21 AUGUST 2007
7:00 P.M.


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


Members Present:        Bob Weidlich, Bill Reichert, Jim Squires
                Jane Huber, Bob Emerson, Marge Harlow
                And Chairman Okum

Others Present:        Randy Campion, Inspection Supervisor



Mrs. Huber moved to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded the motion. All
Present voted aye, except Mrs. Harlow who abstained, and the Minutes
Were adopted with six affirmative votes.


A. Zoning Bulletin – July 1, 2007
B. Planning Commission Meeting Minutes – July 10, 2007


A. Report on Council

Mr. Squires said you have in your packets the ordinance passed by Council which allows for stricter enforcement of the Zoning Code.

B. Report on Planning Commission

Mr. Okum reported on the meeting of August 14th. Riley’s Restaurant received approval of a sign located at the center of the tower. John Morrell presented a 38,000 s.f. addition along the rear of the property and was approved, and the final development plan of Glenview Greene (medical complex along Sharon Road) was approved.




A. Approval of variance to allow the construction of a deck extending 10 feet into the front yard at 507 Smiley Avenue. Said variance is requested from Section 153.580(D) “.may project six feet into a required front yard..”

Billy Mason, son-in-law of the owner said my wife and I moved back to help take care of her mother, who is 88 years old and is blind. There is a deck on the back of the house, and she enjoys it in the mornings. In the evenings the sun does not allow that.
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Mr. Mason added that is the reason we want to build the deck in the front. Due to the lay of the house, the way it is built and the sidewalk out front, it needs to extend 10 feet out from the inlay, that would be from the inside part. If it were six feet, it wouldn’t even come out to the sidewalk; eight feet would put you in the middle of the sidewalk and we couldn’t use the sidewalk for her to get up and down. That is the reason for this size.

We have a glider swing that she enjoys sitting in, and it has a four-foot base on it. She has to use a walker to get around, so a six foot deck would be something she couldn’t even get on. That was another reason for the size.

I built a shed and when the inspector came, I talked to him about the deck. He said he didn’t know all the references and measurements so he couldn’t comment on it. He did look down the road towards the west, he said I can see by the other houses and their porches and the way they extend out that you have plenty of room in your front yard.

I don’t understand the measurement in the staff comments, 29 feet. I don’t know exactly where they measured from, but my wife and I both went out, and it is 35 feet 5 inches from the curb to where the outside of the deck would be. I don’t know if they measured from the center of the road, but it is over 35 feet, five inches from the front of the house.

I will need to build a ramp so she can get up and down it. If I go past the existing sidewalk that comes from the driveway to the deck to make a post to allow the steps to come down, it will be 10 feet.

Mr. Campion reported the applicant is requesting to construct a 12’ x 20’ deck on the front of their residence. Section 153.580 (D) allows a deck to project six feet into the required front yard. The proposed deck will project 10 feet into the existing front yard. The required front yard setback for this property is 35 feet.

The Zoning Code allows the deck to be built 29 feet from the right of way. The applicant is requesting that it be 25 feet from the right of way line. Because there is a two-foot offset on the front of the residence on the east side where the deck is proposed, an 8’ x 20’ deck can be constructed and comply with the zoning Code.

There is an existing 12’ x 14’ deck on the rear of the residence.

Mr. Campion stated I think they measure the right of way from the center of the road, but that is something we will have to check with Bill and find out exactly where it is/ . Mr. Okum added I think the right of way is one foot in off the curb.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum asked if the 35 feet five inches you measured were the closest point to the home. Mr. Mason responded that was from the curb to where the deck will extend, the outer edge of the deck, not from the house.

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Mr. Okum added we have a report from staff that is contradictory to what your request is. If you wish, we can continue this hearing to next month or we’ll carry on tonight.

Mr. Mason said I am just trying to build a deck so that my mother in law can sit out on it and enjoy it. There are other decks and porches in Springdale that extend more than six feet from the house, but I am not here to get those people in trouble. If the board doesn’t want me to build it,

Mr. Okum responded I am not trying to do that to you. It appears that you are giving evidence that is contradictory to what staff has presented. I am trying to understand where that right of way line is by law on Smiley.

Mrs. Harlow said in our subdivision, The Terrace, we have sidewalks and our right of way starts one foot in from the sidewalk toward the house.

Mr. Mason commented her sidewalk is next to the house. Mrs. Harlow responded you are in a much older subdivision. We don’t know exactly where the right of way starts. Mr. Mason added her sidewalk is 3 feet away from the house. If I build the deck any other way, the sidewalk will have to be torn up and brought out into the yard and back into the deck to use the sidewalk at all. Mrs. Harlow added in order to be fair to you, we need to determine where the right of way is.

Mr. Okum added if we continue this hearing and I don’t want to keep anyone here tonight from commenting on this, we also want to deliberate and make the decision based on the facts. If the board is unsure, and there is contradictory information, we want to be fair to you. That is why I am suggesting that we carry this to next month.

At this time, I will open the public hearing to hear any comments from individuals who are here this evening.

Arva Ballinger of 504 Smiley Avenue said I have no objections to them doing what they want to do. I understand what you are saying. We are an old neighborhood without sidewalks. There have been various things given different homeowners up and down the street, and a lot of us aren’t in compliance with the current codes. They have been changed numerous times since I have been there, and I have been there 45 years. So I understand where you are coming from but I want you to know that I have no objections to what they want to do.

Anna Mason said there seemed to be a little bit of concern about my husband speaking before you. My mother could not have made the walk into this building; that is why she is not here. I am her caregiver, and he definitely has her permission to speak for her.

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Mr. Okum said it could be that in this part of Springdale there might have been a wider right of way line because of future sidewalks that could have been constructed. We don’t know that and we need to know that so we can make an informed decision.

Mr. Reichert said in the second paragraph of the statement, it says 25 feet from the right of way, so your 10 feet, subtracted from the 35 would net you 25. Mr. Okum responded I assume that would mean that there is a 10-foot right of way across Smiley.

Mr. Weidlich reported he put in a new driveway and he had to have his concrete seven inches for 10 feet back from the curb for the right of way. Mr. Okum said and you have no sidewalk, so you were in a similar situation.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Squires said in the staff report, it was indicated that because of the two foot offset in the front of the residence, you could have an 8’ x 20’ deck and comply with the Zoning Code. Can you live with an 8’ x 20’ deck?.

Mr. Mason responded said no, because where the sidewalk is extended out from the house, the eight foot out from the house would put the deck at the edge of the sidewalk, and there would be no way you could have steps coming off it to match the sidewalk. The whole sidewalk would have to be torn up, brought out into the yard and back towards the deck.

Mr. Emerson said I don’t see how we could give a variance since we don’t know the right of way. Mr. Okum asked Mr. Campion to get that information for the next meeting. Mr. Campion said yes. We can’t go by the CAGIS map because it is not always accurate. We can make a field trip and we have some zoning maps and we should be able to find the right of way.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum said staff will get with you and determine where the right of way is. Is that okay with you, and you ‘ll be back next month? Mr. Mason said you’ll make a decision next month whether I am here or not. Mr. Okum said no, we give you the opportunity to be here, and we prefer that you are here.

