BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

18 MAY 2004

7:00 P.M.

 

  1. CALL MEETING TO ORDER
  2. The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman Dave Okum.

  3. ROLL CALL
  4. Members Present: Robert Apke, Fred Borden, Marge Pollitt

    Jim Squires, Robert Weidlich, Dave Okum

    and Jane Huber

    Others Present: Richard G. Lohbeck, Inspection Supervisor

  5. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
  6.  

  7. MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF 20 APRIL 2004
  8. Mr. Apke moved to approves and Mr. Squires seconded the motion. All voted aye, and the minutes were approved unanimously.

  9. CORRESPONDENCE
    1. Planning Commission Meeting Minutes Ė April 13, 2004
    2. Zoning Bulletin Ė April 10, 2004
    3. Zoning Bulletin Ė April 25, 2004
  10. REPORTS
    1. Report on Council Activities

    Mr. Squires reported that Ordinance 11-2004 was adopted to amend the Zoning Code, which is in your packet. Mr. Okum stated that it will be in effect 30 days after adoption, so it would be May 21st.

    B. Mr. Okum reported that Planning approved landscaping and lighting for Steak N Shake conditioned on staff approval of further revisions to the landscaping plan. Provident Bank requested relief from repainting their roof and Planning put this requirement on hold until 3/05/2005. Tri-County Mall Interstate Identification sign was tabled. The final plan for the retail building in Cassinelli Square (former cinema) was approved. Havertyís Furniture, Cassinelli Square (former Service Merchandise) approved with conditions. Approval of Cingular Wireless co-location on the existing monopole by Dave & Busterís.

  11. CHAIRMANíS STATEMENT AND SWEARING IN OF APPLICANTS
  12. OLD BUSINESS
    1. Community Management Corporation requests variance to allow pet boarding suites in a Support Services (241 Northland Boulevard). Said variance is requested from Section 153.246 Principally Permitted Uses Ė tabled 4/20/04

    No representative was present and the board moved the item to the end of the meeting.

    BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

    18 MAY 2004

    PAGE TWO

  13. NEW BUSINESS
    1. Tri-County Pontiac Buick GMC requests variance to allow the "Buick" sign on building at 169 Northland Boulevard. Said variance is requested from Section 153.531(C) (1)(b) "The maximum gross area of all permanent signs..(W x 1.5) + 40 s.f."

Karl Muehler of Tri-County Pontiac Buick GMC said the reason we are asking for a variance is because we recently acquired a Buick franchise and we would like to put the brand name on the front of our building. It is the same size as the Pontiac and GMC signs we already have.

Mr. Okum asked if they were removing a sign, and Mr. Muehler answered there was a sign that said Walker that has been taken away. There is nothing there now.

Mr. Lohbeck reported that the applicant is requesting a variance from Section 153.531(C)(1)(b) which limits the total sign area for the property. On December 21, 1999 the Board of Zoning Appeals granted a variance for the oversized pylon sign at 241 s.f. and total sign area at 319 s.f. The signs on the building at that time were Walker Pontiac GMC, 78 s.f. total.

The applicant is requesting to replace Walker which is 22" x 131" or 20 s.f. with Buick, which is 22" x 150.5" for a total of 23 s.f. The total sign area requested is 322 s.f., three square feet larger than the 1999 variance. Allowable sign area for the building is 265 s.f.

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

Mrs. Huber said since Buick is one letter shorter than Walker, is there any way for you to get that sign into the same area that the Walker sign was? Mr. Mueller answered we looked into it, and the people who were designing the signs kept making it smaller to make it fit into the same place. We wanted to keep it a uniform size across the front of the building so one wouldnít stand out from the other.

Mr. Okum asked the height of the letters on the Pontiac sign. Mr. Mueller answered I donít know. They should be the same size as what we are looking at. We want to continue the same size across the building.

Mr. Okum said I can understand why you want it to be a certain width and you definitely need balance, but if these letters are 22 inch and the Pontiac letters or the GMC letters are 20 inch, I donít see any reason why we would need to go to 22 inch.

