MAY 19 1998

7:00 P.M.





The meeting was called to order at 7:01 p.m. by Acting Chairman David Okum.


MEMBERS PRESENT: Councilwoman Kathy McNear, Dave Whitaker, David Okum, Barbara Ewing, Thomas Schecker,

Councilman Robert Wilson

MEMBERS ABSENT: James Squires, Chairman

OTHERS PRESENT: Bill McErlane, Building Official


Mr. Okum stated the Minutes were not distributed so we will consider them at the

next meeting.


    1. 4/22/98 Letter to Robert Rolfes, 151 Ruskin Drive re revocation of Variance
    2. 23-1992 (Addition to Residence)

    3. Planning Commission Meeting Minutes Ė March 10, 1998
    1. Report on Council Activities Ė Kathy McNear

Mrs. McNear stated that Council is still discussing an ordinance regarding containment of animals; they must be on a leash or behind a fence. This includes discussion of the invisible fence.

B. Report on Planning Commission Ė David Okum

There was no meeting held in May.

  2. A. A variance once granted will be referred back to the Board of Zoning Appeals if after the expiration of six months no construction is done in accordance with the terms and conditions of the variance.

    If a variance appeal is denied, the applicant may resubmit the appeal six months after the denial.

    B. Chairmanís Statement

    Ladies and gentlemen, this is a Public Hearing, and all testimony given in cases pending before this board are to be made part of the public record. As such, each citizen testifying before this board is directed to sign in, take his place at the podium, and state his name, address and the nature of the variance. Be advised that all testimony and discussion relative to said variance is recorded. It is from this recording that our minutes are taken.



    19 MAY 1998



A. James and Maxine Carroll, 115 Silverwood Circle requests variance to convert a portion of their garage to living space. Said variance is requested from Section 153.024(F) "A garage shall be not less than 240 s.fÖ" (tabled 4/21/98)


Mrs. Carroll stated we have requested to convert a portion of our garage to living space. You requested that we consider doubling the size of the driveway, and my husband is not in favor of doing that.

Mr. Wilson commented I drove by your house, and I wondered if you had considered enclosing the overhang behind your house. That is a pretty congested street, and you probably will have to park both your cars on the street. Mrs. Carroll answered we discussed that, but we have not been serious about it because it would be more expensive than doing the garage. Mr. Schecker wondered if they parked any cars in the garage, and Mrs. Carroll stated that they did not.

Mr. Schecker moved to grant the variance, and Mr. Wilson seconded the motion. Voting aye was Mr. Schecker. Mr. Wilson, Mrs. McNear, Mr. Whitaker, Mrs. Ewing and Mr. Okum voted no, and the variance was denied with five negative votes.

A.. Terry Miller, 546 West Kemper Road requests variance to allow him to tear down existing garage. Said variance is requested from Section 153.023(F) "Each single family dwelling..shall have a 2 or more car garage."

Mr. Miller stated we want to tear down an old eyesore and safety hazard. We have not used the garage for five to 10 years. I havenít wanted to park a vehicle in it because there is a tree leaning on it, and it is to the point where it might fall down. We are not in a position financially to build another one right now, and it might take another three years before we can. We have an extremely long driveway and a part on the side by the house where we park cars, plus a turn around where we park. We do keep cars off the street, so there is no problem there.

Mrs. McNear commented from the pictures and the personal visit I made, lit appears that the garage needs to be removed. I understand that you cannot build another one at this time, but I think we should give a time limit for the building to be put back up, because it is required for you to have a garage. When do you think you could have a new garage constructed? Mr. Wilson responded right now we are putting a new roof on and financing a wedding, so Iím guessing within three years.

Mr. Wilson added there is a part to the back of the garage where I keep my riding mower which was added on. I want to leave that there so I can store my lawn equipment. I would have to finish it in the front to make it look decent. Mrs. McNear commented if we allow this variance, that would become part of it that the remaining building would comply with standards and be painted to match the house.

Mr. Wilson commented I would feel comfortable considering the variance, but I have a concern about the three year time frame. I would be more comfortable with a one to two year time frame, or two years maximum for completion and that the remaining portion of the garage be compatible with the house..

Mrs. Miller said I would like to ask about the sign we had to put out; what is the purpose of that? You wouldnít believe how many people have asked us whatís wrong with our home. Mr. Miller added we thought the wording could have been a little better.


