Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

15 July 1997

7:00 p.m.



The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Acting Chairman James Squires.


Members Present: Thomas Schecker, David Okum, Councilwomen

Boice and Kathy McNear, and Acting Chairman Squires.

Members Absent: Chairman William Mitchell

Secretary Barbara Ewing (arrived at 7:03 p.m.)

Others Present: Richard Lohbeck, Building Inspector


Mrs. Boice moved to adopt and Mr. Okum seconded the motion. By voice vote,

all present voted aye and the Minutes were adopted with five affirmative votes.


A. Planning Commission Meeting Minutes - 10 June 1997


A. 6/30/97 Letter from Bill McErlane to Robert Fondong, Tri-County Pontiac

Mr. Squires stated that Mr. Fondong has requested removal from the agenda.

B. Report on Council Activities - Marge Boice - no report

C. Report on Planning Commission - David Okum

Mr. Okum stated we had the preliminary plan approval of the proposed Target Store to be located at Century Boulevard and East Kemper Road. This was a Planned Unit Development request for that site, and I recommend that the board review the minutes of that meeting; it was very lengthy and was approved 6-1 and referred to Council for their consideration. There will be a Public Hearing to allow comments from the community.

Mr. Okum continued we also had the final plan approval of Calvary Pentecostal Church and School at 11970 Kenn Road. This was previously tabled and was approved 7-0. There were several items to be worked out. Two items for variance are on the agenda this evening. Overall it was a very good plan, a good use of the site. They have done a real good job with landscaping, lighting and building elevations.

Mr. Okum stated we also had final plan approval of the proposed new Showcase Cinemas at 12064 Springfield Pike. That also is on the agenda this evening for variances regarding building materials and sloped roof requirement.

Mr. Okum added the addition to The Northland Group at 161 Northland Boulevard (former Ground Round) was tabled at the request of the applicant.



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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.


A. Tri-County Pontiac, 150 Northland Boulevard requests variance to allow a 255.5 s.f. painted window sign. Said variance is requested from Section 153.092(D)(1)(b) "Maximum gross area of signs = (W x 1.5) + 40 s.f." (Existing signs = 535 s.f.; Allowable = 340 s.f. per Variance 22 1990).

Mr. Squires stated that has been removed from the agenda. I think all of us noticed that the window sign that was there is no longer there.

Mrs. Boice asked Mr. Lohbeck if they were totally aware that they were out of conformance, and if they were aware that we are not going to tolerate that again? Mr. Lohbeck said I presume so, since they had to go through the Board of Zoning Appeals. Mrs. Boice continued by not showing up at the last meeting they had the benefit of keeping that sign up because everything had to stop when we tabled. I would hope that the City can convey to them that this board, and I think I am speaking pretty much for all of us, found that intolerable. Itís a neat way to get your 30 days advertising if you choose not to show up at the meeting. Tonight the sign has been removed so they are not here again. I would hope the City would get a message to them that we are keeping an eye on that, and we donít like what they did.

Mr. Squires added Mrs. Boice speaks for me on that. I find it rather intolerable that he basically used us to get that anniversary sale sign there. He was totally out of conformance with it and I think he knew it. There are other businesses and citizens in Springdale that work very hard with us to stay in compliance with signage. We need to get that message to him.


A. Maple Knoll Village, 11199 Springfield Pike requests variance to allow the display of an 18" x 24" sign each Thursday and Friday ("Maple Knoll Smokeless Bingo"). Said variance is requested from Section 153.066 "Accessory signs in..PF-2..Districts..shall be designated, accordance with the regulations provided in this section".

Harold Burkholder, Center Director of Maple Knoll Center for Older Adults stated we are a not for profit organization serving seniors in the six community area. The biggest fund raiser we have is the Smokeless Bingo; it is probably a quarter of the budget. Since the Indiana casinos our Bingo has suffered quite a bit.

