17 AUGUST 1999

7:00 P.M.



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


Members Present: Councilwoman Kathy McNear, Tom Schecker, Frederick Borden, Councilman Robert Wilson, David Okum, Barbara Ewing and Chairman Squires.

Others Present: Richard G. Lohbeck, Inspection Supervisor


Mr. Schecker moved to adopt and Mrs. McNear seconded the motion. By

voice vote, all voted aye except Mr. Okum, Mrs. Ewing and Mr. Wilson, who

abstained, and the Minutes were adopted with four affirmative votes.


    1. Zoning Bulletin Ė July 25, 1999
    2. Planning Commission Minutes Ė July 13, 1999
    3. Excerpt from Planning Commission Minutes Ė November 14, 1995

(Off Premise Sign Discussion Vineyard Community Church)

D. Excerpt from Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Ė January 1998

(Off Premise Sign Discussion Ė Vineyard Community Church)

Mr. Squires added in front of you is a memo regarding limited or temporary

variances. It was attained by Marge Boice when she was here. Please file that

where you can easily get to it. In future meetings, we may have a lot of

discussion about that, and if we are still confused on some of the technical

jargon, Iíll invite someone from the legal department to attend.

    1. Report on Council Activities Ė Kathy McNear Ė no report
    2. Report on Planning Commission Ė David Okum - no report

Mr. Squires asked if Gold Star was moving to the former Famous Recipe building, and Mr. Okum indicated that they were. There was a request for neon lighting, and Ms. McBride provided the Commission with documentation from the Corridor Review District Standards that indicated that colored lighting is not an approved lighting in that area. The request was denied and there also were comments regarding the White Castle property, which currently has blue neon on it. As most of you know, White Castle has requested redevelopment at the corner into a parking area, and this lighting will be reviewed when they come before Planning. Mr. Squires wondered what would happen to the present Gold Star facility, and Mr. Okum responded that they have a number of people who are interested in it.

    1. 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.




17 AUGUST 1999


B. Chairmanís Statement

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a Public Hearing, and all testimony given in cases pending before this board is 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.

    1. Bert Huffer, 808 Yorkhaven Road requests variances to allow him to park his boat next to his existing driveway. Said variance is requested from Section 153.044(C)(2)(b) "Öit must be placed on an improved surface.."

Mr. Huffer said I am requesting a variance to use paving blocks as shown on Sketch SK 1 99 instead of paving the entire side yard next to my driveway. I believe that is the only variance I need. The boat will fit in there, and I can still be five feet from the property line. The code allows you to park it there as long as you have the five feet. If I would sell the property, I would remove the blocks and plant grass seed. If I paved that area, I have a nice oak tree and I am afraid it would kill it. I donít want to take the chance of killing the tree. If it would help to be a limited variance, I am offering that as well.

Mr. Okum wondered if he had stored the boat there in previous years, and Mr. Huffer answered I stored it there last year and received a notice from the city, so I have been parking it in my driveway which is in front of my house and complies with the code. Mr. Okum asked if the concrete pavers would be placed on an aggregate base. Mr. Huffer answered they are physically there today; I put them on a sand base.

Mr. Okum said so the location of the boat is not an issue; it is the type of surface that it is on. Mr. Lohbeck confirmed this. Mr. Okum continued I personally have no problem with it considering the temporary type of use and I would not be in objection to it.

Mr. Schecker said last month you were asking for a variance for the five feet requirement. Mr. Huffer answered initially I thought I needed a variance, but in going through the code and reading it very carefully and taking the dimensions, I discovered that not only could I park it there and be within the Code, all I would need to do is pave it with concrete or blacktop and I could meet the Code in all aspects. I can park it on the side of the driveway where I have it pictured as long as there is a paved surface. The variance I need would allow me to put in the pavers so I can back the boat across the pavers and there would be a parking place there.

Mrs. McNear said my understanding was that the boat couldnít be in the front of the house. Mr. Lohbeck answered it can be in the front of the house. Right now it meets the front yard setback, but it still sets in the front yard, so it has to be parked on either asphalt or concrete.

Mr. Wilson asked if the boat was stored there in the winter, and Mr. Huffer answered that he stores it in a barn; April 1st through November 1st is the time I normally have had it parked there.

