19 NOVEMBER 2002

7:00 P.M.


  2. The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman David Okum.

  4. Members Present: Robert Apke, Fred Borden, Jane Huber,

    Councilman Jim Squires, Robert Weidlich

    and David Okum

    Members Absent: Councilwoman Marge Pollitt

    Others Present: Richard Lohbeck, Inspection Supervisor

    Mr. Okum said Mrs. Pollitt is in New York City on business.

  7. Mr. Apke moved to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded the motion. By voice vote, all present voted aye, and the Minutes were approved with six affirmative votes.

    1. Planning Commission Meeting Minutes 10 September 2002
    2. Planning Commission Meeting Minutes – 8 October 2002
    3. Zoning Bulletin – September 10, 2002
    4. Zoning Bulletin – September 25, 2002
    5. Zoning Bulletin – October 25, 2002
    1. Report on Council Activities – Jim Squires – no report
    2. Report on Planning Commission

Mr. Okum reported the Comprehensive Plan is now available; they are on an as-needed basis, but if anyone would like to borrow mine, I would be willing to share it with you.

At our last meeting Pappadeaux submitted their final plan which was approved. GEEAA Park Trustees allowed submission of a preliminary plan for 33 acres. Our concern was the postage stamp approach to zoning when the Comprehensive Plan directs an integration of the land. It was given back to the applicant to bring in a PUD for the entire site.

The southwest portion was going to be elderly housing with larger care facilities. Approximately 300 residents would occupy the space, but the housing would be on top of the railroad tracks. We recommended that they blend the development away from the railroad tracks.

Mr. Squires asked if the housing would be government subsidized. Mr. Okum said that was not discussed in this concept discussion.


19 NOVEMBER 2002


    1. Revocation of variance granted 4/1602 to allow the construction of a single family residence 18’ from Church Street and conditioned on having high-pitched roof and masonry construction on 1st floor

Mr. Okum asked if there was anyone here on this matter. There was no one, and Mr. Lohbeck reported that the applicant was given written notice of this revocation.

Mrs. Huber moved to revoke the variance and Mr. Squires seconded the motion. All present voted aye, and the ordinance was revoked with six affirmative votes.

B. Revocation of variance granted 4/16/02 to allow a 10’ x 18’ utility building 3 ˝’ from the south property line at 11657 Van Cleve Avenue. Mr. Okum indicated that there was no one here and Mr. Lohbeck reported that they were given written notice of this revocation.

Mr. Borden moved to revoke and Mr. Apke seconded the motion. All present voted aye and the variance was revoked with six affirmative votes.

    1. Larry W. Roe, 291 West Kemper Road requests variance to allow the construction of a 34’ x 40’ garage. Said variance is requested from Section 153.075(B) "The garage shall have...a maximum floor area of 700 s.f."

James Grieshop, owner of 291 West Kemper Road who resides at 299 West Kemper Road said I am requesting a variance for an oversize garage.

I was here a few months ago trying to do the same thing for different reasons. My wife and I have decided to move; we are going to sell the properties. We have outgrown the storage problems we have and we can’t get by the zoning laws. I have made an agreement with Mr. and Mrs. Roe. They live there and are buying the property from us. We have a legal document to support that. They have stipulated the size of the building they want, and I am going to build it for them. We have one year to make this deal; they are coming up with the down payment and the mortgage and we’re building the garage. It will all take place within a year if we can get it through the zoning. That is a part of their deal for staying there. We are trying to go through this zoning appeal to give them what they want. Larry can tell you more about his other plans for the house.

Larry Roe, 291 West Kemper Road said I would like to have a garage added on to the property I intend to buy. I have three cars now and a Corvette in storage that I would like to put in there too, plus a workshop area to work on cars and woodworking. After I purchase the house, I want to make the living room and kitchen a little bit bigger.


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Mr. Okum asked if there was a garage on the property, and Mr. Roe answered that it is attached to the house. It is just wide enough to get one car in.

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

Mr. Lohbeck reported that the applicant has requested to construct a 6-car, 34’ x 40’ (1360 s.f.) detached garage at 291 West Kemper Road, where he is a tenant on property owned by the adjacent resident at 299 West Kemper Road. Section 153.075(B) of the Zoning Code restricts garages to a maximum of 700 s.f. in area

The applicant argues the need for the oversize garage based on the small existing attached garage (estimated at 200 s.f.), and storm water draining into the garage. Although this may be a valid argument for building a new and larger garage, no argument has been presented for a garage 680% larger than the existing, or 94% larger than what the code allows.

