BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

18 SEPTEMBER 2001

7:00 P.M.

  1. CALL MEETING TO ORDER
  2. The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. by Chairman David Okum.

    Mr. Okum said considering the tragedy of September 11th, I think that it would be appropriate to begin our meeting with a moment of silence and reflection.

    Mr. Okum said this open meeting is an opportunity for citizens in our country to request changes, and express their needs and wants. Those freedoms are not shared in other parts of the world.

  3. ROLL CALL
  4. Members Present: Councilman Robert Wilson, Robert Weidlich, Robert Apke, Councilman James Squires, Fred Borden, Jane Huber and Chairman Okum.

    Others Present: Richard G. Lohbeck, Inspection Supervisor

  5. MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF 21 AUGUST 2001
  6. Mr. Borden said on Page 16, next to the last paragraph the last sentence includes the word Minoltas; I think that should be Minutes. Mr. Wilson moved for approval and Mr. Borden seconded the motion. The amended Minutes were approved unanimously.

  7. CORRESPONDENCE
    1. Planning Commission Meeting Minutes 14 August 2001
    2. Zoning Bulletin – August 10, 2001
    3. BZA Variance Application
  1. REPORTS
    1. Report on Council Activities – Jim Squires - No Report
    2. Report on Planning Commission – David Okum

Mr. Okum stated that the Sunoco Station at 12089 Princeton Pike requested approval of their proposed addition and approval was granted with conditions. Final plan approval was requested for Karlo’s Bistro Italia at Pictoria Island and there was not enough information for final approval and we considered it a preliminary review. Final plan approval of Pappadeaux Restaurant, Pictoria Island that was approved with conditions. The proposed exterior color change for Famous Dave’s 12183 Springfield Pike was considered. Not being aware of the conditions in a PUD District and the Route 4 Corridor, they began painting the roof red. After quite a bit of discussion, he will bring the roof back to a gray color, the same color as Hooters. There was a request for an extension of the temporary banner time limit for Bed Bath and Beyond, which we granted.

  1. CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT AND SWEARING IN OF APPLICANTS
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    BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

    18 SEPTEMBER 2001

    PAGE TWO

  3. OLD BUSINESS
  4. NEW BUSINESS
    1. James & Mary Metzmeier, 438 West Sharon Road requests variances to allow a 11’ x 14’ shed to be constructed 1’ from the side property line,. Said variances are requested from Section 153.492(D) "shall be at least 5 feet from the side and rear lot lines" and (B)(3) "shall not exceed 120 square feet in area".

Mrs. Metzmeier said we currently have a building that is 11 x 14, and we want to replace it with a new one that is 12’ x 17 or 20’ Mr. Metzmeier added that the building is closer than 5 feet from the property line, and was there when we bought the property 25 years ago. We want to replace it with something of the same width, and three or more feet longer. The man who came out and took pictures said he felt the shed was closer to five feet from the property line than one foot. The lot is 435 feet deep, and we have about nine trees on the property line. There are six or more feet between our existing shed and the neighbor’s shed, and his has been in place for 15 or so years. Mrs. Metzmeier added that the back yard has a very parklike atmosphere; there are no fences, and with the lot being that long, aesthetically I don’t feel that adding to the length of the building would harm our neighbor’s property or would mar the view of any of our neighbors.

Mr. Lohbeck reported that a variance is needed from two sections of the Zoning Code, the size of the building (not to exceed 120 s.f.) and the placement of the building 1 foot from the west property line (5 feet are required).

The applicant has indicated that there is an approximate 11’ x 11’ utility building in the requested location currently, and it has been there for at least 30 years. We have no record of a permit or variance for this building.

The answers provided by the applicant in their application do not explain the necessity to locate the building 1’ from the property line, nor is there any indication as to the need for it to be oversized.

There is a sanitary sewer, which runs across the rear yards and is very near the location of the utility building. The proposed utility building should be placed at least 7.5’ from the centerline of this sewer.

Mr. Metzmeier said the 11’ x 11’ building is incorrect; it is an 11’ x 14’ building. Also since we have only been here 25 years, I can’t attest to the age of the building but it was not a new shed when we moved in there. And, the sewer line has been relined in the last three years or so. Our next door neighbor on the east has an entranceway to the sewer that allowed them access to do all their necessary repairs. All of that took place in the next door neighbor’s yard without any penetration into our yard whatsoever.

 

 

 

 

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

18 SEPTEMBER 2001

PAGE THREE

VIII A JAMES & MARY METZMEIER 438 W. SHARON 12’ X 16’ SHED

Mr. Okum asked if the sewer were to collapse, if they were to bring excavation equipment onto your property to repair it, would this utility building impair that work? Mr. Metzmeier answered I don’t have the exact measurements, but I honestly believe that the sewer runs in the front of our existing building, and we are wanting to add from the rear. I don’t believe that the sewer is underneath the existing storage building, and if so it would be toward the front and not toward the rear.

Mr. Lohbeck stated that according to CAGIS, the sewer runs behind the shed. The dark line on the second page is the sewer line.

Mr. Okum gave the applicants a copy of the drawing indicating this. Mrs. Metzmeier said whether we extend the length by bringing it up closer to the house or bringing it back a little, we still would like to ask a variance for three feet added to the length of the shed if that is possible.

Mr. Okum opened the public hearing, asking anyone present to address the board. No one came forward, and he closed the public hearing.

Mr. Apke said at this time, I would like to excuse myself.

Mr. Squires asked the applicant what size of shed they wanted. Mr. Metzmeier answered we could use an 11’ width, but we would prefer 12’. Mr. Okum said you are requesting a 12’ x 17’ building. Mr. Metzmeier commented that with a lot the size that it is, we have more lawn equipment than the smaller lots would require.

Mr. Wilson said we have two issues here. The first is the square footage of the building, and the other is the setback. Personally I don’t have a big problem with the setback. I would like to see it out further, because you are very close to the property line, I looked at your property this afternoon, and I am concerned about the size, 12’’ x 17’, 12’ x 20’ or 11’ x 17’. Most of our applicants have a specific design with specific dimensions that we can look at. You are asking for a carte blanche exception, allowing you to build up to a 12’ x 20’ shed. That is 210 feet and 120 feet is the maximum. That is a big exception.

I don’t feel comfortable approving two variances with no indication how big the shed will be. You have a beautiful lot that goes way back. I can understand your needing a riding lawnmower to maintain it, but I have a problem with not knowing the size of the shed. I also have a concern about that sewer line. If we go back four feet or seven feet, you may well be at that sewer line, and if there is a problem and it has to be repaired, they would tear down your building because it would be that close to the sewer line. I would think there would be a blueprint for you to see exactly where your sewer line is so the shed would not infringe on the sewer line. I think our residents need to do some homework and find out if you go to a 12’ x 20’ or 11’ x 20’ how much it would infringe, and come back to us. We need to know the size of the shed and how it relates to the sewer line location.

