7:00 P.M.


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


Members Present: Tom Schecker, David Whitaker, Councilwoman Kathy

McNear, James Squires and Barbara Ewing

Members Absent: David Okum (arrived at 7:48 p.m.)

Councilman Robert Wilson (arrived at 7:03 p.m.)


Mrs. McNear moved for adoption and Mr. Schecker seconded the motion. By voice vote, all present voted aye, and the Minutes were adopted with four affirmative votes.


    1. Report on Council Activities
    2. Mrs. McNear requested to move her report to the end of the meeting hoping that Mr. Okum will be here. Mr. Squires stated that he is on his way from Indianapolis.

    3. Report on Planning Commission Ė none
    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.

B. Chairmanís Statement

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a Public Hearing, and all testimony given in cases pending before this board are to be made part of the public record. As such, each citizen testifying before this board is directed to sign in, 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. Clifford Garstka, Sr., 11835 Mangrove Lane requests variance to allow the placement of a satellite dish on his garage roof. Said variance is requested from Section 153.053(B)(1) "It shall not be roof mounted onÖany accessory building."
    2. Mr. Garstka stated I called Prime Star and asked about placement of the on the ground. They said they could not get a clear signal because of the height of the trees, so I am here asking for a variance to keep the satellite dish on my garage roof.




      15 SEPTEMBER 1998

      PAGE TWO


      Mr. Wilson wondered if the only place you could put the dish is on the garage roof. Mr. Garstka responded because of the height of the trees beside Mangrove and Ruskin, they would not be able to get a clear signal. The gentleman from Prime Star signed a statement on the form that I submitted.

      Mr. Whitaker wondered if there were any way to have it installed on the back side of the second story of the house, and would that be in compliance? Mr. Lohbeck said it is only allowed on the ground.

      Mr. Squires wandered if this item would come under Telecommunication Chapter 1 Federal Communications Commission Common Carrier Services Item B "Any state or local zoning, land use building or similar regulation that affects the installation maintenance or use of the following two categoriesÖ". Mr. Lohbeck answered it is still in our Code. Mr. Squires wondered if this would supersede our code, adding that his reason for asking was some time ago we had an applicant and they sent us a letter. Ms. McNear commented I believe she was able to do that because hers was coming from Russia, and there was only one place that she could get that service. It was for specific numbers of channels, not a service like Prime Star. I believe that was why it was allowed, but you may have to go back and check the minutes on that.

      Mr. Schecker said the trees behind your house on Ruskin are quite tall, so I understand the interference. From my observation, since you live on the very end of the street and you hardly can see it, I do not have any objection to this positioning of the device.

      Addressing Mr. Schecker, Mrs. McNear said I wonder if you would have that same opinion if you lived across the street. Even though it is at the end of the street, there are probably three people that do have to look at that. Mr. Schecker said that is true but the structure of the house is another factor. The house itself is a large two story which further shields the garage.

      Mr. Garstka added the only house that l can see the antenna is right the Murphys across the street, and when I went to inform them about the meeting, they asked when I was going to put it up; they hadnít even recognized that it was there.

      Mr. Lohbeck reported that this is a rental property, and we do not have the ownerís permission. Mr. Garstka stated I am in the process of purchasing it.

      Mr. Wilson commented this looks like it is on the back side of the garage. Who is behind you? Mr. Garstka said John and Barbara Tafuri. Mr. Wilson asked if they had any opposition to it, and Mr. Garstka said they did not. Mr. Wilson said you have talked to the owner and they donít have any objection? Mr. Garstka said they did not.

      Mrs. McNear said I understand you are buying this, but we cannot grant the variance to you because you are not the owner of the property. The request would have to come from the current owner. Secondly, Iím going to talk about precedence. Granted a lot of people arenít going to be impacted by this because you are at the end of the cul de sac, but once we allow this, we will have a rash of these coming in and I donít think we want to see this type of system on the roofs of all of our houses in Springdale. For those reasons, I will be voting no.

      Mr. Lohbeck reported we have not received landlord approval for this. Mrs. McNear added given the fact that we donít have permission from the current owner, I think it would only be right to table this.


