Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

18 July 2000

7:00 p.m.


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


  4. Members Present: Councilman Robert Wilson, Robert Apke, Robert Weidlich, David Okum, Fred Borden and Jane Huber

    Members Absent: James Squires

    Others Present: Richard Lohbeck, Inspection Supervisor

    Mr. Okum stated that Mr. Squires phoned and indicated that he had undergone some surgery and is rehabilitating fine but will not be able to be here this morning.

  6. Mr. Apke said on Page 4 it has me answering myself; I believe that was Mr. Naugle. Mr. Wilson moved for approval and Mr. Borden seconded the motion. All present voted aye, and the corrected Minutes were approved with six affirmative votes.


    1. Zoning Bulletin – June 10, 2000
    2. Zoning Bulletin – June 25, 2000
    3. Planning Commission Meeting Minutes 13 June 2000


    1. Report on Council Activities

Mr. Wilson stated that Council reviewed the 2001 Budget, and tomorrow night we will have the presentation of the landscaping awards and a presentation from the Hamilton County Parks.

B. Report on Planning Commission

Mr. Okum stated McSwain Mfg., 189 Container Place requested approval of placement of modular office trailer on the property -–this was approved for nine months. Those types of uses are permitted in the GI District.

Northking Properties requested rough-grading approval for the Pictoria Island, which is now called Pictoria Corporate Center. There was a change from the original submission regarding the water area between the two office buildings. There is a sanitary sewer there and they will be landscaping it.



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Mr. Okum added that if the development is done the way it has been presented, it will be spectacular. It will be landscaped beyond any development in Springdale.

There was some discussion regarding setbacks to the buildings. The parking garage is very close to a setback along North Commerce Way, on the dead end area. It is still an issue and they are working on making adjustments to that.

The first office tower became 8 stories and the parking garage became 7. The garage will mimic the high rise so they should blend very well. What you will see from the interstate are the buildings. What you would see from North Commerce Way and the access into the center would be the garages, so they are very concerned about how those are placed. Rough grading was approved by all members present (6).

Request for approval of color change at Sears, 300 East Kemper Road which was approved, and a color change request for Longhorn Steakhouses and with some discussion that also was approved. There also was an approval of the dedication plats on Tri-County Parkway. The buffer lighting zone is getting some final tuning. We got interesting information on the number of light poles necessary for a parking field and the height required. With a couple of extra poles you can light a larger field with a much lower height pole. They recommend bringing the poles down to 22 feet.


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


    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 on the clipboard at the rear of the room, take your place at the podium, state your name and address and state your facts as they are pertinent to the subject before this board. As this is a Public Hearing, being sworn in prior to giving testimony is required by law.

    Therefore, anyone interested or who may be interested in testifying on any matter on the agenda this evening needs to be sworn in at this time.

    At this time, please stand up, raise your right hand and repeat after me:

    I, (state your name) do solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole

    truth and nothing but the truth so help me God."

    Please be seated.


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    Mr. Okum said be advised that anyone who was not standing and sworn in cannot testify unless you request the Chair to be sworn in when you come up to the podium.

    Additionally, all testimony and discussion relative to said variance is recorded. It is from this recording that our minutes are taken.

    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." (tabled 6/20/00)

Thomas Cook, Sales Manager said Mr. Naugle is out of town on business and asked me to represent him.

Mr. Okum wondered about the lack of a written authorization by Mr. Naugle, adding it is at this board’s discretion whether we hear the testimony. The difficulty is he will be making a decision representing Mr. Naugle. Mr. Borden suggested making a decision contingent upon the approval of Mr. Naugle. Mr. Okum said we could make a motion conditional upon the owner’s acceptance; otherwise it would be denied. Mr. Cook said if it is a problem, you can table it for another month. Board members indicated that Mr. Cook should testify.

Thomas Cook, 11 Pinehurst Court, Fairfield Ohio said after the discussion last month, it was obvious that the board was not happy with the trailers. The owner found other trailers which you have copies of, pictures and a letter saying that if necessary he would agree to help the appearance. Secondly, the owner of Delhi Garden Center indicated that he would not challenge the short-term use of trailers over the next several months; you have a copy of his letter stating that.