Addressing the applicant, Mr. Squires said in your statement earlier, you said you needed the workshop area because you intended to work on automobiles. Mr. Roe answered no, just my own. I have a ’79 Corvette that I like to fool around with. Mr. Squires asked if he intended to make it a business, and Mr. Roe answered that he did not.

Mr. Apke said your answer to Question #2, "Would denial of your request prevent you from reasonable use of your property?" You answered no. So if we denied this request, you would still have reasonable use of the property. Mr. Roe confirmed this.

Mr. Borden wondered if there were interior walls. Mr. Roe answered just around the workshop area. Mr. Borden asked the size of that area, and Mr. Roe answered I am not sure; it is approximately 20’ x 20’ or 20 x 18’. Mr. Borden continued I think we could subtract that area from the garage we are considering.

Mr. Okum said if it is a detached structure, you cannot. It would have to be attached to the primary dwelling for you to do that. It would almost fall into the situation of incorporating an outdoor storage building and garage combined. That is what I am hearing the applicant say. Mr. Roe said pretty much that is true. Mr. Okum asked if he had an outdoor storage building on the property now, and Mr. Roe indicated that he did not. Mr. Okum continued that the applicant would be allowed 120 s.f. for a workshop area.

Mr. Squires asked the applicant to explain the problems with the leaking garage. Mr. Roe reported when it rains it floods the garage pretty badly so you can’t store anything on the floor. Mr. Squires wondered if he intended to repair it and Mr. Grieshop responded it is a basement type garage; the ramp goes down underneath the house into the garage. We will close that whole thing in and do away with that garage altogether. We will make it watertight. That is a major water problem.


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Mr. Squires asked what they would do with that space. Could it be used as a workshop? Mr. Roe answered really not. Mr. Squires asked if the ceiling was seven feet high, and Mr. Grieshop answered if that. It looked to me like it was an old cellar that they made into a garage. It is all concrete. Mr. Squires said so you might use it as storage space. Mr. Roe answered I personally probably won’t use it for anything. Mr. Squires said you have 200 s.f. there. Mr. Roe said I don’t think it would be quite 200, but I am sure I’ll store something in there. Mr. Grieshop added that there is the main door and a one-man door on the side that you could get some stuff in there. Mr. Squires said but there is no way you could use it as a workshop. Mr. Grieshop said no; to try to get materials down there, you would have to come through the house and go down the steps.

Mr. Okum said I am hearing that this is a four-car garage and a 360 square foot storage shed combined. The code allows a 120 s.f. out building and a 700 s.f. garage for a total of 820 s.f. This seems to be extraordinary. I can understand the situation of wanting the cars in the garage. On the other hand, 360 s.f. of an outdoor storage workshop building is almost like a house. It is pretty significant in size.

I can understand your wish to expand and have a safe dry garage, and I would support an oversize garage for your site based on the acreage and space that is there. On the other hand, this is extremely large, and I can’t support it as requested, so I will be voting against the request for the variance.

Mr. Apke said I was thinking along the same lines as Chairman Okum. By code, you could have a 700 s.f. garage and a 120 s.f. outbuilding, and you are also blocking off the existing garage, so there is another estimated 200 s.f. I know it isn’t great space, but it is space. That comes to 1,020 s.f. That is almost the entire submission of 1360 s.f.

I would agree in the past that the large lot size would lend itself to an oversize garage, but I think that a garage this size is out of the question and I will not be able to support this.

Mr. Grieshop said what are you guys basing this on? This entire street down through there has oversize garages. How big a one can we have?.

Mr. Okum said you made the application; you made the submission. You were in here two months ago and made a submission and withdrew that. It is your responsibility to present to the board what your request for a variance is. We’re not going to tell you what that is.

You answered the questions in the questionnaire provided to you and in fact by your answers alone, a denial could be a possibility. This board has worked with other residents in the community who have large lots and allowed oversize garages.




19 NOVEMBER 2002



Mr. Okum added that we’re not going to average those out because some are small and some are large with different conditions put upon them. A much larger garage that was an addition to a house was approved recently, with conditions for an all brick exterior.

