16 NOVEMBER 1999

7:00 P.M.



Chairman James Squires called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m..


Members Present: Councilwoman Kathy McNear, Fred Borden, Dave Okum,

James Squires, Barbara Ewing and Councilman Robert Wilson

Members Absent: Thomas Schecker

Others Present: Richard Lohbeck, Inspection Supervisor


Mrs. McNear moved for adoption and Mr. Wilson seconded the motion. By

voice vote, all present voted aye, and the Minutes were adopted with six

affirmative votes.

    1. Zoning Bulletin Ė October 10, 1999
    2. Zoning Bulletin Ė October 25, 1999
    3. Planning Commission Minutes Ė October 12, 1999
    1. Report on Council Activities Ė no report
    2. Report on Planning Commission

Mr. Okum reported that the majority of the meeting revolved around the relocation of the Walker Pontiac to 169 Northland Boulevard, the former Recker & Boerger. There was a discussion regarding Gold Star Chili and the repainting of the exterior of the building and there was a replat for Pictoria Island finalizing the location for the construction of the office building. Mr. Squires asked how many restaurants would be there and Mr. Okum answered four, and rumor has it that the major office building development is close to being confirmed. Mr. Squires asked about White Castle and their taking the lot on the corner of Kemper and Springfield Pike (former Precision Tune). Mr. Okum responded there was a meeting between White Castle and the administration about a month ago.


    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 is 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.



16 NOVEMBER 1999



    1. Tri-County Furniture, 11101 Springfield Pike requests variance to allow outside storage of 55-gallon drums. Said variance is requested from Section 153.093 "..the open storage of prohibited in all commercial districts." (tabled 10/19/99)

Mr. Squires reported we received a notice that they have withdrawn their variance request. Mr. Okum moved to withdraw the item from the agenda and Mr. .Borden seconded the motion. By voice vote all present voted aye, and the item was withdrawn from the agenda.


    1. Arthur Tiedtke, 11830 Lawnview Avenue requests variance to allow him to enclose his existing porch 25 feet from the property line. Said variance is requested from Section 153.025(D)(4)(c) "Rear yards must be at least 35 feet deep."

Mr. Tiedtke said I need a variance to put screening on my outdoor building. I have a permit to build it, but I need the variance to put screening on it. The setback is about 32 feet the way I measured it, three feet less than what is allowed.

Mr. Squires commented these houses on Lawnview were built prior to the zoning change. At one time, I believe there was a 30-foot setback required. I know that is true of our house on Ruskin.

Mr. Okum said the plat submission indicates that the screened enclosure is 27 feet at one point and 25 feet at the other. I visited your property, and you have an addition on your home? Mr. Tiedtke answered yes, I had it put on in about 1973. Mr. Okum said the porch is an addition onto that addition. Mr. Tiedtke answered yes, it is a summer porch with a screened in area.

Mr. Okum said the porch roof is already constructed and now you want to bring the walls down and have a screened in area. Mr. Tiedtke answered the walls are there; I want screened in windows. There are about 10 windows. Mr. Okum wondered if the short walls were permissible and considered a porch support structure.

Mr. Lohbeck reported if we issued a permit to construct this, he is adding 2 foot of wood around the bottom part and coming up with the screen. Mr. Tiedtke added the floor already is completed,

Mr. Okum said to clarify, these short walls on this drawing are there and were approved on your original building permit application. Are the screened door and windows being added? Mr. Tiedtke answered the screened door and there will be two windows in there. Mr. Okum asked the type windows and Mr. Tiedtke answered probably storm windows, on two sides. Mr. Okum wondered what would be on the backside, and Mr. Tiedtke answered the screening. The roof overcomes the wall, so you donít need any protection from the weather, but the two sides have to be protected from rain blowing in. I have the two-screened doors in place, but no screens. Mr. Okum continued so you have two screened doors and want to add four storm windows on the gable sides and then screened all the way across. Mr. Tiedtke confirmed this.

Mr. Wilson wondered what he was actually adding to this. Mr. Tiedtke answered just the screens; I need permission to screen it in. Mr. Wilson asked if he had lighting and Mr. Tiedtke answered I have one outlet. I have electric out in the back and I can open windows and bring an extension out from my house, nothing permanent though.


16 NOVEMBER 1999



Mr. Lohbeck reported according to the staff comments, he has put up a 2-foot high new wall with screening above and one door at the end. Mr. Squires said and the variance is not for the screening; it is for the setback. Mr. Lohbeck confirmed this.

