Granville Board of Zoning & Building Appeals
November 11, 2004 7:00 p.m.
Members Present: Trudy Knox, Amber Mitchell, Tym Tyler, Bill Heim (Chair), Don Dean (Vice Chair).
Member's Absent: None.
Visitor's Present: Leslee O'Neill
Also Present: Chris Strayer, Village Planner
The Chair swore in those who planned to speak.
Leslee O'Neill, 865 Newark-Granville Road #04-168__
The applicant, Leslee O'Neill, stated that she would like a variance to install a 72" fence in the front of her property. The code currently allows for a 48" fence. Ms. O'Neill stated that a 42" fence would not work for the property, because she felt the aesthetics would not be pleasing. She later stated that she would not install a 42" fence if the variance is not granted. She stated that she felt the proposed fence would add to the look of the village and enhance the looks of her property. She provided to the committee examples of what the fence might look like. Ms. O'Neill stated that the fence would be in the front of the property, and the side areas would be rail fence that adjoins another rail fence on one side - St. Edward's Church. The committee asked who lived on the other side. It was stated that the Sargeant's live on one side, and St. Edward's church is on the other. Mr. Heim asked if the neighbors had been contacted and did Mr. Strayer hear anything back from them. Mr. Strayer stated that he had conversations with two of the neighbors, and they didn't oppose the applicant's proposal, but they wanted to make sure that a precedence wasn't being set to install seclusion or privacy fences. He stated that one neighbor remarked about deer not being able to get through. Mr. Heim asked if the church had any plans to remove their rail fence. Mr. Strayer stated no, not to his knowledge.
It was stated that the applicant would need to get approval for a variance in height from the BZBA before going to the Planning Commission for further approval.
Mr. Heim read aloud part of the code that discussed prohibited fences. He stated that fences with spikes are not permitted, and asked if this fence would have spikes. Ms. O'Neill indicated that she would install the fence with a flat top and no spikes.
Mr. Dean reviewed Section 1176.04 of the code and stated that the committee uses these regulations when reviewing applications for fences. He stated that the property looks nicer without the bushes. He also asked Ms. O'Neill where she planned on installing the fence. There was some discussion as to the exact placement of the fence. Ms. O'Neill stated that the fence would line up with the existing gate that is already located on the property. Ms. O'Neill stated that the existing gate was 80" in height.
Ms. Knox stated that she feels the requested height is too high. She went on to say that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." She asked what the height of the fence located at the Bryn Du Mansion was. Mr. Strayer stated that this fence is located in a different architectural district and it is approximately eight feet high in some locations. Ms. Knox stated that she had looked at the fence earlier that day and felt that it was closer to five feet high.
Mr. Heim questioned if the fence would be appropriate in appearance for other residences. The committee discussed the scenario of other residents in the area requesting the same kind of variance.
Mr. Tyler stated that he agreed with Ms. O'Neill about the aesthetics. He stated that he did not think a 42" high fence would be appropriate for that particular property. Mr. Tyler stated that he feels this is more about the motives for having the fence, rather than the height itself. He stated that this is not going to be for privacy and it's about aesthetics.
Mr. Heim stated that he agreed it was about aesthetics.
Ms. Mitchell asked for a visual depiction of how high the fence would be. Mr. Strayer stated that he was six foot tall, and the fence would be two inches taller than him.
Mr. Tyler asked the committee if there was any compromise in height. He asked Ms. O'Neill if the fence she wished to install was custom made. Ms. O'Neill stated yes.
Mr. Heim suggested that there be a motion to approve the application brought forth by Ms. O'Neill, followed by a vote from the committee.
Mr. Tyler made a motion to approve the application, and grant a 72" variance to install the fence. Seconded by Ms. Mitchell.
Mr. Dean stated that he felt the fence was too tall. He stated that a 72" high fence compared to a 48" high fence wouldn't make much of a difference with the proposed placement of the fence in regards to aesthetics.