19 MAY 1998



Mr. Okum responded last month these signs were used for the first time. There are other communities that do it on a regular basis, and it informs the community in the proximity of your home that there is an issue to be brought before the board. Mrs. Wilson said itís embarrassing; it really is. Mr. Okum answered I understand, and maybe the information could be a little more definite, and if you wold like to make suggestions, I donít think the wording cannot be changed. Mr. Wilson said there should be an explanation of what is going on, demolition of the garage in this case. We got a lot of questions from some people we didnít even know.

Mr. Schecker wondered what the applicant felt about a stipulation on the variance that you have a new building up in two years? Mr. Wilson answered two years would be pushing it, but if that is what has to be, Iíll go along with it.

Mr. Whitaker said I would feel comfortable with obtaining a building permit within two years. That would give you one year from the date of the permit to complete the structure. Mr. McErlane added you would have six months to start the job and two years to complete, and you canít have any period of time where you donít have activity for six months. Basically you have to be working on it during that two year period. Mr. Whitaker said then I would suggest your attaining a permit within two years and complete it within the time frame allowable by the building department. That gives you close to three years. I wouldnít want to see it go any longer than three years. Mr. Wilson said so you are saying I have two years to get a permit. Mr. McErlane commented potentially it could be four years, but that means stretching out a project over two years, which is a pretty long period of time. Mr. Okum said Mr. Whitaker said he wanted it completed within three years.

Mr. Wilson said so the applicant would get his permit within two years and theoretically he would have two years to complete the project, but you are saying complete it within three years total.

Mrs. McNear moved to allow the demolition of the garage and have a replacement two car garage completed within three years. Also, the remaining portion of the garage should be finished to specifications demanded by our current ordinances. Mr. McErlane said when you demolish the garage, you will have one side of it basically open, so youíll need to close that part in. Mr. Wilson stated it is at the end of the back of the garage, and I can replace it with shingles. Mr. McErlane stated weíll include that as part of the demolition permit for the garage. Mr. Whitaker seconded the motion.

Voting aye were Mrs. McNear, Mr. Whitaker, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Schecker, Mrs. Ewing and Mr. Okum. Variance granted with six affirmative votes.

B. Maple Knoll Village, 11100 Springfield Pike requests variance to allow them to hang 2 banners for a period of 1 year. Said variance is requested from Section 153.160(C)(2)(d) "..shall in no event exceed 2 consecutive weeks in duration..and..4 occasions of usage during any calendar yearÖThere shall be a minimum of a 1 month period between the end of one occasion and beginning of the nextÖ"

Lena Mares, Associate Executive Director of Maple Knoll Village stated that they are celebrating their 150 year anniversary. We were founded in 1848 and we have a one year schedule of events. Our first event was this past weekend and we will have activities throughout the year, closing with an end celebration that will place a time capsule with all the activities that took place during the year. We would like your consideration in keeping our banner for that period of time.


19 MAY 1998



Mrs. McNear said I know you have sat through many of our meetings, and as you probably know, I am not a proponent of banners, and although I think it is a fabulous place, and the board definitely will work with you, a year is way too long. We have to consider the precedent, because if we allow you to do it, every business in Springdale will be in here demanding that we allow them to use banners longer also. I donít know if there are specific events that you would rather have banners displayed for or not. Ms. Mares responded it is rather costly to get the banners up and take them down. The banners are attached to the side of the building and do not blow in the wind; one is lighted. We felt it is a unique situation and a unique event; it is not a sale, but a celebration of what is going on in the village, and we would like that consideration given.

Mr. Wilson commented I have a concern about the durability of vinyl for a 12 month period. To keep it in tip top shape, you probably would have to replace it. As Mrs. McNear said, we would be setting a precedent and I donít want to do that because so many people come to us with temporary banners wanting to keep them up for months at a time. I am not in favor of this; this is stretching it beyond what I have seen since I have been here. Ms. Mares responded the sign company tells us that the material will last for that period.

Addressing Mr. McErlane, Mr. Okum asked if Maple Knoll were to apply for a sign permit for these locations, would they be within our code in terms of amount of signage? Mr. McErlane said Iíll have to defer to Ms. Mares. I know you have the new permanent sign at the entrance. Ms. Mares added we have a small wooden sign that directs people to the entrance of Bodmann. The main marquee sign is the largest sign at the new entry; that is for the entire village.