We are requesting to put an 18" x 24" real estate sign up for four hours each day before the Bingo starts, on Thursday put it up at 9:00 and take it down when the Bingo starts. On Friday we have evening Bingo that starts at 7:00 so we would put that up in the afternoon and take it down when it starts. People going up and down Route 4 can see that we have a Bingo and it will be a cheap form of advertising and not look too bad out there. Mrs. Boice said could we be assured that the takedown would be done promptly. Mr. Burkholder indicated that they would do that.

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Mr. Okum wondered where the sign would be located. Mr. Burkholder answered we have a brick wall in front of Maple Knoll Center for Older Adults; we would put the sign in front of it so people could see it in both directions. It would be on Maple Knollís property.

Mr. Okum asked how long he anticipated needing to use this sign, and Mr. Burkholder responded if it is effective, we would like to continue using the sign all the time. Mr. Okum continued if this board were to give you a nine month variance, that would give you until summer of next year. Would you have any problem with that? Mr. Burkholder said no, then I could see if the sign were effective.

Mr. Okum moved to grant the variance for a nine month period commencing July 15, 1997. Upon expiration of that, the applicant can come before the board for further consideration if necessary. Mrs. Boice seconded the motion. Mrs. McNear suggested including the times the sign would be up. Mr. Okum said it would be four hours per day and taken down just as the Bingo is starting. I will so amend my motion and Mrs. Boice reseconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Okum, Mrs. Boice, Mrs. McNear, Mr.Schecker, Mrs. Ewing and Mr. Squires. The variance was granted for a period of nine months with six affirmative votes.

B. Daniele Rountree, 440 Cloverdale Avenue requests variance to allow the construction of an addition to her residence. said variance is requested from Section 153.023(D)(4)(a) "Front yards must be at least 35 feet deep" and 153.034 "The width of the side yard on the side street shall be not less than the required front yard setback for such side street." (19í to house and 16í to porch from Cloverdale and 32í to Valley View)

Mrs. Rountree stated we are in the process of putting an addition on the house to improve it and the neighborhood. Mrs. Boice asked if she were under construction at the present time, and Mrs. Rountree said no. Mr. Lohbeck reported that the required front yard is 35 feet and it is 29 feet to the right of way and 19 feet to the property line. The side yard is 32 feet. and the requirement is 35 feet. Mrs. Boice said so we are looking at three feet in the side yard and six feet in the front yard.

Mr. Squires said I commend you on this construction. It will be a considerable improvement there. Mrs. Boice wondered if the addition would match up with the present dwelling and Mrs. Rountree answered that it would. Mr. Squires commented your house is oblique to the lot so you have to go to the front; you donít have much room in the rear at all.

Mr. Okum commented your front porch will extend further and have a roof on top of it. Is that in conformance, or should it be 26 feet? If it didnít have a roof on it, it wouldnít, so we really are at 26 feet versus 35 feet. Will this house project out or be further than the other homes? Mr. Lohbeck answered it would project out. Mr. Okum continued so if we were to look at the parcel to the right, the northeast on Valleyview, how much further will this addition project? What is the setback on those homes? Mr. Lohbeck answered 35 feet. Mr. Okum continued so the existing right corner of that home is probably consistent with the property to the Valley View side, looking from Cloverdale. The existing right front corner would be even with the left front corner of the house on Valleyview. Mr. Lohbeck stated on the left side, the west side it would be protruding out more than the property to the east.

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Mr. Schecker said there really is not another house on Vallyeview going north; the next adjacent house is actually on Dimmick. There is nothing that faces on Valleyview, so you really donít have a basis of comparison there.

Mr. Schecker continued on the other hand the property west of you on Cloverdale, did I perceive that you are setting a little down and it is up? There is quite a bit of brush there so you really canít tell. Your property is isolated by a fair amount of brush on all sides. You really lose that perspective of line of sight on Cloverdale to the next property. When you come into Cloverdale coming east to west, when this house is here it will jut out and be quite prominent. On the other hand, with the shrubbery the way it is, and given the property restrictions you have here, I donít feel quite so critical. Itís not like you are looking at a row of other houses.

