Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

20 June 2006

7:00 p.m.


I.                     CALL MEETING TO ORDER


The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman David Okum.


II.                   ROLL CALL


Members Present:             Robert Emerson, Marjorie Pollitt, Bill Reichert,

Jim Squires, Robert Weidlich Jane Huber and Chairman Okum.



      Others Present:                  Richard G. Lohbeck, Inspection Supervisor


III.                  PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE




Mrs. Huber moved to approve and Mr. Squires seconded the motion.  By voice vote, all voted aye and the Minutes were approved unanimously.


V.                 CORRESPONDENCE


A.          Zoning Bulletin – May 10, 2006

B.          Zoning Bulletin – May 25, 2006

C.          Planning Commission Meeting Minutes – May 9, 2006


VI.               REPORTS


A.          Report on Council


Mr. Squires reported on the June Council meeting.  Council considered rezoning to PUD the southeast corner of East Kemper and Tri-County Parkway for the construction of a Chick Fil-A and approved the preliminary development plan for that restaurant. 


B.          Report on Planning Commission


Mr. Okum reported that the Glenmary Home Missioners requested changes to the Conditional Use Permit granted for their driveway.  They wish to narrow the driveway from 20’ to 15’ with flat surfaces on each side of the drive, reducing from two gates to one gate and the elimination of the lighting.  Planning heard comments from the community and the applicant and granted the request with limitations on the gate being a single gate nearest to Ray Norrish Drive which will only be activated by card key or access key from both sides.  There also are limitations on the drive entrance to prohibit anything over 8’-6” from going down the driveway, and they are placing a turn-around area so if someone needs to turn around at the gate, they can.   


Planning considered Garden Ridge, 11925 Commons Drive (former Great Indoors) which is a $12 million a year operation.   There were no building elevation changes, and signage was not considered but they had requested that we reduce the parking requirement from 567 to 510 spaces, and that was approved.





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Mr. Okum reported that there was a request for a Conditional Use Permit to allow a drive-through coffee shop (Java Jo’z) at 155 Northland Boulevard (previous Fed-Ex).   The building colors were limited to low luster except for their accent stripes, and there were some limitations on where those colors could be placed. 


Revision to the PUD to allow Jared Jewelers at 11711 Princeton Pike (former Wendy’s).  They will tear down the building and build a new upscale jewelry store.  Their main entrance will face the driveway access point (south of Wendy’s) but they will be treating all the other building elevations as if they were front elevations, so it will be a very attractive building and a nice addition there and Planning approved it.   We did not approve signage or landscaping. 


The final item was approval of the sign change for the freeway pylon sign on Commons Drive.   This is the sign below Dave & Buster’s sign, the big box that had The Great Indoors on it.  This was to change the facings and break it up to allow the retail center on Kemper Road to have the visibility to I-275, which was part of the PUD intent for the entire development.  That was approved with some considerations.






IX.               NEW BUSINESS


A.          Approval of variance to allow the construction of a 30’ x 60’ garage structure at 288 West Kemper Road.  Said variance is requested from Section 153.075(B) .."the garage shall have ..a maximum floor area of 700 s.f.”


Andy Bremanis, owner of 288 West Kemper Road said I would like to build a garage 30’ x 60’ with a height of 12 feet.  I need it to store all my lawn care equipment.


Mr. Lohbeck reported that the applicant is requesting a variance to construct a 30’ x 60’ garage (1800 s.f.).  Section 153.075(B) allows only one garage not exceeding 700 s.f.


The applicant has not indicated whether the proposed garage will replace the existing garage or is in addition to the existing garage.  If the proposed garage is in addition to the existing, then the board will need to consider a variance for the size of the proposed garage and for the two garages.


The only indication of design of the structure provided by the applicant is a photograph on a brochure for metal roofing and siding.  It should be noted that Section 153.073(B) limits accessory buildings to 16 feet in height.  It is likely that the structure shown may exceed 16 feet.  The applicant has not given any indication as to what practical difficulties require him to need 1800 s.f. garage.

