Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

20 December 2005

7:00 a.m.

 

 

I.                     CALL MEETING TO ORDER

 

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

 

II.                   ROLL CALL

 

Members Present              Robert Emerson, Marjorie Pollitt, James Squires, Robert Weidlich, Jane Huber and

                                             Chairman Okum

 

Others Present:                  Bill McErlane, Building Official

 

Mr. Okum said we have a vacancy on the board, and Council will be dealing with that at their meeting tomorrow night.  Mr. Borden’s term expired December 1st and he elected to look for other areas of service to the City.  He had been on the Board of Zoning Appeals for six years. 

 

III.                  ELECTION OF OFFICERS

 

A.  Chairman                      Mr. .Squires nominated David Okum and Mrs. Huber seconded the nomination.  There were no other nominations, and Mr. Okum was elected by acclamation.

 

B.   Vice Chairman           Mrs Huber nominated Robert Weidlich and Mrs. Pollitt seconded the nomination.  There were no other nominations, and Mr. Weidlich was elected by acclamation.

 

C.   Secretary                    Mr. Squires nominated Jane Huber and Mr. Weidlich seconded the nomination.  There were no other nominations, and Mrs. Huber was elected by acclamation.

 

IV.               PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

 

V.                 MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF 18 OCTOBER 2005

 

Mr. Squires moved to approve and Mrs. Huber seconded the motion.  By voice vote, all voted aye, and the Minutes were approved with six affirmative votes.

 

VI.               CORRESPONDENCE

 

A.          Zoning Bulletin – October 10, 2005

B.          Zoning Bulletin – October 25, 2005

C.          Zoning Bulletin – November 10, 2005

D.          Zoning Bulletin – November 25, 2005

E.          Planning Commission Meeting Minutes – October 11, 2005

F.           Planning Commission Meeting Minutes – November 8, 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

20 December 2005

Page Two

 

VII.              REPORTS

 

A.          Report on Council – Jim Squires

 

Mr. Squires reported that the most controversial item Council is dealing with right now is property located at 12065 Greencastle Drive.  Council must determine whether or not that property will meet the standards set by the City of Springdale as to blighted property.  Council will debate that issue in Executive Session at tomorrow night’s meeting.  It will not be on the agenda.  Everybody on Council is extremely sad that it has gotten to that point, but there are issues there that must be dealt with.

 

B.          Report on Planning Commission – David Okum

 

Mr. Okum reported the Springdale Town Center is adjacent to a residential area, and there will be a screen wall constructed along the back of the facility.  The original motion called for dumpster enclosures on three of the five or four of the six dumpsters.  The applicant brought back a revised plan where they extended the screen wall on the south side, so you cannot see them from the public right of way.  Basically the entire screen wall became a dumpster enclosure.  Planning Commission felt that the efforts that the applicant had made with the enclosure and screening of the back of the building was adequate to meet those standards and their request was approved.

 

Approval of the storage container closest to the building near the back corner at Ramada Plaza.  They are renovating the facility and using it for storage of construction materials.  Based on that, he was given an extension to May 1, 2006.

 

We reviewed a concept plan for proposed new addition at the John Morrell at 805 East Kemper Road.  They are trying to expand their business and need to move a new building further to the north and adjacent to their existing production facility, and they are on our agenda for a zoning variance. 

 

We reviewed a concept plan for a proposed parking lot addition at the Springdale Church of the Nazarene.  They are increasing the parking lot towards the Springfield Pike area because the parking lot they were sharing with Mapleknolll will no longer be available and this was approved.  We also discussed Zoning Code amendments and recommended them to Council. 

 

VIII.            CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT AND SWEARING IN OF APPLICANTS

 

Mr. Okum said we do have several items on the agenda.  There are three that are similar involving the Church of the Nazarene.  We will take all testimony in one group and then handle the deliberation, discussion and action on an individual basis. 

 

IX.               OLD BUSINESS

 

 

 

 

 

Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

20 December 2005

Page Three

 

X.                 NEW BUSINESS

 

A.          Approval of variance to allow purchase of the building at 11981 Kenn Road by Temple Baptist College to use as a library.  Said variance is requested from Section 153.069(B) “minimum lot area of 2 acres & minimum lot width of 200’”, Section 153.070(B) “minimum front yard setback of 50’ “ & Section 153.072(B) “minimum rear yard setback of 50’.”