      15 SEPTEMBER 1998



      Mr. Wilson asked the applicant if he would be receptive to that, and Mr. Garstka answered that he would. Mr. Wilson so moved and Mr. Schecker seconded the motion.

      Mr. Squires asked if anyone in the audience cared to speak on this, and no one did. By voice vote, all present voted aye, and the item was tabled to the meeting on October 20th.

    3. Skyline Chili, 85 East Kemper Road requests 48" x 20" double-sided ancillary sign to be added to the structure of the existing pole sign. Said variance is requested from Section 153.140 "Ancillary signs..shall not exceed 4 square feet in area."

Martha K. Goldbeck, Project Manager of Northside Bank & Trust Company introduced Cassie Cook of CDS Associates who will be working with me on this project.

We are putting an ATM at the Skyline Chili Parlor at 85 East Kemper Road, and we would like to be granted a variance that would allow a 48" wide by 20" high double sided sign to be added below the already existing Skyline sign. This would be a standard MAC sign to indicate that there is an ATM available at this location.

We were approached to put this ATM at this location. Mr. Peter Perdikakis of Skyline does not accept credit card for payment at his restaurant, so he would lose some business that way. He felt if he had an ATM at his establishment, they would have the ready cash and eat at his restaurant.

The ATM is about 30 inches wide and would not take up much of his storefront. It would be placed on the northwest corner of the establishment. It would have our Northside Bank logo with an information panel on either side, so it wouldnít take up a large portion of the area.

We have chosen this corner for many reasons but the most important is for the safety of the customers that would be using the ATM. They would be in a well lit area very visible from Kemper Road and the crossroad and there I plenty of parking for both the chili customers and the customers using the ATM. It also would not interfere with the current traffic flow in or out.

We are one of the only banks which have ATMs in this area that does not surcharge, so we feel it is a community service. At the same time, we want to widen our customer base and get our name better known.

We feel the size and placement of the sign should be large enough so the motorists can see it without having to take their eyes off the road. It will be about 23 feet off the ground, but not be obtrusive in any way, just informative.

I have been trying to get in touch with the owner of the property, because I am aware that I will need authorization from the property owner. I have come across a few stumbling blocks, but I think I finally have narrowed it down and hopefully will be getting written authorization to put a sign on their property. So, pending their letter of authorization, I would request your approval on this sign variance.

Mr. Wilson commented I will have to do some research to see if the existing sign is equal to the square footage allowed. If it is not and this sign adds more to it, would Mr. Perdikakis be willing to downsize the sign to accommodate this 4 x 1.8?





Ms. Goldbeck responded we would be willing to do that. Cassie has done research in that area. Ms. Cook said Skyline Chili was issued a previous variance for their sign. Apparently that sign was relocated, and since he was moving it and not building a new one, the total area of the sign is 66.5 square feet, and 50 square feet is allowed. I would like to point out also that the section of the code that we are looking at is the portion for ancillary signage, which allows for a maximum of 16 square feet total. With our double sided sign, we would be at just under 13, so as far as that portion of the code is concerned, we are in compliance. It is the regulation that you are allowed 4 square feet for each face that we are requesting a variance for.

Mr. Schecker said it seems like you are asking for quite a lot of additional area for an ancillary sign. I can appreciate your need for visibility from Kemper Road but on the other hand, the MAC logo is quite recognizable. Iíve seen very small ones that were not difficult to spot. For that reason, I am very reluctant to consider quite as large a sign as you have proposed. There may be some area of compromise, but initially, Iím not inclined to agree to this size sign.

Mrs. McNear said again we have a request from someone that is not the owner of the property. I know that you have asked for the ownerís approval, but we do not have it and I do not feel comfortable granting a variance contingent upon a trusteeís approval.

Mr. Squires said someone mentioned earlier that you would consider a smaller sign. I am thinking 42" x 14" would be slightly over. Mr. Squires said that would give you a little over 4 square feet, and would be in compliance Could you consider that? Ms. Goldbeck answered I am sure we could accommodate that. Mr. Schecker stated we are talking about a double sided sign. Ms. Cook said it was my understanding that the 4 square feet was for one face of the sign, so it would be 4 square feet on each side. Mr. Squires said then 42" x 14" would be 4.1 square feet on each side.