Mr. Schecker said a while ago it was suggested that Maple Knoll look at their overall signage requirements and make a presentation for permanent signage that would allow you to advertise the Bingo or the Big Band. We havenít seen anything like that, and here we are with a temporary sort of arrangement; this one seems excessive. If you had a stanchion of some sort to put messages, that would be highly desirable from your standpoint, and would give you the freedom to not have to come here looking for variances.

Ms. Mares commented Iím not familiar with that request. Mr. Schecker said I donít think you were at that meeting, but it was suggested that the party take the message back to the Maple Knoll administration to consider some sort of appropriate permanent signage to allow you to do the advertising you need to do. Mr. Okum added it was when the requests were brought for Big Band and the Bingo.

Ms. Mares continued recognizing that this request would be a difficult one, we simply wanted to appeal on the basis of how many times you have a 150th year event celebration.

Addressing Mr. Okum, Mrs. McNear wondered if he were considering a placard or monument, something more permanent that would still get the idea across of the 150 Year Anniversary without something as temporary as a banner. Vinyl does fade and deteriorate in less than a year. Mr. Okum responded I think the boardís direction was to get away from the little real estate sign out there which does very little for you and do something like a lit sign with information on it. That is the reason I was questioning Mr. McErlane concerning what would be allowable.





19 MAY 1998



Ms. Mares commented we had to get a variance to put our Maple Knoll Village sign as close as it is. Because of the possible corridor expansion, we had to deed some additional land for that access, so that creates for us a little bit of a problem in terms of how we would place something like that.

Mr. Whitaker asked if the banners were up, and Ms. Mares answered they were up for the event that started, and we got our two week permit to do that.

Mr. McErlane reported on the question of permanent signage allowed for Maple Knoll, the way the Code reads for PF-2 is that you are permitted a 50 square foot sign for each premises. I donít know if the Bodmann Building and The Meadows are on separate parcels or not. Ms. Mares commented I know they each have separate addresses from 11050 to 11200 on the site. Mr. McErlane stated I think we would treat them as separate developments basically. So at this point you have two signs for three major buildings.

Mrs. McNear said Maple Knoll Village is an exquisite piece of property, and I think a message board might be able to be fit into that property and be as well done as the rest of the complex is. I would rather give a variance on the number of square feet than to approve the banners for an extended period. Your banners would be costly to take up and down since we are not going to approve them for a year, so you may want to put that money into a permanent sign.

Ms. Mares asked if it were possible to have them for a lesser period of time, like six months, or three months? I would like to see it until the first of the year. We donít want to put you in a position of having to be in a difficult situation with the community, but at the same time we feel like 150 years is pretty special. We wonít come back for 50 more.

Mrs. McNear said I donít have a major problem if we do three months. Weíve given variances on this before and this is a special event, but that would be it for the year.

Mr. Schecker asked the actual anniversary date. Ms. Mares responded the date we are using was April 16th. However because we have a traditional anniversary tea that is in May, we chose to have May as our kickoff event, so we are using May 1848 to May 1998, so we are going May of this year to May of next year. That is why I asked if we could leave it up for the calendar year so it would just be 1998.

Mr. Wilson said I would feel comfortable with three months from 5/15 to 8/15. That would be your allotted time for the calendar year. Mr. Okum commented todayís the 19th, and Mr. Wilson responded we are starting from the 15th when the sign was put up.

Mr. Whitaker commented I donít have a problem giving her three months from today, and he moved to grant the variance for the period May 19, 1998 to August 19 1998 and Mrs. McNear seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Whitaker, Mrs. McNear, Mr. Schecker, Mr. Wilson, Mrs. Ewing and Mr. Okum. A three month variance was granted with six affirmative votes.

Addressing Ms. Mares, Mr. Okum said there were comments concerning the signage issue, and if you could get that back to the powers that be, we would appreciate that. We see Maple Knoll too often here, and they do such a nice job, we would like to settle it. Ms. Mares responded I appreciate that; I think it is a valuable observation and one we need to take a good look at .


