NOVEMBER 17, 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: Randy Campion, Building Inspection Supervisor



Mrs. Huber moved for acceptance the October 20, 2009 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting minutes, Mr. Weidlich seconded the motion and with a unanimous “aye” vote, the minutes were adopted.



Mr. Danbury gave a summary report of the previous Council Meeting including an ordinance to enter into an agreement with Cincinnati Bell Technology; a renewal of contracts for our City Prosecutor for Mayor’s Court, Public Defender and the Magistrate – they are all working under the same agreements and wages of 2009.


    Chairman Okum gave a summary report on the previous Planning Commission meeting concerning the continuance of the cellular tower request for Cricket Communication / American Tower at 11970 Kenn Road until the second Tuesday of December due to the City bringing on a third party consultant. The one item on the agenda was for IHOP and the retail center at the corner of Chesterdale & Kemper concerning a tree replacement variance request from the Tree Preservation Ordinance.



There were no items of old business to be presented at this meeting.

A. Chairman Okum: The owner of 156 Ruskin Drive requests a variance to allow a fence to remain with posts on the outside of the fence. Said variance is from Section 153.482(C)(4) “All structural supports of any fence shall be erected with such supports on the inside of the area to be enclosed…”

Ms. Joan Ruskaup: I live at 156 Ruskin Drive.
Mr. Greg Ruskaup: I am her son and I live at 4 Marken Court in West Chester.

Ms. Joan Ruskaup: Mr. Grause was allowed to swim, however he was bringing drugs and liquor into my pool. Mrs. DeMeyer had told the police – the detective came and wanted to know if I am seducing these fourteen year old kids and if I am serving them liquor. The Grauses were doing it when I was sleeping, so I closed the pool, the liner was broke and I put a new liner in and I said “You will not be swimming unless you don’t drink.” I came home from work and they were drinking hard liquor and there were pot/drug things in my yard. I told them, “You are not swimming any more.”
The Grauses called the Health Department and said that my pool was full of mosquitoes. When the lady from the Health Department came she saw the fence and said, “Those people are after you, you better get the fence fixed.” I have a small puppy that was going over into their yard. They have little children, a three year old and a five year old and she watches kids that are out in that yard by themselves, they can climb under that fence and then they would drown because I have the in-ground pool. This is when I went up to the Building Department and told the receptionist that all I want to do is take the fence down and have it put back up the way it was because of the grandfather clause and this is what I did. Then I got the letter from Springdale asking why I didn’t ask the Grauses to sign a letter; and that is why we are fighting the fence.

Chairman Okum: Having a fence is not against our Zoning Code; it is the way that the fence was erected that you are in violation.

Mr. Greg Ruskaup: The fence was erected the same way it was since I was a little kid, nothing has changed.

Mr. Ruskaup: The two gates are new.

Chairman Okum: The reason for this hearing is to determine if there is a reason for a variance, for the fence to be removed, and replaced with the post being in contradiction to our Zoning Code; that is the only issue. Do you have anything you would like to add in justification for putting the fence in opposition to the Zoning Code?

Mr. Ruskaup: It has always been that way and the fence guy put it up just that way.

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

(Chairman Okum opened the floor to the audience.)

Mr. Edwin Grause: I live at 11813 Mangrove Lane and next door to the property. The biggest issue I have with this fence is on September 10, 2009 we got a notice saying that we were responsible to fix that fence or tear it down or repair it, and the fact is that fence was never our fence in the first place. The reason we got that notice is because it is facing the way it is facing now. I don’t want to go through this again and the fence should go the way it should be.

Ms. Robin DeMeyer: I live at 11818 Mangrove, across the street from the Grauses. Before Ms. Ruskaup came up, she threatened one of us and I don’t know which one it was, she said “Honey, I am going to tear you up.” I don’t know which one it was meant for, but I don’t appreciate it. The fence can be seen as soon as we come out the door; we see the butt of somebody’s fence. As we drive down Mangrove and we look through the yards we can see it. As the law stated in your little Springdale Newsletter, you made this rule that the homeowner that is putting up the fence is supposed to have the pretty side out; why aren’t we sticking to that? I don’t want to support the neighbor that for two years has harassed my children every day.

Ms. Ramona DeMeyer: I live at 11818 Mangrove Lane and I live cattycorner from Joan. I don’t really like looking at her fence. I think she should have shown respect to her next door neighbor with that fence. I had the same thing done to me about ten years ago where I have the butt of the fence and I have had to look at it for ten years now and it is disgusting, so I can respect the Grauses for not wanting to have that same look that I am looking at.

Chairman Okum: Thank you for your comments.

(No additional audience members came forward and at this time Chairman Okum closed this portion of the hearing.)

Mrs. Ruskaup: I called the fence company and the fence was $2,000 and they said if they take it down and redo it I am going to have to pay $6,000 and I do not have that kind of money.

Mr. Danbury: The fence is on the wrong side of the support poles; since the support poles have been poured with concrete there, all that would need to be done within legal rights is to have it switched over to the other side. Do you have enough of your land to put it on the other side, what is it ” thick?

Mrs. Ruskaup: Again, I asked him and he is going to charge to do that.

Mr. Danbury: That would make everything go away without a variance from us.

Mrs. Ruskaup: With the grandfather clause, why doesn’t the City of Springdale send out notices of the different variances because I didn’t know that it had changed?

Chairman Okum: Mrs. Ruskaup, I believe the Staff report indicated that your permit indicated the method of application for the fence.