Mr. Squires moved to table to September 18th meeting and Mrs. Harlow seconded the motion. By voice vote all voted aye, and the item will be considered at the September meeting.

B. Approval of variance to allow a sign to be placed on West Kemper Road for Carriage Court Apartments, 11580 Olde Gate Drive. Said variance is requested from Section 153.529(A) (2) “...shall be not less than 50 feet from a side lot line and ten feet from any street right of way.”

Dobbs Ackerman of Carriage Court Apartments said we have a request to install a designated sign for our property, Carriage Court Apartments. We have had a struggle over the past few years on occupancy for the community. The number one complaint that we find in trying to bring residents into the community is directing people into Oldegate Drive.
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Mr. Ackerman said Oldegate Drive is a private drive that we maintain. Because of that, with the very minimal signage that we have, we feel it is necessary to install a sign that appropriately directs them back to the community. The community is not visible from any road so our only chance of directing people in is through some exterior signage.

We own a property on the corner, 197 West Kemper Road that is a home that we rent out, and we want to put the sign on that property. We feel that we have been a great part of the community for many years; we feel we are an asset to the community and to remain that, we need your help in supporting this variance to do so.

Without occupancy at appropriate levels, we run into a difficult business situation and we run into what becomes a declining asset in the community. We have had very difficult problems over the past years because of a lack of rentals. We have been gaining on that as of late, but we need to do a lot to shore ourselves up. This is one piece of being able to do so. Without it we feel we will continue to struggle.

Mr. Campion reported that the applicant is requesting a variance to place an additional identification sign on their property at the intersection of Oldegate Drive and West Kemper /road. The sign is proposed to be five feet from the west lot line and 0 feet from the West Kemper right of way. The Zoning Code requires the sign to be located 10 feet from the right of way line and 50 feet from the side lot line. (Section 153.529 (A) (2)).

The Oldegate property is a strip panhandled lot extending out to the West Kemper Road. The total width of the panhandle is only 25 feet, making it impossible to meet the 50-foot side setback requirement. The Kemper Road right of way appears to be approximately 15 feet wider at Oldegate Drive than it is to the west. This causes the sign to be set back even further from the edge of pavement on Kemper Road. (Oldegate Drive is a private street).

There is an existing combined Oldegate Condominium/Carriage Court Apartment sign on the east side of Oldegate Drive. Section 153.529 (A) (2) also indicates that there is only to be one identification sign and that it may not exceed 25 s.f. in area or four feet in height. The sign proposed is 40 s.f. in area and although not indicated, appears to be 7’-5” in height. The applicant needs to clarify if the exiting sign is to be removed. If not, the following items need to be considered by the board in granting the variance:

1. The setback from the Kemper Road right of way at 0 feet.
2. The setback from the side lot line, 5 feet to the west and 20 feet to the east.
3. The size of the sign (40 s.f.)
4. The height of the sign (7’-5”
5. And the fact that there are two signs.

The applicant has cited poor visibility as a reason for requesting the variance.

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Mr. Ackerman said I need some clarifications. We have the sign itself on posts, so I don’t believe it is 40 s.f. total. There is another sign on the site and that sign generally communicates the community of Oldegate. We have a very small portion of that sign that identifies the Carriage Court Apartments. So we really have not received any benefit or ability to identify ourselves appropriately from that sign.

Mr. Okum said your request is to place the sign on the 197 West Kemper property, and not on the strip panhandle that runs along Oldegate Drive. Mr. Ackerman confirmed this, adding that we always have tried to be very accommodating to the condominium association. That is why we never took much signage. As things have changed our needs for signage have changed to identify ourselves. To not take away from the Oldegate community, we made the application on our own piece of property.

Mr. Okum asked if they could modify the existing sign and Mr. Ackerman answered no, not to the degree that would give us the ability to put directional signage because of the setbacks that are in place. For whatever reason, the design of this site and the setback requirements have given it poor visibility, and we have struggled because of that.

Mr. Okum opened the public hearing. No one came forward and he closed the public hearing.

Mr. Squires moved to grant the variance for the sign at 197 West Kemper Road and Mr. Emerson seconded the motion.

Mrs. Huber said I understand the need for identification. However, I have been living on West Kemper Road most of my life, and we were always told that the condominium owners at Oldegate did not appreciate anybody using that driveway to access Northland Boulevard or the apartments. Do you have an approval from the condo association?

Mr. Ackerman answered no, we do not. This is applied for on a separate lot from the condo association. This is a private drive, and the only way to access the apartment community is through this drive, which we maintain 50% with the condominium association.

One of the things that has happened, is Kemper Road has continued to expand and grow, with more and more businesses and traffic. In that case it becomes harder and harder for people to identify where they are going. To be able to continue to be a part of the marketplace, we have to identify ourselves as well, and that is what we are asking your help for.

Mr. Squires asked if this sign would be compatible with the existing sign and Mr. Ackerman answered it is compatible in color and shape so that from an attractiveness standpoint it will blend with what is there.

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Mrs. Harlow said wouldn’t the variance go to 197 West Kemper rather than 11580 Oldegate Drive. Mr. Okum said we are talking a different thing here, an off premise sign to be placed at 197 West Kemper Road in addition to setback issues that are attached to 197 West Kemper Road. This is not what staff commented to. I think it is a matter of understanding what the applicant is requesting and what staff is interpreting.

Mr. Okum added we have to deal with additional items of the variance that would be necessary. One would be an off premise sign, which is not allowed in the Zoning Code. That is something we have to address, because you are asking to put a sign on a single family lot property that is residential multi-household zoning so that complicates it even more.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum said I understand that you are the owner of the single family property, but you may not be 20 years from now, and variances are granted to the property. Mr. Ackerman said we could move it to the panhandle if that would be more accommodating to the committee. Either one can achieve what we are looking to do here. We have flexibility on where that sign can be.

Mr. Okum said your application brought the sign on your portion of that panhandle down to Kemper Road and that is where staff interpreted it. At this point, you need to give us a clear defined request on your application so we can make a decision based on that. Mr. Ackerman asked if, from the committee’s standpoint, it would be better on the panhandle or on the single family lot.

Mr. Okum responded speaking as the chair, off premise signage has been a no vote for me in almost every instance. I have never supported it because it opens an enormous Pandora’s Box, and I would recommend that the board be very strong in that aspect.

I would rather you keep it where staff interpreted it than putting it on a single family residential lot attached to a commercial use. Would I vote for two signs on that panhandle? I can’t tell you right now, because I am not sold on how I would place two signs equally distant from the public right of way. Do you really need two signs? I like the one sign there, maybe a little bit bigger with plantings around it. It’s a little small and a little dark and hard to see. Also, if I had a business located on Oldegate Drive I would try to get a name change to reflect that but it is up to you and the owners to work through that.