Mr. Okum said I would certainly rather see a temporary type paver system in a front yard than additional concrete that could take out more grass area and could easily be converted at a later date. I therefore will move to approve the variance.





17 AUGUST 1999



Mr. Wilson commented I agree, but for another reason. These trees have long roots and if you put concrete or a asphalt there, and the roots spread, you would constantly be repairing that portion of the driveway as well as the driveway itself. I think the pavers and grass would be in your best interests and also would be better from an aesthetic standpoint.

Mr. Squires asked if anyone in attendance wished to speak and no one did.

Mrs. McNear said I want to second the motion and add that Mr. Huffer

has been before us a couple of times and I voted no in the past because of the placement of the boat. Since we have determined that the surface situation is the only concern, I am in agreement and I will be voting for this.

Mr. Schecker said I feel the same way, and the motion should not include a variance from the 5-foot requirement.

Mr. Okum said I will so amend my motion, that a variance be granted to allow him to place a paver system for parking of his boat as illustrated in his submission, and Mr. McNear seconded the amended motion.

Voting aye were Mr. Okum, Mrs. McNear, Mr. Borden, Mr. Schecker, Mr. Wilson, Mrs. Ewing and Mr. Squires. Variance was granted unanimously.

B. Vineyard Community Church, 11340 Century Circles requests the placement of a sign at East Kemper Road and Century Circle. Said variance is requested from Section 153.133(A) "..on the premises on which the sign is locatedÖ"

Jim Cochran representing Vineyard said we are h ere asking for a variance for an off-premise sign at Kemper and Century Boulevard. The church is about six weeks from opening a new facility in which we have a $13 million investment.

Our process started four years ago when we came before the Planning Commission. We negotiated an easement with the landowner on the corner to put a future sign. At that point we had quite a bit of discussion about signage located out there, but the summary statements were quite favorable that evening.

So we moved forward with the acquisition of the land and raising money. Eighteen months ago we came before this board and got input about the sign design. There was not a vote taken at that time, but there were quite a few comments made concerning the size and look of the sign so it would fit in with that look on the hillside.

We withdrew at that point, made extensive modifications in downsizing the sign and modifying the look to be very attractive on the hillside, and come back to you tonight looking for a favorable vote on this variance.

We feel this is a bit unusual in that we have been blessed to be a part of what has turned into a very large church. In our first year we expect to have approximately 250,000 visits, and we think that will quickly grow into about Ĺ a million per year. There will be a significant number of new people, probably 20 to 30% of them will be outside the immediate area.




17 AUGUST 1999



Mr. Cochran added we think we provide significant public services in the community and we believe it is important to easily refer people back to the facility. On the one hand it is a very unusual location for a church, being off the main through streets, but we think it serves the cityís purposes very well as well as our purposes because we are not invading a neighborhood as we are in our present location. Rather, we are taking advantage of a significant size commercial street system, but it is back in.

We acquired the land, are very excited to have an easement for the sign and the initial response of the Planning Commission, and we would like very much to get a favorable vote tonight to be able to go forward with this sign in time to open our facility.

Mr. Wilson asked if Vineyard ever had a problem with the church members finding the church at the former location. Mr. Cochran answered you donít learn that information most of the time, but I donít think so. The church is on a street where there is drive by traffic, and there is some familiarity from people driving by. I also want to say that we will do all the other things that are appropriate in terms of communicating to potential visitors the location of the church. We see this as one additional piece to communicate where the church is, not the central piece that we are relying on.

Mr. Wilson said if we allow a sign of this type on that corner, every business between that corner and your church will want equal billing. When I was on Planning and we were looking at signage, I was looking at the type of signage that Episcopal churches have, 12" x 12" sign on a pole saying 1 block south or whatever. I would not have a problem with a sign of that type, small, but a sign like this on that corner would generate other businesses to want similar signage.

Mr. Schecker said I stated my objections at the last meeting, and in reading the Planning Minutes from 1995, I can see where you had reason for optimism. However, as this is presented to us right now, I am still plagued with the idea of granting you this variance and establishing an unacceptable precedent. Further than that, while you say your location is unusual, in my opinion it is a very admirable location for your facility. It is very easily directed using landmarks like Target. I cannot believe you would have difficulty in letting people to your location, and for that reason I do not support the variance.