 

Ernest Warren said we want to buy the property to use the building as a library.  We were before you a few months ago proposing to build a new building which you allowed, but this opportunity came along and satisfies our needs so we have changed our course and want to purchase this property and use it.

 

The property borders our property.  The issue was raised about parking.  The church and college parking lot is more than sufficient for the required number of spaces.  It is a fairly good distance, but the majority of our students will be coming from that building.  There would be no reason for them not to stay parked where they are.  If they park in the back, it is about as far to go to their car, as it would be to walk to the library.

. 

Mr. McErlane reported that the applicant is requesting to use the existing residence at 11981 Kenn Road as an accessory library use for their college.  Section 153.066(B) of the Zoning Code does allow for religious places of worship in a residential single household zoning district.  We have asked the city law director in the past if such a use that is not specifically a place of worship but is religiously oriented or an extension of a religious activity, applies to this allowable use and they have interpreted that is a legitimate extension of a religious activity and therefore can be used for that use on a residential property.

 

However the Zoning Code does provide for larger lots and larger setbacks when you do use a residential property for a religious activity, and this particular lot does not meet those requirements, specifically with regard to size or width of lot, which is required to be 200 feet minimum width and 2 acres minimum in size.   The subject lot is .38 acres and 166.44 feet wide.  However, the applicant could make this portion of it comply if they were to consolidate that property with their existing property.  Then the size issue would not be a problem. 

 

There are some other issues relative to the Zoning Code and those are the setback requirements.  There is a minimum 50 foot front yard setback, and because it is a corner lot, by definition that means both the front yard on Kenn Road and the front yard on Cedarhill.  The existing front yard setback on Kenn Road is 35 feet and the exiting front yard setback on Cedarhill Drive is 37.1 feet. 

 

There also is a requirement that the minimum side yard is 50 feet and this lot meets that; it is 61 feet from the south property line.  Also there is a requirement that the rear yard is 55 feet minimum and the existing rear yard is 28 feet.  

 

 

 

Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

20 December 2005

Page Four

 

TEMPLE BAPTIST COLLEGE – LIBRARY AT 11981 KENN ROAD

 

Mr. McErlane added that there are obvious reasons for requiring a larger lot size and extended setbacks because of the fact that this is a use that would be adjacent to other residential uses and for the protection of those residential properties. 

 

There are no parking spaces shown to be built on this individual residential lot.  The use itself would require six parking spaces and the applicant has indicated that they would use their existing parking lot, but it needs to be pointed out that the closest parking spaces are probably in the neighborhood of 300 feet away from this building.  The biggest concern would be whether or not library patrons would end up parking on the street in order to make their walk shorter.

 

There is a series of questions that we ask the applicant to answer as part of the application form.  One is “Would the denial of your request prevent you from reasonable use of your property such as your neighbors enjoy with their property?”  The obvious answer to that would be no because the property could still be used as residential property, and that is a reasonable use of the property as it currently exists.

 

Mr. Okum opened the public hearing, asking anyone who wished to speak on this request to come to the podium.

 

Ken and Sharon Donaldson, the owners of 759 Cedarhill Drive, the property adjacent to the property in question, came forward. 

 

Mr. Donaldson said we agreed with the staff comments in that we object to allowing the variance.  Our reason is that we are the residential owners and we didn’t buy that property two years ago to now be addressing the possibility of a library next to our property.  Furthermore, it does not meet the yardage requirement.

 

Mrs. Donaldson added that the rear yardage is so close to my house that it is almost like reach out and touch.   Even though they are saying that there will not be parking there, I really don’t believe that will be the case, because the parking for the church is a lot further away.  There are children involved, and I think this will add a lot more activity to that already fairly busy corner.  The church has ample property that they already own that they requested to build on.  I think that is what they should do and not try to infringe on residents.  I would never have bought the property had there been a library right there, and I think it will affect my property values.