Mr. Ackerman said I think your comments reflect some of the challenges we face, especially from a name standpoint. Carriage Court is named, not Oldegate Apartments to give the condominium association their own identification, which they want. We certainly could change the name to Oldegate Apartments but I can tell you that is not attractive from the homeowner’s standpoint. and we want to be accommodating. We don’t want to tread on their watch, so that is why we are looking for options.

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Mr. Okum suggested Carriage Court at Oldegate. I understand your situation, but right now I don’t see why you need two signs on Kemper Road for a development. I would like to see something happen with that one sign to make it more dynamic.

Mr. Ackerman responded unfortunately that does not fit the needs of the condominium association, and we want to be accommodating to the other residents who are there. We need to run a business, and we need your help and support to do that. Part of running a business is being able to identify yourself and bring people to your location. Without that, we struggle, and that means that the community as a whole struggles.

Mr. Ackerman said if the application is submitted on the panhandle lot, and that is a more accommodating situation in the city history, I would ask that you vote on this as submitted tonight.

Mr. Okum said for clarify, I believes the CAGIS drawing we have RSH-L Zoning is the parcel that is attached to your development. Do you know where your panhandle portion is?

Karen Condon reported I work with The Ackerman Group, and I spent two days with Mr. McErlane at this property because I couldn’t read this CAGIS paper, and we physically measured this.

I thought we were putting the sign on 197 West Kemper Road also, and he explained to me that where we want to put this new sign is (showed on the drawing where the sign would be).

Mr. Okum commented Mr. McErlane has put these hash marks on the CAGIS map and that is not 197 West Kemper Road. Those hash marks represent a panhandle that Carriage Court has that is the requested area. According to the aerial photo, the sign would be on the hash marked area at the zero right of way line.

Mr. Oakum asked if the hash marked area on the CAGIS map is Oldegate’s or Carriage Court’s property? Mr. Ackerman answered it is an easement for Carriage Court, and I believe it is a sewer easement as well.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum said we square our signs, and the drawing gives the impression that this sign is 40 s.f. If you put a straight edge across it, you have 4’ x 8’ and that is 32 s.f. I guess you are a little larger, but according to this you are 32 s.f. I would say the sign is 32 s.f.

Mr. Reichert added even with the yellow part, it is 36 s.f. Mr. Emerson added they actually made it 5’ x 8’ and made it 40 s.f. Mr. Okum commented because the arrow applies, so it is 5’ x 8’

Mr. Campion added regardless, if it exceeds 25 s.f. he needs a variance, so you could approve it based on the drawing, whether it is 40 or 32 s.f.

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Mr. Okum said we could amend our motion to reflect a 32 s.f. panel with an arrow of 1’ x 4’ and that would take care of it. I would like to see something in the motion that there is clear evidence of rights, of connectivity of properties before this is carried forward. I would like to have a legal interpretation of who has legal rights on this panhandle, because it does seem criss crossed.

Mr. Weidlich wondered if this sign has to adhere to the ground sign requirements of being brick or stone or masonry. Mr. Okum said I think we adopted a change to the Zoning Code that required that. Mr. Weidlich said I think so, and it is on the next application. Mr. Okum commented that is on Springfield Pike so it is in the Corridor Review District and their standards.

Mr. Campion reported this is a sign in a residential district so that could be and is why it falls within these rules.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum asked if he could lower the sign and put a masonry base and landscaping around it. Mr. Ackerman asked how low, and Mr. Okum answered seven feet... Mr. Ackerman answered absolutely, and we could add a base around it and plantings. That would make it more in keeping with the other sign.

Mr. Okum commented we have several items that the applicant has offered to incorporate into his request. We will have to make an amendment to the motion that there is a legal interpretation of the properties verified.

The applicant has agreed to lower the sign to seven feet and a 32 s.f. sign panel with a 1’ x 4’ arrow for direction and with a masonry, stone or brick base with plantings and landscaping to be reviewed by the city planner and staff. We also need a legal review and opinion on the connectivity to Carriage Court at this location is correct to show that is truly Carriage Court’s parcel to put a sign on.
Mr. Squires so moved and Mr. Weidlich seconded the motion.

Mr. Reichert said a point of clarifications. In staff comments, #3 it says a sign 25 s.f. or 4 feet in height. This says four and you say seven.

Mr. Okum responded the four feet would be if you took a panel and put it directly on the ground with no base. He will build a monument sign with a masonry base which is allowed to be seven feet high.

Mr. Okum said the other question would be is Carriage Court going to remove their name from the Oldegate sign.

Mr. Squires commented the existing sign is very good and I don’t want to see something totally different there.

Mr. Ackerman reported the other sign is very similar to this with a stone base on the bottom, which is what we are talking about building here.

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Mr. Emerson said I have a concern. What it Oldegate comes up here next month and wants to put up another sign, a larger sign? Is there any communication between Carriage Court and Oldegate? Is there any chance of you getting together with a nice sign that advertises both?

Mr. Ackerman said we did that in the past, and they were adamant about not communicating having the apartments back there. We agreed to their wishes at the time, because we didn’t have occupancy problems. We can’t continue that way and I am certain that their opinion would be that they wouldn’t want to communicate that there are apartments on Oldegate Drive as well.

Mr. Emerson asked who owns the property where Oldegate Drive sets. Mr. Ackerman responded I believe it is 50% owned by Oldegate Condominiums and 50% owned by Carriage Court. Mr. Emerson said there has to be a deed somewhere that tells who owns he property. Mr. Ackerman stated I would rather have our attorney give that legal opinion. WE don’t want to make waves; it is a condominium association which operates a lot different than a business operates.

Mr. Okum said I think Mr. Emerson’s question is two-fold on the motion to amend. One is if we allow this large a sign for the apartments, why not allow this large a sign for the condominiums. The other question is a shared sign for both businesses. I also believe that Carriage Court needs to get their name off .of the other sign because they are not a party of that parcel. Currently they are an off premise sign that has existed without being noticed.

Mrs. Harlow said I need clarification on exactly who owns what piece of property and how the signs became like this before I am comfortable with voting on putting two signs on a piece of property.

Mr. Okum said if the legal opinion is a part of the motion and they can prove to our legal counsel that is their true property, we have answered the question for the purpose of the variance.

Mrs. Harlow said we would be allowing two signs on what is considered one piece of property, right? Mr. Okum said no, they are multiple parcels. Even the zoning varies. Mr. Harlow said so this panhandle is something that is shared. Mr. Okum said only a part of that. That hash marked area is only a portion of Oldegate Drive and the grassy lane along the side. That belongs to Carriage Court according to the information we have been given. Mrs. Harlow continued so we would not be violating the two sign rule. Mr. Okum said I am a little confused about this because it is two separate if they have legal rights and this panhandle is physically connected to Carriage Court Then I would say that is a sign for Carriage Court and Oldegate somehow crisscrosses.

Mrs. Harlow said so you think that legally we are okay. Mr. Okum responded we are saying that if they have a legal right to that as a part of the connection between parcels, then we are not dealing with an off-premise sign, and that’s my biggest concern.
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Mr. Campion said if the parcels are connected, are they considered one lot? Mr. Okum answered I think you can have multiple lots on parcels but I would only support this if this panhandle physically connects to Carriage Court and is part and parcel of Carriage Court. Hopefully the wording is clear and they clearly understand the motion to amend.

