Granville Community Calendar

BZBA 7/11/02

BOARD OF ZONING AND BUILDING APPEALS July 11, 2002 Amended Minutes

Members Present, Ashlin Caravana, Trudy Knox, Lon Herman (Vice Chair), Greg Sharkey, Eric Stewart (Chair) Members Absent: None Also Present: Seth Dorman, Village Planner Visitors Present: Tim Riffle, Dan Rogers, Ned Roberts, Scott Harmon, Shirley Maxwell, Ralph D. Baker, Bill Heim, Sally & Larry Scheiderer, Mike Flood, Lesley Torello, Jim R. Cooper, Bob Morris, Bernadita Llanos, C. K. Barsky, Amy & Troy Brunn, Cal Prine, Bruce Westall, Rich Watts, Judi Watts, Barbara Lucier, Lee Davis, Sharon Sellitto, Marge Hendy Citizens’ Comments: None Swearing In: The Chair swore in all those who wished to speak during the evening.

The Chair suggested that since we have 4 new applications and one tabled one, we would like to move the latter up to the front if nobody has any objections. 

Old Business:

Dan Rogers, 210 East Maple Street – Side and Rear Yard Setback Variances

 The Chair summarized that at the May meeting the application was tabled, pending agreement by the neighbors on a landscaping plan to lessen the impact of the building, and he asked for a report. Attorney Jim Cooper believes they have an agreement with Bernadita Llanos and Dan Rogers. Some of the details and timing need to be worked out as to the fence and the trees for the neighbor on the north. {On the east side there has been no further discussion.} Mr. Cooper did not have opportunity to be a part of the discussion, so he cannot speak to what occurred, but was presented with a plan from Ms. Coombs. The discussion broke down. As he understands it, the problem is with the expense and extent of it. There’s a willingness to do something. Mr. Stewart said that we have an agreement on one side but not the other. The original price was $7500. Mr. Sharkey asked what was the last price offered, and Ms. Coombs said $4400, as she was willing to take off some. The Rogers apparently never heard this, but they were told this at the time. Mr. Rogers said the last meeting it was $7500 and landscaping from Fackler’s. He knew of no other figure. Ned Roberts agreed on this understanding, but Mr. Stewart heard $4400 and that was for the east side. {There was a long pause while the principals convened around the table for private conversation.} Attorney Cooper said the agreement with Ms. Llanos was to construct a 6’ solid wood fence of treated lumber with a minimum of 5 trees, 8’ to 10’ in height, probably hemlocks. Albyn’s will probably do the landscaping. Mr. Sharkey thought we were close to an agreement on the north side but there is no agreement for purposes of this board settling this evening. Mr. Stewart said that while we do the other 4 applications, the principals can work on this some more. Attorney Cooper does not want to give up and would like to see what the cost would be with the revised plan for the east side. Sharon Sellitto, who owns the property to the west, asked if a fence would be going in between the properties, and what kind of timeline is proposed. If a fence continues, it should be written into the agreement. There’s no fence there now. In l997 when she agreed to this, Dan Rogers said he would put up a fence. Mr. Rogers said he was planning to screen with fence sections. Constance Barsky said when the garage was first proposed, the neighbors did not have concerns about it. “Everybody agreed to it but what was built was not what was planned. Dan thwarted community values, and it is sad that people have to hire lawyers to resolve this.” She hoped in the future this can be avoided and hoped the neighbors are not being hurt. Mr. Sharkey wants to go on record with what Ms. Coombs proposes now is a significant down grade and is entirely reasonable; Dan created the problem and he’s got to fix it. Even if it costs money. He does not have a figure on cost but he thinks her proposal to screen the garage is reasonable. Ms. Knox said the agreement was a maximum of 5 trees and there is a minimum. Mr. Stewart believes they were going to work on the final details. There was discussion about where the lot line was and how far the eave overhung it. Bruce Westall spoke about the encroachment situation. He agrees with Constance Barsky that it’s too bad we are to the point we have to hire lawyers to figure out disputes. “This is not really an issue about Dan Rogers’ building a garage but it has become a neighborhood issue, about relationships among each other. He said Mr. Rogers has not done a good job in this area. You have done a tremendous job on the building. We have seen you work hard and spend lots of money improving the property, but from the beginning you took advantage of the system and for whatever reason you fell through the cracks. Equally responsible was the Village because they did not direct you soon enough to correct the situation. One option is tearing the whole thing down, and I don’t think that should be done in a community that values its history. The Village has to find some way to keep better track of projects under construction. People violate zoning every day. Maybe Dan is the example of how that can go very badly. I don’t know what the answer is, but it’s your job to mediate it in a way that we don’t have to take sides.” Ned Roberts said that from the very beginning he did get permission for a two-story garage and the garage would have been more acceptable, but the saltbox was different. Dan did think he had artistic license and did not think it would be a problem. Mr. Roberts tried to help him, and said the project was not done with evil intent. They worked on drawings to cut the roof down to the original saltbox style, but the Planning Commission advised them not to cut it down. Ms. Caravana stated that what they proposed was something in-between. Ned Roberts saw no reason to tear it down and make it unusable. The Planning Commission said to stay with the design we have. The variance was 12” from the lot line. He is 2.2’ from Bernadita and 1’ from the Coombs, he is very close. It’s even hard to know where the line is. The overhang could be cut but it adds to the style. Mr. Sharkey said we have to consider how it impacts neighbors. Ms. Caravana stated that the Planning Commission didn’t consider the impact from Ms. Llanos and Ms. Coombs; they consider what’s on paper. Bernadita Llanos disputed the artistic license issue. The structure is massive and huge and for that reason it needs to be screened. Anyone that close would feel the view is completely destroyed. She can’t believe artistic license is at issue—it’s a selfish thing. They are not considering the neighbors. Mr. Sharkey agreed that size is the issue. If this were a new application tonight, this Board would deny the variances. He encourages Dan to do everything possible to make an agreement satisfactory to his neighbors. {At this point, Mr. Stewart broke up the meeting so that the principals could try to come to agreement.} Scott Harmon, Surveyor, repeated his claim that Granville has boundary problems. He again requested that Granville change the zoning code Setbacks are destroyed, and Mr. Dorman can do nothing because the proper controls are not legislated. Until you take that position you will have trouble.

