OCTOBER 20, 2009
7:00 P.M.


The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.


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

Others Present: William McErlane, Building Official



Mrs. Huber moved for acceptance the September 15, 2009 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting minutes, Mr. Emerson seconded the motion and with a unanimous “aye” vote, with one member abstaining, the minutes were adopted.



Mr. Danbury gave a summary report of the previous Council Meeting.


Chairman Okum gave a summary report on the previous Planning Commission meeting: the continuance of the cellular tower request for Cricket Communication / American Tower at 11970 Kenn Road; and an amendment of declaration of covenants for the Target store at 900 East Kemper Road to eliminate 50 parking spaces.



A. Corrective action by the Board of Zoning Appeals regarding a variance granted on September 15th, 2009 for the property at 11093 Springfield Pike.

Chairman Okum: After action by the Board of Zoning Appeals the Administration along with some Elected Officials were concerned about the Corridor Review District, that this variance affected the Overlay District that is also attached to that zoning. As a result of that, the Law Director’s office has looked at this and they felt that this was probably brought to the Board of Zoning Appeals prior to Planning Commission, where it should have been; I did express that at the meeting. There is a recommendation for a motion to bring it back on the floor for reconsideration and action taken upon that request; and that way it can be heard in the cadence that it really belongs in which would be Planning Commission first under the Corridor Review District and then if the applicant so desires to bring it forward then it would be brought back before this Board if there is a variance issue required.
The applicant has been given notice of this, is that correct Mr. McErlane?
Mr. McErlane: We sent certified and certificate of mailing, mailed to the applicant late last week; I also emailed the applicant and the owner of the property. I have received a return receipt back from the owner that he has received the mail.

Mr. Diehl made a motion to bring the matter regarding 11093 Springfield Pike back to the floor.
Mr. Danbury seconded the motion; all Board of Zoning Appeals Members agreed by signifying “aye”.

Chairman Okum: Notice has been given to the applicant. Is there anyone in the audience that would like to address the Board in regards to this request?
(At this time, no one from the public came before the Board.)

Mr. Diehl: I would to make a motion to correct and nullify certain action taken by this Board on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 with respect to the applicant for the variance for the property located at 11093 Springfield Pike. This action through the Springdale Zoning Code requires such an application be first reviewed by the Planning Commission. This motion fully clarifies that pursuant to Section 153.422(B)(4) of the Springdale Zoning Code which governs the procedure in the Route 4 Corridor Review District, any request for a variance in this district first requires Planning Commission review which had not taken place; as such any permission granted by this Board was premature and therefore null and void.

Mrs. Huber polled the Board and with a 6-0 “yes” vote, with one member abstaining who was not present at the original meeting, the action concerning the property at 11093 Springfield Pike was removed.


A. The owner of 357 Cameron Road requests a variance to allow the construction of a 10’ X 10’ pergola. Said variance is from Section 153.492(B)(1) “There shall be no more than one detached accessory building, other than a garage, on a lot…”

Mr. John Birkenshaw: My address is 357 Cameron. I purchased some pavers for a patio at Reading Rock and they had pictures of pergolas, so I purchased one; came to the Building Department to get a building permit and found out I couldn’t do that; I did not know that a pergola required a building permit and now I need a variance.

(Mr. Birkenshaw provided a picture of the type of pergola he plans to build showing some plantings.)

(At this time, Mr. McErlane read the Staff report.)

(Chairman Okum opened the floor to the audience; no one came forward and this portion of the hearing was closed.)

Mrs. Huber: I move to grant a variance from Section 153.492(B)(1) so as to allow for the erection of a 10’ X 10’ pergola on property located at 357 Cameron Road.

Mr. Birkenshaw: I bought a circular block patio to put underneath it; I have bought wisteria and some other plants. It will be probably 200’ from my house.

Mr. Weidlich: Your property looks well maintained.

Chairman Okum: Based upon the density of your property and the amount of structures you have, I will certainly be supporting your request for a variance. Just a comment, carpenter bees love cedar wood, but cedar is gorgeous.
At this point there are no other lights, Mrs. Huber would you poll the Board?

(Mrs. Huber polled the Board of Zoning Appeals Members and with a unanimous vote the request for the variance was granted.)
B. The owner of 846 Ledro Street requests a variance to allow the elimination of the garage. Said variance is from Section 153.105(B) “A single two-car garage and related parking area is required…”

Mr. Hake: I live at 6063 Middletown, Ohio; I am the property manager for William Cochran. I was before you within the last couple months and I tried to leave the garage the way it was, so I am coming this month to try to convert the front part back into garage, keep the laundry room and the bath in the back room without a door – it is open to the dining room with a walkway – and then convert the front and put the garage door back operational. A house with two full baths and a laundry room is worth more than a house with just one full bath.