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

18 SEPTEMBER 2001

PAGE FOUR

VIII A JAMES & MARY METZMEIER 438 W. SHARON 12’ X 16’ SHED

Mr. Squires said you indicated earlier that you thought that the existing shed was more than 1 foot from the property line. Mr. Metzmeier answered the Springdale employee who came out to take pictures stated that it appeared to be more than 1 foot from the property line.

Mr. Squires said in the event that you were to be approved for a variance for a shed, could it be constructed according to our codes, 5 feet from our property line?

Mrs. Metzmeier answered no, we would leave it the way it is rather than do that and we wouldn’t replace it because it would mar the view in the back yard. Mr. Metzmeier added we have one neighbor who has one in the center of his lot, and although it is a decent enough looking building, it is an eyesore. Both our existing building and our neighbor’s to the west are in the same general location and even though the colors are different, they blend together. Because of the tree situation, they are non-invasive to anyone in the neighborhood.

Mr. .Squires asked if he knew exactly how far the shed is from the property line and Mr. Metzmeier answered no, I had the property surveyed four or five years ago when we put in a new driveway and I have the four stakes. As the man who took the pictures walked it out, he said it was impossible to sight it from the front marker to the rear marker because of the trees.

Mr. Squires asked if they could manage with a shed that is 120 s.f. and Mr. Metzmeier answered no. That would be smaller than what we have now, and what we have now, 11’ x 14’, and we have outgrown it.

Mr. Squires asked how deep the lot is and Mr. Metzmeier answered 434 feet.

Mr. Okum wondered if the current shed has a floor system in it, and Mr. Metzmeier answered that it is a ¾ plywood floor on 2 x 6 uprights. Mr. Okum asked if the new one would have a similar type floor system, and Mr. Metzmeier indicated that it would.

Mr. Okum said your neighbor today might not be your neighbor tomorrow and that is the reason for side yard setbacks of five feet instead of one. It appears that both sheds are less than 5 feet from the property line. Since your existing building is there, it would be less objectionable to me to allow a smaller unit, maybe 12’ x 14’ or maybe even a 12’ x 16’ considering the size of your lot. To push it to a 12’ x 17’ and keep the setback where it is would not improve anything. I think you are making the decision to leave the shed that is there if you can’t put something bigger in. Mr. Metzmeier said it is needed. I have a riding tractor, a leaf vacuum and a snow blower. I can’t get everything in the existing building.

Mr. Okum said I couldn’t see why a 12’ x 14’ shed couldn’t handle it. Could you make it work with a 12’ x 14’? When you get to that size, you basically would be adding a garage on your site.

 

 

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

18 SEPTEMBER 2001

PAGE FIVE

VIII A JAMES & MARY METZMEIER 438 W. SHARON 12’ X 16’ SHED

Mr. Okum said with the depth of your lot, I could appreciate that this is a small postage stamp item on that very large lot, but on the other hand, it could be smaller and brought in further from the property line. If there were a concrete slab under the existing shed, I would be more sensitive to the difficulty in moving it. I could not support the premise that it can'’ meet the code, and if it can meet code, to give you some latitude would be one thing. I don’t know of any preassembled buildings that run odd sizes, so you are talking 12’ x 16’ or 12’ x 18’. For the record, 12’ x 20’ is 240 s.f. and 12’ x 17’ is 204 s.f. The code only allows 120 s.f. so that would be a 75% increase over code.

Mr. Squires said you indicated that you would have this constructed and would need a building permit. What do you think about moving this closer to your home because of the sanitary sewer line. It should be at least 7 ½ feet from the line, which means the shed would come closer to your home. Mr. Metzmeier commented that it is some distance from the rear of the house now. Mr. Squires said I am concerned about the distance from the sewer line; it should be 7 ½ feet, and apparently it is not. Mrs. Metzmeier said I would be pleased to move the building closer to the house with a variance of 12’ x 16’ if that is a standard size. I would be very pleased to accept something like that if you would consider that.

Mr. Okum passed around the photographs of the rear view of the existing shed and the neighbor’s shed.

Mr. Wilson said we don’t know the specific size shed is being proposed and where it would be located. We know there is a problem with the sewer line; the suggestion was made to move the shed closer to your residence. Before I would feel comfortable with voting on this issue, I would need to know what size shed and exactly where it would be located. Otherwise we would be giving you carte blanche. I need something more definitive.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum said we need an exact size. Mr. Metzmeier stated that they would like to have a 12’ x 16’ shed. Mr. Okum said and is your request to allow the existing side yard setback? Mr. Metzmeier confirmed this. Mr. Okum asked if he had any problem with moving the shed 7.5 feet from the center point of the sanitary sewer line. Mr. Metzmeier indicated that they would maintain that. Mr. Okum said they could put the shed behind it as well. Mr. Lohbeck indicated as long as it is 7 ½ feet in either direction. Mr. Borden commented that the sewer line right now is behind the shed and the applicant has indicated that they would move the shed toward the house. Mr. Metzmeier added that in order to comply with the 7-½ foot, it would appear that it would have to be moved forward and closer to the house. Mr. Okum said that is one possibility, or it could be put on the other side. Mr. Metzmeier responded if it were put on the other side, it would be in a totally unsuitable position. Mrs. Metzmeier added that it would be too far to walk.

 

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

18 SEPTEMBER 2001

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VIII A JAMES & MARY METZMEIER 438 W. SHARON 12’ X 16’ SHED

Mr. Squires said I believe Mrs. Metzmeier indicated earlier that she could be happy and live with a 12’ x 16’ shed and would move it no closer than 7 ½ feet from the sewer line.

Mr. Lohbeck said on the 7-½ feet, it is not that it has to be there. We recommend that it not be placed less than 7 ½ feet from the sewer line. I still think we should try to work on the 1-foot side yard setback.

Mr. Okum said we don’t know if it is one foot. If the applicant would like to table and have their survey reconfirmed, they could justify that distance.

Mr. Weidlich said considering the size of your yard, I have a real problem with the one foot from the side yard. We have had other applicants with the same width yards but much shallower, and adhered to the 5 foot setback. I don’t have a problem with the size of the shed for your size lot, but I think your property would easily support the 5 foot setback from the side yard.

Mr. Wilson said I have thought long and hard about the 12’ x 16’ shed, and I feel more comfortable with the 12’ x 14’. We are looking at an overage of 72 feet with the 12’ x 16’. You do have a narrow but deep lot, and I have a concern about the shed being too far back because of the long walk.

If you are going to tear down the old shed and replace it with one closer, you are already moving it. I also would feel more comfortable with your adjusting that side yard setback to 5 feet. I am willing to bend and go 12’ x 16’ but I don’t feel comfortable with an undetermined distance from the property line.

Your concern was the parklike setting, by moving the shed closer, you might obstruct the view from your house and if you have 12 feet, there is even less that you would be able to see. My concern is do you really know what you are requesting and what effect it would have?

Mr. Metzmeier responded I was not aware of the option of moving it closer to the house. If I can’t have a shed to serve my purpose, I may as well let the present one set. The shed needs to be repaired or replaced and we figured replacing it with a new one would be much better for our neighbors and ourselves than to repair it.