New Business:

Michael & Lesley Torello, 1 Sheppard Place – Front Yard and Driveway Setback Variances

 Ms. Torello is requesting variances for the front yard and driveway setbacks to build a two-car garage on the south side. There is no garage now. The garage would be 29’ from the front lot line and 30’ is the minimum. The shed will be attached, and materials will match the existing house. This would require a 1’ variation from the front yard setback and 0.5’ variation from the driveway setback to allow a safe turnaround for cars. The house is on a ravine and they are limited as to where the garage can be sited. Richard Downs, contractor, was present and explained the exact location of the structure. He said the layout from paper to reality is not always achievable, but relative to safety, it might be a good idea to widen the drive from 10’ to 12’. If anything can be done to improve the turning range, he would be happy to hear it. They don’t want to lose the tree. Cal Prine, neighbor, stated he and his wife have reviewed the plans and have no objections. MS. KNOX MOVED TO APPROVE APPLICATION #02-073 AS PRESENTED. MR. HERMAN SECONDED, AND THE MOTION WAS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED.

Mr. Sharkey stated that BZBA approves the Torellos’ request for a variance in accordance with the criteria:

A. That special circumstances or conditions exist which are peculiar to the land or structure(s) involved and which are not applicable to other lands or structures in the same zoning district. Special circumstances exist in that this house is built on a hill, it’s fairly close to the road, there is no immediate neighbor on the side affected, and there is a very real public safety issue in switching the location of the driveway. It’s pretty much the only place that they can make these changes given the topography and the nature of the property’s location. B. That a literal interpretation of the provisions of this Zoning Ordinance would deprive the applicants of rights commonly enjoyed by other properties in the same zoning district under the provisions of this Ordinance. We didn’t really address this issue and it probably would not deprive the applicant of rights commonly enjoyed by other properties in the district. C. That the special conditions and circumstances do not result from the actions of the applicant. As mentioned in response to Criterion A, this lot given the topography and its unique location are what drive the necessity for placing these changes where they are being placed. D. That the granting the variance will not confer on the applicant any undue privilege that is denied by this Ordinance to other lands or structures in the same zoning district. We have no evidence, either direct or indirect to think that this granting of the variance will confer on the applicant any undue privilege. E. That the granting of the variance will in no other manner adversely affect the health, safety, and general welfare of the persons residing or working within the vicinity of the proposed variance. There is no neighbor on the side directly affected, we heard no objection from any of the other neighbors, in fact, Mr. Prine the one neighbor who did speak up was supportive of the applicant and in short there is no evidence that this will adversely affect the surrounding neighborhood.