Ms. Rountree commented if you are looking down Cloverdale, all the houses are not even. Mr. Schecker responded and besides that your house is further sheltered from that whole row.

Mrs. McNear commented the west side is covered by the brush; you canít see it as you are coming down Cloverdale because the road veers off to the left as you are going towards Route 4. The house is kind of nestled down in the valley. I donít think this is going to be a problem with line of sight or it being overpowering even though it is a small lot. I think it will be fine; it looks it will be a nice addition.

Mr. Okum said it was not my intent to sway the board into a no vote, but I think the more information we have and how it sets pertaining to the other sites makes for a better decision. On the other hand we have other non conforming sites in that neighborhood that are a lot closer to the street than this home will be, so I have no objection to this as it is presented.

Mrs. Boice moved to grant the variance for both front and side yards and Mr. Schecker seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mrs. Boice, Mr. Schecker, Mr. Okum, Mrs. McNear, Mrs. Ewing and Mr. Squires. Variance was granted with six affirmative votes.

C. The Northland Group, 161 Northland Boulevard requests variance to allow the construction of a 57 s.f. pole sign. Said variance is requested from Section 153.092(E)(3) "..the maximum size of any face of a pole sign shall not exceed 50 square feet in area."

At the request of the applicant, this item was removed from the agenda.

D. Jerome & Doreen Monson, 12158 Audie Court requests variance to allow the construction of a 12í x 12í barn. Said variance is requested from Section 153.036 "A separate accessory building or structure, other than a garage, shall not exceed 120 s.f. in area."

Mrs. Monson said we want to put up a 12í x 12í barn in our back yard for storage. The maximum allowed is 10í x 12í and we are asking for the two extra feet. We do have the back yard to support that (she showed the dimensions of the yard). The location would be in the far corner of the property behind the church parking lot. I got all my neighbors to sign the application. We just donít have enough storage.

Mr. Okum wondered if the barn location was the least conspicuous to her next door neighbor, and Mrs. Monson answered my next door neighbor doesnít have a problem with it. The back of the barn will be facing the church parking lot. In the winter you can see it when the leaves fall, but in the summer you canít.

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VIII D DOREEN MONSON 12158 AUDIE COURT - 12í X 12í BARN - continued

Mr. Okum asked the building materials and Mrs. Monson answered the building will be painted and shingled. Mr. Okum wondered if she had any other outdoor buildings on her site and she does not.

Mr. Schecker moved to grant the variance and Mrs. McNear seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr.Schecker, Mrs. McNear, Mrs. Boice, Mr. Okum, Mrs. Ewing and Mr. Squires. Variance was granted with six affirmative votes.

D. Calvary Pentecostal Church, 11970 Kenn Road requests variance to allow a setback for the south building at their new church and school. Said variance is requested from Section 153.064(C)(2).

Reverend Norman Paslay stated I will defer to our building chairman, Dr. Frank Mink to present our request in more detail and answer any questions.

Dr. Mink reported the south property line is against the Ohio Department of Transportation right of way for future ramp. We have been to the Planning Commission and we need a 30 foot variance to the minimum 50 foot requirement because the MSD sewer runs in a t along our property and we have nowhere else to build. If we turn it any further it would go into a natural drainage area that has several large pipes that are MSDís. MSD has made it a necessity to have that variance. I believe Planning and the Building Department recommended that this variance be granted.

Mr. Okum reported this has been through our city planner, the Building Department and Planning Commission. It got overwhelming approval from Planning conditioned upon the Board of Zoning Appealsí approval for the variances. Mrs. Boice just asked me about the lockout gate onto Cantrell Drive. That gate is to be locked. It is an emergency usage access so their entrance will be Kenn Road permanently. Mrs. Boice wondered what would be considered an emergency and Mr. Okum answered our Fire Department or Police Department; they will have a key.

Mr. Okum continued the applicants did a nice job of landscaping. The light bollards are very low to allow ample lighting for parking but not bleedoff into the neighborsí properties. The storage building which will be a youth activities building ultimately, was originally proposed to be a metal building with shingled roof and they have changed it into a masonry brick veneer building, the same as the church. That is nestled into the tree line, so it is a nice complement to that site.

