase. They are not small variances, and for the betterment of the community this has to be rejected.

Robert Alfano, 584 Cloverdale said I live three doors east and across the street from this property. I love my property; I just retired from General Electric after 34 years. I have been there 16 years, and I think this would be an eyesore for me. I urge you to turn this down so that we can keep the street and community as it is. The house would be out of character; it wouldnít look like the rest of the houses. To me the setting is so beautiful right now I would hate to see it disturbed.


4 JUNE 2001



Steve Houston, 596 Smiley Avenue said I recently moved back here, but I have lived the majority of my life in Springdale. I have seen this whole town grow; it was a dirt road when I moved here, but it was meticulously planned out. Everything was set so people had their space. You are taking it all away. It would be like putting up row houses. I moved from Deer Park back here because I could hear my neighbors stirring their coffee in the morning. Granted, Springdale gets more taxes, and this gentleman makes money, but we have to live with it. I donít want to see a square box house go up and pretty soon an apartment building or whatever. You can go up 200, 300, 400 feet; how many levels would you add?

Charles Kloth, 604 Smiley Road said I live behind this lot and all I would like to say is that variances that are granted under emergency situations can be granted. This is not. It is a small lot. It is one-third of my lot. I donít want to see it in my back yard. Put it to some constructive use. I have lived in Springdale for 35 years and every small lot you put a house on. Springdale has come a long way from when I moved here. Donít ruin it; keep it the way it is. Donít build on small lots.

Cliff Bosken, 600 Cloverdale said I live directly across the street from this property. I can only go with Mike and everybody else had to say. We cannot put the Eiffel Tower on every postage stamp. It doesnít look good for all of us. You wouldnít want it in your front yard; you wouldnít want it in your back yard. I know you wouldnít, and we donít want it. We are some of the people that you have to think about. Not the city as much as us; you have to make us happy as well. We want to be happy and live where we are living. I have lived here for over 50 years, and I like this community.

Bert Ritzie, 604 Cloverdale said I have been there 50 years and they have never built anything over there. The board should see that the lot is too small for building a house. If anything should be done, as Mr. Laage suggested last time, half that land should go to the house on the west and half to the house on the east, the people who own those houses having that option. That would be a better answer to the situation.

Randy Danbury was sworn in by Mr. Okum. Mr. Danbury said I am here tonight as a citizen and a long time resident of the Cloverdale area. I moved onto Cloverdale in 1966, grew up there and watched a lot of changes. The suggestion of Mr. Laage to divide this land is a great idea, but we canít dictate what the owner of the property does. You have to have all parties agree to that. This is one parcel that is in a little mix, the twilight zone. I understand that the property owner does have rights to build something, but the City recently undertook some more stringent guidelines to allow any kind of building. They didnít make it more lenient.


4 JUNE 2001



Mr. Danbury added I would request that everybody take a look at that. On something like this, it is really cramming a lot into that property. As a citizen, I think it would be a detriment to the community. I feel that the City has taken a lot of initiative to try to upgrade the community. We are trying to improve all the lots, and Iím sure it is going to be an attractive house, but it is just too big for this property. Again, I am speaking as a citizen.

Bob Schindler, 594 Cloverdale Avenue said I am in agreement with everybody else. It is just too small a lot to put anything that big on it. I wouldnít like to see it across from my house and it pretty close to being directly across from it.

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

Mrs. Huber commented I own property on Smiley Avenue; I have three 50-foot lots. The house sets on two of the lots and I have an empty 50-foot lot. It is for sale, and I have been approached by some builders who want to build on it. Our Code requires 80-foot frontage. I concur that we must stick with that. Just because we have a piece of vacant land doesnít necessarily mean that we have to have a house on it. I understand the city gets taxes from property and all of that, but this is putting 10 pounds of flour in a five-pound bag and it should not be allowed.

Mr. Smith said I understand that when you have been in a neighborhood for a long time you donít want to see change. I grew up in an area where there was a big field next to our home and it stayed a field the whole time I was growing up. There came a time when a builder came along and bought the property and they put eight or nine houses on two acres or less. We hated to see it but it was there buildable and legal.