19 MAY 1998


C. Sherry Barnett, 736 Smiley Avenue requests variance to allow three dogs in her residence. Said variance is requested from Section 153.029(E)(2) "No more than 2 dogs..may be kept per dwelling unitÖ"

Ms. Barnett stated we have lived in Springdale for over five years. We lived on VanCleve and moved over to Smiley and they needed to be adjusted; they did bark a lot, but for the last year and a half we have had no complaints. I realize you canít make exceptions, but we really need one. How do you decide which one to get rid of? When we found out there was that ordinance I called them and they said we donít go around knocking on doors but if you are caught you will have to come and get a variance if you can. The lady who lives next to us, and our houses are on top of each other, has no complaints. I know three dogs can be a lot, but my husband cleans up after them constantly, they are fenced within a fence and are no danger. I know it sounds silly, but how do you choose which one to get rid of when you have had them for five years; you do get attached to them.

Mr. Barnett added mainly the only time they bark is when I come home; they know the sound of my van. I spoke to a couple of my neighbors. We have new neighbors next door and they like the fact that I have those dogs because one woman is home with two infants and they alert her to whatever happens in the neighborhood.

Mrs. Barnett said when we lived on VanCleve that there were several people who had more than two dogs, and people who had cats which were in peopleís yards and nobody did anything about it. I know they can be a nuisance, and that cleanliness and noise is important, but I am a light sleeper and I have heard dogs barking at 3 or 4 oíclock in the morning. Ours donít do that; they really donít bother people.

Mr. Wilson asked what kind of dogs they are, and Mrs. Barnett answered they are all basically mutts, but the largest one is a shepherd and collie, a golden retriever and cocker spaniel, and the third is Australian shepherd and something else; a very small dog. Mr. Wilson commented I donít think dogs barking is the issue as much as the fact that you have one more than is allowed. That is what we should be addressing. I can appreciate your being forced into the decision of which dog to get rid of. I donít think you would have a problem giving the dog away since they are family pets and would be good around kids. The fact that no one has complained before does not change the variance. The fact that other people have a certain number of cats or more than three dogs is not the issue here. The issue is you have three dogs and the ordinance calls for two, and this is what we have to get resolved.

Mrs. Barnett wondered who decided that two was the appropriate number I donít mean to be disrespectful, but I would think that nuisance, cleanliness and smell would be contributing factors. Mr. Wilson responded Iím sure they were, and Iím not sure who determined it; the public officials at the time the ordinance was written. Mrs. Barnett said I respect what you do, but how do you change an ordinance. Mr. Wilson said if you come to Council and bring this up, it could go on the ballot and the residents of the City could vote on it.

Mrs. McNear commented I think you can have additional dogs depending on the square footage of your property. Mr. McErlane reported that you have to have more than an acre before you can have more than two dogs and then you can have an additional dog for each half acre.

Mrs. Barnett said if you drove by my house during the day, you wouldnít know we had dogs. Mr. Barnett added none of our dogs are violent or vicious. They are all playful. If there is something I can do short of getting rid of one of my dogs, Iíll do it, but what can I do?


19 MAY 1998



Mrs. Barnett said I donít know what you are going to decide, and I donít know what we can do, but I think we need to do something. I was served a subpoena and sat for two hours in the court with people who donít pay their taxes, DUIís, people doing obscene things in public stores, shoplifters and the like. It was so humiliating and when the prosecutor asked what I was there for and I responded I had three pets, he even looked at me like I was crazy. I know a law is a law, but there should be some type of discretion as to why a person who tries to do the right thing has to sit there and go through all that. Maybe there should be a criminal court and a court for people who do not follow the ordinances.

Mr. Schecker asked the age of the dogs, and Mrs. Barnett answered five and one-half. Mr. Schecker asked the life expectancy, and Mrs. Barnett answered larger dogs tend to die earlier, and 10 years can be a long time for a large dog. Mr. Barnett added I assume we are looking at eight to 10 years.

Mrs. Ewing commented this is touching my heartstrings. My question is how did you acquire these dogs? Mrs. Barnett answered there was a pet store in Springdale and my husband found the golden retriever, I loved the shepherd collie and our kids were with us and they wanted the little one so we came home with all three. My husband took the shepherd collie away once to give to a friend, but I was so upset he brought him back. We decided to take our chances. Mrs. Ewing said you do understand the ordinance, and Mrs. Barnett indicated that she does.