 

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

 

Mr. Squires moved to grant the variance and Mrs. Pollitt seconded the motion.          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

20 December 2005

Page Five

 

TEMPLE BAPTIST COLLEGE – LIBRARY AT 11981 KENN ROAD

 

Mr. Weidlich asked the applicant if he hadn’t applied for a variance to build a separate library on the property.  Mr. Warren answered yes, we applied in March and you granted it.  Mr. Weidlich asked if he had weighed he cost of building your own facility versus purchasing this home.  Mr. Warren answered that we were in the process of going forward with the new library building and this opportunity came along.  The cost is about half of what it was going to cost to build a new building.  It is not nearly as big, but it does satisfy our needs at this time. 

 

Mr. Weidlich commented I have to agree with the Donaldsons. If it were me and I was a student at your college and I only had to walk one way to my car, I probably would drive over to the library and park either on the street or somewhere around there. 

 

My next question is what does the church have in mind for the covered patio on the back of the building?   To me that looks like a good congregation place for the students, a party atmosphere which probably would disrupt the neighbors in their tranquil yards.

 

Mr. Warren answered we don’t have any permanent plans fixed at this point.  We had discussed the possibility of enclosing that and making it a part of the building and expanding the library.  The way the plan is laid out now is we were going to make a snack area in the kitchen area, and that would be used as a social place.

 

Mr. Weidlich commented I can see the students out there, especially in good weather.

 

Mrs. Pollitt said I have issues that I need addressed, and I need to get a little refresher on some of issues that have happened previously.  In addition to the March 2005 meeting, wasn’t there something about your existing library having some weight issues?

 

Mr. Warren responded I don’t think it was weight.  It is on the third floor and not very accessible.  That is the reason for our moving.  Over the last five years, we have been in the process of getting national accreditation, and one of the issues was to get our library. 

 

The accreditation is through the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools.  They are recognized by the Department of Education and we are eligible for all government grants.

 

Mrs. Pollitt commented in order to get that, you needed to beef up your library, but weren’t there concerns about weight tolerances?  Mr. Warren responded I don’t think so.

 

Joseph Paturi reported the library is on the third floor of the building and there is a concern about the weight of the books.  Also the handicapped students cannot go upstairs right now. 

 

Mrs. Pollitt asked the number of students and the hours of operation for the library.  Mr. Paturi reported we have 125 students and the library will be open between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

 

Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

20 December 2005

Page Six

 

TEMPLE BAPTIST COLLEGE – LIBRARY AT 11981 KENN ROAD

 

Mrs. Pollitt said I have some of the same concerns that Mr. and Mrs. Donaldson have.   You have a tremendous amount of property on your church parking lot that could be utilized for a library. I am concerned about parking.  I am concerned about taking a single family residential home and encroaching upon the residential area of a community.  I am concerned about handicapped parking.  I am concerned about the people walking back and forth on the sidewalk.  It is a very busy street. 

 

Mr. Squires on March 15th you requested a variance to allow the construction of a 4,500 s.f. library in the side yard of their property.  This house is nowhere near 4,500 s.f.  Mr. Warren answered it is 2,400 or 2,500 square feet.  The 4,500 s.f. wasn’t for our immediate needs.  We were planning for future growth.  This building (2,400-2,500 s.f.) meets our needs now. 

 

Mr. Squires said the present house will at best be temporary.  Mr. Warren responded that is true; we don’t know for sure how long.  It would depend on our growth.

 

Mr. Squires continued other than cost, why aren’t you planning to build the library on your property?    Mr. Warren responded cost is our primary factor and this does our needs at this point in time.  Financially, it is just more feasible.

 

Mr. Squires asked where they saw themselves with that property in 10 years.  In 10 years that property would not satisfy your needs for the library.  Mr. Warren answered it could be used for office space or dormitory space, but we do not have a plan beyond the present library plan.   We might even sell it.

 

Mrs. Huber said first, I feel it is an erosion of our housing units.  That is a residential area.  The rear property lines are much too narrow for such an activity.  You have land available and should make do with that because people should be able to live peaceably in a residential area.

 

Mr. Warren responded we have 125 students, and we run classes all week long.  To spread those 125 students across the number of class periods we have, there is no point when there are 125 students in our building.  Also, this is not going to be a public library; it is going to be for the use of the college.  It is our intent to build a walk from our driveway across into the lot so that students don’t have to go out onto the sidewalk to gain access and it will shorten the walk.