Mr. Squires asked if anyone in the audience wished to speak about this variance. No one did.

Addressing the applicants, Mrs. McNear commented we canít grant this without the approval of the trustee and if you wish, we can table this until the next meeting so you can get approval from the trustee. Ms. Goldbeck responded rather than have a no vote and no sign, I would be glad to do that. Mrs. McNear added I really donít have a problem with the sign; I think the ATM is something that is needed. I am a little concerned about the traffic it may pull in there because that is a very dangerous section of the road. I donít have a problem with the size of the sign because it is such a busy area.

Mr. Squires asked both applicants how they felt about this. Ms. Cook said what would happen if we were granted a variance pending the trusteeís approval? Would that be a possibility, to have the variance take effect when the letter was received? We are fairly confident that we can get approval from the property owner.

Mr. Lohbeck reported that according to the staff comments, Bill said the property is owned in a trust and should the board decide to approve the variance request, approval should be given contingent on the trusteesí approval. At Tri-County Mall, we always get landlordís approval before we issue any permits on new jobs. So before we actually would issue the permit, we would want to see the letter.






Mr. Wilson said I donít think we can do that, because we tabled the previous applicantís request until we have the ownerís permission. In the interest of conformity, I donít feel comfortable granting a variance to this applicant without the ownerís consent when we did not do that for the previous one.

Mrs. McNear moved to table and Mr. Wilson seconded the motion. By voice vote, all present voted aye, and the item was tabled to the October 20th meeting.

C. Victor Hunter, 12160 Greencastle Drive requests variance to allow the construction of a 10í x 14í shed. Said variance is requested from Section 153.036 "..A separate accessory building or structure..shall not exceed 120 square feet."

Victor & Sheila Hunter approached the board. Mr. Hunter stated we moved in on the 28th of August. We called the owners and asked them if we could build a storage shed in the back yard. They approved it, but we didnít know and go through the proper channels and get an okay through the city. It is 14 x 10 and 120 square feet is allowed. There is an easement at the back of the property with a lot of trees and nobody living back there. We have spoken with each of the neighbors; a couple of them have complimented us on the chalet style, but it is larger than the code allows and we are requesting this variance.

Mr. Wilson commented you cannot see it from the rear because of the trees. The only way you can see it is driving by the house. Mr. Hunter responded it is a huge back yard and the shed is in the far back corner.

Mr. Lohbeck stated the shed is closer than 5 feet from the side property line. It is about 4 feet.

Mr. Wilson commented we have only two issues, the square footage which is 20 feet over what I allowed and the setback from the property line, which is one foot too close. Can we resolve one of these issues by moving the shed one or more feet? Mr. Hunter that might be a possibility. It is setting on blocks, and I donít know if we can get someone out and have it moved over or not. Mr. Wilson continued one of the things we would like you to consider is to move the shed so we would have one issue. Maybe we should address one issue at a time.

Mr. Schecker said I would like to commend you for a very nice looking property, including the shed. Considering the depth of your property, and the fact that you have no one behind you, I personally have no objection to the size of the shed.

Mr. Squires stated we still have two issues before us, the 140 square foot shed versus 120 square feet, and four feet from the property line versus five feet. Shall we consider them separately or together?

Mr. Wilson responded letís look at them separately. Since I am a newer member on this board, I will ask if we have allowed a variance of up to 20 feet in storage sheds in the past, and why? Mr. Whitaker stated the large yards have been the main reason. We just approved one on Cloverdale a couple of months ago.

Mr. Wilson asked how deep this lot is and Mr. Hunter answered I am not sure, but when we were looking at homes, one of the comments made was that it was one of the largest lots in the subdivision. The shed doesnít look very big setting back in the corner. Mrs. Hunter added there is some yard space behind the shed, but it is still wooded area.






Mr. Wilson said have we agreed that 20 feet over isnít a big issue? All the other members agreed that the size is no problem.

Addressing the board members, Mr. Squires asked how they felt about the 4 foot setback versus the 5 feet required. What kind of expense would be involved in moving that? Mr. Hunter answered I would have to call the Quality Barns to find out about that.