Mr. Okum asked if the dogs were inside or outside. Mrs. Barnett answered they sleep inside, but during the day they are outside. Mr. Okum said my mother in law lives in Heritage Hill with two dogs behind her, and she canít walk into her back yard without the dogs barking. If you would talk to our Police Department, one of the largest domestic complaints they receive is about noisy pets. As a neighbor, it is difficult to complain about your neighbor. I understand the basis for the ordinance and I have sympathy for situation but on the other hand, the Zoning Code was written to create balance. The difficulty for board members is we have to consider policy and precedent, because what precedent we allow you has to be a true hardship case and has to outweigh other precedents. The code is changed periodically; it evolves. Council has the power to change the Zoning Code. If Council does not make that change, the residents of the community have a right by referendum to bring it to the ballot.

Mrs. Barnett asked about extenuating circumstances, if you donít have neighbors complaining and you donít have police being called Ė isnít that a factor at all? Mr. Okum responded the fact that nobody came tonight when there was a sign in your front yard is an indicator. The other side to that is it is difficult for a neighbor to complain about a neighbor. We do have a letter signed by the adjoining properties indicating that they were aware that we are melting on this tonight and they had the opportunity to come and present their position. Mr. Wilson asked the lot size and Mr. Barnett answered it is a small ranch house with a deep back yard.

Mrs. Barnett stated I was granted a continuance based on what happens here tonight, and Iím not trying to rush anybody into a bad decision, but I do have to go back to court on June 3rd. Mr. Okum said I would hope that the action this board takes would not impact the decision of right or wrong for the court. If the board would grant a variance, I donít know if that would outweigh the violation, because the violation was made prior to the variance being granted.




19 MAY 1998



Mr. Schecker commented I would like to say I personally think this ordinance is a very good one. The community is rather close and we could easily be overrun by allowing more land and more pets. On the other hand, I would say that the circumstances of your acquiring these pets at the same time makes me sympathetic to your case.

Mrs. McNear commented initially I was not in favor of allowing a variance because I have lived next door to people who have had more than 12 dogs. I donít have pets myself and I donít like it when people let their pets go into my yard. You are in a difficult situation, and we are as well to come up with a decision that is fair to you and takes into consideration precedent. We are looking at possibly 10 years that the dogs will be around. I would be more in favor of giving a limited variance of perhaps six months, at which point we would take a look at it, see if we have been getting complaints from neighbors and how it is going. We have the summer months coming where people will be out more frequently. I personally donít think we can grant a variance to allow you to keep three dogs for possibly 10 years, but I would be willing to do something on a temporary basis to see how it goes.

Mrs. Barnett said there are some personal things going on that we may not have all three dogs for a long period of time. Decisions will be made probably within the next few months. Also, I would like to try to get my neighbors to come in and tell you that they donít bother anybody. Also, if you decide against the variance, please give me some time to find some place. Mrs. McNear said either way, we would give you enough time to place a dog with someone you would feel comfortable with. Weíre not that hard hearted to put you through that, but we are trying to be fair to everybody. That is why I suggested six months to ease the situation. If you wish to have your neighbors come in, perhaps you should ask us to table this to the next meeting. Mrs. Barnett responded if you could just give me some time, like maybe the six months to see what happens with these personal issues, maybe you could reconsider in six months.

Mr. Okum said for clarification, you would like us to give you a variance for six months and you would be willing to come before this board again with information and present your case for a variance again. Mrs. Barnett responded I would like to find a compromise.

Mr. Wilson commented I can really relate to where you are coming from, because pets become family members, but ordinances are in place for a reason. So Mrs. McNear is suggesting a six month variance to allow them time to compassionately release one of the three dogs to be in compliance. Mrs. McNear said also Mrs. Barnett indicated that there are other issues so that they may not have the three dogs in six months. I think it would give them enough time to look at their different options. I would like to make a decision for her this evening so when she does go back to court she would have a decision in hand. If she wishes us to table it and have her neighbors come in, I donít have a problem with that, but I think it would be in her best interests to have the decision tonight. Mr. Wilson commented Iím not in favor of tabling it and having other people come in because that will not change what is written in the ordinance.

Mrs. Barnett said I donít want to postpone anything, but I would like for you to give me the variance tonight and I wouldnít have to worry about it any more, but I donít think that is the way we are heading. I would like some time; maybe if you didnít receive any complaints and saw that they are not causing any problems, and in the meantime maybe I can do something to change the law. And as I said there are things that can happen so that none of us will have to go through any of this.


