BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING
JUNE 16, 2009
7:00 P.M.

I. CALL MEETING TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.

II. ROLL CALL

Members Present: Robert Diehl, Robert Weidlich, Robert Emerson, Jane Huber, Dave Okum, William Reichert, Randy Danbury

Others Present: Randy Campion, Inspection Supervisor

III. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

IV. MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF 19 MAY, 2009

Mrs. Huber moved for acceptance the May 19, 2009 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting minutes, Mr. Weidlich seconded the motion and with a unanimous vote from all Board of Zoning Appeals Members the May 19, 2009 minutes were adopted.

V. CORRESPONDENCE

a. Zoning Bulletin - May 10, 2009

VI. REPORT ON COUNCIL

Mr. Danbury gave a report on Council.

VII. REPORT ON PLANNING COMMISSION

No report given for Planning Commission; Planning Commission did not meet during the month of May.

VIII. CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT AND SWEARING IN OF APPLICANTS

IX. NEW BUSINESS

A. The owner of 881 Yorkhaven Rd. requests a variance to erect an enclosed patio
36’-7” from the rear property lane. Said variance is from Section 153.072(A) “Single household dwellings…shall have a minimum rear-yard setback of 40 feet.”

Mr. Ed Knox: We have at present an enclosure which I will pass out pictures showing the enclosure, which was part of the house when we bought it; actually it is not an enclosure yet, that is what we are wanting to make it. The vertical members have been there as far back as we can find people who live in the neighborhood who have seen it; at least 15 years. It has been 36’-7” from the property line for at least 15 years. The base of the patio is made up of 18” square bricks, also there is a hot tub sitting on it. To meet the criteria, to move it back to 40 feet we would have to take that entire thing apart, we would have to move that spa and we would need to take up the bricks, we would have to reset the vertical members. That is why we are asking for the variance because that is extremely difficult to do and very expensive. As it stands now here is a picture looking out at the backyard. (At this time Mr. Knox handed out pictures to the Planning Commission.) I should say that we propose to take the fence that is there down to open up the backyard a little bit more.
Chairman Okum: For the record, Mr. Knox has presented three photos of the structure for our review.

(At this time Mr. Campion read the Staff report.)

(Chairman Okum opened the floor to the audience for comments; no one came forward.)

Mrs. Huber: I move to grant a variance from Section 153.072(A) so as to allow for the construction of an enclosed patio to be located 36’-7” from the rear property line of 881 Yorkhaven Road. The Section of the code is “Single household dwellings shall have a minimum rear-yard set back of 40’.”
Mr. Reichert seconded the motion.

Chairman Okum: Just to understand, the 36’-7” is to the columns of that structure?

Mr. Knox: Yes.

Chairman Okum: The unit that you are constructing will utilize all the elements, the roof framing and the columns and the beams, provided the building code approves it?

Mr. Knox: Yes.

Mr. Reichert: These plans have been submitted to the building department and it has been approved, except for the variance?

Mr. Knox: Yes, sir. Mr. McErlane came out and took a look at it personally. We wanted to put glass in there and he said we couldn’t have that because the moisture problem that would come up from underneath, so that is why we went with screen.

Chairman Okum: So it is only going to be a screen room?

Mr. Knox: Yes.

Chairman Okum: You would be utilizing the columns that are on the farthest point to carry the load of the roof as well as the columns on the backside?

Mr. Knox: Yes.

Chairman Okum: Those columns appear to be 6’ X 6’?

Mr. Knox: Yes, and they are in concrete.

Mr. Diehl: The structure has been this way for 15 plus years?

Mr. Knox: That is the estimate of the people in the neighborhood that have been there the longest.

Chairman Okum: There is no concrete slab in that area of the backyard that may have been taken out at some time?

Mr. Knox: Not that we know of.

Mrs. Huber polled the Board of Zoning Appeals Members and with a unanimous 7-0 vote the request for the variance was granted.