Mr. Wilson wondered if this werenít something that you and some friends could move. Mr. Hunter answered it is worth a try; I donít know if that would work. Mr. Squires asked if the terrain were fairly level, and Mr. Hunter indicated that it was.

Mrs. McNear said if it was my barn and I was in trouble with the city because it was put in the wrong spot, I would go back to my builders and say you know better because you build them every day and you need to move it and make it right for me at no cost.

Mr. Hunter responded when they came over, I laid out an area where I wanted it and gave them some direction. The guy commented on space between the property line. I will call them.

Mrs. McNear added it is a very nice shed and that wasnít pocket change to pay for that and they need to make it right for you. My feeling is we need to have you bring this into compliance with the five foot setback and make your builder do it, because they know better.

Mr. Hunter said my question would be that if there is an ongoing battle with the builders, where does that put us with this board? What time frame are we dealing with. If I call Quality Barns and they say no, and I get into the legal issue, how much time do I have before it has to be resolved?

Mr. Squires asked Mr. Lohbeck for his comment, and he indicated it is up to the Building Department to make sure we have compliance, and generally I give the applicant two weeks. Mr. Hunter said if it is not in compliance, what do I need to do if it is a matter of legal issues with the builders? Mr. Lohbeck answered ultimately it is your responsibility to move it, whether it is by your builder or by yourself.

Mr. Schecker said Mrs. McNear suggestion is well taken that the builder should move that for you. I would suggest that we grant the variance with the stipulation that you bring the building within code, five feet off the property line. If Mr. Hunter should get into legal difficulties, I would think he could approach us again with a variance request for the location. Is that doable?

Mrs. McNear said I was thinking of 30 days to come into compliance with the side yard setback. If we tabled it and you looked at another plan, you would get 30day anyway, and I think it would be fair.

Mrs. McNear moved to grant the variance to allow a 10í x 14í shed and give the applicant 30 days from today to bring it into compliance with the 5 foot setback in the side yard. Mr. Wilson seconded the motion.

Mr. Okum arrived at 7:48 p.m.

Voting aye were Mrs. McNear, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Whitaker, Mr. Schecker, Mrs. Ewing and Mr. Squires. Variance was granted with six affirmative votes.





Mr. Hunter said if after 30 days they refuse to do anything, and I have attempted to get several of my friends to attempt to move it and that doesnít work, and the cost to move it is something I canít afford in that 30 day time frame, is there something I can do to get additional time?

Mr. Wilson said the agreement is for 30 days. If within that time frame prior to the 30 days you let Mr. Lohbeck know that you have a problem, at that point we would consider it. I donít think at this juncture, we are willing to give you another period of time. I feel confident realizing you want to be in compliance that you will do whatever it takes within your financial means to get it done. If you find within 21 days that there is a problem, you can notify us and we will deal with it at that time based on the circumstances.

Mrs. Ewing wondered if the builders had indicated that a permit was needed to build the shed. Mr. Hunter said no, there was just a comment about the distance between the barn and the property line. I left it up to them as the experts; I told them where I wanted it and he said it should be fine and I left it at that.

Mr. Squires said before we go any further, we want to get back to the report on council activities. Mrs. McNear requested that this be at the end of the meeting, hoping Mr. Okum would be in attendance.

Mrs. McNear said I wanted to make this report when everyone was in attendance because there was a comment made at the last Council meeting that affected this board and I wanted to read it from the Minutes. Keep in mind that these Minutes have not been approved.

This comment was from Ms. Manis. "Since the last meeting, the house on Balsam has been bothering me as far as the BZA approval. I think it sets a bad precedent. I think we need to look at a way we need to do these things. It seems like people who come in and have already had things done get a variance, yet weíre extremely critical of people coming in wanting less. It doesnít seem like it is the proper way to do things.

The guy on Balsam built a garage in his back yard and then came in and got approval. Then he built a driveway and came in and got approval. If someone had come in for the first time, I am sure we would not have given them a variance. It happens a lot with sheds, air conditioners, etc."

Mrs. McNear said somewhat later in the meeting I did respond to that.