Mr. Wilson asked if he would consider tabling this and taking a long look at it, possibly moving the shed closer to comply with the 7 ½ foot distance from the sewer line? Could you walk it off, look at it and see if this is what you really want? I don’t want for us to vote on this with the stipulations and have you put it there, decide that it was a mistake and have the expense of having to move it. If you could measure it out and determine that this is what you want, come back to us next month and say 12’ x 16’ so many feet from the rear of the house and so many feet from the property line and more than 7 ½ feet from the sewer line.

 

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

18 SEPTEMBER 2001

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VIII A JAMES & MARY METZMEIER 438 W. SHARON 12’ X 16’ SHED

Mr. Wilson said we can vote on it if you wish, but my concern is that you would be satisfied.

Mrs. Metzmeier said I would be comfortable having this tabled. I disagree with you that the one-foot width will make that much difference. The variance we are asking for is two feet in length, and with the lot being so long, that wouldn’t do anything to our property or to our neighbor’s vision. We definitely would like to keep the shed where it is in terms of the distance away from the back property so we don’t obstruct our view. We have a back porch that is enclosed with glass all the way around. We can table it.

Mr. Okum said I am hearing varying opinions here, and usually when this occurs, it doesn’t come out positively for the applicant. So it would be better for you to be more precise about where this unit would be placed. In my opinion, if I were to allow a 12’ x 16’ shed, you would have to maintain the five-foot side yard setback. You also would have to maintain the 7-½ foot centerline setback from the sewer. On the other hand, I would also like to recommend

to this board that the shed not exceed 12 feet in height.

Mr. Metzmeier responded that the present shed is about 7 feet high at the highest point. Mr. Okum answered when you get to the size shed you are talking about, with roof peak line you probably are talking 12 feet.

Mrs. Metzmeier wondered if they replaced it with the same size, would it still have to be moved back five feet? Mr. Okum said you would still have to conform to the current code in terms of size and setback.

Mr. Metzmeier commented it appears that we are meeting quite a bit of opposition to both the size and setback. Mr. Okum responded that both of those don’t conform to the code, and you have not given the board justification as to why it can’t be a smaller shed, why it can’t be five feet or less from the side yard. You have not given the board an opportunity to justify to themselves why a variance would need to be granted. There have to be definite reasons for the granting of variances, and those reasons are somewhat outlined in the questionnaire that you filled out.

Mrs. Metzmeier asked how you find out where the sewer line is exactly and Mr. Okum said the surveyor who did your survey probably would have that identified.

Mr. Squires moved that this is tabled and Mr. Wilson seconded the motion. By voice vote all voted aye and this was tabled to the next meeting.

B. Walgreen Co., 385 Northland Boulevard requests variance to allow 2 temporary trailers to be placed on their property for the period October 1 through December 231, 2001. Said variance is requested from Section 153.491(C) "Storage or any other use in a trailer…shall not be permitted."

 

BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

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PAGE EIGHT

VIII B WALGREEN CO. 385 NORTHLAND BLVD. 2 TEMPORARY TRAILERS

Victor Leopold, Store Manager of Walgreen’s said I had a variance last year for a 20’ storage trailer 8’ wide and 9’ high. That suited our needs except for the fact that it was packed to the brim with our Christmas storage merchandise, and we had trouble navigating through it to get to some of the merchandise in the back of the trailer. That is the only reason why I requested an additional 10’ storage trailer to be put parallel to the 20’ trailer and setting back against the brick wall of the dumpster area. Mr. Okum said so the request is to have the same size trailer as last year with an additional one 10’ trailer to the west.

Mr. Lohbeck reported that this request is for October 1 through December 31, 2001. They would be 8’ wide by 20’ long and 8’ wide by 10’ long, and will be located in the area of the dumpster enclosure. Section 153.491(C) prohibits storage or any other use in a trailer or other non-permanent structure.

Walgreen’s requested a similar variance in October of 2000 after being found in violation of the code section. BZA granted a variance for 10/18/00 through 12/27/00, provided one of the trailers was removed, and only the 20’ long trailer remained.

The applicant explained in his answer to question #4 that only an addition to the building would solve his storage needs. Certainly if his storage problems are of such a recurring nature, this alternative should be explored. Other alternatives not mentioned may be offsite storage or coordinating shipments to spread out deliveries.

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

Mrs. Huber asked if he had considered adding additional height to the building for the storage. Mr. Leopold answered that we lease the property so IL would have to contact the owner. Mrs. Huber responded I would suggest contacting the owner to see if he would be amenable to this, since you are a good tenant. Mr. Leopold answered that is a viable option, but it wouldn’t be until next year.

Mr. Weidlich asked if the storage shed behind the building was his, and Mr. Leopold answered that it was, adding that it has gray totes. Each week from our warehouse deliveries we receive 200 to 350 totes that are 1 foot high and 1 foot wide by 2 foot long merchandise that we sell from week to week. That is where we store the empties, only because if they were inside our storage area, it would make it very difficult for us to navigate through our stock room. From one end of the stockroom to the other we have anywhere from 3 to 3 ½ wide to 5-½ l-6 foot wide area to walk through.

Mr. Weidlich said I was behind your store and looked at the situation, and it looks like an extension could be put on the building quite easily for more storage. When I left there were three cars at the drive up window, and to go around them I had to go through the area where you are asking for the trailers to be parked.

 

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VIII B WALGREEN CO. 385 NORTHLAND BLVD. 2 TEMPORARY TRAILERS

Mr. Weidlich said it looks like you are using that area for outdoor storage as it is. I counted 17 of your carts on the left side of your shed. Mr. Leopold responded the shopping carts between that storage area ands the Concord Custom Cleaners are actually shopping carts that are not usable.

Mr. Weidlich added I also noticed next to your dumpster it looks like there is a portable conveyor parked over there. Mr. Leopold answered I had somebody who was supposed to come and pick that up and remove it. It is an old conveyor that is not used. We have one inside our storage area that we use.

Mr. Weidlich added that there were a couple of bags of trash out there next to the shed on the right hand side. Are you asking for trailers or modular storage units that sit directly on the ground and not on wheels? Mr. Leopold answered that these are trailers that set on the ground.

Mr. Weidlich commented I have a problem with two of these trailers. I could agree to the same size unit that we approved last year for this year, but as Mrs. Huber said, I really think you need to investigate some building addition for more permanent storage so you won’t have to come back here every year. It might get tougher every year to do this.

Mr. Squires asked if he had investigated the possibility of renting storage space from the business adjacent to you? Mr. Leopold answered no, because they have that fence that they open and close and have vehicles drive back through. It didn’t seem to be a big enough area to be able to do something with. I do have a very good rapport from the owner of that place, but it didn’t seem to be a big enough area – it is narrow and vehicles driving back through there wouldn’t be able to get through safely.

Mr. Squires said under Item 2 of your application, "Will disapproval of this variance request not allow reasonable use of your property? You said "Yes, we would not be able to navigate through our storage area in a safe manner. Also the storage area would become a fire hazard."

Mr. Leopold responded this is because we would have to set some of the merchandise on the floor. There has to be a minimum 3-foot walkway between this side and the other side to get through anywhere.