 

Mrs. Pollitt said a comment I heard was that at some point of time        it might be used for a dormitory.  Would that be allowed under our   Zoning Code?

 

Mr. McErlane reported that based on the law director’s   interpretation, if it is an extension of their religious activity or an extension of their ministry, it is a permitted use.

 

 

 

Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

20 December 2005

Page Seven

 

TEMPLE BAPTIST COLLEGE – LIBRARY AT 11981 KENN ROAD

 

Mrs. Pollitt said I can’t justify my support on this.  I feel you have ample area at your church to do this. I do think it is an invasion into the residential area.  I believe it is something that will not be a long term solution to your need and I hate to see our residential housing be affected any more than it is already being affected.

 

Mr. Okum said in this case, you have not given me any reason why I should be granting a variance, when you are 28 feet from the adjoining residential property.    Based on that, I will not be supporting your request for a variance.  I think the code was written for fairness and protection for all residents and in this case, that infringement is the reason you would not arbitrarily turn any single family residence into a public facility use, a library. 

 

On the motion to grant the variance no one voted aye, and Mr. Squires, Mrs. Pollitt, Mr. Emerson, Mr. Weidlich, Mrs. Huber and Chairman Okum voted no, and the motion was denied with six negative votes.

 

B. Approval of variance to allow the purchase of a portion of the lot at 320 West Sharon Road by Springdale Church of the Nazarene, 11177 Springfield Pike.  Said variance is requested from Section 153.069(A).”shall have a minimum lot area of 12,000 square feet…”

 

Mr. Okum stated we will be receiving a presentation regarding item C, 324 Glensharon and D 328 Glensharon as well.   

 

Ralph McSwain passed out copies of his presentation, stating that he is representing the church.  I care for Springdale and I care for the church, and I hope this goes in our favor tonight. 

 

Years ago we traded the back of the church property so Springdale could have a ball field for the south side of our church.  At that time we had an exit point out onto Cameron Road, and that would have helped us now.

 

The people we are negotiating with to buy these lots are really good people and we have tried to protect them as far as price is concerned.  We don’t want to go out there in the future with the prices raised and put our church in bad shape.  I would rather do it now, make sure these people are satisfied and okay and when they choose to sell later, they will be protected. 

 

Maple Knoll is going to cut our parking off to the north.  Also Maple Knoll as a red light which we also will lose. 

 

Sharon Road is very important to our church, and I am asking our people to ask for a bigger sign.  The sign is 66 feet back and our gate is 72 feet back.  When you pull in with two cars and get them turned around, it is dangerous to back out. 

 

I bought the properties at 306 and 338 Sharon Road and donated them to the church.  We will turn 306 Sharon over to the church this year, and when I leave this place, 338 will go to the church.  So the church will own all that property. 

 

Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

20 December 2005

Page Eight

 

SPRINGDALE CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE – PURCHASE OF LOTS

 

Mr. McSwain added I know those houses are getting a little older, and I would love to see those houses someday torn down and going up Sharon Road, you would look toward our church and see a beautiful park.  It would be a really pretty place with woods and would really help the looks of Springdale. 

 

Jeff Parker said I am a board member at the church and I have been asked to chair this committee.  I wanted to bring a little bit of history that you might not be aware of. 

 

In the spring of this year Maple Knoll informed us that they will be building some new units on the property north of the church and therefore we will not be able to share that parking lot with them any longer.

 

We knew we had to take action, so we started on two parallel courses.  The first one was to find someone who could help us design the new parking expansion.  The second course was we were not convinced that we have enough property to accommodate the parking that we foresaw we would have.   At that point we started pursuing the properties to the south on West Sharon.  I am a little concerned that it sounds like the church is trying to grab up properties.  It was in a direct response to the work that is being done at Maple Knoll.

        

We have been working with Kleingers & Associates on the parking development.  The engineering has borne out that we really don’t need those properties right away to meet our parking needs.

 

However, if we build the additional parking spaces that are proposed, we will maximize the allowable area of that property.  I believe we are allowed to develop half of it, and the other 50% has to remain undeveloped or permeable.  Once we finish this parking addition development, we will be done with our options on the site.