Mr. Cochran responded I certainly want to recognize and understand the significance of setting precedence. We hope you will consider and factor in the public service aspect of a non-profit organization, the significant size of events and the sheer volume of visitors.

Mr. Schecker commented I look at this building at the center of our town, and it is in a rather nondescript location and difficult to direct people to. I think you have a lot better capacity of telling people where you are than we have right here.

Mrs. McNear said I have been on the Board of Zoning Appeals many years, and I have always expressed my opinion on each item and my opinion only, without trying to influence other members of the board. However in this instance I have to caution everyone that if anything was going to open Pandoraís box, it is this issue, because if we allow this sign, we will have every business in town here. If you look at the sheer volume of businesses we have in this town, and people who are not exactly in a great location for signage, we will have every business in here. As I have stated several times when this issue has come before us, I will be voting no and I request that you please vote no as well.


17 AUGUST 1999



Mr. Borden asked Mr. Cochran what other signs they have at the facility. Mr. Cochran answered there will be signage at the intersection where you come down Century Boulevard, and signage at the circles at the end of Century Circle immediately proceeding into the property. Mr. Borden asked the type signs they are, and Mr. Cochran presented a copy of the sandblasted redwood signs.

Mr. Squires asked if anyone present would like to speak about the variance. No one came forward.

John Diersing of Quality Signs said we are the sign contractor. The letters on the proposed signs should only be visible from 200 to 300 feet, so it is not meant to be an advertising sign. It is purely to identify the entry to the development and guide newcomers to the church. There should be safety factor, considering the volume of first time visitors as well as traffic congestion for people searching for the church.

Mr. Okum commented this is quite difficult, and I did not speak to the sign when it was before Planning Commission because basically I had no objection to the project, and did not want to express my opinion that would potentially affect how it became an issue for the Board of Zoning Appeals, because this is strictly in the Board of Zoning Appealsí court, not Planning Commission. We ran into the same situation with the entrance into Showcase Cinemas off Route 4. Most of the people who want to visit Showcase Cinemas, Bob Evans are at a disadvantage, because you canít even turn left into what you would assume would be their front door. Since the City had built a concrete median there, the City did put directional signage on Route 4 for cars to turn left at Crescentville Road. It is a municipal sign, a corporate sign. If the City undertook a signage identification issue where they were locating problems for businesses or groups of businesses, I would be more in favor of a commercial sign.

The signage you have chosen for Kemper Road is more commercially oriented than it is signage. Mr. Cochran responded to clarify, the design that you are looking at for the church property, is probably more the route we would have gone initially. However, when we came to the Board of Zoning Appeals 18 months ago, there wee a number of comments that the signage would be more acceptable, if it were going to be accepted, if it had a look that fit in more with the hillside and the office building. We very much adapted the signage to fit the remarks. Mr. Okum commented the signage on the hill is black line reverse lit signage, the opposite of this.

Mr. Okum continued I do have the same concerns that Mrs. McNear has in regards to the precedence that we would set. You are a business entity; although it is a church and a civic organization and community service organization, we would have to say the same thing about our community center. We donít have a community center sign on Route 4 that guide people down Lawnview Avenue. You probably have a Web page, and hopefully you would have a simple map there to direct people.

On the precedent issue, if it were a municipal directional sign and probably not specifically for the Vineyard, I would have anything to say about it because it would be a municipal need. Once we establish a commercial enterprise, we have to deal with that as a precedent. State Farm has their claims handling facility down that same street. On that basis, I will have to vote in opposition to it. I canít put the City in the position that it would be a precedent setting measure, and it certainly wold be. Additionally I think it would make a situation where it would be unfair to the next applicant that came in and I would say no to them.



17 AUGUST 1999



Mr. Okum added that Princewood condominiums wanted to have a small real estate sign out on Route 4 to get people back to them, and we said no to them. It has been this boardís position over the years that once you open that avenue, it will be a continuous one. I think your church is very attractive and will be a great success. I donít feel in any way that one sign on Kemper Road is the catalyst that would make or break this project. The project makes it on its own. You probably could have used signs for your growth on Chesterdale Road over the last nine years, and they found you.

Mrs. McNear moved to grant the variance. I bring this up in a positive manner so that there is no confusion on the voting. Mr. Wilson seconded the motion.