Mr. Squires said since you said that, I took my own responsibility to investigate that a little further, and I consulted some of our professionals about this. I spoke to Captain Sutton of the Springdale Fire Department about your request for the two trailers. He was concerned enough that he drove over and looked at them and said "We would have difficulty getting our equipment in there in the event of an emergency. We have to have access and egress." That’s all he said. One of us indicated that you would be more comfortable with one trailer rather than two.

 

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VIII B WALGREEN CO. 385 NORTHLAND BLVD. 2 TEMPORARY TRAILERS

Mr. Leopold responded I would be more comfortable with two trailers, but I would be satisfied with one. Mr. Squires commented that you have parking spots there too. Mr. Leopold answered those three parking spots are never used, except for people who want to rummage through our trash dumpster.

Mr. Okum asked how many square feet of warehouse space is there and Mr. Leopold answered 1500 s.f. Mr. Okum said so you are 10% short and 150 s.f. and one trailer would get you by. Mr. Leopold answered yes.

Mr. Okum said I appreciate Mr. Squires checking with the fire department on it. I would hate to see us allow something to be placed on that site that would make it difficult for our fire department. Saying all that, we have allowed the one 8’ x 20’ trailer previously, and I think if a motion were granted that there would be no objections from the fire department, we may be able to do this. Since you were talking to them about two trailers, that might address that. I can’t say that I will be able to go many more years on this. The City has been more than sensitive to your problem, but we didn’t build the building. The real issue is that you don’t have enough warehouse space. That needs to be addressed. I would prefer to see you at Planning Commission with a proposed extension than at BZA again. If the fire department had no objection to the location I would not have a major objection to one 8’ x 20’ trailer for this year. After that, I would question whether I would vote on it again.

Mr. Squires said are you saying that your approval would be for an 8’ x 20’ trailer upon approval by our fire department? Mr. Okum confirmed this. Mr. Squires asked the applicant if he could live with that, and he indicated that he could. Mr. Squires said that means that we will have to have members of the fire department take a look at that.

Mr. Apke said I would have no problem for this year approving the one trailer. I would guarantee you that next year I would not approve it.

Mr. Lohbeck said the fire department does not enforce the zoning code; it is the building department that enforces the zoning code, so I don’t think it would be appropriate for the Fire Department to have a say in this. We do ask for their recommendations at times, but I don’t think it is right for this variance.

Mr. Okum responded I truly understand what you are saying, but with fire safety concerns and a unit that is placed in a parking or driving field of a business, it probably would have been appropriate for us to think about it last year when we approved it. I certainly understand that it is Building Department/Zoning turf, but we make decisions at Planning Commission level on fire safety and access too that are based on recommendations from staff and that could be expanded into the Fire Department.

 

 

 

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VIII B WALGREEN CO. 385 NORTHLAND BLVD. 2 TEMPORARY TRAILERS

Mr. Borden said I have to agree. I do not mind a recommendation from the Fire Department in terms of placement of the trailer. Did you have a specific location? Mr. Leopold answered the same place that it was last year. Mr. Borden asked how close it would be to the dumpster. Mr. Leopold answered that there is a 1-foot high concrete barrier that separates the land west so it would be against that. Mr. Borden commented last year when I tried to navigate that area, there were cars stacked up and I had a hard time getting around there. I don’t recommend putting it close to the dumpster. If you could move it out 10 to 20 feet towards Route 4, it would be better.

Mr. Leopold responded that it would actually narrow the spaces, because the pharmacy drive through is parallel to where the dumpster would be located. Mr. Borden said with my truck, I narrowly escaped scraping the end of the trailer. Mr. Leopold said if I moved it more towards Route 4, it would narrow the area even more. Mr. Borden said we have a condition here that it will be hard to get around. If I want to go around the pharmacy drive through, that lane is very narrow, especially if you put your trailer right there.

Mr. Leopold suggested two 10’ trailers instead of one 20’ trailer, and made it perpendicular, actually parallel to the wall housing the dumpster area? I believe that the parking spots there are 8 foot long and 6 foot wide. Mr. Okum said if they are standard, they are 9’ x 19’ or 20’.

Mr. Leopold said if I had two 10 foot trailers there, one would stick out about 1 foot past the wall that is housing the dumpster area. Mr. Borden asked where he would locate the other trailer, and Mr. Leopold answered parallel to it. Mr. Squires said it still would be a 16-foot width. Mr. Leopold answered that it would move it from the area that starts to become constricted. The Fire Department visits me twice a year, and if I’m not mistaken, they were there when I had the trailer last year and nothing was noted about the location.

Mr. Apke said in your application you asked for this variance from October 1st to December 31st. The variance we granted last year was from mid October until a little before the end of the year. Is there any way we can narrow that time period; it is quite a long time. Mr. Leopold answered every store in the company will receive a trailer load of Christmas merchandise sometime between October 1st and October 30th. That date has not been set for our location.

Mr. Apke said that two 10-foot trailers setting out that way would actually stick another two feet out into the drive through lane so I would be against that. I would rather have the 20-foot trailer only eight feet out.

Mr. Squires said last year we gave you a 20-foot trailer and you said it was inspected with no problem from the Fire Department. Mr. Leopold answered I didn’t say it was inspected; I do believe that the Fire Department was at our location during that period, and that was not noted.

 

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VIII B WALGREEN CO. 385 NORTHLAND BLVD. 2 TEMPORARY TRAILERS

Mr. Borden said I don’t mind going with one trailer as we did last year with a recommendation from the Fire Department in terms of its placement, along with the Building Department.

Mr. Okum said I would hate to see our Fire Department drive the location of it to the front of the site. I would like to see it kept as far southwest as possible.

Mr. Lohbeck stated that the stipulation that the trailer is in the southwest corner would be no problem.

Mr. Borden moved to grant the variance for one trailer 8’ x 20’ to be located in the southwest corner for the period October 18, 2001 to December 27, 2001. Mr. Okum added and the placement should be based on clearance from the Fire Department for fire safety apparatus. Mr. Apke seconded the motion. All except Mr. Wilson who did not participate in the discussion, voted aye, and the variance was granted with six affirmative votes.

Board of Zoning Appeals recessed at 8:30 p.m. and reconvened at 8:45 p.m.

C. Wanda Jones, 664 Hillgrove Court requests a variance to allow the construction of a patio enclosure with a front yard setback of 29’-6". Said variance is requested from Section 153.070(A) "..a minimum front yard setback of 35 feet."

Jeff Mills of Champion and Wanda Jones, owner of 664 Hillgrove Court came before the board. Mrs. Jones said that they would like to have a porch in the front yard attached to the house where our bushes are now and the gas and electric meter would need to be removed. My husband has disabilities, my mother lives with us, and both like to sit on the porch. We need a porch with a ramp from the driveway to the door.

Mr. Okum said the ramp would not be a zoning issue, but the enclosure is. Does the ramp tie to the enclosure? Mrs. Jones said that it would. I notice that my neighbors on both sides have porches attached to their homes and our homes set the same distance from the street.