Based on last month’s meting and the research that he did and alternative solutions he came up with, we would like to present those as an alternative to the current situation and ask that you approve that on a temporary basis.

Mr. Okum asked the time period requested, and Mr. Cook answered he didn’t give me guidelines, but I would think the remainder of the year would be sufficient for us to take care of the problem.

Mr. Okum asked if anyone in the audience wished to speak; no one came forward.

Mr. Weidlich commented you show two different types of trailers, one 40 foot and one 20 foot. How many of each of those would you need? Mr. Cook answered he would like two 20 foot trailers




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Mr. Wilson commented we talked about the square footage per employee and looked at it as a pretty good sized building, and the consensus was that with a ittle bit of reorganization, you could very well put what you have outside in those trailers inside. I thought, obviously erroneously, that Mr. Naugle would consider doing that rather than this option. All you are doing is putting a prettier trailer in the same spot. When I suggested he look at other alternatives, I was hoping he would find room in the building . I find it hard to beleive that with reorganization there would not be room in there to accommodate your needs. I don’t feel comfortable with a trailer period, especially when you are talking another five months. The trailers were there a year before we found out, and it has been another two to three months to get to this point. You want to go from three to two; they are prettier, but they are still trailers. Now we are looking at almost two years, and it is not acceptable.

Mr. Cook responded in order to make room for that, we would have to haul out a lot of stuff. The space is pretty well used and allocated. We have three rooms filed with parts, two rooms with stock inventory, a room with empty boxes for demos and floor models, a seminar area, an administrative area. There are some unused desks, but to make room for files, we would have to remove those desks, which are full.

Mr. Wilson said I believe there was one trailer with used furniture in it. I assume you have gotten rid of that. Mr. Cook answered some of it. Mr. Wilson asked if they could move the desks, put in shelving and utilize that space, possibly eliminating one trailer and looking to eliminating the other one in short order. Mr. Cook answered it would be technically feasible but we would have an equal number of materials that we would have to find room for. There are probably six desks, half of which are loaded with other files.

Mr. Apke said we received an addendum in which Mr. Naugle stated that you would only use the trailers for the next several months until converting to an alternate solution. What is the alternate solution?

Mr. Cook answered Mr. Naugle is hoping to get our manufacturers vendors to agree to let us store these materials off site. The whole problem is we have to have immediate access. We are trying to get the vendors to agree that it is an unreasonable request so we can store off site. Mr. Apke said but if they would not agree, you still would have the same problem.

Mr. Borden commented I am disappointed that the third trailer with the furniture is still there. If you really need the trailer, what I would consider is one 20-foot trailer for three to six months.

Mr. Cook responded I would accept that. I am speaking for Mr. Naugle if that would get approval, I would go for that.

Mr. Okum added I think it should stipulate that if it is not accepted by the owner Mr. Naugle, it is denied. Mr. Wilson also suggested that it include the amount of time the trailer would be allowed to be there.


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Mrs. Huber said you can’t see the trailers because of the building. The man has agreed to do anything to try to keep his business in Springdale. I thought our ultimate goal was to keep good tenants in Springdale. I would go along with these new trailers, but I want people to be aware that there are other things in Springdale that are as bad as and out in the open.

Mr. Lohbeck reported that the trailers at 111 Merchant Street are construction trailers. GE is altering two of their buildings and they are storing their fixtures in there until the work is completed. We are aware of it; it is temporary during the project.

Mr. Borden asked if she had a recommendation, and Mrs. Huber answered I think we should allow the man to use this newer form of a trailer because I’d like to see them stay in Springdale.

Mr. Wilson said I agree that we are trying to retain good tenants and Mr. Naugle and his company are good tenants. On the other hands, there are certain guidelines we must adhere to. We weren’t aware that the trailers were there for a year, and in a sense we shouldn’t penalize the company, but we have to deal with the situation.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Borden asked if one 20-foot trailer were sufficient. Mr. Cook answered he thought so because the design would lend itself to file boxes being stored in there. We can stack some up in the office to a certain degree.