Dr. Mink added you cannot have any structure over the sewer line. MSD made it very clear that there will be no variance for that, so we have to design around the site to maximize the natural beauty and still have access to the back 15 acres. The only way we can do it is cut down that setback by 20 feet.

Mrs. McNear wondered if running that close to the state right of way would cause any problems, and Dr. Mink answered we have talked to ODOT, and they donít have a problem. They will allow absolutely no grading, not even the movement of equipment onto their right of way. The fence cannot come down, but up to that they do not have a problem. Mrs. McNear continued so if they do put the exit ramp there it would end at the fence or closer to the expressway. Dr. Mink answered there is still plenty of room, but there would be a fairly large incline. They have to have enough room to put that in, and they do. Our buildings donít affect it; we had several discussions with them.

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Mrs. McNear commented it looks like a very attractive building and certainly will be an improvement over the traffic noise and congestion that 150 houses would have produced.

Mr. Schecker moved to grant the variance and Mrs. McNear seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Schecker, Mrs. McNear, Mr. Okum, Mrs. Boice, Mrs. Ewing and Mr. Squires. Variance was granted with six affirmative votes.

F. Showcase Cinemas, 12064 Springfield Pike requests variance to allow the construction of a new 20-screen cinema. Said variance is requested from Section 153.193(5)(i) (1) & (2) "40% of at least two faces of the building shall contain brick and/or stone. Brick color shall generally be earth tones.." and "For at least 50% of the site coverage of any structure, a pitched residential roof form shall be required."

Peter Brady, Vice President of Construction stated this is a major complex with 20 screens, 5200 seats and approximately 103,000 square feet. Most importantly it is stadium style seating which is state of the art. This helps us maximize the screen so it is almost wall to wall and floor to ceiling and gives you the optimum sight line from any place in the theater.

Mr. Brady continued the auditorium is approximately 70% stadium style seating and 30% on the sloped floor. The risers are 18 inches high; the majority of the theaters have 12 or 14 inch risers but this is 18 inch, the optimum. It costs us more to build, but we feel in this community we are happy to do that because this is going to be our number one theater, and the first of many that we will be building.

Mr. Squires commented I can see a problem if all those shows let out at the same time. Mr. Brady stated there will be staggered show times so it will not be a problem.

Mr. Schecker commented in reading the Planning Commission Minutes and Mr. McErlaneís comments about the sloped roof requirement, technically what is the situation; is this is a requirement in what normally would be zoned residential? Mr. Lohbeck reported it is a standard of the Route 4 Corridor Study to have all sloped roofs. Mr. Schecker wondered if there was any structural reason for it, and Mr. Lohbeck indicated that there wasnít. Mrs. Boice added it was more for aesthetic reasons, but I would think this is a little bit unique; I canít imagine sloped roofs on this.

Mr. Okum advises me that they will be doing heavy landscaping in the area, and I think that will be absolutely great. Mr. Brady showed the landscaping plan stating that there is a variety of materials and we met all the requirements and then some.

Mrs. McNear asked the square footage of the Kings Island cinema and Mr. Brady answered 12 screens and 2400 seats with approximately 52,000 square feet. Mrs. McNear commented I guess this one will be double that size. Mr. Brady stated zoning requirements state that the preferred parking area in this area should be either in the back or on the side. We also have parking in the front but we have treated it with a lot of plantings and shrubbery. Most importantly we have come up with a special system. We irrigate all the islands with a transmitter so the manager can call up the zone and water it. That way we are sure that all our landscaping will be kept up since we have invested so much money in plants. There is about 18,000 linear feet of curbing there which we have for the islands. We want this theater to be the number one theater in Ohio.

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Mrs. McNear commented the Kings Island facility is phenomenal, and this looks like it will be even more so. Also, I have a request. I frequent the Tri-County location often, and I would like to see more garbage cans for patrons when they leave. Mr. Towey said that will be taken care of.