Mr. Okum asked if the Building Department has a record of the size of the letters. Mr. Lohbeck reported that the Pontiac letters are 28 medium, Walker is 22 medium and GMC is 28 medium. Mr. Okum said so the request is the same height as the Walker, it would be smaller than the Pontiac and GMC, but this submission states 22 inches.

 

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

18 MAY 2004

PAGE THREE

IX A TRI-COUNTY PONTIAC BUICK GMC 169 NORTHLAND BLVD.

Mr. Okum said I think we should be specific, and 22 inches is the request, which is the same height as the Walker sign was, and is three square feet more than Walker had. Mr. Mueller reported we are asking for a sign 22 inches high and 12 feet 6 Ĺ inches long.

Mr. Weidlich said we have a piece of paper that shows the Pontiac and the GMC at 28 inches. He showed the paper to the applicant saying if we approved 22 inches you would be happy. Mr. Mueller indicated that he would.

Mr. Weidlich moved to approve the variance as stated for Pontiac Buick GMC at 169 Northland Boulevard to increase their signage allotment by three square feet. Mr. Okum asked if he were referencing the motion the Buick submission at 22 inches in height and Mr. Weidlich agreed, adding that the Buick submission be 22 inches high and 12í-6 Ĺ inches in width. Mr. Borden seconded the motion. Mr. Borden asked why the drawing of the pole sign was attached, and Mr. Okum answered that was approved in the original sign package that created the variance that brought them up to319 s.f. Tonightís variance would bring them up to 322 s.f.

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

B. Gateway Mortgage, 12123 Princeton Pike requests variances to allow an expanded parking lot. Said variance is requested from Section 153.502( C ) "In no case however shall the parking area or access drives be located closer than..10 feet from any non-residential property line" and from Section 153.244 "No use in the GB District shall exceed an impervious surface ratio of 0.75"

Mr. Okum stated we have communication from Gateway Mortgage that they would like for this to be tabled to the next meeting. Mr. Apke moved to table and Mr. Borden seconded the motion. All voted aye, and the item will be tabled to June 15th.

C. David Osterman requests variance to allow a 720 s.f. garage to be constructed on his property at 607 Smiley Avenue. Said variance is requested from Section 153.075(B) "A single two-car garage..is required. The garage shall have a minimum floor area of 400 s.f. and a maximum floor area of 700 s.f."

Mr. Osterman was not in attendance, and the item was moved to the end of the meeting.

D. Sally Cutter, 444 Dimmick Avenue requests variance to allow the consolidation of parcels in order to build a residence. Said variance is requested from Section 153.069(A)"single household dwellings..shall have a minimum lot area of 12,000 square feet and a lot width of no less than 80 feet."

Greg Smith, Real Estate Agent for Ms. Cutter reported that her property at 444 Dimmick is actually one large consolidated parcel. (at one time it was four parcels).

 

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

18 MAY 2004

PAGE FOUR

IX D SALLY CUTTER 444 DIMMICK AVENUE Ė PARCEL CONSOLIDATION

Mr. Smith stated we are requesting that the back parcel and part of the front parcel be consolidated, which would allow access to Dimmick Road and allow a building lot in the back.

She is not planning on building there, but we have contact with a builder who builds in Springdale and he is interested in the property if that access is granted.

The reason she is asking for that is she is trying to sell her property as is. The land, not being a building parcel, has limited value, so she wants to sever that from the current lot and make it two separate lots. Thus she can sell her house on one parcel and sell the building lot on another parcel. It would be of greater value doing it that way.

I also have been in contact with Mr. Patrick of Metropolitan Sewer District and he said there are no credits available there currently for sewer, but there is a sewer on Forest, and if the builder would request one, they probably would grant one in that area.

As you know, there is no access now off Forest Avenue; it is a paper street, so the only access to that lot and the lots behind there would be through an access on the proposed new parcel.