Mr. Emerson asked if the amendment included removing Carriage Court from the existing sign. Mr. Okum answered no, and I will move to amend the amendment to indicate that the Carriage Court sign on the Oldegate Sign currently I removed. Mr. Weidlich seconded the motion.

Mr. Ackerman said it would be difficult to remove our name from the other sign because it is sandblasted.

Mr. Okum said frankly what I believe this board has said is that we believe that would be an off-premise sign and we don’t support off-premise signage. It is not part of our Zoning Code, and you would be cited for it being off-premise signage so you probably would have to remove it anyway.

Mr. Ackerman said from our standpoint, we would not support having our name removed. Mr. Okum responded that would be part of the conditions based on the motion.

Mr. Okum said we have a motion to amend that includes changing the size of the sign from 40 s.f. to 32 s.f. with a 1’ x 4’ arrow for directions. The sign shall be lowered to 7-foot and there shall be a masonry or stone base constructed and plantings and landscaping that shall be reviewed by the city planner and staff. A legal review and opinion as to the connectivity to the Carriage Court development location is required, and the Carriage Court Apartments sign will be removed from the Oldegate sign currently there.

Mr. Squires said he has indicated that he can’t support that; how can we force that? Mr. Okum said we can’t force it but he doesn’t have to do it either. If you set conditions on a variance, he doesn’t have to be in complete agreement with the variance. If he wants the variance granted, those conditions are set by this board. If he doesn’t like it, he can determine that he won’t pursue it. If he wants to pursue it, those conditions have to be met. It’s his decision. Mr. S quires said if he doesn’t want to do that, what are his options? Mr. Okum responded he can reapply.

On the amendment to the variance, all voted aye.

On the amended motion, all voted aye, and the variance was granted with seven affirmative votes.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum said you have an amended motion to your request with conditions. It is your decision whether you want to act on those or if you want to reapply. You have heard the deliberations of this board and you know how this board is looking at this.
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C. Approval of variance to allow a sign to be placed not within the required setback at 11503 Springfield Pike (American Mortgage Service Co.). Said variance is requested from Section 153.531(D) (5) “...shall be not less than..ten feet from a street right-of-way..”

No one was present. The item was moved to the end of the agenda.

D. Approval of variance to allow a utility building to remain three feet from the property line at 1193 Wainwright Drive. Said variance is requested from Section 153.097(B) (4) “..must be not less than 5 feet from any rear or side lot lines.”

Tim Heffner owner of 1193 Wainwright Drive said because of my ignorance, the shed is already up. I know that ignorance is no excuse.

The company that built my shed asked me to stake out where I wanted the building to go and for some reason I staked out three feet instead of five feet from the property line.

It is a very nice building, and I knew it would be visible from the street so I had some extra expense to make it look nice with vinyl siding and shutters. I am asking for a variance on the three feet.
When the inspector came to inspect the shed, he asked if I could move it and maybe I could hire a crane and have somebody lift it.

When I got the building permit, I did not see this sketch that says 5 feet from the property line. If you ask me to move it, I can find somebody with a crane; there would be some expense I am sure. I would ask your help to allow a variance on it.

Mr. Campion reported that the applicant is requesting to allow his 8’ x 10’ utility building to remain three feet from the side lot line. Section 153.097 (B) (4) requires that the accessory building be located a minimum of five feet from the rear and side lot lines.

A permit was issued for installation of the utility building on May 22, 2007 (copies attached). The applicant indicated on the site plan sketch that the structure would be five feet from the property line. On July 23, 2007 Gordon King the Building Inspector sent notice to the applicant informing him that the utility building was in violation of the Zoning Code.

The applicant has not expressed an unusual characteristic about the property which would make it impractical to locate the utility building at least five feet from the side lot line.

Mr. Okum opened the public hearing. No one came forward, and he closed the public hearing.

Mr. Weidlich moved to grant the variance to allow the 8’ x 10’ shed to remain at 3 feet from the side lot line. Mrs. Huber seconded the motion. Mr. Okum asked if the shed was built on a platform and Mr. Heffner said that it was, with stones beneath it to level it out. Mr. Okum wondered if he had spoken to Heartland on the cost of moving it and Mr. Heffner indicated that he had not.

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Mr. Weidlich said if it is on stones, couldn’t you jack it up a little bit and get some pipe under it and roll it a couple of feet. Mr. Heffner responded I would have to figure out how to get it up off the stones to lower it down on some pipe. Mr. Weidlich said that would be an option that should be a lot cheaper, to get a couple of neighbors to help you. Mr. Heffner said if you want me to do that, I would do it rather than having it torn down. Mr. Weidlich said we wouldn’t want to see you tear it down. I wondered if you would consider something like that, since it sounds like it would be feasible to move it. Mr. Heffner commented maybe if I got enough people, eight people to lift it up on one side off the stone and roll it. Mr. Weidlich said get some hydraulic jacks for each corner.

Mr. Okum said I support Mr. Weidlich’s approach on this. You have not shown a practical difficulty that it can’t be moved, so I would like to see you move it to where it belongs. I understand that there would be some cost involved in that, but it sets right out there and is really close to your property line.

Mrs. Harlow asked if it could be tabled until Mr. Heffner finds out the cost of moving the fence. Mr. Okum commented the other option is for him to reapply. If we feel that three feet is not okay, we should vote based on that, or we can continue it. It is up to the board.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Squires said you have indicated that it would be a great deal to pick it up and move it. Is there any topography that would prevent that? Mr. Heffner answered no, there is space to move it two feet. It is just doing it. Mr. Squires said you can’t do it by yourself, and we don’t want you to tear it down.

On the motion to allow the shed to remain three feet from the side lot line, Mrs. Huber, Mr. Emerson, Mrs. Harlow, Mr. Reichert and Mr. Squires voted aye. Mr. Weidlich and Mr.Okum voted no, and the variance was granted with five affirmative votes.
E. Approval of variance to allow a sign to be erected at the corner of Princeton Pike and East Tri-County Parkway (Golden Tee @ Tri-County). Said variance is from Section 153.521 in which directional signs are limited to 6 s.f. in area and 4 feet in height.

Robert Buechner owner of Golden Tee @ Tri-County said we are a par three course and driving range and we have absolutely no visibility from Princeton Pike and really n one from Tri-County Parkway, so signage is very important to us.

What we seek is a variance to allow us to put in a larger sign, the same size as the Oak H ills Cemetery sign on the corner of Princeton Pike and Tri-County Parkway. While we have been in business for over five years, people do not know where we are. We are not getting the kind of customer flow we should have. We need better signage. We want to match our sign with the cemetery sign in terms of size and attractiveness which will be visible from Princeton Pike.

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Mr. Buechner added we will comply with all setback requirements. We have worked with the property owner of the cemetery association and have received their permission to haves a larger sign.

As you can see from the photographs, across the street is a very large sign for Guardian and Key Bank. It’s not like we are doing something different in the neighborhood, and our sign would match the size of the cemetery association sign.