Mr. Okum said I want to compliment Showcase Cinemas and their designers and architects. This has gone through a lot of review and they have made the best of what could have been the worst situation. Certainly they could have come to the City with a very stripped down facility and not done much to better the site. Mr. Towey indicated that this was built 20 years ago as a keystone to their facilities nationwide. They are looking at this one as another keystone for their cinemas. He also indicated that this was one of their most successful cinemas in the country.

They have done a fine job with the landscaping, they have put a water detention retention facility in the site never had before. If you notice the green area in the left hand corner, there is a huge tree grove that they were able to preserve and still get their water detention in behind the tree grove. They have done creative engineering on the site and a good use of the land. The building is set further back; this is not where the existing building is. It is a staged construction; they will build 10 first and the lobby area and then after the first 10 open they will go into the second 10 and take the old cinema down. I want to compliment you.

Mr. Brady stated the zoning requirement states that we have 40% on two sides but we put 20% on a all four sides.

Mr. Okum continued they could have come in with a split face block type facing; they came in with regular brick facing and drivitt system which is colored similar to the brick to blend.

Mrs. McNear asked where the new marquee would be and Mr. Brady answered we are working on that right now. We want to make sure we donít encumber the theater at all and we need to make sure that we have the proper visibility but we donít want it to be problematic in term of Route 4. We will do a complete sight line analysis, determine the proper location and submit that. Mr. Okum added that was not part of the Planning Commission review and recommendation.

Mr. Squires asked the types of trees. Mr. Guccione answered one of the comments from Planning was that there was a good variety of plant materials. Iíll read off from the plant list: seedless ash, shade master honey locust, October glory red maple, weeping willows in the detention basin and little leaf lindens. We have a mix of evergreens, Austrian pines, Norway spruce and white pines. Under the ornamental category, we have cherries, flowering crabs, maples and birch and there are various shrubs. Mr. Squires wondered what would be in the tree grove and Mr. Guccione answered we will maintain the existing vegetation. There are large trees there and we will work to save them.

Mr. Okum moved to grant the variance and Mrs. Boice seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Okum, Mrs. Boice, Mr. Schecker, Mrs. McNear, Mrs. Ewing and Mr. Squires. Variance was granted with six affirmative votes.



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G. Michaels Arts & Crafts, 425 East Kemper Road requests variance to allow existing signs to remain on their storefront. Said variance is requested from Section 153.135(A) "Wall or panel signs..shall be set back from wall line for a distance of at least 3 feet..."

Mr. Peter Houser of North American Signs said part of our warehouse space has been allotted to a new store, The Woodworkers Store. Everything came in within the square footage allowed and was fine except the new lease line extends over the old sign band. The "ies" of the word supplies hangs over that new sign band. Michaels sign is situated on a mansard style roof that is centered over the Michaels entrance. The Woodworkers Store sign is off to the side. Unfortunately if we would have to move the existing Michaels sign it would wreck the proportionality of the existing structure.

Mrs. Boice said when you look at that and the way the Michaels sign is centered, to have Michaels shift would be quite an expense and also to take it off center would not add to a anything. I donít have a bit of problem with it. To take Michaels off center on that roof as it is now I think would look very bad. Leaving it as it is and adding Woodworkers Store as they are proposing is the logical thing to do and if there is no further discussion, I would make a motion in that direction.

Mr. Okum wondered if they met all the other sign requirements and Mr. Houser answered that they did. Mr. Okum wondered if they were leasing from Michaels, and Mr. Houser answered I represent Michaels and I believe Woodworkers is subleasing from Michaels but I am not absolutely certain.

Mr. Okum said since you represent Michaels, is there any way we can get Michaels to repaint the facade behind your sign? Al the old lettering is still showing on your canopy. Mr. Houser commented that might be dirt from whatever sign was there. I would be more than happy to pursue that with Michaels Real Estate and the Russ Group, the owners of the property. Mr. Okum commented that whole mall is deplorable; you are the corner seen most often, so anything you can do with your canopy we certainly would appreciate. Mr. Houser said I noticed it and agree with you. What I will do is Fed Ex this picture when I get back to our contact at Michaels Real Estate so h e is aware of the condition of Michaels store front. Iíll also inform them of your comments.

