BOARD OF ZONING AND BUILDING APPEALS
November 20, 1997
Present: Ashlin Caravana, Bob Essman, Lon Herman, Eric Stewart
Members Absent: Greg Sharkey
Also Present: Reza Reyazi, Village Planner
Gib &Allene Blackstone, Jerry Martin
Minutes: October 23:
John Mantonya, Drew
Sandy Nelson, Paul Dimetrosky, Lawler
MR. ESSMAN MOVED TO APPROVE MINUTES AS
CARAVANA SECONDED, AND MINUTES WERE UNANIMOUSLY
November 6: Page 2, under Setback, change to "less willing
to have an enclosed structure..."
Ms. CARAVANA MOVED TO APPROVE MINUTES AS AMENDED; MR.
STEWART SECONDED, AND MINUTES WERE UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED.
Citizens Comments: None
Tom Fuller, Village Brewing Co.,128 E. Broadway
The applicants wish to construct a 4 ft. outdoor emergency- exit steel stairway from second floor along west wall into the
10-ft. alley. Gerry Martin explained that they need a variance
from side yard setback requirements. The staircase must be
covered, according to the Building Code, and the roofing material
was changed at the request of GPC. The Building Code Department
requires a second exit from a second-floor establishment.
There was some question as to who actually owns the alley,
and Drew McFarland found in a title search that in 1822 the alley
was established for the mutual convenience of both properties, creating a permanent easement. The Auditor does not know who
actually owns the alley. There seems general agreement that the
alley may not be blocked off, and there is a lot of pedestrian 969 traffic through the alley. Mr. Reyazi said that the issue of Fowunlleerrshhipas csomufpfilicciaetenst cthoinngtrsolbecause it is uncertain whether Mr. Ar stairway. Bugh ownership over the property to cops&p-uet*-hE-- is not a BZBA matter, so<wS must assume
they can move ahead. Mr. Hurst had said if this decision is l/V- 7
appealed to VC, th4 will have to make the decision.
Mr. Herman asked whether the applicants have exhausted all possibilities for building the staircase without having to ask for a variance. Mr. Martin stated that exiting through the
rear might not require a variance, but the exit would be right
over the kitchen, the spot where most fires occur. Attorney Paul
Dimetrosky said there is an internal stairway, but it is wood and exits into Brew' s. He explained that an emergency exit must
t.*i:n..r:er*k„r,72»7I8b:t) C.'} ' 7 .' ' 1*.2 .·4'•. .#:<
egress»i'nto a p" ublic»ROW a«nd'that-the»parkinglo- t'"in: «back"i-fs !. F-:4...:'.1-..::,.-=.
private property and would not be acceptable because an owner
might build into that space.
John Montonya, lawyer for Mr. Blackstone, stated that they
have opposing feelings about ownership although the alley is for
mutual convenience. He would differ with the idea that this
should be considered open courtyard. An alley should not be
obstructed. It' s not the purpose of a variance to put an encroaching
structure in an alley, and they are opposed to such a
variance. Mr. Blackstone added that when they bought their property,
they were told by Mr. Sargent that the alley went with the
building. Jim Bone and Mr. Blackstone agreed the upstairs room
would be Mr. Blackstone' s, but is not accessible except through
the James Store. They agreed to let the James Store use the room
upstairs and Blackstone' s would use the alley. Mr. Blackstone
put in the planters and the lattices. Some deliveries are made
through the alley.
Ms. Caravana wondered whether the staircase would limit
Blackstone' s use of the alley, and it wouldn' t seem to at this
time, but maybe in the future they would also need a stairway.
She asked about a pull-down stairway, or a stairway exiting to
Mr. Herman thought BZBA could write a letter to the Building
Code Department in support of applicant' s fire escape exiting
into the parking lot. A lot of people trying to use the fire
escape at the same time might cause safety problems in the alley.
He asked whether other fire prevention means were in place and
the answer was there are sprinklers. The applicants will check
to see whether a weighted staircase would be approved. Mr.
Fuller added that fire trucks cannot access the alley but hoses
could send a water screen through there. They require 4'-5'.
It' s hard to grant a setback variance when it is not known
what it' s being set back from. Ms. Caravana would have trouble
applying the criteria to the application in this case, but she
questions the health, safety, general welfare provision. She
feels that using a fire escape is a classic use of an alley.
Mr. McFarland thinks his clients have the right to use the building in the best way they can; safety requirements were not
written into the building codes when this was built. This proposal
is in keeping with the use of the alley: mutual convenience
noefeedasc. h house. We are trying to adapt 1820' s useage to today' s
Ms. Caravana would like more time to mull over the applica- tion and tonight' s discussion. Mr. Herman stated that we could
ttaobnlieghTthrisecweiivteh tfhuerthreecromstmuednyd:ation that two options discussed 1) drop-down or weighted staircase
and (2) exiting into the parking lot. He also suggested
that applicants and the Blackstones go to GPC Monday night and
v ,e««m,,,s:expaeain, their. .positions . ·M··· rR:-e-za-will: provide <a, · summary' for „4%46.g.. .1.I )" r-.'i....
Mr. Demetrosky preferred a solid secure staircase and suggested
an L-shaped bridge between the two buildings to act as a
mutual fire escape if Mr. Blackstone ever needed one. He said
they could not reverse the direction of the stairs because of
The Public Hearing will be continued to the December 18
Old Business: 1st Presbyterian Church, 110 W. Broadway
With the addition of the word do to Page 3, Section 1, to
the Finding of Fact provided by Mr. Sharkey,
MR. STEWART MOVED TO ADOPT THE WRITTEN REPORT AS FORMAL
FINDING OF FACT; MR. ESSMAN SECONDED, AND MOTION WAS
Adjournment: 9: 18 p. m.
Next Meetings: December 18