19 MAY 1998



Mr. Wilson said I would feel comfortable to allow a six month period for you to make a decision as to which of the three dogs you would give away. In other words, I would give you up to six months to be in compliance. Mrs. Barnett said but no opportunity to change it. Mr. Wilson answered if you want to come back within that six months an appeal again, that is always your option. In a sense we are opening the door.

Mrs. McNear said I agree, but the way I had presented it was I want them to come back in six months and tell us how they will be in compliance, find out if there have been any complaints or problems. That was my intent. Mrs. Ewing said if they come back in six months with 10-12 people in support, how would that impact the two animal ordinance? Mrs. McNear said good point; I donít have an answer for that. Mrs. Ewing commented when I hear these people come in with hardship, the hardship is having to get rid of the dog you love.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum said I believe the board members are saying we want to get this on the floor. It sounds like the board is willing to give you a variance for six months to allow you to get things in order. After that six months if you are not in compliance with the Code, you would be in violation again, so you will need to come before this Board again unless you have made other arrangements. Mrs. Barnett asked if she would have the option to appeal. Mr. Okum responded at six months you would have the right to request a variance if you still have the three dogs.

Mr. Wilson moved to allow the Barnetts up to six months to be in compliance. This will allow them the opportunity within that time frame to request the variance. We are just prolonging it, because you mentioned some changes might be coming about that possibly might solve the problem. All I am suggesting is that we allow you up to six months to be in compliance. In that time frame as a citizen you have the option of coming in and appealing the variance.

Addressing Mr. McErlane, Mr. Okum asked if the motion is brought forward for up to six months and they may come back in for reconsideration, is that possible? Mr. McErlane responded the only statement in your rules is that if a variance is denied they cannot reapply within six months. Mr. Okum said so if this variance is approved, they would have an opportunity to come in within that six month period.

Mrs. McNear commented I donít know that needs to be a part of our motion. That is just the way it works, so I would suggest that the motion be that we grant a variance for six months for the Barnetts to be in compliance. The motion was reread: "Mr. Wilson moved to allow the Barnetts up to six months to be in compliance and Mrs. McNear seconded the motion." Voting aye were Mr. Wilson, Mrs. McNear, Mr. Whitaker, Mr. Schecker, Mr. Ewing and Mr. Okum. Variance was granted with six affirmative votes.

D. Quality Gold, 75 Tri-County Parkway requests temporary variance (until May 24, 1998) to allow use of a temporary trailer. Said variance is requested from Section 153.083(C) "No main or accessory uses shall be permitted in a trailer or other nonpermanent structureÖ"

Mrs. McNear said we have been lied to over and over again. Iím sure thereís no representative here tonight because itís a couple of days away. I personally would like to see them fined and put a lock on the place; we probably cannot do that, but I definitely will vote no, for I think the third or fourth time.


19 MAY 1998



Mr. Whitaker said to get this on the floor, I will move to grant the variance. Mrs. McNear seconded the motion.

Mr. Schecker commented in light of the staff notes, maybe we should go along with the law directorís suggestion and say in the motion that this will not be subject to renewal. Mr. McErlane stated you do not need to do that in this situation. Since you should bring it in a positive way, maybe you should say that in case it passes, but I have a feeling that it wonít. Mrs. McNear said something about citing them. If they are not successful in this variance request tonight, there is no reason why they couldnít be

cited. They may come back and file a motion to appeal to the Court of Appeals; that would be their next step, or removing the trailer from the site. Mr. Okum said for purposes of potential litigation, letís make our comments very clear and precise.

Mr. Wilson said in the future we need to look very closely at these requests. We have been flexible with businesses in terms of allowing them temporary whatevers. This is a lesson, a bitter one, since we have someone who has been in noncompliance and in effect has slapped us in the face. Unfortunately there is nothing we can really do about it. The individual promised us faithfully that he would be in compliance, and he has ignored that and retained an attorney to keep it. Let this be a lesson to this board that we look at each case and decide on its merits and not be afraid to say no.