B. The owner of 629 Cloverdale Avenue requests a variance to store two recreational vehicles on property. Said variance is from Section 153.480(D)(1) “One recreational vehicle, one boat on a trailer or one trailer used for recreational purposes may be stored in an unenclosed area of the property…”

Mr. Rick and Connie Land came forward.
Mr. Rick Land: We own the property at 629 Cloverdale Avenue. I have a hobby that we need a second trailer for; we have had the trailer in storage and so far they have broken into the trailer and stole $2000 worth of tools. We have an off-set garage in the backyard that is 24’ X 24’; it is well to the back of the property and we have a concrete and blacktop driveway going all the way back to it. The neighbor next door, Diana Wolf, we submitted a letter she has signed stating that she doesn’t have a problem with it. We keep it well clean.

Mrs. Connie Land: He uses it just about every weekend, the motor home and the trailer. We have been picking it up on Thursday and dropping it off on Monday and we use it 3 or 4 weekends out of the month most of the year. We can put it all on the driveway, the motor home and the trailer and we still have room to park our cars.
We don’t park anything on the street.

(At this time Mr. Campion read the Staff report.)

Chairman Okum: The Cagis is a little confusing, just so we understand there are the two properties 629 and 635 Cloverdale Avenue; the space between is that this gentleman’s property or the property of the neighbor next door?

Mr. Danbury: I grew up at 635 Cloverdale and that area was purchased by my father so that is actually a part of the 635 Cloverdale.

(Chairman Okum opened the floor to the audience for comments; no one came forward.)

Mrs. Huber: I move to grant a variance from Section 153.480(D)(1) so as to allow parking of two recreational vehicles on drive a 629 Cloverdale Avenue.
Mr. Danbury seconded the motion.

Chairman Okum: If you have two garages, you have obviously adequate storage space, these are pretty significant elements.

Mr. Land: I race cars legally and we transport all the equipment that we need, the car and the golf cart. It takes a lot of support equipment and we need a trailer for that purpose.

Chairman Okum: I was involved in the recreational vehicle ordinance of history for the City of Springdale. We were one of the first communities to allow, and it took quite a bit of time to craft, but it was made to allow property owners to store the recreational vehicles on their property. I think our existing recreational vehicle code is very sound and very fair, so based on that I haven’t heard anything here that changes my position on that. There is no obvious unique situation here that I can see.

Mrs. Connie Land: The way I understand the regulation is that it seems to me if we have the room… and secondly if we park it in our neighbor’s yard then that would be legal.

Mr. Campion: That is correct; the code says that you are allowed one recreational vehicle.

Chairman Okum: That is a valid point. This is a significant mass element on your property. I know that you have a big parcel. It is a zoned “Low-Density” and it is key to your zoning district. You are unique because you have a variance on the property already that allows for an alternate garage. You have the right, if the code allows it for you to utilize your neighbor’s property. A variance is something that is permanent; it stays with the property forever. That variance that was granted in 1984 stays with that property forever; it is not just for you it is for the future purchaser.

Mr. Danbury: I believe we had this issue about two motor homes come before Council about 15 years ago.
Mr. Emerson: Mr. Land, I am just like you are, I have two and I have to keep one off my premises. I have a boat and when I back my boat into my driveway I have to start watching my clock because I know if it sits there too long my neighbor is going to be calling; it affects us all.

Mr. Danbury: How many cars could you park if you were to have this in your driveway?

Mr. Land: The driveway in front of the house will support five vehicles. In the back of the house I can put three other vehicles.

Chairman Okum: Is there any other questions or comments for the applicant?

Mr. Danbury: Just a comment; you do have a long driveway and I don’t see that big of an issue with this request.

Chairman Okum: Seeing there are no other lights, Mrs. Huber will you poll the Board on the motion?

Mrs. Huber polled the Board of Zoning Appeals Members and with 2-“aye” votes and 5-“no” votes the request for a variance for 629 Cloverdale Avenue was denied.    

