AUGUST 19, 2008
7:30 P.M.


The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m.


Members Present: William Reichert, Randy Danbury, Robert Diehl, Robert Weidlich, Robert Emerson, Jane Huber, David Okum



Mrs. Huber moved for adoption the July 15, 2008 Board of Zoning Meeting Minutes as submitted, Mr. Emerson seconded the motion, and the July 2008 Minutes were adopted.


Mr. Danbury gave the report on Council, which had three items to vote on; the first was an ordinance authorizing Springdale’s participation in the Miami Valley Risk Management Association. Second, authorized the Mayor and Council to enter into an agreement to renew our contract with Next Step Networking. Lastly, we had an ordinance to relocate GE, and as you probably know we did not retain them.


a. Zoning Bulletin – July 10, 2008
b. Zoning Bulletin – July 25, 2008
c. Zoning Bulletin – August 10, 2008



No items of Old Business were presented.


A. Approval to allow the owner of 11580 Princeton Pike to construct a retail building and associated parking

(At this time Mr. Kanable, a representative from Thompson Thrift withdrew the
application for a variance.)

B. Approval of a variance to allow the owner of the property at 595 West Kemper
Road to erect a fence within the setback from the side street of a corner lot. Said variance is from Section 153.482 (A)(3) “Fences on corner lots shall not be located in the required setback for the building from the side street line.”

Ryan Gregory, owner of 595 West Kemper: We have a dog so that is the reason we want to put the fence in. If we have to stay to the corner of our house we lose about a quarter of our back yard, so that would hurt our resale value. I think it would look better.
(Four photos were submitted by applicant and a site plan CAGIS map with the location for the fence request.)

Mr. McErlane read the staff report.

(At this time, Chairman Okum opened the floor to the audience for comments and no one came forward.)

Mrs. Huber made a motion to grant a variance from Section153.482 (A)(3) so as to allow a fence to be erected within the setback from the side street on a corner lot.
Mr. Weidlich seconded the motion.

Mr. Weidlich: What size dog do you have? I am just trying to get an idea for the height of the fence.

Ms. Gregory: She is a female boxer; she is about 50 to 60 pounds. We wanted the split rail fence with the netting around it; I think it is 4ft. high.

Mr. Weidlich: Corner lots are tough.

Mr. Emerson: Is that rock wall yours or your neighbor’s?

Ms. Gregory: It is ours.

Mr. Emerson: Are you going to put the fence on top of the rock wall?

Ms. Gregory: Yes. The company said they can make a large post and connect it and take it around to meet the neighbor’s fence.

Mr. Diehl: I have two dogs, so I am a dog lover. My question is, have you ever considered invisible fence?

Ms. Gregory: Yes, I have and my Mom’s dog actually broke her invisible fence and got hit by a car, so I don’t think they hold the dog back good enough for my liking.

Mr. Diehl: If we granted your fence on a corner lot, you would probably be the only one in the City that would have something like that and I don’t think that I am going to make an exception for that.

Chairman Okum: My son has a boxer and he has an invisible fence and it has done a very good job; I can’t say that it works for all animals, but on the other hand I think the code is fair in regards to the placement of fences. This Board knows that I have not supported bringing fences closer to the public right of way or to the street line. Based upon the sketch, you have a 30’ X 60’ area in that rear yard; if the fence were kept at the corner of the house, which is a pretty sizable amount of space for a pet; so, I will not be supporting your request. On the other hand I am happy to see you are wanting to do something architecturally nice with the fence, I think it will be an improvement and it will certainly go well with your home.

(At this point Chairman Okum moved to deliberation and discussion of the evidence that had been presented.)

Mr. Weidlich: We have granted a variance for another home with a fence, but they lowered the one on the street side to 3 feet; I could support your request except I do not agree with putting it on top of the rock wall.

Chairman Okum: Based upon the facts presented and the rules of the Board of Zoning Appeals has all the tests for this variance, as required by law been considered by the Members?
(The Board of Zoning Appeal Members all responded “yes” to Chairman Okum.)

Mrs. Huber polled the Board and with 2 “aye” and 4 “no” votes the request for the variance was denied.

C. A request for a variance to allow the owner of 232 Harter Avenue to place a utility building 2’ from the rear lot and 2’3” from the side lot line. Said variance is requested from Section 153.097 (B)(4) “all other structures must be not less than 5’ from and rear or side lot lines.”

Mr. Von Bargen, owner of 232 Harter Avenue arrived to the meeting at 8:05p.m. and was sworn in by Chairman Okum.

Mr. Von Bargen: I bought the property some months ago and was working on trying to fix it up. The inside of the house was changed it is not a garage inside, it is a finished area. All it has is a garage door out in front, so there is no place to put lawnmowers or tools, or anything like this. And there is a place already out there that they did have the shed on, but the shed was bad and they tore it down and I wanted to put it back exactly where it was. It already has the anchor bolts and that in it, where it had been taken down before and I need that for storage. I am planning on selling the house, but if you don’t have a place for someone to put anything, then I don’t feel like I would be able to sell it.
When I bought the house that was the way it was and I didn’t know that I even needed a variance for that. The garage door is there, but that is all that is there; it is finished inside.

Chairman Okum: Is there any other reasons why you need this variance?

Mr. Von Bargen: Well, for financial reasons, I don’t know that I would be able to sell the property if they did not have a shed in which to put things in. And it would be a terrible extra expense to try to move the shed a couple feet when it had been there for many, many years.

(At this time Mr. McErlane read the staff report.)