Mr. Borden moved to approve the variance to allow one 20-foot trailer for the period of six months or until January 1, 2001, contingent upon approval of the owner, Mr. Naugle. If he doesn’t approve it, the variance request would be denied.

Mr. Apke seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Borden, Mr. Apke, Mr. Weidlich, Mr. Okum and Mrs. Huber. Mr. Wilson voted no, and the variance was granted with five affirmative votes.

Mr. .Borden wondered how much time Mr. Naugle would have to clear out the old trailers. Mr. Okum suggested bringing the motion back to the floor to include the date the old trailers must be moved. Mr. Wilson moved to bring the matter up again and Mr. Borden seconded the motion.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Wilson asked how soon they could clear out those trailers and have them off site. Is two weeks, or August 1st realistic? Mr. Cook answered I would like to request three weeks, but I would agree to two weeks.

Mr. Wilson suggested that the trailers be moved by Monday August 7th and so moved to amend the motion. Mr. Borden seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Borden, Mr. Apke, Mr. Weidlich, Mr. Okum, and Mrs. Huber. Mr. Wilson voted no. Amended motion was passed with five affirmative votes.




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    1. Stuart B. Buchanan, 834 Clearfield Lane requests variance to allow the construction of a 24’ above-ground swimming pool 8 feet from his property line. Said variance is requested from Section 153.488(C)(1 "..shall be located 15’ from the rear or side lot line."

Mr. Buchanan said I didn’t know that I had to have the pool 15 feet from my property line, and my back yard shoots up. I have a deck and fish ponds that I can’t move. I already purchased the pool and couldn’t return it, but even a smaller pool wouldn’t have worked.

Mr. Wilson said as you look at your house and go to the left of the fish pond, you have a tree. Had you considered removing the tree and putting the pool thee? Mr. Buchanan answered I had, but I would have the exact same amount on each side. Mr. Wilson asked if the neighbor at 830 Clearfield were aware of the distance. Mr. Buchanan answered that they were and had no problem with it. Mrs. Webb added that everyone within 200 feet of the property received a letter informing him or her of this request for variance.

Mr. Wilson wondered where the motor for the filtration system would be, and Mr. Buchanan answered I want to put it in the back of the pool towards the hillside so it won’t be seen. Mr. Wilson wondered if the motor makes a lot of noise 24 hours a day. Mr. Buchanan answered it is not noisy, and I would use it just prior and when I am using the pool.

Mr. Borden asked if he were planning on building a deck around the pool. Mr. Buchanan responded at some time in the future I would like to incorporate the deck that I have. Mr. Borden said so you wouldn’t try to wrap the entire pool area with a deck. Mr. Buchanan answered no, if I do it, it will be coming into the middle of the yard because that is the only I have to do it. If I came the other way, I would have to cut down my Japanese maple, and I don’t want to do that.

Mr. Okum said so there would be no way you would build a deck that would extend any closer than 15 feet from your property line on that side. Mr. Buchanan confirmed this.

Mr. Okum asked if there were screening between you and your neighbor on that side, and Mr. Buchanan answered he hasn’t trimmed the bushes for a while, and they are growing pretty rampant. They are bushes that have yellow flowers in the springtime, and a chain link fence that separates the two properties.

Mr. Wilson moved to grant the variance with the understanding that if the applicant decides to incorporate his deck, it not be more than 15 feet from the property line. Mrs. Huber seconded the motion.

Voting aye were Mr. Wilson, Mrs. Huber, Mr. Borden, Mr. Apke, Mr. Weidlich and Mr. Okum. Variance approved with six affirmative votes.





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    1. Thomas Padgett, 533 Dimmick Avenue requests variance to allow the construction of a 120 s.f. shed on adjacent lot. Said variance is requested from Section 153.066 "Principally Permitted Uses"

Mr. Padgett said I want to put a shed on my adjacent lot. I will be

building across from my neighbor’s shed so it doesn’t obstruct

any views from my yard or hers. I have two young kids, and on my

lot that the house is on I have a two car garage, a swing set and a

swimming pool, so this is the best place for me to build the shed.

Mr. Okum reported since there is no one left in the audience to

discuss the issue, we will close the public hearing.