The other two gentlemen who were here are our golf professional Pat Kennedy and he has said that nearly every day people come into our facility and say they did not know we were here. The purpose of the sign is to alert the public as to where we are so we can get a better traffic flow. Chris Cravey is here representing the cemetery association.

Mr. Cravey said I represent the Oak Hills Cemetery, and we entered into the agreement with Golden Tee five to six years ago with the hope of generating revenue for the cemetery because we would like to build a chapel, mausoleum and new office building.

Since Golden Tee has been in operation, the cemetery has been losing money. This is because of the real estate tax that we have to pay on the property. Last fall we were able to get a concession from the real estate board and they reduced it about one-fourth, so with that and the minimal rent Golden Tee pays, we are making $5,000 a year. This shows that they do not have the exposure by a sign showing where the golf course is. We support the sign; it will be very nice looking, and if we need to put plants around it, we’ll do that for them.

Mr. Campion reported that the applicant is proposing to place a 4’ x 8’ 32 s.f. directional sign on the adjacent cemetery property. The Zoning Code Section 153.521 states that the message on signs may only pertain to a use lawfully conducted on the premises, no off-premise signs.

The property is zoned Public Facilities – High Density. Section 153.530 outlines the requirements for signs in Public Facility districts. There are no provisions for directional signs. For commercial districts however, directional signs are limited to six foot in area and four feet in height. The applicant is proposing a 32 s.f. sign seven feet in height. This is the approximate size of the existing cemetery sign.

Should the board consider allowing the sign, staff recommends that it be smaller in area and height.

Mr. Okum opened the public hearing. No one came forward and he closed the public hearing.

Mr. Okum said I want to make sure we understand the request. There are two issues, an off-premise sign and the size of a directional sign. Whoever makes the motion should allow for an off-premise sign of 32 s.f. and seven feet in height.
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Mrs. Harlow said if the cemetery owns this property and they are leasing it to Golden Tee, how can this be an off-premise sign? To me they are two businesses that are sharing property. It is like United Dairy Farmers and Busken Bakery; they are two businesses located on that parcel, and both have signage.

Mr. Okum reported they have one monument sign with both businesses. This is just lease space. Each store has lease space, and they are only allowed signage on their lease space. This sign is being placed on the corner, which is part of the cemetery property.

Mr. Okum said I would think that a way to deal with the off-premise issue would be to have one sign for both businesses.

Mr. Okum said I would support Mrs. Harlow’s very valid point, a common sign for the development, Oak Hills Cemetery and Golden Tee. I will not be supporting two signs.

Dan Peters the PGA Golf professional and manager of the Golden Tee of Tri-County. The golf business is a very tough business, and I think we have a great facility here that is second to none in this part of the country. I send people over here and people never find it. We want people to know where we are; we want to have a chance. We are trying to survive in a market that is very competitive.

Mr. Buechner added when you are a tenant on property where the owner has given you permission to do something with their property to help themselves, this sign is not just for us. He has stated that they have done nothing but lose money in terms of leasing us the property. This has been an economically negative experience for the cemetery association, and it has been the same for us. We thought of a dual sign. The Cemetery Association sign is a very nice sign and we want to have a sign the same as theirs. It is their property; they are the owners so it is a sign on their property what is advertising essentially their business because they are in the business of providing golf, and through the golf they collect revenue. It is their property. The lease gives us the right to use the golf facility, but it also should give us the right to be economically viable and I really ask that this board approve our request for better signage. It is a necessity for us.

Mr. Cravey added the cemetery fully supports this. We recognize that you cannot find the golf course with the little bit of sign out there right now. He needs a 4 ‘x 8’ sign. Anything smaller would defeat his purpose. We fully support his request for this variance. If we have to go back and cut off a piece and lease it to him so he can have a sign on there, we will do that if that’s the only way we can have two signs there..

Mr. Okum said you are right; it is very hard to find. I have never gotten anything at my home to promote it either. Nothing has enticed me to go there. The times I have gone there I have loved it; it is a beautiful course.

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Mr. Okum added I don’t know what I can physically do to create an allowance. The public facility is allowed a certain amount of signage and that signage is dictated by our code. Oak Hills Cemetery probably exceeded that allowance already. Mr. Campion reported they are allowed 50 s.f. Mr. Okum said right now they have 32 s.f. You are really asking for an 8’ x 8’ sign rather than two 4’ x 8’ signs. If you subdivided it and created a lease arrangement you still would be allowed 50 s.f. I would much rather see the signs combined. I can’t tell you that you haves to do that, but I can tell you that I will not be supporting two 4’ x 8’ signs on that site.

Mrs. Huber commented I know what the code says, but I think we have two different entities here, a cemetery and a golf course. To be combined on one sign would be almost irreverent.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Emerson said you said you considered a joint sign. Sometimes it is not the size of the sign that catches people’s eyes, it is the shape. Have you considered a different sign? Instead of 4’ x 8’ maybe making it smaller and more compact and be able to put two signs together that would separate you two?

Mr. Buechner answered we struggled with the irreverent issue; it is very difficult to combine the golf course with the cemetery. We hired a sign company who came to us with multiple proposals. This is a process that has consumed some significant thought and effort. It will be every bit as nice as the cemetery sign. We will be proud of the sign, and so will the Springdale community.

Mr. Squires said you are leasing that property so at some time in the future as the cemetery sees the need for that property, they will take the golf course, is that right?

Mr. Buechner reported we have the equivalent of a 50-year lease (47 years are left), and that property will be returned to the cemetery. That is their property, and we have no ability to ever buy it or do anything but have a golf facility there.

Mr. Squires since it is the cemetery property forever, can the cemetery association have two different signs? Mr. Okum asked Mr. Campion if a public facility could have two signs? Mr. Campion reported it says that you can have one sign, but it has to pertain to the business. I guess the question before you is, is the golf course a part of the cemetery business.

Mr. Squires asked if the cemetery gets revenue from the golf course, and Mr. Buechner said that they do. Mr. Campion added it also says you can have one billboard sign not to exceed 50 s.f. without a variance. Mr. Okum commented and they have 32 s.f.

Mr. Okum said as I understand it, the applicant is asking for an additional 18 s.f. for directional signage. A public facility zone is allowed one 50 s.f. sign, and right now they have 32 s.f.

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Mr. Campion added that Mr. McErlane stated in his comments that commercial districts allow directional signage, but the public facility districts don’t. That is the difference.

Mr. Okum said Oak Hills Cemetery is allowed to have 50 s.f. of signage and it is supposed to be one sign. The applicant is requesting two signs and that the two signs be a total of 64 s.f. instead of the 50 allowed.

Mrs. Harlow asked if anyone one the board knew of any other piece of property that fits the criteria. Mr. Reichert commented this is probably the largest. Mrs. Harlow continued I feel we need to figure out a way of working with the applicant. Development in Springdale is very important to us. I can understand the situation that they are in, and I do think they need some relief somehow.