Troy and Carla Reed, 123 Wildwood Drive – Side and Rear Yard Setbacks

 {Ms. Knox recused herself from this hearing.} Mr. Dorman said in his memo that the lot is 14,810 square feet compared to the code minimum of 20,000. Side yard setbacks should be 14’, and the plan is for a 4’ setback on the south. The minimum rear setback is 50’, and this would be 43.5’, with the proposed location of the shed building with portico. Mr. Stewart said the applicants are not here tonight, but since several neighbors are, we will hear their concerns. The application is for a 10’x12’x 9 ½’ high shed building with 4’ portico to be used at first as a playhouse and then as a tool shed. Variances would be needed on the south side for 10’ and a 6.5’ variation on the rear. Mr. Reed feels it will be largely obstructed and shielded from neighbors by trees. The neighbors disagree. He does not want the structure in the middle of the yard. Troy Brunn said the neighbors here have concerns since the proposed playhouse is such a large structure. There appear to be some drainage tiles ready for the north and south drains. Neighbors to the south are upset that this will cause further soil erosion due to the natural grade. Apparently the Reeds never spoke to the neighbors about this before they left for vacation. Sally Scheiderer has concerns about the size. The neighbors will all be able to see the structure, but the Reeds will not see it well from their own home because of vegetation shielding it from their second-story deck. All the neighbors’ yards open up and there is little fencing, and the openness is nice. A letter from the Sauers questions the applicant’s violating the Wildwood covenants, but Mr. Dorman said they are no longer in effect and the applicable authority is the Granville Zoning Code. Bob and Sue Sauers are not in favor of the application. An unidentified woman lives directly to the west, and according to the letter, we are screened by evergreen trees. But from our patio to the future structure, that is a line from me to you. It will change the flow of the neighborhood. If he just wants a shed, he should put it where we don’t have to look at it. We don’t want to see them set a precedent. Ms. Caravana thought it might have a negative impact. Rick Watts would hope that consideration for granting variances would be mutual agreement of everyone impacted. Mr. Stewart noted that we always want to hear from neighbors and take their comments into consideration. A woman said Troy Reed didn’t say a word and she did not know why he had the stakes in the ground. Amy Brunn started seeing things—he cut down a tree already. He has cut down limbs and she called Mr. Dorman to see if a permit was granted. He has flat ground on the property, so why would he build on a slope? The proposed shed is 9 ½’ tall but from the rear where the slope is the shed will be taller. Water gushes down there in storms. He is obviously going to be putting in more drain tile. Marge Hendy said they have always gotten water. Since he put in the drain tile, it’s gotten worse. He did not inform us the first time, and I don’t think it’s in the plan. Mr. Stewart asked if this were in the north end of the property, would that fit more favorably. Mr. Brunn said if they put it on the north and concealed it that would be great. I wish I could talk to him. He does a nice job with his yard, but this needs shielding. A woman said if it were on the north, people would not see it. Ms. Scheiderer would rather not see it at all. To build a 13x12 thing that started out as a playhouse, that is unnecessary. She does not think a storage shed is that crucial. A man said granting a variance from the north side would be more favorable but would still be negative in setting a precedent. Mr. Dorman said the applicant has requested tabling. Citizens here tonight will be re-notified officially. Mr. Herman said people came here and are on record. Mr. Dorman will tell Mr. Reed that we feel a lot of concerns were legitimate. As far as the drain tile, Mr. Dorman said generally we would treat these things as issues between neighbors, but it is incumbent on the property owner not to create drainage problems. 