Mr. Lohbeck reported that the applicant is proposing to consolidate four existing parcels that she owns and split them into two lots. A variance is required from Section 153.069(A) to allow for the creation of a lot with a 32í width and 10,317 s.f. in area. This section requires an 80 foot width and a minimum area of 12,000 s.f.

The proposal creates a 15,694 s.f. lot where the existing house is located. The resulting vacant parcel creates somewhat of a panhandle or flag lot with an access strip to the buildable area.

The board should consider the possible precedence that they may set and the potential for owners of wider lots with excess area making similar requests.

Should the board decide to approve this application, it should be conditioned on all parcels being consolidated so that only two lots will result.

Mr. Okum said your report indicates that it is a consolidation of four lots. Then this split lot on Forest Avenue is not a separate parcel. It is actually attached to the front; the lines donít seem to meet up. It seems strange that it is actually a dedicated lot. There are other lots on Forest Avenue. It is not a constructed street, but it ultimately could be by a developer.

Mr. Okum opened the public hearing.

Jack Burg, 1175 Valley View said I have a couple of lots back there. Does the builder want to buy the lot if the variance is granted or can someone else buy it? If I had a variance, I could actually open up Forest Avenue and sell my other lots back there. So my biggest question is do we want to develop Forest Avenue.

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

18 MAY 2004

PAGE FIVE

IX D SALLY CUTTER 444 DIMMICK AVENUE Ė PARCEL CONSOLIDATION

Mr. Okum answered if a street were developed, Forest Avenue or the extension of Valley View, those are parcels within the city of Springdale and would fall within our subdivision regulations. As long as what you would want to construct was in accordance with them, there would be no problem. Our code calls for an 80-foot wide lot, so you could consolidate parcels to accomplish the 80 feet.

Mr. Burg said my question is if it is sold yet, and Mr. Smith answered the builder has expressed an interest that is all. Mr. Burg said he might want to buy the other lots too if Forest Avenue opens up.

Mr. Okum responded I donít think there has been any indication that there is intent to develop Forest Avenue. This request for a variance is to use an access from Dimmick Avenue to that one lot on Forest. Mr. Burg responded but once that variance is granted, you would have lots on the left and lots on the right that the builder could use.

Mr. Okum commented that would be similar to panhandle lots, and that is one of the reasons why we have an 80-foot lot width requirement. Any developer who has control of the parcels could purchase all of the properties along Forest Avenue and come to the community and request to develop the street and the parcels.

Mr. Burg said if this is passed, it looks like all utilities would come from Dimmick. The only thing on Forest is the storm sewer and it runs down to the creek.

Mr. Okum said I canít answer that, but I believe there would be restrictions in the code from utilizing this requested 32-foot as access to other parcels that it is not contiguous to.

In that district, it requires an 80-foot wide lot. If you have a 50-fojot wide lot, you can appeal to this board for a variance, which would allow you to build a 2,000 s.f. home on that lot.

No one else came forward and he closed the Public Hearing.

Mr. Squires said on Ms. Cutterís application, answering number 2, "Would denial of your request from reasonable use of your property such as your neighbors are able to enjoy with their property?" She has answered "Yes, it is interfering with the sale of the residence."

Mr. Smith responded as it is now, that land has little or no value. She has a 3,600 s.f. house and it was appraised at $214,000. Even though it was appraised at that, no company will grant a loan for that amount. We have had contracts turned down.

By making it a buildable lot, the value goes up considerably and that way we can reduce the price of her house on the current lot and have the other lot appraised separately so we would have two appraisals and two lots to sell, and she should be able to sell her house more reasonably for that area, bringing it down to $180,000.

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

18 MAY 2004

PAGE SIX

IX D SALLY CUTTER 444 DIMMICK AVENUE Ė PARCEL CONSOLIDATION

Mr. Squires commented the variance you are asking for is going to create a lot 32 feet wide. Mr. Smith responded we spoke with the builder who builds in Springdale, and he said he would need that access to the utilities. Mr. Squires said so the 32 feet would only be for access, and Mr. Smith confirmed this, adding that it probably would be a driveway.