Mr. Lohbeck reported that they are requesting a 7’ x 19’ patio enclosure at the front of the residence with a front yard setback of 29’-6". Section 153.070(A) requires a minimum 35-foot front yard setback. There are no existing variances granted for the property. Should the Board of Zoning Appeals grant the variance, the applicant will be required to relocate her gas meter outside of the proposed enclosure. Also on September 14, 2001 a letter was sent to Mrs. Jones advising her that the gas meter would have to be relocated. Mr. Okum said so the Building Department is requesting that this be a condition of the variance if granted.

 

 

 

 

 

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VIII C. WANDA JONES, 664 HILLGROVE COURT – FRONT PORCH

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

Mr. Squires commented that this is a beautiful residence. Will the add on look like one or will it look like part of the house? Mrs. Jones answered I hope it will look like part of the house. Mr. Squires asked why the front of the house rather than the back of the house and Mrs. Jones indicated that with her husband’s handicap, he can come right out and sit in the front. In the back, he would have to go down steps.

Mr. Okum wondered if there were any reason why they couldn’t have a deck on the back that would be level with the back patio area so that he could go directly out?

Mr. Mills answered the issue is that if it is raining or snowing and he would get out of the car, he is in a wheelchair and it would not be accessible. The ramp is right beside the driveway and would go into the room, which would lead to the front door. This really needs to be on the front of the home.

Mr. Okum said we have a photo of your home, and I don’t see how you can construct the ramp with the right slope. Mr. Mills said we can revisit that if we have to, and if we had to we could build the ramp in front of the room, which would require another four feet of concrete.

Mrs. Huber said you said your neighbors have porches, but they are not enclosed are they? Mrs. Jones confirmed that they were not. I want mine enclosed so he can get out of the van and be sheltered.

Mr. Wilson said if 19 feet reaches to the edge of your driveway, would you be willing to modify the 7’ x 19’ to 7’ by something else so that when the van goes close to the door of the garage and your husband gets out, he can use his wheelchair to wheel in? Mr. Mills said there is a picture window there, and we wanted the room to start on the other side of the door. When we went to the other side of the picture window, we were left with an 8-foot room. We want to go from the edge of the picture window to the other side of the door.

Mr. Wilson asked the distance between the edge of the enclosure and the end of the driveway. Mr. Mills said it would be six to seven feet.

Mr. Wilson commented that there are houses throughout the city that have enclosed patios on the front, but this might be the first in the neighborhood. I don’t have a problem with an enclosed patio. My only concern is that when Mr. Jones gets out of his van, will he have ample room to get into the enclosure from the side. If that can be configured, I don’t have a problem with it.

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VIII C. WANDA JONES, 664 HILLGROVE COURT – FRONT PORCH

Mr. Borden asked where the ramp would be located, and Mr. Mills answered that it would be on the side, on the seven-foot walk that goes towards the driveway.

Mr. Borden asked if the enclosure would be level with the front door, and Mr. Mills answered that it would be on an 8 inch concrete slab and level. Mr. Borden asked the number of doors in the enclosure and Mr. Mills answered that there would be a door on the front and a door on the side. Mr. Borden asked if there would be a walkway in the front as well as accessibility from the side, and Mr. Mills answered that the door on the front would have a platform in front of it and the sidewalk would be to the side.

Mr. Okum said so the ramp would be placed in front of the porch enclosure, so it would not be covered. Mrs. Jones asked for any suggestions and Mr. Okum said for the comfort of your husband to be able to go out and sit, this type of enclosure is much more appropriate for a rear parcel. I also don’t see a hardship need for it to be on the front of your home. There are no issues that have been presented that would give us a justification for the enclosure to be on the front. If it were for the purpose of a covered rampway, that is a possibility. For him to be able to sit in his wheelchair, he would be on a ½ inch per foot sloped porch area . It certainly is not what I think that you were envisioning. It sounds like he would be out in the weather, no matter what. Otherwise you would have a 23-foot room, and I don’t believe any of the homes there have that depth of a room.

Mr. Okum commented I am not finding many reasons why we need to have this covered aluminum awning enclosure on the front of your home. For the purpose of accessibility for your husband, a ramp is necessary, but you don’t need a variance for that.

Mr. Mills asked if they had to have a variance for aluminum awning and Mr. Okum answered if it projects further than the setback requirement.

Mr. Okum said we found that what you thought you were getting is not going to work exactly as you envisioned it. At this point I can’t support a reason for this patio cover on the front of the house with an enclosed screened area. The ramp area doesn’t apply to this board and you can do that at any time.

Mr. Wilson said if we do an enclosure, to get the necessary slope for the ramp, you almost would have to start from the driveway, so your patio enclosure would not be to shield the resident from the vehicle, but give them the pleasure of sitting on the porch.

Mr. Mills responded both her husband and mother live there, and it is much easier for both of them to walk to the front porch than it is to walk down the steps to the back porch. It is that simple.

Mr. Wilson said from a dollars and cents standpoint, it is more cost efficient to have a front porch than a rear porch.

 

 

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VIII C. WANDA JONES, 664 HILLGROVE COURT – FRONT PORCH

Mr. Mills responded the other issue is the ramp will have to be outside. If they don’t do this room, they still would have to be outside so to me it is a non issue. To me the issue is can they have something to protect them on the front of their house, which is what they are requesting.

Mrs. Jones added that the reason we wanted to enclose the patio was because of the bugs. My husband has a skin condition so when the mosquitoes bite his blood clots and he needs blood thinners.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Okum asked if they put a canopy on the front of the house that would meet the code, what would the projection of that canopy be? You already have a two foot overhang on the house.

Mr. Mills answered the setback is 35 feet and we are going 29 ½ so you would end up with a two foot canopy or awning. Mr. Okum said the bushes are three feet out from the house, so the awning would drop water directly on the sidewalk if the bushes were not removed

Mr. Okum said I can’t find a zoning reason for a variance to allow that setback change, and I will not be supporting this request.

Mr. Mills said she lives in a cul de sac, so it is not obtrusive to the neighbors. She has one neighbor facing the house to the right who would even see the awning because of where her house sets, and the neighbors across the street. We are going to do a color match that coordinates with the home, and we are only asking for a five-foot variance. You are still 30 feet back from the street. It wouldn’t be right on the edge of the sidewalk. It will not be an eyesore; it will be an attraction and a positive to the house.

Mrs. Jones asked if the screening of the porch was a problem or the porch itself. Mr. Okum responded I think it truly does not complement the house; it looks like a screened room added on to the house. It is not an architectural feature; it is an aluminum enclosure. If you go through the Champion book, there are things that Champion does with patio enclosures with sloped roofs that have a different look to them. In this case, we are basically putting an aluminum screened enclosure on the front of your house and there is no justification for the setback variance.

Mr. Mills responded if she went with a sloped style roof, are you

saying you would not have a problem with that? Mr. Okum said no I am not. I am saying that there are a lot of people with porches integrated into the architectural design of the home. What we would be doing is adding on a patio enclosure, in this case a screened room with a flat roof.