Mr. Okum commented I think what you are saying is because you have two unique business operations under one public facility use, a separation of the signs would be necessary. Because of the size of the development, an increase to 64 s.f. would be appropriate.

Mrs. Harlow added I also think that Mrs. Huber had a very good point about the combined signs. I think it should be separate because it would be irreverent. Our board is here to try to figure out things that don’t fit into the box. I also understand from our law director that when we issue a variance, we are not setting a precedent. I also don’t want to open up a situation where other businesses will come in and ask for two signs on a piece of property. That is why I asked this board if anyone knew of any other property with these unique characteristics.

Mr. Emerson said I don’t have a problem with the two signs as much as the size of the signs and being that close together. It would be one thing if the Golden Tee sign was on the corner and the cemetery sign a little further down the road. That is my issue.

Addressing the applicant, he said you were talking about the cemetery expanding and maybe building an office building. Will the office building be near that corner?

Mr. Cravey reported that a number of years ago we created a master plan, and part of it was to build a funeral chapel, mausoleum and office building. We don’t have the money right now but hopefully we will in a few years. We do think that the ideal location for a funeral chapel is right in the front.

Mr. Emerson said if you put a chapel on that corner, how would you feel about having a 4’ x 8’ golf sign there? Mr. Cravey answered we thought about that, but if we want them to succeed, we have to allow the signage. I don’t think the signage on the corner will interfere with where we are going to place a funeral chapel or office building.

You said you would like to see our sign moved down a little bit. If that is what it takes, I’m sure we’ll do that.

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Mr. Peters said you talked about the sign being a basic 4’ x 8’ sign. We know what the public likes in terms of the golf course. The sign will be landscaped with ornamental grasses. Something that looks nice and is well maintained is what brings people to your facility. If the sign looks like a professional sign, like a professional golf course, like a great facility, people will come.

Mr. Okum asked the height of the intended sign, and Mr. Buechner answered it is three feet off the ground and four feet up, so it will be no more than seven feet in the air, and there will be landscaping around it. The sign will be facing north and south.

Mr. Weidlich asked if this should be a monument sign. Mr. Okum said that is in the Corridor Review District. Typically we try to do that with Planning Commission. The applicant has indicated that they want to make it look nice, and I agree with Mr. Emerson. The present location of the Oak Hill Cemetery is a better location for the Golden Tee sign. You could move that sign down 747 a little bit to tie Oak Hills Cemetery to where it is and Golden Tee to that location.

Mr. Buechner suggested that be a part of the motion. What we would like to do is have our sign go where we suggested it go and the cemetery association would move its sign down closer to its facility. That should be part of the motion.

Mrs. Harlow moved to grant a variance at 455 East Tri-County Parkway to allow two signs on the lot. The Oak Hills Cemetery shall be moved south on 747 to allow room for the Golden Tee sign at the corner of 747 and East Tri-County Parkway. Each sign shall not exceed 32 s..f., seven feet in height and fully landscaped with masonry brick or stone decorative base. Mr. Squires seconded the motion.

All voted aye, and the variance was granted with seven affirmative votes.

F. Approval of variance to allow the construction of a sign 4 feet from the right of way at 11490 Springfield Pike. Said variance is requested from Section 153.531(D)(5) “..shall be not less than ten feet from a street right of way line…”

Rick Roderer of Fast Signs said there is no sign on the NECCO property right now. The previous tenant had a sign on the property that was two feet from the right of way, but I understand the street was built out and that is why it is so close now. All the other signs are two feet from the property line as well.

We are proposing at 4’ x 8’ sign. The area between where it is landscaped now and the right of way is 14 feet. We need more room. If we push it back 10 feet, they would have to dig up all their bushes in front of the building. We are trying to place the sign in the center between the bushes and the sidewalk, and it is a pretty small area.

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Mr. Campion reported that the applicant is requesting to place a ground sign 4 feet from the right of way line of Springfield Pike. Section 153.531(D)(5) requires that the sign be set back 10 feet minimum from the right of way.

There is approximately 27 feet from the right of way to the building. The sign can meet the setback and still be nine feet away from the building.

Although the site plan submitted by the applicant indicates a four-foot setback, the location of the drawings actually scales 10 feet, a complying location.

The applicant needs to demonstrate why the compliance is impractical. Section 153.423(D)(2) requires that the supporting structure of signs be brick or stone. A brick or stone base should be provided.

Mr. Okum opened the public hearing. No one came forward, and he closed the public hearing.

Mr. Okum asked the applicant if he got a copy of the Corridor Review District requirements for signage. Mr. Roderer answered no and Mr. Okum said I will read it for you:

“Signing shall be regulated by the Springdale Zoning Regulations as established by Section 153.520 through 153.537. In addition the following regulations shall apply to those properties within the CRD:

All ground signage support shall be brick or stone. Wood or metal may also be operable with the approval of the Planning Commission. The sign may be internally illuminated or externally illuminated. External illumination will consist of concealed cutoff fixtures with the minimum of .05 foot candles surface illumination to avoid unnecessary glare. All signage shall be no closer to the public right of way than 10 feet, and shall not exceed seven feet in height as measured from existing grade to the top of the feature of the sign. Ground mounted signs shall be consistent with the materials colors and style of the buildings, and the use of brick or stone sign bases shall be encouraged. Ground mounted signs shall be appropriately integrated within the overall site. Landscaping and the use of foundation plantings around ground signs shall be required. All ground mounted signage shall landscaped at the base on all sides with a total landscaped area equal to the sign face area.”

Mr.Okum said personally I think for this development, this standard should be adhered to. I think that can be accomplished. Staff has indicated that you would be nine feet away from the building, still have your sign and meet code. I think nine feet would be right against the bushes. Centering it in the field if done nicely would be a positive. Moving the sign back could be done, but you are the sign company, not the applicant.

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Mr. Roderer reported I did a brick base to start and they said it was too expensive.

Mrs. Harlow said the city has put a lot of effort into the redevelopment of Route 4. I do think the sign can be done, but I think it needs to be done in keeping with the architectural elements that the city is trying to accomplish. We want to have a neighborhood feel, and this sign would not add to that at all. It needs to be a monument sign with brick or stone masonry and landscaping.

Mr. Okum said I would be willing to give on the setback issue if the sign quality was there. Mr. Squires said there are two of us on this board, who have to answer to Council, and I can forgive the setback but the Corridor Review District is very important.

Mr. Okum said they can conform to the code and not get a variance. Addressing the applicant, he said obviously you are not in a position to make any commitments on the owner’s part, so I will be voting in opposition to the variance.

Mr. Roderer asked if there was any way to approve setback and then I can go back and redesign brick and not have to come for a variance setback again.

Mr. Okum answered it is up to the board. I think there would have to be the same kinds of conditions we put on the previous variance this evening. It would have to be reviewed by the law director’s office, our city planner, and our landscape architect . I know what you are saying but personally I would rather you come up with a redesign, show us what you want and we vote on it.

Mr. Roderer commented the only reason I mentioned this is because they have been up without a sign for three months. Mr. Okum said they can get a temporary banner for the building.