Mr. Okum said the porch roof is conforming to code. It can extend past the setback requirements, but when you enclose that, it becomes a variance issue.

Mr. Borden asked the applicant if he planned on staining or treating it and Mr. Tiedtke answered I donít know how to protect that open wood. Iíll have to ask one of the builders what I can do with it.

Mr. Okum said maintenance and upkeep is a very good point. Do you know if the wood framing members are redwood, treated lumber or something like that, and Mr. Tiedtke answered they are yellow pine. Mr. Okum continued so if you have the screens on the rear side facing the neighborís property and you have a short wall there as well, that wood is all raw pine. Mr. Tiedtke added there is western cedar on top of it. The top of the railing is cedar and the panels are treated lumber.

Mr. Okum asked Mr. Lohbeck if that were something we would inspect for, that the materials are watertight and not the type that would deteriorate? Mr. Lohbeck answered on the back side he faces east, so his overhang will not get any water down that way, and he will not get a blowing rain. The T-111 would probably have to be painted or stained. Mr. Tiedtke responded I could do that as soon as possible, before winter probably. Mr. Okum wondered if he were planning any shrubbery across the enclosure, and Mr. Tiedtke answered no, just grass around it.

Mr. Squires asked if anyone present wished to speak for or against this variance and no one came forward.

Mr. Borden moved to grant the variance and Mr. Wilson seconded the motion. Voting aye were Mr. Borden, Mr. Wilson, Mrs. McNear, Mr. Okum, Mrs. Ewing and Mr. Squires. Variance was granted with six affirmative votes.

B. Thomas Heckman, 11551 Madison Avenue appeals the stipulation in Variance 29-1999 granted October 16, 1999 that an evergreen must be placed in front of the structure.

Mr. Heckman said the variance that was issued last month required greenery around the shed addition that I built. Mr. Squires said the variance was granted with the stipulation that evergreen screening be placed in front of the structure to block the view of the shed from the street, is that correct? Mr. Heckman said yes.

Mr. Heckman said last month I took pictures of the shed itself, without shrubbery. Now I have pictures taken from the street showing what shrubbery is in place.

Mr. Wilson wondered why he wanted to change the agreement and Mr. Heckman answered I think it was silly to have to plant something in front of the shed. The building has a rollup garage door on it, and it would look stupid to plant a tree right in front of the garage door.







16 NOVEMBER 1999



Mr. Wilson read from the minutes, "Addressing the applicant Mr. Wilson said you have agreed that you will put some type of greenery in there to break it up and you feel comfortable with that. Mr. Heckman said I would put something there to break up the view, no problem. Mr. Okum moved to grant the variance with the condition that an evergreen be planted to break up the frontage of the shed from the right of way, and that the side yard setback be included as part of the variance. Mrs. McNear seconded the motion and the variance was granted with seven affirmative votes."

Mr. Wilson continued you agreed to it, and I think you would be offended if we came back to you a month later and said we changed our minds; we arenít going to grant the variance. Having been to your property, I can appreciate how well it is maintained. However, when someone tells me they are going to do something, barring a great financial burden or something that would prevent it from happening, I would expect a person to keep his word. Maybe this is minor, because we are talking about $200 for some kind of camouflage. I personally would hold you accountable as you would hold me. Maybe we could deviate a bit and say put some shrubbery, something up there. Maybe we could agree on that.

Mr. Heckman responded at the time I was threatened with having to tear this addition down, and I didn't want to do that. I probably would have agreed to do about anything. Mr. Wilson responded I donít think we would have made you tear it down, but I can understand how you would feel. I would rather you come back and say can I do something else than nothing at all. Looking at the pictures, you have a lot of trees; in 20 years you will have a forest there. Personally I would rather you have some hedges to block that off. Come up with something rather than saying I changed my mind and donít want to do this.

Mr. Heckman responded I didnít change my mind; I just wouldnít have done it and let you come after me. That is why I am here appealing to you because I donít think it is necessary. I didnít take a sworn oath that I would do this; but I did say that I would. After looking at the shrubbery in the yard, I really donít think it is necessary. . There are five trees in front of that shed plus a large lilac bush. I just ordered two new blue spruce trees today that I will plant in the yard but I donít want to plant one in front of that shed. I think it would look stupid. Last month I was under pressure; I didnít know how strict you people could get about tearing something down, but I built it without a permit. I donít mean to go back on my word; that is why I am here appealing to you to allow me to change that.

