BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

20 JUNE 2000

7:00 P.M.

 

  1. CALL MEETING TO ORDER
  2. Chairman Okum called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.

  3. ROLL CALL
  4. Members Present: Chairman Okum, Councilman Jim Squires, Councilman Robert Wilson, Robert Weidlich, Robert Apke and Jane Huber

    Members Absent: Frederick Borden (arrived at 7:05 p.m.)

    Others Present: Richard G. Lohbeck, Inspection Supervisor

     

  5. MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF 16 MAY 2000
  6. Mr. Squires moved to adopt and Mr. Weidlich seconded the motion. By voice vote, all present voted aye, and the Minutes were approved with six affirmative votes.

     

  7. CORRESPONDENCE
    1. Zoning Bulletin Ė May 10, 2000
    2. Zoning Bulletin Ė May 25, 2000
    3. Planning Commission Minutes Ė 11 April 2000
    4. Planning Commission Minutes Ė 9 May 2000

 

  1. REPORTS
    1. Report on Council Activities
    2. Mr. Squires stated that at the June 7th meeting, Ordinance 39 was passed which amends the Zoning Code in its entirety. Also Ordinance 6 was passed which modified elements in that code.

    3. Report on Planning Commission

Mr. Okum reported that Chi Chiís requested approval of the exterior change. In the original submittal, the color pallet was different from what was submitted (the colors were more dramatic). For that reason, it was tabled and the new color pallet had more muted colors which were approved with the understanding that the colors should be no more than satin finish and only have a matte finish. The green canopy would be changed to a commercial material rather than residential.

John Morrell, 803 East Kemper Road requested placement of a training trailer on the concealed area in the front of their site. It was placed behind the vegetation. This was granted with the proviso that none of the vegetation is to be removed and it shall be there for a maximum of 3 years.

 

 

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

20 JUNE 2000

PAGE TWO

V B REPORT ON PLANNING COMMISSION Ė continued

Mr. Okum stated that the Samís Club new addition was discussed with Planning. This was considered a conceptual discussion because there were so many outstanding items that needed to be addressed.

Sears The Great Indoors would take the remaining warehouse spaces of the Kroger Candy Plant on Kemper Road. They have large home décor items and will be occupying all of the remaining space. That was approved with a number of conditions. There were many, but it is a good plan and should be a success for them and the City.

Sofa Express requested a change to the exterior elevations, which Planning approved. The Church or the Nazarene requested a temporary building to be placed on their property for educational purposes. They asked for the approval but are really hoping they can build an entire new building. In case they canít get the money together in time, they need this temporary building which we granted.

  1. STATEMENTS CONCERNING VARIANCES
  2. A variance once granted will be referred back to the Board of Zoning Appeals if after the expiration of six months n o 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.

    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.

  3. OLD BUSINESS
  4. NEW BUSINESS
    1. Edward Naugle, President of Cincinnati Computer Store, 149 Northland Boulevard requests variance to allow him to place three storage trailers on his property. Said variance is requested from Section 153.491(C) "Storage or any other use in a trailer or non-permanent structure shall not be permitted."
    2. Ed Naugle said he is president of Edward Technology Group that owns and operates Cincinnati Computer and I also own the building at 149 Northland. With me is Tom Cook the general operations manager.

       

      BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

      20 JUNE 2000

      PAGE THREE

      VIII A CINCINNATI COMPUTER STORE 149 NORTHLAND Ė 3 STORAGE TRAILERS

      Mr. Naugle reported we have an operational business that requires very extensive record keeping, which goes back about five years. WE also are the corporate offices of a Midwest chain of stores. We are a central corporate office for various locations and we have to be able to access these records on demand, without having the records stored off site. There is a lot of bulk record keeping associated with that requirement, and that is what we are using the trailers for.

      We have filed an appeal to the manufacturers we represent so that

      They could reduce the amount of time required for the long-term storage, or have another method by which we could automate and not have the original source documents. We challenged them in our Pittsburgh operation for some local storage requirements, and they disconnected one of my service approvals. We are appealing that right now because some of the record keeping wasnít within their standards. We want to maintain these trailers so we can keep this critical record storage together.