Mr. Squires said so we are looking at a lot 55í x 119í. Mr. Smith said yes, in the back, and there are two lots behind her house with basically the same dimensions. I never approached the builder about buying those lots and putting a street in.

Mr. Okum said if they were to construct a residence on this rear lot, it appears to me that they would have to maintain a 30-foot setback from the rear lot line, because that would be the front lot line of Forest Avenue. If Forest Avenue were to be developed, the rear of this house would be on the front of Forest Avenue. Mr. Smith said it would depend on how the house is built.

Mr. Okum said to make the side yard requirements, we have had other ones built and they become a little torpedo shaped because the 55-foot lot is fairly thin.

Mr. Weidlich asked if the buildable portion you have on the plan, is currently part of the contiguous lot that the home is setting on. Mr. Smith answered yes, they were four parcels and were consolidated into one and it is on the auditorís web site as one parcel.

Mr. Okum asked if we had a record showing the consolidation of that rear property. Mr. Lohbeck answered not that I am aware of, but we donít keep records of that, but it would show up on CAGIS. Mr. Okum commented I find it very odd to have this irregularity in parcels to have been consolidated in that manner. Addressing the applicant, he asked if he had something to support the fact that the rear parcel is a separate parcel. The board needs to see that it is truly a contiguous parcel to the front. Mr. Smith answered I have an auditorís report in my car, and Iíll go get it.

Board of Zoning Appeals took a five-minute recess at 7:50 p.m., and reconvened at 7:55 p.m.

Mr. Smith presented a material from the county auditorís record, adding that Ms. Cutter gets one tax bill for all four parcels. It was passed around the dais. Mr. Smith showed a survey done in June of 1992, and it doesnít show any division of the property.

.

Mr. Okum commented that the applicant has presented a site plan representing a consolidated parcel, which is unusual because we are talking about re-separating the consolidation.

Mr. Okum asked if these were consolidated in one parcel. Mr. Smith answered it would have to have been done by her parents, and I have no idea when. Mr. Lohbeck reported that the Building Department would not know if it were consolidated or not.

 

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

18 MAY 2004

PAGE SEVEN

IX D SALLY CUTTER 444 DIMMICK AVENUE Ė PARCEL CONSOLIDATION

Mr. Okum said the variance is to split this property and my understanding is that there is one large parcel that happens to have a leg that goes over to Forest Avenue.

Mr. Borden asked if this were sufficient evidence to consider the lots as consolidated. Mr. Lohbeck said yes; based on what they submitted. Mr. Borden so the request is to split the consolidation again into two parcels.

Mr. Smith said the auditor only gives it one parcel i.d. If it were more than one parcel, they each would have their own separate i.d.

Mr. Borden said the way this lot looks now is like an L. Mr. Smith responded there are three parcels fronting Dimmick and one backing up against Forest Avenue. Mr. Okum added it is actually one parcel facing Dimmick and that same parcel facing Forest. Based on the information presented, it is one consolidated parcel.

Mrs. Pollitt said since there does seem to be some interest from another resident, would it be in Ms. Cutterís best interest to table this and haves a neighborhood meeting to see if other people are interested and see if it would be a viable option to open Forest Avenue?

Mr. Smith answered Ms. Cutter has a contract on another place. This would help her immensely now. We could do that separately; I think that is a separate issue, and for that to take place would take a considerable amount of time. These individuals here (Mr. and Mrs. Wolf) own three parcels and they have indicated that they do not want to sell.

Mr. Okum said based on the testimony that you have given, I think this would establish a significant precedent that would force a hardship on the parcel on Dimmick Avenue and we would be placing a panhandle residence on the rear. I cannot support it. It doesnít meet any of the four requirements to grant a variance, so I wonít be supporting this request. I believe it is not good for the City and not good for the use of the property. I have no problem at all with the subdivision of it to allow Forest Avenue to evolve, but this is contrary to that.