No one voted aye, and Mrs. McNear, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Schecker, Mr. Borden, Mr. Okum, Mrs. Ewing and Mr. Squires voted no. Variance was denied by seven votes.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Squires said I know this did not turn out as you wished, but I wanted you to come back and address the entire board. There were only four of us here last time, and as chairman I wanted you to be able to address the entire board about this.

    1. Angiloís Pizza, 11544 Springfield Pike requests variance to allow the replacement of their existing sign. Said variance is requested from Section 153.092(E)(2) "projecting signs may not exceed 20 s.f. per face" and "projecting signs may not project over the public right of way"
    2. Jean Stirsman said I own Angiloís Pizza and I need a variance to replace my old sign with a new one. I have pictures here (passed pictures around).

      Mr. Wilson wondered how long the current sign had been there, and Ms. Stirsman answered as far as I know, since Angiloís was opened which is 25 to 30 years. I have owned it for two years.

      Mr. Okum said I do not have a copy of the Corridor Review Standards here but I believe that they encourage eliminating signage projecting in the public right of way. I am glad your business is back, and I can sympathize with the fact that you want to make it look better. Have you considered building mounted signs?

      Ms. Stirsman answered the problem is the tree foliage. If I have it flat against the overhang, people driving southbound might be able to see it, but driving northbound you couldnít. Even with it sticking out the way it is, it is hard to see. In the wintertime with the foliage off the trees, you can see it sticking out, but flat against the building, I donít think people would be able to recognize it.

      Mr. Okum asked how much of the business is walk in. Ms. Stirsman answered probably 40% and 60% call in. Of that 60% it is probably half-and-half on pick up and delivery.

      Mr. Schecker said your new sign is somewhat bigger than the existing sign. Ms. Stirsman answered it is a little bit bigger, but it is not going to have the red arrow that is on the bottom of the old sign. It is just going to be panels, so itís about the same size. I wonít have the neon arrow.




      17 AUGUST 1999



      Mr. Schecker asked how far the business extends into the public right of way. Mr. Lohbeck answered the right of way is 2 feet from the face of the building. Mr. Okum added it overhangs about 18 inches.

      Mr. Schecker said in looking at all the signs along Route 4, I would have to admit that you have a unique problem. Everybody else seems to have the benefit of putting the sign low so it could be seen coming either way.

      Ms. Stirsman responded plus my existing sign is so old it looks very bad, especially coming southbound. It is very faded and cracked. Last year I had some work done on it, and they said there was nothing they could do about the letters, that I would have to get a whole new sign put up. It would definitely make that corner look a whole lot better than it does right now.

      Mr. Schecker commented our problem is we need to see if there is some way that you donít need to encroach on the public right of way. Right now you are grandfathered in. Ms. Stirsman said as far as I know it has never been a problem in terms of being in the publicís way on the sidewalk.

      Mr. Squires said you are requesting about 20% more signage. Do your contractors tell you that it will be much more visible? Right now going northbound, you donít have anything. Ms. Stirsman responded in the wintertime I do have some without the leaves. With it being bigger, I am hoping that you could see it going northbound. If I had to have it flat against the overhang, I really doubt that it would be visible at all. The way it is now, it is visible coming southbound.

      Mr. Squires asked Mr. Lohbeck about the Route 4 Corridor requirements. Mr. Lohbeck answered there is nothing regarding corridor requirements. It is just the fact that it projects into the right of way approximately 2 feet.

      Mr. Okum stated the Corridor Review Districted standards are standards, but they are part of our code, and have been ad opted. A variance to the standards would not be a typical thing, but a variance to the code would be. Projecting signs are permitted, but they may not be over the right of way. I believe the Corridor Review Standards refer to what the City would like to see happen as things convert and change. As time goes on, we want to try to eliminate signage hanging over the public right of way. Although I would like to see this lady get a new sign, because the old sign really looks old, any of the other businesses would have the same right to request a sign projecting over the sidewalk. We could have a situation where by allowing this to be turned over, we are opening ourselves up to other businesses wanting to have signs that project over the public right of way. It is unfortunate that the public right of way happens to be two feet from your front door. I would encourage us to try to work with this applicant so that she can still get signage and visibility on the corridor, but not to break from what the Corridor Standards are trying to accomplish. It was 1971 that the code was changed; that is 28 years ago, and we were talking about trying to eliminate signage projected over the public right of way.