This is like this lot. A house can be built on this lot. I am trying to get this variance so the house doesnít have to look like a shotgun house, but look more appropriate or nice. The house I brought to you originally was the same size as the house next door to the left and it was too small; you wanted 2,000 s.f. I am just trying to conform and get something comfortable but still presentable that will look nice in the neighborhood. If I came in and conformed to everything on the books, it would look like a shotgun house, but it could be built and I wouldnít have to come to the zoning board. There are no requirements that the lot has to be 80 feet or 50 feet wide, as long as you meet the side yard and rear yard requirements.

Mr. Wilson said this is a tough decision for me to make a s a resident of Springdale. In March there were three variances requested, the side yard, the two-car garage and the dwelling size, and none of us supported that.


4 JUNE 2001



Mr. Wilson said now we are down to two variances. The side yard requirement is 22 feet, and we are looking at 16 feet, a difference of six feet. The rear yard requirement is 40 feet, and we are looking at a five-foot differences. The garage now meets the code requirement, and the dwelling size meets code.

Mr. Laage mentioned the 53% increase in dwelling size. If that was a ranch, I would have a problem with it, but with a two story, I donít see that as an issue. I have ridden and walked through that neighborhood, and there is no one house that is exactly like the next, so I canít see how this single house would have an adverse effect on your property values. The houses in the neighborhood go from what appears to be a 600-foot bungalow on a huge lot to Mr. Smithís proposed 2,000 s.f. house on a very small lot. Personally I am in a dilemma. I agree that it is an awfully small lot and the house is 2,060 s.f. which is 53% bigger, but it is straight up. I recognize the nine-foot, but that is on the first level; you have a second level that is the whole width of the house. We have to look at that.

You have tried to comply with us as much as you can. We are dealing with two variances and we also have to deal with the citizens speaking in opposition. We have to look at what effect, adverse or otherwise, that this house would have. Other than the fact that it is probably a bigger house than most in that neighborhood, and it is a two-story, and I donít think there are many two stories that were built prior to 1960, it is a very difficult decision and I will have to listen to the other board members, take into account what the citizens are saying and look at what we are dealing with, two variances.

Mr. Okum commented that it is rare that we have so much public outcry and concern over a development of a parcel. Mr. Danbury commented earlier that we donít have the right to take this manís land. We donít have the right to say that the neighbor to the left and the neighbor to the right need to buy the land and split it. That is take, and that is a constitutional thing that we donít have the right to do.

On the other hand, at the last meeting IL had comments that the house was too small. The new code calls for 2,000 s.f. so the applicant returns and presents a house that is 2,060 s.f. We had comments that the house is too close to the property line, so the applicant comes in and adjusts his property line setbacks and has eight feet on each side. WE all know that the code prior to March 2000 allowed for this to have a 4í6" setback on each side, and currently it requires 10 feet. We know we are not in conformity, but we also know what was existing on that site. If the applicant had come in prior to the zoning code change, he could have built a 1348 s.f. house on that 45 foot lot with 4í-6" setbacks and we wouldnít be here tonight discussing it.


4 JUNE 2001



Mr. Okum added that it makes it very difficult for a board to interpret a true hardship on a land use that is approved in our zoning code when we all know that less than a year ago this site would have met our zoning code requirements. How do we resolve the issues? It is very tough. Is there truly a hardship? I canít say there isnít. We have a single use residential site in our community that one year ago our Zoning Code approved. With the intent to improve the dynamics of our community, we changed our zoning code and by changing it, we increased the minimum size residence to 2,000 s.f. in that district. Over 80 years ago that subdivision was laid out and those lots were 50 foot wide. It is going to be very difficult for this board to not see a hardship in this particular case. Iím not happy that we have a 45-foot lot there. The applicant came in and we told him at the last meeting that the house was too small and too close to the property lines. So he came in with a new plan and meets the size. In my opinion 2,000 s.f. is a lot of house for that lot. If we would like to see a smaller house, then we need another variance.

I think Mr. Smith is absolutely correct. Could he meet the code and put a box on that site? Yes. I work in the building business and I know you could build a box on that site and meet our Zoning Code. But, is that what we want?

Mr. Squires said in light of what you have said and all the testimony that I have heard and with a great deal of difficulty, I will move to deny the request. Mrs. Huber seconded the motion.