Should the board choose to grant the requested variance, it should be pointed out to the applicant that an asphalt or concrete driveway will be necessary for access to the proposed garage.


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Mr. Bremanis said in terms of asphalt or concrete driveway, I was thinking about using crushed limestone.   Mr. Lohbeck reported that it is not an approved surface.


Mr. Bremanis responded I was wondering why because there is a guy across the street with a gravel driveway, and four houses down from there they have a far back garage and he doesn’t have any kind of path to his garage at all; it is grass.    


Mr. Lohbeck reported those were grandfathered in; it was constructed before the change in the Zoning Code.   Mr. Okum added the Zoning Code has been changed over the years; it went through a revision in 1998 and again in 2003.  We had a similar variance request a few years ago and that requirement was enforced.  That’s a lot of improved surface to get back to this building.


Mr. Okum opened the public hearing, asking those who wish to come forward to address the board.   No one came forward and he closed the public hearing. 


From the audience, Jacob Bremanis asked if it was too late.  Board members had no problem with it, and Mr. Okum swore him in.


Mr. Bremanis, father of Andy Bremanis said I think you had a question as to whether it would be the second garage.   The first garage has been torn down.  Mr. Lohbeck reported we issued a permit to construct a two-car garage.  He has to build that garage if this variance isn’t granted. 


Mrs. Huber moved to grant the variance and Mr. Squires seconded the motion. 


Mrs. Pollitt said I know the applicant and thought of excusing myself, but I know there are quite a few other people on the board who also know the applicant, and if we all excused ourselves there wouldn’t be anyone to vote on anything.    After giving it a lot of consideration, I believe I can be objective about it.  I am familiar with this house from a previous owner, and Mr. Bremanis has done a lot of recent remodeling, and the garage was torn down.


Mr. Bremanis said on the site plan, I wrote down that the garage was 150 feet from the house to the garage and then from the garage to the back fence.  I measured that yesterday, and it is 120 feet from the house and 130 from the back of the garage to the fence, and it would be six to 10 feet off the property line.  The 60 feet would be the length and 30 feet would be wide.  Mr. Okum commented the lot is 388 feet deep according to the auditor’s records.  Mrs. Huber stated it is over 400 feet.  Mrs. Pollitt added on the back end of that property there is probably a separate deed that is not listed.  In the 1960’s the people who lived in the area of the community center and Fields 5 and 6 were offered the opportunity to purchase a strip of land and that is on a separated registered piece of property.  So your record probably only pulled the original deed that the house is setting on.



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Mrs. Huber said I also know Andy; he is my next door neighbor, and I’m not going to excuse myself.   We all have almost acre lots on the north side of Kemper Road.  From most of our houses and garages, it is wasted land in the back.  If he had the Taj Mahal back there, I couldn’t see it and our neighbors wouldn’t be able to see it.  It is not cutting anybody’s vision or air supply.   This is a hard working boy who needs that to store his mowers and private cars. 


As far as the asphalt or cement surface for the driveway for that distance, to me it is ridiculous.  He does have a driveway that goes to what was his garage but I don’t see the need for that surface.


Mr. Weidlich asked the number of doors that would be on the 60-foot length.  Mr. Bremanis answered two garage doors and maybe one entry door.  Mr. Weidlich commented I understand you run a lawn care business; will you be using this for your personal vehicles also?   Mr. Bremanis said yes. 


Mr. Weidlich asked the materials he would use for the garage exterior, and Mr. Bremanis answered I believe it is metal, or it might be aluminum.   Mr. Weidlich commented your home was recently sided, and I thought you might use the same siding.  Mr. Bremanis responded no, but if I am allowed to have this I would have it the same color.