MS CARAVANA MOVED TO TABLE APPLICATION #02-086. MR. SHARKEY SECONDED, AND THE MOTION WAS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED.

Lee and Linda Davis, 304 North Pearl Street- Lot Coverage Variance

Mike Flood, landscaping contractor, said that while installing brick paver patios and a fence, they widened the driveway without a permit. The widening is for 18” to the west and 4.5’ to the east. They need more room to park a second car in the driveway. Lot coverage is 58% and without the widened portion, lot coverage is 54%. So the home was already over the maximum coverage. Mr. Bellman, owner of the property to the east, is in favor of the plans, and they are working out an easement situation. Mr. Dorman said the lot is 0.8 acres. The apron is between the two driveways; originally there was a 4.5’ buffer. Mr. Sharkey thought this a pretty minimal increase in lot coverage, and we are dealing with a very small lot. He does not see any real problem. Mr. Stewart thought any time you can get a car off the street, you are ahead, and Mr. Herman thought this was squarely in the center of what we have granted in the past. Mr. Dorman said there is documentation that lot coverage was not an issue when they came before BZBA for the garage, but it probably was. Ms. Caravana would have concerns if the neighbor was not in agreement. Neighbor’s pavement goes 18” on the applicant’s property. If it tends to benefit both properties, she would be inclined to be in favor of it, although she doesn’t like 45’ wide curb cuts. It’s an extremely small lot and this is the only way to get more parking in.

MS. KNOX MOVED TO APPROVE APPLICATION #02-088 AS PRESENTED. MR. SHARKEY SECONDED, AND THE MOTION WAS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED.

 Mr. Herman applied the application to the criteria:

A. That special circumstances or conditions exist which are peculiar to the land or structure(s) involved and which are not applicable to other lands or structures in the same zoning district. The land and structures that have existed since the mid-nineteenth century and are very small in size. In terms of the lay of the land there are limited opportunities to move cars off the street and put them in a safe position. B. That a literal interpretation of the provisions of this Zoning Ordinance would deprive the applicants of rights commonly enjoyed by other properties in the same zoning district under the provisions of this Ordinance. The applicant has presented an expansion of their driveway, to extend it to allow two cars to be on the driveway concurrently, which is a right that others in the district do in fact enjoy. C. That the special conditions and circumstances do not result from the actions of the applicant. The lot is unusually small in size and as such presents limited opportunities for driveways and ways to get cars off the street safely. D. That the granting the variance will not confer on the applicant any undue privilege that is denied by this Ordinance to other lands or structures in the same zoning district. The amount of variance is consistent with other variances that have been approved by this Board. E. That the granting of the variance will in no other manner adversely affect the health, safety, and general welfare of the persons residing or working within the vicinity of the proposed variance. By getting cars off the street, this may present a safer environment for persons living and working in that area.

 Mr. Flood said the applicant wanted the pavers mid- stream so we never thought of the lot coverage. Going through this process, contractors learn about restrictions.