"You mentioned that the property owner on Balsam built the garage. That was not built by the current owner. It was built in the early 1970ís. The drive was not put in prior to our approval. We do take the Board of Zoning very seriously. It can be a very difficult board. People leave crying sometimes when we tell them they canít do something. We have had people screaming at us, threatening to sue usóthere are cases where people have had too many animals and we have to tell them that they canít keep a loving pet that they have had for along time. We try to be flexible."

Ms. Manis responded:

"I know it is a hard job, and I encourage everyone to make a meeting because it gives you a whole different perspective. We put people on the board and never go to see how they actually do on the board. Some things are silly but it is tough, and I know you are trying to do a good job. It seems like this happened before. It is a bad situation to be in. I donít know an answer but it is a concern of mine."




IX. DISCUSSION - continued

Mrs. McNear said since I didnít have my notes at the meeting, on the Balsam situation, there was an oversize garage in the back yard but no driveway to get into the property. That was built several owners ago. Ms. Webb looked up some items for me about when these people had purchased the property, when they felt the garage had been put in. As you may recall, there was a concrete driveway at that location, and the owners commented that the people were coming the next day to pour the asphalt driveway. I had been there the previous evening, so I know the driveway was not poured prior to our approval.

Mr. Squires said you might point to Mrs. Manis that no one on this present board was on the Board of Zoning Appeals when that garage was built. We worked with the applicant as best we could on that, and we actually got them to make some changes in that driveway so it would be more compatible not only with the property but more accessible to the garage itself. I appreciate what Mrs. Manis is doing, but be advised that some of these things are basically out of the control of the current board, and that is one of them. That was granted before any of us took office here.

Mr. Schecker added I want to commend Ms. McNear for her statements, because you stated it quite correctly. I recall when we got that request for variance for the driveway, I was shocked to see that mansion behind that little old house.

Mr. Okum said I also would like to compliment you for representing the board and being fair. Having not served on this board until a couple of years ago, I had no idea of the types of issues they were confronted with. This board is confronted with a lot of things that happen hindsight. The one thing that is very common is that the board in most cases has been very fair and very stern with their decisions. Unfortunately there are a lot of unhappy people that come before this group that donít always get exactly what they want. I think that is a compliment to everyone on the board and I think they are doing a fine job. Certainly I hope we continue to do a good job and are fair with the members of our community, because we all live here.

Ms. McNear added when I make a report about the different items at our meeting, you have a couple of minutes to describe each item. I donít go into depth on each item. I tried to impress on everybody that it is something we take very seriously. She mentioned the word precedent, and I donít think Iíve ever been to a meeting, and I have been doing BZA for 12 years now, that we donít use that word. There are times that we have to make very difficult decisions, and I know that you feel this every time you take your seat up here, and I will pass these comments on again tomorrow night since I will have the Minutes with me and will be able to give the exact information as to when the garage was built.

Mr. Squires said I believe I speak for everyone when I say we want to be fair but we do not want to create undue hardship on any applicant. Mrs. McNear added we have seven different votes, and we donít all think the same way. We have to vote our conscience, as we do on Council.

Mrs. Eking said I want to commend Kathy, but my concern goes to our city representatives. We have situations where people are moving into the city not knowing the rules and regulations. The Hunters got permission from the former owners to put a shed up and the city representative driving around saw the shed already up. Do you know when new people move in and have a welcome package with information included? Do we do anything to help new people coming into our community?





IX. DISCUSSION - continued

Mr. Lohbeck answered we have articles in the newsletter and pamphlets available in the Building Department about when permits are needed. It is hard to know, but they always can call us.

Mrs. Ewing said these people truly didnít know that they were out of compliance. We have to wait for the people to do something wrong, and then we notify them.Mrs. McNear said are you wondering what happened to the Welcome Wagon? When we moved to Springdale they had that.

Mr. Whitaker said I am a builder myself, and I commend the city because permits are free. They make it very easy for the homeowners. It is the homeownerís responsibility to obtain the permit; it is not the contractorís. Most contractors will come in and obtain a permit, but it falls back on the homeowner. I feel the way the city handles roofs, sheds decks, unless you are building an addition or new house, they do not charge for permits. There is no easier way than that to handle it. I commend them for that. Whenever you build something, you need a permit. Itís pretty much common sense.