Mr. Squires said one of the things we go by is hardship and it would be a rather extraordinary set of circumstances for us to make you tear it down. That never crossed our minds. Mr. Heckman responded I didnít know that; it was in the letter I received. Mr. Squires continued and if for some reason you received that impression from us, let me offer an apology to you, but nothing was so indicated that we would be that strict. Mr. Heckman said the letter said I had two weeks to tear it down. Mr. Squires said that did not come from us.

Mrs. McNear said I went to the site last month. You agreed to put the trees up, but I have to agree with you; you have a lot of shrubs and trees. The property is very nice, and I am not opposed to withdrawing that part of the motion we made. Mr. Heckman added I have taken down 19 trees in the front yard since I moved there a year ago; it looked like a jungle. Mrs. McNear added the shed is very attractive. It is on the side of the house and tucked back a bit so driving by unless you are looking for it, I donít think you notice it.



16 NOVEMBER 1999



Mr. Okum said I went past your home and I donít disagree that you do have a good number of trees and shrubs. The intent of the motion was not to have you plant it directly in front of the garage door. It was to place an evergreen tree on the elevation facing that shed. The fact that you are a very conscientious property owner does not reflect that five or 10 years from now if you sell the property the purchaser might want to put a parking apron in front of the shed and take down the trees. There is nothing in our zoning code that prohibits residents from taking down trees; you can take down as many as you want. That was the purpose of the motion.

You already had a variance on the shed that was there. This is an overbuilt shed compared to what is allowed in our code, 120 square feet. It is pretty much the size of a car and a half garage. The motion was not to put any hardship on you. A variance runs with the land and that tree will be required for whoever owns the property in the future.

Mr. Heckman asked where the tree should be placed, and Mr. Okum answered the motion allowed you to place it anywhere to screen the view from the public right of way. It didnít say that you had to place it directly in front of the shed or in front of the garage door. You could put it anywhere you wanted. It was your decision.

Mr. Heckman responded it was my understanding that it had to be placed in front of the shed. Mr. Okum said it was but it depends on which is front and how you are envisioning that It can go anywhere in front all the way up to the street. Mr. Heckman responded there is a crabapple tree there; there is a red maple tree there; there is an adult maple tree right in front of it and a large lilac bush. How can I put another tree there? Mr. Okum said that would be a hardship; if you had said that at the last meeting, it probably would have made a difference. Mr. Heckman responded if youíll recall, I mentioned to you that there was shrubbery there, and you said there is not, because the picture that was there did not show any shrubbery. Mr. Okum answered I disagree with you sir; I did not say there was no shrubbery. Iím not going to argue with you, but I certainly did not tell you that you had nothing in front of your shed.

In regards to your request, I still stand to the point that anyone can purchase your land and take down every tree in front of that building. I know you are doing everything you can to make that site a very pleasing one, but that doesnít mean 5 or 10 or 15 year from now the person who purchases your property is going to take a different outlook.

Mr. Wilson said earlier I mentioned hedges along the wall, something green. Would you agree to put hedges around the side of the house? Mr. Heckman responded I donít mean to be smart about it, but Iím not going to put anything in there that I donít have to. I donít think there is anything that has to be there. I have a petition signed by all my neighbors, everybody that says there is absolutely nothing wrong with the way that thing looks.

Mr. Wilson said since several signed their addresses Cincinnati instead of Springdale, maybe they just signed it to sign it and they donít care, so what kind of credibility do we have here? Neighbors will sign things whether they agree or disagree to appease. Mr. Heckman said they all signed it without my putting a gun to their heads. They were all aware of what the situation was.






16 NOVEMBER 1999



Mr. Wilson continued I still feel that if we allow this change to the variance, anyone who has a variance and agrees to do something and decided to change their mind can come back and say I donít want to do it, I changed my mind. I have a problem with that. I can appreciate where you are coming from, Your property is beautiful and I probably would have said put flowers around there initially, but when you agreed to do something, I took you at your word. Mr. Heckman responded I havenít broken my word yet; I came back to ask you to allow me to change this. Nobody here can say they have done that in their life. Mr. Wilson said I donít disagree, but we are in a situation where to approve this would be to open Pandoraís box and al low anyone who agreed to do something to change their mind. That is my opinion, and I am one of seven people.

Mr. Squires asked if anyone in attendance cared to speak.