Mr. Reichert asked if the 12-foot height would be the top of the garage door or the top apex of the roof.  Mr. Bremanis responded I believe it is the top apex.  It’s not going to have that much of a peak.  I also might add that the guy across the street’s exceeds at least 25 feet.   I have a picture right here (showed picture).


Mr. Okum said the applicant has submitted a note from Louise Flynn and a picture of the garage at 291 West Kemper Road, which is 34’ x 30’. 


Mr. Bremanis added I have a few other pictures of pole barns on the same street.  Mr. Okum said they may be on the same list that we have.  In 1992 there was a large garage approved at 233 West Kemper Road.  It was 40’ x32’.  In 2002 there was a garage at 455 West Kemper Road that was 30’ x 40’.  In 2003 there was a 34’ x 30’ garage at 291 West Kemper Road (we just saw the photo).  In 1999 a 24’ x 36’ garage at 644 West Kemper was granted a variance.    Mrs. Huber indicated there was one garage she knew of that is a 30’ x 60’, but I don’t know the address.  Mr. Bremanis submitted two other pictures.  Mr. Okum reported that one picture looks like a detached home with two garages and a living space above it.   Mr. Bremanis reported they did not have addresses on their mail boxes, but they are right next door to each other.  Mr. Okum continued there is another picture of a garage that is three garage doors plus some space to the left and a fourth garage space that was added to the right.


 Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum said I understand your situation and I understand that you have more than an acre sized lot. 



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Mr. Okum added I am not overly excited about what is across the street from you.  As a matter of fact I think it was a big mistake, but that doesn’t set a precedent that should be approved again.  We have a history on this board, going back to 1992, of approximately four or five majorly oversized garages on Kemper Road.  That doesn’t necessarily indicate that a precedent has been established that it should be right.  Once you establish a precedent, you might as well change your code.  That is why I believe that at the last garage application that we considered, the applicant reduced the size down.  I know you have a beautiful home and have done a lot to it.  On the other hand, the tax record shows that the first floor space in your home is 728 s.f. and a half story living space of 493 s.f. which makes 1221 s.f. of living space.  You are asking for 1800 s.f. of garage space.   Proportionately that seems to me to be significant.


Mrs. Huber stated he just put a big addition on.  Mr. Bremanis added it has exactly doubled the size of our home.  It is a two-story addition.  Mr. Okum said so basically you are at 2,400 s.f. of living space now.   


Mr. Okum commented there was another homeowner who wanted to build a garage on his home, and he was doing a very similar thing to what you are doing.  He added extra garage space onto his home, incorporated it into the structure.  


I totally agree with Mrs. Huber; these are extremely deep lots, very unusual.   On the other hand, I still think 30’ x 60’ is a pretty significant structure.  In addition to that, if you were to try to get the building to be no higher than12 feet, your roof literally would be flat because of the width.  Physically there is no way you could do a 12-foot height. 


At this point I have not heard enough information as to why a 30’ x 60j’ garage would be appropriate for your property.  Mr. Bremanis responded I want to store all my lawn mowers, aerator, rollers, blowers and trimmers.  I want to store my car and a truck or two.  I have three employees who do not drive, and there might be an extra two or three cars a day which would be setting there.  I won’t leave any storage outside at all.  I won’t be doing any dumping, and customers won’t be coming to the business.


Mr. Okum commented home occupations are very difficult to deal with.  You are in a residential zoning which is a single family household district.  Commercial uses are not approved for that district.  We had to deny the photography study down the street his converting his garage into a photo shop for that very reason.


I understand what you are doing, but on the other hand what is to keep anybody along that strip from doing exactly the same thing on every parcel along there?  I don’t think that is the intent of that zoning district.


Mr. Bremanis commented the guy across the street stores all his equipment for his job in his, the trailer sets outside, the boat hangs outside the garage.  I wouldn’t have any things like that.


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Mr. Okum asked Mr. Lohbeck what accessory uses were allowed in that zoning district.  Mr. Lohbeck answered just home occupations.  Mr. Okum asked the description of home occupations.