I also wanted to commend Kathy on the way she answered Mr. Manisí questions. If you remember, we spent quite a bit of time with the two owners on Balsam. They both were realtors, and had this monstrosity in the rear of the yard with no access whatsoever. We did redesign and relayout the driveway for them and they did bring in topsoil and extended the yard over, so there was quite a bit of consideration involved in that variance.

Mr. Schecker said as a follow-up to Mrs. Ewingís comments, perhaps this whole issue that Ms. Manis has brought up would bring in some form of communications to the citizens as a constant reminder of these sort of requirements.

Mrs. McNear responded we do try to let people know in other ways besides the newsletter which comes out quarterly. We do put it in the Tri-County Press; we talk about it in Council meetings all the time. We send out letters, especially when the City eliminated the charges for single family residential permits. Unless you are calling people every day, theyíll fall through the cracks, and it is up to the property owner to check into some of the things. The city tries to communicate as much as we can; I donít have an answer for that, but we do try to inform people.

Mr. Okum as a suggestion, would it be possible for us to have a number that you would call before you did anything? With the sophisticated voice mail system here, there are two ways we could tell people what they need to do. The City has a web page on the Internet, and there could be a section in there "Before you improve, these are the things that are required. If you have a question, call this number." If they call the city number at night, they could get information from the city on what you need to do before you build a shed, etc. Those are avenues of information that we could expand on. Mrs. McNear commented I think we should add those things, but you are not going to catch everyone.

Mrs. Ewing said my question is couldnít we give packets to local realtors that would have some of this information in it. Mr. Okum responded it would be good if they would do it, but I am afraid the material you provide them would end up somewhere in their office. You could expand your web page information to realtors, and they could have a Springdale link.








IX. DISCUSSION - continued

Mrs. McNear said Iím all for informing people as many ways as we can. If they are looking up on the internet, they would have called, but a lot of people who come in here without permits are people who have been in our city for a long time.

Mr. Squires said I have been accosted by neighbors who are complaining that we as the Board of Zoning Appeals are forcing people to (a) paint their house (b) paint their chain link fence or (3) even cut their grass. I very diplomatically and succinctly tell them that we have a new property maintenance inspector who is really doing quite a job on that. His name is Ron Smith, and he does go around the neighborhood looking for things that need fixing. If there werenít codes on the book for something like this, our neighborhoods would quickly deteriorate.

In light of that, what alternatives do the city have in the event that citizens do not comply with these letters of request to paint these structures, etc. Mrs. McNear answered we discussed this at the council meeting quite extensively the other night, and it turned out that six out of seven of the Council members had received letters over the last few years, so they give them to everybody. Some of the people were upset about the letters saying they were too harsh. Someone read the letter, and personally I felt it was a very professional letter. All it said was you are in violation of whatever section of the code and to please comply within 30 days or further action may be taken. It wasnít threatening, but some people were offended. That doesnít affect our board at all. We do have the property maintenance code, and I commend our new employee who is out there working. Although it is sometimes painful and it was in my case because we had to paint the house. I thank the city for helping get our house painted, because I have been after my husband for years to do it. It is for the good of everybody, because if you donít keep your house up, it affects everybodyís property values. If a person doesnít comply, he will be cited to Mayorís Court, so itís not something that this Board will be dealing with.

Mr. Squires wondered if there were fines that could be levied, and Mr. Okum indicated that there were, adding that if a person feels that they are being treated unfairly, there is the Board of Housing, Building & Fire Appeals that they can petition to, that gives the person an opportunity to explain extenuating circumstances and work out conditions in situations where there are needed. There are avenues for people to go prior to Mayorís Court. Mrs. McNear added also there are low interest loans available for people who need to do major upkeep to their house.

Addressing Mr. Lohbeck, Mrs. Ewing said you have a lot of information this evening that I hope you will take back to the Building Depatment. Some of that information needs to get out to the people.


Mrs. McNear moved to adjourn and Mr. Schecker seconded the motion. By voice vote, all present voted aye, and the Board of Zoning Appeals adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,


_________________,1998 ______________________________

James Squires, Chairman


_________________,1998 _______________________________

Barbara Ewing, Secretary