 

If the board grants us the variance to allow us to acquire these properties, it would give us a little more breathing room.  We have seen excellent growth in recent years.  Right now the church is averaging 1,400 a weekend and we foresee that continuing to grow. 

 

We have tried to plant the church in another location, and that church is thriving, but people keep coming.  We are trying to be proactive and a good member of the Springdale family in thinking about the best uses of the land.

 

Mr. McErlane said the staff comments are exactly the same on all three properties.  Since the properties are all the same size, their impact on reduction of the size is the same.

 

The applicant is requesting a variance to reduce the lot sizes for three individual lots, 320 West Sharon Road, 324 Glensharon Road and 328 Glensharon Road.  They are asking for a reduction in size of those lots to a 7,760 s.f. lot as opposed to the 12,000 s.f. lot required by the Zoning Code.   In essence they would be selling almost one-half of the rear of each of those three properties.

 

Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

20 December 2005

Page Nine

 

SPRINGDALE CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE – PURCHASE OF LOTS

 

Mr. McErlane stated there is a method by which they could meet the Zoning Code requirements and still be able to sell a portion of those lots.  However, it would be only the rear 70.2 feet that they could sell and still maintain the 12,000 square feet. 

 

There are some standards in our Zoning Code that the Board of Zoning Appeals needs to review and the applicant needs to show evidence for substantiation of a variance.    One is substantiation of hardship from the standpoint of that there would be a hardship imposed on these individual lots that causes the need for these lots to be reduced.   Another would be a practical difficulty from the standpoint of the shape of the lot or the size of the lot or the topography of the lot that causes the need for these lots to be reduced in size.  It is up to the Board of Zoning Appeals, but I don’t know that I have heard anything to substantiate those tonight.

 

In consideration of granting this variance, the board needs to be careful that they don’t set a precedent from the standpoint of creating undersized lots because an adjacent property owner wants to purchase a portion of that lot without substantiating some reason for hardship or practical difficulty in the process.

 

Mr. Okum opened the public hearing.

 

Greg Neville, 314 West Sharon Road said my lot is adjacent to two of the properties in question.  One of them is perceived to be purchased and one that already is under other ownership.  Two belong to the church.

 

First of all I want to say that as the adjacent property owner, I really don’t object to those purchases.  I always take issue with a lot of things, but the minimum lot requirements are almost a joke.  I have 100 foot wide lot and approximately 320 feet deep.  I think the rest of them are 50 feet by close to that.

 

Basically that back portion of those lots is dead space.  Nobody uses them; it is just maintenance.  It is nice to look out and see, but it serves no purpose. 

 

My only concern would be with the usage in the future.  If it is maintained as a park area for the church to use as a picnic grove or something with a little buffer, no objection.  If they even wanted to pave that in the future to add to parking, as long as the lighting wasn’t obnoxious to the houses in front, I wouldn’t object to that.  I don’t think it would benefit anyone if building was allowed on that property.  A parking lot or a park would not have any kind of impact.  There would be a little bit of noise on church nights and special events but we already put up with that now, even with the church setting as far back as it does.   That is only on select occasions.

 

I want to go on record as saying that I don’t have an objection to this, as long as when you approve that change, they can’t come back in the future and say they want to build on it.    They could use their existing parking pad to build on.

 

 

Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

20 December 2005

Page Ten

 

SPRINGDALE CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE – LOTS PURCHASES

 

Mr. Neville added personally I think it is inevitable that the church will probably buy all three or four houses in question, because we are surrounded anyway.  There is only one other lot on Glensharon that is adjacent to Mr. McSwain’s property that sets like a little island, and that one someday may belong to the Church of the Nazarene.  This wouldn’t be a bad thing, as long as until that point comes, there is no building that encroaches on my house.

 

Gerald Buckmaster, 328 Glensharon Road said I am an amateur radio operator and I have a tower in back of my house and another one 100 feet behind my house, which will put it about 25 feet into what they want to buy.  They have assured me on paper that they would allow me access to that tower and move it if it got in their way.  I still would either like it moved presently or maintain it on enough of my property to still have it in my possession.   That is my only objection to it. 

 

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

 

Mr. Okum said we have three individual zoning requests, and we will need individual motions for each of the three and individual deliberation as well. 