Mr. Okum asked the other members if they agreed that they were willing to give on setback if there is a decent monument sign. The other members agreed.

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

No one voted aye, and Mrs. Harlow, Mr. Squires, Mr. Emerson, Mr. Reichert, Mr. Weidlich, Mr. Okum and Mrs. Huber. Variance was denied with seven negative votes.

G. Approval of variance to allow three signs more than 7 feet in height at 11100 Springfield Pike and one sign at 11174 Springfield Pike. Said variance is requested from Section153.530(A) “One bulletin board, announcement or identification sign not exceeding 50 s.f. in area and not exceeding seven feet in height..”

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Michael Crommes of Bayer, Becker reported that last year we completed a $6 million investment on the west side of the property, and we are now pouring footers on a $20 million investment on the east side of the entry to Mapleknoll campus.

We feel this is a beautification project and we want to consolidate the signs we have. There are five signs along Springfield Pike; four of them have been approved and one is a directional. We want to eliminate one of those signs and bring forth a consistent design and presentation that is in keeping with the investment we are making and for the improvement of the corridor along Springfield Pike.

This location is a little unique in that it is an assembly building, and it has several entries to it. We want to consolidate those signs so that people can find their way into the campus. You have about one third of a mile of frontage along Springfield Pike and the number of signs that we are requesting is similar to what the city has here along Lawnview.

Sign B is the existing sign with the reader board and is the most substantial landscaped wall with the signage on it, and this is what we want to replicate in three other locations throughout the campus. We want to add a landscape trellis on the top of it and the end of the back section of the wall. .That is the section that needs the variance for the height and we feel it is a way to get some style an upgraded look, and a consistent and distinctive look along Springfield Pike.

Sign B is the number one sign, and behind it is a smaller sign that was given a variance, and would be removed.

He showed the main entrance sign which would be removed and replaced by one consistent with the original one.

Across the street at Westminster Cottages there is a sign that has a base that will be remodeled and have a vertical piece added to it so this sign off Westminster Cottages, the one across the way at Red Maple Way and the reader board will all be the same. The southern end where we have the deliveries will have the same signage as well.

We think this is a much better look for Mapleknoll Village, and with the additional housing developments in the area, we think it is an appropriate response to try to keep it consistent and reinforce the Mapleknoll Village investment in Springdale.

Mr. Campion reported that the applicant is proposing to remove two signs from their property on the east side of Springfield Pike, 11100, and replace them with new signs and modify one existing sign on the east side. The applicant is also proposing to remove and replace the existing sign on the west side of Springfield Pike at 11199.

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Mr. Campion added all of the signs have a decorative feature which make the signs 9’-10 inches high. Section 153.530(A) “signs permitted up to 7 feet in height and 50 square feet in area.” This same section limits properties in public facility districts to one identification sign.

A variance was granted on March 18, 2002 for a third ground sign on the 11100 property, which was smaller than the signs proposed. There are currently four ground signs on the 11100 property. The directional sign on the south side of the site never had a permit issued, and exceeds the typical Zoning Code limits for the directional signs.

The drawing shows that three of the four signs on the east side are being affected. The applicant needs to clarify whether the smaller internally illuminated ground sign south of the fence along the lake is to remain or to be removed (see sign on back of photo).

If it is to remain, the board needs to consider four signs on the 11100 property.

The sign area for each of the proposed signs is to be as follows:

                11100 Springfield Pike

            Marker A             35.8 s.f.
            Marker B             45.5 s.f.
            Marker C             34.8 s.f.

                11199 Springfield Pike

            Marker D             32.9 s.f.

Mr. Okum asked the allowable signage for 11100 through 11174. Mr. Campion answered one sign of 50 square feet, but there was a variance granted for three ground signs.

Mr. Okum opened the public hearing. No one came forward, and he closed the public hearing.

Mr. Okum said there is already a variance on that small Lifesphere sign that we approved in 2002, so that is not a part of the deliberations or request, because the variance stays with it.
We need to find out from the applicant what they are going to do with the small Lifesphere sign. Mr. Crommes said we want to remove it. So they are adding three new monument signs a provided on the drawing. One will be an information board and the two on the east side will have specific wording and the one on the west will have specific wording as presented. I think that should be referenced in the motion, L 1.1 with a revised date of 8/10/07.

If a motion would come to the floor, the motion should indicate that the existing Lifesphere small monument sign is to be removed, and that we are approving four monument signs per L.1.1 revised 8/10/07.

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Mr. Reichert so moved and Mr. Squires seconded the motion.
Mr. Okum said so the decorative element on these signs that puts it over the height limit is that trellis.

        Mr. Okum read the Corridor Review District signage requirements.

“Ground mounted signs shall be appropriately integrated within the overall site landscaping and the use of foundation plantings around ground signs shall be required. All ground mounted signage shall be landscaped at the base and all signs with a total landscaped area equal to the sign face area.”

Mr. Crommes responded we can comply with that.

Mr. Okum asked if they would be internally illuminated, and Mr. Crommes said probably, with very low level lighting. Mr. Okum added you understand that those require non-glare cutoff fixtures so as not to hinder the driving or walking public. Mr. Crommes confirmed this.

Mr. Okum said the reader board will be internally illuminated and it won’t change. Mr. Crommes responded it won’t change except for the addition of the trellis.

Mr. Okum added I don’t believe that the motion will require the addition of landscaping beds, because it is part of the corridor Review District, so it will be reviewed by staff to comply with these requirements.

Mr. Emerson asked if there was a variance for the internally lit sign, and Mr. Okum answered it wasn’t required. That sign was under the 50 s.f., but there is definitely a situation that the sign down at the south end was never approved, and they are in excess of the 50 s.f. sign for one development.

Mrs. Harlow said with the previous applicant, we considered one piece of property with two uses on it, and this property has many uses as well. We are still looking at a situation where we are putting multiple signs on one piece of property. I do not have a problem with this because of the expanse of the campus and everything they have done as corporate citizens has been excellent. Do we have any other pieces of property that we need to think about?

Mr. Crommes reported that a variance was granted in 1977 for two signs, in 1999 for the reader board and in 2002 for the third sign, so it has been in compliance. This request is about the trellis. I see it as an evolution and in keeping with our way of handling business. We want to show you what we are doing, the entire program.

Mr. Okum commented I don’t know about four being approved. Mr. Crommes responded the fourth is on the Westminster side which is a separate piece of property, and wouldn’t need a variance.

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Mr. Crommes added that there is nothing there, with the exception of the trellis on the top, which is a decorative feature. On the east side of the property, there have been three variances granted for three signs. There are four signs there now and we would remove one of them (the smaller Lifesphere sign) and we would use those three remaining signs to put one at each entrance and keep the reader board where it is. We don’t want anything more than what has been granted. We just want to reallocate that and consolidate the sign program.

Mr. Okum commented I don’t see anything wrong with that. Mrs. Harlow added I don’t either.

Mr. Crommes asked if the variance for a sign is tied to a location and Mr. Okum indicated that it was the location. Mr. Crommes said then I would like to suggest that the motion include L1.0 dated 8/10/07. Mr. Reichert amended his motion and Mr. Squires seconded the amended motion.