      Mr. Schecker said I would agree with Mr. Okumís comments except for the fact that this particular building is right up against the right of way and there is little leeway to do much else with the signage. There is no other business that I know of that has quite the unique problem that t he applicant does. Ms. Stirsman added and with my sign already like that, nobody else on that strip has even said anything about putting a sign out like that. I talked to all of the people who own the businesses on the

      strip, and nobody has said that they wanted to do that.




      17 AUGUST 1999



      Mr. Borden asked the applicant if she had considered any other type of signage. Ms. Stirsman answered the only other type that I could get would be flat against the building, and the problem with that is the tree foliage.

      Mr. Borden said what about a sign hanging down from the overhang, a rotating sign or something like that? Ms. Stirsman answered that would still pretty much be covered by the tree foliage.

      Mr. Wilson commented this sign is four feet larger than what you have there currently. Will that increase visibility that much more when you still have the tree foliage problem? Ms. Stirsman answered I feel you will be able to see it a whole lot better than what is up there now. I wish the sign contractor could have made it tonight, but he plans on taking the pole that it is now on and raising it higher to go back a little further. From where the sign is now, it wonít extend out too much further.

      Mr. Wilson said with the foliage on the tree being there eight months of the year, I donít see how raising the sign or making it even larger would help, because the tree will still cover it up from Route 4 heading north. Heading south from Kemper on Route 4 you have a brick wall there; putting a sign there might help, and then a sign in the window, but itís not going to help the southbound people until they get up on it. I donít feel comfortable with the larger sign in view of the foliage there, and going from 20 to 24 feet is another issue. I wish I could offer you a solution.

      Mrs. McNear said from the pictures I see, it doesnít look like you have much of a view going north anyway, even with the sign you have. So I donít think a larger sign will even help you out. I would think you might be interested in putting a sign on the side of the building, that you might get more attention that way than from the current sign that is there. That might make more sense; it takes away the issue of being two feet too close to the right of way. Just by the fact that it is new you might draw more attention. I think you would be much better served if you put a sign on the front of the building or the side rather than this hanging sign, because itís not going to accomplish what you are trying to do.

      Ms. Stirsman asked if she could put the hanging sign on the side of the building, and Mrs. McNear answered what we are trying to do is eliminate hanging signs. You could put a sign on the facie of the side of your building, and I think youíd get a lot more notice there than you would even if you put it flat against the front of your building, because the people coming south would see that sign. Also it would be new and something that would catch the eye; they also would have much more time to see the sign.

      Addressing Mr. Lohbeck, Mr. Okum asked if there were any other regulations besides the sign size that would prohibit her from having signage on the side. Mr. Lohbeck reported she could have signage on the side or on the front.

      Mr. Okum said you are paying for a double-sided sign anyway, and my suggestion would be to take your two sign faces and put a sign on the side and a sign on the front. I drive by there every day, and I donít think I have ever seen your sign driving going north, but I do notices it going south. I would certainly think that would be to y our advantage, and it would be a win-win situation because a variances would not be an issue.





      17 AUGUST 1999



      Ms. Stirsman said but there still would not be a sign that could be seen going north. Mr. Okum answered going north, no one sees your sign now. As it stands this evening, I will be voting in opposition to the request.

      Ms. Stirsman said if I decide to keep my existing sign, would I be able to change the panels? I donít know if I can because I was told that it was so old. Mr. Okum said if you change out the sign, you have to do it according to the new requirements. Weíre excited about your doing something different, but I donít think that changing to a 4í x 7í hanging sign is the answer, and there is no hardship because there are other alternatives that are better.

      Addressing the applicant, Mr. Schecker commented it would seem that the general tone is that this will not be approved, and I would like to suggest that you might consider withdrawing the request and go back to your sign maker and see if he has other suggestions for you, knowing that you can do something with the side and front. It sounds like you have little hope for northbound visibility.

      Ms. Stirsman responded I guess I have no other choice but to withdraw it. I just wanted to make it look better for my business and for Springdale. I didnít realize it would be a problem putting the same type sign back.

      Mr. Schecker said we donít totally object to what you are doing, but we do not think you will have a benefit from doing that.

      Mr. Wilson commented by withdrawing you cam come back next month with new signs. If we voted and it was denied, you would have to wait six months.