      We are hoping we can get into a reduced amount of record storage requirements within a year, but we have contracts of Ĺ inch to an inch thick of requirements to meet to comply with our dealerships.

      We have used these trailer facilities for quick access record storage. There is nothing structurally wrong with the facilities; it is just keeping a nice appearance in the community. We sit on 1-Ĺ acres and the rear part of our facility has a lot of trees. It is more like a secluded area, so we feel it doesnít detract from the general community as far as the visibility of the storage facility itself. Otherwise, we wouldnít ask for it if we didnít think that these were pretty well hidden and not doing anybody any harm.

      Mr. Okum asked if anyone in the audience wished to speak on this. N o one moved forward, and Mr. Okum closed the public hearing.

      Mr. Squires wondered how often during a business week the applicant had to go to the trailers, and Mr. Naugle answered we have to access them on a daily basis. Mr. Squires wondered if the three garages on the property could be used for storage. Mr. Naugle responded we bring vehicles in to load and go, mostly during inclement weather. We do the shipping and receiving out of the first 1 Ĺ bays, which is every day, but the formal storage for inventory has to be under HVAC conditions. It is precision office electronic equipment.

      Mr. Squires wondered if he wanted the trailers there permanently and Mr. Naugle responded that they donít want them there permanently. We are trying to get the manufacturers to reduces the length of storage requirements and let us automate some of the storage. We use the Apple system, and as the applications software gets better, we probably will electronically automate a lot of those records and keep them on mass storage devices. Mr. Squires wondered when he anticipated that would be, and Mr. Naugle answered probably next summer.

      BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

      20 JUNE 2000

      PAGE FOUR

      VIII A CINCINNATI COMPUTER STORE 149 NORTHLAND Ė 3 STORAGE TRAILERS

      Mr. Naugle added we donít want to use temporary storage indefinitely; we are just asking for some time until we get these other methods down.

      Mr. Squires commented that might be the crux of the matter; how much time you are asking for. Mr. Naugle answered about one year. We wouldnít ask for it for even one month if we thought it was causing a problem within the community. It is pretty much hidden back there.

      Mr. Weidlich asked if there was a basement in the building, and Mr. Naugle answered that they didnít. Mr. Weidlich suggested an addition for the storage needs. Mr. Naugle answered I bought the building through an S.B.A. 504 Program and asked if later on they would fund an add on and they indicated they would not be able to and without their approval, IL couldnít afford to put on an addition.

      Mr. Weidlich commented that the trailers are taking up five parking spaces plus the through loop of the parking area and wondered if that were a problem with employees and business people. Mr. Naugle answered that they probably only fill about 20 to 25% of the parking lot. We have been there since 1993 and we have never filled the entire parking lot. In terms of the drive around loop, there is a double path in the back and a rear loop and everybody takes the closer loop, so the traffic hasnít been disturbed at all.

      Mr. Apke asked again about how long he wished to have the trailers there and Mr. Naugle answered to be realistic, it would be 12 months, with a grace period beyond that if possible.

      Mr. Apke added in your correspondence you indicate that you are in the process of removing one of the three trailers. Mr. Naugle answered we moved the records from the third trailer to the first and second, and in the third trailer there is used office furniture which we have been trying to market. WE could give them to Goodwill and that would free up the storage on the third trailer. I rent them month to month.

      Mrs. Huber said Morrison Pontiac had a more permanent type building out in their used car lot and it was more attractive. Have you considered anything like that? They are temporary but more attractive.

      Mr. Naugle responded we didnít look into that because we felt with the hidden area back there, it wouldnít be a problem and we werenít looking to keep them for a long time. There are ground storage units that arenít on wheels, which almost look permanent.

      Mr. Wilson indicated that he didnít feel comfortable with the three trailers. There is a building on Boggs Lane that is four stories high so they see the trailers, as do the people leaving Delhi. He asked if the applicant had looked at a larger building in the city. Mr. Naugle responded that he had not, adding that their customer base is used to finding them where they are.

       

      BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

      20 JUNE 2000

      PAGE FIVE

      VIII A CINCINNATI COMPUTER STORE 149 NORTHLAND Ė 3 STORAGE TRAILERS

      Mr. Wilson asked if there were other lenders besides S.B.A. that

      could assist the applicant, and Mr. Naugle responded that the S.B.A. was the only way he was able to get the funding together and without that he would not have the resources to do that.