C. The owner of 255 Harter Avenue requests a variance to allow the elimination of the garage. Said variance is from Section 153.105(B)”A single two-car garage and related parking area is required…”

Mr. Greg French: I purchased the piece of property at 255 Harter Avenue in 2004. My father lived on Harter and he lived with my brother Dennis; Dennis is handicapped and my father was getting older and we felt like it was necessary for somebody to be closer to him. We had the opportunity to purchase the house at
255 Harter, which is just up the street from where my dad lived. The purpose in buying it was for my son to move into there and take care of, or look in on, my dad and my brother. Since I live so far outside of town, about a 45 minute drive there are occasions when I work extra hours that cause me to work late at night and have to be back in the next morning, so we also bought it so that I could spend the night there and not have to drive back and forth with minimal sleep time. Since then my son has moved into the residence with my father and my brother and we decided to rent the property at 255 Harter. This year I was notified that I needed to get a rental permit and when the building department came down to inspect the house for the rental permit I was notified that they did not have any information on file of a variance for the property. The garage at that residence has been converted to a bedroom and it was done prior to me purchasing the house. To comply with that code I am here to seek a variance on that property.

(At this time Mr. Campion read the Staff report.)

(Chairman Okum opened the floor to the audience for comments; no one came forward.)

Mr. Reichert: I would like to make a motion to grant a variance from Section 153.105(B) so as to allow a garage to remain converted to living space at 255 Harter Avenue.
Mrs. Huber seconded the motion.

Mrs. Huber: What appears to be a shingle-like covering where the garage door was, is the existing garage door still there but covered with that shingle-like material?

Mr. French: The garage door is gone; it is a solid wall on the inside.

Mrs. Huber: So it really would require a lot of work and money to remove that wall and put in a garage door?

Mr. French: Yes. In the interior we just put brand new carpeting down this past year and we would have to tear all that up if we had to change that.

Mr. Reichert: Are there any windows in the garage as an exit window for a bedroom, which is a requirement?

Mr. French: There is egress; in the front part of the bedroom there is a window and it is low enough off of the floor that it could be used as an exit. The building department looked at it and said that it is within standards.

Chairman Okum: I am concerned about the availability of parking and the elimination of storage space; can you address those items for me?

Mr. French: Two cars can fit in the driveway and there is space out in front of the house where two additional cars could park. It is a single-family home so I can’t imagine where there would be more than three cars at the most. We do have a shed that is in the backyard, I believe it is a 12’ X 14’ shed that could be used for storage.

Chairman Okum: If there were a condition that a shed remain fully functional, you would agree to that?

Mr. French: Yes.

Chairman Okum: If a variance were granted it stays with the property forever and I would want to make sure that whoever purchases the property that the shed would not be eliminated.

Mr. Reichert: I would like to make an amendment to my original motion to state that a storage shed is a requirement for that piece of property according to the City of Springdale code for whatever size allowable for 255 Harter Avenue.
Mr. Emerson seconded the amendment to the motion.

Mrs. Huber polled the Board of Zoning Appeals Members and with a unanimous “aye” vote the amendment to the original motion was approved.

Mrs. Huber then polled the Board of Zoning Appeal Members and with a unanimous “aye” vote the request for a variance at 255 Harter was granted to allow a converted garage to remain; with the amendment requiring a storage shed to remain functional.


D. The owner of 1083 Castro Lane requests a variance to allow the elimination of the garage. Said variance is from Section 153.105(B) “A single two-car garage and related parking area is required…”

Mr. Enrique Fernandez: I am from 1083 Castro Lane. The house belongs to my dad and he was not able to be here due to work and he is limited in his English, so I am here to represent my dad. He is requesting the variance to replace the garage door for a wall to use the garage space for a study room. I am a college student now and my brother and sister will be in college soon and we need the extra room to use for a computer and for an extra desk. We are a family of five and we need the extra room for homework.

Chairman Okum: It is not currently converted?

Mr. Fernandez: No.

(At this time Mr. Campion read the Staff report.)