Mrs. Jones said I had asked them about a banister. Mr. Mills answered she is referring to the kneewall; if you don’t like the kneewall, we can do a full screen room with a rail. Mrs. Jones said it would be just like a regular porch.

 

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VIII C. WANDA JONES, 664 HILLGROVE COURT – FRONT PORCH

Mr. Okum said I think what it comes to is the mass and the item and what the true cause for a variance is, and there is just not cause to put a variance on a setback for a structure to be added to the front of the house that does not architecturally tie to that structure in any way, except it is a screened room with a roof on it.

Mr. Wilson said I assume then that the issue is the material being used. Is that your concern? Mr. Okum answered I don’t see a reason for a setback variance for that lot. There is nothing unique about that home that makes it any different from any other house in the neighborhood for an enclosure to be added to the

front. Mr. Wilson responded other than the fact that it is one of the few houses that does not have a front porch. Mr. Okum said but I would say that those homes that have front porches are probably architecturally set so that their setback conforms to code.

Mr. Wilson I was thinking about some kind of screening that you could put in front of the porch to cover more than half of it so all they would really see would be the screen and not so much of the aluminum siding.

Mr. Mills said if you don’t like the aluminum look, you could eliminate the kneewall and it would basically be supports supporting the awning and then screened in with a chair rail around it.

Mr. Wilson said so it wouldn’t look like this. Mr. Mills answered that the variance request is for that. What she is saying is if that is a problem we can eliminate that.

Mr. Wilson said I can understand the need for it, and we as a board try to show compassion when we make our decisions within the guidelines that we must adhere to. If you were to go back and redesign this to be in compliance, would you be willing to table this and come back next month with some new designs? I say that because at this point if we deny your request as stated, it would take six months before you can come back.

Mr. Mills said if you could give us some parameters that you would

like. Mr. Wilson said we can’t dictate what to put up, but I think you can get some ideas if each of us speak in terms of what we don’t like or what will not conform to the code. Maybe you can come up with some ideas.

Mr. Mills answered I would hate to spend the time and effort if we are going to come back and get the same results. If it is due to the fact that you don’t want something on the front of the house, we accept that If it is due to the design, we can go back and modify.

Mr. Wilson said I am one person; I would like to have others on the board comment before you decide that you want to table. I want to give you some options.

 

 

 

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VIII C. WANDA JONES, 664 HILLGROVE COURT – FRONT PORCH

Mr. Squires said a screened room appears as an add on and it doesn’t look like it is architecturally part of the house. I am hearing comments from several board members that would object to that being on the front of the house. If it can be designed to look like it is architecturally part of the house, perhaps we might be a little more inclined to go that way. Is that what you have heard?

Mr. Mills responded that is what I understood. I don’t know that the chairman was in agreement; I think that he doesn’t see a reason for the variance no matter what the design, but I may be wrong.

Mr. Squires said I wouldn’t want to see this design on this nice looking house.

Mr. Apke said to let you know how one board member feels, we have done variance setbacks before. Normally it is remedial damage and after the fact; somebody has already built it. You are coming in with a plan that has not been made, so no materials will be used or lost until you get the variance. Many times in the past we have approved those because we have been very hesitant to have people rip down a porch. However, since this was not done yet, I would have to agree with the chairman. As far as our criteria for granting the variance, I see no exceptional condition such as topography or depth of lot. When I went out to visit the residence, I asked why not in the back. Personally I don’t think I would be voting for any kind of enclosure no matter what you did. I could see a canopy or something to help your husband into the house and keep out of the rain. I don’t understand the basis for this variance when we could do this at the back of the house, and I think we could do whatever we wanted.

Mrs. Jones said the problem is that there is nothing to see in the back but trees, rabbits and deer. There are no people and he is depressed enough if he had to sit in the back with no one to say hi to him or come over. No one would know he was out there. For him it would be to be able to enjoy his home and go outside. I have taken off my job to be with him, but I can’t be home all the time.

Mr. Weidlich said I drove down your street and the adjoining streets, and there are homes that have very nice front porches but I didn’t see any with any kind of enclosure on the front. So if this were approved, it would be the only one in the neighborhood. I have to echo what has been said; to me that sort of enclosure belongs on the back of al home. I certainly feel for your husband’s and mother’s conditions, but being architecturally a part of the house would be a huge benefit in that neighborhood, rather than an aluminum enclosure on the front.

Mrs. Jones said what about a different design? My next door neighbor got a banister with screen over it, like a regular porch.

 

 

 

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VIII C. WANDA JONES, 664 HILLGROVE COURT – FRONT PORCH

Mr. Okum said what I have heard from the board members is that if there is a request for a variance of setback, and it is an architectural feature onto the house and blends in and is part of that home, that is one thing. The need for the variance to make it work on that parcel may be a justification for a variance. In this case you would be adding an aluminum awning with screening below it onto the house. There are structural issues that I have problems with. One is your gutters and downspouts that would be impacted by this awning. Champion has the choice of pulling the gutter off and using the gutter or the awning to carry the load and that water would need to go someplace, which potentially could go off into your driveway which is a real concern. I can tell you that architecturally this doesn’t work. We want to help the situation but we can’t, because there are no real reasons for the variance. The type of awning proposed would have a much better use on the rear of the property. Mr. Okum said this request doesn’t meet any of the criteria for a variance.

Mr. Mills asked what the criteria are and Mr. Okum said exceptional circumstances or extraordinary conditions associated with the site or with the use to which it is not generally applied to other properties in the same zoning district, that the variance is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment to substantial property rights as enjoyed by other properties in the same zoning district, granting the variance would not be a substantial detriment to adjacent properties or materially impair the purpose of the code or public interest, the condition or use of the property is not of a general or recurrent nature so as to revise the code to provide for such situations.

Mr. Mills said you don’t think that applies here? The fact that it will not obstruct anybody’s view or be an eyesore to anybody. Mr. Okum responded we have to answer yes to all four criteria. Mr. Mills said the neighbors had an opportunity to show up if they objected to this. Mr. Okum said that is not the issue. The issue is 6that it has to answer these four criteria. Mr. Mills answered so this decision is based on the design and setback. Mr. Okum said it doesn’t meet any of the criteria. Mr. Mills responded but what you have said is the same thing, that if we had a different design you wouldn’t have a problem with it; it is the design.

.

Mr. Okum responded I haven’t said that. I said architecturally that what you are trying to put here doesn’t work, and I’m not going to redesign it for you. Mr. Mills said we can do something architecturally. If you want a gable style roof that ties into the front, we can do that. Mr. Okum said this is this lady’s home, and in order for you to infringe upon that setback requirement, you have to answer these questions with a yes. You have not exhibited any reasons to do that with what you have presented tonight.

Mrs. Jones said all summer we have had to go to the back yard and bring chairs all the way around to the front in order to sit out front. When it rains we have to take them all the way around back. It doesn’t look right for chairs to set out there in front, and sitting in the back is not what we want to do.

 

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VIII C. WANDA JONES, 664 HILLGROVE COURT – FRONT PORCH

Mr. Okum responded you make that comment and I agree with you and I can empathize with you.