      Mr. Squires asked Mr. Lohbeck if she would need a variance to put a 20 s.f. sign on the shingled portion of the roof perpendicular to the public right of way? Mr. Lohbeck answered Iím not sure what the total signage allowed is. Mr. Squires added if it is allowed, she could have a pretty large signage on the roof, and it definitely would be visible going south. You have a problem even with 20% more signage for northbound traffic anyway.

      Ms. Stirsman asked if she would have to come in for that? Mr. Squires answered you might not need a variance for that; consult the building department and your sign contractor. It could be on the brick face, but I am thinking more of the shingled roof. Ms. Stirsman responded that is what I am thinking about. If I have to have it flat, that is where I would go with it. The item was withdrawn at the request of the applicant.

      B. Jerry & Laverne Ford, 157 Ruskin Drive requests variance to allow the placement of a shed 3 feet from the property line. Said variances is requested from Section 153.024(C) "..must not be less than 5 feet from any rear or side lot lines.."

      Mr. Squires asked Mr. Okum to chair this request, adding Mr. Ford and I are very good friends and I will excuse myself from the discussion and vote.

      Jerry Ford said I want to replace a lawn building. The one there now is an old tin building and I want to increase its size to 10 x 12, which I understand is the maximum allowed.

      The reason I ask for the variance is because I presently do have a concrete slab there, and I would rather ask for the variance than tear the slab up and have all the concrete projecting in the back.


      17 AUGUST 1999

      PAGE TEN


      Mr. Wilson wondered why he selected this type of unit and why he needed this particular size unit. Mr. .Ford answered I need everything I can get to be t ruthful with you. We have a slab house and there is no basement storage, and you couldnít get a car in my garage. I would extend sideways and forward on the present slab to accommodate the larger building.

      Mr. Wilson asked why he chose this design for the storage unit, and Mr. Ford answered I think it is the nicest looking. Since it is not in a corner, it would be facing the house, which is why I went for the 12-foot width rather than the barn type. It is more aesthetic looking than anything else that was available.

      Mr. Schecker asked the distance from his house to the rear property line, and Mr. Ford answered it is 49 or 50 feet. Mr. Schecker commented if you would move the current slab out, it would look like you had it plopped in the middle of your back yard, to say nothing of the fact that you have other neighbors whose buildings are rather close to their fence lines as well.

      Mr. Borden wondered what Mr. Ford would be storing in there, and Mr. Ford answered lawn equipment, the riding mower, snow blowers, etc.

      Mr. Borden continued so you will need the 10 x 12-foot size to get everything in there.

      Mrs. McNear asked what direction the expansion of the concrete slab would extend, and Mr. Ford answered it would go toward my home one foot. It will not extend towards the rear.

      Mr. Okum asked if anyone present wished to address the issue. No one came forward.

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

    3. James Skirvin, 672 Cloverdale Avenue requests variance to allow him to park his recreational vehicle. Said variance is requested from Section153.044(C)(2) "..shall not exceed 30 feet in lengthÖ"

Mr. Skirvin said there are two letters from my neighbors who are out of town registering their approval of my motor home. He gave copies to the members.

"Dear Board of Zoning Appeals Members,

I am writing to you this evening in my support of Jim and Pat Skirvinís variance request to house their motor home on the side of their house. When I sit on my deck, I look out at the various houses on our street and have never been bothered by or really noticed the motor home in question. I have lived on Cloverdale for 5+ years and nobody could ask for better neighbors than the Skirvins. I know they get a lot of enjoyment from their motor home and use it frequently. Whatever your decision in this matter, I appreciate the chances for you to hear me out since I cannot be there in person.

Thank you.

Dave Whitaker

687 Cloverdale Avenue"


17 AUGUST 1999



The second letter read as follows:

"To Whom It May Concern:

I have lived at the address above since 1962, directly across the street from the residence of Mr. and Mrs. James Skirvin. I have known the Skirvins for many years, since they originally bought their home and raised their family here. They are fine neighbors and an asset to the community.

It is my understanding that the City of Springdale is now pursing action against the Skirvins because the size of their recreational vehicle exceeds the Cityís standards. I feel this is inappropriate and unwarranted. Of anyone, I am the most affected by the visual impact of their RV. From my front porch, on which I sit many evenings, I have a direct view of the back of their RV where it is parked beside their house. It is unobtrusive and is certainly not an eyesore or nuisance. Where parked, the size of the vehicle cannot be determined by someone passing by.