 

Mr. Squires moved to approve the variance from Section 153.069(A) to allow the purchase of a portion of the lot at 320 West Sharon Road.  Mr. Weidlich seconded the motion.

 

Mr. Okum said Mr. McErlane has indicated that a portion of the property could be sold to the applicant and comply with the Code, precluding the need for a variance.  The rear 70.2 feet of the lot could be sold (3,510 s.f.) provided it is sold to and combined with an adjacent property. 

 

Addressing the applicant, he asked if there were any reason why they have not done that.   Mr. Parker responded the only reason we haven’t is that we were not aware of the limit we were up against.  Halfway seemed a reasonable mark for us and that was the boundary we were working toward.  If we were to reduce it to 70.2 feet we would have to rework all the contracts and signatures, but it certainly would be an option.

 

Mr. Okum commented the practical application is that we grant variances on the property or you redo your contract documents.  I’ll speak clearly to this.  I think creating a variance for the purpose of saving the dynamics, and I’m sure you weren’t aware of the numbers, but I would encourage you to work out your agreements to eliminate the need for variances.  There still has not been evidence given to support the request, so I won’t be supporting it at this time until I hear another reason why I should.  You didn’t know what the number was, and now you do so I think you should rework the numbers.  

 

 

 

 

 

Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

20 December 2005

Page Eleven

 

SPRINGDALE CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE – PURCHASE OF LOTS

 

Mr. McSwain said I trust these people here 100%, but if they sell it to somebody else, they’re liable on hold out on us.  If we have a smaller lot, they won’t be able to sell it to just anybody coming down the street.  With a large lot, they could hold out for $250,000 and that would put our church in a really bad situation.

 

Mr. Okum responded so am I understanding that you want us to grant a variance so that you can keep the value of the property lower so that it will not cripple the church. 

 

Mr. Weidlich asked about the large piece of land to the west of the current parking area on the south side of the driveway, wondering if it could be utilized for additional parking.

 

Mr. Parker answered that it can, and we are currently working on the parking lot addition to the east of our south lot.  Mr. Weidlich asked how much additional parking they would need, and Mr. Parker answered we are currently using everything we have on site, and at times are using 90% of what Maple Knoll has available.  It is about 150 spaces all told and there is a neighbor of Maple Knoll’s that we are also using.  We are adding 187 new spaces, without purchasing the three parcels of land, which takes care of our current needs but doesn’t allow for much growth.

 

Mrs. Pollitt commented I think they could have done this another way without three variances.  They could scale their purchases back to 70.2 feet each, and the lots could be sold and combined with the adjacent property with no variances required.  It would be setting a precedent that I am not comfortable setting so unless I hear something different, I’m not going to be able to support this.

 

Mr. Okum said I will not be supporting this request because there is an alternate way to do this without securing a variance

 

On the motion to grant the variance for 320 West Sharon Road, all members present voted no, and the motion was denied with six votes.

 

Mr. Squires moved to grant the variance for 324 Glensharon Road and Mr. Weidlich seconded the motion.  All members present voted no and the motion was denied with six votes.

 

Mrs. Huber said I think we are setting a precedent that will never stop.  People living on Kemper Road have very deep lots, and on the south sides of Kemper, I can see people wanting to put a street back there and sell the back of their lots.  There are many instances where that could be done in the City, and I think it has to be stopped.

 

Mr. Squires moved to grant the variance for 328 Glensharon Road and Mr. Weidlich seconded the motion.  All members present voted no, and the motion was denied with six votes.

 

E. Approval of variance for front-yard setback (77.82 feet requested) to allow the construction of a new building addition to John Morrell, 805 East Kemper road.  Said variance is requested from Section 153.265(B) “minimum front yard setback.shall be 100 feet.”

Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

20 December 2005

Page Twelve

 

VARIANCE - FRONT YARD SETBACK JOHN MORRELL 805 E. KEMPER

 

Jim Lex, Engineering Director for John Morrell, Jerry McAleece, Vice President, Finance for John Morrell, Don Cluxton and Steve Guyer with Hixson Architects and Engineers approached the board.

 

Mr. Lex said the plant has been here since about 1960 and produces about 150 million pounds of products a year.  We produce about 200,000 hot dogs per hour, which are three million hot dogs a day.  In the six years I have been with them we have put $25 million dollars into that plant.