Mrs. Pollitt commented I also would recommend that you table this and get together with some of the other landowners there to see if something canít be worked out so that it would be more agreeable to Mrs. Cutter and the other residents. I canít support a panhandle piece of property, but I do think that is something that might be a viable solution.

Mrs. Huber said I live on West Kemper where our lots are an acre. We donít have anything behind us but the school park, but I can see anybody who has a bigger lot or more than one 50-foot lot coming in to us wanting to build something. Our code very clearly states that no panhandle lots are allowed, and I will be voting against this.

 

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

18 MAY 2004

PAGE EIGHT

IX D SALLY CUTTER 444 DIMMICK AVENUE Ė PARCEL CONSOLIDATION

Mr. Squires said Mrs. Huber indicated that our code does not allow for any panhandle lots at all. Mr. Okum commented I believe the reference to panhandle is not specifically in the code, but the requirement for the 80-foot wide parcels is. That is the reason for that requirement, to eliminate panhandle lots.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Squires said do you want us to vote on this tonight?

Mr. Smith responded we can wait until next month. If we could separate those lots for building lots, do we have to go through this board? Mr. Okum said yes, because you would be narrowing a lot down to 32 feet, and the requirement is 80 feet. Whether you came to us with the intent to build a home there, it doesnít matter. The issue is how it affects Dimmick and the parcels it fronts on Dimmick. Right now it is a consolidated lot and its intent is a single family residence. Someone consolidated those parcels into one, and the code calls for an 80-foot wide lot.

Staffís comments are very clear that this would open up a Pandoraís box. Anybody who has a wide side yard accessing a potential rear lot parcel for purposes of redevelopment would be before us. There all the properties on Forest Avenue and there are a lot of homes that have multiple lots combined. It would be a real situation.

The ideal would be if someone is interested in developing that properly, they spend the money required to get Forest Avenue in place and build, which can be done within the code. At this point, this is a creative way to create a panhandle lot to build a house on some land, and I canít support it.

I havenít heard any positive comments. Before we vote, do you wish to table or do we vote and get it over with and you can deal with it from there.

Mr. Smith answered I think voting would be a waste of effort at this point, based on the comments, so letís table it until next month. We may come back with a new request. Mr. Okum asked Mrs. Cutter if those were her wishes as well, and she indicated that they were.

Mr. Okum said let the record show that the applicant is requesting that this be tabled until next month. Mr. Squires moved to table and Mrs. Pollitt seconded the motion. All voted aye, and the item was tabled until June 15th.

A. Community Management Corporation requests variance to allow pet boarding suites in a Support Services Zoning District (241 Northland Boulevard). Said variance is requested from Section 153.246 Principally Permitted Uses. Ė tabled 4/20/04

Mr. Okum said no one is here and I would ask that the board move to table until next month at which point we will take action. Mr. Borden moved to table and Mr. Squires seconded the motion.

All voted aye and the item was tabled to June 15, 2004.

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

18 MAY 2004

PAGE NINE

  1. NEW BUSINESS - continued
    1. David Osterman requests variance to allow a 720 s.f. garage to be constructed on his property at 607 Smiley Avenue. Said variance is requested from Section 153.075(B) "A single two-car garage..is required. The garage shall have a minimum floor area of 400 s.f. and a maximum floor area of 700 s.f."

No one was present, and Mr. Squires moved to table and Mr. Weidlich seconded the motion. All voted aye, and the item was tabled to June 15th.

Mr. Okum asked that notices be sent out to all those applicants whose applications were tabled this evening, and tell them that if they are not at the next meeting, this board will take action, whether they are here or not..

  1. DISCUSSION
  2.  

  3. ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Squires moved to adjourn and Mrs. Huber seconded the motion. All voted aye, and the Board of Zoning Appeals adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

_______________________,2004 _____________________

David Okum, Chairman

 

 

_______________________,2004 _____________________

Jane Huber, Secretary