Mrs. Jones wondered what would happen if they left the screening out. Mr. Okum responded then you would have an awning that would carry out into your front yard setback. That doesn’t seem to answer your problem with the insects and your husband being able to sit out without a problem.

Mrs. Jones answered on the days that it was bad, he would have to stay in. We would like to be able to walk outside and stand and breathe the air and sit on the porch and talk to somebody for a few minutes. If the bugs get bad, you go back inside. He has nowhere to sit out front, and he wouldn’t sit in the garage with the van and car where he couldn’t see any people. The step isn’t even wide enough to put a chair on it.

Mr. Squires said only about two of us objected to the architectural feature of the house, not the entire board.

Mr. Wilson said I asked the applicant earlier if she wanted to table this and come back with another design. Are we saying we would allow an awning or an overhang and a concrete slab to allow them to come out and sit on the porch, or are we saying that we don’t want anything on the front. What are we saying? Why should the applicant table it if there is no type of improvement that can be made in the front? If that is what we are telling the applicant, then we should vote and they walk out and that is it for six months. If we tell them that we will allow some kind of overhang or concrete slab then they might want to table it. Maybe we need to give ourselves and them some direction in terms of what our code will and will not allow.

Mr. Borden said personally I think what would look nice on this house is an extension of the front porch, rather than an enclosure. If you could follow the same roof line and take the step and make a porch across rather than an enclosure. Mr. Okum said a gable could be tied into the main front roof and carried out to a couple of columns and have a cover. Mr. Borden said that would mean a lot more expense. Mr. Okum said you could carry a wood roof system a lot higher on the roofline to get the extension you need to give a covered area. There are a number of ways to do that. Mr. Borden added that a porch addition as opposed to an enclosure would look better.

Mr. Mills said looking at the brochure, there are several gable lines. Mr. Borden said I am not thinking about anything in your brochure; I am thinking of something like a room addition. Mr. Mills responded then you are talking about the difference between a $7,000 screened room and a $25,000 room addition.

Mr. Okum said you have two choices. One, we vote, but I don’t think you would see a majority vote. You also can withdraw your request and then resubmit if you would like to. Mrs. Jones said I would like to withdraw my request.

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D. Robert Buck, 11702 Van Cleve Avenue requests variances to allow the construction of a deck four feet from the rear lot line. Said variance is requested from Section 153.580(D) "may project..not more than 50% in a required rear yard."

Mr. Buck said I have a very small back yard and the property line is close to the neighboring property line and there is no real space for a back yard, especially with it sloping. I had put a deck in that area and extended it about five feet beyond the back wall. I later found out that I needed a permit for that. I needed that extra space to allow for actual room for the deck area so we can put chairs on the deck and use it.

Mr. Lohbeck reported that the request is for a deck with privacy screen 4’-7" from the rear property line. The deck is 17’ x 18’-5" and was constructed without a permit and will require several structural modifications to satisfy the building code should the board grant a variance. The required rear yard setback is 35’ and a deck can project 50% into a required rear yard of 17.5’ from the property line. The residence is only 6’-9" from the property line, and our records do not show a variance for the setback of the enclosed building, even though the records show a permit for a rear room addition constructed in 1979.

Mr. Okum opened the public hearing.

Mr. Allan Kilivry, 244 Diston said I am the next door neighbor and the deck faces my houses. Since I have lived there 30 years, I do not see a problem with the way he put the deck up. I can’t speak structurally but it is a squaring off between the edge of his house and the addition that was put on. Being the homeowner there, I have no objections to it.

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

Mr. Borden asked Mr. Lohbeck about the structural modifications asking if the structure were not safe. Mr. Lohbeck responded that as it stands right now it is not safe and we could not issue a permit off the drawings that were submitted.

Mr. Buck responded I talked with Bill and he pointed out some areas, which would meet those standards. There were at least six pier holes that needed to be dug down about 30 inches, inspected and poured. There also is one long beam area that needs to be reinforced and one more approximately six foot long that needs to be joined to one of the other existing beings. Then he indicated that structurally it would be fine. Is there anything else? Mr. Lohbeck answered I left on vacation and Bill said he was going to talk with you about this. I am sure we can work out the details to modify the structural integrity of the deck.

Mr. Okum asked if the modifications would mean tearing down the deck and Mr. Lohbeck responded that it would not.

Mr. Squires said I am puzzled. There is no way the deck could meet the setback requirement, so what choice do we have?

 

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VIII D ROBERT BUCK 11702 VAN CLEVE AVENUE – DECK

Mr. Buck responded it is an angular area, and we have varied spots from the house. The corner of the deck is four foot, and as it goes further away you are picking up another five feet and it is actually going away from the house. He showed a picture of the lot line.

Mr. Okum said if the applicant wanted to put up a fence without the deck, he would be permitted to do that, and he could have it on the property line.

Mr. Apke said I believe in this case the first criterion of exceptional circumstance is met for this property. The second one, preservation of enjoyment as enjoyed by other properties in the same zoning district is met. I don’t believe it will impair the public interest as we have heard testimony to, and I don’t think this is a general type of variance, so unless there is further discussion, I would like to make a motion to approve Mr. Buck’s variance.

Mr. Squires seconded the motion.

Mr. Wilson said I have some questions on the actual verbiage of the motion. It is my understanding that there were some structural concerns or modifications, and you are telling me that you will comply with those? Mr. Buck confirmed this. Mr. Okum added it is necessary for him to comply but he could not leave the deck there without meeting the building code, whether we pass the variance or not. Mr. Lohbeck added that is our job.

Mr. Borden asked if the deck really was 4’-7" from the rear lot line, adding that he went back there and it appears to be closer than 4 feet. Mr. Buck answered that the northeast corner would be about 4’-7".

Mr. Okum said the pictures presents it very well. It looks great today. We have had an extraordinary situation similar to this one other time, and we actually did a field trip to look at the deck and we made a condition that they place two or three evergreens between the property lines to blend or shield and give some break between the properties. I would suggest that two or three 10-foot evergreens be placed between the deck and the property line as a buffer.

Mr. Wilson said there is foliage already there that is really blocking the view, so I think the screening is already there. Are you suggesting something along the property line? Mr. Okum indicated that he was, asking the applicant if he had a problem with planting evergreens.

Mr. Kilivry the neighbor said that a 10-foot evergreen as close as it is to the property line would have to be on my property. Mr. Okum said so 10 feet would be too big. Then he could put arbor vitae, which are vertical evergreens.

Mr. Squires said I would have to agree with the neighbor. There is barely enough room to walk there much less plant anything.

 

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VIII D ROBERT BUCK 11702 VAN CLEVE AVENUE – DECK

Mr. Kilivry added that between the edge of the fence with the current foliage, you cannot walk and right now to require a tree there would make it on my property. It is not a complaint, just an observation.

Mr. Weidlich said I have to agree that planting anything between that deck and the property line, even if it was a vertical bush, over a period of time will overgrow into the neighbor’s property and kill his grass. I think he has built an attractive enclosure and I would be in favor of not having any plantings there.