This is a freestanding building and I will not disagree with you that there are existing situations within the community that have been approved. Each one is weighed individually. Your submission tonight is a 34’ x 40’ garage and that is what this board has to hear. Your responsibility as a resident is to submit evidence to the board that supports your reasons for that request. Your answers to questions number 2 and number 3 on their own could warrant a denial of your request for the variance. As I stated, the board has worked with residents that have large properties and allowed variances based on conditions that are specific to those properties. Those were weighed on their own, and yours has to be weighed on its own. Your request for a variance is for a 34’ x 40’ garage, and that is what this board has to hear.

Mr. Grieshop responded so the reasons we were giving you for a building like this aren’t good enough. Mr. Okum said I stated my position; I felt that a 34’ x 40’ garage would be a very very large garage. It appears that you are incorporating the space that would typically be used for a storage building into your site. I think Mr. Apke has very clearly identified the fact that your vacancy of the existing garage space in the lower level of the property would give you space for storage and so forth. With that, you would have 1,020 square feet of usable space within code. Your request is for a 34’ x 40’ garage, and I have stated my position why I am voting against it.

Mr. Squires said I thought they were allowed 120 s.f. in storage, and 700 s.f. in garage which is a total of 820 s.f. Mr. Apke added that it is estimated that the garage they are vacating is 200 s.f. Mr. Squires said so he is asking for about 540 s.f. above code.

Mr. Roe added that we are going to close in that garage to stop the water problem. I can’t really use it for that much because of the way I have to get into it. I can’t take anything really big down there. I can’t get it through the door.

Mr. Squires responded so essentially you are saying you have no garage at all right now. Mr. Roe answered essentially no, I don’t. My cars are setting outside and I don’t even have one of them there because I really don’t have room to set it there. I have to pay storage on it. Now with the cars setting out there when friends come over they can’t even turn around. They have to back out onto Kemper Road, and you know how dangerous that can be. That is the reason that I need something this big, so I can get all my cars off the driveway and into the garage.

The reason I wanted the workshop inside the garage is so I wouldn’t have a separate building beside it for a workshop. I figured I could incorporate it all in one and it would look much nicer from the road.


19 NOVEMBER 2002



Mr. Roe added that the other space that you are counting as 200 s.f. will really not be useful for anything to me. Mr. Squires said so essentially you really don’t have a garage at all right now. You have one but you don’t have one. Mr. Roe confirmed this.

Mr. Squires said for the benefit of all of us up here, earlier you said that you probably would "use that 200 s.f. as storage". Mr. Roe responded my wife would probably put boxes in there. Mr. Squires continued so if you do that, you would have over 1,000 s.f.

Mr. Apke moved to deny the request to construct a 34’ x 40’ garage at 291 West Kemper Road. Mr. Okum seconded the motion.

All members present voted aye except Mr. Squires, who voted no, and the motion to deny was passed with five affirmative votes.

Mr. Grieshop asked if there could be any more discussion on this. Mr. Okum responded the public hearing has been closed; it would be inappropriate to do it. You can get with our Building Department, and they can direct you on what you can do. I don’t want to be running this thing through the gauntlet over and over again. Mr. Grieshop responded I don’t either. Mr. Okum added we understand your predicament. Two months ago we had another submission from you for your own personal use on this site. You changed it, but there is obviously a resolution to it. If you make substantial changes to your request, it can be heard again. You have heard the feelings of this board in terms of a 34’ x 40’ garage.

  2. Mr. Okum said the Board of Zoning Appeals follows a set of rules that the Board adopted. I would like to get a copy of that out to all members, and review it at the next meeting to see if we need to modify some issues.

    At the last meeting, Mr. Lohbeck and I had a discussion as to what constitutes a variance and the resubmittal of a variance request to the board. For the resubmittal of the variance request, it is a substantial change to the original submittal. We want to make sure is that we all understand that. Also if there are any other issues, we should discuss them at the next meeting.


Mr. Apke moved to adjourn and Mr. Squires seconded the motion. By voice vote all present voted aye, and the Board of Zoning Appeals adjourned at 7:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,



________________________,2002 _____________________

David Okum, Chairman

________________________,2002 _____________________

Jane Huber, Secretary