Mr. Okum said their moving van was in front of the place the other day, and I was happy to see it. I do not like the board and the City of Springdale being manipulated. There are some things we need to look at in our final Zoning Code review that may address this. Mr. McErlane earlier reported that if we approve a variance, they can come back at any time. If we deny, they have six months before they can reapply. The disadvantage of that is when we give a temporary variance, we are giving an approval and they can keep coming back before this board and keep being in violation because they never have been denied, so it makes it tough for us to take action. Certainly I think this applicant has violated the Zoning Code and is in current violation to the code. Although I understand we cannot cite daily, and I disagree with that, they can sit in Mayorís Court for their violation. I will be voting in opposition to the variance being granted.

No one voted aye, and Mr. Whitaker, Mrs. McNear, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Schecker, Mrs. Ewing and Mr. Okum voted no. Variance was denied with six negative votes.


Mrs. Ewing said I am really concerned about Mrs. Barnett. She got caught or was turned in, and other people out there are probably in violation. The hardship is you love your animals, but would that be a hardship that we would look at that would overrule the ordinance?

Mr. Okum responded at the end of every ordinance there is a statement "for the public health, safety and welfare" and that is all the citizens. Certainly hardship has to weigh on these issues. I think it is a very difficult thing and she is a resident too, but it is the other residents around her as well.

Mrs. McNear commented I am not even an animal lover, but come on people, we gave a three year variance on a garage, and we are giving six months on a living thing.



19 MAY 1998


VII. DISCUSSION - continued

Mrs. Ewing commented that gets back to what we have been discussing, how to enforce a temporary variance. Mrs. McNear answered I know it is very difficult and there are lots of people in Springdale with three pets or more. There are several of us who have gone door to door campaigning, and you know how many times there are many many animals in each house.

Mrs. Ewing said when I was on Council, there was a lady who had 18 or more cats, and it took a while to correct that. I understand what Mrs. Barnett was talking about in going to Court. That is a degrading feeling, especially if you are not wrong. I had to do that several years ago, and here I was up there with criminals. I understand her feelings.

Mr. Okum said it doesnít state where the case will be heard. Mr. McErlane added it is a criminal violation, a minor misdemeanor, and she had the option to pay it out; she didnít have to go to court. She wanted to state her case.

Mr. Wilson said the board has a job to do, the enforcement of our codes and ordinances. However, we are human and our decision should be based on the general peace, public safety and welfare of the masses not the minorities, in this case the individual who has three pets. She admitted she was in violation but she figured she would hang as long as she could until she got caught. She got caught and she has to pay the piper. Thatís cold hearted, but it is reality, and that is what we are here to do. Iím sure Mrs. Barnett was very sincere in her emotions about having to get rid of one of her pets.

We are paid to come here and make those decisions. My motion was to give her up to six months to get rid of one of the three dogs. I understand we gave them three years to build the garage; I wasnít in favor that, but supported you. Mr. Whitaker gave the lady 94 days for a banner Ė that shows flexibility. The bottom line is we have shown we are human and being human we got slapped in the face a couple of time. Bear that in mind. We are giving the Barnetts up to six months to be in compliance; if they are not, they are going to be back and we will have to make a decision. So, all we have done is prolong the inevitable. Either they are allowed to have two or more dogs and everybody and his mother that has 15 parakeets is going to be in here. We try to be compassionate, but we have to think short term, long term and precedent.

Mr. McErlane stated to expand on the last comment of my report, the more specific you can make your motions, the more specific information we can put on what we stamp as a plan, the more it will hold up in court and enforceable it will be. One of the things the law directorís office told me relative to the last issue was if the statement had been made that we wonít grant any more variances, they would not have had the opportunity to apply for another one.

Essentially if you grant something they donít agree with, they can appeal it within 30 days. If you had made that statement on the last variance, they would have been beyond that 30 day period and couldnít have made any appeals. He made those promises, but it was not included in the motion nor was it indicated on the applications. The ones that fall through the cracks are the ones the applicant offers up and donít get included in the motion, so it is impo0rtant to include those in the motion or on the sketch or whatever gets stamped and given back to the applicant.







19 MAY 1998



Mrs. McNear moved for adjournment and Mr. Wilson seconded the motion. By voice vote, all present voted aye, and the Board of Zoning Appeals adjourned at 8:52 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,



__________________,1998 ____________________________

David Okum, Acting Chairman



__________________,1998 ______________________________

Barbara Ewing, Secretary