Chairman Okum: Did we advertise about the garage (conversion)?

Mr. McErlane: No. It was not included in the advertisement.

Chairman Okum: The reason for the application is because there has been a conversion?

Mr. McErlane: The reason is because there is no garage.

(At this time Chairman Okum opened the floor to comments from the audience.)

Marjorie Harlow: My name is Marjorie Harlow and I live at 259 Harter Avenue; a long term resident of Springdale and I am here tonight to ask you to support Mr. VonBargen’s request for the shed. I don’t know this gentleman, never have had the pleasure of meeting him before but I do know his property, and that property has been blighted for 10 or more years. I have had more phone calls about 232 Harter than almost any other piece of property in my district. As a resident of that street I am thrilled that he is going in there and spending the kind of money that he is putting in that house. My husband and I talked about buying that house and I am so thankful that he bought it and I didn’t have to do all that work. We estimated that $35,000. to $40,000. to rehab that house and I think that he is doing a wonderful job. All of the neighbors on Harter are absolutely thrilled that someone has come in and is taking an interest in this piece of property. I can talk about the inside of that house and tell you that it was a disaster; there was not one wall, one doorknob, one piece of flooring that could remain in that house; everything had to be torn out and started over including a lot of the drywall because there was mold. The previous owner had the shed on a concrete pad and this backyard intersects with four backyards; currently there are two sheds back there and the third shed would be replacing the one that had been there previously. It had to be torn down because of infestation with animals and it was rotten and so the rentals had to tear it down and that was another cause for concern because they left their lawnmower, their wheelbarrow and all of their equipment out in the back yard and the neighbors complained about that because we had to look at it all the time. I have a letter that I would like to present to you tonight.

(At this time Marjorie Harlow presented a letter from Marge Boice at 236 Harter Avenue, dated 8/18/2008.)

Chairman Okum: At this time, we will entertain a motion based upon the application.

Mrs. Huber: The motion will be based just on the building. To grant a variance from Section 153.097 (B)(4), so as to allow a utility building to be located 2’ from rear lot line and 2’3” from the side lot line.
The motion was seconded by Mr. Danbury.

Chairman Okum: Your shed that you are going to erect is identical in size to the concrete slab that currently exists?

Mr. Von Bargen: Yes.

Mr. Danbury: When you purchased the property, were you aware that it was no longer in compliance with the zoning codes?

Mr. Von Bargen: No. I bought it as is and I did not know any of that.

Mr. Danbury: Do you have any estimate of what it would cost if you were to move that pad?

Mr. Von Bargen: I have not worked out a figure, because I would just forget it then. I would just be totally frustrated to think that I was trying to improve – in fact as I have worked there all the neighbors have come by and raved over it and said I was doing a great job.

Mr. Danbury: Just for the record, I don’t have a problem with your request; it is nice to see people getting involved.

Mr. Emerson: Are you buying a shed that is already pre-made or are you stick building?

Mr. Von Bargen: I gave a picture of what I am building, I can make it myself much cheaper. I may not put the window in.

Mr. Emerson: So the actual concrete slab that is there is going to be the floor for the barn?

Mr. Von Bargen: Yes, that is why I am going to buy the pieces and cut it to fit that slab.

Mr. Emerson: Is it going to be 12’ X 9’?

Mr. Von Bargen: Yes, it would be.

Mr. Emerson: Isn’t that another variance?

Mr. McErlane: It is the basic terrace house that doesn’t have any additions that are built on the back of it.

Chairman Okum: We could run the calculations and we could also make it a motion to amend to pre-conditions that the building not exceed this size or not exceed the code allowance for that property.

Mr. McErlane: For a typical terrace house that has not been added onto, 120 s.f. is the maximum. However, in this case he has more livable area because he has a converted garage which makes it more than 120 s.f. So, if the garage were converted back to a garage then he would be over on his shed size.

Chairman Okum: Mr. Von Bargen, I think I’m understanding your situation but I want you to understand that any decision that I make is not based upon the fact that you have a garage that is converted. I am not allowing that based upon a letter that the building department has issued on it, it would be inappropriate for me to do that. I do need to speak to you in regards to why I didn’t allow that to be part of the motion because I am a stickler for public notice and notice was given on the shed but not the garage conversion and although you have a right to apply for a variance and I will say with conditions there has been variances granted in Springdale for garage conversions to resident space; there are conditions that have come along with those in many cases, some storage; we have had the homeowners change the front so it doesn’t look like it is a driveway driving into the garage. I don’t think that it is appropriate to allow us to consider that this evening without that being advertised. Board Members understand why I didn’t let that come forward as part of the motion; I felt that this is what has been advertised and this is what we have to deal with this evening. You can still make an application for the other item that the Building Department has identified.

(At this time Chairman Okum moved to the deliberations on the motion.)

Chairman Okum: I think based upon the fact that the applicant has an existing concrete slab, I find that a topography issue to reasonably place the shed on the site. I will be supporting the request this evening based upon that.
Based on the facts presented in the rules of the Board of Zoning Appeals has all the tests for this variance, as required by law been considered in your deliberations?

(All of the Board of Zoning Members responded affirmatively.)

Mrs. Huber poled the Board and with a unanimous “aye” vote the request for the variance was granted.


No items for discussion were presented.


Chairman Okum: So, with that, I’ll accept a motion for adjournment.

Mrs. Huber moved to adjourn and the Board of Zoning Appeals adjourned at 8:27 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

________________________,2008 ___________________________________
            Chairman Dave Okum

________________________,2008 ___________________________________
            Secretary Jane Huber