Chairman Okum: How many parking spaces is that driveway?

Mr. Hake: Two; and we intend to leave it there.

(At this time, Mr. McErlane read the Staff report.)

(Chairman Okum opened the floor to the audience; no one came forward and this portion of the hearing was closed.)

Mrs. Huber: I move to grant a variance from Section 153.105(B), so as to allow the elimination of the garage on property located at 846 Ledro Street.
Mr. Emerson seconded the motion.

Chairman Okum: Do you have enough room for an overhead functional garage door?

Mr. Hake: Yes, sir.

Chairman Okum: Placement of vehicles, currently you are requesting that we allow you to leave the parking area just the two cars?

Mr. Hake: Correct.

Chairman Okum: Any indication from the owner that you would expand that to allow to accommodate more vehicles on that driveway area?

Mr. Hake: The way the house is set up, there is no room for expansion; not a lot of room to the right, it goes right to the property line; it has a four foot strip on the right-hand side and then there is a pretty good size tree on the left.

Mr. McErlane: Attached to my comments there should be a site plan off of Cagis that shows the driveway and property lines; there is also a black & white photo that shows the location of the tree in front of the house.

Mr. Weidlich: On your plan you say you are going to remove the door from the living room, the closet door and the door into the laundry area; are you going to put studs back in place and dry wall?

Mr. Hake: Yes, sir; I was going to leave the closet for storage.

Mr. Weidlich: The back room that you want to keep, is there a window in that?

Mr. Hake: No, sir; right now they are using it as a computer room.

Mr. Weidlich: So, the idea of a bedroom is not even in the picture?

Mr. Hake: No, sir.

Mr. Emerson: Our discussion before with this house is that it is a rental property, once the variance is approved we have no control, except for the rental inspections to go in there and make sure that it is not used as a bedroom. I like the idea that the front part is turned back into a garage, and keeping the bathroom and the laundry room. Is there a door frame still there?

Mr. Hake: No, sir. It is a drywall opening, no door.

Mr. Reichert: The plumbing in the area that you are describing as laundry and bathroom, did they actually cut into the floor and put the drain into the floor?

Mr. Hake: Yes, sir; it is level with the rest of the floors. I think it was done around 1970. I have been associated with the property for 2 – 2 years. The drainage is in the floor and it sits flush with the floor.

Chairman Okum: Mr. McErlane, what is the schedule for re-inspections of property such as this?

Mr. McErlane: This particular property has a conditional permit pending something being done with the garage, so there is still an additional inspection that is necessary once this all gets finalized; and then every two years, unless there is a change of occupancy that occurs after 6 months of a previous inspection.

Chairman Okum: If this Board puts conditions on this variance, if it were granted, that the space be used as a bathroom, could the Board request that this property be inspected on a yearly basis?

Mr. McErlane: It is a separate regulation; it is not a zoning code regulation.

Chairman Okum: Certainly this Board could put conditions on it that this area shall not be used as a bedroom; they could put conditions on it that it could be used for anything other than a bedroom; they could put conditions on it that the garage space be functional with a functional garage door – which I would encourage those conditions to be – as far as inspections are concerned that would apply to the Building Department. This doesn’t have a second egress so it doesn’t qualify as a bedroom according to any building code.

Mr. McErlane: Not currently, but if that condition is not placed on it then there is nothing to preclude the applicant from adding that emergency egress to it, and turning it into it.

Chairman Okum: Just so everyone understands, there are conditions that could be placed on it that would hold it to its functionality, other than a bedroom; there are no guarantees of that except that would remain with that property.

Mr. Emerson: How hard would it be to put a window in it?

Mr. Hake: You could put a window in it, but I thought the whole purpose was that nobody wanted it to be used as a bedroom. You can’t control that, but I can write it in the lease; I rent it as a 3 bedroom home.

Mr. Emerson: I would feel better if there was a bigger doorway.

Mr. Hake: That is not a problem. My biggest issue is a house with another full bath and a laundry room is worth more than just a house with a bath.

Mr. Emerson: I think the storage space in front of the garage adds value to it, too.

Mr. Weidlich: You are going to make the garage door functional, and that will be the only way in or out of the storage area?

Mr. Hake: Yes, sir.

Chairman Okum: It is a little hard for us to impose a requirement that the property be leased as three bedrooms; that way it can be used and function as three bedrooms.
Mr. McErlane: The number of adults and children allowed is based upon the square feet of finished floor area. The total occupant number is based on bedroom space. If this becomes a bedroom then it increases both.

Chairman Okum: If this Board would put conditions that this shall not be used as a bedroom that lowers that number down?

Mr. McErlane: It lowers the total occupancy down; it probably will increase the number of adult occupants, because of the square footage change.