To my knowledge, none of the neighbors on Cloverdale Avenue have ever complained about the Skirvinsí RV. As far as we are concerned, it is a non-issue. It does not detract from our area in any way. From the street, the RV is hardly noticeable, and I doubt that most passing motorists are even aware of its existence.

In summary, the Skirvins have had this particular RV for several years. It, their home, and yard are all well maintained. In my opinion, there is no practical justification for the Cityís action, especially after they have owned this vehicles and parked it in this location for so long. If you have any questions or would like to discuss this matter with me, I may be reached at 825-7295.


Mrs. Marie Gaddis

675 Cloverdale Avenue"

Mr. Skirvin said I am asking for a seven-foot variance. My motor home is 37 feet long, and the code says it should be a maximum of 30 feet. I w9uld like to say that it would be a hardship for my wife and I if we did not get this variance. I called some places about storing it, and I got prices anywhere from $40 a month to $75 a month. To show you where my motor home is, I have some pictures (passed them around).

It would be a hardship, not only because of the cost, but when you set something that valuable on a lot, you donít know what is going to happen to it. I have friends who have had motor homes broken into. After that happens a couple of times, you canít get the insurance people to back it any more; they raise your rates.

Thirdly, it would be a hardship to my wife and I because we are not retired and we own this motor home. My work situation is if my company has a problem, I have to stay. If we decided to go somewhere, many times I canít go anyhow, so itís a lot more convenient for us and much less of a problem if we have it parked on our property.

We have lived in Springdale for years, and have had a RV since 1976. In our area of Cloverdale, we have lots of room between the houses. We consider this a parklike area, and all the neighbors try to keep the yards nice.



17 AUGUST 1999



Mr. Skirvin added we have had that motor home for six years, and before I purchased it I called the Building Department and asked them if there would be any problem with parking it where I am. I was told then that I wouldnít have a problem and I didnít need to do anything. I will be honest with you; when I called, the gentleman I talked to told me that if I ever had a neighbor who complained, I might have to get a variance. I donít think that happened; I think someone from the City saw it setting there and thought it was over the 30 foot maximum. Ninety percent of all motor homes sold are over 30 feet. The law states that a motor home canít be over 11 feet high; mine is 11 feet.

Mrs. McNear asked the kind of surface the motor home is on, and Mr. Skirvin answered it is on a gravel driveway. That is the original driveway that was there when I moved there in 1964. Mrs. McNear asked the depth of the property and Mr. Skirvin answered it is 120 to 125 feet.

Mrs. McNear commented I drive up and down the street all the time; I have actually walked the street door to door, and I have never noticed it, especially when the trees are in bloom.

Mr. Skirvin responded the gentleman that sent me the letter told me that he had been up and down our street for almost a year, and that was the first time he had noticed it.

Mr. Wilson asked if this is where the vehicle is parked year round and Mr. Skirvin answered that it was. Mr. Wilson asked how old the unit is, and Mr. Skirvin answered it is 1993. Mr. Wilson asked how long he planned to keep it, and Mr. Skirvin answered we expect to retire in it, hopefully in five years. We hope to be able to live down south in the winter, but it is there all the time now.

Mr. Wilson commented normally you start out with one size motor home and get bigger and bigger. Mr. Skirvin answered at my age probably not; I would definitely not get a larger one.

Mr. Schecker said looking at it from the street, you canít tell if it is 30 feet or 37 feet, and it is quite well camouflaged. You have a lot of property there so it does not look disproportionate. I have no objection to this.

Mr. Okum said I also have no problem with this. I also agree that I wouldnít know if it was a 30 footer or 37 footer considering the way it is concealed between the properties. If we do grant the variance, I would encourage the board to include language indicating that the unit shall not be set closer than 52 feet from the public right of way and shall not set closer than seven feet from the side lot line and that unit shall not exceed 38 feet long.

Mr. Squires asked if anyone present wished to speak.

Amy Linkous, 665 Cloverdale said my living room has a nine-foot large picture window and I see more than anybody does. It is a beautifully maintained property; they keep their yard gorgeous. I think they should have the variance. They do everything they can to make sure the RV doesnít bother anybody.