Mr. Lohbeck read the description.  “Home occupation is any occupation, profession, use or activity which is customarily incidental to the principal residential use of the premise and is conducted by a resident occupant which does not alter the exterior of the property or affect the residential character of the neighborhood.”


Mr. Bremanis stated the building will be used just for storage that is all. 


Mr. Squires asked the applicant if the reason he needs the variance is to store the lawn equipment for his business.  Mr. Bremanis said that it was, and Mr. Lohbeck confirmed that this is allowed in that zoning district.


Mrs. Pollitt said given the type of renovations that this applicant has made to his home to stay in Springdale, I am sympathetic to his business.  My family has that type of business in Northern Kentucky and I know how that is. 


I am sympathetic to the point that at the garage at 291 West Kemper they do automotive work or welding work or some type of work that I have seen going on.  This garage is not for work; it is simply for storage.  I know there are other businesses in Springdale such as dog grooming where the patrons come to the house and that creates traffic in the neighborhood.    This won’t be happening here.  It will just be loading and unloading of equipment and getting out of there.


I definitely understand the need.  I am not sure about the 12-foot height because I think if you are building something and can go up to the 16-foot height and not have it visible from Kemper Road that is something you might look at so you could have a little more head room.  


I do understand that he has that huge piece of property and if you buy a property of that size, you want to be able to use it.  I applaud the applicant for his renovations and for wanting to stay in Springdale.  I think that is a real plus for this community. 


Mr. Bremanis commented I have been a resident for 33 years, and I work for the city in cutting the overgrown lawns.


Mr. Okum asked if he intended to build this building no closer to your property line than your existing home.  Mr. Bremanis answered it will be closer to the east property line.  It will be 6-10 feet off that property line, and my home is 10 feet off the property line. 






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Mr. Okum asked if it could be directly parallel with the setback lines of your existing house.  Mr. Bremanis responded it is better set there.  If I am going to drive back there to unload everything, I would like to have a little bit of room to turn around.   Also, the trees would be hiding it, and if you need me to plant trees, I could, but I don’t think from the street you would be able to see it, like you can across the street.   His garage looks better than his house.  Mr. Okum said I agree; I think the garage across the street is an atrocity.  Mr. Bremanis responded I wouldn’t say atrocity; it is just that the house doesn’t look as good as the garage.  Mr. Okum added I have had more negative comments about that than any other building that has been approved by this board in the years I have served on it.   Mr. Bremanis commented it doesn’t bother me.  It is just that it is so close to the street that you can’t miss it.   With mine, you could drive right by and not see it. 


Mr. Squires asked how he determined the 1800 s.f.  Mr. Bremanis answered I thought it was the largest allowed in Springdale.  Mr. Squires said it is 700 s.f.    Do you really need 1800 s.f.?  Mr. Bremanis answered yes, to store all my equipment.   Mr. Squires commented there is a nice looking gazebo back there; will that come down?  Mr. Bremanis answered yes, and so will the swing set.  Mr. Squires added and it is a pole barn without doors.  Mr. Bremanis answered it will have one entry door.   Mr. Squires said you would enter from Kemper Road going north and then east?    Mr. Bremanis answered I am not sure yet.  I was trying to get here to get the variance passed and then figure out where I’m going to put all the doors.


Mr. Reichert said the driveway goes past your home on the left hand side and terminates where the old garage used to be and you wanted to use that and extend it to the new one.  Your intent was to use gravel from that concrete to the new facility.   Again, it is supposed to be concrete or blacktop.


Mr. Reichert asked how far it would be from where the existing driveway stops to your new facility.  Mr. Bremanis answered 80 to 100 feet total. Asphalt and concrete would be very expensive, and with me bringing the trucks and lawnmowers in there, the concrete or asphalt would be cracking.  Crushed limestone would give a lot more support. 