Chairman Okum: Could this Board, by condition, limit the number of occupants for the property?

Mr. McErlane: That is a property maintenance code issue.

Chairman Okum: I understand, is it a zoning code regulation?

Mr. McErlane: It is not a regulation; you haven’t affected that in any of the other garage conversions that you have done previously.

Chairman Okum: The difficulty that I am having is there is no room for expansion for the driveway, because the way the driveway is configured. By granting the variance we are granting more adults, which could be more vehicles. The biggest complaint in the Heritage Hill area is parking area, in that quadrant of Heritage Hill.

Mr. Diehl: Do you have anything to add to eliminate the concerns about the driveway; if you cannot I will not support that?

Mr. Hake: It will accommodate two vehicles, and there is only one adult in there currently; I do not know how else to support that.

Chairman Okum: Based on what has been discussed, the conditions of the removal of the doorway into the bathroom is what you are proposing?

Mr. Hake: Yes, sir.

Chairman Okum: The property as a three bedroom home, is what you are proposing?

Mr. Hake: Yes, sir.

Chairman Okum: That the area that was the front bedroom area shall be stripped out and converted to storage only, and that the overhead garage door would be a totally functional garage door?

Mr. Hake: Yes, sir.

Mr. Weidlich: Did you want to include that the rear room not be used as a bedroom?

Chairman Okum: Yes, so we have those five items.

Mr. Danbury: The storage space shall not be considered as finished space to the home.

Mr. Diehl: I think that we really need to consider the lack of parking in this case.

Mr. Reichert: I make a motion to amend the original motion to include the items as stated.
Seconded by Mr. Weidlich.

Mr. Reichert: Should there be any dimensions for that storage space?
Chairman Okum: I think Staff identified it as 88 s.f.

Mrs. Huber polled the Board on the amendment to the motion and with a 5-2 vote, the amendment was carried.

Chairman Okum: Can you offer a remedy for the parking for Mr. Diehl?

Mr. Hake: I do not have a remedy for that.

Mrs. Huber: Many houses, the cars are parked on the street and the driveway is empty.

Chairman Okum: It does concern me regarding the driveway issue. I don’t want to see a concrete front yard.

Mr. Danbury: I have a concern for the parking; for the safety of the residents.

Chairman Okum: Do we want to bring it forward to amend, to increase the parking area width up near the house to accommodate two vehicles?

Mr. Danbury: I would like to make a motion to amend to widen the driveway to accommodate two car widths up against the home.
(No member of the Board of Zoning Appeals seconded the motion to widen the driveway.)

Mr. Hake: That would be nice but the yard by the house slopes hard to the right.

Chairman Okum: We do not have a second on the motion to amend to widen the driveway; the motion fails by lack of a second.

Mr. Reichert: Could you repeat the conditions for the Board?

Chairman Okum: 1.) rear finished space shall not be used as a bedroom
2.) the front storage space shall have a functional garage door
3.) door into the home from storage space shall be eliminated and storage space shall be unfinished (88 square feet)
4.) overhead door should be fully functional
5.) use of property as a 3 bedroom home

Mrs. Huber polled the Board on the final amended motion and with a 6-1 vote the request for a variance was granted for the property at 846 Ledro.

Chairman Okum: You do have a variance now, sir, but you will have to meet all of the conditions on that variance and the Building Department requirements, as well.


Mr. Reichert: My term is up November 30, 2009; I think I am the only member who needs to be reappointed or removed at this time.

Mr. McErlane: I want to apologize for the first item on the agenda, the Old Business Item that overlooked the aspect of the Corridor District, requiring that Planning Commission review prior to BZA; I directed the applicant to BZA instead of the Planning Commission so I do want to apologize for that.

Chairman Okum: Thank you, Mr. McErlane.

Mr. Danbury: The new Council will be sworn in on the 1st of December, it is customary that the mayor will make his appointments; we will have a Council meeting then but they will also consider it for the next night so there will plenty of time for them to fill all of the Boards and Commissions but I would encourage everybody if they are interested they should contact somebody on Council just to let them know if they would like to continue, or if there is another Board that they would be interested in – you can only be on one Board – so make your intentions known.

Chairman Okum: I wanted to report that I did bring the “Bing” maps and I am going to ask Staff if they will do that for each of the meetings in the future so that they will be in our packets. There is some Federal money that came in to Cincinnati, Cincinnati and Hamilton County are working jointly on aerial photography of the entire county; they are going to be doing one without the canopy of trees and then they are going to do one with the canopy of trees; they will be part of public records so we will have access to it.


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

Mr. Diehl moved to adjourn, all members of the Board of Zoning Appeals signified by saying “aye” and the meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

________________________,2009 ___________________________________
            Chairman Dave Okum

________________________,2009 ___________________________________
            Secretary Jane Huber