Mr. Borden said I am in agreement with that. The application answered question 2 that the ground has many tree roots fungus and other eyesore vegetation, and I don’t know that we need to require him to plant trees.

Mr. Okum said your comments are appreciated, and the enclosure looks great right now, but it may not in five years.

Mr. Okum said a lady in the back wishes to speak, and we have to agree to reopen the public hearing. The board agreed to reopen the public hearing, and Mr. Okum swore her in.

Rosemary Chandler, 11657 Van Cleve Avenue said I live on the corner, and last June you gave me a variance for the air conditioner on the side of my house, and the restriction was to put an evergreen or some type of bush in my small area. With my knowledge of evergreens and trying to block the air conditioner, I put it where I thought you would want it, and I have to jockey around to get behind that to do the air conditioning. If you require him to put up these evergreens, they grow out and there is only a four-foot space. Evergreens grow 10 feet wide and you’ll have them on the fence, on the house and all over his property. It would be a mess, and there is not enough room back there for him to be able to maintain that property. I don’t agree with putting any additional greenery back there at all. I would like to thank you for letting me put the air conditioning on the side where I requested it. It has made it nice.

Mr. Okum said we appreciate your comments, and I don’t think the board members were going to give the chair any support with this. Mr. Okum closed the public hearing.

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

  1. DISCUSSION
  2. Mr. Okum said we need to review the form that the staff has put together for the Board of Zoning Appeals application. I wonder if this has had the planner’s input. Mrs. Webb reported that it does not. The building department staff took those questions and tried to simplify them. Ms. McBride has seen this, but we haven’t had any comments from her.

     

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    IX. DISCUSSION–BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS APPLICATION QUESTIONS

    Mr. Okum said on the first question, I thought you would have a check mark yes and a check mark no and then the word Explain. I would like them to say yes or no. Mrs. Webb suggested Explain in Detail. Mr. Wilson wondered why they should explain if they say no? Mr. Borden asked if the Building Department screens the applicants. If it is determined that they don’t meet the requirements for the variance, are they discouraged at that point? Mr. Okum said they still have the right to present their case.

    Mr. Apke suggested making the language more friendly, for example the word topography. I’ll bet 90% of Springdale would not know what that word means. Mr. Borden said are we trying to fix this now? Mr. Okum responded we are trying to get it so that these people coming in understand what they need to say yes to. Mr. Borden commented I don’t know that we can fix this now; maybe this is something we can take home and work on.

    Mr. Squires wondered what word would be substituted for topography, and Mr. Apke said hills. Mr. Wilson said everybody has a dictionary, and if I don’t know what topography means before I fill out the form I’ll find out what it is.

    Mr. Squires said in number one, we need if your answer is yes, please explain in detail. Mr. Borden said better yet, a note could be put on top to tell the applicant that theses questions relate to the

    criteria for approving the variance. I think we need to tell the applicant that here are criteria questions.

    Mr. Weidlich said don’t you think a lot of people would answer yes to get in here and see what they can do? Mr. Borden answered that’s okay. Mr. Weidlich said I think if you put yes is necessary for a variance, you are leading them to say yes regardless. Mr. Borden said perhaps your answer will have some impact on your request. Mr. Borden said I think we need to make it clear that these are the criteria, not just questions, and they must be met.

    Mr. Squires said the Note should be changed to eliminate "as possible" and just say "answer each question fully and completely."

    Mr. Okum said so is number 1, "Are there exceptional circumstances or conditions, i.e. topography, vegetation, narrowness, shallowness or unusual shape of the property that makes the variance necessary?" Mr. Squires said and we should add "If the answer is yes, please explain".

    Mr. Borden said I think we need to steer them into the criteria. I think it needs to be changed, but I don’t know if we can do that now. Mr. Okum said we just want them to expand and clarify their answers. Mr. Weidlich added simplify if possible. Mrs. Webb said that is what staff tried to do.

    Mr. Okum said I still think it needs yes, no and explain in detail. .

    Mrs. Webb said so should the Note read: "These four questions are key to getting a variance. All four must be answered fully and completely, and legibly written or typed." Board members agreed.

    BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

    18 SEPTEMBER 2001

    PAGE TWENTY- FOUR

    IX. DISCUSSION–BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS APPLICATION QUESTIONS

    Mr. Okum said on Question #2 "Will disapproval of this variance request not allow reasonable use of your property? Please explain."

    Mr. Okum said Anne’s Question #2 says "That the variance is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment to substantial property rights as enjoyed by other properties in the same zoning district."

    Mr. Borden responded certainly I think you need to say "as enjoyed by other properties in the same zoning district". Mr. Okum said I don’t find these #2 and #2 matching, and I don’t understand "enjoyment to substantial property rights". Mr. Squires said negative questions are not good. Mr. Okum said so you are saying it should read "Will disapproval of this variance request not allow reasonable use of your property that is different from the rights enjoyed by other properties in the same zoning district?" Mr. Apke suggested "Would denial of your request" would be simpler. Mrs. Webb suggested "Would denial of your request keep you from using your property?" Mr. Okum said they could use the property; this is different from other properties in their zoning district. After more discussion, the board indicated that it should read:

    "Question #2 – "Would denial of your request prevent you from reasonable use of your property such as your neighbors are able to enjoy with their properties? Please explain"

    Mr. Okum said do we all agree that it should say yes, no and if yes, please explain? Mr. Borden said even if you say no, explain.

    "Question #3 – Would the granting of the variance be in any way detrimental to the surrounding property? Please explain. If yes, explain the ways that the impact could be lessened."

    Mr. Apke suggested that it say "How would granting the variance affect your neighbors in a negative way?" Mrs. Webb suggested "How would the granting of the variance affect your neighbor or his property?" Explain in full."

    Mr. Squires said I don’t see anything wrong with the way question 3 is written. I think it is written very well. Mr. Okum said we have to use detriment to adjoining properties. The board agreed to the following:

    "#3 -Would the granting of the variance be detrimental to the neighboring properties? Please explain."

    #4 – "How could you modify the variance request to make it comply with the Zoning Code requirements?"

    Mr. Borden said that #4 is entirely different from the city planner’s #4. The city planner’s #4 is for the use of the board. Mr. Squires asked if #4 needed to be on there. Mr. Borden said I think #4 is fine the way it is. Mr. Squires said if you are going to keep #4, you need "Explain" in there.

     

    BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS MEETING MINUTES

    18 SEPTEMBER 2001

    PAGE TWENTY- FIVE

    IX. DISCUSSION–BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS APPLICATION QUESTIONS

    Mrs. Webb suggested that she forward these questions to Ms. McBride for her comments. Mr. Wilson said and then after Ms. McBride, the law director should review it to make sure we can legally say what we are saying.

  3. ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Wilson moved to adjourn and Mr. Borden seconded the motion. All present voted aye, and the Board of Zoning Appeals adjourned at 10:35 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

____________________,2001 __________________________

David Okum, Chairman

 

 

____________________,2001 __________________________

Jane Huber, Secretary