Granville Board of Zoning & Building Appeals
November 9, 2006 7:00 p.m.
Members Present: Jim Jung, Fred Ashbaugh, Bill Heim (Chair), Jean Hoyt
Member's Absent: Amber Mitchell
Also Present: Chris Strayer and Assistant Law Director Jim Gorry
Mr. Strayer stated that the meeting would be a work session with Assistant Law Director Gorry to go over procedures and rules for the Board of Zoning and Building Appeals. The committee would also be reviewing proposed zoning changes.
Mr. Gorry explained the rules and protocols that the committee should follow. He stated that the committee should function as a court or like a court - quasi judicial. Mr. Gorry stated that a Quasi Judicial Hearing is not a meeting under the Sunshine Law and that members of the general public are not permitted to testify, but only interested parties may make statements. He stated that the hearings are open to the public but are not public hearings. He stated that the interested party must state their interest and if they are not a neighbor or affected party the committee cannot consider their testimony. Mr. Gorry stated that anyone who testifies must be sworn in and provide their name and address for the record. He indicated when you can and cannot recuse yourself from the hearing and vote of an application. Mr. Gorry encouraged the members to not recuse themselves unless it is absolutely necessary and if there is a statutory conflict of interest. He stated that it is allowable even if you know the applicant and a recusal should only occur when one feels they are unable to render an unbiased decision. He stated that a member would most likely always recuse themselves when a neighbor or family member is involved.
Mr. Gorry stated that the committee may discuss any pending application with each other and/or the law department and staff. He stated that the BZBA Board should be careful having a quorum outside of meetings because this could violate the public meetings law.
Mr. Gorry indicated that Council has requested that the BZBA Board not have Executive Sessions. Mr. Strayer explained when asked that this was a full decision by Council. Some members of the BZBA committee questioned this request by Council.
Mr. Ashbaugh asked if the committee can choose to resume the meeting at another time if there is a matter they wish to contemplate further. Mr. Gorry stated that this is permissible if members of the committee feel unsure or unclear about something. He stated that they can request a continuance and the property owner has the chance to deny a continuance. He indicated that the application could either be approved or denied at this point. He stated that members of the committee should never feel forced to vote when they are unsure of something.
Mr. Gorry explained that the committee can investigate the proposed property prior to the hearing. He stated that they can consider personal knowledge of the property and bring this to the attention of other members during the hearing.
Mr. Gorry explained that the BZBA operates by delegated authority - only those powers delegated to the BZBA by the Charter. He stated that they do have Charter authority to grant variances and appeals.
Mr. Gorry went over general meeting conduct. He stated that members of the BZBA Board are to function as judges and conduct themselves as judges always appearing with judicial propriety. He stated that every applicant should feel as though they were fairly treated when they leave the hearing regardless of the decision. He stated that no decision should ever be made before hearing all of the evidence.
Mr. Heim asked what legalities are involved when an application is submitted by the architect or carpenter on behalf of the homeowner. Mr. Gorry stated that legally - only the owner of the property or the property owner's attorney can speak to the application. Mr. Gorry stated that in the past they have not disregarded applications submitted by the architects or carpenters, and it is the applicants fault if something faulty happens with the application. Mr. Gorry stated that the committee can take into account the knowledge of the person before them.
The BZBA Board went over the zoning Ordinance changes. The following comments/suggestions are noted below:
Throughout the Ordinance - Change non-profit to NOT FOR PROFIT
(Mr. Heim stated that is consistent with the Ohio Revised Code)
Page 1 - Line 42 - "A resolution shall indicate the basis for the review and refer to THE pertinent legal provisions."
Page 2 - Line 20 - "accessory use FOR INSTANCE shall not include the sale of alcoholic beverages of any kind."
Item (36) "Driveway" - should also include language about commercial driveways.
Section 1139.06 - The Village Manager may also appeal any such decision to Council.
Some members of the BZBA stated that they felt this was unfair, political, and micromanagement by Council.
Page 25 - Section 1145.03 - A new section ( c)
"( c) Such permit shall expire if a condition use is discontinued for more than two years."
Page 29 - (a) The cumulative maximum size of the occupied are of a detached garage(s) shed(s), or other storage structure(s) in a residential zoning district shall be 500 square feet."
Some member's of the BZBA questioned 500 square feet being enough. Mr. Gorry stated that the legal counsel suggested 750 square feet, but Council changed this to 500 square feet.
The BZBA meeting adjourned at 7:57 pm.
Submitted by: Melanie J. Schott