Addressing the applicant, Mrs. Pollitt said if you are required to do some type of concrete or asphalt, would you consider moving it closer to your home so you don’t have quite as much to purchase, and would that have an effect on the board?   Mr. Bremanis answered I could but there are trees right there and those trees help block the view from the street.  Mrs. Pollitt commented I think that is very much appreciated.


Mr. Weidlich asked if he had calculated how many square feet you really need.  Mr. Bremanis answered from where I am renting space right now, it is 1800 to 2,000 s.f. 





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Mrs. Pollitt said years ago there was a man on Kemper Road who drove a tanker-type truck home at night.  He had the side of his garage  covered with shredded or cut tires.  Is that allowed?  Mr. Okum said back then there was no requirement for that.  


Mr. Reichert asked if we needed two variances, one for the property and one for the driveway, or do we want to incorporate it all into one.  Mr. Okum responded we would need a motion to amend to address the driveway issue.  We would need a motion to put restrictions on the variance, such as what will face Kemper Road, the distance from the house, the height of the building, building materials or any other conditions that are set on the variance.  So if there are any conditions that the board wishes to put on the variance, there would have to be a motion to amend.


Mr. Squires said we don’t need to consider the material on this board; we just need to consider the proper setbacks.   Mr. Okum responded the applicant has presented the material that he is intending to use.  We have requested other applicants to use masonry on building elevations for example and landscaping and trees to buffer. 


I would be remiss if I did not bring to the board’s attention that there have been other requests and variances have been approved with conditions.    For example the gentleman who put the five-car garage onto his home was required to put a masonry exposure on all of that garage.  Conditions on a variance are not inappropriate, but it is up to this board to do it. 


Let me state that I would not treat this applicant any differently from any other applicant who comes before this board.  I have to say that because I personally feel that this board has to be fair and balanced on how it treats all the residents of the community.  If you put conditions on any resident and you don’t put it on another the next time a resident comes in for a variance, a condition would be inappropriate if you feel that a condition is appropriate for any reason.


Mr. Squires asked if the applicant would consider submitting a detailed drawing showing materials on this structure with proper setbacks, exactly where it is going to be.  Mr. Bremanis answered I could have it drawn up if you like.   Mr. Squires asked the board if that would help so we wouldn’t need that many amendments to this variance.   I personally would like to see a drawing showing where it would be on the lot and the materials used and the height and width.  It would help. 


Mr. Bremanis said I am trying to get this up as quickly as I can, but if that is what it would take, I’ll do it.  Mr. Squires added I am just speaking for myself.


Mrs. Pollitt asked if his builder was planning on starting on the garage as soon as the addition is finished.   Mr. Bremanis answered he was if I was allowed to have this variance.  I am first priority for him. 



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Mrs. Pollitt continued if you came in with a detailed drawing showing the setbacks and a drawing from him with the proper height, where your doors are going to be and the material, could that be done?  Mr. Bremanis answered yes, if that’s what you need to help me out, that’s what I will do.  Mrs. Pollitt commented before you are turned down, I would rather see the board have the information in front of them to help them make a decision in your favor rather than not have the information and being turned down.


Mr. Reichert said if you got approval for the building tonight and nothing was addressed on the limestone versus gravel, you would have to come back next month anyway.


Mr. Bremanis commented it is just a month; it is not that big a deal.  Mr. Reichert if you would resubmit a drawing and have the treatment of the blacktop/concrete versus the alternative plan it would be very beneficial and get it done all at once.


Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum said do you want to ask us to table this to the next meeting to give you an opportunity to get more information to us?  Mr. Bremanis answered I think it would help me in the long run.  Mr. Okum continued I can’t speak for any of these members, but I think there is some indecision here.  I think they want to treat you and everyone fairly.   I’ve always felt that the more information, the better it is for the applicant and this board to be fair. 


On the other hand, if there is anybody on this board that has any personal feelings about size impervious surface area and the drive issues, they should express those now at this hearing so that this applicant knows before he comes back in their position.