On the amended motion, all voted aye, and the variance was granted unanimously.

Going back to Item C:

Approval of variance to allow a sign to be placed not within the required setback at 11503 Springfield Pike (American Mortgage Service Co.). Said variance is requested from Section 153.531(D) (5) “...shall be not less than..ten feet from a street right-of-way..”

There still was no representative present. Mrs. Huber moved to table and Mr. Reichert seconded the motion. This item was tabled the item to the September 18th meeting.


A.    Mr. Okum said everybody has a copy of the final breakdown of the garages and sheds. Mr. McErlane and I e-mailed back and forth and I made a few changes to this. I changed out the decimal points and percentages and you can see what that does.

I think what happens in terms of garages, the percentage of the dwelling size according to that recommended code, would put those garages at 52%, 147%, 91% 71% and 87%. This is significantly massive in comparison to the dwelling size, and that might be a problem.

If you go down to the sheds, the percentages end up pretty close. If you look at the sheds, it is 2.5% based on the lot size. All of them are below the 2.5% that is allowable, even that one that is 200 s.f. In my opinion, 2.5% might be a little too high.

On the other hand, percentage of the dwelling size jumps up to 11%, 13%, 18%, and 17%. Then you are almost getting into the area where garages should fall.

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Mr. Okum added I want everyone to look at this and tell me what you are thinking. I’d like to get something referred to Planning Commission because they have been asking forit.

In my opinion this is a fair way of doing it. You are taking land mass and building element and are still allowing only one accessory building on a site. We need to get a formula for a garage that doesn’t overwhelm the dwelling size.

In the shed area, “not to exceed 2.5%” we need to lower it to 2%.We were stretching it at 180 or 200 s.f. but it’s up to you the board.

Mr. Reichert said in the garage section, the percentages look very large. Keep in mind that some of them may be just garages and some of them we approved as businesses being run out of a garage. Should that be broken down? Mr. Okum responded we are looking at physical dwellings; the use is a separate variance.

Mr. Reichert said so the code says the garage should not exceed 10% of the dwelling size. Mr. Okum responded that is their code, but I think that is ridiculous. 700 s.f. is the limit in our code is the limit, and 700 s.f. is probably a good number, but when you are on a lot that is 62,000 s.f., maybe 700 s.f. is not the right number. We may have to expand that for a garage on a lot that is 62,000 s.f. On the other hand, I don’t think we should be 147% over the dwelling size.

Mr. Campion suggested raising the shed size from 120 to 160 s.f. so you wouldn’t need a variance. That would eliminate to 1/3 of the sheds for which you are allowing variances.

Mr. Okum responded I don’t think a small lot should have a 160 s.f. shed. A small lot dictates a smaller shed; a larger lot dictates a larger shed. The percentage is a realistic way of looking at it. I don’t know if 2.5% is the right number, and I think 10% falls pretty close.

Mr. Weidlich commented if you allow somebody a larger garage, they may not come in for a larger shed. Mr. Okum said you would the sample code I found had one accessory structure, and it didn’t differentiate shed from garage.

I think 2% is good for sheds but if you get to the fraction of the lot size maybe that’s 8%. That’s pretty significant.

Mr. Reichert said I do like the idea of increasing the shed size more than120 s.f. Mr. Okum said do you think 2.5% of the lot size is realistic? Mrs. Harlow commented that would be larger than any of them you have there. Mr. Okum said you have to be fair with your code; you can’t be too restrictive.

Mrs. Harlow said if we go with 2.5%, there will be people with a very small lot who will take it to the 2.5% and have a shed that will be too large for their lot. Mr. Okum said we could insert a column and say what size these people would have had, if you wanted that.
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Mr. Emerson said I think it is funny that we haven’t hit the 2.5%, and we have had some pretty off-the-wall requests for sheds I think that’s giving them a lot.

Mr. Okum commented they knew our code said 120 s.f. Mrs. Harlow added how many people have we talked down.

Mr. Emerson said why don’t we put it at 2%, and let them convince us that they need 2.5%? If you set it at 2.5%, people will come in and push it to 2.75% or 3%. If you set it at 2%, they will be more likely to shy away from 2.5%.

Mr. Weidlich commented I would agree 2.0%. Mr. Okum asked what percentage it should not exceed of the dwelling size. Mr. Weidlich said what about leaving it at 10%. Mr. Okum responded then most of those wouldn’t have gotten their sheds. Mr. Weidlich suggested 15%. Mr. Emerson suggested figuring up an average for the not to exceed. Mr. Okum said Bill and I worked on the spread sheet and I think we can come up with an average and it should be something around 12%.

Mr. Reichert said I am considering the median. Mr. Okum said I would throw out the 17% and 18% and left the median, you would be better off, and I think it would be around 12%

Mr. Okum said I don’t think garages should be any more than 25% of the dwelling unit. Mrs. Harlow said if you have a big lot it might be only 1.8% of your lot. Mr. Okum responded on the other hand, is it a lot for a dwelling or a lot for a garage. Mrs. Harlow commented why can’t you have both? Mr. Okum continued why should your garage be 140% of your dwelling size?

Mr. Okum said what do you think about the fraction of the garage to the dwelling size? Mr. Emerson said 50% is pretty small. Mr. Reichert said 50% is about right. Mr. Okum said 50% of a 1400 s.f. dwelling would be 700 s.f.; 50% of an 818 s.f. house would be 409 s.f. Right now we allow 400 to 700 s.f. on those.

Mrs. Harlow said do we think 50% is too high? Mr. Okum responded actually you are giving them less than our current code would allow. Mr. Squires said 50% will get most of them.

Mrs. Harlow said so you are saying about 50% of the dwelling sizes. Mr. Reichert said when you look at the small dwelling size, you wouldn’t be able to put a car in there.

Mr. Okum said with a 2500 s.f. home; it would be a 1250 s.f. garage. Mrs. Harlow added most of our houses are in the 1300 to 1500 s.f. range. We should look at a common size house and work back from there.

Mr. Reichert added if you do as we did with the sheds and throw the top one and bottom one out, you’ll get pretty close. Mrs. Harlow agreed, saying to throw the 818 and 2000 out, and work with the three numbers we have and you would be in the same ballpark.
21 AUGUST 2007


Mr. Okum said so you could make it 66% of the dwelling size, not to exceed 700 s.f.

Mr. Reichert suggested 55% of the dwelling size, and Mr. Okum responded I do not think it should be more than 50%. Mrs. Harlow added we shouldn’t go below 700 s.f. I think 66% is too high, and I am a little shy at 50%.

Mr. Reichert suggested 55% of the dwelling size and Mr. Weidlich agreed.

A motion was made that this be forwarded to Planning Commission with our recommendations. The motion was seconded by Mr. Squires. All voted aye, and the motion was approved.


A motion was made to adjourn, and the Board of Zoning Appeals adjourned at 10:50 p.m.

                    Respectfully submitted,

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                    David Okum, Chairman

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                    Jane Huber, Secretary