Patricia Heckman said it is not so much the idea of putting the bush or bushes there, as it is that it will be inconvenient. We have two doors there and a lawnmower that has to go in and out. That would be a problem when we go in the door we would have to walk around bushes to get into it. And if you bring it out further away from the property, you will be running into trees, plus our driveway is there. I donít know where we could put it so it wouldnít look like it is jammed in there, except for right in front of the doors, which will be very inconvenient. The way it is set up now there is no problem getting n and out, but if he puts bushes there, he will not only have a problem getting the lawnmower out, but it is going to be in front of the other door where every other piece of equipment is stored.

Mrs. McNear said you mentioned you ordered two blue spruce trees. Where are you going to place them on your property? Mr. Heckman answered I want to put one in the southwest corner, 10-12 feet from the fence line and the other 10 feet left of the shed. There are a couple of smaller trees there I want to remove.

Mr. Borden said if you are going to do that, you are going to meet the requirement of the variance that was approved last month. Mr. Heckman responded thatís a broad look at it, but thatís fine.

Mr. Okum commented I am looking at screening. I donít have any problem with your replacing the pine tree on the side of your shed. If I were to give any relief on this issue, since you do have enough screening, if you would place that one evergreen to the front side of the sidewalk, that would be acceptable to me. That wold be to the front of your shed, and not behind or beside it.

Mr. Heckman said I want to make one point. The original shed was built under another variance in 1989, and there never has been a problem. The shrubbery has never been a problem. Now, I add a 6í x 7í extension on it. That is the part that is visible from the street, 6í x 7í and we are going through all this to put up shrubbery around it. I know I agreed to it originally, and if you tell me I have to put something up there, I will put it up there, but I donít want to because I donít think it would look right. I want to plant those two blue spruce where I want to plant them, not where you all want me to plant them. They are expensive.

Mr. Squires asked if anyone else present wished to speak. No one did.

Mrs. McNear moved to grant the appeal and Mr. Squires seconded the motion.



16 NOVEMBER 1999



Voting aye were Mrs. McNear, Mrs. Ewing and Mr. Squires. Voting no were Mr. Wilson, Mr. Borden and Mr. Okum. The vote was 3 to 3. Mr. Squires said I believe for lack of a majority, this fails but we will check this with our legal counsel.

Mr. Heckman asked if he had any recourse, and Mr. Squires answered that he could resubmit the appeal six months after the denial. Mr. Heckman wondered what he could do in the meantime, and Mr. Squires answered plant the shrubs. Mr. Heckamn asked how long he had to conform to this. Mr. Okum suggested that the board keep the hearing open on the issue until legal counsel advises if the motion was defeated. We would then give notice to Mr. Heckman. Also, Mr. Heckman, you have the right to appeal any decision of this board to the Court of Common Pleas.

C. Walker Pontiac Auto Dealership, 169 Northland Boulevard (former Recker & Boerger) requests variance to allow a 15í x 15í, 37 foot high pole sign, and two wall signs for a total of 321 square feet of signage. Said variance is requested from Section 153.092(D)(1)(b) "..maximum gross are of signs = (W x 1.5) + 40 square feet, Section 153.092(E)(3) "..maximum size..shall not exceed 50 s.fÖ."and Section 153.135(C) "..shall not exceed 30í in height."

David Brown of Miller-Valentine reported our plan has gone through Planning Commission and we are here to request a variance for 321 s.f. of signage. Subsequent to that submission, I received the actual dimensions of the Walker lettering, which is 22 inches high so that brings our request down to 319 square feet.

During Planning Commission one of the discussions concerned the existing pole sign at the present dealership, which is currently under a variance. We submitted a height of 47 feet and we have certified that the existing sign is in compliance with the variance, 37 feet high, not 47 feet. Mr. Walker simply wants to move that sign across the street. There would be an economic hardship if this variance is not granted in that he would have to go for another lease for a smaller sign, which can cost him nine to 10 times as much than what he currently has leased.

The pole sign is 15í x 15í, and Planning Commission indicated to us that we could request a monument sign for the Used Car sign. We at this time are not applying for that. We simply are requesting to have a pole sign relocated across the street, and the building sign be similar to what is shown on the rendering. We feel this is the minimum to maintain his current status in competition with the other dealerships.

Addressing Mr. Walker, Mr. Okum said if GM changes their sign design as many dealerships are doing, would you be inclined to maintain this lease on this sign and not go to the newer style?