Mr. Campion: That is correct; it was stamped on the permit that the good side had to face out. It was a non-conforming fence, but when you removed it then it has to be built to the present code. If you had four or five boards that were missing you would have been allowed to put the boards back in that were missing, but when you removed the fence you had to build it to today’s code and that is why we stamp it on your drawings. Our property maintenance code says that you have to maintain your property but it doesn’t say that you have to tear down an old fence and put a new one up, it says that you have to maintain it; but the fact that you removed it, it now has to meet today’s code. If you have a pool you have to have a fence; that is another State Code that says that you can’t have a pool without a 4’ fence.

Mr. Emerson: When you applied and you got the building permit, when Mill’s Fence approached you did they ask you for a building permit or did you give them any of the information that the City gave you?

Mrs. Ruskaup: Yes.

Mr. Emerson: I would think that some of the liability would fall on Mill’s Fence if they didn’t follow the rules; tat is your battle, not ours.

Mr. Campion: A lot times people put the boards on both sides because they want the inside finished and the Code says the outside needs to be finished so they just put another set of fencing on your neighbor’s side of the fence, then you end up with a double sided fence.

Chairman Okum: My feeling is that at this point I haven’t heard any reason why the condition of our Zoning Code should be varied for your purpose; I can’t support your request.

Mr. Weidlich: The fence company, did they bring them on a truck and just set them up?

Mrs. Ruskaup: They individually put the boards on the posts.

Mr. Danbury: If you look at the copy of the estimate the fence company gave you, they do require you to get a building permit and a survey. If you provided to them a building permit and they put it up contrary to what our code is, I don’t think you should be “left holding the bag”.

Mrs. Ruskaup: I have already talked to an attorney.

Mr. Emerson: The front of your fence is installed properly but when they installed the back corner that runs from your house to the back line they installed it improperly.

Mrs. Huber: I move to grant a variance from Section 153.482(C)(4) so as to allow a recently installed privacy fence to remain with the supports on the outside of the enclosure; the property is located at 156 Ruskin Drive and the Section of the Code says that structural supports be erected on the inside of the fence enclosure.
Mr. Reichert: I second the motion.

Chairman Okum: Seeing there is no further discussion, Mrs. Huber would you poll the Board?

(Mrs. Huber polled the Board of Zoning Appeals Members and with a 1-6 vote the request for the variance was denied.)

Chairman Okum: The request for a variance was denied by six negative votes. You can meet with the Building Department and they can determine how you have to remedy this situation.

B. Chairman Okum: The owner of 11810 Knollsprings Court requests a variance to erect a utility shed in the side yard of the property. Said variance is from Section 153.492(B) “No detached accessory building or structure shall be erected in any yard or court except the rear yard…”

Mr. O’Bryan: I live at 11810 Knollsprings Court. I have a corner lot and a very large side yard but the back yard is very small; behind the house there is a patio. The most practical place for me to put the shed is in the side yard. I have a new cedar privacy fence around that whole part of the yard. There is a lot of space between my house and the house next door. It is just the most practical place for me to construct the shed.

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

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

Mr. Reichert: Was there a shed there when you bought the house?

Mr. O’Bryan: There was a shed there when I bought my house in the exact same spot that I would like to put mine.

Mr. Reichert: What kind of floor was under that shed?

Mr. O’Bryan: Just grass.

Mr. Emerson: Mr. O’Bryan, you are going to put the shed up at the back of your garage?

Mr. O’Bryan: Behind the garage, but back away from the garage.

Mr. Emerson: Are you going to put concrete down for the base?

Mr. O’Bryan: Wood floor.

Chairman Okum: The drawing that you provided shows a 10’ X 12’ shed and your garage is at least 22’ wide; it seems like the shed, in proportion to the garage, is almost as big as the garage.

Mr. O’Bryan: It is not to scale; the shed is not as wide as the drawing indicates.

Chairman Okum: If there were a variance granted what types of methods would you offer to remedy; do you have evergreens planted in front of the fence?

Mr. O’Bryan: I could potentially put something there but there is a gate in the front part of that fence that we would have to be cautious of. I don’t know that I could plant two trees but maybe there is a potential to put a tree there.

Chairman Okum: Like an evergreen?

Mr. O’Bryan: I haven’t thought of that, but that is something I could look into.

Chairman Okum: So, if there were conditions placed on the variance, is that something that you would be open to?

Mr. O’ Bryan: I’m not sure of the cost of that.

Mr. Emerson: This looks like it is close to the house, is there a variance needed?

Chairman Okum: That is a building code issue and there is a certain distance that needs to be maintained from the combustibles to the main dwelling. It would be a building code issue, it would not need a variance.

Mr. Reichert: I am really hesitant to vote for this unless I’m sure the shed is in the proper position behind and not next to garage; I don’t know what that distance is but I think maybe it should be amended to say the proper distance when locating the shed behind the existing garage.

Chairman Okum: The Building Department is going to require a certain distance anyway.

Mr. Weidlich: I would like to make a motion to erect a utility shed building at
11810 Knollsprings Court a minimum of 4’ from the front privacy fence and the shed to be a 10’ X 12’, and the distance from the exiting garage/home structure to be per our current building code.
Mr. Emerson: I second the motion.

Mrs. Huber polled the Board and with a 7-0 “aye” vote the request for a variance was granted.

Chairman Okum: I would still like to see a tree there but that is for you to plant, it is not a requirement.


Mr. Danbury: It has been a pleasure working with you guys for the last two years; thank you.

Chairman Okum: Anyone who lives in Springdale is benefiting somehow by the efforts that you have made; from Fire Safety or Life Squad to services that have been provided.


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

Mr. Reichert moved to adjourn, seconded by Mr. Danbury; all members of the Board of Zoning Appeals signified by saying “aye” and the meeting adjourned at 8:06 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

________________________,2009 ___________________________________
            Chairman Dave Okum

________________________,2009 ___________________________________
            Secretary Jane Huber