Mr. Wilson said by denying the two variances we would b denying the individual the right to build the house on the property. Mr. Okum said the applicant has indicated that he could conform to our code and build a house on that site.

Mr. Smith said what I was saying was that the reason for the variance was so I could build a house that would conform and look good for the neighborhood. Yes there can be a house built that is only 24 foot wide. The garage would be 20 feet, and you would have four feet for our front door. To me that house would not look as good as what I have designed now. That is what I was trying to clarify with the people who live in the neighborhood. I think they have the perception that you need a variance to build on that lot, and you donít. It is a buildable lot. There is a sewer tap there and everything there to build a house.

Mr. Wilson asked if he had an artistís conception of the house that he is planning to build? Mr. Smith answered that he did not.

On the motion to deny the variance, voting aye were Mr. Squires, Mrs. Huber, Mr. Weidlich and Mr. Apke. Mr. Wilson, Mr. Borden and Mr. Okum voted no, and the variance was denied 4-3.


4 JUNE 2001


G. Steak n Shake, 11470 Princeton Pike requests variances to allow a 40í front yard building setback (50í required) and a 18.37í rear yard building setback (30 feet required). A variance also is requested for the location of the dumpster enclosure (must be 5 feet off rear property line) Referred by Planning Commission

Joe Chambers, Senior Construction Project Manager for Steak n Shake reported last year we came before the board seeking variances to remodel our existing facility. The variances were granted with some requirements that created a situation where the cost of the remodel would be as great as the cost of building a new building. So it made a lot more sense in terms of efficiency of operation, a pleasant atmosphere for the customer and the appearance for the city to build a new building.

In doing that, we have one building and want it to front Princeton Pike instead of the side as we currently have. In doing that it created the need for these two variances, the front and rear yard setbacks. The need for the dumpster location variance was because we were not aware that there was a 5-foot setback requirement.

Mr. Okum opened the public hearing. No one was present to address the board and he closed the public hearing.

Mr. Lohbeck reported that Planning referred this to the board for the variances for front yard setback of 39.57 feet and 50 feet is required. The rear yard is proposed at 18.37 feet and 30 feet is required. The dumpster enclosure is at the property line and is required to be 5 feet from the property line.

Mr. Okum stated that there were 19 conditions with the approval that the applicant agreed to, and I will read those for the record:

    1. Conditions 1-11 of the City Plannerís Report;
    2. Mechanical units to be screened from view of adjoining properties or right of way;
    3. Submit photometric lighting plan;
    4. All lighting to be .5 foot-candle with hot spots not to exceed existing foot candles;
    5. Lighting shall be non-glare;
    6. Pole light downlit and non-glare;
    7. Wall mounting light packs shielded and downlit;
    8. Accent lighting and neon translucent canopies maintained;
    9. Landscaping per City Plannerís recommendations;
    10. Striped out areas to be changed to landscaping;
    11. Row hedges added across Springfield Pike with final review by City Planner;
    12. Tree at southeast corner to be saved;
    13. Dumpster enclosures of same material as building with solid wood faced & steel framed doors. Walk opening door of same material;

      4 JUNE 2001



      Conditions with Planning Commission Approval Ė continued

    15. All 4 building elevations alpine brick;
    16. Accent color red on canopy in drive through only;
    17. Signage to be reduced as allowed by variances (262.5í) (drive through sign removed);
    18. Pole mounted sign to be changed to monument sign;
    19. Agreement between city engineer & Steak n Shake on drive through separation and the public area.

Mr. Okum added that the applicant was very cooperative and I think this is a plus/plus for the city so I will support the request for variances this evening.

Mr. Borden asked where the dumpster would be located. Mr. Chambers answered that it is in the same location but we will build a masonry fence instead of the chain link fence. Mr. Borden asked if it would be completely enclosed and Mr. Chambers indicated that it would be and in the same brick as the rest of the building. Mr. Okum added that the enclosure would include all items that go into dumpster receptacles.

Mrs. Huber asked the existing rear yard setback and Mr. Chambers responded I think it is 18 feet. Mr. Wilson asked if the dumpster enclosure would be on the property line, or are you going to bring it out to the five feet required by code. Mr. Chambers answered we can bring it out to the five feet required so we wouldnít need that variance. We also wouldnít encroach on the drive alley to the east of us. Mr. Okum said so it wouldnít extend any further than the parking space lines.