Mr. Walker answered the new leases are 10 years and if I go with a smaller sign, it would cost about nine times more than the old lease. Since that sign has been there since 1978, we are in at the old 1978 rate.

Mr. Okum said if you were to choose to change out the sign to something different, would you be willing to abandon the variance and be within code? Mr. Walker responded it is tough for me to answer that without knowing what General Motors might be trying force the dealers to do. At this point of time, I would have no reason at all to opt to go to anything but our current signage.




16 NOVEMBER 1999



Mr. Okum said based on what you submitted and the buildng exposures, I donít have a lot of problem with the amount of signage you are placing on the building. Since you have removed the issue of the monument sign for the used cars, reducing the signage on the site makes it more palatable. Since we have determined that the pole sign is really 37 feet, I donít have a lot of problems with that. I just wish that if you changed that sign some day, you wouldnít have a 37-foot high sign variance on that site.

Mr. Walker responded I understand what you are saying, and until the time that General Motors changes their direction on signage, it wouldnít b fair for me to state what IL would or wouldnít do. I would like to add that Planning Commission recommended a monument sign, rather than move our Used Car sign, which is 8í x 8í and 20 feet tall. We are going to table the idea of any used car sign. Maybe at some point of time we will come back and ask you to put some type of monument sign out. I do have a lease on the current used car sign, which I will have to buy out, since Planning would not recommend that we also move that pole sign.

Mr. Squires asked if anyone present wished to speak. No one did.

Mr. Okum moved to grant the variance for 319 s.f. of signage, which includes 1 pole sign (GM emblem) a Pontiac sign on the building, a GMC sign on the building and the Walker name on the building Mrs. McNear seconded the motion.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Wilson said you indicated that you had to have a certain height. How do you arrive at that? Mr. Walker responded that is the only sign they offer 15í x 15 and 37 feet high. Mr. Wilson commented but they do offer smaller signs. Who determines the height of the sign? Mr. Brown responded we are requesting the variance to exceed the current allowable square footage to provide a decent presence and take into consideration the competition around him as well.

Voting aye were Mr. Okum, Mrs. McNear, Mr. Borden, Mr. Wilson, Mrs. Ewing and Mr. Squires. Variance as granted with six affirmative votes.

  2. Mrs. McNear said it has been a pleasure working with everyone on this

    board. I donít know if Iíll be back on this one or not, and I have enjoyed

    every minute of it. Thanks to everyone for working so hard on all the t

    things we worked on, the times we agreed and the times we have

    disagreed. I hope to see a lot of you back on this board, and perhaps I will

    be too.

    Mrs. Ewing said I want to thank Mayor Webster for all he has done for the

    City and for giving me the opportunity to serve on this board. I will not be

    Returning, but I want to thank the group for the enlightenment I have

    received from working with the people. I truly have enjoyed working on

    this committee, and I truly will enjoy having my Tuesdays free.

    Mr. Okum commented we donít know who will be back here, except Mr.

    Wilson and Mr. Borden. This was my first two years serving on the Board

    of Zoning Appeals. This is probably one of the best and most fair boards

    within our community. You always have been fair to the residents.; we

    are firm but we are fair. I hope to continue to serve and Mr. Squires you

    have done an excellent job as chairman, been very fair with everyone and

    giving everyone an opportunity to express himself or herself.





    16 NOVEMBER 1999



    Mr. Squires commented obviously I will be going to a new assignment as

    council member. If the president of council wishes me to continue here,

    this is valuable experience and I am anxious to serve the city in any

    way I can best serve. This has been an excellent board. Everybody has

    been so fair minded and open minded to our citizens.

    Mr. Wilson said this has been fun. This board has a human element that

    Planning does not have. In Planning it is black and white; here you

    have the human element and you try to work with people. Everyone

    speaks his mind and votes his conscience; there is no politics involved.

    Mr. Lohbeck said in September, Mr. Okum asked about 795 Tivoli and

    the screening. Mr. Jones agreed with the screening but the motion itself

    was granted with the contingency that it be granted for three years and it

    will expire in September, 2000. It did not include any screening

    requirement. We need to have it in the motion in order to enforce it.


Mrs. McNear moved for adjournment and Mrs. Ewing seconded the

motion. All present voted aye and the Board of Zoning Appeals

adjourned at 8:22 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,



_____________________,1999 ___________________________

James Squires, Chairman



______________________,1999 ____________________________

Barbara Ewing, Secretary