      Mr. Wilson said so right now you are saying that you have investigated, and the two trailers are your only option

      Addressing the applicant, Mr. Borden asked if the variance were denied, what he would do; what kind of a hardship would this be. Mr. Naugle answered we challenged one of the Pittsburgh manufacturers about some of the other procedures. Since we had been with them for many years, we thought they would let us get by with some of the shortcomings the procedures required. As a result, I lost all the service business in downtown Pittsburgh until we can appeal the situation. The burden of proof is on us for them to reconsider reinstating the service authorization. Already I have lost 20 to 25% of my gross billing in that store. They really mean business in meeting the requirements of this information. If I donít comply, they definitely would discontinue all the service authorization. We are a small business, and a very major part of our business over the years has been sales and service. Without that service element it would be bad.

      Mr. Borden asked the applicant how likely they would need additional storage in the next six months to a year, and Mr. Naugle answered that they are projecting their sales as fairly flat. Mr. Borden asked if the two trailers would be sufficient, and Mr. Naugle indicated that they would.

      Mr. Apke wondered how long the trailers had been there, and Mr. Naugle said they moved them in last year not realizing that it would be the issue.

      Mr. Weidlich commented as you walk out the Delhi Garden Store door, the three trailers are the first things you see. lf you are granted a variance, would you be willing to put up some screening to obstruct the view from Delhi?

      Mr. Naugle answered I would talk to the owner, and would try to do everything I could to make sure his business doesnít suffer.

      Mr. Okum asked the square footage in the building and Mr. Naugle indicated that it was 10,000 square feet. Mr. Okum asked the square footage of the garages, and Mr. Naugle answered about 1,000 square feet. Mr. Okum asked the number of employees and Mr. Naugle answered 12 people. Mr. Okum commented I see 11,000 square feet for 12 people; the ratio is pretty high. Do you have inventory in there?

      Mr. Naugle answered that is also our corporate stocking location for inventory. We do that for the entire corporation. We have some shop operations, training rooms expo center and we store spare parts for the entire company.

       

      BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

      20 JUNE 2000

      PAGE SIX

      VIII A CINCINNATI COMPUTER STORE 149 NORTHLAND Ė 3 STORAGE TRAILERS

      Mr. Okum said if you would purge some of the things, could you put some of the items in there? Mr. Naugle answered we would lose functionality of training and storage of parts so we can service customers with older computers. We really need a lot of that cubic area.

      Mr. Okum said I have a difficult time approving this when there are other businesses that have the same type situation. We have other businesses that want to use the low body trailers, and pretty soon you would have trailers from one end of the community to the other. I see a temporary hardship for you and I wouldnít want this board to put an undue hardship on you that you couldnít adjust for. On the other hand, you are faced with the same storage issues that bulk storage companies are opening up everywhere for.

      You have three trailers, approximately 800 square feet per trailer. Itís a tough situation. I have heard no comments whether they are in favor or not. If we are going to modify the motion such as fewer trailers or a limited time frame, that is up to the board.

      Mr. Wilson said I have a problem with the trailers; my guess is they are 18 feet high each. Ill thought about screening on at least two sides. If the vote is to deny your request, there would be a six-month period before you could come back, which means you would have to move those trailers. Another option might be for you to request us to table this, look at your other options, and come back next month with those options. I am guessing this wonít be approved tonight. It is up to you.

      Mr. Naugle responded that is tough. I am not asking for permanent permission to keep the trailers there, just until I get the situation worked out with the manufacturers. If I had just a few weeks to get those trailers out that would be painful. If I were asking for permanent storage, putting up screening would be a cure. Asking for this on a temporary basis, I would like to have it without the screening. I have tried to go over all the alternatives to date, and I havenít been able to come up with anything other than to convince the manufacturers not to put that stringent requirement on me or for us to automate the record keeping, and that capability is coming later t his year.