Mr. Wilson said so the new building will be in the same area of the old building, but facing Princeton Pike.

Mr. Squires moved to grant a variance for a 18.37-foot rear yard setback and 39.57 foot front yard setback for Steak n Shake. Mr. Borden seconded the motion.

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


Mr. Wilson said tonight was a very challenging night. I hope that each of us who voted either way on any issue voted our conscience and voted for what we felt was in the best interests of the city. Though we may differ, that is what we are here to do. I hope one of the decisions that we made was not solely because of the audience, but because we really felt that was the proper thing to do. If you felt that way then I will always support you, 100%.



4 JUNE 2001


  1. DISCUSSION Ė continued
  2. Mr. Squires agreed that it was challenging but I was thinking of the City. My vote differed from some of you I know, but I certainly appreciated your comments.

    Mr. Okum commented that the open dialogue between the members and the public was critically important. I think we gave the public the opportunity to present their cases to the board fairly and that is what is most important. We canít always agree but we can walk out of here that we did the best we could and in the interest of Springdale.

    I find that the size limitation on outdoor storage buildings (120 s.f.) is being challenged over and over again. I think it is more consistent with what we are seeing. I read this card that Ms. McBride prepared for us to refer to when considering variances, "Granting a variance will not substantially deteriorate the adjacent property. ..The variance is not of a general or recurrent nature so as to revise the Code to provide for such situations."

    I think we have evolved, and that may be one item that we as the city should look at. If you are in agreement, I would like to refer this back to Planning Commission and then forwarded on to Council for consideration. It seems to be a recurring issue.

    Mr. Wilson said if all our lots were the size of the lots on Cloverdale or Kemper Road, I could agree that we might need to look at that and go to 10í x 16í, but when you have lots like the ones in Heritage Hill, itís another matter. We have something in place to make an exception. Going from 10í x 12í to 10í x 16í. is no big deal, but if we made that change, what is to prevent someone from coming in and asking for 10í x 20í or 15í x 20í? Iím not so sure that going to a 10í x 16í would solve the dilemma that our residents have.

    Mr. Okum said I have to agree with you but on the other hand I donít think laws should be written for the purposes of anticipating a variance. If you have a particular situation, you need to design your code to represent the masses and not force variances when they are not really necessary. It is not necessary for us to be considering a variance on a lot that has 250-foot depth and 120 foot width for a 10í x 16í utility building. Heritage Hill, The Terrace and smaller lotted areas may require a different perspective on utility building size.

    Laws should be written so that as many people can conform to it as possible, and then when they come in, it is unique and there is a real true hardship or reason for that variance. We have so many 10í x 16í sheds in Springdale that it would be hard for this board to say that yours can only be 10í x 12í. There are too many. If we were to do a survey, it would show that. Why should every parcel be designed to have a variance on it.


    15 MAY 2001


  3. DISCUSSION Ė continued

Mr. Okum said that is why I think it should at least go to Planning and let them review it and get with the City Planner on this. Part of the issue presented to us this evening was that we didnít look at our stock of land as well as we should have. When we set a 2,000 s.f. requirement for certain areas, we pigeonholed those areas. We didnít look at the big picture. We looked at the ideal for the single unit uses and wrote the code based on that. Maybe 2,000 s.f. wasnít right. Maybe we were a little overzealous in our zoning expectations to increase the value of our land. Iím going to bring this up at Planning, but I think the issue of storage sheds is pretty evident.

Mr. Borden asked if he wanted to make a recommendation to change from 10í x 12í to 10í x 16í? Mr. Okum said it is a recommendation to review it and Mr. Wilson also has a valid point on land density and congestion issues with certain sized lots. Since we went to the new zoning code, we see a lot more requests for variance. Mr. Borden commented so in effect we are creating a hardship.


Mr. Squires moved to adjourn and Mrs. Huber seconded the motion. By voice vote all voted aye, and the Board of Zoning Appeals adjourned at 10:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,



_____________________, 2001 ____________________

David Okum, Chairman



______________________,2001 _____________________

Jane Huber, Secretary