BOARD OF ZONING AND BUILDING APPEALS
April 13, 2006
Members Present: Fred Ashbaugh, Jean Hoyt, Bill Heim (Chair), Amber Mitchell (Vice Chair), Jim Jung
Members Absent: none
Also Present: Chris Strayer, Village Planner
Visitors Present: John Noblick, Marty Chaney, James Graham
Carol Moore, 8 Samson Place, Rear Yard Setback
Mr. Strayer explained that the house actually sits 19' into the setback and they are asking to reduce it to 6' from the rear property line. The property is only 90' deep.
Mr. Noblick, designer for Jerry McClain, explained the design for the new carport on the south side and showed on the drawing exactly where it would be sited, on the wooded side of the lot. They are eliminating part of the deck in order to add a laundry on the first floor. Ms. Moore also wants a cover for her car.
Mr. Heim asked whether the house was built before zoning and was told that it was built in the 1950s before there was any zoning. (The small houses were built to accommodate Denison's returning veterans in inexpensive housing.) All of the houses are sited within setbacks. To adhere with setback Ms. Moore would find the back setback would overlap the front setback.
Mr. Ashbaugh thought it would be nice if the carport were on the other side. He asked how many other houses in the area are within the setback, and Mr. Strayer said all of them encroach into setbacks. They are all grandfathered in.
Mr. Noblick said the house on the right shares a driveway with Ms. Moore. It's a single drive, and there is no room for her company. The houses are so close on the street that it would be better to push this back farther. In doing so and building a carport would make her house conform more to the area. All the houses on the cull de sac are tiny and on small lots. Don Gunnerson designed them originally.
MS. MITCHELL MOVED TO APPROVE 06-024. MR. JUNG SECONDED, AND MOTION WAS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED.
Finding of Fact: Mr. Ashbaugh 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. All the lots have the same characteristics, and there is nothing peculiar about the land or structure. The problem is the zoning district. This is a nonconforming area.
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. True, the SRD-A code was created for larger lot zoning and not for the small lots as created in this area. The land sizes in question do not allow for typical construction.
C. That the special conditions and circumstances do not result from the actions of the applicant. True, the lot sizes and zoning code were not the result of the applicant.
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. True, other properties in the SRD-A have large properties that these zoning standards more readily apply to.
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. True, due to the locating and sitting of the land and structures, this project will not have adverse affect on health, safety and general welfare,
MR. ASHBAUGH MOVED TO APPROVE THE FINDINGS OF FACT FOR THE VARIANCE APPLICATION. MR. JUNG SECONDED, AND MOTION WAS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED.
James Grahlam Trainer, 48 Wexford Drive - Side Yard Setback
Mr. Strayer said the applicant wishes a side yard setback for a new house. The setback is supposed to be 14' and this would be 8'. He has received no comments from anyone except for Mr. Griffith, who appeared at the start of this meeting. He owns three lots adjacent to Mr. Trainer's lot as well as a vacant lot between the two of them.
Mr. Trainer said they bought the lot two years ago and moved into Erinwood to live in while the house was being built. The house would be 87' wide, so they met with a shortfall of 2' the way the house is set up, the master bedroom is on the 'variant' side. The garage is on the north, there is a steep slope in the rear, sloping down from the house, precluding putting the garage there. It would also require a retaining wall. There is a 50'setback in the front. To redesign the whole house would involve many thousands of dollars and it would be difficult to build into the slope. The neighbor's only concern is adding landscaping between the houses. The Conveyance of Property discouraged putting the garage in the front.
Mr. Heim noted that on the plan it shows the required house setback is 60' but the plan asks for 50' Mr. Strayer said 50' is OK. Ms. Hoyt asked whether the neighbor could eventually sell this vacant lot and impact the future. She is concerned about that person being close to the Trainer house. The answer is Yes.
Mr. Ashbaugh thinks a 20' driveway is too narrow and if not for the slope, he would prefer the garage be in the rear.
MS. MITCHELL MOVED TO APPROVE APPLICATION 06-033 AS PRESENTED. MS. HOYT SECONDED, AND MOTION WAS APPROVED BY MAJORITY (Mr. Ashbaugh and Mr. Heim voted no.)
Mr. Strayer said we cannot really concern ourselves about what might occur in the future.
Finding of Fact: Ms. Mitchell 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. True. The severe slopes to the rear of the property decrease the buildable area of the parcel, forcing the structure to be located closer to the roadway in the narrower part of the property.
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. Not applicable.
C. That the special conditions and circumstances do not result from the actions of the applicant. True, the severe slope of the property forces the location of the house, not the actions of the applicant.
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. Not applicable.
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. True, the siting of the house in the proposed location will not affect health, safety or general welfare of persons in the area.
Discussion arose about voting for criteria after a negative vote. Mr. Strayer explained that the application has been approved, and so you are only voting for the criteria being acceptable to the approval. If you don't think the criteria are appropriate, then you can vote against it. Because you voted against the application, you don't have to vote against the criteria. Mr. Ashbaugh takes issue with Criteria A.
Ms. Mitchell feels that the applicant went through so many plans ("400") to find this perfect one that it is not as though he settled on the first one, and we shouldn't make it more difficult for him. Mr. Strayer added that we have to look at the Bryn Du neighborhood. The adverse effect is less than would be considered closer to town.
Mr. Ashbaugh said the house that may go up on the next door lot would have to be set very close. Ms. Hoyt added that these are larger homes and in order to fit in with the rest of the subdivision, they have to go to variances sometimes. If they conformed to the regulations, the house might be too small, and Mr. Strayer said there are deed restrictions on minimum sizes. A lot of the houses there are built across two lots.
MS. MITCHELL MOVED TO ACCEPT THE FINDINGS OF FACT AS READ. MR. JUNG SECONDED, AND MOTION WAS APPROVED BY MAJORITY WITH ONE NEGATIVE VOTE (Mr. Ashbaugh).
Minutes of February 9: Page 2, in the paragraph starting with Mr. Ashbaugh, change to "It will soon be near a limited access intersection….."
MR. JUNG MOVED TO APPROVE MINUTES AS CORRECTED. MR. ASHBAUGH SECONDED, AND MOTION WAS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED.
(NorthStar is awaiting approval from the bank and getting the residential developer on board.)
Next Meetings: May 11 and June 8
Adjournment: 7:55 p.m.
Betty Allen Hullinger