Mrs. Huber wondered if the applicant had considered consolidating

his three lots. Mr. Padgett responded I have heard that the three

lots would go up in value and I would pay more taxes.

Mrs. Huber wondered how he was being taxed on the pool that is

not on the residential lot, and Mr. Padgett answered my lot with my

house is the most expensive, and I don’t know the difference

between the lot with the pool and the lot that has nothing.

Mr. Wilson said I was trying to see what was behind the pool. This

diagram implies there is ample room behind the pool for a storage

shed. I also thought along side the garage might be a possibility.

Have you looked at those options?

Mr. Padgett answered there is also a tree five feet in diameter and

my neighbor’s house. I read that I have to be 20 feet away from the

neighboring residence. In that area we also have a swimming

pool, and my neighbor has a shallow yard, and a shed right there

would box them in a little bit.

Mr. Wilson said to the right of your garage, there appears to be a lot

of open space. Could you put that storage garage a little closer to

the garage on the right side opposite the swing set? Mr. Padgett

answered I am allowed to expand my garage to700 square feet,

and in the future I would like to push my garage another 15 feet out,

so I felt the other side was the best for me.

Mr. Borden commented your proposal looks good to me; I do not

have a problem with this.

Mr. Okum said if you were to expand the garage to 700 square

feet, would you be willing to vacate the shed? Mr. Padgett

answered no, I need as much space as I can get. Mr. Okum

commented if you came in and said you would be consolidating

the properties and expanding the garage, I would give you more

square footage to keep one outbuilding on your site.

Mr. Okum commented I know that you have a huge lot and you

are spreading it out so it looks like one estate. On the other hand,

to bring it to that side away from that other property would not be a

bad idea either because it will be out on its own.




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Mr. Padgett responded that was the idea of having it out there,

because that area isn’t used very much. The problem with the

garage is I do not know if I would get a variance because the

garage is 2 ½ feet from the property line.

Mr. Borden moved to grant the variance and Mr. Weidlich seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Borden, Mr. Weidlich, Mr. Apke, Mr. Okum, Mr. Wilson and Mrs. Huber. Variance was granted with six affirmative votes.

  2. Mr. Okum asked if there were any comments on the new introduction and swearing in this evening. Mr. Borden commented that it seemed to go well. I wonder if you should stand as you swear them in. Mr. Okum said I can do that. We can have the information back there where they sign in.

    Mr. Borden asked that the members receive copies of the letters that are being sent out to property owners within 200 feet of the property. Mrs. Webb added that there is a legal ad each month.

    Mr. Wilson said I want to discuss the variance for the trailers, generally. In the future, let’s be more consistent in how much leeway we give an applicant. We want to keep businesses in Springdale because that generates revenue, but perhaps at times we give our businesses a little too much latitude. At time we bend over backwards to help our residents and businesses. I am not saying that is all wrong; I just want us to be aware of what repercussions may come as a result of the decisions we make.

    Mr. Wilson added maybe we need to put into place something to follow up the variances. I don’t want it to be adversarial, but the applicant has to realize that if they don’t do what the board says, they’ll be back here. We need something in place so that after 30 days for example, if it is not done, there is a follow up. And we as a board are notified that it is or isn’t done.

    Mr. Lohbeck responded that’s our job to make sure that the enforcement is taken care of. I think you can rely on us to do our job; that is what we are getting paid for. The variance is generally filed in the resident’s folder. When there are stipulations, it is always difficult, because they have six months to start the job and two years to complete the project.

    Mr. Okum commented the issue came up tonight as to when the

    present trailers should be removed, and maybe our motion should

    be a little stronger when there are conditions attached that date

    lines are set and are part of the motion.

    Mrs. Huber said before we adjourn, I want to acknowledge that a good friend of the City of Springdale, Charlie Gilhart passed away and was buried today. Mr. Okum commented he was a big part of Springdale. That’s a big loss.


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Mrs. Huber moved to adjourn and Mr. Borden seconded the motion. By voice vote, all present voted aye, and the Board of Zoning Appeals adjourned at 8:27 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,



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David Okum, Chairman



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Jane Huber, Secretary