Mr. Schecker said the Michaels sign on the north side, are you doing anything with that? Mr. Houser answered we are taking that sign down and sharing it. We have a common hallway that we had put in for Woodworkers in order for them to have two egresses. That will allow us to maintain a sign on that elevation and also for them to have a sign and still be within the allowable square footage.

Mrs. Boice moved to grant the variance and Mrs. McNear seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mrs. Boice, Mrs. McNear, Mr. Okum, Mr. Schecker, Mrs. Ewing and Mr. Squires. Variance was granted with six affirmative votes.


Mrs. McNear complimented Mr. Squires on a well run meeting tonight.

Mrs. Boice said I have a question to ask Mr. Lohbeck. In the early part of the meeting, I came down rather hard on Pontiac. Would it be more impressive to send a copy of that portion of our minutes, or is there some way other than verbally that this can be transmitted to them?


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IX DISCUSSION - continued

Mrs. Boice added we are very distressed about this and we felt they had a hammerlock on you people. They accomplished what they wanted to accomplish, and I want to get it across to them that their little game stinks and we are not going to play any more. Mr. Lohbeck said I will take it up with Bill. Mrs. Boice said I would appreciate that. Maybe you need do run it by the legal people; I donít want to put the Building Department in any jeopardy, but I think who at they did was a two bit trick and I donít like it. Does anybody else feel as strongly about this as I do?

The other members agreed, and Mrs. McNear said maybe we need to put this into our rules, because we are going to start seeing more of this. We might say you can get us once like this and the second time it would be an automatic fine if you fail to show up at the meetings. I think there has to be some retribution if they just work around the rules. Mrs. Boice commented I think this letter that Mr. McErlane sent out in which he stated It is highly recommended that you attend the meeting but in the event that you are not there the Board may make a decision in your absence. I think that pretty well handles that and the Building Department is going to use this as a standard form.

Mrs. McNear added I think we have to take that beyond that too because there will be more than one occurrence. Just because they put it up there and are not in compliance, they sometimes have as much as 30 days before they have to come before us, so they still can get in that special sale and there are no consequences.

Mr. Okum wondered if they are entitled to the delay. First of all they are in violation to the code. The Building Official should be able to enforce the Code, tell them to take the sign down apply for a variance and bring it to the Board. In my opinion you should be able to enforce the immediate removal of the sign and then bring it to us.

Mr. Lohbeck stated there have been occasions with businesses where I gave them a notice of violation to file an application for a permit and we donít issue it because of a variance needed. I write up another one and give them time to get their variance papers in.

Mr. Okum said do we really need to give them that time? Mr. Lohbeck answered we have to give them the right to get a variance. Mrs. Boice said if they already have it up is it within your power to tell them to take it down until they get a variance? Mr. Lohbeck reported with all these painted signs, I gave them so much time to get a permit. If they didnít comply I gave them until the next meeting to get the paperwork in for a variance.

Mr. Okum said they have the right to apply for a variance to put up a sign

but once it is put up, my feeling is they are instantaneously in violation. They do not have a right to have a variance to have that sign. Mr. Lohbeck commented this window sign enforcement is sort of new, and Mr. Okum added I think we are learning.

Mr. Schecker commented that is not a lot different from someone putting up a shed and we do give them the courtesy of not making them tear it down before we vote on it. This is a new enforcement policy but I do think that if the issue is not settled, we should settle that issue and not let it carry forward.

Mrs. Boice said after this situation, I would like to see the Building Department have the authority to make them take it down and then allow them to come in for a variance. I would like to see us do that on the temporary window signs.

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Mrs. McNear moved for adjournment and Mr. Okum seconded the motion. By voice vote, all present voted aye, and the meeting was adjourned at 8:18 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,



___________________,1997 ___________________________

James Squires, Acting Chairman



___________________,1997 ___________________________

Barbara Ewing, Secretary