Tim Riffle, 135 Thresher Street – Side Yard Setback Variance

 Mr. Dorman said in his memo that the applicant wants a garage addition and the existing garage is too close to the property line. The south side setback would be 2-3’ versus the code minimum of 12’. Mr. Riffle has a two-car garage now and wants more room for a workshop. He will have electricity but no gas. He said the eave overhangs in the back. Both neighbors are in favor of the plan, and the closest neighbor is 40-50’ away. Ms. Knox thinks the site lends itself to the project and follows the land. It’s unique and the lot goes in so it’s wider in the front. Mr. Stewart said if the new structure were built onto the north side instead of the east, would there be a need for a variance? Mr. Riffle said it would be impossible without removing a tremendous amount of dirt. It’s sloping 8’, so he can only add on to the front and there would be a greater variance problem in the back. Ms Caravana wishes that she had time to view the site, especially considering its being attached to another garage. It looks to have a good deal of trees. But dealing with massing, it is a two-story structure 2 ½-3’ from the property line in the back of the structure and 8- 10’ in the front. She is concerned about having that high a structure on the property line. We have allowed one- story garages, but she is thinking about the neighbor to the south. Mr. Riffle has talked to them and they have no problem She wondered if he could pull it in a little bit, but the applicant said he does not have a lot of headroom inside and he wants to be able to get in and out without whacking his head on the rafters. She thought the natural lay of the land may be able to accommodate the project but wants to view it more closely. Mr. Sharkey thought the slope helps a lot, but he still has problems with the size of the structure. He did not get out to see it either. Ms. Knox viewed the property and doesn’t see how he mows it. Mr. Riffle wants to get busy and finish the project before his helper goes in for an operation. He showed where the site would be and where the house next door is. The trees are fairly mature and will screen a lot of the garage. Ms. Caravana said the lay of the land requires the garage to be put there. But we don’t want to set precedents. Mr. Stewart thought we could do a site inspection and then vote. THE SITE INSPECTION WILL BE TUESDAY, JULY 16, 6 P.M. AT THE RIFFLE HOME WITH MEETING CONTINUING AT THE VILLAGE AT 6:30 P.M.

MS. CARAVANA MOVED TO TABLE APPLICATION #02-089 UNTIL TUESDAY AT THE APPLICANT’S REQUEST. MS. KNOX SECONDED, AND THE MOTION WAS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED.

[Back to Rogers’ Garage}

 Mr. Stewart said we are not concerned with details so much as the fact that all parties agree. What has been worked out? Attorney Morris said there has been an agreement. The details include a timeframe for Dan to file an application for a fence, given that it is 6’ high, he may need variances. The number of trees and location of trees have been agreed upon. Ms. Sellitto has agreed. The location of fence has been agreed on too. Default time frame has been included. Attorney Cooper said the agreement is between Dan, Bernadita Llanos, and Ms. Sellitto. The agreement reads as follows:

AGREEMENT BETWEEN B. LLANOS, S. SELLITTO, AND DAN ROGERS, DATED 11TH DAY OF JULY, 2002  5 Canadian hemlock trees, 8-10’ in height, to be planted by 10/30/02. Dan and Barb to be responsible for cost.  Trees to be planted by landscaper, preferably Albyns.  Trees currently to north of Dan’s garage shall remain  Dan to install temporary wood fence by 8/15/02. Must submit applications to Architects, Zoning, Planning and any and all other review boards by 8/15/02  Fence to be 6’ in height, style as indicated on attached sheet. Fence to run from corner of Llanos property to corner of garage. Same fence style for Sellitto property to west. All fence to be at Dan’s cost  In the event the above agreement is not completely fulfilled by 6/1/03, Dan Rogers agrees to pay B. Llanos the sum of $3,000.00. Extension of time to be granted in event Dan Rogers’ physical health prohibits completion.

{Signed by three principal parties.}

 Attorney Cooper said the third agreement is not complete. Jim Schmidt, new owner of the Coombs house, is going to submit a proposal. He will discuss it with Dan and then we will respond. Mr. Stewart would like to bring this to a conclusion as soon as possible. We can discuss this after our other application Tuesday evening. Mr. Schmidt thinks he can have his work done by then. Attorney Morris said Dan can do nothing until this issue is resolved. There are other neighbors that are being held hostage by someone who may or may not come to a reasonable plan. Dan Rogers asked to table. MR. HERMAN MOVED TO TABLE APPLICATION #02-056. MS. KNOX SECONDED, AND THE MOTION WAS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED.

Finding of Fact: MR. SHARKEY MOVED TO ADOPT THE FINDING OF FACTS FOR THE TORELLO AND DAVIS APPLICATIONS AS THE OFFICIAL DECISION OF THE BOARD, AND WE FIND THEM CONSISTENT WITH THE RELEVANT SECTIONS OF THE VILLAGE PLANNER’S MEMO OF JULY 5, 2002. MS. KNOX SECONDED, AND THE MOTION WAS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED.

Minutes of May 23 and June 11: Postponed until the next meeting Next Meeting: July 16 – SPECIAL HEARING, August 8, regular meeting. Adjournment: 9:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Betty Allen 

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