Chairman Okum: Typically we have the owner present; you are the owner’s son and you are here for purposes of representing your father. We do not have a letter from him to say that you are to speak for him. I would like to have something in hand, a letter or a legal document that says you are the legal representative for the owner of the property. We need to hear from the owner directly. Would it be possible to table this and carry this over to next month?

Mr. Fernandez: Sure.

Chairman Okum: We are not going to deliberate tonight. We would encourage your father to be here, and you can translate for him.

Mr. Diehl: I noticed when I drove by that you have some construction material by the garage, are you working on the project?

Mr. Fernandez: No, we stopped because we didn’t know we needed a permit.

Chairman Okum: So you will delay any further work until a decision is made?

Mr. Fernandez: Yes.

At this time Mrs. Huber moved to table the request for a variance at 1083 Castro Lane until the July 21, 2009 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting.
Mr. Danbury seconded the motion and with a unanimous “aye” vote the motion to table the variance request was accepted.


E. The owner of 12199 Benadir Road requests a variance to erect a fence within the setback from the side street of a corner lot. Said variance is from Section 153.482 (A)(3) “Fences on corner lots shall not be located in the required setback for the building from the side street line.”

Chairman Okum: Just so everyone understands there are two items for this address but they are advertised individually and they should be.

Ms. Juanita Foster and Ms. Shirley Foster stepped forward as owners of 12199 Benadir Road.
Ms. Juanita Foster: I replaced the fence. I got a permit but I came out 6’ further than the preexisting fence because when we purchased the house it had a chain-link fence that wrapped around it and they had let it overgrow with the weeds and the trees, so we removed that and decided to put up a privacy fence in its place. I thought it looked better to go to the end of the garage and attach to the house so I placed it there.
(At this time Juanita Foster passed out photos of the fence to the Board of Zoning Appeals Members.)

Ms. Juanita Foster: The house is on a corner lot.

Chairman Okum: We have the copy of the building permit and a drawing of the actual placement of the fence.

(At this time Mr. Campion read the Staff report.)

(Chairman Okum opened the floor to the audience for comments; no one came forward.)

Mrs. Huber: I would like to make a motion to grant a variance from Section 153.482(A)(3) so as to allow the erection of a fence within the setback from the side street on a corner lot. The location of the property is 12199 Benadir Road.
Seconded by Mr. Emerson.
Chairman Okum: According to the Cagis map the old fence terminated on your property line at the proper setback from the street. Your new fence is now 21’-6”.

Ms. Juanita Foster: I measured 74” from the original pole.

Chairman Okum: So you are 6’ closer to the street from the original pole. So it is 31’-4” from the sidewalk.
Mr. Campion: That is 21’-6” from the right of way.

Mr. Emerson: What was your main reason for putting the fence where you did?

Ms. Juanita Foster: Because there were trees that we cut down and roots and rocks; so I moved it over to where I could dig a post hole and it was easier to line it up.

Mr. Emerson: So you installed this fence yourself?

Ms. Juanita Foster: Yes. We both did.

Mr. Danbury: This is one of the rare cases where you had a permit beforehand and I was just wondering why did you make up your own rules and put it where you wanted to, as opposed to going back to the City?

Ms. Juanita Foster: Actually we applied for the permit in November and it took us awhile to do that and when we got to that section it slipped my mind on where to put it. We didn’t move into the house until January and we didn’t finish the fence until May; it became so hard and it looked better.

Mr. Danbury: I think I would make sure before I go through the labor that everything was exactly as it was approved.

Mr. Weidlich: I am with Mr. Danbury, you had a permit and did not meet the requirements set forth by it. Is that compacted dirt around the post?

Ms. Juanita Foster: No, it is cement.

Mr. Diehl: Tell me more about the tree roots where the fence was supposed to go.

Ms. Juanita Foster: Three feet from where the corner comes out we cut out a big tall tree, so there was a stump there and then there was also an apple tree removed and there was a stump from it. The neighbor has a tree that is butted up to the fence and her roots are there. There are roots as big as my arm.