I’ll speak to three things.  I think distance from the road makes a big difference to how I approach this. I think the amount of face that I see if I could see it from Kemper Road makes a big difference.   So by the garage being narrow to the street side, I am more favorable to it than if it were wide to the street side.    I think the garage doors being in the side of the garage and the Kemper Road side being treated artistically or architecturally is a positive.  Personally I think the building should be nestled behind your building and should be no closer because it is an overreach.  I don’t think your building should be any closer to your property line than your home.  That’s my position; I am not saying I am speaking for this board.


Whether the materials are metal or vinyl siding or aluminum, I don’t care as long as it isn’t a pink building.  I think those are things that are important.


To me the condition of the impervious surface concrete is not as critical because of the distance it is.  As long as we have an improved surface beyond your existing dwelling, I am okay with that.  I think if you do a compacted granular material, and it should be specified.  It shouldn’t be laid on top of the ground; it should be cut into the ground.  Mr. Bremanis commented it would be cut into the ground.   Mr. Okum added that type of thing should be on the drawings. 



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Mr. Okum said finally I will say that a 30’ x 60’ garage is 1800 s.f. and based on the records presented to us, this is the biggest garage that we would have in the community of Springdale.  I think you really ought to think that out.  The 30 foot width helps because you have an enormously long yard, 384 feet plus the extra 30 feet so you have a lot of depth.  To add that information in your presentation is important.    I want you to understand where I am coming from, and I would treat anybody in the community exactly the same way.


Mr. Bremanis asked how soon he would have to submit the plans.  Mrs. Webb said Friday July 7th.   Mr. Okum added we want to make sure that everybody has an opportunity to express themselves so you are clear on how they feel. 


Mr. Squires said you heard the chairman say that it would be the largest garage by far.  It’s almost 50% bigger than the existing one.  The chairman states that he had no problem with the compact surface leading from the end of your driveway into the garage.  I know it would cost more, but it would look a lot better if it could be asphalt or concrete if you would consider that, explore all the options.


Mrs. Pollitt said I’m sorry Mr. Squires, I don’t agree with you that t would look better if it was concrete; I think it would be much more noticeable.  He indicated that it wouldn’t hold up well, especially asphalt.   If you put a concrete surface from his existing floor pad of the garage it would look very odd going back there.  I think it would be less noticeable if it was something imbedded into the ground.  I want to make sure that you understand all the details of getting all the specifications that the chairman is asking for.  Actually measure from the edge of your pad where you removed your you want him to measure to the front edge of the proposed building or to the garage doors that will be facing west?


Mr. Okum responded I’m not being specific on the footage. He has indicated 120 feet from the rear of addition to the front of this garage.  That’s all the information I need.  As far as how many lineal feet of granular surface he’s going to put in, that’s up to him to deal with.  He’ll have to deal with it in good weather and bad weather.  You probably would need some kind of concrete surface pads outside the doors.


On a construction basis, concrete is a lot stronger than asphalt or granular.  It takes a lot to get the granular material into a compacted position so it is stronger than concrete.  But you are bringing in tractors and light weight equipment which is a lot different from a roadway. 


Mr. Reichert asked if the floor of the new building would be concrete, and Mr. Bremanis confirmed that it would be.


Mr. Okum asked if any other board member had any suggestions for the applicant.  No one did.  Mr. Okum asked if any of the board members felt differently from what has been expressed this evening.  No one spoke. 


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Mrs. Huber moved to table this to the July meeting at the request of the applicant.  Mr. Squires seconded the motion.  By voice vote, all voted aye and the item was tabled to July 18th.


X.                 DISCUSSION


XI.               ADJOURNMENT


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


                                                            Respectfully submitted,




_____________________,2006   __________________________

                                                            David Okum, Chairman




_____________________,2006   __________________________

                                                            Jane Huber, Secretary