Mr. Heim questioned the front yard setbacks (Section 1187.03) and asked if the fence would be in the right of way. Mr. Strayer stated that this would not be a problem for the applicant in this case.
Ms. Knox stated that it would have helped her to get the correct information as to the need for the fence. She stated that she was told that the main reason for wanting the fence was for dogs. She stated that the applicant seems to now be saying the reason is due to aesthetics. Ms. Mitchell stated that there is one sentence in the applicant's packet remarking about dogs. Mr. Strayer stated that he may have become confused when speaking with the applicant, and misunderstood that she wanted the fence because of her dog. Ms. Knox stated that she had believed the applicant wanted the fence primarily due to a conversation she had with a gentleman who was with the applicant that evening. Ms. Knox went on to say that she feels the committee shouldn't give a variance for height for individual reasons. She stated that the village has already set up standards to follow. Ms. O'Neill asked Ms. Knox if it was true that the goal was the make the village look nice. Ms. Knox stated that you could take fifty people, and get fifty difference opinions on what looks nice. She stated as an example that she doesn't feel the fence on the Bryn Du property looks nice. She stated she would prefer to see no fence there. She stated that as far as aesthetics go, everyone has a different opinion. She stated that she makes her decisions based on what is in the Ordinances.
Mr. Heim called for a roll call vote for application #04-168.
Mr. Dean (no), Ms. Mitchell (yes), Ms. Knox (no), Mr. Tyler (yes), Mr. Heim (no).
(3, 2). The motion for approval of application #04-168 was not approved.
Mr. Tyler made a motion to "give a little" and suggested a 60" high fence. Seconded by Ms. Mitchell.
The applicant indicated that a 60" would suffice her needs. Mr. Dean told Ms. O'Neill that the BZBA's decision could be appealed to Council, and any ruling could be overturned. He stated that the committee has strict guidelines and criteria to follow when making their decisions.
Roll call vote to approve a 60" high fence:
Mr. Dean (no), Ms. Knox (no), Ms. Mitchell (yes), Mr. Tyler (yes), Mr. Heim (no).
(3, 2) The motion to approve a 60" high fence was not approved.
Leslee O'Neill, 865 Newark-Granville Road, #04-
1171.03 DEVELOPMENT AND DESIGN GUIDELINES.
The following considerations shall be examined in the review and the public hearing of an application for variance:
(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 districts. Does not apply.
(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. There is one taller fence in the area - Overlay District, but none are located in the Suburban Residential District A.
(c) That the special conditions and circumstances do not result from the actions of the applicant. It would result from actions of the applicant.
(d) That the granting of 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. This would have granted the 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. The tall fence would not affect the health and welfare.
Ms. Knox moved for the approval of the Finding of Fact, seconded by Mr. Dean.
Roll Call Vote: Ms. Mitchell (no), Mr. Dean (yes), Mr. Tyler (no), Ms. Knox (yes), Mr. Heim (yes). (3, 2) The Finding of Fact for application #04-168_is approved.
Ms. Mitchell indicated that she voted no because she felt criteria (a) did apply because the home was a peculiar and unique structure.
Mr. Heim stated that this matter was a question of aesthetics. He stated that he voted yes because the proposed fence wouldn't contribute to the aesthetics of the neighborhood.
Review and Approval of Minutes
October 21, 2004
Ms. Mitchell moved to accept the minutes as amended, seconded by Ms. Knox.
Roll Call: Dean (yes), Mitchell (yes), Tyler (yes), Knox (yes), Heim (yes). (5, 0)
December 9, 2004 7:00 p.m.
January 13, 2005 7:00 p.m.
Ms. Knox stated that it would be helpful to her to have all applicants fill out the form in its entirety. She stated that a previous application had come in with basically the name and phone number, and no "real" information. Mr. Strayer acknowledged her request.
Mr. Heim asked to have a motion to adjourn. Mr. Dean moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Ms. Knox.
The BZBA meeting adjourned at 8:05 pm.
Submitted by: Melanie J. Schott