      Mr. Wilson said you have had the trailers there and we canít penalize you for that, but now you are asking for 12 months minimum and perhaps a grace period; in my eyes, that is unacceptable

      Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum added the motion could be for two months, six months or one year. Mr. Wilson is suggesting that you take advantage of the month and come up with an alternate plan that might buy you a longer term for a short-term solution. I canít promise you it will be approved, because there have been stringent requirements put on outside storage and storage trailers. I donít think anyone wants to say no to you, but on the other hand they have to look at the community and precedent. What we approve here carries forward on every site within the community.

      BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

      20 JUNE 2000

      PAGE SEVEN

      VIII A CINCINNATI COMPUTER STORE 149 NORTHLAND Ė 3 STORAGE TRAILERS

      Mr. Naugle said when you reported on the Planning Commission, wasnít there another business that applied for a storage trailer to be located in a concealed area that was okayed? Mr. Okum responded that is Planning Commission and a dumpster, which had to be enclosed.

      Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum asked if he wanted the matter considered this evening or tabled. Mr. Naugle responded I could talk to some of my neighbors to find out what would work for them, I donít want to disturb their business. I could find out what would be apropros for my neighbors. Mr. Okum stated there was a letter sent to the city from Delhi regarding the trailers. (Mr. Naugle was given a copy of the letter).

      Mr. Naugle asked that this be tabled and Mr. Wilson moved to table and Mr. Borden seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Wilson, Mr. Borden, Mr. Apke, Mr. Weidlich, Mr. Okum, Mr. Squires, and Mrs. Huber. The matter was tabled to July 18th. Mr. Okum said I would appreciate if discussion at that meeting be germane to new information and that we donít rehash what we discussed this evening.

    3. Jack Burg, 11751 Valley View Avenue requests variance to allow a

Deck to extend into his front yard 25í from the property line. Said variance is requested from Section 153.070(A) "..a minimum front yard setback of 35 feet" and Section 153.580(D) "An entrance hood, deck..may project six (6) feet into a required front yardÖ"

Mr. Burg said my house is only 29í 4" from the centerline of a paper street. The code was adopted in 1979. I moved in the houses in 1983 and in 1981 they requested a variance for their deck, which was 8 feet from the property line, and I am asking for seven feet.

Mr. Okum said we already have a variance on the site that approved a deck projected further than the applicant is requesting tonight. Why is he in here for the variance request. Mr. Lohbeck responded his deck is bigger than what was granted the first time.

Mr. Wilson said this was an odd salutation because we are talking about la house that faces no street. There is grass leading to a creek with large vegetation, so the people who live in front of him canít see his house. Personally I realize we have to have these ordinances but common sense should dictate what we do. His deck will face large vegetation; there is no traffic and I do not see a problem approving this variance and I will so move. Mr. Apke seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Wilson, Mr. Apke, Mr. Borden, Mr. Squires, Mr. Okum, Mr. Weidlich and Mrs. Huber. Variance was granted with seven affirmative votes.

  1. DISCUSSION
  2. Mr. Okum said Mr. Squires asked if I were going to swear in the applicants, and I do want to get some legal verbiage from our law directorís office. Quite frankly I think the swearing in would be done by the chairman or the clerk, which would be Mrs. Webb. We need to make decisions on how that will work.

    BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

    20 JUNE 2000

    PAGE EIGHT

    IX DISCUSSION - continued

    Mr. Okum said one of the most important things is that this is a public meeting and we want to make sure everyone in attendance has an opportunity to speak, and we want to make sure that they understand that they are swearing under oath. In some communities, they require that everyone that is going to be giving testimony sign the sheet and if they do not, they will not have the opportunity to address the board. Mr. Borden said that sounds reasonable. The only problem would be the person who arrives late and misses the opening statement and can be sworn in later.

    Mr. Wilson said I appreciate the Building Department staying on top of ordinances and zoning. I think it is important, but maybe there should be something in the new Zoning Code that says in a situation like Mr. Burgís, we might be able to waive the need for an ordinance. Mr. Squires responded I see what you are saying, but to get them to change and specify items would almost be impossible. So, it is generalized, and it is up to us to say this is a no brainer.

  3. ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Squires moved to adjourn and Mr. Apke seconded the motion. By voice vote, all voted aye, and the Board of Zoning Appeals adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

_____________________,2000 ________________________

David Okum, Chairman

 

 

______________________,2000 _________________________

Jane Huber, Secretary