 

Mr. Lex showed the existing plant footprint on the drawing adding that what we need to do, not only for this plant but for other plants that we have in other parts of the country, is to build a distribution center to the northwest of the existing plant.    We looked at putting this facility back here, but the wedge shape configuration of the property is prohibitive.  In addition there is an easement for the city sewer between the two buildings so we could not put them together.

 

This location connects us to the existing plant and fits very nicely.  We were moving along very well when the plan to add another lane on Kemper Road came along.  This dashed area indicates the right of way that is going to be required to be purchased from us or given by us or whatever is worked out. 

 

The problem is the setback, which would put us way back here and because of the docks here and the wedge shape configuration, there would not be enough room to move this building 15 feet.  So we really don’t have anywhere else on the property to put it. 

 

This building will handle 220 million pounds a year of product, and it is a distribution center so we would be bringing product from our Sioux Falls plant and other plants from the west, have them assembled and go back out to warehouses in the east and south. 

 

Last week at Planning Commission Mr. Okum requested that we investigate expanding the building this way and bringing it in this way.  We went back to the operations people and the connection would occur right here.  The corporate office is here and warehouse is here, and we are pretty well locked from going that way.  The bank and Best Buy are here, so we can’t go that way and the railroad is down here. 

 

So we are asking to leave the setback where it is today before we had that lane on Kemper, because it would be tough for us to take that distance out of the footprint. 

 

Mr. McErlane reported that the applicant is asking for a 77.82 foot front yard setback and the Zoning Code requires 100 feet.  They were before Planning Commission last week for a concept development plan review, and Planning gave them a unanimous favorable recommendation and forwarded the applicant to this board for a variance for that front yard setback.

 

 

 

 

 

Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

20 December 2005

Page Thirteen

 

VARIANCE - FRONT YARD SETBACK JOHN MORRELL 805 E. KEMPER

 

Mr. McErlane said if the building were to be constructed today, a variance would not be needed because what they are asking for a variance from is future right of way.  In orders for the applicant to gain some assurances and continue on with his plans and allow for right of way acquisition to continue in that vein, they are asking for a variance at this point of time.

 

Staff would recommend that if the board determines a variance is merited, there be a condition on that variance that it would only take effect when the additional right of way is acquired.  It is kind of unusual for this board to give a variance to a future condition, but we believe you can place a condition on a variance that it is only effective when that right of way is acquired.

 

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

 

Mr. Weidlich moved to grant the variance for 77.82 foot front yard setback from Kemper Road.  Mrs. Pollitt seconded the motion.

 

Mr. Okum said you have answered my question about making the building square – it is not possible.  It looks like you are using every bit of space in there as efficiently as possible.

 

Will that building cut into the hillside so it is on the same level as the rest of the plant?  Steve Geier of Hixson answered that corner of the foundation will be a retaining wall, but the finished floor of the existing building is four feet up, so it is not as bad as it looks.  Mr. Okum commented so the building is not as high because it actually cuts into the embankment

 

Mr. Okum said we would need a motion to amend the motion with the condition that the variance will only be effective if additional right of way is acquired as shown on the drawing provided.

 

Mr. Squires so moved and Mrs. Huber seconded the motion.

 

Mr. McErlane said to clarify, the gray area along Kemper Road is the additional right of way that is being asked for by the city.  It’s kind of wedge shaped because it is larger toward the railroad tracks.  There is some additional lane that needs to be done on that bridge to accomplish a berm area.

 

You will notice that the setback lines shown in the building are fairly close to mirroring that same wedge shape  That reflects the setback differences. 

 

On the motion to amend, all present voted aye and it was approved with six votes.

 

On the amended motion, all present voted aye, and the variance was granted with six affirmative votes.

 

XI.               DISCUSSION

 

 

Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes

20 December 2005

Page Fourteen

 

XII.              ADJOURNMENT

 

Mr. Squires moved to adjourn and by voice vote, all present voted aye.  Board of Zoning Appeals adjourned at 8:35 p.m.

 

 

 

                                                                     Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

_______________________,2006       __________________________

                                                                     David Okum, Chairman

 

 

 

________________________,2006     __________________________

                                                                     Jane Huber, Secretary