Mrs. Skirvin said the lot is 130 feet wide, and we have had a stockade fences down the side so it is camouflaged by the foliage. It doesnít bother the neighbors at all; they like it.





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Mr. Borden asked if there is an apron out front; how do you get the RV back there? Mr. Skirvin answered I try to maintain the grass, because I would like to have it look all green and grassy, but underneath there is the original driveway. The grass grows between the driveway.

Mr. Okum moved to grant the variance with the following conditions: (1) that the unit shall not set closer than 52 feet from the public right of way; (2) that the unit not set closer than 7 feet from the side lot line; and (3) the unit shall not exceed 38 feet in length.

Mrs. McNear seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Okum, Mrs. McNear, Mr. Borden, Mr. Schecker, Mr. Wilson, Mrs. Ewing and Mr. Squires. Variance was granted with seven affirmative votes.

  2. Mr. Squires said make sure you look at that memo concerning variances and if we have questions, I will get an attorney in here to help us with that.

    Mr. Okum said since 1990, the case law has changed. With our new code coming on line, possibly this needs to be revisited, because this is 1999. Although Wood Lamping is our legal representative to the City, there are other opinions in regards to zoning law. It varies considerably in interpretation. Possibly this should be looked at to give us some more up to date guidance in how to interpret zoning variances. To act like this document is gospel may not at this time be correct. Possibly we should have Wood Lamping look at it, and I certainly would recommend that we tie this into some of the review.

    Mr. Squires responded no doubt the cases have changed since 1990, but this is an excellent background and if necessary, we will get people who are legally trained in for a discussion one night.

    Mrs. McNear said I could have sworn that we had an update after 1990, perhaps in the last two or three years. An attorney came here representing an applicant on Rose Lane, I think it was Scottiís. Perhaps we can look at our records and see if there wouldnít be something there. Mrs. Webb will do that.

    Addressing the board, Mr. Squires said I want to thank all of you for your input this evening. At the July meeting we had only four members present and I wanted to be fair to the two applicants you saw tonight and suggested that they come back tonight. The discussion you had relative to the Vineyard was an eye opener. Mr. Schecker alluded to the fact that Mr. Cochran came out of the early Planning Commission meeting feeling very good. But, in none of those notes did it tell the Board of Zoning Appeals to approve this. I think we added accordingly and fairly on that. Iím glad he appeared before the entire board. I wanted you three who were not present at the July meeting to have the benefit of his testimony, and I was looking forward to Mr. Okum being here because of his association with Planning Commission on this. I think we did a much better job with all of us here than just four of us.

    Mr. Wilson commented they never talked about the size of the signage during that Planning meeting. We were looking at it from a preliminary standpoint. None of us had a problem at that time from a preliminary standpoint; as a whole we liked the property. They are better located now than they were before, so for them to think that they will lose some first timers without the sign is not correct.





    17 AUGUST 1999


    IX. DISCUSSION - continued

    Mr. Squires said I tend to agree with you. My son in law is an ordained minister and he is very familiar with Vineyard. That church is one of the fastest growing in the USA; it is phenomenal.

    Mr. Okum added there were a lot of comments I made regarding that project at Planning Commission. I did not comment on signage; I felt that was a Board of Zoning Appeals issue. Furthermore, if it were a pivotal item for them to do the development, they had an opportunity and a right of use when the project was first conceived to bring it to this board for a variance; it should have been here two and one-half years ago.

    Mr. Schecker said they were here in January of 1998 and they talked about a sign on I-275 and we werenít very sympathetic at that point. Mrs. McNear added and they let it drop.

    Mr. Wilson commented because of their size and impact on the community, they tend to feel they can do pretty much whatever they want. Churches tend to feel that because we are all God fearing Christians that we will allow them to do anything they want. They have to recognize that they are a multi-billion dollar business. Their employees are exempt from our taxes, and they get all the services free.

    Mr. Squires commented regarding Angiloís, basically I think we were right there and I commend your analysis of that Mr. Okum. I can see those overhanging signs all the way down that sidewalk if we granted the variance. Most of her business was 40% walk in and 60% carry out.


Mrs. Ewing moved for adjournment and Mrs. McNear seconded the motion. By voice vote, all voted aye, and the Board of Zoning Appeals adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,



___________________,1999 ___________________________

James Squires, Chairman



___________________,1999 ____________________________

Barbara Ewing, Secretary