Mr. Danbury: According to your application, was it because the fence looked better where you decided to put it or was it because of the tree roots? I could see maybe a foot, but 6 feet?

Ms. Juanita Foster: We cut down three trees when putting this fence up.

Chairman Okum: Did you remove the old chain-link fence?

Ms. Juanita Foster: Yes.

Mr. Diehl: I am going to be voting in favor of this variance; the tree roots play a big part in my decision.

Chairman Okum: You brought the fence closer to the street because of the root system; would the root system have been more dense if you went further back?

Ms. Juanita Foster: If we would have gone further back we would have run into the apple tree stump.

Chairman Okum: Even though I don’t like it, I will be inclined to vote in favor because of the tree roots.

Mrs. Huber polled the Board of Zoning Appeals Members and with 5 “aye” votes and 2 “no” votes the variance was granted for the fence to be placed 21’-6” from the right a way line at 12199 Benadir Road.

F. The owner of 12199 Benadir Road requests a variance to place a pool closer than 15 feet from the side lot line. Said variance is from Section 153.488(C)(1) “A swimming pool, bathhouse, tennis court or other accessory recreational facilities…shall be located 15 feet from the rear or side lot line.”

Ms. Juanita Foster and Ms. Shirley Foster came forward as owners of the property at 12199 Benadir Road.

Ms. Juanita Foster: I am asking for a variance to place a 4’ deep by 15’ diameter above-ground pool for enjoyment for my family. It would not stay there year round; it would come down and go back up each season.

(At this time Mr. Campion read the Staff report.)

(Chairman Okum opened the floor to the audience for comments; no one came forward.)

Mr. Weidlich: Do you know how far the edge of the pool will be from your back property line?

Ms. Juanita Foster: I’m thinking maybe 10 feet.

Mr. Reichert: The fence at the back of your property is that chain link?

Ms. Juanita Foster: It is a privacy fence.

Chairman Okum: I think the motion should be crafted to say “a seasonal, portable swimming pool shall be permitted to be erected on the site for summer purposes and shall be removed in the winter; it shall be permitted to be within the 15 foot rear property line. We are not talking about a permanent swimming pool.

Mr. Weidlich: I would like to make a motion that we approve a seasonal above-ground pool installation for 12199 Benadir Road that will be up for the summer swimming season and be dismantled and stored in the garage during the winter and spring months and it would be allowed to encroach into the 15’ rear-yard setback.
Mr. Danbury seconded the motion.

Mrs. Huber polled the Board of Zoning Appeals Members and with a unanimous 7-0 “aye” vote the variance request for 12199 Benadir Road.

X. DISCUSSION

Mr. Danbury: As you all know Cecil Osborn will be retiring at the end of July. He has been with the City for 35 years and basically if you look around the City, everything he had some hand in. He has worked with five Mayors, four Fire Chiefs and three Police Chiefs.

Mr. Reichert: Has the Planning Commission and/or City Council received any information that the Bass Pro Shop may be interested in moving to Springdale near the area behind Costco?

Mr. Danbury: From my understanding, I did talk to Jeff Tulloch, they announced a year ago that they were leaving Forest Park and I heard they were going to East Gate and then I heard they had decided to go to Mason.

Mr. Reichert: That would be good to attract them in here; if we would do anything we could to attract that, it would help to anchor other businesses in this area.

Chairman Okum: The City of Springdale has Mr. Jeff Tulloch as our full-time Economic Development Coordinator; Jeff came to the City with enormous credentials.

XI. ADJOURNMENT

Chairman Okum: So, with that, I’ll accept a motion for adjournment.

Mrs. Huber moved to adjourn and Mr. Emerson seconded the motion, the Board of Zoning Appeals adjourned at 8:52 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,


________________________,2009 ___________________________________
            Chairman Dave Okum



________________________,2009 ___________________________________
            Secretary Jane Huber